The island nation of Singapore is a popular tourist destination for its wide array of attractions, including the largest casino in the world (the Marina Bay Sands) and an up-and-coming art scene. The city also has its own unique cuisine and culture, which you can explore through its restaurants or through one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year.
The economy in Singapore is strong due to its history as a manufacturing hub, but it is also considered one of Asia's most technologically advanced nations. It was named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who founded it as a trading colony back in 1819. In 1899 it joined with other British colonies on Malaysia's Malay Peninsula to form what we now know today as Malaysia—a nation that includes Kuala Lumpur (formerly known as Port Swettenham), Penang Island (formerly known as Prince Town), Melaka City (formerly known as Malacca Town), Ipoh City and Kuching City among other cities. Singapore gained independence from Malaysia in 1965 and has since become one of Asia's most prosperous countries.
Singapore's central business district has been recognized as one of the most important financial centers in Southeast Asia, and its port is one of the busiest ports in the world. The country's cultural diversity is reflected in its cuisine, which ranges from Peranakan or Nonya food to Hainanese chicken rice or Teochew porridge.
Popular neighborhoods are Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, Orchard Road/the central shopping belt (or "shopping belt"), Marina Bay area around Marina Bay Sands Resort & Casino, Sentosa Island (a popular tourist destination), East Coast Park.
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