Singapore Destination Facts

Quick Facts

Full country name: Republic of Singapore
Area: 683 sq km (266 sq mi)
Population: 4.1 million (growth rate 1.15%)
People: 77% Chinese, 14% Malay, 8% Indian
Language: English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil
Religion: 42% Buddhist, 15% Muslim, 14% Christian, 9% Taoist, 4% Hindu
Government: Parliamentary democracy
President: Tony Tan Keng Yam
Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong
GDP: US$85 billion
GDP per head: US$20,700
Annual Growth: 4%
Inflation: 1%
Major Industries: Manufacturing, electronics, chemicals, trade, business and financial services, shipping, tourism, construction
Major trading partners: US, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea

Country Facts

Events:
January: Chinese New Year, featuring dragon dances, parades and much good cheer.
February: Hari Raya Puasa, the end of Ramadan, three days of joyful celebrations.
April: Vesak Day celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. It is marked by various events, including the release of caged birds to symbolise the setting free of captive souls.
September: The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. Chinese operas are performed for the dead and food is offered.

Currency:
Singapore dollar
All major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widespread. Moneychangers are present in shopping centers all over Singapore. Tipping is not usual in Singapore.

Beaten Track:
Changi Village
Located on the east coast, Changi Village is that rarity is today’s Singapore: a place with a village atmosphere. What’s more, its beach is almost deserted during the weekdays. On the way to Changi Village many visitors drop in to check out the Changi Prison and the adjoining Changi Chapel and Museum. The latter holds a replica of the chapel used by interned Allied prisoners during WW II. Pulau Ubin
The northern island of Pulau Ubin has quiet beaches, a kampong atmosphere and popular seafood restaurants. It has a tranquil rural flavor and is small enough to cycle around in. This is the best way to explore the island’s fish farms, holy temples, coconut palms and deserted beaches.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is Singapore’s largest remaining primary rainforest. The park is filled with over 800 species of native plants. These include giant trees, ferns and native wild flowers. Here you can also spot long-tailed macaques, lemurs, reticulated pythons, greater racquet-tailed drongo and the white-bellied sea eagle. Singapore’s Botanic Gardens has both primary jungle and cultivated areas that together contain a plethora of plant species.

History:
Singaporeans trace their origins to a Malay legend according to which a Sumatran prince encountered a lion – considered a good omen – on Temasek. This prompted him to found Singapura, or Lion City. It became a minor trading post for the powerful Sumatran Srivijaya empire. The British established a presence in the Straits of Malacca (now called Melaka) in the 18th century. In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles argued for an increased British presence to counter the growing trading ambitions of the Dutch. Under him, Singapore was transformed from a disease-ridden region to a flourishing colony with a military and naval base.
Singapore continued to grow fast into the 20th century. But the British were defeated by the Japanese in WW II; Japan invaded the colony in 1941. After Japan’s surrender, the British were welcomed back in 1945, but their right to rule was no longer assured. Within five years, growing nationalism led to the formation of a number of political parties. Singapore was gradually moving towards self-government. The People’s Action Party, with the Cambridge-educated Lee Kuan Yew as leader, was elected in 1959. Lee became prime minister, a position he held for the next 31 years. In 1963, Singapore formed a union with Malaya (now Malaysia) but by 1965, federation was in tatters. Singapore became independent soon after.
Lee Kuan Yew resigned as prime minister in 1990 and was replaced by Goh Chok Tong, a leader more inclined towards consultation and liberalism. The country’s first presidential election was held in August 1993. Economically, the southeast Asian region’s late-1990s downturn hit Singapore as hard as anywhere else.

Culture:
Most Singaporeans celebrate the major festivals associated with their respective religions. The Chinese predominantly follow Buddhism and Taoism (deity worship). Malays are overwhelmingly Muslims. Most of Singapore’s Indians are Hindus. The four official languages of Singapore are Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English. But it is English that is most widely spoken and the language which unites the various ethnic groups. Older Singaporeans are keen on Chinese opera, which is a colorful mixture of dialogue, music, song and dance. Street performances are held during important festivals such as Chinese New Year. Other performing arts include Malay and Indian dances. Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and Western foods are all on offer in Singapore. Some of the most delicious food items are found in the street stalls. Nonya cooking is a local variation on Chinese and Malay food, mixing Chinese ingredients with local spices such as lemongrass and coconut cream. The popular spicy, coconut-based soup laksa is a classic Nonya dish.

