World’s most expensive city 2023

Singapore and Zurich take joint top spot in most expensive cities in the world list

Singapore and Zurich have jointly dethroned New York City as the most expensive cities in the world to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living 2023 report. Hong Kong, at fifth place, is the only other Asian city in the top 10.

This ranking is based on a comparison of over 400 individual prices for everyday goods and services across 173 cities worldwide. The survey was carried out between 14 August and 11 September.

EIU’s survey found that prices rose by 7.4 per cent year on year on average in local-currency terms. “Price growth has slowed from the 8.1 per cent reported in last year’s survey, but remains significantly above the trend in 2017-21,” the report says.

Worldwide Cost of Living: Singapore and Zurich top the ranking as the world’s most expensive cities

This year’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey found that, on average, prices had risen by 7.4% year on year in local-currency terms for over 200 commonly used goods and services. This marks a decline from the record 8.1% increase reported last year, but price growth remains significantly higher than the trend in 2017-21. Although this year’s survey covers 173 of the world’s major cities, the global average has been calculated by excluding Kyiv (which was not surveyed in 2022) and Caracas (which continues to face hyperinflation), as was the case last year.

Zurich moved up from sixth place to join Singapore at the top, bumping New York (which tied with Singapore for first place last year) down to third place. Zurich, which is back at the top after three years, moved up due to the strength of the Swiss franc, as well as high prices for groceries, household goods and recreation. Overall, our top ten this year consists of two Asian cities (Singapore and Hong Kong), four European cities (Zurich, Geneva, Paris and Copenhagen), three US cities (New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and Tel Aviv in Israel. Our survey was conducted before the start of the Israel-Hamas war, which has affected the exchange rates in Israel and may have made it harder to procure some goods in Tel Aviv, thereby affecting prices.

Globally, utility prices (household energy and water bills) witnessed the slowest inflation of the ten categories covered in our survey. This was the fastest-rising category in 2022 and the moderation suggests an easing of the energy price shocks caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Grocery, on the other hand, saw the fastest pace of price growth. Food inflation has been sticky across the world as many manufacturers and retailers have passed on higher costs to consumers and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events continues to keep supply-side risks elevated.

The Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the World Right Now

Many of the major cities around the world are known for the allure of bustling nightlife, efficient public transportation and a unique culture that draws in foodies, lovers of the arts and adventurers alike. And while the offerings of well-known places like Tokyo, Japan, London, England and New York City are usually enough to make them ideal destinations for vacations and the backdrops that inspire wanderlust Instagram captions, there’s no denying that they are more often than not, quite expensive.

From the rising cost of living to the fluctuating real estate market and food and transportation costs, we’ve outlined the most expensive cities in the world as determined by the Economic Intelligence Unit's latest survey. The EIU focuses on country reports and economic forecasts through research and analysis. The survey, which was conducted from August 16 to September 16, 2022, tracks expenses including services and goods in 172 cities around the world.

Don’t get us wrong, many of these places will easily make for amazing girls trip getaways, extremely luxurious family vacations and some may even convince you to pick up everything, buy a house and make a new life for yourself in a different part of the world. However, if you’ve landed on this page purely out of aspirational interest we also have some of the most affordable places to travel that may also catch your attention:
  • 1 (tied) Singapore, Singapore
  • 1 (tied) New York City, New York
  • 3 Tel-Aviv, Israel
  • 4 (tied) Hong Kong, China
  • 4 (tied) Los Angeles, California
  • 6 Zürich, Switzerland
  • 7 Geneva, Switzerland
  • 8 San Francisco, California
  • 9 Paris, France
  • 10 (tied) Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 10 (tied) Sydney, Australia

Singapore becomes world’s most expensive city for luxury living
Singapore becomes world’s most expensive city for luxury living

In a first, Singapore on Tuesday emerged as the most expensive city globally for luxury living, surpassing Shanghai and Hong Kong, according to a report by Julius Baer Group Ltd, a Swiss wealth manager. The city-state was ranked fifth in the previous year, while Shanghai was on the top as per the Global Wealth and Lifestyle 2023 report.

Singapore's success in reopening its borders during the pandemic has contributed to its attractiveness to high-net-worth individuals. By the end of 2022, the city counted around 1,500 family offices, twice the number from the previous year. Singapore is particularly known for its high car prices, with residential property and essential health insurance also being significantly more expensive compared to the global average.

Julius Baer's Lifestyle Index evaluates the 25 most expensive cities worldwide based on various factors such as residential property, car prices, business class flights, fine dining experiences, and more. The Asia region has maintained its position as the most costly for luxury living for the fourth consecutive year. Notably, New York witnessed a significant rise, ranking fifth compared to its 11th position in the previous year, attributed to a strengthening dollar and a post-pandemic rebound. “The greatest price increase are in high-demand, premium consumables such as wine and whisky, as well as luxury cars and hospitality services,” the report said.

Singapore Is Most Expensive City For Wealthy Individuals In 2023
Singapore is ranked priciest city for HNWIs

Singapore is constantly making it into yearly rankings of the most expensive places to live in. Recently, the country rose to become the most expensive city in the world for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), according to a report by Swiss private bank Julius Baer.

