SINGAPORE TRAVEL AND TOURISM OVERVIEW:
If you are still planning on which country to visit in Asia, then Singapore should probably be your number one choice. Singapore Tourism is a very well organized industry not only because of its infrastructure, but also its safety, cleanliness and efficiency of the whole system. It attracts millions of tourists from all over the world and is among one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Singapore tourism offers a large cultural diversity not only from its colonial past but also from the many Chinese, Indians, Malay and Arabs who have settled here. At the same time you will find the best modern facilities and cleanliness throughout Singapore. English is the most popular language here which makes it easier for most western tourists to conveniently adjust to the new environment. Singaporeans have a very friendly attitude to the tourists. Unlike most other places in the world where tourists prefer not to use the public transport, Singapore's public transport system is very organized, cheap. Many tourists that come here use it instead of just relying on the taxis. Even if you do take a taxi, you will not get big taxi fare as its a very small country. A comprehensive rail network called Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) connects the country quite well. The bus system is also well organized. The most lively place is the Orchard road which has many hotels, shopping malls, spas, restaurants and offers a good nightlife. It is considered to be the center point of Singapore tourism. About 9 million come for Singapore tourism annually, out of which many come from Indonesia, China and Malaysia.
• Brief History
• Getting There
• Climate / Weather
• Tourist Offices
• Emergency and Safety
• Medical Facilities
• Other Useful Information
It is located between Malaysia and Indonesia. It is the smallest country in Southeast Asia, with an area of just about 382 square km with one main island and a few smaller ones. Most of the tourist activity is concentrated around central and southern region. The name Singapore is derived from the Malay words singa meaning 'lion' and pura meaning 'city' which gave it the title 'the Lion City'. This half-lion, half-fish statue can be found in many places in the country, including the one that guards the entrance of the Singapore River (as shown in the picture) is also symbol of Singapore tourism. A larger replica is on the Sentosa Island which allows the tourists to climb its top using an elevator and get a great view of the island from there. The most popular tourist destinations besides the Orchard road which draws close to a million or more tourists annually are Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park, Botanical Gardens, Sentosa island, Fort Siloso and Marina bay. There are several museums and art districts in the country including Chinatown, Dempsey and Tanglin, Central Arts Districts, Riverside, Little India, Singapore Art Museum, Asian Civilizations Museums, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Repertory Theatre and many more. The Great Singapore Sale starts from late May through early June and shoppers can find great bargains, and promotions prices on most items. Singapore is a remarkable tourism and travel destination.
Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent.
In the last few decades, it has become one of the world's most prosperous countries. It has strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe. Singapore tourism contributes billions of dollars every year to the economy.
GETTING TO SINGAPORE:
International Changi Airport (IATA: SIN)
The airport is about 20 kilometers (12 mi) east-northeast of the commercial center and most popular tourist places.
CLIMATE - WHEN TO GO:
Singapore is a good place to visit all year long. The average daily temperature is 80°F (26°C). Warm and humid summer temperatures prevail throughout the year. Late October to January are the wettest months. The average daily relative humidity about 85%.
Singapore tourism is also famous for its wonderful nightlife. Popular places for nightlife include the historical Boat Quay and Clarke Quay with many Shop houses, bars, pubs and restaurants. They are located upstream from the mouth of Singapore river. Crazy Horse Paris and Ministry of Sound in Clarke Quay are also very popular. Singapore tourism was rated second for nightlife and dining in the whole world in the year 2006.
Singapore tourism offers excellent food for all tourists. Due to its ethnic diversity, the cuisine of Singapore offers authentic food of many regions around the world including American/European, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Thai and the list goes on. There are several fine dining places, food courts, local hawkers and international fast food chains.
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in USA
1156 Avenue of the Americas,
Suite 702, New York, NY 10036, USA
Singapore Tourism Board in UK
1st Floor, Carrington House,
126-130 Regent Street, London W1B 5JX, UK
Another useful website is:
Compared to many other Asian counterparts Singapore is a bit expensive. Western tourists will still see a good value for money. Many Asian tourists find great deals when booking their trip as a package tour from their home country.
Singapore dollar- SGD (1 USD = 1.51 SGD apx. as of year 2007)
Latest conversion rate can be found at http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?amt=1&from=USD&to=SGD .
International credit cards are accepted at majority of locations.
EMERGENCY & SAFETY:
It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Rarely but pickpockets and purse-snatchers do exist, its good to maintain common safety procedures at all times.
Important Numbers to keep during your Singapore tourism getaway:
Fire/Ambulance: 995 (Non-Emergency Ambulance : 1777)
National Council of Social Service: (+65) 6210 2500.
The medical facilities here are among the finest in the world with well qualified staff.
Many hotels have their own doctor on-call around the clock.
You should still visit these hospital sites for more information:
Parkway Group Healthcare - Orchard Road - Website: www.imrc.com.sg
Raffles International Patients Centre - North Bridge Road - Website: www.raffleshospital.com
National Healthcare Group International Patient Liaison Centre - Kent Ridge Road - Website: www.nuh.com.sg
Singapore Health Services -International Medical Service - Outram Road - Website: www.sgh.com.sg
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
+8 Hrs Standard GMT Time.
Most people can understand and speak English which makes Singapore tourism convenient for most people.
Popular languages besides English include Mandarin, Malay and Cantonese.
220V AC 50 Hz.
Tourists from USA are recommended to carry voltage converters for their electric and electronic gadgets that run on 110 volts only.