Located at one of the crossroads of the world, Singapore's strategic position has helped it grow into a major centre for trade, communications and tourism. Its geographical location is 136.8 km north of the equator, between latitudes 103 degrees 38' E and 104 degrees 06' E. It has a total land area of 682 square kilometers.
It is linked to Malaysia by two causeway bridges and the key islands of the Riau archipelago of Indonesia are just a quick ferry trip away. Thailand and the Philippines are a short plane journey away and Singapore, with an airport served by more than 69 airlines, is very much the gateway to South-East Asia.
Visitors are invariably impressed with the city's cleanliness. The streets are clean, the beaches are unpolluted and everywhere there are plants and trees.
Map of Singapore...
GMT +8 (Standard Time)
International Direct Dialing Code:
IDD code for Singapore is 65. There are no area codes in Singapore; you just need to dial the eight-digit Local number.
Singapore's climate is warm and humid, with only slight variations between the average maximum of 31 degrees Celsius and minimum of 23 degrees Celsius. This makes it ideal for those who enjoy sunbathing, swimming, sailing and other water sports. Carry an umbrella as a precaution against the unexpected tropical shower. The monsoon season lasts from November to January, with December being the wettest month.
Singapore's population of almost four million comprises 77% Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians and 1% people of other descent.
There are four official languages in Singapore: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, and speak their mother tongue as well as English. Malay is the national language.
With this mixture of people, Singapore is also a mixture of religions. Singapore's skyline boasts the distinctive minarets of mosques, spires of gothic cathedrals, intricate figurines of Hindu temple gods and distinctive roof architecture of Chinese temples. The main religions are Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism.
Singapore is a gourmet's paradise. It offers every type of international and local cuisine with many restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets and local food stalls.
Singapore can be visited anytime. Climate is not a major concern. If you want to co-ordinate your visit with one of the various festivals and events in Singapore: Thaipusam is a major festival, occurring around February. If shopping and eating are major concerns, you can enjoy the Singapore Food Festival held in April and the Great Singapore Sale held in June.
What to wear
Visitors to Singapore should bring the lightest of summer wear. Singapore has a warm and humid climate throughout the year with a daily average temperature range of 24 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius. Light and summer clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton is best for everyday wear. Casual dress is acceptable for most situations and occasions
Duty Free Shopping
You can purchase your duty free items at Changi Airport or right in the heart of the city, at DFS Galleria Scotts walk, along Scotts Road.
Singapore is serviced by more than 60 major international airlines. With the new Changi Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, visitors can travel conveniently to and from the airport to destinations all over the island. Taxis are also abundantly available from the airport to the city centre. There is a surcharge for all taxi journeys commencing from the airport and for after-midnight rides. The rates are displayed in each taxi. Public buses also ply the airport route and visitors may catch one to town from the underground bus station at the Arrival Hall. Singapore's efficient transport system - bus, taxi and MRT - ensures that visitors can get to any destination within the island with minimum fuss and maximum ease.
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