Singapore

About Singapore

Singapore is an island nation located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. It lies at the south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands. It is one of the few remaining city-states in the world and the smallest country in Southeast Asia. Thailand and the Philippines are a short plane journey away. Singapore, with an airport served by more than 69 airlines, is very much the gateway to Southeast Asia. Singapore's strategic location, excellent facilities, fascinating cultural contrasts and tourist attractions contribute to its success as a leading destination for both business and pleasure.

The Merlion is the national symbol of Singapore. This mythical creature has the head of a lion and the body of a fish, symbolizing a 'marine lion', which hails from a water borne region. Legend has it that the "Singa" or lion represents the creature that a Sumatran prince had spotted which resembles a lion. The fish is tribute to Singapore's history as "Temasek", the ancient sea town. The contemporary name 'Singapore' has been derived from 'Singapura', which literally translates into lion city.


Culture and people

Singapore is a cosmopolitan society where people live harmoniously and interaction among different races are commonly seen. The pattern of Singapore stems from the inherent cultural diversity of the island. The immigrants of the past have given the place a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences, all of which have intermingled.

The population of Singapore is approximately 4.68 million. The Chinese form the majority of the population of 77%, while 14% are Malay and 8% are Indians. English is the administrative language of the country.

Each racial group has its own distinctive religion and there are colorful festivals of special significance all year round. Although the festivals are special to certain races, it is nonetheless enjoyed by all.

Singapore became a trading hub in the early 19th century due to policy decisions taken by Sir Stamford Raffles. Its no- tariff policy made it a free trade center where millions of immigrants were attracted to it. These immigrants paved way for future generation to live, interact and enjoy the diverse cultures that are found in Singapore today.


Currency and living expenses

1.00 Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) = 0.430073 SGD

The cost of living in Singapore is amongst the highest in Asia but this should come as no surprise as Singapore offers state-of-the art facilities for education, shopping, sports and recreation just like western countries.

Prices of food and clothing are reasonable and the living conditions are the best in Asia as the inflation rate is comparatively lower than most other countries.


Accommodation

Singapore offers a wide variety of accommodation types to suit all budgets and preferences. They range from backpacker, budget and youth hostels to boutique and five-star hotels.

Most hotels come with standard facilities like International Direct Dial (IDD) phones, internet and cable, room service, mini bars, data ports for modem, no-smoking rooms or floors, and business and fitness centres furnished with the latest equipment.


Food

Singapore is a multi-racial society. Here are people from all attributes of life living harmoniously together. Therefore, many varieties of foods are sold here to satiate the voracious and varying appetites of the different races in Singapore.

Singapore is commonly known as the "Food Paradise" because they have malay, chinese, indian, nyonya and western food.


Getting around

Transportation
Travelling around Singapore is very easy! An efficient public transportation network such as taxis, buses and the modern Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system ensures that getting from point A to point B is hassle-free and extremely affordable.

Travelling on the MRT is cheap, with rides ranging from SGD 0.80 to a maximum of SGD 1.70. Travelling on bus requires SGD 0.70 to SGD 1.40 for non air-conditioned buses and SGD 0.80 to SGD 1.70 for air-conditioned buses.

Climate and Geography
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons. Its climate is characterized by uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Temperatures range from 22 °C to 34 °C (72° to 93 °F).

About 23 percent of Singapore's land area consists of forest and nature reserves.[32] Urbanization has eliminated many areas of former primary rainforest, with the only remaining area of primary rainforest being Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. A variety of parks are maintained with human intervention, such as the Singapore Botanic Gardens.


Shopping
When Singaporeans tell you that shopping is the national sport, they're only half joking. Shopping ranks right up there with eating as a favourite pastime. Many visitors to Singapore come with a view to seeing the sights rather than going on a bargain-hunting binge, yet somehow they always end up leaving with an extra bag or two.

There are various place to shop in Singapore such as Orchard Road, Centrepoint, DFS Galleria Scottswalk, Far East Plaza, The Heeren, Tanglin Shopping Centre, Little India and The Mustafa Centre.