Tan Wee Cheng's Singapore

– One of the World’s Most Unique Cities

Tan Wee Cheng, Singapore   weecheng.com

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Festivals & Culture

Thaipusam - an Indian Festival in Singapore - an Extraordinary Display of Religious Devotion and Sacrifice     Kuda Kepang - the Javanese horse dance - has long been a feature of Malay cultural performances. This series of 14 mini-videos include spiritual possession and trance that is typical of this dance with pre-Islamic roots.  Performed by Tedja Timur group in Singapore.  Nine Emperor Gods - The Gods & Their Magical Wild Rocking Chairs Tanki - Gods & Mediums - The Ancient Gods, Rituals and Spirit-Mediumship of Folk Taoism in Modern Singapore 


River3 My Top 10 in Singapore thm_q1.jpg
Lizards of Sungei Buloh - The Malayan Water Monitor of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, one of the world's most important site for migratory birds   Khatib Bongsu - Singapore's Threatened Paradise - Mangrove Swamp  

Digest of Articles  Snacker's Paradise: Devouring Singapore's Endless Supper  Asian Civilization Museums: Ancient Lands Rush to the New  

 Kathakali - An Exotic & Colourful Indian Dance Art 


Melting Pot of Cultures - Unusual Folk / Traditional Festivals - Historic Districts - Well-Preserved Nature - Beaches - City of Arts & Museums - Gastronomical Paradise - Shopping Hub - Heart of Southeast Asia

It has almost become a cliché to say Singapore is boring and sterile. During our rush to prosperity, we have torn down many parts of our picturesque old quarters and implemented policies that gave us a bad name among libertarians and foreign journalists. Our standard and cost of living have rose in line with our rising incomes, and made us seemed expensive to our neighbours – although significantly cheaper than countries in Europe and elsewhere of equivalent income levels. 

Do you know that Singapore's Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has more tree varieties than all of United States & Canada combined? 
But it is wrong to describe Singapore as boring. As one who have lived in Europe and travelled to over one hundred countries, I find Singapore a very unique and exciting place, not just what one can do and see here, but also the accessibility to surrounding places within three hours road/sea travelling time. Here are some reasons why I find Singapore exciting:

- Singapore is a melting pot of cultures that have retained our traditions in a modern environment. Traditional festivals and cultures are very much alive despite the IT savvy culture and modern appearance. On average, there is one festival or event every week or two. - Despite popular belief, there are a number of historical districts and architectural unique and well-conserved areas within Singapore. 
- For a small island of close to 700 sq km, Singapore has quite a few well-preserved nature spots and reserves, including primary rain forest and mangrove swamps. One of the most important rest/feeding stations in the world for migratory birds is the Sungei Buloh reserve here. Ubin Island to the NE is a great nature gem too.
- Singapore is a tropical island paradise with great beaches at Sentosa and East Coast, plus the southern islands of St John, Kusu and Sisters Islands. 
- Singapore is a city of arts, culture and museum. The Esplanade has turned Singapore into a premier city in Asia for arts and theatre performance. The Asian Civilization Museum does not have the treasures of either the Louvre or British Museum, but with its extensive collection and informative displays, provides a much better introduction into the history and exotic cultures of Asia.
- Singapore is the heaven of eating! There are more than 20,000 eating-places in a small country with 4 million people. One eating-place for every 200 people! Numerous international cuisines as well as a lively, fiery and varied local cuisine too.
- Singapore remains a major shopping hub, although that edge has eroded over the years.
- Singapore is the heart of Southeast Asia. Three hours by air get you anywhere to the capitals of the region. Three hours by road or sea get you to the historic Malaysian city of Melaka, the serene and beautiful countryside of Johor Malaysia, and the wonderful beaches of the Indonesian islands of Batam, Bintan and Sumatra.

I will not attempt to create a guide of Singapore here. What I have done and intend to do more in the future is to document selected sights, customs and festivals of Singapore through a mixture of articles and photos. I will also maintain a digest of articles on selected topics here. There are a few links here but I do not intend to create an extensive database of links because they tend to expire with time. Hope all these would be useful!


Betel Box Hostel Singapore. Singapore Hostel AccomodationsBetel Box Hostel - wonderful place in the middle of the historical Peranakan district of Joo Chiat/Katong area
Hostel One66 - Free tours by the hostel to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Inn-Crowd Hostel - Right at the heart of Little India
Summer Tavern - a surreal modern hostel at exciting Clark Quay

Expat Singapore - has good information guide on what to do and see
Makan Time - It's about food, food, food!
Singapore Tourism Board's Visit Singapore and Corporate Site
Unorthodox Singapore - the alternative guide to Singapore
Victor Wong - photo site with directions to some nature sights in Singapore
Betel Box & Inn-Crowd sites also have extensive information about some of Singapore's unique places
Virtually all of Singapore's attractions have their own sites - just do a google search!

Singapore Heritage Society - conservation of our rich cultural and historical heritage
Singapore Nature Society - protection & conservation of nature in Singapore

Mailing Lists
SingaporeHeritage - Devoted to the rich heritage of Singapore 
Taoism-Singapore - Taoism and traditional ceremonies in Singapore
wildsingapore - Nature in Singapore



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Lonely Planet: Singapore DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Singapore (Eyewitness Travel Guides)    Lonely Planet: Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei

Tan Wee Cheng 2004