Yuko Sekine / Marubeni ASEAN Pte. Ltd.
* In this column, Marubeni Group staff provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.
This year Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence. In the past few years new tourist spots have been popping up around the country. This time, I will introduce some recommended spots categorized by purpose.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens occupy 74ha of spacious grounds in which there are various tropical trees, a lake with white swans, and lawns. On weekends you can see many families and joggers enjoying the gardens. Also, at a restaurant located in the grounds, you can enjoy a relaxed lunch and tea. The Singapore Botanic Gardens are currently under consideration to become a World Heritage site, and if the application succeeds, this will be the first such listing for the country.
For those who want to seriously run through the city center, please come and join Singapore’s largest marathon event – the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. Marubeni Group expatriate staff and business trainees are challenging themselves in this event every year.
In a single visit to the National Museum of Singapore you can learn about the country’s history, culture and the Singaporean way of life. What’s more, as this year marks the country’s 50th anniversary of independence, an exhibition entitled Singapura: 700 Years is currently on display. Through six areas, this exhibition provides a simple explanation of Singapore’s various stages from its early beginnings (which still have yet-to-be-defined aspects), to its great prosperity as a trading hub, to its colonial and occupied eras, right up to its current status as one of the world’s great cosmopolitans.
Peranakan is a term used for the descendants of 15th century Chinese immigrants and local Malay women. This community created an original culture through the fusion of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other Asian cultures with European culture. Just looking at the pastel-colored roofs, crockery, and dazzling wedding decorations is a captivating experience.
Founded in 2007, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is relatively new, but anonymous feng shui practitioners locally introduce it as a powerful location thought to be flowing with mystical energy. There is a garden on the room and on its side is one of the world’s largest prayer wheels. I recommend taking a little break here after a stroll through Chinatown.
The Singapore Grand Prix is held every September and I recommend it to car enthusiasts as well as to those who don’t even know what “F1” is.
Singapore is only one time zone away from Japan, so if you take an overnight flight you can enjoy a weekend here. The country is evolving at amazing speed so please come and visit!
(Written on March 20, 2015.)
Marubeni Group communication site “MS+ (MS Plus)” (April 14, 2015)