DP Review | Photo.Net | Amazon | ByThom
Singapore is a wonderful example of taking a little and making a lot out of it. About 4 million people live in an area the size of Rhode Island or 263 square miles. Located on the tip of Malaysia, it is 90 miles north of the equator thus it is hot and rainy almost year round. Alan makes frequent business trips there and has a few pictures.
Singapore skyline
Under British rule for 140 years, Singapore has an interesting mix of British culture with Chinese traditions. There are four official languages in Singapore: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, and speak their mother tongue as well as English.

The harbor area is a great place to visit. from the daily fish market to the steady flow of huge container ships being loaded and unloaded just off shore. This deep natural harbor is the real source of Singapore's success. Used as a stopping point from Europe to China for centuries, it is the world busiest port today. Singapore has developed into a Global trading country and their gross domestic output or GDP per capita is 29th in the world.

Singapore's reputation of being clean and organized is true. Trees line every street and look like they came out of Disneyland with their perfect trimming. There is absolutely no litter or trash. Even construction sites look tidy. Since there is not much land, the Government tries to encourage people to use public transportation like buses, taxies and trains. It is incredibly expensive to own a car in Singapore. The tax is almost the price of a car.

Also, Singapore is tough on crime. They lead the world in using the death penalty for drug crimes with their zero tolerance policy. Over 400 people have been hanged since 1991. Even with this, new drug use was up 16% since 2001. Most Americans may remember the 1994 caning of American teenager, Michael Peter Fay. The court found him guilty of two charges of vandalism involving spray-painting cars, two of mischief for throwing eggs at cars, and one of retaining stolen property.

With that said, Singapore is a modern country with all the opportunities and issues. The education system is excellent. The work ethic is second to none and the shopping, well it is like nothing else in the world. Every European luxury good maker has their own boutique. All the American favorites are here and there is a Starbucks on every corner. I am not sure if Singapore is Singapore or the perfect representation of everything on this planet