Singapore is becoming a popular holiday destination with travelers from all around the world. While the country may be small, it has plenty of sights to offer, delicious food, and unique experiences for everyone.
Moreover, its reputation as a clean and green city is also a huge draw factor.
The streets are mostly free from litter, while every road, pavement, and street is lined with trees. Singapore is thus aptly known to be a ‘Garden City’, where trees provide respite amid the tropical heat and create green spaces within urban areas.
So, what is life like in this island city?
We’ll look at three big facets that make up the Singapore lifestyle – in my opinion.
Singapore is home to a diverse mix of people from different cultures and backgrounds, and while I can’t speak for everyone, I think everyone would experience these one way or the other.
1) How Singaporeans embrace orderliness
Firstly, when you explore Singapore, you might get the sense that it’s quite an orderly country.
On escalators throughout the island, people keep to the left if they’re not in a rush, while the right side is for those who’d prefer walking up.
I know that other countries do have similar practices, but somehow the residents of Singapore abide by this instinctively.
Even in the early morning rush to and from the train station, everyone gets into either the left or right line in an orderly manner.
Then, when you’re outside the train doors waiting to enter the train, there’s an unspoken rule where passengers line neatly at both sides of the doors. This avoids hindering the path of alighting passengers, while the rest take their turn to enter the crowded train cabins.
If they’re unable to get on, they’ll await the next one.
While there are a few who rush into the trains the moment the doors open, most will wait at the sides.
Upon entering a full train, you’ll notice that passengers instinctively make space; they’ll shuffle to the back and squeeze together with the rest, so that more people can enter the train.
Outside, safety personnel will encourage passengers to make room for others in the train cabins, while guiding passengers entering the station to queue at less crowded train doors. This ensures a continuous flow of movement while preventing a potential choke that could result in injuries.
While not all Singaporeans abide by this, one can see the sense of consideration each person has for the other; and quietly gives way.
This sense of order is reflected elsewhere as well. Which brings me to my next point – food, an integral part of the Singapore lifestyle and identity.
2) Singapore’s love for delicious meals
As a food haven, it’s no wonder that Singaporeans take their food very seriously.
When there’s a famous eatery that’s just newly opened, you’ll definitely find a snaking queue of people eager to be the first to taste the food.
No matter where the eatery is located– either on the far east side of the city or perhaps in a not-so-accessible part of Singapore, you’d find Singaporeans on the other side of the country traveling there just to taste the food.
From breakfast to lunch, dinner, and even, supper (a common practice for social gatherings to eat at places that open throughout the night) – you’ll never run out of great food.
From more affordable options at hawker centers (eateries with no air conditioning) serving up the best local delights at affordable prices to air-conditioned food courts and upmarket restaurants offering cuisines from across the globe; there’s something for everyone.
Social gatherings are often centered around eating as well.
For example, supper, which largely occurs after dessert or dinner, think 10 pm to after midnight, is the time when locals of all ages hang out at eateries that open late into the night.
The splendid array of mouthwatering eats is a result of the city’s cosmopolitanism.
At night – especially on the eve of public holidays or over the weekends – certain roads and pavements come alive as well, and lines of cyclists make their way from one end of the country to the other. Some, from one region to the other.
3) Walking and cycling across Singapore
A growing trend that’s quickly cementing itself into the Singaporean lifestyle or habit, is exploring the city either by bicycle or on foot.
During the pandemic, restless Singaporeans who could only exercise outdoors (socially distanced, of course) when gyms and fitness centers had to close, collectively decided on a new hobby – cycling. Many households purchased bicycles and everyone started cycling around the island.
This continued well after the pandemic. To avoid traffic and the sweltering heat, groups of cyclists ride at night, some until the next morning. They fuel up at 24/7 eateries along the way before riding throughout the night.
Others begin their cycling route in the wee hours of the morning to start their day on an active note with family or friends. Most of them then head over to a café or hawker center for a hearty breakfast.
Meanwhile, there’s another group who similarly, enjoy traversing the island, but prefer to do it with their feet.
Similar to how the cycling craze caught on during the pandemic, a hiking fever caught on among Singaporeans. Suddenly, more people were walking everywhere.
Now on weekends or public holidays, national parks are filled with residents getting a workout in; and forested areas that did not have official trails, saw more and more hikers going off the beaten track.
In Singapore, there are paths (park connectors) connecting parks (there’s usually a park within each neighborhood) that enable residents to walk from one park to another. It brings them across roads and neighborhoods, allowing hikers to explore lesser-known areas.
There’s even a 36km trail linking nature areas, parks, and park connectors from the West to the Northeast region of the island.
For those keen on a more scenic route, hikers and cyclists can head to the ‘Rail Corridor’ route, a 24km path stretching from the North to the South of Singapore. Formerly a railway line that linked Singapore to neighbouring country, Malaysia, this belt now sees fitness enthusiasts putting their endurance to the test.
It’s hard to encapsulate the Singapore lifestyle in one article, but I’d say that the above-mentioned points should give you a generic idea.
If you’d like to find out more about what makes this country so special, book a flight and find out more on your own!