Travel Guide: Singapore
Singapore Travel Guide: General Travel Guide Information about Singapore.
As a special service to our valued clients and readers, we at World Interpreting offer you something different aside from our language translation and interpretation services. We continue to strive for excellence in our services but we also want to provide you with country travel guides that can come in handy for you or your business. Our Singapore travel guide contains information and other interesting travel tidbits related to Singapore. This travel guide for Singapore has been written so that you, as a traveler and tourist, will have a better understanding about the country as well as the different places you can visit. Traveling to Singapore can be a wonderful experience, no doubt about it. However, not knowing what to do or spend for can leave you feeling pressured and worried constantly.
Travel Guide Singapore will take you to different fantastic places in Singapore as well as some of the famous landmarks and notable places, so you will already have a general idea about Singapore if and when you decide to actually travel and explore this fascinating country. And other than the places of interest, Travel Guide Singapore will also give you valuable information such as the geography, demographics and the languages spoken in different parts of this country. Don’t forget to check out the travel safety tips in Singapore as well as the other sections in our Travel Guide Singapore! We do hope you will come back often to travel with us to other destinations around the world.
:: Introducing Singapore ::
If it’s true that good things come in small packages, then Singapore definitely fits the bill. This city state is unique in that it is no larger than 694 square kilometers or 268 square miles, yet it is one of the busiest countries in the world, bringing in about 13 million tourists to its shores every year.
The Republic of Singapore has been able to redefine itself as a bustling, progressive and exciting city-state. There are over five million residents. The country is composed of the mainland and some 63 scattered islands, making real estate a prime commodity in the country. The highest point of Singapore is the Bukit Timah, which is only 166 meters high or 544 feet above sea level. Although the city-state is highly urbanized, the country still has much greenery covering its land area, earning it a title as a “Garden City”. There are four nature reserves and over 300 parks in Singapore. At the same time, the government is undergoing land reclamation projects to increase its landmass.
It is consistently ranked as one of the most industrial and well-developed countries in Southeast Asia. For its currency, it uses the Singapore dollar. Its GDP (PPP) is close to $292 billion annually, with a per capita GDP of $62,100, ranking it 5th in the world. This means that Singaporeans enjoy a high quality standard of living. Citizens receive many subsidies from the government and the free education system is considered one of the finest in the world. The country has a dense population of 7,315 people per square kilometer. At least 15 percent of the population is classified as US dollar millionaires. Poverty levels are very low in the country, and there is no minimum wage set for workers.
However, its low birth rate has propelled the government to offer incentives to its citizens to increase the young population. Also, many of the residents of Singapore are immigrants from other countries who have been enticed to fill up many positions in the country. Singapore also enjoys one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. In fact, it is often necessary to bring in workers from other nations to fill in vacant positions to keep the country running. This has resulted in a very diverse population of several ethnic origins, practicing Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Islam and even Hinduism.
It is also ranked as one of the best places to do business in, as corruption is just about non-existent here according to the Transparency Index. Efficiency, productivity, discipline and sheer determination distinguish Singapore from its other Asian neighbors, making it an economic and political powerhouse in Southeast Asia despite its diminutive geographical size. It truly lives up to its motto: “Onward Singapore!”
Singapore is a lovely country to visit. It’s perfect for travelers who want to use it as a charming stopover to other Asian or European destinations, or for those who want a quick weekend getaway. Simply put, travelers to Singapore can expect many fun things when visiting the country that has been dubbed as one of the tigers of Asia.