A big part of the rise is apparently property prices. High living standards and demand for property, as well as highly taxed cars and prices for essential health insurance, are way above the global average. This is amid plans by the authorities to entice more HNWIs to our country since last year.

According to the Julius Baer Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2023, Singapore is now the priciest city for HNWIs to live in on the index, up from fifth place previously. Investopedia describes HNWIs as people who generally have at least US$1 million (S$1.3 million) in liquid financial assets.

These are the world's most expensive cities in 2023

For the wealthy as well as everyone else, the cost of living has climbed over the past year as prices rose. Some cities were hit harder than others. The Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, which ranks the world’s most expensive cities annually, finds that Asia is the costliest region for luxury living, with Singapore ranking as the world’s most expensive city. This year, it surpassed Shanghai, the No. 1 city in 2022.

The index from Julius Baer (pdf), a Swiss money manager, evaluates the cost of 20 items associated with a high-end, cosmopolitan lifestyle, such as premium residential property, luxury cars, business-class flights, and extravagant dinners.

Based on the latest prices for this basket of goods, Hong Kong moved from the fourth to third most expensive city. Bangkok climbed from No. 15 to No. 11, while Taipei fell from third to eighth place. Zurich and Tokyo dropped from seventh and eighth, respectively, to 14th and 15th.

Julius Baer Lifestyle Index

We are navigating uncharted territory when it comes to understanding the lasting effects of the pandemic and finding a way forward in the ‘new normal’. Will life go back to as it was before, or are the changes irreversible? It is too early to tell definitively, but this brings us to the core of this year’s Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report: analysing the cost of living well and the reactions of wealthy individuals in an environment that is still shaken by the pandemic. One of the key, and somewhat surprising, takeaways in this edition is that the average cost increase of our proprietary.

Lifestyle Index is bang in line with previous readings. This means prices of premium goods and services kept climbing at their ‘normal’ levels of mid- to high-single-digit percentage points. Before 2022 the rule of thumb was that the affluent consumer had to face about double the rate of inflation of average consumer. Taking 2022 as a basis (with global inflation flirting with 8 per cent) this would have meant our Index would have overshot 15 per cent in US dollars. Considering the unexpectedly strong performance of the dollar in 2022 and the general inflationary environment, this figure was only 6 per cent, although it did reach 13 per cent in local currencies. With this backdrop, and the enduring influences of geo-political and market uncertainty, wealthy individuals are adapting their consumption and lifestyle habits both to make hay while the sun shines and to brace for any future shocks. Our findings show that the world is on the move again, the thirst for travel, experiences, and luxury goods has risen significantly, and people are consistently spending more. They are also conscious that health and wellbeing are essential to future-proofing themselves and their families, as well as shoring up their finances to face any unexpected adversity.

Within the city rankings we see notable shifts, with Singapore rising to first place. Asia remains the costliest region, while Europe, Middle East, and Africa, (EMEA) becomes the most affordable region, despite Dubai racing into the top ten. The Americas are resurgent, particularly New York, and São Paulo becomes the first Latin American city to reach the top ten. Considering these changes, high-end consumption may not be driven as much as we might expect by input prices such as commodities that spurred broad-based inflation gauges. Price rises in premium goods and services underpin the case that wealthy consumers need to achieve a high-single-digit investment return in US dollar terms to preserve their wealth. These findings also support the insight that rock solid currencies and, in particular, assets denominated in such currencies (eg the US dollar or Swiss franc) help you to weather these storms and secure a healthier, wealthier future.

World Competitiveness Index 2023
Singapore drops one spot on global competitiveness index, now ranked 4th
© The Independent Singapore

The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) published the 2023 World Competitiveness Ranking earlier this month, showing that Singapore has slipped by one spot and is now ranked fourth.

Singapore ranked first on the list in 2019 and 2020 before falling to fifth place in 2021. Last year, the city-state was ranked third. Denmark has taken the pole position for the second year in a row, followed by Ireland and Switzerland, respectively. Following Singapore’s fourth-place ranking are the Netherlands (fifth), Taiwan (sixth), Hong Kong (seventh), Sweden (eighth), USA (ninth), and UAE (tenth). Ireland’s jump from 11th in 2022 to second place this year is noteworthy.

The report says that the economies in the top four spots “make good use of their access to markets and trading partners.” The criteria for evaluating each nation’s competitiveness may be broken down as follows: business efficiency, economic performance, government efficiency, and infrastructure.

