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Old 04-28-2013, 04:55 PM
102 posts, read 147,337 times
Reputation: 114


Some very interesting responses to my OP here. I suppose life in Singapore, like most places, is what you make it. If it is 'soulless' perhaps this is due to what I perceive as a national priority to 'succeed' in Singapore. And comments that the place is boring could be seen as the 'eye of the beholder' stuff. We usually stay in Singapore for at least 4 or 5 days and generally find something new to do or see. This time we are going to do a few guided theme walks which look interesting. I must say however, that I do miss the 'old' Singapore, it's architecture and character.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:13 PM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
Reputation: 11862
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Singapore has just as much soul as anywhere else in Asia. China or Korea or Japan doesn't have any MORE soul.

My guess is the friend associates Asia with poverty and cheap things like cheap beer, cheap people, and such? If he's not seeing that, he thinks its lost its soul?
I agree. How do you define 'soul' anyway? I don't think Singapore is as soulless and sterile as people say, it definitely has some grit and character, although it's been cleaned up a lot since the 1960s. Some look back at that era nostalgically, and there were some pluses, but my mother who grew up in a poor family in the 50s, 60s and early 70s remembers that time first hand and prefers the Singapore of today infinitely. If you want poverty go to India or Cambodia (nothing wrong with those fascinating places, just saying).

Singapore is what it is. Some like it, some don't. For me I just see it as a great 'introduction' for to Asia for someone who hasn't had any experience with the region. The traffic is civilised, most people speak English, it's a clean first world country that's easy to get around that boasts several family-friendly attractions. It, along with Malaysia, is also the best place to get a taste of Asia in one place. One can try the best Singaporean, Chinese, Indian, Malay, Middle Eastern food, one can watch Chinese New Year or Diwali celebrations, or see the festivities associated with the Muslim fast of Ramadan. There's also the British colonial element. Obviously, one can't really compare Singapore to other countries since it's a city state and after a week you might find yourself a bit bored, but Singapore has marketed itself well as a layover/short-stop destination and whatever people say, it still attracts among the most visitors of any city in Asia.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:20 AM
21 posts, read 41,536 times
Reputation: 15
Singaporeans eventually warm up and I'm sure they do have Soul but it can be tough to find. I do feel they are unhappy because the glitz, glamour and shopping is so prevalent you feel poor if you are a regular Singaporean even though you live in one of the best countries in Asia. They want more, more, more...people are stacked on top of each other, extremely wealthy and extremely poor. We are decently paid expats and I have never felt so poor in my adult life. The transient society with so many foreign workers not staying (poor workers are without their families, well paid workers use Singpore for a career boost and then move home), also contribute to this odd place. It is good to visit, I agree 8 days is too much. Visit bin tan or Bali, etc. while you are here.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:21 PM
Location: NoVa
2,125 posts, read 2,909,278 times
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I kinda agree with your friend's assessment. Other than food, cleanliness, and safety, S'pore doesn't really have anything else to offer. It's a city without character. You will be bored to death if you spend entire 8 days in S'pore. Unless you enjoy going from mall after mall after mall.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:13 AM
582 posts, read 994,284 times
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^ I guess Singapore shouldn't be on my list then. I won't care for the food in Singapore. The cleanliness and safety can be found in any first world country. So, what's the point?
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:41 AM
Location: NoVa
2,125 posts, read 2,909,278 times
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^ Oh, but the food is worth a visit. But then, my husband and I are foodies so all of our travel decisions were mostly based on food Their chilli pepper crab is to die for..!
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:04 PM
84 posts, read 367,630 times
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Originally Posted by Spudee View Post
I have always enjoyed Singapore since my first visit as a young Aussie soldier back in 1967. A very different place then to the Singapore of today. The tallest building was the 7 storey (I think) Singapura Intercontinental Hotel on Orchard Road where we drank and listened to jazz.

My wife and I are heading back to Singers' in June for 8 nights and are really looking forward to the holiday. Recently, I mentioned our forthcoming trip to a medical specialist I was seeing and he asked me why we chose Singapore. I told him that we enjoyed the food, cleanliness and security of the place and that we just felt comfortable there. He replied that he had been to Singapore quite a few times, usually for medical conferences and found the City/State souless and its citizen to be unsmiling automatons who seemed to just go about their day to day activities with little happiness, friendliness and enjoyment. He suggested that many other destinations offered much more of the 'real Asia' and that Singapore lacked any soul and character.

We still enjoy our Singapore trips but I can see his point.

How do Singaporeans feel about this?
It's not just only Singaporean that appear to have this kind of character, many other local in high developed cities in Asia like Seoul,Tokyo,Taipei,Hong Kong,Beijing are also appear to have some kind of lifeless characteristic.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:32 PM
6,056 posts, read 10,839,435 times
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Of course Singapore is having plenty of soul, and personality.

The interesting blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian, international place in the world, surrounding countries of Southeast Asia region, one of the best shopping scenes in the world for independent stores selling unique products, food scene, vibrant neighborhoods, monthly/annual entertainment festivals related events, traditional, modern.

Singapore is very peaceful for international standards. Singapore is very wealthy and one of the wealthiest countries in the world for per capita income.

This reminds me of what I said in an earlier post for the exact unique personality of Singapore: Professional, Very Successful, Exotic for North Americans+South Americans, More familiar for Asians, Australians, and even Europeans. Very Serious while also being fun, an even mix of introverted and extroverted, might seem a bit uptight based on first impressions. However, very easygoing when getting to know well and very positive, consistent, pleasant energy.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:26 PM
Location: Czech Republic
2,384 posts, read 5,846,437 times
Reputation: 796
I just got back from Singapore, it was my first time. I am actually surprised. I didn't expect the people to be amiable. I personally do not like Chinese people from China and Macau because they are very rude but Chinese Singaporeans are very different. The drivers were very friendly, they were the first ones who made conversations with me asking where I come from and so on. One even gave us some Chupa Chups candies while the last driver even told me to always ask for a receipt in the taxi and went out of his way to get an airport cart for our bags. I am also surprised that even cab drivers can all converse in English.

I like Singapore because there are different kinds of ethnicities. It is more diverse.

I love the cleanliness in Singapore. I love the discipline of the people, no cutting in line etc. Over all, people are cultured.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:06 AM
955 posts, read 1,545,011 times
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Can the majority of the Chinese Singaporeans speak Mandarin Chinese?
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