Our Singapore pocket travel guide is the perfect companion to help you make the best travel itinerary so you can make the most out of your stay in Singapore. Here, you’ll learn the best places to see and pick up some suggestions on things you can do so you can truly have an enjoyable time in one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Whether you want to spend the day exploring Sentosa Zoo with your children or hit the department stores and high end retailers on Orchard Road, our Singapore pocket travel guide will help you determine the best way you can spend the day in Singapore. Travelers will also benefit to learn a few Singapore travel safety tips to keep in mind, to ensure a pleasant stay in the country. Also, travelers can learn a few useful Singapore words and phrases to help you communicate with the locals, whether it’s ordering a plate of Hainanese chicken or bartering for the best prices at the local market. Best of all, our Singapore pocket travel guide is conveniently written into concise sections, making it a handy reference guide to use by the busy business traveler and by travelers on the go. This allows you to easily find the section you need so that you can retrieve the information just when you want it.
Singapore is located in the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Its neighboring countries are Malaysia and Indonesia, although it is separated by the Strait of Johor and the Strait of Singapore. The influence of its neighboring countries can be seen in the diversity of the cuisine. Also, the four languages spoken in Singapore are Chinese, Malay, Tamil and English. Singaporeans are proud that they can all speak English, so tourists don’t have to worry about not being able to communicate with the locals.
The Port of Singapore is one of the busiest in the world, since trade is big business here. However, travelers will find that the best way to get to Singapore is through its impressive Changi Airport, boasting of three busy and efficient terminals with flight connections to just about anywhere in the world.
Singapore is run by a parliamentary government. Given the massive growth and development of the country, it’s hard to believe that Singapore is actually a very young nation. It only achieved its sovereignty from Britain in 1965. Because of the efficiency of the government, the World Bank has consistently ranked the country as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. The country is one of the founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN in 1967.
The name of the country stems from the Malay word Singapura, which in Sanskrit means Lion City. It is said that the Prince of Sumatra, Sang Nila Utama got lost here and found lions, which is why the animal has become the symbol of the city. However, historians dispute that lions actually roamed the lands, since tigers are more likely to have been sighted. Regardless, the country is commonly referred to as the Lion City. This is why the iconic image of the Merlion statue proudly welcomes travelers to Singapore.
Historians believe that the area of what is now Singapore was inhabited as early as in the second century AD. It later became part of the Sultanate of Johor from the 16th to the 18th century. It was in 1819 when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was able to establish a trading post under the British East India Company. He is credited with eradicating the slave trade in the country, as well as establishing a number of economic policies that benefited the development of the region. Singapore was under the British Commonwealth up until the 1960’s. It was made the base of the British Naval Base in the Southeast area while under British rule. The first president of Singapore was Yusok Ishak. However, Lee Kwan Yew, the first Prime Minister and is recognized as the founding father of the country, making Singapore what it is today.
Today, Singapore is a bustling and highly industrialized city. People come to the city for both business and pleasure. Singapore is also an attractive destination for those who want to study, as well as those people seeking medical attention.
Getting around Singapore is also a breeze, with air conditioned taxis and an efficient public transportation system ready to take citizens and travelers anywhere they want to go. The metro system operates as early as six in the morning and runs till midnight daily. Singapore is pretty condensed so getting from one point to another won’t take a lot of time.
Economically, Singapore is very advanced. Relying heavily on the industry, service and tourism sectors, the country boasts of being a top financial center in the world. It has a very strong export sector, ranking 14th in the world, but it is also one of the highest importers in the world, ranking 15th. Singapore has one of the busiest ports, ranking in the top five in the world. It is also in the list of top three oil refiners in the world, exporting much of the finished goods to its neighboring countries. Singapore is also home to the most number of dollar millionaires per capita in the world. Not surprisingly, it is also the second largest gambling market in the world.
Most travelers who want to go shopping head to the country between June and July to take advantage of the Great Singapore Sale. Prices and the selection are already very competitive in the country, so the Great Singapore Sale is just another compelling reason to hit the stores. The country has an extensive selection of luxury good items priced much lower compared to other Asian neighbors. As an added bonus, travelers get to shop tax-free for a minimum purchase. Be sure to bring your passport and ask for the GST forms at the stores so you can claim your tax refund at the airport before you leave.