Environment:
Singapore is made up of the main Singapore Island and 63 smaller islands. within its territorial waters. It is around 42 km east to west and 23 km north to south at its widest points. The Central Business District (CBD) is at the southern shore of the Singapore River’s mouth. Chinatown adjoins the CBD to the southwest. To the north of the river is the colonial district. Further north is Little India and Arab St. To the west of the island is the industrial area of Jurong.
The east coast has some of the older residential areas, a major beach park and the international airport. The northeast is the location of huge housing developments and the central north of the island has most of Singapore’s undeveloped land and remaining forest. Singapore is hot and humid year-round, with the temperature almost never dropping below 20

When To Go

Any time is a good time to visit Singapore. Since the city-state gets a fairly steady annual rainfall, climate is not a major consideration. Instead, visitors like to time their visits with various festivals and events.

Explore Attractions

Officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. Singapore is highly urbanised but almost half of the country is covered by greenery. More land is being created for development through land reclamation. Singapore is a world leader in several areas: It is the world’s fourth-leading financial centre, the world’s second-biggest casino gambling market, and the world’s third-largest oil refining centre. The port of Singapore is one of the five busiest ports in the world, most notable for being the busiest transshipment port in the world. The country is home to more US dollar millionaire households per capita than any other country. The World Bank notes Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business. The country has the world’s third highest GDP PPP per capita of US$59,936, making Singapore one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Some 5 million people live in Singapore, of whom 2.91 million were born locally. Most are of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

Songs Of The Sea
is a multimedia show located at Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island, Singapore. The fountain is a $30 million investment by Sentosa to enhance its entertainment product offerings and to attract more tourists. It is the world’s only permanent show set in the sea €” boasting spectacular pyrotechnics displays, water jets, laser show and flame bursts a live cast and an open-air viewing gallery which can comfortably accommodate 2,500 visitors.

Underwater World
is an oceanarium located on the offshore Singaporean island of Sentosa. Opened in 1991, it has more than 2,500 marine animals of 250 species from different regions of the world. The oceanarium is mostly underground. Underwater World has a 83-metre (272 ft) long travelator that moves visitors along a submerged 6-millimetre (0.24 in) thick acrylic-windowed tunnel from which they can look at an array of marine life including coral reefs, stingrays, moray eels, turtles, sharks and others.

Sentosa Island
Sentosa is a popular island resort in Singapore, visited by some five million people a year. Attractions include a 2 km long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, two five-star hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore. The name Sentosa translates as peace and tranquility in Malay (derived from Santosha in Sanskrit).

Singapore Gems Factory
Founded in 1972, Singapore Gems has a fine history of 35 years in the making. At their fully equipped gems and metals processing factory, you are able to see traditional craftsmanship supported by high precision machinery and equipment which is a rare sight in the modern world now. Singapore Gems places a stong emphasis on design, workmanship and quality.

The Esplanade
The Esplanade is a waterfront location just north of the mouth of the Singapore River in downtown Singapore. It is primarily occupied by the Esplanade Park.

Merlion
is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. Its name combines mer meaning the sea and lion. The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means sea town in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore’s original name €” Singapura €” meaning lion city or kota singa.

City Hall
in Singapore is a national monument gazetted on 14 February 1992. It was first known as Municipal Building until 1951 when Singapore was granted city status by King George VI. The building was used for many government events over the years, it was used as a venue for the Singapore Biennale, and also for the IMF and World Bank Meetings when it was held in Singapore as a registration centre.

Parliament House
The Parliament House of Singapore is a public building and cultural landmark and houses the Parliament of Singapore. The building was designed to represent a contemporary architectural expression of stateliness and authority. The prism-shaped top, designed by the late former president Ong Teng Cheong, was similarly a modernist take on the traditional dome.

Swissotel The Stamford
Swissotel The Stamford is a luxury hotel in Singapore managed by Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. Designed by architect I.M. Pei, Swissôtel The Stamford, at a height of 226 metres (741 ft) is one of Southeast Asia’s tallest hotels. The 5-star hotel has 1,261 rooms and suites, 16 restaurants and bars, Raffles City Convention Centre, and one of Asia’s largest Spas.

Singapore Duck Tour
It is a Boat, a Bus, a DUCK! It is the 1st and only amphibious theme tour attraction in Asia. Only DUCKtours offers a combined City and Harbour tour without the hassle of switching craft. Travelling on land and sea, it is a unique boat on monstrous wheels. You do not want to miss out on the ride of a lifetime on this genuine American’s Vietnam war machine. Join the wacky DUCKtainer (guide) on board this educational and interactive adventure. Hold onto the seat as it waddles away and be prepared to have a splashing great time! Marvel at the historical landmarks as we bring you on land around the colonial Civic District on the Singapore Heritage Tour. Then, we’ll bash through the woods for the ride’s climax as we splash into waters! Enjoy the breeze as we go on waters to view highlights like Merlion Park, the Esplanade and Clifford Pier, all set against the city skyline.
Gather quirky facts of Singapore and enjoy loads of photo-taking opportunities! You will have a slashing time of guaranteed fun with the crew at DUCKtours! Tours are available daily from 10.00am to 6pm.

