Country Information

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About country

Singapore located is an island nation located in South East Asia.  It is the smallest country in Southeast Asia but it is one of the richest countries in Asia.   The country’s economy is based on tourism, electronics, financial services and manufacturing.

Inhabited by over 4 million citizens, the country consists of 63 small islands including the mainland.   Singapore is a cosmopolitan nation with diverse cultures. The population is made up of 77% Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians and 1% Eurasians and people of other ethnicity. 

There are four official languages in the country: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is widely used and understood so English-speaking travelers should have no trouble communicating.

For more information on Singapore, visit the Tourism Singapore’s website: http://www.visitsingapore.com

 

Accommodation

With Singapore tourism being in the upswing the last several years, hotels and other infrastructure continue to be built in the country. There are different types of accommodations in the country that will meet the needs and the budget of any type of traveler. There are luxury hotels as well as affordable inns.   You can get information on various accommodations from http://www.visitsingapore.com

 

Airport Tax

The airport tax called Passenger Service Charge is included in the price of the air ticket.  The passenger service charge is SGD 21.  Those who are in transit and will be leaving within 24 hours may leave the airport without paying the Passenger Service Charge.

 

Arrival and Departure

The Singapore Changi Airport is Singapore’s primary airport.  It is a major aviation hub in Southeast Asia and is the main hub of Singapore Airlines, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Valuair and Jett8 Airlines Cargo. The airport is a busy airport but also a very efficient one.

 

Currency

The National currency of Singapore is the Singapore Dollar.   US Dollars and Euros can be easily exchanged in banks and other authorized money changing agents. 

 

Money Changers

There are plenty of authorized money changers in Singapore where a traveler can have his US Dollars, Euros or other foreign currencies changed to Singapore Dollars.  Travelers can be exchanged in banks.

 

Banking

Banking in Singapore is efficient just like much of the other business and government systems in the country are.  Foreign currency in cash and traveler’s cheques can be changed to Singapore dollars in banks.  Banking hours are from 9AM to 3PM

 

Credit/Charge Cards

With Singapore being a rich, cosmopolitan country and a popular tourist destination, credit cards are widely accepted in commercial establishments. Visa, MasterCard,  JCB, Diners Club, American Express widely accepted  in the country.  Singapore is also positioning itself as a top destination for shoppers in Asia so plenty of establishments allow the use of credit cards.

 

Food  

It is impossible for food lovers not to enjoy Singapore.  The Country has abundant restaurants that serve all sorts of cuisines from French to Japanese. Since the country is multi-cultural and is very popular among travelers there are all sorts of restaurants to please all palates.  There are high-end restaurants where travelers can have exquisite meals while there are also affordable eateries around the city.

 

Drinking Water

Drinking tap water in Singapore is safe.  If you don’t want to risk experiencing gastric distress, then stick to bottled water sold just about anywhere.

Electricity

The electricity in Singapore is 230V alternating at 50 cycles per second.  The outlets usually accept one type of plus which is pretty uncommon in other countries- Three flat pins. Travelers may need an adapter for their gadgets when traveling to Singapore.

 

What to Wear

The climate in Singapore is warm and humid so it is advisable for travelers to bring light, casual clothes unless attending formal or business events that will require more formal get-ups.   Singaporeans wear Western clothes so travelers need not worry about fitting in or attracting negative attention with their casual Western clothes.   Some restaurants and other  establishments may have dress codes so bring a more formal attire just in case you will need one.

 

Mobile Phones

For convenience, travelers can purchase a prepaid Singapore SIM card and use it with an unlocked GSM phone. All incoming calls cost $0.16 USD per minute.  Outgoing calls are charged per minute with varying rates depending on the city or country the traveler is calling.  Since the account is prepaid, it is easy to purchase SIM cards in Singapore even for travelers.

 

Payphone Services

There are plenty of public payphones in Singapore so travelers should have no problem calling people within Singapore and outside the country.

 

Postal Services

The postal services in Singapore are very reliable. Singpost operates more than 60 post offices in the country. There are also 80 authorized postal agencies that provide postal services.  There are also 200 self-service machines in the country as well as numerous stamp vendors and abundant post boxes.

 

Transport

Singapore has one of the most efficient public transportation systems in Southeast Asia. The country is not extremely vast to begin with so it is very easy and affordable to get around. There are taxis, buses, shuttle services and a metro rail system in the country that makes moving around very easy.  There are also cars for hire that travelers can avail of.

 

Visa and Entry Facilities

The following require some form of visa to enter Singapore:  nationals of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China (PR), CIS, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, Yemen and holders of Palestinian Authority passports;

All other nationals require a Social Visit Pass, which is issued on arrival (at the discretion of the Immigration Officer) provided the traveler holds a passport valid for 6 months beyond date of departure, confirmed onward or return travel documentation, and sufficient funds to cover expenses for the duration of stay.

 

Country Code

The country code for Singapore is 65. There are no codes for calling various cities in Singapore.

 

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police:                                                             999 (toll-free)

Emergencies/Ambulance/Fire:                        995

Non-emergency ambulance :                          1777

Police Hotline:                                                6225 0000

Traffic Police:                                                 6547 0000

Pet Ambulance and Transport:                       6552 2222

AAS Emergency Road Service :                    6748 9911

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