Which is the cleanest state in Asia

Singapore : A clean affair

Hardly anything is reminiscent of the old days. Singapore is now an almost exclusively modern city. The historic buildings of the port authorities, for example, have become restaurants and hotels. High-rise buildings replaced two- and three-story buildings. Only a few were allowed to stand on the Singapore River as quotes from the past - mostly as shells of hip restaurants - directly on the water.

The city-state initially welcomes visitors to the airport terminal with a cool climate - and a deep-pile carpet, a floor covering that appears unusual in buildings of this type. But as soon as you leave the building with its green inner walls and waterfalls, you hit a full 32 degrees and a humidity of almost 90 percent. Sure, Singapore has only one weather: hot in summer and winter. No wonder that the trees are cut here every 14 days because otherwise they would give way too much. “Hairstyle, you know?” Says guide Danny Lorenzo.
While Danny chats, one of the inevitable road sweepers circles the visitors. Singapore is known as the cleanest city in Asia and is doing everything it can to live up to its reputation. The hotel lobby is also moped: submissive spirits have taken care of the leaves of the palm trees. Everything always has to be spotless. The view from the room of the Singapore skyline is also superb. The countless skyscrapers signal: This is Asia's largest financial metropolis, the hub for the big deals in the entire region.
And what's that over there on the left? It looks like a mixture of a completely oversized Stonehenge silhouette with a transverse hull on top that connects the roofs of three individual high-rise buildings. “This is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel,” says Danny, when we visit this monument to the belief in progress and a new landmark in Singapore a little later: “For the 'Traumschiff' crew, I had to arrange a shooting date by the pool here at 7am. It didn't work later. After all, celebrities like Lady Gaga, Elton John and others almost always reside there in the exclusive suites. ”Even the smallest of the 2500 rooms, we normal people could never afford, but we want to risk a look at the pool level.

The elevator stops on the 55th floor, exactly 191 meters. A 340 meter long roof garden opens up in front of the visitor, dominated by a 146 meter long “infinity pool”, a swimming pool in which one has the impression that the water disappears into the distance, into endlessness, so to speak. Incomprehensible. Another masterpiece of the structural engineers: the building itself and the gigantic steel water basin, which was raised in individual parts and welded together. The entire theme park is 12,000 square meters on the roof, with 250 trees and even more other plants.
Meanwhile, Danny points down to the top of another, apparently unfinished, high-rise building. “They actually wanted to put a pyramid on top of the building, but then the Chinese said: A point near water brings bad luck.” So the hood remained - of course - unfinished. And right below us, right on Marina Bay, a huge botanical garden is being created: “Gardens by the Bay”. The 101 hectare area is located on a land mass that has not been wrested from the lake. Rather, the state simply bought the material in Indonesia, shipped it and dumped it into the sea here 30 years ago. In the meantime, the land gained in this way has settled and the smallest state in Southeast Asia with an area of ​​712 square kilometers can now begin to build on it. The largest glass greenhouses in Asia, for example. "Gardens by the Bay" will probably be one of the most extraordinary attractions in Singapore.

In general, the city is always about more growth. 30 million visitors come to Singapore every year. After all, they should be offered something. Even if they often only stop over on the equator island on their way to other destinations in Asia or Australia or are one of the many business travelers.
We look into the distance again. Hundreds of ships appear to be on their way to Singapore in the South China Sea. A closer look shows that only a few are moving, the vast majority are in the roadstead in front of the world's busiest container port after Shanghai, they are waiting to be cleared. That means cargo is unloaded and new cargo is picked up, heavy oil, provisions and water are bunkered. "By the way, most of our drinking water comes from Malaysia," says Danny proudly. Like his ancestors. But actually the origin in Singapore doesn't really matter. One is Singaporean here - including the people of Chinese descent, who make up well over two thirds of the population of Singapore.
If the term trade and change hits the core of a city, it is Singapore, which is still making capital out of the lack of water: bought cheaply in the neighboring country, the water is sold at high prices to the cargo ships. The business acumen is generally strong: the “Gardens by the Bay” project in the Marina Bay Sands resort will soon be joined by a new cruise terminal, which is expected to arrive at 1.6 million passengers a year by 2015 at the latest.

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