If you are interested in visiting Southeast Asia, we’d recommend that you visit Singapore. The country is beautiful with its cleanliness, nightlife, and wonderful architecture. However, there aren’t enough known facts about Singapore, making it difficult for some tourists to navigate the country.
Therefore, we have compiled a list of fun facts about this stunning country that you may have never heard. Let’s explore these facts and discover new things about Singapore before your visit!
21 Interesting Facts about Singapore
1. Hawker Stands Serve the Best Singaporean Food
Hawker stands in Singapore have multiple food stands in one location with individual health ratings. They serve the best Singaporean food in the country! The hawker stands have a range of dishes from different cultures, like Hainanese chicken and lor mee that are Chinese dishes, and nasi goreng that is a Malay favorite. They also have Indian thali sets.
2. Jewel Changi Airport Has the World’s Tallest Man-Made Waterfall
Singapore is a country of man-made waterfalls, with the first one being built in 1971 at Jurong Bird Park. It is 30m tall, but the tallest is the one at Changi Airport. It is 40m tall, with lush gardens surrounding the waterfall, making it a sight to behold. Especially from 7:30 PM to midnight, the HSBC Rain Vortex looks stunning!
3. Singapore Is Always Hot and Humid
Singapore is close to the Equator, which is the reason for its tropical rainforest climate. You won’t experience any seasonal changes in Singapore, as the temperature always stays between 77 to 95 °F (25 to 35 °C). Therefore, it’s always hot there despite the time of the year.
4. Singapore Hosted the First Formula One Night Race
Our first thought was that the night racing was due to the weather as it’s very hot during the daytime. But that’s actually not true! Singapore had the first F1 night race for the European audience, due to the time difference. The first night race was held in 2008 for FIA Formula One World Championship.
5. Singapore Has Mandatory Military Service
Many countries in the world have mandatory military service, but it’s a surprising fact about Singapore as it hasn’t been at war with anyone for decades. Yet, the country seems paranoid of its neighbors, and therefore, made National Service compulsory for all men in 1967.
Every male citizen and permanent resident who has turned 18 needs to serve 1-2 years in the military.
6. Singapore Has the World’s First Night Zoo
The first night zoo in Singapore was opened in 1994 with an open concept. It houses 130 nocturnal species, and people from all over the world can come and observe them in their natural habitat. You can watch lions enjoying their meat dinner and mountain deer in all their glory.
There is a 50-minute tram ride that takes visitors around the zoo where you can see the creatures in a relaxed state.
7. Singapore Has 64 Islands
There are 64 mini and large islands that belong to Singapore’s territory. These islands include Sentosa, John’s Island, Kusu Island, Pulau Semakau, and many more. Some of these offshore islands are accessible to tourists and visitors, but most of them are off-limits.
8. One of the Islands Has a Dark Past
Sentosa is the largest island in Singapore, with a 1.2 mile-long beach. This island is the definition of glitz and glamor with Universal Studios Singapore, two golf courses, 14 hotels, a resort, and a casino. Despite all the fun and leisure Sentosa provides to tourists today, it wasn’t always a happy location.
It was a British military base that was used as a POW camp after the Japanese occupied Singapore in 1942.
9. Singapore Is Not a Lion City
‘Singapura’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘Lion City.’ It got the name after the prince of Srivijaya, also known as Sang Nila Utama, was stranded here. He came across a massive cat that he thought was a lion and so the place is not called ‘Singapore.’
However, that region never really had any lions and was inhabited by Malayan tigers only. So if the prince saw something there, it may have been a tiger.
10. Singapore Is One of the Surviving City-States
A fun fact about Singapore is that it does not have a capital. Singapore is a city-state, which means a country that is basically just a city. There are only two more city-states in the world, one is San Marino, and the other is Vatican City.
11. Singapore’s National Anthem Is Printed On the Back of S$1000 Bill
Most of the Singaporean bills have ‘Monetary Authority of Singapore’ written in micro-text for an infinite number of times, but the S$1000 bill is different. It has the entire National Anthem of the country printed in micro-text on the back of the bills. Now, this is what we call a fun fact!
