Singapore, formally the Republic of Singapore, is a worldwide metropolis in Southeast Asia and the world’s only island city-state. It is also known as the Lion City, the Garden City, and the Red Dot.
Founded as a British commercial colony in 1819, it has since become one of the world’s most successful nations, with one of the busiest ports.
The food is renowned, with busy hawker centres and 24-hour coffee shops serving inexpensive Asian cuisine from all over the world. This Garden Metropolis is an excellent stopover or launch into the area, combining the skyscrapers and subways of a contemporary, prosperous city with a blend of Chinese, Malay, and Indian influences and a tropical environment, with delicious cuisine, decent shopping, and a busy nightlife scene.
The nation has a partially merited reputation for antiseptic predictability, earning it phrases such as “Disneyland with the death sentence” or “the world’s only shopping mall with a seat in the United Nations.” Nonetheless, for many, the Switzerland of Asia is a welcome escape from the poverty, filth, and corruption that characterizes most of Asia’s mainland. If you scrape under the squeaky clean surface and go off the tourist track, you’ll quickly discover that there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Singapore City – Info Card
|POPULATION :||City: 5,535,000|
|TIME ZONE :||SST (UTC+8)|
|LANGUAGE :||Mandarin , English , Malay , Tamil|
|RELIGION :||Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8%|
|AREA :||719.1 km2 (278 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||1°17′N 103°50′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.35%|
• Female: 50.65%
|ETHNIC :||Chinese 74.1%, Malay 13.4%, Indian 9.2%, Others 3.3%|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+65|
Tourism in Singapore City
While you can find a venue to practice almost every activity in Singapore — golfing, surfing, scuba diving, even ice skating and snow skiing — your choices are restricted owing to the country’s tiny size, and rates are somewhat expensive. Because of the busy shipping routes and sheer human pressure, the sea near Singapore is murky, and most residents travel north to Tioman (Malaysia) or Bintan (Indonesia) instead. On the plus side, Singapore has a plethora of dive shops, and they often organize weekend excursions to excellent dive sites off Malaysia’s East Coast, so they are a viable alternative for visiting some of Malaysia’s less-touristy diving locations.
On the cultural front, Singapore has been attempting, with varying degrees of success, to throw off its bland, buttoned-down image and attract more artists and performances. The Esplanade Theatre in Marina Bay, a world-class venue for the arts and a regular platform for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, is the star in Singapore’s cultural sky. Pop culture possibilities are more restricted, and Singapore’s home-grown arts industry remains dormant, despite the success of local stars Stefanie Sun and JJ Lin in the Chinese pop scene. On the plus side, any bands or DJs traveling Asia are almost certain to play in Singapore.
Going to the cinema is a popular Singaporean hobby, however if you want your movies with fewer cuts, check for “R21” classifications (age 21 and above only). Cathay, Golden Village, and Shaw Brothers are the three major theater chains. Censorship continues to suffocate Singapore’s film industry, but Jack Neo’s famous comedy depict the follies of Singaporean life.
Singapore boasts two huge casinos, typically referred to as “integrated resorts,” that generate almost as much income as the whole city of Las Vegas. Marina Bay Sands in Marina Bay is the bigger and more upscale of the two, and Resorts World Sentosa at Sentosa tries for a more family-friendly experience (though it also offer No Limit Holdem from $5/$10). While locals (citizens and permanent residents) must pay $100 per day to access, international tourists may enter for free with a valid passport.
Aside from the casino, there are other types of legalized gambling that are more accessible to residents. This includes horse racing, which is held on weekends by the Singapore Turf Club, football (soccer) betting, and many lotteries organized by the Singapore Pools.
Despite its tiny size, Singapore features a remarkable number of golf courses, however the majority of the finest are maintained by private clubs and are only available to members and their visitors. The Sentosa Golf Club, the notoriously difficult home of the Barclays Singapore Open, and the Marina Bay Golf Course, the only 18-hole public course, are the primary exceptions.
The first Singapore Formula One Grand Prix took place at night in September 2008, and organizers have guaranteed that the night event would continue through 2017. All except racing aficionados will definitely want to skip this time, since hotel costs, particularly for rooms with a view of the F1 racetrack, are over the sky. Tickets start at $150, but the exhilarating experience of a night race will be memorable for all F1 fans and photographers. Aside from being a unique night race, the carnival atmosphere and pop concert conducted surrounding the racing track, as well as the convenience of hotels and restaurants around the corner, set the event apart from other F1 races located in rural locations away from metropolitan centers.
SPAS Singapore has lately seen a “spa boom,” with lots of options ranging from comprehensive Ayurveda to green tea hydrotherapy. However, pricing aren’t as low as in neighboring Indonesia and Thailand, and you’ll be looking at upwards of $50 for a simple one-hour massage. Premium spas can be found in most five-star hotels and on Orchard, while Sentosa’s Spa Botanica is also well-known. There are also a plethora of businesses that provide traditional Chinese massage, the most of which are reputable. Less real “health centers” have been closed down. There are no traditional Asian-style public baths.