The Singapore Story:
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Singapore still the best country for expats
Singapore: Best Place to Live and Work
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Singapore is the world's most expensive city 2018
Singapore ranked 34th in World Happiness Report 2018
What is happening in ‘Clean’ Singapore?
The Surprising Truth About The Homeless In Singapore
Tent Village: Singapore’s nomad families
Why do people hate Singapore?
Singapore: Best Place to Live and Work
Plight Of The Tissue Peddlers
Collecting Cardboards "form of exercise, protecting our environment"
Have you ever Spoken to a Cardboard Uncle or Aunty?
Singapore’s Story: What comes next
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore Good Old Times
The Poor & Homeless in Singapore
Support for the Needy and Elderly
The Singapore Story
Other Side of The Singapore Story

ChasingThe Singapore Dream
To Be Or Not To Be Singaporeans
Longing for the good old days
Singapore: A Sampan or a Cruise ship?
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore is ‘World’s Costliest City To Live In’
Coping with Inflation & Cost Of Living
COL goes Up, Up, Up!
Singapore “Swiss” Standard of Living
Tackling poverty the 'kuih lapis' way
Callings for a Poverty Line
Setting a poverty line may not be helpful
A minimum wage for Singapore?

No homeless,destitute starving people in S'pore:Poverty eradicated
Growing Up With Less
Singapore Is The World’s Most Expensive City 2016
World's Happiest Countries 2018
Singapore the happiest country in Asia 2017
World's Happiest Countries 2016
The 10 happiest countries in 2015
Good Luck In Misery City 2014
The Happiest Countries in the World 2013



A Glimpse of Singapore in the 60s

The Ice-Cream Uncles

Hi Foodies, according to a Facebook post by Happy People Helping People community, our beloved Sim Lim Ice-Cream Uncle is back selling ice cream at the same spot! We are so happy that he is finally able to operate his business after being closed due to the circuit breaker.

87-year-old ice cream seller, Ng Teak Boon, had recently caught the attention of netizens after CNA insider released videos exposing poverty in Singapore. For more than 10 years, Mr Ng had been selling $1.50 ice-cream from a bicycle cart beside the Sim Lim Tower. As selling ice-cream is his only source of income, the videos prompted overwhelming support from citizens throughout Singapore.

Ever since the touching story of Mr Ng went viral, many viewers offered to help Mr Ng live a better life. One of them was Andre Chiang, owner of recently closed-down Michelin Starred restaurant, Restaurant Andre. He created an ice-cream sandwich dessert as a tribute to Mr Ng. For every ice-cream he sold at his restaurant, he would donate $5 to Mr Ng.


Adelphi Hotel since 1863

Adelphi Hotel

Established in the 1850s, the Adelphi Hotel was regarded as one of the largest and oldest hotels in Singapore. A prominent landmark in the High Street and North Bridge Road shopping area, the heydays of the hotel was immortalised in the literary works of Somerset Maugham. The Adelphi Hotel ceased to exist in 1973 after its proprietors decided to voluntarily liquidate the property.

The Adelphi Hotel was first advertised in The Straits Times on 7 May 1850 by its proprietor, C. Goymour, promising “superior accommodation” and “hot and cold baths”. Initially located at High Street, the hotel was once patronised by Her Majesty’s Navy and Army and earned a reputation for its cleanliness and comfortable services. To further support its growing clientele, Goymour made improvements to his establishment by building a Billiard Room and two bowling alleys for the guests' entertainment. Additionally, the hotel offered economical boarding rates of between $35 to $40 per month for boarders between 1851 and 1858. In 1863, the hotel moved to Coleman Street due to the space constraints at High Street. In a newspaper advertisement column from 1896, the hotel was promoted as the “most central and convenient position in Town”. In 1903, the Adelphi Hotel was purchased by Messers Sarkies, Johannes and Co. of Malacca Street for a large sum. In turn, the new Dutch proprietors converted the building into a first-class 100-bedroom European hotel. Under the new management, the establishment was completely re-fitted with electricity for lights and fans. Its dining room floors were marble which allowed it to be converted into a ballroom.[10] Promoted as “one of the finest and most comfortable hotels in the East”, the Adelphi Hotel cemented its reputation and credibility as one of the Big Three hotels in Singapore - alongside Raffles Hotel, Hotel de L’Europe and Hotel de La Paix.

The Adelphi Hotel was renowned for its excellent and appetising menu. For instance, the proprietors promoted extravagant dinner nights in celebration of the Queen of Holland’s birthday. A particular gala night also saw the establishment serving: Caviare on Toast, Mock Turtle Soup, Pate de Foie Gras en Aspie, Pigeon Fricasse, Filet of Beef a la Jardineire, Roast Capon and Swiss Cheese, to name a few. The popularity of the Adelphi Hotel as a first-class establishment did not wane throughout its existence. Notably, while it was renamed as the Nanto Hotel during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore (1942-1945), its reputation continued to be recognised by the Japanese military. In 1973, the proprietors of the Adelphi Hotel, New Adelphi Hotel Private Limited - decided to liquidate the company voluntarily. In turn, the land on which Adelphi Hotel stood on was returned to the owners, Chartered Bank Trustees (Malaya) Ltd. On 24 June 1973 the 110-year-old hotel held its last dinner and dance with proceeds going to the Singapore Chesire Home. Some 200 guests and “old-time” customers were invited to the farewell party that lasted until midnight.

