Geographer. Singapore coordinates: latitude – 1o22 ′, longitude – 103o59 ′, height above sea level – 16 m. And the island, and the state, and its capital are called the same – Singapore. Translated from Sanskrit, this name means “city of the lion.” The city-state in Southeast Asia, consisting of the main island and more than 50 small islands lying south of the Malay Peninsula. The island of Singapore is separated from the peninsula by the narrow Strait of Johor. In the south between it and Indonesia is the Singapore Strait, which connects the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. The area of Singapore is 640 sq. Km.
Climate The average annual temperature in Singapore is + 28-30 ° С. The climate is humid, tropical. Even in January, the thermometer does not fall below + 30 ° C. The most pleasant thing in the evening, when Singapore plunges into a refreshing cool – the air temperature drops to + 23 ° С.
The relief of the island is flat with low hills (the highest point of the country is the “mountain” BukitTiman, 166 m.). In the northeastern part of the island, large areas of evergreen forests and marshes were drained and given to agricultural land (arable land occupies only 1.64% of the island’s area), water tanks and urban development. The northern and northwestern regions remain the last untouched islands of equatorial vegetation, but most of them are cultivated and used as a landscape park. New lands for industrial facilities and urban areas are being actively developed, but at the same time, most of the land is conquered from the sea – extensive dams are being built, soil is being dumped and the island is being expanded by building floating structures. The remaining islands of the country are occupied mainly by equatorial forests, wastelands and rock massifs heavily eroded.
The population is 3.04 million people, the average population density is about 4,400 people per sq. Km. Most of the population is concentrated in the southern part of the main island. Ethnic groups: Chinese – 77%, Malays – 15%, Indians – 6%.
Tongue Malay (Malaysian). Also considered official are Chinese, Tamil, English. Religion: Buddhism – 29%, Christianity – 19%, Islam – 16%, Taoism – 13%.
The currency is the Singapore dollar. It is equal to 100 cents. Exchange Rate: € 1 = SD1.8. In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 1, 2, 4, 10, 20, 50, 1000 and 10,000 Singapore dollars. Coins 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 dollar. Banks are open from 10.00 to 15.00 on weekdays and from 9.30 to 11.30 on Saturdays. Street money changers offer a better rate than banks. In the hotel, shops and restaurants you can pay with credit cards.
Duty-free import is allowed: strong alcoholic drinks – 1l, cigarettes – 200, cigars – 50, tobacco – 250 g, wine – 1l, beer – 1l, household items and household items – within personal needs. For the export of weapons, explosives, animals, poisons, drugs, precious stones and jewelry (in quantities exceeding personal needs) permission is required. Prohibited to import: chewing gum of any kind, meat and meat products, weapons, explosives. For the importation of drugs – the death penalty. Passengers departing on an international flight are charged a $ 12 airport tax. The fee is not charged to passengers who have not left the transit zone and children under the age of 2 years. A vaccination certificate is not required.
What to see / where to go
Singapore is a thriving business and financial center of Southeast Asia, in which the old quarters peacefully coexist with ultra-modern offices and shopping complexes, luxury hotels and luxury golf clubs. There are more than 300 parks in the city of skyscrapers, homeless people and beggars are simply absent as a class, expensive cars are driving around the city, every time there are sparkling windows.
Sentosa means “the island of peace and tranquility.” The paradox is that now it is one of the main attractions of Singapore, the most popular entertainment island. You can get here by cable car from Mount Faber. The funicular is better to choose with a transparent bottom. The height is over a hundred meters, so the view is impressive. Residents consider this place ideal for a break from the noisy city. Here you can enjoy the beauty of nature and the beaches of the island, see the Singapore History Museum, the Asian Village, visit the laser show of musical fountains, visit the Butterfly Park, where 2,500 butterflies of more than 50 species are gathered in the picturesque garden, the Singapore Paintings Museum, the Coral Museum, the Wax Museum figures. The largest tropical oceanarium in Asia called “Underwater World” is located on Sentosa and looks like a tunnel 80 meters long. There are about 2300 sea samples collected here (fish, sea animals, including sharks, moray eels, piranhas, electric rays, and also presented the sea cow, of which there is practically no species left in the world). At the top of the island is the Merlion Tower, which offers an amazing view of Singapore.
If you reach the southernmost part of the island, you can take a picture against the background of a sign that says that you are on the southernmost part of the Asian continent. Excursion from which adults and children will be delighted – “Singapore Zoo”, where you can attend the tea ceremony with the intellectual orangutan. Animals are not kept in cages, and the grids replace natural barriers and green barriers.
Excursion “Night Safari”. In the night safari, you can see the nightlife of Singapore animals, which are collected here more than 1200 copies. Most of the inhabitants of the jungle are nocturnal, and therefore they are best observed at night. Special trams, which operate from early morning until midnight, bring tourists very close to nocturnal animals. In order to look at animals from even closer distances, you can walk along special paths laid through the tropical jungle. By the way, the Night Safari attraction in 1994 was recognized as the best attraction in the world! A sightseeing tour of Singapore will allow you to see the history of the past and the present of this amazing country. You will see the central square with the highest hotel in the world, Indian Village, Arab Street, Chinatown, the embankment, the colonial center, the House of Parliament.
