Photo by Eugene Tang / Singaporesights.com
I've got a soft spot for Singapore. It was your guide's home for two years in the mid-aughts, when their immigration policies were a little looser and there were far less MRT stops than there are now. It was never content to rest on its laurels, and now it's going great guns, what with the Marina Bay Sands, the new Gardens by the Bay, and a million other developments that it would take weeks to list down.
Fears of a vanishing history aside, Singapore's past is in no danger of disappearing soon. Sure, the attractions in Singapore's ethnic enclaves may not feel completely genuine (restrictive coding standards and an obsession for cleanliness can scrub away the historic patina real good). But the Singapore food, surprisingly affordable stays, and awesome shopping keep the island nation fresh and worth coming back to, again and again and again.
It's National Day in Singapore, a day marked in 1965 with Lee Kuan Yew's famous tears, and marked today with a parade, military honors, and massive fireworks. (It's also National Night!... Singaporeans, contrary to popular belief, do have a sense of humor.) Here's to many, many more National Days to come, Singapore. Happy birthday, and see you soon.