Uniquely Singapore

"Unique is the word that best captures Singapore, a dynamic city rich in contrast and colour where you'll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. A bridge between the East and the West for centuries, Singapore, located in the heart of fascinating Southeast Asia, continues to embrace tradition and modernity today. Brimming with unbridled energy and bursting with exciting events, the city offers countless unique, memorable experiences waiting to be discovered.

Singapore is truly a city like no other, a world of possibilities. With its friendly and welcoming people, state-of-the-art infrastructure and something new happening everyday, your stay will be a memorable mix-and-match of all the things you have always wanted to do. Come and enjoy countless fascinating experiences, and take away memories that are uniquely Singapore."

-- extracted from Singapore Tourism Board website at www.stb.gov.sg

Population and Religion

Singapore's population of almost four million comprises 77% Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians and 1% Eurasians and people of other descent.

With its ethnic mix also comes its diverse set of religions. Singapore's skyline boasts the distinctive minarets of mosques, spires of gothic cathedrals, intricate figurines of Hindu temple gods and distinctive roof architecture of Chinese temples. The main religions are Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism.

Language

There are four official languages in Singapore: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, and speak their mother tongue (dialects) as well as English. Malay is the national language.

Weather

The island is warm and humid all year round, with only slight variations between the average maximum of 32oC and minimum of 23 oC. Showers are usually sudden and heavy, but also brief and refreshing.

Singapore's tropical weather makes light summer clothing (preferably of natural fabrics) most practical, especially for outdoor activities like sightseeing.
Average temperature in April, is between 26 – 32oC. Most indoor facilities are fitted with air-conditioning; a light jacket for gentlemen or shawl for ladies is recommended.

Time Zone

Singapore is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Arrival at the airport

International flights to Singapore arrive at Changi International Airport.
Visit the ground transport centre located in the arrival halls of Terminals 1, 2 & 3 for one-stop information and booking of various forms of transportation. Estimated rate for a taxi ride from airport to city: 18-32 SGD. You may catch a comfortable yet affordable bus ride to town at below 2 SGD. Alternatively, take the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train to enjoy quick and easy access to the city in less than 30 minutes for 1.40-2 SGD.

Electricity

Singapore's voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second that utilises a three-pin, square-shaped plug and socket system. If you are carrying a device with a different voltage or pin head, most hotels can provide you with transformers.

Water

Singapore water is clean and safe to drink from the tap. Bottled and mineral water are readily available in supermarkets or convenience stores located readily around the island.

Banks and currencies

The currency for Singapore is the Singapore Dollar. Other than that, the US and Australian Dollars, Yen and British Pound are also accepted in most major shopping centres and big department stores.

Banks are open from Monday to Friday, 09:30-16:00h, and on Saturday, from 09:30-14:00h. You will find ATMs most everywhere.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards are widely accepted in Singapore. Hotels, retailers, restaurants, travel agents and even some taxi services readily accept international credit cards – VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners etc.

For more information, you can contact the local office of the credit card operators at the following numbers:
AMEX: 1800 732 2566 / +65 6732 2566
DINERS: +65 6294 4222
MASTER: +65 6533 2888
VISA: 800-110-0344

Telecommunications

There are three telephone service providers - SingTel, M1 and StarHub. To make international calls, the access codes are 001, 013, or 019 for SingTel, 002 or 021 for M1 and 008 or 018 for StarHub, to be dialled before the country code (e.g. 019-61-xx for Australia, 019-44-xx for UK).

Contract free SIM cards for mobile phones can be purchased from selected shops throughout the island, e.g. from 7-Eleven, a 24h convenience store that you can find most everywhere. The cost for calls and text messages both national and international are relatively cheap.

Calls from public phones cost 0.10 SGD for 3 minutes. Phones are either coin or card operated, the latter being the most commonly used. Phone cards from 3 SGD can be purchased at post offices and shops. You can also use your credit card at selected phone booths. The IDD code is 001.

Calls and Mobile Communication


The international country code for Singapore is 65. There are two mobile phone networks – GSM 900 and GSM 1800. To make international calls from Singapore, dial 001.

Transport

Singapore's efficient and relatively cheap public transport offers taxis, buses and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system. Buses and trains run from about 6am to 12pm. Get bus tickets directly in the bus, and train tickets in the stations. Other than single ride tickets, you can purchase day tickets at 8 SGD for unlimited bus and train rides, or a store-value card (5 SGD initial cost, but cheaper fares than single tickets).

Immigration and Customs

All travelers are required to go through immigration clearance on arrival into Singapore.

The granting of social visit passes to visitors is determined by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the point of entry. Visitors must satisfy the following basic entry requirements before they are allowed to enter Singapore:

A passport with at least 6 months validity;
Valid Singapore visa, if applicable;
Sufficient funds to last for the intended period of stay in Singapore;
Confirmed onward/return tickets (where applicable); and
Entry facilities to their onward destinations, e.g. visas.
Visa Requirements

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