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Singapore





SingaporeSingapore, an island-state in Southeast Asia, was founded as a British trading colony in 1819 which joined Malaysia in 1963, but withdrew two years later and became independent. Now it is one of the world's most prosperous countries, with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe. Singapore's strategic location combined with a largely corruption-free government, skilled work force, pro-foreign investment and export-oriented led to a successful free-market economy which attracts international investment funds on a large scale despite its relatively high-cost operating environment.
This vibrant country is more of a bustling yet relatively relaxing place where one can spend memorable vacations, and at the same time witness some of the unique Asian flavours that this city-state has to present.

Fact File
Official name : Singapore
Government : Parliamentary.
Nationality : Singaporean
Capital city : Singapore city
Ethnic groups : Chinese (77.3%); Malay (14.1%); Indian (7.3%); others (1.3%)
Location : Singapore, a small island with over 60 surrounding islets, is located in Southeastern Asia.
Continent : Asia
Currency : The Singapore dollar (S$) ; 1 SGD = 25.941 Indian Rupee = 0.5957 USD = 0.4906 Euro (subject to change).
Population : 4 million
SingaporeLanguages : Malay is the national language. Chinese (Mandarin), Malay, Tamil and English are the official languages.
Religion : Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Taoist, and Confucian
Area : 683 sq km
Famous for : Shopping
Major cities : Singapore, Singapore Johor Bahru
Clothing : In business settings, lightweight conservative clothing, like dress slacks, a long-sleeved shirt, and a tie will fit in well. Suits are reserved for important meetings and formal events. Businesswomen generally wear knee-length or longer skirts with blouses, and understated make-up.
Major events : Roar of a Chinese dragon at NewYear, Vesak Day in May celebrates Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death,The Dragon Boat Festival(held in May or June), The Chinese Festival of the Hungry Ghosts (September), RamadanHari Raya Puasa, The festival of Thaipusam
Things to Buy : clothes, electronic items
Things to do : sightseeing, shopping, visiting the art galleries, attending exhibitions.
Cuisine : Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Peranakan, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Korean cuisine, and more Nonya cooking is a local variation on Chinese and Malay food, mixing Chinese ingredients with local spices such as lemongrass and coconut cream. The popular spicy, coconut-based soup laksa is a classic Nonya dish.

Visa Permit
The applicant must have passport valid for six months beyond intended stay in Singapore; one completed visa application form ( Form 14, photocopy allowed); one recent passport-size photograph (In Consulate three photographs are required in 45mm x 35 mm in matt finish); confirmed return/ onward air ticket; valid entry visa to the next destination of travel and proof of funds at least USD 600 for a short visit. Passenger may be required to show this on arrival into Singapore. Visa validity is for 90 days with a short stay allowed. Processing time is two working days. For groups, requirements are covering letter from Tour Operator & list of passengers, hotel confirmation from Singapore, acceptance letter from the handling agent in Singapore and their tour itinerary.

Culture
SingaporeThe country of Singapore is an extremely lively city where fun, food and celebration of every occasion is a common feature. Street performances are held during important festivals such as Chinese New Year where the Lion Dance is a spectacular, acrobatic dance usually performed during Chinese festivals and other dance style include Malay and Indian dances. Chinese opera, an ancient form of theatre, is a colourful mix of dialogue, music, song and dance is popular amongst the older people.
Singapore can be termed as the food capital of Asia. Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and Western foods are all available. Singapore is a great place to discover tropical fruits. Some of the more unusual ones on offer include rambutan, mangosteen, durian, jackfruit, pomelo, starfruit, zirzat, buah duku, chiku and jeruk.


When to Go
Climate is not a major consideration, as Singapore gets fairly steady annual rainfall. One can co-ordinate one’s visit with one of the various festivals and events: Thaipusam is a spectacular festival, occurring around February. For people who love to shop and eat, April brings the Singapore Food Festival and the Great Singapore Sale in June.

Climate
Tropical; warm and humid, with only slight variations between 23°-31°Celsius. There are two main seasons: the Northeast Monsoon (from December to March) and the Southwest Monsoon (from May to September), separated by two shorter inter-monsoon periods. There are no distinct wet or dry periods. - Singapore Tour Package


Getting There
By Air : Changi Airport is about 20 km. from the Central Business District. The airport is linked by two expressways -- the East Coast Parkway and the Pan Island Expressway -- to other parts of Singapore, providing easy access by taxi, public bus, or car. Travel time to the city is about 25 minutes by car or taxi, 45 minutes by bus.
Most airlines fly into Singapore's heavily trafficked Changi International Airport. The best way to get from the airport to the city (20km/12mi away) is by train, but there is also a wide choice of bus and taxi services.
Marina Bay Singapore By Train : Singapore is the southern terminus of Malaysia's rail system, and three trains go to Kuala Lumpur each day.
By Bus : Air-conditioned buses link Singapore to almost all large Malaysian cities; fares are inexpensive. A second causeway has opened between Singapore and Malaysia to ease traffic - it links Tuas in Singapore with Geylang Patah - and is known pragmatically enough as the Second Link. It can only be used if you have your own transport.
You can travel between Malaysia (just a kilometre away) and Singapore very easily by taxi.
By Sea : A passenger ferry operates between north Changi and Tanjung Belungkor, east of Johor Bahru, and a daily high-speed catamaran links Singapore with Malaysia's Tioman Island. No direct passenger ferries are present between Singapore and the main ports of Indonesia, but it is possible to travel between the two countries via the Indonesian islands of the Riau Archipelago, immediately south of Singapore.
Modern ferries join Singapore to the islands of Batam and Bintan in the archipelago.
Speedboats join Batam to Pekanbaru in Sumatra, and several ships a week link Bintan with Jakarta.

Getting Around
By Road : Metered taxis (although rickshaws are really only in Chinatown and the back streets) provide a convinient way to see the city. Using the MRT subway system or the convenient bus services one can move around in the city.
Singapore has a comprehensive bus network with frequent services and is also reasonable and easy to use.
Singapore has a convenient Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) subway system which is inexpensive.
By Sea : One can even opt to get around the place on the water by ferry or bumboat.
Regular ferry services operate from the World Trade Centre to Sentosa and other islands.
One can charter bumboats (motorised sampans) or luxurious tours to take various trips the Singapore River, while luxurious junk tours can be taken around the harbour. - Singapore Tour Package

Major attractions
Singapore History Museum : It posseses a fascinating permanent collection exhibiting the region's diverse cultures and history including the superb 380-piece Haw Par jade collection, donated by the Aw brothers.

Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Gardens) : About ten kilometres (six miles) west of the city, the Haw Par Villa was originally built by the Aw brothers. It is a theme park of Chinese mythology, with older exhibits of legendary figures and tableaux, currently being restored to its former glory. The Aw family's private jade collection, on loan from the Singapore History Museum, is displayed in the Jade House at Haw Par Villa.

Singapore ZooSentosa Island : Cable cars and ferries run from the World Trade Centre to this former military base half a kilometre (one third of a mile) offshore. It is Singapore's most popular attraction. The island has a wide variety of museums, sights and activities including South-East Asia's largest oceanarium, a Butterfly Park and an Insectarium. - Singapore Tour Package

Singapore Zoo : Built in the early 1970s it emphasises on natural habitat and it is a home to more than 2000 animals of nearly 250 species. The Night Safari offers an unrivalled opportunity to study nocturnal animals.

Other Attractions
Thian Hock Keng Temple
Jurong Bird Park
Peranakan Place Museum

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