How many millionaires are there in Singapore

Singapore: the test island for millionaires

Main pictureEmbedded. The Bawah resort is heavenly in the middle of nature.(c) Bawah

Singapore is bustling with millions of people and 450,000 millionaires. A shipowner from the city-state created a sustainably built and functioning holiday paradise made of bamboo on a small archipelago for them.

Somewhere in the vast South China Sea between Indonesia, Borneo and Malaysia lies an island atoll the likes of which Robert Louis Stevenson could not have imagined better for his "Treasure Island". Close to the equator, deep green jungle, bizarre rocks, nothing all around. Except the sea, ink-blue It's really far, far away from everything. But as luck would have it, an Irish shipowner from Singapore sailed with friends past this small group of islands, the Anambas Archipelago. For one of these islands, Bawah, 300 kilometers East of Singapore, Tim Hartnoll had a vision: A sustainably designed vacation paradise for stressed rich people who want to flee Singapore and other crowded Asian metropolises.

Singapore is actually an island of only 700 square kilometers, which is connected to Malaysia by bridges over 60 small islands, the cleanest and safest city in the world with a fascinating mix of peoples. It owes its name to a short-sighted or confused prince from Sumatra who wanted to see a lion there sometime in the 14th century. Singha is the lion in Sanskrit. Singapore owes its wealth to Sir Stamford Raffles, who at the beginning of the 19th century traveled the world for the East India Company, looked for useful ports, found one that he thought could be expanded and bought the area from a sultan for 60,000 Spanish dollars.

The climate has not changed since then, it is oppressively humid all year round, 30 degrees and almost 100 percent humidity take some getting used to. But neither mosquitoes, which are relentlessly fought, nor snakes and not even the lack of space (Singapore is the most densely populated country on earth after Monaco, almost 6500 people live here on one square kilometer, set the growth limits for the Singaporeans: 5.7 million, mostly wealthy , Residents and almost 450,000 millionaires - there is nowhere else in the world. And you show everyone how you can make money and what you can do with money. For example, you can let a skyline rise out of the sea that is constantly growing , not only up high, but also out into the sea, where sand is piled up and sold as one of the most expensive building plots in the world.But Singapore is also lush green and full of surprising corners, which are best reached by cheap taxis. Little India with Hindu temples, Chinatown, the Buddha temple with Buddha tooth relic and the Muslim quarter Kampong Glam with mosque and former sultan's palace, today a Vol kskundemuseum, border each other peacefully.

Variety of orchids. The modern architecture with its pools on the roof is just as fascinating as the skyscrapers, which are overgrown with green to the top, with artificial tree sculptures and giant hotels. Buses with roof gardens bustle in between - another contribution to the greening of the city since May of this year. There are also gardens with an incredible variety of orchids (tip: breakfast at Halia in the botanical garden with a rainforest lodge feeling), day and night zoos, water amusement parks, trekking paths through nature conservation jungles, where rare animal species are nursed back to life. Recently you can visit the Istana, the former presidential seat, formerly the Government House of the English government, and stroll through the huge English-Oriental garden. Two smaller hotels in the walking center, where you can still experience old Singapore, are the two Six Senses Hotels, the Maxwell and the Duxton, both of which are designed to be interesting and sustainable despite the narrow space: the Maxwell, which is rather old French, even has a swimming pool , unusual for this district, and the Duxton, elegant Chinese, a Chinese doctor who offers guests pulse diagnostics and singing bowl experiences. To get in the mood for Bawah, the Maxwell in the middle of Chinatown is particularly suitable. For this, an entire block of houses, consisting of many small, typical shop houses, was impressively expanded and converted into an elegant hotel, managed in a particularly environmentally friendly manner, but still equipped with every luxury - a recurring theme in Bawah.

Newcomers to Singapore shouldn't miss trips to the small, still pristine islands like Pulau Ubin. There is an enormous amount to see, to smell and to eat in this colorful mix of styles, religions and people Singapore. You should definitely visit the Wet Markets, where all the smells of the world mix, where the locals buy everything you need every day, from trouser buttons to living frogs, as well as the Hawker Markets, covered food malls in which constantly, day and night, is cooked and eaten. In this hustle and bustle, you will hardly meet anyone who devalues ​​dreamy stories about the exceptional island of Bawah by Tim Hartnoll with a "Oh, I was there too".

