Singapore is the capital of the State of Singapore on the island of Singapore with the Singapore River flowing into the Singapore Strait. This is where the monotony ends and the miracles begin. A city of fantastic skyscrapers immersed in the greenery of fabulous gardens. A futuristic mirage that emerged on land reclaimed from the ocean on the site of former malarial swamps through the efforts of hundreds of urban architects in just thirty years. Its giant artificial trees are complex engineering systems. Its buildings are magical castles with precise mechanisms inside. Silhouettes of unprecedented structures in multi-colored night lights, precise lines and whimsical outlines — all this is Singapore.
Singapore is 600 sq. km of land connected to the mainland by a kilometer-long causeway through the Strait of Johor. A huge cargo port, where almost 300 sea routes lead. A modern city with a developed network of transport arteries, a global market for high-tech technologies and a financial center that is part of the four “Asian tigers” along with South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is a recognized economic and technological phenomenon, a country with an excellent investment climate and a strong technical potential.
Singapore is home to the headquarters of major financial companies, where financial market players such as Mastercard, Citigroup or DBS Bank — the leading financial services group in Asia-invest. There are more than 200 global banks with total assets of more than $ 2 trillion. Singapore is a center of innovation in the field of blockchain technologies, digital payments, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, logistics systems and telecommunications.
- Founded: first mentions – 3rd century, independence 1965
- Area: 722.5 km2
- Population: 5 889 117 people (2018)
- Currency: Singapore Dollar
- Language: Malay
- Official website: https://www.gov.sg/
Life expectancy here is one of the highest on the planet due to advanced medicine and a healthy lifestyle. Due to the high population density, the state is forced to control the birth rate. The population of Singapore, which has attracted immigrants for many centuries, consists mainly of their descendants — Indonesians, Tamils, Malayalis, Singhs, Sinhalese and Pakistanis, but most of all there are Chinese, Malays and Indians. There are only four official languages used here-English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The Chinese profess Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Christianity. The majority of Malays are Muslims, Hinduism is also widespread, and part of the population is atheist.
The island is not rich in natural resources. There are almost no forests left and little agricultural land. At the same time, Singapore continues to grow in area, draining the sea and buying soil from neighboring Indonesia for this purpose. It doesn’t even have its own fresh water. The country provides itself with almost everything necessary through the port — the second in the world in terms of cargo transportation.
Due to its location, developed international airlines, duty-free trade and entertainment facilities, Singapore is a major center of international tourism. Stable mild temperatures allow you to visit it at any time of the year, and our guide will tell you about the most interesting places.
How to get to Singapore
The most rational way to overcome the distance is air travel. You can get to Singapore by direct and connecting flights, as well as combine the flight with trains, buses and sea transport.
If you want to save on tickets, you can go to Singapore with a transfer. One of the largest airports in the world — Changi Airport-accepts a huge number of flights from different countries, which makes it possible to make any suitable combination of flights. The most popular connecting routes provide transfers at airports in the Middle East — Doha, Abu Dhabi or Asian megacities-Hong Kong, Delhi , Bangkok, Hanoi. You can find convenient connections in Istanbul, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Phuket and many other cities. The cost of a flight can be significantly reduced if you start searching for tickets at least 2 months in advance and follow the promotions and offers. Most often, they use the services of Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways. In some cases, it is advantageous to first get to Kuala Lumpur, and from there Asian low-cost airlines AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Scoot for about $ 40 to fly to Changi Airport.
From the airport to the city can be reached by bus number 36 and 36A or by metro. Bus stops are available at all Changi terminals, and the metro is available at Terminals T2 and T3. Other ways to get from the airport to the city are shuttles to hotels and taxis, there is an opportunity to use the kiwitaxi transfer.
The low cost of a flight from Kuala Lumpur does not stop those who want to come to Singapore by land. From the KL Sentral railway station of the capital of Malaysia to Singapore, three flights depart daily-in the morning, afternoon and evening. Travel time — 7-8 hours. With three train connections, you can reach Singapore from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. In Bangkok, you should buy a transit ticket and go to Butterworth Station, Malaysia.
The road to Butterworth takes 23 hours, at the station you need to pass border control and take a train heading towards Kuala Lumpur, and from it to the border city of Johor Bahru, where you will have to check in twice more with the border guards, first Malaysian, then Singapore. Their posts are located on different sides of the Strait that separates Malaysia and Singapore. Johor Bahru-JB Sentral Train Station is 23 km from Singapore. They can be reached by train, bus or taxi.
The time spent traveling by train from Bangkok, and the lack of economic benefits is compensated by the impressions of the railway adventure-to travel from north to south the entire Malacca peninsula.
Bus service is available across the land border between Singapore and Malaysia. Buses from Kuala Lumpur travel about 5 hours, the distance between the cities is 364 km. International flights are accepted by the Queen Street, Lavender Street and Golden Mile bus terminals located in different areas of the city, so you can choose a more convenient one.
You can buy tickets from Kuala Lumpur and in the opposite direction online on the website, or using mobile applications. The cost of a one-way trip is 20 SGD. Tickets are also sold at the ticket offices of bus stations or at kiosks near the bus departure point.
The road to Singapore by bus from the cities of Thailand-Pattaya, Bangkok, Koh Samui or Phuket-is long, with many transfers. Travelers decide on this route if they want to see Thailand and Malaysia along the way.
600 ports around the world are connected to Singapore by 200 shipping lines. The port is considered the second busiest in the world and handles a fifth of the world’s container cargo. Passenger ferries connect the country with the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as with the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru on the opposite shore of the Johor Strait. They are accepted at three ferry terminals in the city — Changi Ferry Terminal, harbourfront and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
Cruise ships from Hong Kong, Sydney, Brisbane, Athens, Yokohama, Dubai and many other ports of the world enter the ports of Singapore. A special Marina Bay Cruise Centre terminal has been built for them. It can handle up to 7,000 passengers per hour and accommodate large Oasis-class cruise ships. Ships of the world’s largest cruise lines Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Holland America Line call in Singapore.
History of Singapore
At the dawn of our era, the inhabitants of a small coastal village in the center of the Asian tropics did not realize what a series of amazing transformations history had prepared for it. For two millennia, the quiet haven changed hands, only to turn into a global technology giant and financial monster at the end of the 20th century.
Among swamps and mangroves
Navigators who crossed the Indian Ocean learned early to use the energy of the tropical monsoon. Merchants and conquerors tied their routes to the directions of the prevailing seasonal winds and reached the farthest shores. The western monsoons drove the ships to the east, and the eastern monsoons helped them to sail back — this was one of the main sea trade routes of the ancient world.