Aside from the shopping, tourists come to Singapore to enjoy the delicious cuisine. Foodies will also find Singapore a must go to destination. Travelers will enjoy the spicy cuisine of the land, but most especially the subtle yet delectable flavor of Hainanese chicken, as well as various satays and Hokkien Mee or noodles. There is also the Singapore Sling, a delicious cocktail that was concocted specially by the bartenders of the city.
Travelers will find that Singapore is quite hot and sunny most of the year. In fact, it is sometimes humid, given that it is located just a few kilometers off the equator. The coolest temperatures he country get is only at about 20 °C or about 68 °F. The summer season in Singapore is during the months of April and May. During the daytime, travelers can expect temperatures of up to 30 °C or 86 °F. The rainy season in Singapore happens during the later part of the year, in November and December. However, there are also rain showers from June to August. Given that the weather remains quite consistent all year round, travelers can visit Singapore just about any time of the year.
Travelers should bring lightweight clothing when visiting the country. With the warm weather hitting the high 20 °C all year round, a lightweight jacket is the most you’ll ever need. However, when visiting temples, churches and other sacred sites, it’s best to dress conservatively. Light colored clothing in lightweight fabrics is ideal. For business travelers, business casual is acceptable though suits are necessary for more formal gatherings. A small umbrella may also prove useful since some showers do occasionally hit the country at unexpected times.
One of the reasons why Singapore is so progressive is probably due to the strict discipline of its citizens. Travelers to Singapore should be aware of the laws and customs on the land, as there are many stiff penalties for violators. Littering is an offense in the country, and so is smoking in non-smoking designated areas as well as spitting. Speeding and jaywalking are also offenses that carry strict fines. Chewing gum is also highly discouraged. In fact, you won’t be able to buy a pack of gum in the country as its importation is prohibited. Fines can run a minimum of $1,000 plus time in jail for first time offenders for some offenses, so travelers should be on their best behavior when in Singapore. If you’re not sure what to do, ask first before you act with carelessness. Other illegal activities can be punished by caning or in some cases, with the death penalty. While travelers may feel that these are too harsh, it’s simply the government’s way of making sure that Singapore remains clean, disciplined and orderly.
Singapore is a very clean country. The country observes very strict sanitation practices. This means that travelers will be able to safely eat at any restaurant, even the famous street side markets of the country. The tap water is potable in the country. Health and medical resources are readily available. However, travelers should have travel medical insurance whenever traveling abroad to ensure coverage.
Singapore is a very safe country to visit. Violent crimes are virtually unheard of. There are the occasional pickpockets, although it is very rare in Singapore. The justice system is strict, swift and very efficient. Travelers should use common sense and take practical precautions to ensure a safe journey.
Travelers to Singapore should be aware of the public holidays of the city state to be able to plan their itineraries properly. The country celebrates New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, National Day (August 9) and Labor Day (May 1). There are a number of religious holidays as well. Good Friday, Vesak Day (celebrating the enlightenment of Buddha), Hari Raya Puasa (end of Muslim Ramadan), Deepavali in October, Hari Raya Haji in November and Christmas Day, in December. There are also two polling days in the year. The varied religious holidays are a reflection of the diversity of religious practices in the country, although most of the population practices Buddhism.
Our Travel Guide Singapore is an excellent pocket guidebook to help travelers navigate around this exciting city state. It provides useful information on places to see and things to do in the country. There are also a number of interesting facts and figures about Singapore. This way, you can discover for yourself what makes Singapore truly special and unique.
Let Travel Guide Singapore serve as your traveling companion to this fun Asian destination. Many travelers will be pleasantly surprised at the dynamism and spirit of the country, diversity of the food, plentiful shopping options, exciting activities, discipline of the people and clean surroundings. Travelers will be enthused that there is much to see in do in this tiny city state. From sightseeing, gambling, shopping and an exciting nightlife, Singapore has them all. Discover our Travel Guide Singapore to learn how you can make the most out of your stay in Singapore.
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