New Swedish book about Singapore

The Swedes Maria Sehlin and Ida Maria Fritzell have written a book about Singapore favourites among resident “tourists”, after a few years living in Singapore. With that, they want to show more Swedes the way to the multicultural city and exciting attractions outside the usual tourist districts.

Book authors Ida Maria Fritzell and Maria Sehlin

Tourism to Singapore increases every year and now the city state can easily be compared to the tourist metropolises of Hong Kong and Bangkok that have for long been popular destinations, states the authors. Singapore can with its rich cultural range, tropical climate and cool tourist attractions measure its “neighbors”.

And with streghtned Nordic flight connections to Singapore (Norwegian and Singapore Airlines) accessibility to visit increases further. Singapore is a hub for travellers in Southeast Asia, on route to other popular destinations like Bali, Australia, Malaysia or Thailand.

“Singapore is a small but fascinating country with cool contrasts that are not to be found elsewhere in the world,” says Maria Sehlin who has lived in Singapore since 2014. “You can take the subway to the jungle and meet wild monkeys or crocodiles. The country’s multicultural base makes us celebrate New Year several times a year and there are traditions and holidays for several different religions. In addition, the country’s varied background has provided interesting expressions in the city’s architecture,” she says.

They highlight this in the guidebook ‘Our Singapore – The Resident Tourists’ Favorites’, which presents favorite places both on and off the tourist strip. It is an inspiring guidebook with its 144 pages, 400 color photographs, background history, curiosities, facts and directions to places of interest. They show the way to local food markets, fun neighborhoods, inexpensive pleasures, cool jungles, the wild-crocodile wetland, the tallest rooftops, fascinating architecture and other fun experiences in this country of contrasts.

Ida Maria Fritzell and Maria Sehlin moved to Singapore with their families in 2014 and their roads crossed when they started working with SWEA Magazine Singapore. For a couple of years they were resident tourists who embarked on fun explorations, and it was then that the idea for the book was born.

“We often received a lot of response and many questions after our excursions were posted on Instagram and Facebook. They wanted to know more about these unknown places beyond the well-troden paths. It gave us the idea of making a book about the favorite places we had visited and collected pictures and knowledge of, though with more focus on pictures than a traditional guidebook,” says Ida-Maria Fritzell.

“This is the book we would have liked to have when we moving here! It is a personal guidebook with more than 400 photos. In the book, we provide a broad insights about Singapore and lots of tips on fun things to do and discover here. During our years we have been on constant exploration in Singapore with the camera as the best company. We have taken about half of the photos each, “says Maria Sehlin.

”I also wrote a big travel story for Dagens Nyheter [a Swedish daily] when Singapore celeberated 50 years in 2015, and realized that I had so much more to tell; Singapore could simply not be squeezed into one article!”

For the chapter about the old city quarters they have also hired the Singapore-Swede Annelie Olsson, who did nice map illustrations where the authors had noted suggestions for fun stops.

“Swedish is our first language, but we hope to also publish it in English. We will first see first how it goes with the Swedish edition. We published the book at our own expense because we found it was missing and felt so strongly that we wanted to do it,” states the authors.

The book is perfect for visitors who want to make discoveris outside the typical tourist spots and perfect if one has guests and want to explore fun-filled hikes! The book also works as a Singapore memorial with its many photographs and can also be a fun way to introduce Singapore to a visiting friend or newcomer.

Footnote: Maria Sehlin is a Swedish journalist and editor with a long background from daily press, including SDS, and her own freelance company HB, from Malmö. Ida Maria Fritzell is a Swedish designer, from Växjö. Both are dedicated photographers and stand together behind the photographs in the book.

The book, published in Swedish language, can be purchased online via

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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