Here are 50 fun facts about Singapore:
1. Since 1905, Singapore has changed its time zones 6 times! Presently its time zone is GMT+8 (just to be in synch with Malaysia), but it is technically still incorrect. Singapore should be in the GMT +7.5 time zone.
2. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore. Only those with medical prescription can chew gum!
3. Singapore is one of the 20 smallest countries in the world. The main island is 42 kilometres long and 23 kilometres wide and has a total land area of just 683 square kilometres.
4. There is a maximum limit to how high buildings in Singapore can be built, which is 280 meters.
5. The Tanjong Pagar Centre, opened in 2016, is Singapore’s tallest building at 290 meters. Special permission was granted to it to exceed the usual height restriction of 280 meters.
7. Other than the four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil that Singaporeans speak, they also speak a fifth language which is a local lingo by the name of Singlish. However, instead of being a broken language, it is a really complicated creole that foreigners cannot pick up easily.
8. A total of 27 Singlish words have made it to the Oxford dictionary.
9. In all of Southeast Asia, you will find the largest size of Yakult bottles in Singapore.
11. Of the only five official Tintin shops in the world, one of them is in Chinatown in Singapore (the remaining four are in Japan and Europe).
12. With over 260 food stalls, the Complex Food Centre in Chinatown is the largest hawker centre in all of Singapore.
13. After New Zealand, Singapore is the easiest place across the globe to do business, according to a business list published by the World Bank.
14. You can find the National Anthem of Singapore on the back of the SGD 1000 note, written in micro text.
16. You can actually sit and enjoy free movie screening 24/7 at the Changi Airport. Check out Terminals 2 and 3 for 2D movies, and Terminal 4 for 4D cinema.
17. The youngest person in the world to have passed GCE ‘O’ Level Chemistry paper at the age of just 7 is from Singapore.
18. There is an actual law against not flushing the public toilet after using it in Singapore, and you will be fined SGD 150 if you get caught.
19. Singapore is very passionate about toilets indeed! The government actually tabled a UN resolution to mark 19 November as the World Toilet Day, and in 2001, the World Toilet Organization came into being.
20. The tallest indoor waterfall in the world is located in Singapore at the Gardens by the Bay, and it stands at a height of 35 meters.
22. There are only three city-states that exist in the world, and Singapore is one of them, other than Monaco and Vietnam.
23. Singapore is the least corrupt city in Asia and the fifth least corrupt in the world.
24. 7th November is officially celebrated as the National Tree Planting Day in Singapore when everyone from diplomats to the common man plants trees. Some people even adopt trees as birthday or wedding presents!
25. Caning is till date a legal form of punishment in Singapore.
26. The Singapore government heavily discourages using private vehicles, and car owners in Singapore have to pay 1.5 times the car price to get their vehicles certified.
27. Standing 165 meters high, the Singapore Wheel is the second-highest in the world, losing the first rank by only 2 meters!
28. The mythical creature Merlion, the ambassador of Singapore, is a half lion and a half fish. The lion comes from the first sighting, and the fish represents the traditional fishing occupation of the city.
30. The first-ever park dedicated exclusively to gardening is the HortPark in Singapore, which has now become a major lifestyle hub in Asia.
32. One out of every six people in Singapore has assets worth USD1 million or more, higher than anyone else in the world.
33. The entire economy of Singapore is based on shipping, and everything from sand to freshwater is imported. At the same time, the state exports a lot as well.
34. The Changi Airport was voted as the World’s Best Airport for the fourth time in a row in the year 2016.
36. Singapore is the fifth largest arms importer in the entire world, as per a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
37. Singapore Night Safari is the first night zoo in the world.
38. The tallest natural point in Singapore, Bukit Timah Hill, is only 164 meters high.
39. Singapore has the biggest retractable dome in the world, with a diameter of 312 meters, and the ability to easily shelter 55,000 spectators from sun and rain.
40. Every day, two new restaurants open up in Singapore; which is huge, given its small size.
41. Citizens of Singapore do not need a VISA to go to China, South Korea, North Korea or the United States.
42. There was no war or battle to help Singapore gain independence from Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia democratically voted to throw out Singapore!
43. Littering is a huge offence in Singapore. If found littering small items, you will have to pay SGD 300 as fine. On the other hand, littering larger items like cans and bottles can earn you a Corrective Work Order, wherein you will have to wear a bright green glowing vest and clean up a certain specified area, to shame you publically and make you realize how tough it is for the sweepers and cleaners!
44. Certain topics are out of bounds for discussion in the public, and you will land in trouble if you choose to speak about them. Criticizing the government is one such topic.
45. In 2008, when the Singapore Flyer opened, it rotated in a counter-clockwise direction when viewed from the Marina Centre. Later that year, it was reversed, on the advice of the Feng Shui masters.
47. There are over 3000 kilometres of roads in Singapore, which when stretched from end to end, can cover the distance between Singapore and Hong Kong.
48. The lowest temperature recorded in Singapore ever was 19.4 degrees Celcius, on 31 January in 1934.
49. Singapore is also home to Sunda pangolins, or scaly anteaters. They live in the Central Catchment Area, and each adult anteater can eat around 70 million insects a year.
50. The signature Singapore Sling, which contains gin, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Dom Benedictine, pineapple juice, Grenadine, Angostura bitters and lime, was first served at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel in the year 1915.
Now that you know these 50 amazing facts about Singapore, you can have a wonderful trip and explore this city-state to its best. You're not going to find such wonders anywhere else!