Traveling from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea via the Strait of Malacca, traders could not pass the islands of Tumasik, or Temasik, with a small fishing village in mangroves and swampy swamps. The locals lived in kampongs-settlements on the water — and fished, collecting oysters and shellfish. Ships from Asia, India and China were rushing to take shelter from storms and storms in the island’s quiet harbors. Here they replenished their supplies of fresh water and provisions, and here they exchanged goods — red gold, blue satin, printed cotton fabrics, rubber, pepper, gambier, and lackawood, the aromatic tree. Tons of copra, rattan, rhino horns, and elephant tusks passed through the port, and this made it desirable for all the surrounding empires that sought to subdue Tumasik.
In the surrounding seas until the middle of the last century, pirates ruled. The pirate tactic was tricky — they sent several people with poisonous fruit to a passing ship, and when the passengers and crew lost the ability to resist, they took them captive, and the ship was sunk. Looted goods under the guise of merchants were sold here, and weapons were bought from local Chinese.
“Lion City” without lions
Until 1300, Tumasik belonged to the Sumatran Srivijaya Empire. An ancient legend tells of the Srivijaya Raja, a descendant of the Indian Maharajas, who gave the place its name. The Rajah and his entourage landed in the bay of the island, fleeing from a terrible storm, and saw an unusual animal on the shore, which he took for a lion. He named the place Singapore, which means “lion city”in a mixture of Malay and Sanskrit. In fact, there were no lions in these places, and historians explained the strange fantasy of the Srivijaya raja with the intoxicating joy of a miraculous rescue.
There is also a suggestion that the lion motifs go back to the Indian pictorial traditions, where the Indian, or Asian, lion lived before it was completely exterminated. Perhaps the symbols of lions were brought to the island by Buddhists who settled here.
Srivijaya for a long time competed with the Tamil Chola state. Later, Singapore came under the rule of the Thai state of Sukhothai, which was then absorbed by Ayutthaya, and in a short period it managed to visit the Javanese Majapahit. And while the pretenders shared the small island, its inhabitants continued to fish and grow spices.
“The Father of Singapore”
In 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles landed on the island to establish a British trading post here. He was a man of extraordinary destiny. Born on board a ship off the coast of Jamaica in 1781, he became an educated encyclopedist and historian, fought in the Napoleonic Wars against the Dutch and French, was Lieutenant governor of the Dutch East Indies, lieutenant governor of Bencoolen, governor of Java, and even received a knighthood.
Sent to Southeast Asia, Raffles learned the Malay language and began organizing military expeditions to expand the British presence in Java, Sumatra and the surrounding islands, firmly subjugating local governments and arousing the hostility of the local nobility. Singapore attracted Raffles ‘ attention with its advantageous position. Taking advantage of some confusion among the heirs of the Sultan of Johor and the confusion of the Dutch side, which also had plans for Singapore, Raffles managed to sign a treaty and gain a foothold on the island.
Raffles contribution to the development of the city-state was so great that he is still called the “Father of Singapore”. Raffles was considered an enlightened ruler, in addition to the wars of conquest, he was engaged in the preservation and study of historical monuments on the surrounding islands, such as Borobudur, studied the culture, life and nature of the places where he happened to live and published a two-volume “History of Java”.
The son of a slave ship captain, he contributed greatly to the abolition of slavery. Raffles died in England in 1826, not yet an old man. In memory of his short but productive reign, a monument is erected to welcome travelers at the mouth of the river. Since 1867, Singapore has become an entirely English colony.
Be happy, or I’ll kill you
During the Second World War, Japan seized all of Malaya, took possession of Singapore and ruled it until its defeat in 1945. After the war, the Malay states merged into the Malay Union, then the Malay Federation, and later the State of Malaysia. However, due to racial clashes between Chinese and Malays, Singapore’s existence within Malaysia was problematic. Singapore’s Chinese population accounted for 75 percent of the population who did not want to give up their national identity. Therefore, in 1965, Singapore declared independence, and since then began a multi-year stage of modernization, which turned the commercial port into a global economic phenomenon.
Singapore was the smallest country in Southeast Asia. In the 50s, just over a million people lived here. At that time, neighboring Malaya had almost 7 million people and Indonesia had 100 million. In three decades, it has passed a path that Western states have overcome for centuries. A key role in this was played by Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore — a figure that intrigues researchers and observers, causing a lot of controversy and opposing assessments.
Lee Kuan Yew made national equality a priority of his policy, created an army from scratch and trained it under the guidance of Israeli instructors. He destroyed corruption without neglecting the most brutal measures, attracted foreign investors to the country and introduced the English language into the education system. With it, Singapore entered the top ten richest and most prosperous countries in the world, successfully surviving several economic crises. The pirates who had kept all ships passing through the Strait of Malacca at bay for centuries had disappeared in the region. Today, it is the largest financial center in the Asia-Pacific region, an exporter of electronics and equipment, and the world’s second largest cargo seaport. Its fantastic buildings and urban landscapes are like three-dimensional renderings, devoid of the excess of small details that give the landscape credibility.
For this exuberant flourishing, Singapore society has paid the price of losing its rights and freedoms. Lee Kuan Yew transformed Singapore’s political system into a one-party capitalist technocracy. In the country, rigid ideological attitudes to uniformity and a common desire for order, cleanliness, health and prosperity were fixed. “Disneyland with the death penalty” called Singapore writer William Gibson. “Be happy, or I will kill you” – this metaphor is a well-known science fiction writer described the prevailing ideology here. Orwellian unanimity is imposed by the government in all spheres of public and private life, political views, creativity, personal preferences and everyday habits are subject to censorship.
Religion, orientation and racial issues are the subject of close attention of the State. All content-movies, video games, books, magazines, performances and audio materials-is subject to the rating system and is licensed by the IMDA-Department of Information Development. Before you watch a movie or buy a book, it is recommended to look at the classifier. Fabulous fines for various offenses are one of the items of income to the treasury. Violations are recorded using cameras installed everywhere. On the online portal Stomp-Straits Times Online Mobile Print-anyone can post recorded on photos and videos of cases of undesirable behavior of fellow citizens. This web portal was created by the Singapore Association of Journalists to denounce antisocial behavior and has become a place of forgery, abuse and false denunciations. The country has the death penalty for drugs and corporal punishment.
Nevertheless, the business-friendly atmosphere, flexible taxation and political stability attract young ambitious businessmen from all over the world, it is not easy to get here, and work quotas are limited. The standard of living in the country is extremely high, the average salary is $ 3,800 per month, and in the high-tech sector it is much higher. The salary of the current Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, is the largest in the world among heads of state — he receives more than $ 2.5 million a year. In different years of his career, the Prime Minister managed finance, defense, trade and industry. In his spare time, Lee Hsien Loong programs in C++.