Adelphi Hotel on Coleman Street

Adelphi Hotel stood alongside Raffles Hotel, Hotel de L'Europe and Hotel de La Paix as one of the Big Three hotels in Singapore at the turn of the 20th century.

Arathoon Sarkies and Eleazar Johannes purchased the originally small hotel on Coleman Street in 1903 and converted it into a grand 100-bedroom hotel, complete with a dining hall that seated 400. During the Japanese Occupation, the new masters of Singapore – renamed Syonan-to (the Southern Island of Light) – also saw it fit to claim the Adelphi Hotel as their own and called it Nanto Hotel, while Raffles Hotel became Syonan Ryokan.

In the end, Adelphi closed its doors on 25 June 1973, almost a century after its establishment, with a grand farewell party in its premises. The venerable building was demolished seven years later to make way for a less-impressive ten-storey office and retail complex.

Adelphi Hotel Singapore

The hotel history can traced back to 1850 in newspaper advertisement. It moved from High street to Coleman street in 1880s, at the corner of North Bridge Road, Singapore.

Formation of Malaysia started here. The Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra had his speech at the Conference of Foreign Journalists' Association of Southeast Asia held at the Adelphi Hotel, Singapore on 27 May 1961.He pl anned and suggested Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) , Sarawak and Brunei to form a new country name Malaysia to form a stronger political and economical collaboration. Of course, there are others reason to be include in the formation including the invisible war against the communist and accelerate the independent process for all the joining counterparts.

Adelphi Hotel was officially closed on 25 June 1973 and was later demolished. Adelphi Complex (now known as The Adelphi) opened on its site in 1985 and the building is now known as The Adelphi.


The Adelphi Hotel at Coleman Street. Originally established in Commercial Square (now Raffles Place) in 1863, it was first moved to High Street before being located here. It closed its doors finally on 24 June 1973 and the building was demolished in 1980.

Adelphi Hotel

Some of the earliest mentions of Adelphi Hotel can be found in newspaper advertisements published in 1850. The proprietor of the hotel, C. Goymour, announced in the 7 May 1850 issue of The Straits Times newspaper that the hotel had moved to High Street. Subsequently, Adelphi Hotel moved to Coleman Street.1 It became one of the principal hotels in Singapore in the late 19th century, together with Raffles Hotel, Hotel de l’Europe and Hotel de la Paix.2 The hotel officially closed on 25 June 1973 and was later demolished. Adelphi Complex (now known as The Adelphi) opened on its site in 1985 and the building is now known as The Adelphi.

Adelphi Hotel moved from High Street to No. 3 Coleman Street, the residence of Singapore’s pioneer colonial architect, George Dromgold Coleman. The hotel was still housed at this location in the 1870s. During the following decade, however, it moved to Nos. 1 and 2 Coleman Street, at the corner of North Bridge Road. Around 1903, Messrs Sarkies, Johannes & Co. purchased the property and improved the small hotel beyond recognition. It was entirely rebuilt with a dining hall that could seat 400. There were 100 bedrooms with bathrooms attached and even a tennis court. The Billiard Room and the Reading Room on the ground floor were paved with white marble. The three-storey Adelphi Hotel became one of the eight major hotels at the turn of the century, placing it in the same league as Raffles Hotel, which had opened in 1887. Adelphi Hotel was also where General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the Japanese army met with Singapore’s 400 community leaders, the first direct contact with Singaporeans after the fall of Singapore. During the Japanese Occupation (1942–45), Adelphi Hotel was renamed Nanto Hotel.

With a history spanning more than a century, Adelphi Hotel was the oldest hotel in Singapore before its closure in 1973. On 24 June that year, the hotel held a dinner and dance to mark its last day and was officially closed at the stroke of midnight, on 25 June 1973. Proceeds from the dinner were donated to the Singapore Cheshire Home for the handicapped. Demolition began in 1979 and construction of a new building on its site started in 1980. Adelphi Complex, a 10-storey hotel, retail and office block completed in 1985, now stands on the site of the old Adelphi Hotel. The building is currently known as The Adelphi, which specialises in high-end audio equipment.


Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛

A UNESCO World Natural & Cultural Heritage Site

Sitting on the confluence of three rivers in Leshan, the 71-meter-high Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest Maitreya Buddha statue carved out of a cliff in the world. Ancient wisdom and regilious faith of Buddhism created the giant and magnificent cultural treasure, and now is world-known as an amazing UNESCO Natural & Cultural Heritage property in Leshan, nearby Chengdu. Leshan Giant Buddha is the main attraction in Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, which was listed as a World Natural & Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 together with Mount Emei. Located at the joint of Minjiang River, Dadu River and Qingyi River, Leshan Giant Buddha is sitting facing Leshan City across the river and it’s the largest cliff rock carving Maitreya Buddha statue in the world.