The symbol of Singapore is a sculpture with the head of a lion and a fish body, which can be seen in Merlin Park. And the statue of the founder of the city-country, Sir Stamford Raffles, stands directly in front of the Victoria Theater, famous for performing the national symphony orchestra. The technical equipment of the city and the population is highly developed. Here even very young children have mobile phones. On the case are photos of relatives. To connect with them, just click on the desired image. In hypermarkets, shelves and windows are crammed with Japanese equipment, watches, carpets, porcelain, and jewelry.
A great bus network covers the whole island. Buses start at half past five in the morning and finish by midnight. There is also a subway. In the subway, you can even speak in a whisper – no noise. In the cars instead of the usual posters for us – plasma monitors. The metro is open from six in the morning until midnight. This is a quick and inexpensive way to get anywhere in the city. Convenient and public transport – taxis. Each car has a counter installed and it’s necessary to pay for it. Tipping taxi drivers can be given, but you can not give – at your discretion. Among the tourists is popular and “local” transport – rickshaws, although Singaporeans themselves do not like it. The price for such a trip should be negotiated in advance, and it is best to resort to the services of a driver who has an official license to drive a rickshaw.
The electrical network is designed for 220-240V and 50Hz. Sockets have 3 inputs, so you need an adapter. You can ask at the hotel, this service is free
The telephone network in Singapore works flawlessly. It is better to use pay phones, cheaper. To call home, you need to dial the country code, area code and the number of the called subscriber.
Shops / prices
Singapore is a paradise for shoppers. Here you can purchase relatively inexpensive, but high-quality goods. Most foreigners buy electronics, textiles, perfumes, cosmetics and orchids. The only problem is to buy something from clothes of big sizes and sizes. On the main tourist street of Singapore – Orchad Road are concentrated the main bars, restaurants and discos of Singapore, here you can go to a variety of shops that are worth a look.
Officially, tips are not encouraged in Singapore. However, in recent years, the situation is beginning to change. Local service workers are increasingly awaiting tip from foreigners. So, despite the fact that hotel visitors are warned that tips in this establishment are not accepted, maids are sometimes left up to 2 Singapore dollars per day. It is customary to leave the corridor at 1 Singapore dollar per piece of luggage. In beauty salons tip is 2-4 Singapore dollars. Tipping is not accepted to leave to waiters, taxi drivers, messengers, workers in the sphere of personal services, for example, the master repairman, as well as at airports
On the island to actively deal with smoking. So you risk paying a fine if you smoke in a closed public place: bus, elevator, cinema, theater, public office, restaurant and shop. Otherwise, the fine is 500 US dollars. You can smoke in open restaurants / cafes, on the street and in other specially marked places. Always cross the road at a pedestrian crossing. No pedestrian or pedestrian underpass nearby? Cross the road at the traffic lights; the fine for crossing the road in the wrong place is about $ 250. You can not litter, spit on the sidewalk, on the road, a fine – $ 250. Unlike other Asian countries, Singapore honors queues, so whether you are waiting for a taxi, buying a souvenir – always stand in a queue. It is forbidden to eat and drink in unspecified places, to chew chewing gum. Riding in the front or back in a car or a taxi without a seat belt is punishable by a fine of $ 60 per person. On the streets of Singapore, you can unexpectedly be a participant in a carnival or some national holiday with jugglers, acrobats and dancers. There are, on the contrary, very quiet streets, where it is nice to sit in a small cafe, surrounded by lace bars, forged, for example, in the last century in Scotland.
Before you go to an exotic country, be it Singapore or some other country, find out what is growing there and whether you are allergic to it! Pre-vaccinations are not necessary. If you like to eat mussels, raw and half-baked – from hepatitis A and B can be done. True, it is irrelevant to the country; it’s just that there are a lot of delicious seafood here, it’s difficult to stay. But a good medical policy is useful. Medical care in the country is expensive. A doctor’s appointment costs 20 Singapore dollars – this is without medication. A specialist in the hospital should come from 70 s. d., up to several hundred. A day in the hospital costs 150, operations are generally expensive — some thousands. So take care of yourself!
Restaurants and cafes – an integral part of the life of Singaporeans. And the Singapore festival of national cuisine annually turns the country into a big feast of gluttony. Singapore is a multinational city, so everywhere you can try Chinese, Malian and Indian dishes. Bars, cafes and restaurants, scattered everywhere, offer a great variety of a variety of Asian dishes, including real works of culinary art from fresh and juicy seafood, which are mere pennies. More than 500 first-class restaurants are happy to fulfill any culinary whim of the visitor. Try Indian and Chinese dishes, refresh yourself with ice juice from fresh fruits and, of course, do not deny yourself the pleasure to feast on exquisite works of “high” cuisine in world-class restaurants or outdoors on the banks of the Singapore River
When entering a Buddhist or Muslim temple, you must remove your shoes. However, we advise you to take it with you and put it inside. And then leave barefoot. Documents, return tickets, large sums of money are best left in the hotel safe. You can make a copy of the document and carry it with you. And take with you a hotel business card – often, especially with insufficient knowledge of English, helps out.
Holidays and non-working days
May 1 is a celebration in honor of the birthday of the Third Prince Lotus, the child god. This is a very unusual day: mediums and spirits gather in Singapore’s Chinese temples. Being in a state of complete mystical trance, they either pierce themselves with swords or stab them with daggers. With their blood they sprinkle the sheets of yellow paper with which the floors in the temples are laid. These sheets of blood can then be used as talismans that protect those in power. Emergency numbers: Ambulance and fire protection – 995, police – 999.