Monday, October 31, 2022

Singapore

Singapore Flag



Why visit Singapore?
multicultural melting pot for travelers seeking to enjoy amusement parks, churches, culture, cultural events, fashion, festivals, gardens, gastronomy, health clubs, hiking, historical sites, mosques, museums, nightlife, parks, performing arts, shopping, spectator sports, temples, walking, and zoos.



Singapore Flyer, Downtown Core District, Singapore. Photo Credit: Monica Volpin/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Beadwork goods, coconut jam, dried bak kwadurian candy, essential oils, Merlion statues, perfume, preserved orchid, porcelain, salted egg fish skins, traditional local musical instruments, TWG tea, and white rabbit candy.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Buah Keluak (black fried rice). Chilli Crab (national dish). Hainanese Chicken (rice dish). Har Cheong Jai (fried chicken). Hokkien Mee (noodle dish). Mantous (buns). Otak Otak (specialty).
  • Local Drink to Try: Kopi (coffee). Ribena (sparkling). Sling (gin cocktail). Tiger (beer).


Merlion Fountain Park, Central Business District, Singapore. Photo Credit: Manfred Reinert/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • Singapore Botanic Gardens (founded 1859), is the only tropical garden, recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Trial by jury was abolished (1970).
  • From 2013 - 2019, Changi International Airport (SIN) won the Skytrax World's Best Airport Award.
  • Consists of 63 islands.
  • Pulau Ujong is the main island.
  • Headquarters for the Tiger Balm, an effective herbal in the form of cream, gel, liquid or spray for body aches.
  • First Southeast Asia country to levy a carbon tax.
  • Both an island and a country.
  • Home of the 2nd largest casino gambling market.
  • Due to congestion, the number of private cars on the road is restricted and quota driven.
  • Largest of smaller islands include: Jurong Island (southwest), Pulau Tekong (northeast), Pulau Ubin (west), and Sentosa (south).
  • Car owners may drive on the road for a maximum period of 10 years. 
  • Home to one of the two busiest seaports in the world.
  • Highly ranks in education, healthcare, housing, infrastructure, quality of life, and personal safety.
  • Building the largest floating solar farm, Tengeh Reservoir (Tuas) in the world.
  • Maintains overseas military bases in Australia, France, and the United States. 
  • Highest (537 ft) natural point, Bukit Timah Hill (Bukit Timah).
  • President is elected by popular vote for a renewable six-year term.
  • Caning and hangings are legal punishments.
  • Now under Australia, both Christmas Island and Cocos Islands were under their rule.
  • Has the highest percentage of millionaires in the world.


Raffles Singapore, Singapore. Photo Credit: Graham Hobster/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Chingay Parade, River Hong Bao Festival, Singapore Art Week, Thaipusam Festival, M1 Singapore Fringe Festival(March) Singapore Fashion Festival, (April) Qing Ming Festival, Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF), Singapore Triathlon, Singapore River Festival, (May) Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore International Arts Festival(June) Dragon Boat Festival, Great Singapore Sale, Pink Dot SG, Rice Dumpling Festival, Singapore World Invitational Dragon Boat Races, (July) Singapore Food Festival, Singapore Garden Festival, Singapore Heritage Fest, (August) Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, Singapore Night Festival, (September) EarthFest Singapore, Mooncake & Lantern Festivals, Nine Emperor Gods Festival, Singapore Grand Prix, (October) Festival of the Nine-Emperor God, Navarathiri Festival, Thimithi Festival, (November) One Dance Asia Annual Concert, Singapore Fintech Festival, Singapore Mental Health Film Festival, Singapore Writers Festival, (December) EOY J-Culture Festival, Singapore Food Expo, Singapore Marathon, and ZoukOut.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Lunar New Year's Day, Good Friday, Labour Day, Hari Raya Puasa, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Haji, National Day, Diwali, and Christmas Day.



Supertree Grove, Singapore. Photo Credit: schliff/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • Ranks amongst one of the most crime-free countries in the world.
  • Has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil.
  • English is taught in schools.
  • Carry your passport with you at all times.
  • Orchard Road (northern area) is a shopper's haven.
  • Rainy Season is November - December.
  • Considered a relatively conservative and sensitive society.
  • Metered taxis charge extra for advance booking, during peak hours, and to/from the airport.
  • All public gatherings of 5+ people require police permits.
  • Protests may legally be held only at the Downtown Core District (Speakers' Corner).
  • Boat Quay is referred to as "Chinatown".
  • During non-peak times, driving the length of the island is approximately an hour. 
  • Has 2 man-made connections to Johor (Malaysia) the Johor–Singapore Causeway (north) and the Tuas Second Link (west).
  • Casinos are located in Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
  • Popular landmarks: CHIJMES (historic building), Esplanade (theatre), Gardens by the Bay (park), Marina Bay Sands (casino resort), Merlion (mascot statue), National Gallery Singapore (museum), Night Safari (zoo), Orchard Road (shopping), River Wonders (zoo), Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Flyer (observation wheel), and Singapore Zoo.
  • Compliments a stay while visiting  Indonesia and/or Malaysia.
  • Dinner service generally is 7-10PM.
  • Public transportation is inexpensive and reliable
  • SBS Transit has a fleet of wheelchair-accessible buses (WABs) accommodating up to 2 wheelchairs. 
  • Monsoon Season is November - February.
  • Changi International Airport (SIN) is one of the busiest in the world. 
  • Traffic congestion known to occur Monday - Friday 7:30AM - 9:30AM and 5 - 7PM, Saturday 7:30AM - 9:30AM and 1-3PM.
  • Between 10:30PM  - 7AM it is illegal to drink alcohol in public “Liquor Control Zones”.
  • Disorderly conduct or intoxication is subject to a $1,000SGD fine or incarceration.
  • Mosques are open to nonMuslims.
  • Prevalent Diseases: Chikungunya and Dengue.
  • Culturally finger pointing is considered rude.
  • Natives tend to be shy unless approached.
  • Between July - October, bush fires from Indonesia tend to cause a haze.
  • International Bible Students Association, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible publications are banned. Subject to fines and incarceration.
  • Jaywalking, littering, or spitting is a punishable crime.
  • Driving is on the left side of the road.
  • Minimum driving age is 18.
  • Severe punishment for illegal drug consumption or possession. 
  • Ferry Service connects to/from Bintan.
  • Avoid carrying or use of a firearm due to strict guidelines.


Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, Singapore. Photo Credit: fli138/Pixabay 



This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination required from select countries. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000SGD.


Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, Singapore. Photo Credit: Jason Goh/Pixabay 


Subject to high humidity and monsoons.

  • Best Time to Visit: June - August
  • Coolest Months: December - January 
  • Hottest Months: May - June
  • Peak Season: December - June


Chinese Garden, Jurong East, Singapore. Photo Credit: Arul/Pixabay 



Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Singapore Botanic Gardens

 

Photo Credit: Bernd Hildebrandt/Pixabay 


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                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.   

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