Singapore Travel Guide
Singapore was a swampy fishing village when Sir Stamford Raffles founded it as a trading post for the British East India Company in 1819; and today it is a thriving and progressive metropolis. Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew contributed largely to the rise and success of modern Singapore from the time its independence in 1965. Its resilient people are its main resource and its population of over 4 million comprising Chinese(over 70%), Malays, Indians and other ethnic groups form an integrated multi-cultural society.
Singapore boasts some of the region’s best attractions. Highly acclaimed would be the Singapore Zoological Gardens, the Night Safari, the Jurong Bird Park, Sentosa Island, Resort and the Singapore Botanic Gardens with its National Orchid Gardens.
Explore the main ethnic enclaves like Chinatown, Little India and Geylang Serai to get a glimpse of the varied flavors of different cultures and way of life.
Singapore offers a wide range of hotels – from comfortable to 3-star to grand 5-star and super-deluxe accommodation. Most hotels are located in two main areas -Orchard Road and Marina Square. And traveling time to the airport is no more then 30 minutes.
An interesting selection of daily-sightseeing tours are available focusing on the unique features of our island’s attractions in addition to daily tours to Malaysia and the Indonesian Islands.
Singapore is unquestionably a food paradise…and our popular pastime-eating-goes on anytime and anywhere. This is due to the wonderful array of cuisines and dishes stemming from a diversified racial mix. You can venture to the inexpensive hawker stalls and food malls or indulge in chic cafes and stylish restaurants where you’ll find both ambience and memorable food.
You can also unwind and relax at many nightspots, drink at elegant wine bars, or lively beer pubs or listen to jazz and pop bands located around the city.
The Performing Arts
The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is Singapore’s leading mega performing arts complex where most renowned musicals and plays are regularly staged in the finest state-of-the-art theatres with brilliant acoustics.
The Esplanade, a venue worth a visit, is an amazing architectural feat with its imposing twin durian-domed structures.
Shopping is an irresistible pastime as there’s a marvelous range of products from high fashions to the latest utilities. Watch out for the annual Great Singapore Sale(June-July) – the shopping extravaganza with remarkable offers.
Goods and Services Tax
A 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied on most goods and services. Visitors may apply for a refund of the GST paid on goods worth $100 or more at affiliated retailers.
Getting around Singapore is easy and inexpensive. Apart from the excellent bus service, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) offers a comfortable and efficient way of travelling fares starting from S$0.90.
Hailing a taxi is a breeze as there’s an abundant supply of air-conditioned taxis. Fare starts from $2.50 for the first 1 km or part thereof, but different fare structures. Surcharges apply at certain places, time periods and days. There are also additional charges for travelling on roads under the Electronic Road Pricing Scheme, which will be added to the metered fare.
Located in the heart of South East Asia, Singapore is the ideal connecting point to the region whether it be to Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam or Indonesia.
Besides, regular flights from Changi Airport take you to all the surrounding regions.
Ranked amongst the top airports in the world, Changi Airport offers unparalled service and features. Facilities include business centers, over 100 tax-free shops, 24-hour medical center in Terminal 2, Internet centers, transit hotel rooms, showers and gym facilities to name a few.
It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore.
Those convicted of possessing and trafficking in drugs will face severe penalties including jail sentences and/or the death penalty.
Singapore’s voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second.
In line with our clean and green Images there are strict laws against any kind of littering which is subject to fines.
Smoking is prohibited in public transport, all air-conditioned private and public buildings, lifts, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and eateries, hair salons, supermarkets, shopping centers, bus stops and taxi stands.
Located just 2 degrees north of the equator, Singapore enjoys warm tropical weather throughout the year. The average daily temperature is from 25 Celsius to 33 Celsius. Rainfall is heavier during the N.E Monsoon November-January and the hottest months are July-August.
What to Wear
Light summer clothing is the most comfortable. Most restaurants do not restrict type of dress and would accept smart casual attire.
In October 2009, US$1.00= S$1.35 (Singapore Dollars).
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