Trip Tips: Singapore woos high-fliers, history buffs, foodies

Thu Feb 6, 2014 7:16pm EST
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By Ryan Woo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore was once famous for three things: The banning of chewing gum, mandatory flushing of public toilets and the caning of American youth Michael Fay for car vandalism in 1994.

It has since shed some of its inhibitions as Asia's city of "thou shalt nots" diversifies away from an economy heavy on manufacturing and banking.

While Monaco or Barcelona it is not, tropical Singapore is now known as a top-class casino-gambling destination, the venue for the world's first Formula One night race and the bachelor playground of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

Clean and safe, the prosperous city-state is also a magnet for high-end shoppers and one of the most diverse food capitals in the world. (Map:

Here are tips for getting the most out of a trip to Singapore from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.

Singapore, whose name means Lion City in Sanskrit, was colonized by the British in the early 19th century. Before that, it was inhabited by no more than a thousand people.

The preceding centuries are shrouded in myth and legend, with Chinese travelers and Javanese chroniclers alluding to a lair for pirates and the sighting of a majestic lion.

The last 100 years marked an era of deep change as the British empire unraveled, post-colonial Singapore was expelled from the Malaysia federation and the tiny island suddenly became a self-governing state with a tenuous future.   Continued...

The Marina Bay Formula One street circuit is illuminated at dusk in Singapore, in this September 17, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files