SINGAPOUR / SINGAPORE

Between heritage...

9 am/2 pmkarana-button-eng

  • Leave for Little India where most of Singapore’s Indian community congregates. You shall witness the morning ritual of shop opening and have the privilege of being blessed by an Indian priest in a very colorful South Indian temple. Next, witness the haggling of shoppers and stall keepers in a wet market.

 10.30 am/3.30 pm

  11.30 am/4.30 pm

  • From the Victoria Memorial Hall built in 1906, you continue to Chinatown, where Singapore’s first Chinese immigrants settled in the 19th century. Visit Thian Hock Keng Chinese temple built in 1840, one of the oldest and most colorful of the city, followed by a short walk in Chinatown where you’ll visit a bustling food centre where you’ll see nearby office workers getting ready for lunch (yes, we eat early!)

 1 pm/6pm

  • Return to hotel or you can opt to remain at your leisure at Chinatown.
... and ethnic diversity

9 am/2pm

  • Leave for Sultan Mosque, the largest and oldest mosque in Singapore located at Arab Street; the architectural style reflects the influence of the first Arab immigrants. But it is in the district of Geylang Serai that the Muslim community is mainly concentrated today, you will discover that area after crossing the "red light district" of Singapore.

10.30 am/3.30 pm

  • Through Joo Chiat with its colorful Peranakan terrace houses, continue to the East Coast Park where local families spend their weekends by the seaside. The park was built on sea reclaimed land.

11.00 am/4.00 pm

  • You shall pass by the Singapore Changi Prison to visit the prison chapel and its small fascinating museum showcasing difficult war life in camps built by the POWs (prisoners of war) held by the Japanese during the World War II. Yes, WWII came to Singapore, too.  

 12.15 pm/5.15 pm

  • Tea or coffee break in the ambiance of one of several popular food centre of the city-state; an opportunity to discover a facet of the lifestyle of Singapore and to mingle with the locals who take their meals at any time of day.

1 pm/6 pm

  • You then visit one of Singapore’s housing districts where 85% of the population live in HDB flats — possibility of visiting a typical Malay household before returning to the hotel.
Between entertainment...

2 pm

  • Leave for the Botanical Garden (oldest garden of Singapore) to visit the orchid enclosure. Orchid variety Vanda Miss Joaquim is the national flower of Singapore.

3.30 pm

  • Cruise along the famous Orchard Road, with its fabulous hotels and designer shops, then through Kampong Baru in the direction of Mount Faber, which from its height of 105m, is a strategic point to view the Port of Singapore and its surrounding islands.

 5 pm

  • Board the cable car to Sentosa Island, where numerous activities await you - Free at leisure.
  • Cable car tickets and Sentosa entrance ticket not included.
  • You shall return to your hotel by your own means.
...and urban jungles...

2 pm

  • Leave for the Botanical Garden (oldest garden of Singapore) to visit the orchid enclosure. Orchid variety Vanda Miss Joaquim is the national flower of Singapore.

 3.30 pm

  • Cruise along the famous Orchard Road, with its fabulous hotels and designer shops, then through the CTE (Central Expressway) to Kong Beng Sua, a huge Taoist/Buddhist complex. 76% of the people of Singapore are Chinese, made up of the different ethnic groups. Most Chinese are Taoists, a type of animistic worship.

5.15 pm

  • Tea or coffee break in the ambiance of one of several popular food centre of the city-state; an opportunity to discover a facet of the lifestyle of Singapore and to mingle with the locals who take their meals at any time of day.

 6 pm

  • Drop off at Night Safari - Free at leisure.
  • Entrance ticket not included.
  • You shall return to your hotel by your own means.

The sequence of visit can be reversed but the program shall be adhered to. 

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Area: 700 sq km
Population: 5 million
Capital: Singapore

Location:
Singapore is located in the heart of Southeast Asia, at the tip of the Malaysian peninsula. It is linked to Malaysia by the causeway over the Straits of Johor and the second link bridge at Tuas to Tanjong Kupang in Malaysia. 

Singapore is a city-state, which basically means the city is the country. The country is made up of 1 main island, Singapore and 62 smaller ones, some of which – like Sentosa, Pulau Ubin, Kusu, and St John’s Island are popular retreats. 