In ancient Tang Dynasty (8th century AD), the water at the joint of the three rivers was very fierce and boats were often capsized here. Thus, to slow down the water flow, Monk Haitong recruited craftsmen to build the Giant Buddha. It was first carved from AD 713, and when carving the shoulder of the Buddha, Haitong passed away. After the death of Haitong, the project was suspended for a long time. Few years later, the apprentice of Haitong continued to build the Giant Buddha with the donation of local government officer Zhangchou Jianqiong. The project was suspended again when the knees were just completed. Forty years later, the project was continued again, and after the efforts of three generations, the Giant Buddha was finally completed in AD 803. So, this huge project totally took about 90 years to complete. The Giant Buddha was carved from the Lingyun Mountain, with its head reaching to the mountain top and its feet standing next to the river. The total height is 71 meters; while the head is 14.7 meters high and 10 meters wide, ear is 7 meters long, nose is 5.6 meters long, mouth and eyes are 3.3 meters long, 28 meters tall between knees and insteps. Its insteps can hold over a hundred people. There are 1021 spiral coils on the Buddha head, and they were all stones inlayed onto rocky head. Two over 16-meter tall Virudhakas stand by side on cliff to protect the Giant Buddha.

The Giant Buddha is sitting in the open air, and the weather of Leshan is humid. You must be curious why the Giant Buddha has been preseved so well under such natural conditions. The secret is its ingenious design. There is a delicate and invisible drainage system which played an important role in protecting the Giant Buddha from corrosion. Among the 18 layers spiral coils on the Buddha head, the 4th layer, 9th layer and 18th layer have one cross drainage; the drainage from the left side in front of the chest is connecting to the back drainage of the right arm; there are cave one the back side (the side near the mountain) connecting the two ears. These caves and drainages have composed the scientific drainage, moisture proof and ventilation system. Besides, the local government will renovate the Giant Buddha statue irregularly to restore the broken parts, clean the Buddha, change materials, and eminilate safety risks. Besides the sitting Giant Buddha, Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area has many other wonderful attractions.

Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area

The first Buddhist temple in China was built here in Sichuan Province in the 1st century A.D. in the beautiful surroundings of the summit Mount Emei. The addition of other temples turned the site into one of Buddhism's holiest sites. Over the centuries, the cultural treasures grew in number. The most remarkable is the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century and looking down on the confluence of three rivers. At 71 m high, it is the largest Buddha in the world. Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to subalpine pine forests. Some of the trees there are more than 1,000 years old.

Mount Emei (Emeishan) is an area of exceptional cultural significance as it is the place where Buddhism first became established on Chinese territory and from where it spread widely through the East. The first Buddhist temple in China was built on the summit of Mount Emei in the 1st century CE. It became the Guangxiang Temple, receiving its present royal name of Huazang in 1614. The addition of more than 30 other temples including the Wannian Temple founded in the 4th century containing the 7.85m high Puxian bronze Buddha of the 10th century, and garden temples including the Qingyin Pavilion complex of pavilions, towers and platforms dating from the early 6th century; the early 17th century Baoguo Temple and the Ligou Garden (Fuhu Temple) turned the mountain into one of Buddhism's holiest sites. The most remarkable manifestation of this is the 71 meter tall Giant Buddha of Leshan. Carved in the 8th century CE on the hillside of Xijuo Peak overlooking the confluence of three rivers, it is the largest Buddhist sculpture in the world. A contemporary account of the creation of the Giant Buddha is preserved in the form of an inscribed tablet. Associated monuments include the 9th century Lingbao Pagoda and the Dafo (Giant Buddha) Temple dating from the early Qing Dynasty. The Wuyu Temple contains two important statues: the 9th century Dashi bronze Buddha and the 11th century Amithabha statue group, cast in iron and gilded. Over five hundred Han Dynasty tombs of the 1st to 4th centuries, notable for their fine carvings and calligraphic inscriptions are located on Mahao Crag.

Mount Emei is an area of striking scenic beauty. It is also of great spiritual and cultural importance because of its role in the introduction of Buddhism into China. The conscious siting of so many of the cultural monuments, particularly of traditional architecture, within the natural environment makes it a cultural landscape of very high order. Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally rich vegetation, ranging from subtropical evergreen forests to subalpine pine forests. Covering an area of 15,400 ha in two discrete areas – the Mount Emei and the Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Areas – the property is an area of natural beauty into which the human element has been integrated with skill and subtlety.

Leshan Giant Buddha
The head is 14.7 meters long and 10 meters wide

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a huge statue carved into the side of Lingyun Mountain. Taller by 17 meters than the standing Buddha in Afghanistan, the Leshan Giant Buddha is the tallest and largest Buddha in the world.

There is a local saying: "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain". It was included by UNESCO on the list of World Heritage sites. The statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees and a smile on his face. The Leshan Giant Buddha is about 71 meters high and 24 meters wide. The head is 14.7 meters long and 10 meters wide with 1,021 buns of hair on it.

His smallest toenail can accommodate a seated person. Each ear is 7 meters long and his nose is 5.6 meters long. Each eyebrow is 5.5 meters long. The instep, which is 8.5 meters wide, can accommodate 100 people. The toe is large enough to accommodate a dining table.

Leshan Giant Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in that city. In December, 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, the Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.

