Singapore would be my halfway point of my travels. I made Singapore my halfway point due to me at first being unsure if I could do the second half of my trip due to my grad school final presentation. When I figured out I could do it before the trip, then the second half of the trip was able to happen. This also happened due to me knowing that Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong were the most modern of the hub cities (Though Saigon is definitely one as well) in the region. As such, I wanted them at different points in the journey.
Anyways, Singapore is arguably the most efficient city/country/state in the world. It has the price tag to back it up, but I would say it's smoother than even Tokyo (which you can read about in my Japan blogs). Yes there are fines, but many religions and cultures are allowed to mix well here, prostitution is legal, and there are housing set-ups to ensure people are getting the right treatment to leave homes for the kids. Since the bulk of their urban planning is from the 1950s they don't have as much of a past to reshape or preserve besides the shophouses.
Culture wise everything is a spectacle. From the huge Mahayana Buddhist temples in Chinatown, the Singapore infrastructure museum, the Marina Bay Sands and its views, the futuristic Gardens by the Bay, the Merlion and Arab Street with its Mosque. Food wise, it is all fun hawker food, especially when you get chicken rice and head to Chinatown for some popina rolls. Ais cacing is bizarre here with the creamed corn. Unfortunately, I didn't have chili crab so I'll have to have that in Manhattan somewhere. Another food shout out goes to Kaya toast - a spread that cannot be defined you simply have to try it. This tour was led my good friend Jon who showed me some great aspects of the country.
During my time in Singapore I spent way too much on taxis and other fun times, but I did get a distinct perspective on a country that I truly believed was better run than America. I felt that the US had to live up to the aspects of Singapore as I had discussions about race, politics and sat next to kind people at lunch hour with a bowl of noodles. It was also an extremely culturally diverse country in which I saw everyone working with everyone and at different levels. They also did a great job in taking feedback in order to improve their country/city/state and make their water and renewable energy systems. The whole time I was in awe even though I stayed for a short time before I rolled out as it was burning a hole in my pocket.