Double the joy. Tim and his wife Susan, who is from Jersey, fell in love with Bawah and the other five islets of the atoll. It wasn't easy, but eventually they were able to acquire the archipelago. And since joy shared is joy doubled, they wanted others to experience this paradise too. But without destroying it. A tightrope walk. How can you make luxury close to nature and sustainable? After six years and $ 30 million in investment, the resort opened a few months ago, but is far from being completed. We are constantly trying and testing how we can make it even better and more sustainable.

The realization of Tim's vision of using a natural paradise without depriving him of innocence required many discussions, evaluating the experiences of comparable resorts and collecting scientific data on the subject of environmental protection, biodiversity or waste management. All of these considerations are in the design and organization, in every detail. From the drinking straws, mugs and toothbrushes made of bamboo to the recycling and treatment of the precious water. Solar use is a matter of course. The laundry is washed with degradable detergent, unavoidable plastic is processed into granules and added to the concrete, glass is melted down, kitchen waste is composted. The goal is to become carbon negative at some point.

Even when building the complex, which was nestled in nature, great care was taken: the commissioned architect Sim Boon Jang, who has designed many remarkable buildings in this part of the world, did without heavy machinery to prevent the vegetation - some of the trees are 600 years old to destroy. He worked "medieval", as he calls it, with craftsmen and the material that is native here. Rocks were worked with hammer and chisel, the mighty bamboo sticks were shipped from nearby Asia. Not only the beach and water villas, but also the communal buildings , The restaurants and bars were put together without nails according to Indonesian tradition. Other materials include driftwood, recycled teak, palm leaves and copper (bathtubs, sinks), but bamboo dominates.

Mindfulness also includes the plan to grow as many vegetables and fruits as possible. Bogor Teguh, the young graduate from an agricultural university, is responsible for this. He makes fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides himself. Every square centimeter is used, and beans and cucumbers, aubergines and pak choi are already growing in front of the 19 employees' accommodation. He wants to be able to deliver oranges and cabbage to the cook, as well as salad and tomatoes. All of this now has to be transported by ship, which takes around 24 hours from the mainland and only docks every ten to 14 days - a challenge for the head chef, a spirited Italian who has to conjure up his menu for the two restaurants from what is fresh has arrived.

Germ cell. It was very important for Tim Hartnoll that the system functions as a nucleus, where people try and test how to cope with the requirements of islands in this part of the world in a human and environmentally friendly way, set fair limits to tourism, fair for the guests, fair for the local. Hartnoll also wants to serve nature. This is how corals are grown to treat the still noticeable wounds of the dynamite fishery. Sea turtles are observed and protected in scientific monitoring. Old plant varieties are cherished and reforestation is supported in the entire Anamba archipelago.

An attempt is made to motivate the residents to properly dispose of waste through education. Bawah helps with a monthly "rubbish boat" that brings the inevitable residual waste to a recycling facility. By setting up fish farms, local fishermen are encouraged to protect the overfished waters, which are pearl farms In the making - the archipelago is to become a model for sustainability. To this end, the Bawah Anambas Foundation was founded, which also takes care of the education of children on the remote islands.

The example catches on. Tim's and Susan's vision is already spreading widely: Employees who come home from home leave - about every six weeks - report successful ideas for implementing what they have learned at home, so the example is already catching on. And the enthusiasm of the two for their project is obviously contagious: Raymond Saja, General Manager and the "good spirit" of the island, seems to be always and everywhere at the same time, smiling and competent.

And Paul Robinson, the Chief Operating Officer, is in charge of the strings from Singapore, is overflowing with ideas, knows everyone - including on the ferry and apparently also in Singapore, where he lives. Robinson is always interested in what would be fun for which guest, where he could still do good - his happiness seems inexhaustible.

As is the case with all island supervisors: every guest is greeted by name, the smile looks real, you feel part of a family. They even paint their own name badge for the villa in which they live. When you are tired of the sun, buggies take you the few steps to the spa, to the restaurant, to the landing stage for seaplanes and ships, to the bars, to the film screening under the starry sky, which of course you can also observe through a provided telescope - even after a long time you can't think of anything to do with it Could make stay even better.

Compliance note: the author was supported by visitsingapore and bawahreserve.com.

info

Getting there: from Vienna to Singapore the cheapest with Finnair via HEL and HKG. From there by ferry to Batam and then by seaplane to Bawah.

Accommodation:sixsenses.com, sixsenses.com/hotels/duxton/destination

Bawah: Everything about the lonely island paradise - the villas do not have a TV, by the way, TV is only available on special occasions such as sporting events, WiFi and iPad in each villa, but there are often film screenings - and what you can experience there, from the "rainforest of the sea" to Jungle tours and of course all water sports: bawahreserve.com