"(the real) Happiest Place on Earth" Top 5 Page for this destination Singapore by Skylink

Singapore Travel Guide: 4,781 reviews and 10,934 photos

These Singapore pages are a work in progress and always will be.

I first visited Singapore almost by accident. I was redeeming a frequent flyer award to another country. After some terrorist bombings in that country, I was asked to travel somewhere else and chose Singapore because it was far away (getting lots of travel for the award). That first Singapore trip was a moderately interesting trip but my interest in the country didn’t develop until a trip in 2005 to Singapore for a work related meeting. I have visited 6 times, five of them since 2005. When I've visited Singapore, I might have only 1 rushed day to see places because of business commitments or a few hours if I'm just between flights. Of course, that's an excuse to keep on coming back!

In my experience, Singaporeans are one of the friendliest people that I’ve met. The ratio of friendly people to rude people is very favorable and there isn't that much anti-social behavior. Enjoyment from travel is not only from seeing interesting sights but in learning how people live and think.

One can read the history books for details about Singaporean history. Thinly populated until the mid-1800’s, the area was colonized by the British. That explains the UK style mains (electrical outlets), RHD cars (traffic drives left), etc. In architecture, Singaporean projects use a quantity surveyor, who figures the amount of material, screws, doors, and other supplies needed, and works between the architect and contractor. In the U.S., quantity surveyors are not used.

In 1942, the Japanese invaded Singapore. The invasion and British surrender was followed by three years of extreme hardship, torture, and Japanese war crimes. There are many memorials to the occupation if you look for them. If you are interested in simply shopping and relaxing, you could easily not realize that they exist.

Upon entering the central part of Singapore, you might notice the large ERP signs over the road. This is a system where cars are charged fees for entering the area during the day on weekdays. A similar system is used in London. Car ownership is also limited by the high price of cars. Singapore drivers are familiar with the initials used, such as COE, PARF, OMV, etc. Cars with red number plates (license plates) are called “off peak” cars and are intended for use at nights and on weekends and public holidays.

The crime rate is not high in Singapore. Neither is terrorism common. Terrorism is a fact of life in this modern world but despite the proximity of JI terrorists in nearby countries, there have not been a lot of terrorism in Singapore. I am aware of only one major incident, the hijacking of Singapore Airlines flight 117 in 1991 where Pakistani terrorists hijacked a Kuala Lumpur originating flight. After announcing demands that, if unmet, would be followed by the killing of a passenger in 15 minutes and an additional passenger every 10 minutes, brave and crack Singaporean commandos stormed the plane 12 minutes later killing all 4 terrorists and resulting no passenger deaths. This ranks among the well publicized and successful retaking of a hijacked airliner.

There also was an aborted plot to bomb the sewers under Yishan MRT station in order to kill U.S. Navy sailors traveling from the Yishan MRT station to Sembawang Camp. Planning documents were found in both Afghanistan as well as the terrorists’ flats in Singapore. Singapore Team 2, International Terrorists Team 0.

Why did I give the title to this page "(the real) Happiest Place on Earth"? Disneyland claims to be the Happiest Place on Earth. But you can't live in Disneyland. Despite some Singaporeans who think that the island is too small or that there is nothing to do except eat and shop, Singapore is better than most or all of the other places on my VT map...and also one of the happiest places that I have visited.

If you are interested in seeing my other VT pages, the largest pages are the Sydney, San Francisco, and Seattle pages. My Nome, Alaska page is in the top 5 but it isn’t nearly as long owing to the small size of the village.

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  • Cons:Very hot!
  • Last visit to Singapore: Mar 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (91)

Comments (10)

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    Great tips Dave!

  • Apr 1, 2007 at 2:33 AM

    Nice page, I enjoyed.

  • Karaoke-Ben's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2007 at 12:52 AM

    QUEENSTOWN PRIMARY SCHOOL's Rainforest Library is really "KOOL"! Singapore's Ministry of Education is the World's Best (280 good schools). Singapore kids are very lucky indeed. Thank you very much. From: Singapore BEN

  • Dec 10, 2006 at 4:08 AM

    Thanks for providing me some new idea's in case I got bored (one day). I have not visited any museum in 7 month here, but I might give it a change now!

  • imstress's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2006 at 11:30 PM

    the real happiest place on earth ;p I am glad to be living here :)

  • faridah's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2006 at 4:28 PM

    Hi.. Too bad we just ranked one of the lowest in the 'happy survey' in the world. We seem to be a miserable lot. : )

  • Eurasian68's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2006 at 8:33 AM

    the effort was worth it! enjoyed reading your Singapore page, keep it up:-) greetings from Germany

  • Jun 20, 2006 at 6:55 AM

    HI! Dave: Thanks for dropping by. It's rare to see a non-Singaporean having a VT page on Singapore with 62 tips! PS: RI & RGS are the top schools in Singapore and no, you cannot enter Jurong Is without a permit.

  • aussiejen's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2005 at 1:14 PM

    I enjoyed Singapore too. The orchids are beautiful at the Bot Gardens.

  • mafootje's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2003 at 10:36 AM

    so..the packing list should include running shoes for crossing the streets


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