Singapore is a city of youth; the elderly leave it unable to pay for a high standard of living. However, the government is concerned about developing a program for pensioners and people with disabilities to enable them to lead a comfortable life, and is attracting the best doctors and architects to create an environment for older Singaporeans in parks and public spaces.
Singapore’s climate and nature
Singapore lies one kilometer south of the Malacca Peninsula and is separated from it by the Johor Strait. It covers the entire area of Pulau Ujung Island, as well as many smaller neighboring islands with a total coastline of about 200 km. In the south, the island is washed by the waters of the Singapore Strait, and in the west is the Strait of Malacca, which connects the Pacific Ocean with the Indian Ocean through the South China Sea. The island is separated from the equator by one latitude degree and about 130 km.
The climate of Singapore is tropical, with high humidity, stable temperatures in the range of +26…+31°C throughout the year and a lot of precipitation. It rains 167 days a year in Singapore, and 40% of the days are thunderstorms. Rain can start suddenly and then end without a trace. Most precipitation falls in November and December. The warmest months are April and May, and the coolest are December and January. The most sunny days are in May, the least in December.
The equatorial climate of Singapore does not have sharp seasonality boundaries, since it rains here every month, but two monsoon periods and two off-seasons can be distinguished. In December, the wet phase of the early northeast monsoon begins. Monsoon surges bring heavy and frequent rains and winds up to 25-35 km per hour. In early January comes the late northeast monsoon, very windy and relatively dry, which lasts until March. In March, there is a lull, there are hot days with a light sea breeze, when the temperature is kept near the mark of +32°C. Occasionally there are rains and even thunderstorms.
In June comes the turn of the southwest monsoon, which blows until September. At night or before dawn, Sumatran squalls come in sudden gusts from the Strait of Malacca. They are accompanied by a series of thunderstorms and winds up to 80 km/h. After the squall, there are torrential rains that can last for several hours or even days. In October, the monsoons subside again until December.
Singapore’s sunny weather alternates with cloudy weather, fogs occur, and sometimes the island is shrouded in the haze of Indonesia’s annual forest fires. Travel in Singapore is comfortable at any time — all public buildings and transport are air-conditioned, the usual indoor temperature is +20°C. It can feel cool, so for long events in concert halls and cinemas, as well as on long trips, it is worth bringing a shirt.
Due to its proximity to the equator, the duration of daylight hours in Singapore is constant-12 hours; the sun rises around 7.00 hours and sets around 19.00. The sea is calm and clear with daily tidal cycles and a level fluctuation of about two meters. The usual water temperature is +27°C. A rare cargo port can boast of such purity and transparency of water as Singapore: here everything is subordinated to the idea of ecology and local authorities constantly monitor the possible pollution of the sea by enterprises and ships.
Nature of Singapore
The vibrant greenery of Singapore is the fruit of the creative work of architects, agronomists, designers and gardeners. Due to the rapid development of the island, almost no former vegetation remains, so those few areas of virgin forests, miraculously preserved in the catchment areas, are under state protection. In the north-west of the island, small areas of mangrove forests remain in Krange, and in undeveloped areas, natural vegetation is represented by palm trees and lalang, which the local population traditionally uses for economic and decorative purposes. Tembusu-a large evergreen tree with a spreading crown — is the national symbol of Singapore, its bright fruits are fed by bats, and the image of tembusu was placed on a five-dollar Singapore bill.
Among the 110 species of reptiles in Singapore, there are several very large ones — the reticulated python, the great king cobra, the estuarine crocodile and the monitor lizard. The famous video of a 30-minute fight between a python and a cobra on the side of the road was made in Singapore, it was shot by a local graduate student Abhishek Ambede. Once there were Bengal tigers, their victims were people and pets. About once every two days, the predator dragged the farmer into the jungle.
Were the elephants, which was carried out by uncontrolled hunting for ivory. But already at the time of Goncharov’s famous voyage on the frigate “Pallada” in Singapore, there was only one elephant, and even that worked in a sugar factory. Today, elephants and tigers can only be seen in the Singapore Zoo.
The city is home to several families of smooth-haired otters, the most numerous being the Bichon and Marina families. Citizens can watch their games and territorial wars at dawn and in the morning in Marina Bay Park. Otters are local favorites, they starred in the film “Wild City” by David Attenborough and have their own Facebook page. The archipelago is home to the scaly anteater, the lori-tailless night lemur, the long-tailed macaque and many birds — the Indian myna, the brahman kite and the swallow. Singapore is surrounded by coral reefs, which are home to tropical fish and marine animals-moray eels, parakeets, barracudas, pufferfish, sea turtles, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.
Internal transport in Singapore
The transport communications system in Singapore meets the most modern requirements. On the island there are more than 9,000 km of roads, as safe as possible and with high-quality coverage. The main modes of transport in Singapore are metro, buses and taxis. For unlimited bus and metro trips, tourists should purchase the Singapore Tourist Pass. You can buy it for a period of 1-3 days, paying from $10 to $20 plus a $10 deposit. The deposit will be refunded at any point of sale after the card is returned. To fix the trip when entering and exiting public transport, the map must be brought to the validator window.
The same is done with the EZ-Link card — an electronic transport card used by residents of Singapore. It is profitable to buy it if you plan more than 6 trips around the city. To build routes around the city by car or public transport, it is convenient to use mobile applications. In Singapore, Google Maps, Moovit and Waze are successfully coping with this.
The Singapore Metro (MRT) has 141 stations and connects almost the entire city. Metro trains start operating at 06: 30 am and carry passengers until midnight. Tourists can buy magnetic cards for one trip directly at the stations, the cost of the trip is from 0.6 to 2 SGD, depending on the distance. Metro routes follow four branches named after the cardinal directions: green EW (east-west), purple NE (north-east), red NS (north-south), and central — CC.
Bus service in Singapore is provided by 4 transport companies. The fare is from 0.5 to 2 SGD, you can pay by scanning the transport card with a validator at the entrance and exit, or in cash from the driver. The entrance is through the front door, to exit you need to give a signal to the driver using the button on the handrail. Modern, comfortable, air-conditioned buses run on a scheduled schedule from 05:30 to 00:00.
Seeing the green light of a free taxi and waving your hand, you can not be sure that the car will stop. This method of “taking a taxi” in Singapore is not too common. Cars pick up passengers at special racks-terminals equipped throughout the city. Payment for the trip is strictly on the counter, it is not accepted to bargain. The cost of a trip around the city is 8-20 SGD, a trip to the airport-up to 30 SGD.
Rent a car
Car rental is a highly developed service. Most of the international operators providing cars in rent — Budget, Avis, Hertz, Rentalcars and many other well-known brands work here. Traffic in Singapore is left-handed, and there are high fines for violating the rules. To enter the city center and to park, you need to buy a ticket.