Facing the river, the Buddha has symmetrical posture and looks which have been beautifully captured in its solemn stillness. It is 71 meters (about 233 feet) high, and has 8.3-meter-long (about 27 feet) fingers. The 9-meter-wide (about 30 feet) instep is big enough for one hundred people to sit on and the 24-meter-wide (about 79 feet) shoulder is large enough to be a basketball playground. The charm of the Buddha lies not only in its size but also in its architectural artistry. There are 1,021 buns in the Buddha's coiled hair. These have been skillfully embedded in the head. The skill is so wonderful that the 1,021 buns seem integral to the whole. Another architectural highlight is the drainage system. This system is made up of some hidden gutters and channels, scattered on the head and arms, behind the ears and in the clothes. This system, which helps displace rainwater and keep the inner part dry, plays an important part in the protection of the Buddha. The large pair of ears, each seven meters (about 23 feet) long, is made of wood and is decorated by mud on the surface. For craftsmen of thousands of years ago, it was not easy to fix these to the stone head.

It was a monk called Hai Tong who initiated the project. His concern was for the safety of the long-suffering people who earned their living around the confluence of the three rivers. Tempestuous waters ensured that boat accidents were numerous and the simple people put the disaster down to the presence of a water spirit. So Hai Tong decided to carve a statue beside the river thinking that the Buddha would bring the water spirit under control. Besides, the fallen stones dropped during the carving would reduce the water force there. After 20 years' begging alms, he finally accumulated enough money for the plan. When some local government officials had designs on tempting this amount of money, Hai Tong said that they could get his eyeball but not the money raised for the Buddha. After Hai Tong dug out his eyeball, these officials ran away scared. The project was half done when Hai Tong passed away, and two of his disciples continued the work. After a total of 90 years' hard work, the project was finally completed. Having such a long history and such worldwide fame, the renovation of the Buddha has received extensive attention both at home and abroad. The Buddha was nearly destroyed by the erosion of wind and rain before 1963 when the Chinese government began the repairing work. At present, the maintenance work is in progress under the instruction of experts from UNESCO.

Leshan Giant Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha (Chinese: 樂山大佛) is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang dynasty). It is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan Province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. It is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. It is over 4 km from the Wuyou Temple.

The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The Leshan Giant Buddha is located at the Lingyun Mountain’s Qifeng Peak. Qifeng Peak is located at the junction of the Minjiang River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. Other than the Leshan Giant Buddha, the Danxia Landform also contains abundant history and cultural connotations, such as cliff tombs and cliff dwelling. The Mahao Cliff Tombs at the Leshan Giant Buddha scenic area were built in the Han dynasty, indicating ancient local residents’ living habits.

Construction started in 723 AD, led by a Chinese Buddhist monk named Hai Tong. He believed that Maitreya Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that constantly plagued the shipping vessels traveling down the river. When funding for the project was threatened, he is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. After his death, however, the construction was delayed due to insufficient funding. The statue was only completed from the shoulders up at the time. Several years later, Hai Tong’s disciples continued work on the statue with financial support from a local official named Zhangchou Jianxiong. Hai Tong’s disciples continued the construction until the Knees, when construction was halted because Zhangchou JianXiang was called back to serve at the royal court in Chang’an. About 70 years later, Jiedushi Wei Gao continued to support and funded the project and the construction was finally completed by Hai Tong's disciples in 803.

Chinese man travels 2,000km to Big Buddha then uses giant speaker to blast out his wishes
Zhang hopes the giant speaker will help deliver to Buddha his wishes, which include money and a girl friend

A Chinese man has tried to make sure all his wishes come true by travelling 2,000km to the site of a giant Buddha and holding up a big airpod-shaped speaker to blast out his prayers to the statue.

In a video posted by the man, surnamed Zhang, on Douyin on April 25, he can be seen holding up the sizeable speaker beside the ear of the 71-metre-tall Leshan Giant Buddha and cranking up the volume on his phone so that the deity "can hear him better". "Do you know, giant Buddha, I'm 27 years old and I don't have a car, a house or a girlfriend," Zhang shouted.

He then made his wishes: "Firstly, I want to be rich. I don't need much. 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) is enough. "Most importantly, I want a girlfriend, who is just a little bit pretty, tender and loves me rather than my 10 million!" Zhang said that following a run of bad luck as a result of "mercury retrograde", he decided to spend 12 hours during the weekend to travel from China's eastern Zhejiang province to southwestern Sichuan, to the Big Buddha.



Salons using pressure sales tactics for Hair Treatments

Update 7 Dec 2023: Man confronts salon staff after his mum was charged $521 for hair dye services

A man issued a warning on the popular COMPLAINT SINGAPORE Facebook page after his mum had been charged what he felt was an exorbitant amount at a hair salon. After she told him about her bill charges, he was so upset that he went to the salon to confront its staff.

Mr Justin Tan wrote, “BEWARE OF THIS HAIR SALON SHOP!!” on COMPLAINT SINGAPORE on Monday (Dec 4), when his mum had gone to K Salon on Bangkit Road to get her hair done. Last month, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) issued a warning against the same salon for unfair practices.

