Singapore is a popular international travel destination, contributing to the flowering of an important tourist industry. Founded as a commercial port by the British in 1819, it has become one of the richest nations in the world since independence and is home to the busiest port on the planet. The combination of skyscrapers and subways of a modern city, Chinese, Malay and Indian influences, exquisite food, large shopping malls and a lively nightlife make it a truly fabulous destination and a great starting point for exploring the region. Singapore is a kind of microcosm of Asia, populated by Chinese, Malay, Indians and a large number of foreigners from all over the world. The concrete jungles that once dominated Singapore’s skyline are slowly giving way to green skyscrapers, which look more like living ecosystems than business hubs. Fervently working towards its ‘City in a Garden’ dream, the nation is ploughing money into becoming more sustainable and, well, green. Head out of town a little and you’ll find plenty of walking trails, treetop jungle bridges, wildlife galore and the city’s green jewel, the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Singapore Botanic Gardens: these are the lungs of Singapore.