Singapore Serviced Apartments
It all began in the third century CE when this pristine island, at the end of the Malay Peninsula, was used as a trading post by merchants sailing to China. The first settlers were the Malays, who came around the 7th Century and called their newfound fishing settlement "Temasek" or "Sea Town".
It was known as Temasek for many centuries, until a Sumatran prince named Sri Tri Buana (popularly known as Sang Nila Utama) set foot on the island around 1299. After sighting a lion, he made the island his new kingdom and called it "Singapura" or "Lion City" in Sanskrit.
Centuries passed, then Singapore's modern history started when Sir Stamford Raffles stepped ashore in 1819—an event so significant the Raffles Statue was erected at the landing site on the banks of the Singapore River. An astute visionary, Raffles quickly struck a treaty with the local chieftains to set up a British trading post.
The Union Jack was raised and soon Singapore established itself as a free trading port. Exponential population growth followed with Malays, Chinese, Indians, Arabs and Europeans pouring onto the island, bringing with them an eclectic mix of cuisines, languages and cultures. In 1959, Lee Kuan Yew, the first elected Prime Minister, announced the state's self-government on the steps of the City Hall. Under Lee's administration, Singapore was transformed from a third world trading port to a highly developed nation in a short span of 35 years.
Singapore today is the economic miracle of South-east Asia, with the world's best airport (Changi Airport), the world's busiest port, the world's third largest petroleum refinery and a first-class infrastructure. Beneath the modern veneer, however, lie timeless treasures of finely restored colonial buildings, charming Peranakan houses, quaint shop houses and enduring landmarks that will take you back into the city's past. It may be a concrete jungle to some extent, but with numerous national parks, nature reserves and abundant greenery all year round, Singapore is indeed a model city, striking an enviable balance between urbanization and conservation. Welcome to the Garden City of Asia.