Mr Tan wrote that his mother had been told that the price for hair dye services was S$125 when she went to the salon. He added that the manager had carried out a “hard sell” of the package worth $250 to his mum, reassuring her that the remaining amount could be used for other services, including a haircut, in the future. However, after the staff finished Mr Tan’s mother’s hair, she was told she needed to pay an additional S$271. “The hair stylist then told her that the fee is to bleach the hair for 3x. Which is $99 x 3… bleach 3x??” he explained.

Salon charges customer S$772 for S$99 hairdressing package; CCCS issues warning

On Wednesday (Nov 23), the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said it had issued a warning to a hairdressing salon in Bukit Panjang that had engaged in unfair practices in 2021. Natural Salon, which now goes by K Salon, demanded payment from a customer for unsolicited hair service packages and unsolicited hairstyling and hair washing services.

Some initial prices quoted to a customer were just S$2 or S$3 for a haircut and S$99 for a haircut and wash. However, a customer who was told about the S$99 price for a haircut and wash was eventually charged S$772. The salon also charged S$35 for unsolicited hair washing and scalp scanning services after the customer had been told that a haircut would cost S$2 or S$3.

It also falsely represented to customers that the “member price” for a haircut was a “new opening special” after the salon had been open for at least eight months. The salon was also found to have charged prices for haircuts or hair treatment packages significantly higher than what a customer had initially been told without the customer’s consent. A banner outside the salon said that S$2 or S$3 was the price for a haircut for its “new opening special” after it had already been operating for at least eight months, CCCS added.

85-yr-old man goes for $8 haircut ends up paying for $99 treatment

An 85-year-old man went for a $8 haircut at a HairFun salon at Block 410 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 and ended up with a $99 hair treatment. His son told Shin Min Daily News that on Nov 9 morning, his father was waiting for his mother and decided to get a trim.

A sign outside the salon said for non-members over 65 years old, the price of a haircut was $8 from Monday to Thursday from 1pm to 3pm. Nov 9 was a Thursday. "It was his first time there," said the son. "When he came back later, he kept complaining that he felt it was unfair that he paid $99 for hair care at the salon." The son said that his father’s hair was already white and he didn’t understand why the salon recommended the hair treatment.

When a Shin Min reporter visited the salon on Nov 10, the manager said that the employees working the previous day were not there and neither was she. "But our salon does offer hair treatment. It was originally $199, but now it is at a discounted price of $99," said the manager, who explained that they would promote the hair treatment regardless of the customer's age or gender. One male customer in the salon told Shin Min that he was there for the $8 haircut, but the staff did not recommend any hair treatment to him.

Full Coverage:

Bukit Panjang Salon Charges Customer S$772 For Unsolicited Hair Service Package, Gets Warning  
Despite being open for at least 8 months, the salon had a banner which stated a haircut price was a "new opening special"

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has issued a warning to a salon in Bukit Panjang for charging customers false and misleading prices. On one occasion, the business charged a customer S$772 for an unsolicited hair service package. It had initially quoted the customer S$99 for only a haircut and hair wash.

The consumer watchdog has issued the salon a warning for the unfair practices. The salon has also refunded the affected customers. Bukit Panjang salon provided unsolicited services, CCCS issued a press release on Thursday (23 Nov), sharing about the “unfair practices” the salon had engaged in between 16 May 2021 and 11 Aug 2021.

Natural Salon, the salon in question, is now known as K Salon and is located at 260 Bangkit Road. The “unfair practices” listed by CCCS include:
  • Demanding payment for unsolicited hair services
  • Falsely representing to customers that “member price” of haircut was a “new opening special”
  • Charging prices for haircuts or hair treatment packages that were substantially higher than the estimate provided to a consumer, without their consent.

AMK Beauty Salon Caught Using Pressure Sale Tactics, Promises To Stop Making False Claims
The salon has received over 130 complaints since 2017

Beauty salon Salon One AMK, and seven of its related entities were recently found to have engaged in unfair practices. An investigation by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) found that they made false claims, and used pressure sales tactics to mislead customers. Salon One Entities has since promised CCCS that they will correct these practices. CCCS has also issued the Salon One Entities a warning for their previous actions.

CCCS revealed through a media release today (18 May) that Salon One Entities engaged in practices that did not comply with the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA) between Oct 2017 and Aug 2022. Some unfair practices they were found engaging in include:
  • Falsely representing that there were price discounts for basic haircuts for members and non-members.
  • Making unsubstantiated claims to consumers about the benefits of their treatments; such as claiming their ‘Herbal Head Spa’ treatment could enhance memory, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease among other conditions.
CCCS also discovered that some of the Salon One Entities conducted persistent sales talks. Such actions put pressure on consumers to purchase certain services or products from them. This apparently continued even after customers expressed disinterest, or in some cases even declined the advances. Additionally, Salon One Bukit Batok and Salon One MP560 falsely claimed they were holding price discounts of S$359 for both their “TCM Meridian Eye Treatment and Spleen”, as well as “Stomach Naval Candling” services.