If you’re searching for beauty salons on Orchard Road, go to the fourth level of Lucky Plaza. They provide the majority of salon treatments such as manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, and hair services. Due to the reduced pricing compared to the sky high prices of other salons along the retail strip, it is a favorite of flight crews and return travelers. Shop around for costs; some of the more aesthetically pleasing establishments actually charge less.
If you like competitive or recreational swimming, forget your modest hotel pool: Singapore is a swimmer’s heaven, with possibly the greatest density of public pools in the world. They are all open-air 50-meter pools (some facilities have up to three 50-meter pools), with an admission price of $1–1.50. Some guests do not swim at all. They just come from surrounding apartment complexes to chill out, read, and relax in the sun for a few hours. Most are open everyday from 08:00 to 21:00 and all include a small café. Imagine swimming your lanes in the middle of the night in a tropical setting with lit-up palm trees around the pool.
SPORTS IN THE WATER/SNOW
Aside from more traditional water sports like water skiing, wake boarding, windsurfing, and canoeing, Singapore now provides water sports enthusiasts with innovative activities like cable skiing and wave surfing in specifically designed surroundings.
While it is evident that sunny Singapore is not the finest site on the planet for skiing, it does have a permanent indoor snow center. Snow City allows tourists to experience winter. Visitors may escape the hot and humid tropical weather by playing in the snow or learning to ski and snowboard from trained professional instructors.
Shopping is second only to dining as a national passion in Singapore, therefore there are plenty of shopping malls, and cheap import taxes and tariffs combined with high volume mean that pricing are typically highly competitive. While there are no bazaars selling dirt-cheap local handicrafts (in fact, almost everything sold in Singapore is created abroad), items are normally of reasonable quality, and sellers are generally relatively honest thanks to strict consumer protection regulations. Most shops are open everyday from 10:00 to 22:00, while smaller enterprises (especially those outside shopping malls) may shut earlier — 19:00 is frequent — and perhaps on Sundays as well.
Climate of Singapore City
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinct seasons, constant temperature and pressure, high humidity, and plenty of rain.
Temperatures typically vary from 22 and 35 °C (72 and 95 °F). In the morning, relative humidity averages about 79 percent, while in the afternoon, it averages around 73 percent.
The warmest months are April and May, with the wetter monsoon season lasting from November through January.
Geography of Singapore City
Singapore is made up of 63 islands, the largest of which being the main island. The Johor–Singapore Causeway in the north and the Tuas Second Link in the west provide man-made connectivity to Johor, Malaysia. The biggest of Singapore’s minor islands include Jurong Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, and Sentosa. Bukit Timah Hill, at 163.63 m, is the highest natural point (537 ft).
Ongoing land reclamation efforts have expanded the land area of Singapore from 581.5 km2 (224.5 sq mi) in the 1960s to 719.1 km2 (277.6 sq mi) in 2015, a 23 percent increase (130 km2). By 2030, the nation is expected to expand by another 100 km2 (40 sq mi). Some projects, such as Jurong Island, involve combining smaller islands via land reclamation to construct bigger, more functional islands.
Parks and natural reserves account for over 10% of Singapore’s land area. The city’s feeling of green space has been strengthened through a network of nature reserves, parks, park connections, nature paths, tree-lined streets, and other natural spaces.
Economy of Singapore City
Singapore was the capital of the British Straits Settlements, a Crown Colony, prior to independence in 1965. Singapore was dubbed the “Gibraltar of the East” by the press because it housed the principal British naval station in East Asia as well as the world’s biggest dry dock at the time. The construction of the Suez Canal in 1869 resulted in a significant rise in traffic between Europe and Asia, assisting Singapore in becoming a major international trade center, and the Port of Singapore became one of the world’s biggest and busiest ports beginning in the 1990s.
Singapore has a highly developed market economy that has traditionally been built on extensive entrepôt trading. Singapore is one of the original Four Asian Tigers, along with Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, although it has outperformed its neighbors in terms of GDP per capita. Singapore’s economy is regarded as one of the most open, inventive, competitive, dynamic, and business-friendly in the world.
Singapore has been the only Asian nation to earn top-tier AAA sovereign ratings from all major credit rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch, for the last decade. It is one of just nine nations in the world with a AAA rating from the Big Three (credit rating agencies).
Singapore draws a significant amount of international investment due to its strategic position, corruption-free environment, talented workforce, low tax rates, and sophisticated infrastructure. Singapore is home to almost 7,000 international firms from the United States, Japan, and Europe. There are also roughly 1,500 Chinese enterprises and a comparable number of Indian companies. Foreign enterprises may be found in almost every area of the country’s economy. Singapore is also India’s second-largest foreign investor.
