Singapore is a truly multi-cultural city. Its predominantly Chinese population is mixed in with significant numbers of Malays and Indians, and smaller groups of Eurasians and other ethnic groups. Add into the recipe a growing number of expatriates (currently accounting for nearly a quarter of the population), and you have yourself a true cultural melting pot. The government's promotion of racial harmony – there are four official languages and four official religions – means that everyone happily lives side by side in overlapping communities.
From a tourist's point of view, this equates to a fascinating city to explore. It's not uncommon to find a Chinese Temple, a Mosque, a Church and a Hindu Temple all within spitting distance of each other; likewise within a 100m walk you will come across culinary delights from all corners of the globe; and despite the astonishing pace of change, there will nearly always be some sort of traditional festival or celebration taking place.
Singapore is one of the most popular stopover destinations in the world, attracting an estimated 9.7 million visitors in 2009, despite the global economic downturn. Its strategic location between East & West makes it the ideal stop-off for travellers heading on to the rest of Asia. The city is clean and safe, with an efficient public transport system, world-class hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions.
The city-state is constantly looking to the future and doing its best to shrug off its squeaky-clean chewing gum-forbidding image. The bars and nightclubs of Clarke Quay allow revellers to party all hours of the day; the recent launch of the integrated resorts sees the government now allowing gambling in their 24 hour casinos, and its hosting of the night time Formula 1 Grand Prix proves the city is fully enjoying its new-found position in the World spotlight.
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