Prevent Alzheimer's? Salon chain warned for making false health claims, using pressure sales tactics

A beauty salon chain that made false claims about price savings on its services and health benefits from treatments – such as a head spa allegedly being able to prevent Alzheimer’s disease – has been issued a warning. Salon One has also been ordered to remove such promotional materials from its premises, following persistent complaints from consumers.

Besides the unsubstantiated claims, some outlets were also found to have engaged in pressure sales tactics. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said on Thursday that the chain engaged in such unfair practices between October 2017 and August 2022. A total of 95 complaints were made to the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) against Salon One during this period. The chain has eight outlets islandwide in heartland areas including Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Clementi, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris and Tampines. It provides services such as hairdressing, hair treatments and facials. CCCS said that the chain made unsubstantiated representations on its treatments, such as a herbal head spa that it claimed was able to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, brain stroke, cerebral infarction, cerebral thrombosis and cerebral haemorrhage, as well as enhance memory.

“Such representations were also made to certain consumers who were not able to reasonably ascertain if the claimed efficacy and health benefits of the treatments existed,” said CCCS, which engaged a medical expert to verify the efficacy of the claims. Two of Salon One’s outlets in Bukit Batok and Marine Parade were also found to have made false claims on price savings, representing them as bigger than they actually were. For example, savings on their TCM meridian eye treatment as well as spleen and stomach navel candling services were claimed to be worth $359, but in fact, were worth only $159 and $59 respectively.

Video of mum scolding salon staff for charging boy $12 for $10 haircut 'taken out of context': QQ House

Is $2 a small matter? QQ House said that the video of a woman shouting at its staff for allegedly charging her young son $12 for a $10 haircut was "taken out of context".

Posted by a TikTok user named Jonas.2470, the video was shared by Singapore Incidents on Thursday (Aug 24) with the caption: "Advertise $10 but demand $12 from a kid."

A woman in black with a boy can be seen in front of QQ Premium Hair Cut & Salon in a Bukit Timah shopping centre speaking angrily to a male and a female staff members, who tried to placate her. At one point, the mother said: "I'm just surprised that you tricked a kid for $2."

'Don't be a cheapo like me': Man goes to Upper Changi salon for $5 trim, ends up paying more for 're-cut'

Before taking up the $5 haircut offer, he knew that the new salon on Upper Changi Road would not provide the quality of a 'great stylist.' However, Chan, 40, ended up paying more for a 're-cut' after his mother was shocked by how bad it was. Speaking to AsiaOne on Sunday (Nov 26), the taxi driver, who declined to share his full name, said he was drawn into Tinge Salon by a staff member outside who told him about the amazing deal.

"For a major haircut, I would go to my usual place, which charges $14," Chan said. "But I just wanted my hair trimmed." After entering the salon, Chan's hairstylist pulled a monitor screen by his seat, which was used to magnify every detail of his scalp. The customer claimed that he was persuaded to fork out $48 for 'membership,' which entitled him to a discounted $3 haircut and treatment.

Chan politely declined this 'deal' and told the hairstylist to trim the sides. "I thought the 10-minute haircut was fine as I couldn't see the back of my head," he said. "It was when I reached home, and my mum was shocked at how bad it was." In a TikTok video, Chan complained about uneven slope lines and patches of hair. He also alleged that the salon kept upselling their expensive hair treatment during the haircut.

Woman disappointed with $45 haircut at Far East Plaza salon: 'Expensive doesn't mean it's good'

A woman splashed out more than she usually would on a haircut but was sorely disappointed at the result. She shared a photo of her 'uneven' haircut in an anonymous post on Complaint Singapore on Tuesday (Aug 1).

In her post, she said she had paid $45 for a haircut at CCA Hair in Far East Plaza. "My hair" was cut by a senior hairstylist that probably doesn't even know how to cut hair," she said. "I requested a 'bob hairstyle', but it became this 'anyhow cut' hairstyle."

She recounted how the hairstylist did not even use a comb and allegedly rushed through the job even though there were no other customers in the salon. She said she had fallen asleep during the haircut and was unaware that it was all going horribly wrong until it was too late. "Shame on him for being a senior hairstylist," she added.

Woman gets 'undesirable outcome' after paying for $160 hair job, salon looking into matter

A woman was completely dissatisfied after spending $160 for a hair dye and treatment at a salon. Stomper Regina told Stomp that she visited Organic Express Hair Color Lab at Shaw Plaza on July 28. She added that the salon was having a first-timer promotion.

"That very evening when I was out shopping with my daughter and in the changing room, she commented that my hair looked unevenly dyed under strong lighting," she said. "It was really obvious that the top part of my hair was brighter than the lower ends of my hair.

"On Saturday afternoon (July 29), I took a photo of my hair on the balcony with the sunlight shining in so it was visible where the uneven parts were and reached out to Organic Express Hair Color Lab via WhatApp to discuss my dissatisfaction and provide the photographic evidence. "I told them I’d like a refund and if they could speak to their management about it as I need to spend additional money to re-dye my hair.