Impressions of Singapore
This week I am in Singapore for one week of training and development, and it’s my first time here. I think it’s a really great city (country) and wanted to let you know what it’s like here.
A Chinese City?
It’s hard to pin down exactly what kind of city Singapore is. It is certainly diverse, with 30% of its population composed of non-citizens, and the following four main groups of people (by size):
- (Han) Chinese
On first glance, it reminds me of a Chinese city more than anything else, but more akin to Hong Kong or Macau than anywhere in mainland China. And yet, it is definitely not a Chinese city. English is the main language, of course, but I heard plenty of Mandarin, Hokkien (from Fujian province), Cantonese, etc… Quite the diverse city.
The Food of Singapore
This is one of the best things about Singapore, from my brief impressions these last several days. In Singapore, you can get Malay, Singaporean, Indian, Chinese, and other various assorted food from street-side shops which are very reasonably priced and quite tasty. It is a great collection of flavors and something I desperately wish Shanghai had (the only truly cheap food in Shanghai is Chinese, except for McDonalds or KFC).
Clean, Nice, Hot, Westernized
Singapore is quite clean, the air quality is very good, the streets are broad, and it’s hot. But I like this kind of hot weather, especially after living in Shenzhen for two and a half years, it feels like home.
Singapore is, like Hong Kong, a city where you can find anything and everything you could want or need, as long as you have a high enough paying job, which brings me to the last point.
Singapore is Expensive
It’s like a mid-range US city. Singapore is not a cheap place to live or eat, but you could probably make it on the cheap here like you could in many places in the States. But without a decent paying job, it probably isn’t worth it to come here.
Living in Shanghai, even though it is the most expensive city in mainland China, is rather cheap by comparison.