Other modes of transport
LRT — a light metro connected to a common network with a regular one. In the general scheme of the metro, its stations are marked in gray.
The monorail is a railway between the city and Sentosa. The cars run every three minutes; if you buy a ticket for 4 SGD, you can ride all day.
Singapore’s tourist transport is diverse, let’s mention some of its types.
Cable car-connects the city with the island of entertainment Sentosa. While the air cabins float over the bay, there is time to admire the panoramas of the port and residential areas, once again admire the skyscrapers and other fantastic architecture.
DUCK tours amphibious buses – they carry tourists along the embankments, and then float along the river and bay.
Bumboat — water taxi, boats with painted faces and eyes (to see the dangers).
Bus-Tourist — there are two sightseeing bus routes in the city. On the yellow-22 stops, on the red-16. Ticket for 40 SGD is valid for 24 hours, the bus has a Russian audio guide. Buses travel through modern neighborhoods, ethnic areas and the historic center. At any stop, you can get off, take a walk, and then, without purchasing a new ticket, continue the tour on the next flight.
Transport Of Sentosa. Entertainment Island has its own transport network — three bus lines (yellow, red and blue) and a beach tram. All of them are completely free to carry passengers from morning to evening from Sunday to Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday — until lunch.
Districts of Singapore
The area of the island is small — 45 km from east to west and 25 km from north to south. It is divided into five major regions — Central, Western, Northern, North-Eastern and Eastern. For ease of maintenance, the regions are divided into 55 planning spaces. The urban planning concept of Singapore, adopted during the modernization period, is based on the creation of New Cities — large autonomous residential systems that fully meet the needs of residents. Queenstown, the first product of this concept, was built in the 1950s.
Now Matured residential-residential complexes-are scattered all over the island, there are 23 of them in Singapore. The largest are Bedok, Woodlands, Tampines, Jurong West and Sengkan. These residential complexes with parks, schools, hospitals and sports facilities are home to mixed — income Singaporeans, most of them owners. Industrial zones and retail outlets are located outside of residential areas and convenient transport links are established with them.
Singapore has several rivers, the main of which are Singapore and Kallang, and two catchments that combine large reservoirs. The Singapore River flows in the center of the city, its source is near the Kim Seng Bridge, and its mouth is at the Esplanade Road Bridge in the bay. The river, which originally had a length of 3 km, was continued by a two-kilometer Wide channel from the source to the west, the mouth was expanded and deepened, and the old buildings along the river were repaired.
The central region occupies the southern tip of the island and is divided into 12 administrative districts. Tourist guides usually divide the center into historical and ethnic areas.
Colonial District – the area located around the harbor formed by the mouth of the Singapore River, where the first ships of the British arrived. Here, in the town of Padang, the construction of the city began. British neoclassical architecture is represented by the buildings of Parliament House, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, the City Hall, the Cricket Club and the Raffles Hotel.
One of these buildings — the Empress Place Building – houses the exposition of the Museum of Asian Civilizations. In the Colonial area there are numerous museums and temples-the Perankan Museum, the Art Museum, the National Museum, the Anglican Cathedral of St. Nicholas. St. Andrew’s, St. Gregory’s Armenian Church, St. Andrew’s Catholic Church Joseph, the most important Hindu temple of Chettyar (Sri Thendayuthapani). The colonial center includes Fort Canning Park — a green oasis and a place of popular open-airs.
Central Business District, or Downtown, which is called the financial heart of Singapore — the business and historical center of the city. It is home to the offices and headquarters of the world’s largest corporations and the Singapore Exchange. The central point is Raffles Square with the three tallest skyscrapers One Raffles Place, Republic Plaza and UOB Plaza One. In all directions from the square there are business districts with skyscrapers, luxury hotels and restaurants, and on the beautiful embankment near the statue of Merlion — half fish-half lion — the mythical patron saint of Singapore.
Here is the most unusual and expensive hotel complex in the world — Marina Bay Sands, consisting of three 55-storey buildings with a three-deck ship on the roof, covering an area of 12,5 thousand m2. You can see a fantastic panorama of the bay and Downtown from the world’s highest Ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer.
Kampong Glam, an Arabic or Malay quarter
A more accurate name for the area would not be “Arab”, but “Muslim”, most of its inhabitants are not Arabs, but Muslim immigrants from Malaya, India and Indonesia. The main historical attraction is the Sultan’s Palace, now home to the Malay Heritage Center. Next to the square is the historic building of the Sultan Hussein Mosque. The Malabar Mosque with its golden dome and blue tiled facade has also become a recognized work of Islamic religious art.
The majority of Singapore’s Chinese population lived outside of Chinatown, but it is here that attractions related to the historical heritage of the country’s Chinese community are concentrated. Here is the Temple of the sacred tooth of the Buddha, the Jamai Mosque, the temple complex of Taoism and Buddhism Thian Hock Keng. The Chinatown Heritage Centre is located in the center of the district on Pagoda Str.
The narrow alleys have everything that attracts tourists — an abundance of street food, tea and souvenir shops, ethnic restaurants, Chinese astrologers and street performers. This exoticism is adjacent to modern shopping and office centers built on the site of demolished slums.
Adjacent to Chinatown is the colorful Tanjong Pagara district, which until the middle of the last century was a center of smuggling, prostitution and the opium trade. The renovated slum quarter now houses trendy and tourist-favorite bars and restaurants. Tanjong Pagar has a historic railway station building.
Little India is located west of the Arab Quarter and north of the Colonial Center. The doors of Hindu and Buddhist temples are open to visitors, among the original architecture there are smells of Indian cuisine. It is home to the Indian Cultural Heritage Museum, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temples, Sri Perumal, Abdul Ghafoor Mosque and many others.
The main interest of tourists in this area is the original goods and souvenirs, which are presented in abundance by the Indian community of Singapore in the markets and souvenir shops. The most popular ones are Tekka Centre (Tekka Market), Little India Arcade, Serangoon Plaza. Independent areas with a large number of attractions and entertainment on the tourist map of Singapore are Sentosa Island, Marina Bay, Orchard Road, Clarke Quay and others.
The Western region of Singapore is the second largest by area after the Central one. The main districts are Choa Chu Kang with a population of 30 thousand people and Jurong West. The main development is residential areas and industrial zones. Tourists will be interested in visiting the Singapore Science Center and the famous Jurong Bird Park. You can look into the Chinese and Japanese Gardens located next to the park, created according to the historical canons and rules of landscape art.
The northern part of the island is developing rapidly, with high-speed highways, residential and industrial districts built here. The center of this area of Singapore is named Woodlands( Woodlands), it is home to more than 250 thousand people. A special feature of the northern region is large areas of untouched forest.