12. Singapore Is Called the Garden City
Singapore has majestic skyscrapers, but this is not what makes it famous. Its dedication to a green life by increasing the number of trees lining the streets and rooftop gardens is why people call it the Garden City.
13. Singapore Has Changed Its Time Zone Six Times
Singapore has a lack of seasons but not time zones. They’ve had six changes over the past century to save daylight. It started in 1905 when Singapore changed to 7 hours ahead of GMT, ending in 1932. Next was a 20-minute forward change (1933-1941) and a 10 minutes change (1941-1942).
After the Japanese occupied Singapore during World War II, they moved the clock one and a half hours ahead to match Japanese time. Singapore was finally back in sync with Malaysian time in 1982.
14. Anderson Bridge Has a Dark Past Too
Anderson Bridge was completed in 1910 and was the go-to place for hanging criminals and beheading spies during the Japanese Occupation. Despite its dystopian look, the bridge has a dark history that is still remembered by Singaporeans. Thankfully, it all ended with the war, and Anderson Bridge became part of the F1 street circuit of Singapore.
15. Singapore Has Four Official Languages
The official languages of Singapore are English, Malay, Tamil, and Chinese. However, Singaporeans do not speak just one of these languages in their everyday life. Most of them know one or two of these languages, but they prefer to talk in their dialect that blends all four languages. It’s called Singlish.
Singlish is an English-based dialect that is very complicated to understand or speak for tourists or foreigners.
16. One of the Most Religiously Diverse Places in the World
We already know that Singapore offers a wide variety of cuisines and four languages to make it easier for anyone to visit or live in Singapore. However, that’s not where the diversity ends. Singapore is the home of 5.6 million residents who practice many religions. You’ll find people practicing Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and more.
17. There’s Only One UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Country
The Botanic Gardens of Singapore are 150 years old tropical gardens that attract people from all over the world given their historical significance.
It’s the only site in Singapore that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Maybe Singapore’s green city status comes from the inspiration provided by these gardens!
18. Singapore Has the Highest Percentage of Millionaires in the World
While the United States has the most number of millionaires in the world, Singapore is famous for the highest percentage of millionaires. In fact, every 1 out of 6 households in Singapore can boast a disposable wealth of at least $1 million. It’s one of those little-known crazy rich Asian facts!
19. Two New Restaurants Open Every Day in Singapore
You already know that hawker centers are the best place to find a wide range of foods, but that’s not the end of Singaporean food. These people are passionate about food, and they take it seriously too. The average number of restaurants opening in Singapore every day is two.
From hawker stalls to high-end cafes and restaurants, you can find every place serving delicious meals from a diverse cuisine.
20. Peranakan Cultures Are Prevalent in Singapore
Peranakan is a term used for people of mixed Chinese and Malay descent. They are settlers who arrived in Southeast Asia to find great fortunes. Their culture is distinct, with elaborate formal dresses, stunning shop houses, and Victorian-influenced tiles. You’ll find many places in Singapore that reflect the Peranakan culture.
21. Cars Are Super Expensive
Singapore is a small country by area, but it has a lot of people living there. Therefore, the car-to-person ratio is restricted to avoid pollution and major traffic jams. Cars in Singapore are almost twice as expensive as in other countries. It’s a good thing that most of the Singaporeans are millionaires then!
101 Facts about Singapore
This week we’re off on another adventure across the globe, and this time we’re landing in… Singapore! Yes, the country of merlions and constant humidity! So grab yourself a Singapore Sling, and let’s head to Asia as we learn 101 Facts About Singapore!
With a focus on improving the ecosystem and working towards technological advancement, Singapore is set to become a world-class city soon. We hope the facts about Singapore helped you learn more about this stunning and unique place nestled in Southeast Asia. Don’t miss your chance to visit Singapore and explore all the places we talked about in this article!
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.