Because of its reliance on foreign commerce, Singapore is seen as a gauge of world economic health, particularly throughout Asia. Its international trade and money flows account for 407.9 percent of its GDP, making it the world’s most trade-dependent economy. It is the world’s 14th biggest exporter and 15th largest importer.
Internet, Comunication in Singapore City
Internet cafés costing roughly $2 per hour may be found around the island, although they are not very prevalent since practically all islanders have broadband Internet connection at home, work, and/or school. If you need to go online, go to Chinatown or Little India, or check out the top floors of several suburban malls, which include Internet cafes that also double as on-line gaming parlors. Alternatively, all public libraries provide low-cost Internet access ($0.03/min or $1.80/hr), but you must first register.
The first phase of the statewide free [email protected] system is now operational, and guests are welcome to use it, however you must first register and acquire a password through e-mail or cell phone. A current list of hotspots may be found on the Infocomm Development Authority’s website.
Commercial options include McDonald’s, which provides free Wi-Fi in most of its locations; StarHub, a member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance with hotspots in Coffee Bean cafes; and SingTel, which has hotspots at most Starbucks locations. Roaming or prepaid prices are in the $0.10/min range.
Prepaid 3G/HSPA internet comes in a variety of flavors. Starhub MaxMobile offers several options ranging from S$2/hour to S$25 for 5 days of unlimited 7.2Mbit/s internet. SIM cards cost S$12. M1 Prepaid Broadband provides three or five days of unrestricted Internet access for S$18/S$30.
Mobile internet connection is also offered from many telcos, with plans ranging from hundreds of megabytes to several days. However, if feasible, use free Wi-Fi connection; not only will it save you money, but it will also save you battery life.
Singapore’s internet censorship is less severe than that of the Middle East or China; international news sites such as the BBC and CNN, as well as a few of politically dissident sites, are freely accessible from Singapore. The Media Development Authority (MDA) is in charge of enforcing internet content rules and has banned over a hundred websites, the majority of which are pornographic. They’ve also demanded bloggers to apologize or shut their blogs, while some have been detained and charged with defamation. To regulate online gambling, the “Remote Gambling Act” was approved in October 2014.
Singapore’s international phone country code is 65. Singapore has three major telecommunications providers: SingTel, StarHub, and MobileOne (M1).
Singapore phone numbers are in the format +65 6396 0605, where “65” is the country code for Singapore. Because of Singapore’s tiny size, there are no area codes, with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), Radio Network, and IP Telephony all belonging to a single numbering region with an 8-digit numbering scheme.
Almost everyone in Singapore has a cellphone, even many small children, and coverage is typically great across the nation. All three service providers provide GSM 900/1800 and 3G (W-CDMA) networks, and international roaming may be available on them; check with your operator before you go to make sure. Prepaid SIM cards are available in 7-Eleven convenience stores, phone shops, and currency exchange counters in Singapore; just bring your own GSM/3G phone or purchase a cheap secondhand device. To join up, you must have an international passport or a Singapore ID.
A local phone call costs between $0.05 and $0.25 per minute, while each local text message (SMS) costs about $0.05, and international SMS costs between $0.15 and $0.25. (but a few dozen local SMS are usually thrown in for free when you top up). Incoming calls may also be charged. Unless you top up your prepaid card, most of them expire after 6 months (which can be done outside Singapore). The carriers also provide special top-up cards that provide a greater amount of minutes for the same price but expire sooner. As in many other areas, mobile data with prepaid voice SIM cards may be prohibitively costly. StarHub provides a 1GB bundle (valid for 30 days). It costs $25 and is designed for BlackBerries, but it works with any phone. To activate the StarHub SIM, dial *122# and follow the prompts. Data-only SIM cards may be less expensive. StarHub offers 2Mbit/s unlimited service at S$15 per week for short-term stays. Bring a MicroSIM converter for longer visits, and you can obtain StarHub’s 2GB bundle (valid for 60 days) for $37.
In northern Singapore near Malaysia (for example, Woodlands, Sungei Buloh, and Pulau Ubin), your phone may automatically switch to a Malaysian network, turning a local call into an international one or, worse, skyrocketing data prices. Before you call or browse, check the functioning network (or switch to manual network selection).
Public phones are becoming more scarce, however they may still be found at several MRT stations. They are coin-operated pay phones (10 cents for a three-minute local call), card phones that accept phone cards in denominations of $3, $5, $10, $20, and $50, or credit card phones. Phone cards may be purchased at any post office or via phonecard agents. Most coin-operated pay phones are intended for local calls; however, some take bigger value coins and may be used for international calls. Credit card phones are often seen at airports and big hotels.