Night Safari
As the sun sets, a different world comes to life. At the Night Safari, you can look a rhinoceros in the eye, hear the howls of a pack of striped hyenas or watch giraffes glide serenely across the plain in the still of the night.This premier night zoo houses over 900 animals of 135 exotic species in eight zones re-created to simulate geographic zones like the Southeast Asian rainforest, African savanna, Nepalese river valley, South American pampas and Burmese jungle. Strike out on your own along the walking trail or relax in a tram ride – whichever you choose, Night Safari is a wild adventure not to be missed.

Spa Indulgence
Immerse yourself in the rich tranquility of Sentosa’s finest spa retreats, a short getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Get ready to indulge yourself with state-of-the-art facilities at Spa Botanica, a luxurious five-star resort, or de-stress yourself at the Health Club & Spa which houses a private yet open air garden that perches over a fish pond and a waterfall! For a truly unique and revitalizing experience, dip your feet at the Fish Reflexology, Underwater World and get a pedicure from a school of Turkish spa fish followed by a therapeutic foot pampering session by a qualified foot reflexologist. Night Life Stroll down the Merlion Walk, a 120-metre-long Gaudi-inspired mosaic walkway lined with colourful mosiac water jets! Join Oscar and his friends as they embark on an enchanted adventure at Songs of the Sea! Located conveniently by the Sentosa Express Beach Station, this spectacular world-class show comprising of dramatic
effects, jets of water, bright lasers, bursts of fires and foottapping music is sure to transport you into another dimension where all things magical come to life! Staying on the Island With a range of accommodation options (The Sentosa Resort & Spa, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort, Siloso Beach Resort, Treasure Resort and Costa Sands Resort), Sentosa caters to all budgets and preferences. A wide selection of food and beverage facilities is readily available on the island while Sentosa’s buses and trams provide easy islandwide access. With the recent launch of Amara Sanctuary Resort in Sentosa, which is secluded in the lush greens of the island’s tropical garden, it offers an exotic and exclusive stay for its guest. Be it for leisure, business or just a retreat away from the hectic city life.

Singapore Past and Present
Built in the 1880s, Fort Siloso served as the last bastion of the British forces during the Japanese invasion of Singapore. Explore the other historical enclave on top Mt Imbiah where the remains of a former battery lie. Learn about Singapore’s war years, its colourful culture and vibrant heritage at the three-part Images of Singapore, re-told through lifesize figures, animatronics and special effects. Imbiah Lookout – A first stop for fun seekers Sentosa’s newest activity zone is a fun filled stop, home to Singapore’s biggest attractions! Imbiah Lookout is the stop for fun filled activities where everything is just a mere 7 minutes apart. From the Sentosa Luge & Skyride to the famous panoramic Sky Tower and the Images of Singapore, you will be spoilt for choice on how to spend your day. Standing 37 metres tall is The Merlion, which offers a breathtaking view of Sentosa, Singapore’s skyline and the surrounding islands from two viewing decks. If going vertical is your aim, then visit the Sky Tower which takes up to 72 people in its cosy, air-conditioned cabin for a seven-minute ride. Tickle your senses with Sentosa 4D Magix for that truly interactive experience! This state-of-the-art theatre offers you a whole new generation of movie magic complete with surround sound, individually controlled motion seats and special live environmental effects such as water spray and leg ticklers! And try out CineBlast, Asia’s first and only experiential cinema ride! For a unique experience, let Sentosa Luge & Skyride exhilarate as you race down a 650km track! Part go-cart, part-toboggan, it is a funfilled gravity ride that is safe for all ages. Once is never enough! So make sure you take a leisurely ride back to the top on the Skyride as it transports you through a scenic 320m long tree-top ride with.

Nature 101
Nature beckons everywhere on Sentosa – keep a lookout for friendly peacocks, monkeys and squirrels. Take a walk at the Nature Walk.Dragon Trail through a secondary rainforest and stop by the vantage point on the summit of Mount Imbiah for a scenic view of the neighbouring islands. For an up close encounter with Mother Nature’s creations, head down to Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon to meet the friendly pink dolphins and other exciting ocean life. Or admire over 2,500 butterflies from over 50 species and unusual insects like the man-face bugs, stick insects, giant millipedes, scorpions and rhino beetles at the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom.

