We spent Christmas day in the financial district of Singapore, among the imposing skyscrapers and impressively developed waterfront. In trying to find a connection to Christmas, the economic growth of Singapore from 1965 to the present day is like a miracle. To go from a third world, mosquito and mud laden trading post to the glitzy world first world city of today, is amazing. It was the autocratic capitalism and strict rule of Lee Kuan Yew that did ti. The Chinese are similarly using this model with limiting citizen’s individual freedoms, but promoting the economy is a capitalistic style. In the photo above, I am using a new panoramic technique with my iPhone to capture tall structures.
The skyline reminded me of lower Manhattan, although without the rest of New York behind it. The huge banking and finance companies’ buildings demonstrate that Singapore is an financial services hub and truly a global city like London, Dubai or New York They also did a great job of becoming a transportation hub in the Asia Pacific region, with the second busiest port per volume in the world (behind Shanghai) and the 16th busiest airport in the world.
We had an overly-priced lunch on the bay and took some photos at the famous, Merlion, the symbol/mascot of Singapore. “Mer” represents its origins as a fishing village and “lion” comes from the original name, Singapura, meaning lion city. There were never lions here, but probably stems from the Malaysian tiger. The statue is in front Fullerton Hotel and all the area in Marina Bay is reclaimed land.
We plan on heading back at night to get another view of area. I would like to go for a run downtown sometime before I leave as well. There is a nice running path alongside the Singapore river which runs through the central business district.