Published: 21 Jul 2016
Updated: 21 Apr 2022
Category: Compass Cities

Compass City Guides: Singapore


Singapore is often compared to Hong Kong, as the city-state is also a leading financial and transport hub. Once dubbed alongside Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan as one of the Four Asian Tigers, Singapore has, in many ways leapt ahead of its counterparts.
For the last decade, sunny Singapore has been ranked first in The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. It is easy for foreigners to conduct business here, as English is the language of instruction in all schools. The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom also ranks Singapore as the second freest economy in the world. There are an estimated 5.53 million people living in Singapore, the majority, 74 percent, being of Chinese descent. Foreigners make up 42 percent of the population.
Food in Singapore is diverse, with Chinese Malay and Indian cuisine reigning in popularity. Peranakan cuisine, a mix of Chinese and Malay influences, is also a Singaporean specialty. The best example of this cuisine is laksa, a spicy noodle dish that Singaporeans can get combative about. Most locals will have a favorite hawker stand and will travel to get the best bowl in town. Another Singaporean must-eat on the list is the imperial durian, available late into the night at street vendors.
There’s a booming tech scene in Singapore, with a supportive government pouring resources into startups, coupled by heavy foreign investment. This growth is reflected in new areas like the sprawling Block 71, a mix of coworking spaces and tech offices, home to a number of local and international startups.
Public transportation in Singapore is convenient, with busses, trains (MRT or LRT) and taxis running through the service. While taxis are relatively cheap, other rival services like Uber and Grab are rising in popularity, making it easier than ever to get places. Singapore’s international airport, Changi Airport, connects the city-state to 300 cities in 70 countries. 


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