Sand and Sea
Stretching 3.2km long, soak up the sun along Sentosa’s sun-kissed beaches while engaging in various sports activities or simply chilling out at beachfront bars/pubs. Siloso Beach, dubbed Singapore’s Hippest Beach is the perfect spot for the young and restless.Palawan Beach serves a platter of fun sports and activities for the whole family! With amenities easily within reach,it’s no wonder why it is called Singapore’s Happiest Family Beach! Take a stroll with your family to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia via the suspension bridge or bring the kids to the delightful Animal & Bird Encounters which is sure to entertain. Diehard romantics will love Tanjong Beach for their unbeatable ambience and tranquility. Spend quality time with your special someone with a quiet stroll on Singapore’s Most Romantic Beach and bask inthe magnificent sunset.

Activites

The waters off many of Singapore’s beaches are polluted. Alternatives are the hotel pool or one of the excellent public swimming complexes. More watersport options include windsurfing and sailing off the beaches. Cycling enthusiasts can take ride their two wheels through the streets or on nature trails. Tennis and squash facilities are readily available.

Visa

Singapore Tourist Visa Requirements
Documents Required –
Visa Application form duly filled and singed as per passport. (Note – If thumb impression is there on the passport of child then on visa form along with thumb impression signature of both parents is required)
Valid passport with minimum 6 months validity from date of exit from Singapore after the tour.
2 photo (Note – Size 35 mm X 45 mm, Matt finished, pure whit background, 80 %portion of snap should be covered by face)
Covering letter from passenger on his / her letterhead addressed to Visa Officer, Singapore Consulate, Mumbai
Covering letter from SOTC letterhead addressed to Visa Officer, Singapore Consulate, Mumbai
IT Returns for last 3 years/Personal bank statements for last 6 months
If passenger is employed – Leave Letter
If passenger is retired – Retirement proof
If passenger is student – School / College ID
If honeymoon couple – Weeding card from both the sides and NOC from bride’s parent along with parents’ signature proof such as PAN Card copy, driving licenses or passport copies
Confirmed Return air tickets
Singapore Consulate, Mumbai’s Jurisdiction – States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, MP, Chhattisgarh and Orissa
Address of Singapore Consulate, Mumbai –
101, 10th Floor, Makers Chamber IV,
Jamnalal Bajaj Marg, Nariman Point,
Mumbai – 400 021
Visa Fees – INR 1300 + CVT Service Fees – INR 250 = Total SO Amount – INR 1550 per passenger
Processing Time – 3 Working days
Application for e-Visa to Enter Singapore Indian nationals holding ordinary Indian passports are required to apply for visa to enter Singapore prior to their visit to Singapore.
Documents required for visa application
You can apply for your visa through any of the authorised visa agents. Please contact them for their operating hours. Visa applications
will be accepted only when all of the following documents are in order:
Valid passport with at least six months validity from the date of arrival in Singapore;
Photocopies of the biodata and last page of passport;
Duly completed and signed Form 14A and a covering letter stating clearly your purpose of visit to Singapore;
Confirmed onward ticket and copies of it. Airline staff traveling on open airticket need to produce a no objection certificate (NOC) from the airline concerned together with his/her staff identity card;
1 recent coloured passport size photograph adhered to the form (35 mm wide by 45 mm high without border and taken within the last 3 months; taken full face without headgear, unless the applicant habitually wears a headgear in accordance with his/her religious or racial custom but the headgear must not hide the applicant’s features. The facial image must be between 25 mm and 35 mm from chin to crown;
taken against a plain white background with matt or semi-matt finish.) Please note that scanned or unclear photographs will not be accepted and kindly ensure that your form is properly completed. Any incomplete submission or false declaration will result in the
application being rejected;
Any other relevant supporting documents deemed to merit the consideration of the application. (e.g. Letter of Introduction, In-Principal Approval Letter, Letter of Guarantee from Shipping Agent, Company Invitation Letter, Employment Letter, Residential Proof etc);
Visa Fees
The visa processing fee and visa service fee for each application are 30 Singapore dollars* and INR 300 respectively.
Visa processing fee and visa service fee are paid upon application of visas. The online payment mode accepts Master/ Visa, Debit/ Credit cards only. The
processing fee and visa service fee are non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the application or if you withdraw the application after submission. (Kindly check with the respective authorised visa agents on the rates of the other administrative/miscellaneous fee levied if any)
* The visa processing fee charged by the authorised visa agents when converted to India rupees may vary based on the latest exchange rate on the day of application.
Time: Singapore is 2 1/2 hrs. aheadof India
Electricity: 220-240V, 50 Hz

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