On a swampy promontory, on the shore of the Johor Strait, there is a man-made wetland reserve Sungei Buloh. During seasonal flights, dozens of bird species stop here to rest. In the Mandai area, one of the best zoos in the world is built-the Singapore Zoo and two safari parks-Night Safari and River Safari. Over time, it is planned to move to the northern district and Jurong Bird Park.
The capital of the region is Tampines, and Bedok is its largest city. The eastern region is home to Singapore’s air harbor — Changi Airport, naval and military aviation bases, and one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing facilities.
A huge beach park Pasir Ris (Pasir Ris Town Park) has been created on the coast. On the sandy seashore, you can spend a few days in tents, wander along the wooden decks in the mangroves, and watch birds from the observation towers.
In the North-eastern region of Singapore, two major cities are the administrative center of Seletar (Seletar) and Hugang. The district is a center of aviation and aerospace science and industry. Tourists in this area are interested in Granite Island (Pulau Ubin) — the last place in Singapore where authentic fishing villages — kampongs are preserved. Small fishing and shrimp farms have small restaurants where you can relax from the bustling metropolis, try fresh seafood and exotic fruits. People come to Pulau Ubin Island by ferry or pleasure boat.
What to see for tourists in Singapore
The first attraction, familiarity with which is literally right at the exit from the aircraft to Changi airport. After the renovation of 2019 and the opening of the multifunctional Jewel complex, Changi has the world’s largest 40-meter indoor waterfall Rain Vortex and Canopy Park with an area of 14,000 square meters. m with walking paths, mazes, art installations and a special microclimate.
In the Marina Bay area-the tourist center of the city — the sights that have become the hallmark of Singapore are concentrated. The recognizable silhouette of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel hovers over the bay — three 55-story buildings topped by a huge ship. In addition to 2,560 apartments, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel offers shops, restaurants, a casino, a cinema and theater halls. The giant gondola on the roof has a garden, an observation deck and a 150-meter swimming pool. The author of the unique structure is Israeli and American architect Moshe Safdi.
Next to the hotel is the most famous garden in Asia-Gardens by the Bay – a Garden by the Bay, on 101 hectares of which are located the wonders of the landscape industry of high technology. Walking paths lead from the hotel to the garden. The extensive park area is open for free access, only entrance to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome greenhouses, built in the shape of shells, and a walk among the Supertrees — unique vertical gardens on metal frames. Every evening at 19:45 and 20:45 hours, fantastic Supertrees become the scenery of a light and music show.
Standing on the waterfront MERLION — symbol of Singapore with a Lion head and a fish’s tail. The image was designed by Lim Nang Seng as a tourist sign of the city and later became a state symbol, its image is minted on Singapore coins. Initially, the figure of Merlion met travelers at the mouth of the Singapore River, but after intensive development of the area, the 70-ton statue was moved closer to the audience. Now the fountain is installed near the Fullerton Hotel on the shore of Marina Bay, and its 40-meter replica with two viewing platforms is on Sentosa Island.
Nearby are unique architectural objects: the DNA bridge, which resembles a molecule in its design, the Helix Bridge, the fantastic hemispheres of the Esplanade theater and concert halls, the Museum of Art and Science in the stylized form of a lotus.
Take in the breathtaking panorama of central Singapore from the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer. From the height, you can clearly see the embankments around the bay, the old colonial center and the skyscrapers of Downtown.
Singapore has 57 skyscrapers, the tallest is Tanjong Pagar Center, or Guoco Tower, which is 290 m high. It is built in the Tanjong Pagar historic district. On the floors of the high-rise building there is a whole mini-city: offices, a business hotel, a city park, conference rooms, shops, bars and restaurants.
Among the many attractions of the old so-called colonial center, a special place is occupied by the building of the Raffles Hotel, which has been hosting guests for more than 120 years. The hotel is not only an architectural monument of the colonial era, but also a national symbol of Singapore, where world celebrities stay. Its luxurious apartments bear the names of famous guests-Chaplin, Kipling, Neruda and the founder of the city, Sir Raffles. In the building of the former post office after reconstruction, another popular hotel is located – “Fullerton”. Many buildings of colonial times have been restored and now there are museums in them: the Museum of Asian Civilizations, the National Museum of Singapore, the National Gallery of Singapore.
A short drive from the center lies Sentosa Island-the former island of Blacan Mati, which means “behind death”. During the years of the British presence, a battalion of British Gurkhas — Nepalese volunteers-was stationed here. The museum of Fort Siloso tells about the military past of the island. Now Sentosa is an island of entertainment, where attractions, hotels, restaurants and beaches are concentrated.
Main attractions: The Aquarium (S. E. A. Aquarium) is one of the largest in the world, it is located in the Marine Life Park. This unique engineering structure holds 45,000,000 liters of water, it presents 800 species of marine life from 49 areas of the ocean. The aquarium is adjacent to the Adventure Cove Waterpark with a hydro-magnetic slide, the Universal Studio Amusement Park, the Tiger Skytower observation deck, as well as the Maritime Museum, Madame Tussauds and the Museum of Optical Illusions.
Many interesting places in Singapore are connected with nature. Decorative and natural parks scattered throughout the island can be quite tiny or occupy hundreds of hectares. The largest of them is the man-made Park of the East Coast-East Coast Park, which stretches for 15 km along the coastline and receives 7,500,000 tourists annually. East Park has “wild” camping areas, Marine Cove with restaurants and attractions, and other recreational spaces.
In the heart of the city on an area of 52 hectares is the oldest Botanical Garden, founded by Sir Raffles in 1822.The pride of the garden is a unique botanical collection, artful design of the space and thematic sections, including the Orchid Park, which has 60,000 species of these plants.
Zoological parks and nature reserves have been created with care and respect for animals and birds. The inhabitants of the Singapore Zoo are kept in open aviaries, in Jurong Park, and in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, birds live in natural conditions.
The multinational population of Singapore has formed an original and colorful image of ethnic areas-Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam quarter. Cultural heritage museums are dedicated to the civilizational values brought to Singapore by different ethnic communities: the Indian Heritage Center; the Malay Heritage Center; the Chinatown Heritage Center; and the Chinese Heritage Center at Nanyang University.
The city is full of interesting religious buildings of different religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism and Christianity. The most famous of them are Sri Mariamman, the Temple of the Tooth of the Buddha, the Sultan’s Mosque, the Lianshan Shuanglin Monastery.
