- Want to go island hopping in Singapore?
Singapore is made up of 63 islands. Most of the islands are largely uninhabited and used for military training exercises or industrial purposes.
- Fancy an “out-flight” movie?
Our very own Changi Airport has free movie theatres in Terminals 2 and 3, which screen films 24/7 free-of-charge. If run-of-the-mill 2D movies aren’t enough for you, check out the 4D cinema in Terminal 3, which has motion simulators.
- A first for those in one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates
Toa Payoh was the first MRT station in Singapore. The station was completed on 5 August 1985. #ToaPayohFirst
- Safety first!
Toa Payoh also has the first air-conditioned bus interchange integrated with an MRT station in Singapore.
- It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Captain SMRT!
SMRT has a superhero mascot, Captain SMRT. It is the only superhero in Singapore after VR Man (created by the Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) in 1998), and was created to promote safety on train travel.
- It’s TV time!!!
Singapore’s first television transmission was 1 hour and 40 minutes long. Television Singapura, was launched at 6pm on 15 February 1963 by the late S. Rajaratnam, who was then the Minister for Culture. The first evening’s programme schedule included a short film on Singapore, a cartoon, the news, a half-hour feature, and a variety show.
- Who Chang Kee?
Old Chang Kee curry puffs were not created by anyone named Chang Kee. Our favourite Old Chang Kee curry puffs were instead created by Hainanese immigrant Chang Chuan Boo. He set up his first stall at Koek Road in 1956, moved to Albert Street, then finally Mackenzie Road, near the Rex Cinema. His curry puffs were very popular and became known as the “Old Chang Kee” or “Rex” curry puffs.
- Kids, milk is good for you!
Magnolia Milk used to come in pyramid-shaped packs. The iconic packaging, called Tetra Pak, was launched in the late fifties. This unique packaging was also applied to soya milk in the early 70s. The packaging was only changed to the tower type in the early 90s.
- Why park here? So expensive…
Singapore’s first multi-storey carpark was at Market Street. Located at the junction of Cross Street and Cecil Street, the carpark officially opened in 1964 and charged an hourly rate of 5c, compared to the rate of 2c at other public open-air carparks.
- The biggest carpark award goes to…
- Celebrating with a BANG!
Did you know that firecrackers are banned in Singapore? The last firecrackers allowed were set off in June 1972.
In 1970, cracker-related fires and casualties led to a partial ban. The ban was temporarily lifted for the Chinese New Year festivities of 1971 and 1972. However, when two policemen were attacked by youths letting off firecrackers without a permit, a total ban was implemented.
- The BIG business happens at night…
The last night soil bucket was carried in January 1987. Nearly 6,500 night soil bucket latrines still existed in Singapore in 1975. By the mid-eighties, 90% of homes in the new housing estates were fitted with modern sanitation. The last night soil bucket was cleared in January 1987, and the system was eventually phased out.
- You’re spoiled for choice if you live in Chinatown…
Did you know that the biggest market / hawker centre in Singapore is Chinatown Market? There are a total of 703 stalls in the market.
- Prefer somewhere old school? You can check out…
…Lau Pa Sat. It is the oldest hawker centre in Singapore, having been built in 1825.
- Where is Bus 1?
There is currently no Bus Service 1 in Singapore. Records show that it was first introduced in 1956, and this service ran from Changi Village all the way to North Bridge Road (Capitol Theatre). In the 1971 Bus Reorganisation, the route was amended to ply between Changi Point and Delta Circus. This service was withdrawn on 5 November 1989.
- Game for a really long ride?
The honour of the longest bus route in Singapore goes to SMRT Bus Service 858 – a trunk route which runs from Woodlands Regional Interchange to Changi Airport and back. Along the way, it passes through Woodlands Avenue 9, Sembawang, Yishun, Lentor and Jalan Kayu. Much of this route plies express sectors along the Tampines & Seletar Expressways, and is 73.4km long.
- The shortest?
The shortest bus service is a feeder service from SBS Bus Service 284. The 1.7km journey only has 3 bus stops, excluding the Bus interchange in Clementi.
- Mickey mouse in Singapore?
The distance between Khatib and Yio Chu Kang MRT is so long because a Disneyland was initially slated to be built there to compete with Hong Kong’s Disneyland. The station was supposed to be called Lentor. However, to the disappointment of many, the deal went belly up.
- Singapore’s ‘lucky wheel’?
A directional change was made to the Singapore Flyer on 28 July 2008 when geomancers pointed out that the flyer was “taking fortune away from Singapore” with the direction of its rotation. The flyer was then reconfigured at a six-figure sum to turn in the opposite direction.
- FairPrice: A Silo of groceries
FairPrice was born from a supermarket chain of the Singapore Industrial Labour Organisation (Silo) and the Pioneer Industries Employees Union (PIEU). “Silo Supermarkets” were popular and ran about 20 emporiums and supermarkets, including one branch at Changi Airport.
- Singapore: The foodie’s paradise!
There are 107 markets and hawker centres in Singapore.
- Does it meow or roar?
Singapore’s first-ever cat museum, Lion City Kitty: The Cat Museum, Muses & Mansion, is located at 8 Purvis Street in the Bras Basah vicinity. Harry, an ex-community cat, is the museum’s chosen cross-eyed cat mascot because of his unique look.
- He’s the first in line!
Singapore’s first NS enlistee: On 28 March 1967, 18-year-old Mr Albel Singh was first in line for national service (NS) registration at the Central Manpower Base in Dempsey Road. Now 63, Mr Singh is part of the Majulah Moment at tour Jubilee National Day Parade.
- Singapore’s first land reclamation was done in 1822!
In 1822, when the British were town planning in Singapore, Raffles decided to level the small hill at the end of Tanjong Singapura in Lorong Tambangan (today’s Raffles Place), and to use the earth to reclaim land on the south-west bank of the Singapore River. This marked the start of a long history in land reclamation in Singapore.
- An expanding waistline?
Singapore today is 135 square km, or over 23% bigger than it was before any reclamation work.
This article is accurate as of Aug 2015.