Its geographical position, sitting approximately 137 km (85 miles) north of the Equator, means that its climate features uniform temperatures, plentiful rainfall and high humidity.

Weather:
The weather is uniformly hot, humid and wet all year round.
November to January are considered slightly wetter months, the driest being May to July. Rain arrives in torrential downpours, but is soon replaced by sunshine.

Time difference: GMT + 8 hours

Currency:
The local currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD), it is commonly known as the ‘Singdollar”.
One Singapore dollar = 100 cents.
Currency exchange: Foreign currencies, traveler’s cheques can be exchanged at most banks and authorized exchange offices. ATMs are everywhere. Credit cards and debit cards: MasterCard, American Express and Visa are widely accepted.

Population and languages:
The ethnic diversity of the population of Singapore is very important: the majority of the population is Chinese who represents 76% of the population, the Malays, who are the original inhabitants - 14%, Indians - 7%, the rest being a mixture of races.

85% of the population lives in Housing Development Board flats, subsidized public housing.

Although the Chinese forms the majority of the city-state’s population, Mandarin is not the official language. Neither is Malay which is spoken by the indigenous Malays. The language that unites all the 3 main races is English, inherited from the British colonists. However, for administrative and cohesiveness purposes, there are four official languages namely: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay, and Tamil (Southern Indian dialect). Most Singaporeans are bilingual and speak and write English, being the business and administration language.

Religion:
The main religions are: Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Most Singaporeans of Malay origin are Muslim and follow Islamic practices.

Citizens of most countries are granted 30 day visas upon arrival in Singapore. Visitors must have a valid passport or internationally recognized travel document valid at least six months beyond the date of entry into Singapore.

For an extension of stay after the initial 30 days in Singapore, visit: Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, ICA Building, 10 Kallang Road, Singapore 20871 Tel: 6391 6100.

When to go?
There are no specific seasons for travelling to Singapore. However, the summer months are less rainy.

Health Tips:
Singapore does not require any vaccinations but recommends immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B and typhoid for anyone traveling to South East Asia in general.

However, a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for persons who have resided for more than a year or having passed through a country which has been classified area partly or wholly endemic for yellow fever in the previous six days. Countries that have been classified endemic areas at any given time are considered by the Singapore authorities as still infected.

Others:
Like most Asian countries, the government is very strict regarding the consumption and transport of illicit goods. In Singapore , the death sentence is mandatory for drug trafficking or in possession of more than 15g of heroin or morphine, 200g marijuana or hashish or 40g cocaine.

Littering and smoking in certain public places (like in air-conditioned restaurants) are punishable by fines.

Regarding security, Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Medical facilities are very good; they are among the most advanced in the world. Health protection is effective and important. Tap water is safe to drink.

There are two casino resorts which changed the dynamics of the city – the Marina Bay Sands which dominates the city skyline and the Resorts World Sentosa, on the island of Sentosa is a family-fun getaway. Thanks to a huge land reclamation project, Sentosa island is expanding with new attractions and hotels.
 
The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) subway and light-rail system are the most comfortable and cheapest ways of getting around the city area and to the suburban housing estates.

Singapore is probably the most westernized of Asian countries but the government has worked hard to ensure that the Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures and "Asian values" are preserved and respected.

In the business world, it is common for Singaporeans to ask personal questions regarding salary or age to determine the class and status. Do not take this as an insult. Visitors should avoid any situation where Singaporean might lose their face. 

Singapore has laws against corruption and the authorities have no right to accept gifts of any kind. It is also advisable to avoid discussions about politics and religion.

In business, people dress often relaxed with shirts unbuttoned at the top. Pants / skirts are generally the rule, not business suits, which tend to be worn for formal occasions or photo taking sessions. Business cards are to be printed, preferably on both sides and handled out with both hands.

Women in Singapore enjoy much more freedom and equality than in the other South East Asian countries and many of them have succeeded in business or other professions. Sexual harassment is rare and there are no specific risks for business women traveling alone in Singapore.

Electricity:
220/240 volts AC, 50 Hz using square three-pin plugs. Many hotels have also 110 volts.

Official tourism website: 
www.yoursingapore.com