What to do for a tourist in Singapore
10 important things to do in Singapore:
- take a picture with Merlion;
- make a wish at the Fountain of Wealth;
- visit the Singapore Zoo and Aquarium;
- see thousands of orchids in the Botanical Garden;
- enjoy a Singapore Sling cocktail at the 1 Altitude bar on the roof of the One Raffles skyscraper, looking at the city from a height of 282 m;
- take a ride to Sentosa Island in the cab of a funicular and visit attractions and beaches;
- swim in the amphibious vehicle DUCK tours in Marina Bay;
- Dine at the world’s only Michelin-starred street food cafe, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice in Chinatown;
- walk on the suspension bridge (Top Tree Walk) in a real jungle over the treetops in the macritchie Nature Reserve;
- buy souvenirs in the shops of ethnic neighborhoods and take a shopping tour along Orchard Road.
For your first experience of Singapore, you can take the City Sightseeing Singapore bus tour and see the main attractions of the city. It is possible to buy a 24-hour or 48-hour ticket and continue exploring the city the next day — this is 37% cheaper than taking two separate excursions. In the bus tour, you are allowed to get off at any attraction, explore it and continue the tour on the next flight.
Most of the top tourist destinations in Singapore are located in the city center and it is most convenient to get acquainted with them on foot. Everyone can create their own route, depending on their interests and the time they have at their disposal. Here are some ideas.
Historical and ethnographic route. The educational part of the route will include visiting temples of different religions and ethnic centers of cultural heritage, getting acquainted with the traditional architecture and life of the inhabitants of Chinatown, Little India, Malay and Arab quarters. In the entertainment — performances of street artists, national street food and shopping in authentic shops of real Indian batik, Chinese tea or Thai-Malay healing balm Tiger Balm. The walk can be supplemented by a boat trip on the Singapore River.
A futuristic itinerary can include a visit to the Marina Bay Sands observation decks and One Raffles and The Pinnacle @ Duxton skyscrapers, a visit to the Marina Bay Museum of Art and Science, a walk under the Supertrees in the Bay Garden and the Cloud Forest Greenhouse. In the Cloud Forest, a 35-meter mountain with waterfalls, caves and rainforest vegetation is created under the shell of a fantastic dome. Around it in a spiral laid pedestrian paths with a transparent floor, it is always cool and you can relax from the heat of the city.
The children’s route is full of so many different attractions and entertainment that it is better to divide it into several days. On Sentosa Island, young tourists will meet their favorite characters in the park Universal Studios Singapore, the Museum of Optical Illusions, the Aquarium. You can spend the whole day at Singapore Zoo or Jurong Bird Park.
The party route is connected with the city’s nightlife. In the area of Clarke Quay on the waterfront in the area of former docks and port warehouses, in the 90s of the last century, a fashionable and popular space was created, where locals and tourists come to walk. Numerous bars, restaurants and clubs sparkle with lights, live music sounds, and powerful air conditioners cool the air even on the street. Another clubhouse is the former St. James Power Station near the Harbour Front Metro station, which has been converted into a nightclub complex. Each room is a separate club with its own bar and its own music-jazz, soul, Latin, hip-hop, etc. – for every taste. Casino Resort World on Sentosa Island is one of the most impressive in size and design in Asia.
Festivals and holidays in Singapore
Every year in February, Chinese New Year is celebrated. This is the most colorful two-week holiday with a parade, carnival, dancing, competitions, shows and exhibitions at many venues in the city.
Chinese national traditions are associated with the River Hongbao Festival, the Chingay Parade and the ancient Mid-Autumn festival. In summer, the Hungry Spirits Festival takes place, when the souls of deceased relatives come to the surface, and they are cajoled and honored by visiting graves and putting food on the doorstep at night.
In Singapore, you can witness and participate in important Hindu festivals-Deepavali with the festival of lights and Navaratri, with colorful processions and multi-tiered exhibitions of sacred dolls Golu (Kolu).
Thrill-seekers can get to the Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Little India, which is held annually in the middle of winter in the month of Tai on the Tamil calendar from mid-January to mid-February. The holiday is preceded by spiritual purification, accompanied by a vegetarian fast. During the long colorful procession, the streets are blocked and a crowded procession moves to the Hindu temple of Sri Thendayuthapani. In memory of the spear piercing of the mythical evil spirit, the participants of the festival carry a metal structure attached to the body with metal hooks. Singaporeans of other faiths and guests of the country are going to watch the procession.
The end of the fast in Ramadan, Singaporeans celebrate the holiday of Hari Raya Puasa with crowded festivities, bazaars and colorful illumination.
Every year for a month, the i Light Singapore Light Festival takes place on the waterfront, where the best engineers and designers from around the world present light art installations and light shows dedicated to energy-saving technologies and smart use of resources. The International Jazz Festival gathers the world’s best performers in February at Marina Bay Sands. At the end of May — beginning of June, a colorful holiday is held-a competition-races on traditional rowing boats Dragon Boat Festival.
The more puzzling Singapore’s modern splendor is, the more intriguing its past is. A real relaxation awaits history lovers in the former military tunnel Marsiling Tunnels in the jungle in the north of the island. It consists of an underground shaft with branches. Built as a storage facility for petroleum products by the British Army, it was abandoned for a long time, and it was inhabited by tropical animals — geckos and snakes.
Near King Albert Park, an old Malay railway station has been preserved, long since defunct-Old Bukit Timah Railway Station. It is adjacent to the Green Corridor, a natural area with meadows, forests and swamps along the former railway connecting Singapore with the Malay Peninsula.
Behind Chinatown, Pearl’s Hill City Park is spread over nine hectares, with an underground reservoir built in the late 19th century to supply water to Chinatown.
In the dense thickets of Tyersall Park near Tyersall Avenue, there is a dilapidated palace Istana Wooden York, in the past-Istana Woodneuk, considered a haunted house and an urban legend. The palace is gradually being destroyed and will soon be swallowed up by the jungle. Advanced fans of “abandoned”can get here.
To see the historic colonial housing of soldiers and junior officers of the British Army, you need to walk through the picturesque green quarter of the Wessex Estate in Queenstown. These houses with large free spaces around are renovated and inhabited by students and artists.
Changi Beach attracts fans of creepy places, and although there is nothing terrible in its current appearance, the place keeps the memory of the Suk Ching massacre — the murder of three thousand Chinese by the Japanese in 1942.
In Singapore, you can also walk through the old cemeteries — Malay and Muslim, Japanese or Bukit Brown cemetery-with a tour or on your own.
People rarely go to Singapore for a beach holiday, but the beach infrastructure is of a high level, the sand is clean, and the water is clear. Singapore’s beaches are suitable for visiting with children, there are slides and attractions, medical centers and lifeguards work on all beaches. The most famous beaches on Sentosa are Tanjong Beach (Tanjong Beach Club), Palawan Beach — a water park with a pirate ship and a suspension bridge to the island, and Siloso Beach. You can also swim on the central beaches of the island. Access to all beaches is free.
