When you pick up a special Singapore edition of National Geographic

If you’ve survived a Singaporean education, chances are you’ve also lived through a few painful years of mandatory subscription to National Geographic Magazine. It just isn’t secondary school without forking over your parent’s money for monthly deliveries of a global publication we were too dense then to appreciate.

All that trauma is about to become full circle. In time for National Day (what else?), a limited edition issue of the magazine has been released, celebrating all things Singaporean. In it are a collection of local stories, an exclusive interview with PM Lee, plus what we’ve come to expect from the magazine—stunning photos of our island.

Of the photos, five are actually shot by regular Singaporeans. The winning five were handpicked by National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita and Singapore’s own Nobel Peace Prize photographer Sim Chi Yin, out of a whopping 7,000 entries submitted for a #WhatMakesSG contest in April. There’s a homely shot from a school administrator and a beautiful sunrise over Boat Quay by an IT professional, but the Grand Prize Winner is a striking image shot by Kang Yen Thiing, of the now famous Bishan otter family at Gardens Bay East.


Yane Kang


Nikki Chiang


Leslie Heng


Partha Pratim Roy


Teh Han Lin

The limited edition magazine was a partnership between National Geographic and the Ministry of Communication and Information. Only 250,000 copies exist, and you can pick up a copy for free at a community center or library. It’s almost enough to make up for those early schooling years.

Check out a roving photo exhibition of the winning entries; details on locations here.