Singapore is located at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula 137km north of the equator. It is about 42km east to west and 23km north to south, which means that getting around is very straightforward and you can quickly gain a grasp of where everything is. Overall, the country is made up of 64 islands, the largest being Singapore Island itself, which is about 88% of the country’s total area.
Although it is densely populated, there are nevertheless some areas of outstanding natural beauty in Singapore, and it possible to take a day trip to visit tropical rain forests or take a trek where you can see vast arrays of birds, reptiles and other wildlife. Alternatively, you can make the short journey south to the resort island of Sentosa with its many beaches and tourist attractions.
Nevertheless, urban living is very much the norm in Singapore, and with a population of almost 5.4 million people (in 2014) about 85% of Singapore is in residential, commercial or industrial use. The Singapore River (about 3km long) runs east to west through the centre of the city; to its north is Orchard Road (Singapore’s most famous shopping district) and the financial district, while Chinatown lies to the south. There are satellite towns further out from the CBD, such as Changi and Geylang in the east, Jurong and Tuas in the west and Sungei Buloh further north.
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