The beach in East Coast Park, which stretches for 15 km along the east coast of Singapore, is a project that has recently undergone a global reconstruction and has become the best beach in the city. On the coast there are children’s and sports grounds, bike paths, attractions and restaurants, there are clubs for water sports.
Some of the best beaches are located on the islands of St John’s Island and Lazarus, connected by a pedestrian bridge. The islands have a long coastline with white sand, minimal infrastructure and retail outlets. For an overnight stay on the beach, you can rent a bungalow.
The surrounding islands offer ecotourism, windsurfing, diving and hiking. Another popular beach destination for residents and visitors of Singapore is located on the two Indonesian islands of Bintan and Batam. You can quickly get there by ferry, and upon arrival get an Indonesian visa right at the port. Island resorts attract with their white sand beaches, impeccable hotel service and the opportunity to walk through the tropical jungle.
In neighboring Malaysia, on the coast of the South China Sea, holidays are popular on the deserted sandy coast of Desaru Beach and on the islands of Sibu, Tinggi and Tioman.
Shopping in Singapore
Singapore goods and souvenirs are more profitable to buy in the shops and markets of Chinatown and Little India. Here you can find dozens of types of tea, spices, jewelry, traditional clothing, medicinal drugs and cosmetics.
The main feature of a prosperous Singapore is that all the trading companies of the planet flock here closer to wealthy buyers. Shopping in Singapore is loved. The main stream of buyers from all over the world flock to Singapore during the Great Singapore Sale — the Great Singapore Sale to buy goods at a discount of up to 70%. The sale is held every year in May-June. But the rest of the time, shopping centers and markets offer visitors a huge assortment.
The main shopping street of Singapore-Orchard Road, Orchard – a huge shopping paradise with a length of 2.2 km, where you can buy everything. There is an incalculable number of shopping centers, large and small shops of well-known and not so world brands.
Among them stands Orchard Central, where you can get a tourist discount by presenting a passport to the building’s concierge; the ancient Tangs department store in a modern guise with Asian collections and souvenirs and a large selection of natural cotton clothing; ION Orchard with a rooftop observation deck; the prestigious Ngee Ann City Singapore with beauty salons, bookstores and restaurants on seven levels of the building; Plaza Singapura with a cinema, fashion, home goods stores, restaurants and cafes; Centrepoint shopping center with a variety of products-and a great variety of shops, malls and shopping centers on Orchard Road.
You can go shopping without leaving the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. In the halls of its huge shopping center, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, all famous brands are represented. It is impossible to get around its shops in one day, guests are waiting for wonders and entertainment: a river with a real waterfall and wooden boats, a winter ice rink, a casino, cafes, restaurants and food courts. In the center opposite the Raffles Hotel is the Raffles City Shopping Centre, a shopping center dedicated to the fashion industry with boutiques and beauty salons.
Food and Drink in Singapore
Singaporeans love to eat delicious, spicy and varied food. The cuisine of Singapore was formed on the basis of the national traditions of the Malays, Chinese and Hindus inhabiting Singapore. It was enriched by the cultural characteristics and culinary habits of Britain, Indonesia and Japan. The proximity of the ocean turned the interests of Singaporeans in the direction of seafood, and numerous trade links gave exotic ingredients for these places.
Singapore’s rapid growth has brought to life many forms of food service; restaurants, eateries, food courts, kiosks and street markets offer traditional and exotic dishes to suit every taste.
Chicken rice is a duty dish of Singapore, which is suitable for use in any situation. This is steamed rice in chicken broth with chili, soy sauce and ginger.
Bak chor mi– literally “stuffed noodles” – flat egg noodles with the addition of pork, mushrooms and pepper with vinegar, oil, soy sauce and broth.
Malaysian laksa is made from noodles, hot chili in coconut milk and fish broth and served with shrimp, chicken or minced fish balls.
Nasi Padang is a dish of Sumatran origin. This is a mound of white steamed rice served on small plates with sambal-hot chili peppers and meat stewed for a long time in a spicy sauce-rendang.
Roti Prata – “flat bread” – Indian flatbreads made of stretched dough, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Kaya — (Kaya toast and eggs) – toast stewed in custard with eggs and spices.
Chili crab – large crabs in hot sauce, which are served whole with tomatoes and sauce.
Satay – shish kebab made of pork, beef, lamb, chicken or duck, fried on a spit on coals with peanut sauce.
Hokkien mi is made from egg and rice noodles fried in egg with pieces of squid, chicken, shrimp and pork or lard with the addition of sambal and kalamansi-local lime.
Char kway teow – flat rice noodles fried in a wok over high heat in soy sauce. To it, add bean sprouts, seafood and sliced Chinese sausages with deep-fried lard.
Dim sum came to Singapore from Hong Kong, this morning dish is a cross between manti, dumplings and steamed dumplings with various additions. Dim sum is served with homemade meat sauce XO with chili, usually for tea.
Tea or coffee with light snacks, kaya toast or soft-boiled eggs are drunk at the Kopitiam chain of traditional Asian coffee houses, recognizable by their characteristic pink sign.
A common drink is sugarcane juice with ice and lemon – Sugarcane juice.
The king of alcoholic drinks in Singapore – a cocktail with a century of history Singapore sling, which includes gin, Cointreau and Benedictine liqueurs, cherry liqueur or cherry brandy, Angostura bitters, grenadine, green lemon juice and pineapple – with lots of ice …
Singaporeans prefer local beers – Tiger Beer or Baron’s Strong Brew.
Inexpensive and quick bites can be found at food courts, in Chinatown or in the Indian quarter, which is cheaper than in popular tourist spots in the center such as Orchard Road. An average lunch will cost S $ 10. In downtown cafes, prices for an alcoholic dinner for two start at S $70.
A gourmet lunch awaits at the famous Raffles hotel’s restaurant, while a break from spicy Asian food can be found at McDonald’s.
In the city of skyscrapers, not to be missed is the opportunity to admire the breathtaking cityscapes from the rooftop bar – there are several such bars in Singapore.
Helipad Nightclub – Helipad – is located on the rooftop of a building on the banks of the Singapore River near New Bridge rd in the city center. A dance floor, lasers, music, exclusive drinks, VIP rooms and a bar are waiting for their guests here.
KU DE TA Club Lounge is located in the Sands SkyPark on the rooftop of the highest and most famous hotel, Marina Bay Sands. It is open from 12:00 pm, but the best time to visit is in the evening, when the city lights up the lights and the sounds of modern music float under the tropical sky. Admission for men is $ 28 on Wednesdays, and $ 38 for men and women on Friday and Saturday.
1 Altitude is the tallest bar in Singapore. It is a cafe, gallery and bar on several levels overlooking the city.
Telok Ayer Market, also known as Lau Pa Sat, is an old fish market in Chinatown where you can try all kinds of street food.
In the south of Singapore, in the heart of the city, you can dine at Bincho at Hua Bee – a Japanese restaurant where all dishes are grilled and open fire.
In the north of Singapore, guests will find Bollywood Veggies, an organic farm museum, where you can learn about the culinary history of the island and dine at Poison Ivy bistro – Poison Ivy – with dishes from local vegetables and fruits: bananas, carom, eggplant, coconuts and pineapples.
In the east of Singapore, not far from Pulau Ubin Island in the sea, is the Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant, a floating restaurant serving fresh seafood from nearby offshore farms. The island itself is a great place for walking and cycling among overgrown granite quarries and reservoirs. There are walking and mountain bike trails. The preserved biodiversity of the island is under state protection. Pulau Ubin is home to tropical birds, and you can visit a 60s-style Singapore ethno village.
Communication in Singapore
Singapore’s rapid economic growth and high technological potential have resulted in the creation of a powerful telecommunications infrastructure. Today, the entire territory is covered by the most developed telecommunications network in Asia. Through the Wireless @ SG program, Internet access is available throughout Singapore.
You can use free Wi-Fi in most public places: shops, cafes, metro stations, museums, sports complexes, gardens and parks. You can connect any Wi-Fi-enabled device – a phone, tablet or laptop. Registration takes place through a connection to the Wireless @ SG network in the Wi-Fi zone, authentication is performed by a phone number, including a foreign operator, via SMS. The code received via SMS must be entered in the filled out form. With a local SIM card, you can set up an automatic connection every time you get into the Wi-Fi zone. You cannot connect to someone else’s Wi-Fi unauthorizedly, for this you can be fined.
Singapore has four mobile operators – Singtel, Starhub, M1 and TPG. The quality of the connection is good, there is a confident reception everywhere, and the conditions differ slightly, for example, Singtel allows you to pay for a trip on the bus and metro, and also offers a bonus – a folding umbrella if you purchase a card at Changi airport. For tourists, there are prepaid SIM cards with a weekly or two-week package, valid for up to 30 days, costing from $ 8. TPG offers 50 GB of internet for 30 days for $ 10. The packages of other operators include 100 GB of Internet and 500 minutes of calls in the local network, which is usually enough for a two-week trip. You can buy a SIM card with your passport at the airport, at mobile phone kiosks and at 7-11 and Cheers mini-markets.
Other means of communication
If necessary, you can rent a router with high-speed Internet at Changi airport, having previously booked it, it costs about $ 10 per day. In addition to these means of communication, the city has pay phones, internet cafes and a post office.
Safety in Singapore
The main danger lurking an unprepared tourist in Singapore is the mind-boggling fines for violations that are the same for guests and locals. The maniacal pursuit of cleanliness, raised to an absolute level, generated a S $ 500 fine for open meals in public transport. Tossing a glass or chewing gum will cost you SGD 500 for the first offense. If chewing gum is found in your luggage, you will have to pay 5,500 SGD – it is prohibited to import. Smoking in a public place costs between $ 200 and $ 1,000. You will have to pay 500 SGD for spitting on the street, and 1000 SGD for feeding birds. Any attempt to skip the line will be punished with a fine of SGD 500, and fishing in the city – SGD 3,000. The use of drugs in Singapore is prohibited, you cannot take them even before entering the country – the police have the right to arrange checks without a warrant. Storage costs from 20,000 SGD to 10 years in prison, trading in large quantities is deadly.
You cannot feed monkeys, drive alone in a car at night, walk naked in a room, leave a car with a running engine, paint graffiti, drive drunk, sing loudly and play musical instruments. Punishment will follow for attempted bribery, vandalism and pornography. The smallest fine – for crossing the street in the wrong place – 20 SGD, the most offensive – beating with rattan sticks. Male criminals from 18 to 50 years old are subjected to it. Punishment sticks are freely available in the store, corporal punishment for children is allowed in Singapore.
The violations are monitored by cameras, which are generously equipped in all public spaces. Vigilant citizens will also be quick to complain. Therefore, one should not be afraid of outright crime in Singapore. However, in a country that has completely defeated crime, the government is installing posters “Low crime doesn’t mean no crime” – “Low crime does not mean its absence”. The posters remind that not everything is so rosy. Police statistics record violence, drug trafficking, and sex services at a cost of 500 SGD per hour. But the trouble lurks in places that tourists don’t usually visit. Most of the violations of the law come down to minor street incidents, such as illegal fishing on the Esplanade or speeding.
The large tracts of gardens and parks in Singapore attract wildlife that infiltrate in search of food and shelter. There are 15 species of poisonous snakes in Singapore. They are all able to swim and climb trees. Pythons, cobras and monitor lizards can crawl into the lower floors of houses. In the event of such a surprise, contact the local animal rescue organization Acres on +65 97837782. It’s better than calling the police, who usually use a pest control company to catch pythons, often acting rude and capable of causing harm to the animal.
Pythons are not poisonous, they only attack when threatened and usually try to crawl away. Cobras are highly venomous and can spit venom, but are not overly aggressive if not disturbed. In the dark, it is difficult to notice the animal, so in parks it is safer to walk or jog only along the paths, especially at night, and drive dogs only on a leash.
When planning to spend a long time in cool, air-conditioned rooms, you need to take care of light outerwear. On the street, sunglasses and a hat will help to transfer exposure to direct tropical sun. You can wear an umbrella during the rainy season, but if you are not planning long outdoor trips, then it is not necessary. When completing a first-aid kit, one should take into account that not every European stomach can withstand specific local cuisine.
Where to stay in Singapore
The most expensive city in the world lives up to its reputation in the cost of living. The price of a room in a 4* – 5* hotel starts from $ 200 per night, and in the famous Marina Bay Sands it is much higher. The most expensive accommodation options are offered in the Orchard Road and Sentosa area, while the cheapest are in Little India and Chinatown.
Nevertheless, a modest but comfortable 3* room in the city center can be rented for $ 60-90. The price may include breakfast, parking and other amenities. However, the room may not have a window or shower. Shower water pouring onto the bathroom floor is the norm in most southern countries. At the same time, cleanliness and good service in Singapore hotels do not depend on their price category.
Accommodation in capsule hotels and hostels will cost even less – from $ 30-40 per day. Many hotels offer a free booking system and payment by cash or card on site. Inexpensive places to stay can be found in the tourist hub of Singapore. It is not worth saving and booking a hotel far from the center – more time and money will be spent on access to the main attractions of the city.