GENERAL INFORMATION
SINGAPORE
Min. Traveling Cost / day US$20-25

Country Code 65 , $1=S$1.64, Apr 16, 2004



Language
National: 4 official languages - Mandarin, Malay Tamil, English. No problems to travel only in English.


Climate
Tropical, up to 90% humidity.
Temperature:, 24-31C Hottest: Jul-Aug Coolest: Dec - Jan Monsoon : Mar-May & Nov-Jan It rains throughout the year, heaviest during Nov - Jan Monsoon.


Basic Travel Costs
Min. prices
Room dorm bed: S$:9-20 Food(Hawker center): S$2+
Food Restaurant S$6 Mineral Water: S$1.2
coffee(instant): S$0.80 coffee(real): S$1-3
Starbacks: house grande $3.75 Coke at shop: S$0.8+
Big Mac: S$3.5 Big Mac set: S$5.9
breakfast(Cont.): S$5
Beer(pub): S$3 Beer(happy hour): S$10-12
breakfast(local): S$2 breakfast(Ame.): ?
Postcards: S$0.50 Cinema: S$6.50-7.50
Film Develop: S$3 Print 3R: S$0.25+/p


Banks/Exchange
Banks, Moneychangers and hotels change all major currencies - cash & T/Cs. Some banks may charge commission, some don't. Moneychangers and hotels don't usually charge commission. The rate can be negotiable slightly. May need to show passport and T/C receipt when changing.
Moneychangers are the best option for cash & T/C's, higher rates for cash especially for larger denominations - 50's and 100's notes, check around. Bargaining sometimes possible. $1=S$1.64/1.648, 100yen=S$1.5/1.48
Opening hours:
Banks M-F 9:30/10:00-15:00,
Sa 9:30-11:30. Moneychangers daily 9:00-21:00.
Cash Advance: Visa, MC possible at most banks, no charge.
Credit Cards: Accepted in many hotels (mid-level+), high class restaurants, dept. stores, transport booking offices.
Rates at Airport: not so bad. Rate cash/TC: $1=S$1.655/1.652, 100yen=S$1.531/1.512
ATM:
There are 500+ ATM's in Singapore. Many at banks & shopping centers.


Immigration/Visa
Visas are not required: for most nationalities.
'Social Visit Passes' are automatically issued to most nationalities at airport (30days), sea ports (14 days) & land border (14days).
Visa Extensions: are possible- apply at Immigration, or 'leave' the country - go to Johor Bahru (Mal.) and return.
Bus #170, O/W
S$1.70,
or Johor Bahru Express,
S$2.40, + S$2.40 baggage from Ban Sat Terminal on Queen St+Arab St.
!Warning: Never carry drugs, may face the death penalty if caught.

Border Crossings
AIR Changi Airport: - See city info for details
LAND BUS: Via Johor Bahru (Malaysia).
TRAIN: Train services to Malaysia and on to Thailand. for the schedule info. see transport sheet International trains Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand. To/from Singapore:
PRIVATE VEHICLE ONLY: Via Johor Bahru. Tuas Link, bridge in the W.
SEA BOAT: There are several boat services to/from: Malaysia(Tioman & more) & Indonesia(Bintan, Bentan). See Transport
Local Transport:
Singapore has an excellent transport system see city info for details.


Mail/Telephone
Excellent services. Though mail rates are cheaper in Johor Bahru.
POST OFFICE: Opening hours: M-F 8:00-18:00,Sa8:00-13:00
check city info. Poste Restante available at GPO
Printed Paper & small Packages: Air mail Aust/Jap= first 20g S$0.40, add. 20g S$0.20. US/EU= S$0.50, add. S$0.25
www.singpost.com


Mail Japan Europe USA AZ/NZ Thai Mal/Bru
aerogram S$0.5 S$0.5 S$0.5 S$0.5 S$0.5
Post Card S$0.5 S$0.5 S$0.5 S$0.5 S$0.5 S$0.3
Letter(20g)/add10g S$0.7/0.30

S$1.0/0.35

S$0.7/0.30

S$0.6/0.25

speedboat boat service: delivered within 1-2 days for major cities
document Japan/AZ/NZ Europe USA/UK canada Thai Mal
upto 1kg S$24 S$35-40 S$30 S$35 S$18 S$12
saver package AZ/NZ/Thai Japan/Canada/Europe/USA Mal
5kg/10kg/add 1kg S$60/90/7 S$90/130/8 S$40/60/6

Parcel: delivered in 3-10weeks
Parcel AZ/NZ Europe/UK USA/canada Japan Thai Malaysia
air 10kg/20kg S$95/145 S$126.5/216.5 S$143.5/243.5 S$105.5/185.5 S$63.3/93.3 S$47/77
SAC 10kg/20kg S$84/132 S$111.2/191.2 S$123.5/233.5 S$85.5/155.5 S$52.8/96.8 S$42.2/72.2
Parcel USA Canada/UK Europe Japan/NZ AZ Thai Malaysia
surface10kg/20kg S$97.5/147.5 S$57/93 S$42.5/66.5 S$44.6/64.6 S$38.854.8 S$30/46 S$23.2/35.2


TELEPHONE Country code : 65
Local Call ( 3 min): S$0.10. Coin, card (widely available from supermarkets & news stands in denominations of S$2+ Many phones also have credit card facility.
International Call: IDD GPO, Telecom Center and from card phones. Access No. 001 + country - number.
International Calling Card system: pin no. there are several companies issuing cards SingTel, Sunpage: S$10+ see below
Assistance: T161
IDD Call 1min.)

Japan

Europe
UK

USA

Australia
standard time S$1.40 S$1.90+ S$1.95 S$1.00 S$1.30
economy time

about 10 % off from the price above

Card call 1min.

Japan

Europe

UK

USA

Australia
Standard rate

S$0.81
S$0.62+ S$0.62 S$0.52 S$0.62
Cheap rate (varies from company and time)
New Telephone system: A few new telephone companies operate in Singapore. Star Hab, Singapore telecom, Sunpage. All are prepaid card system available at 7 eleven. 10-20% discounted. Singapore telecom accept to use credit cards with extra S$1 fee. Beside those 3 cards, many more prepaid telephone cards are available. They offer super discount rates, such as 200 mins for S$10. They are mainly sold at Indian shops.


Accommodation
Accommodation is not good value compared to neighboring countries. Budget level is very basic hostel style, mainly crowded dorms or simple box style single/double rooms.


Food
Every kind of food is available in Singapore.
The quality is high at all price levels. The cheapest
2-3S$, most authentic local food can be found in the many hawker centers. Local foods are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nonya, (mixture of Malay & Chinese)

Local Transport
Singapore has excellent city transport system, such as MRT(underground system), buses, metered taxi. See city info

Emergency
Credit Card:
American Express:
T299-8133, Diners Club: T294-4222
JCB: T734-0092, Visa/Master Card: 1-800-345-1345
Accident:
Police:
T999, Ambulance: T995


Customs
Singapore, like Malaysia, is a multi-cultural society. Customs & traditions differ within its Chinese, Malay, Indian communities.
Toilet: Western toilets are common. All shopping centers have them - free of charge.
Tipping: Not customary. Hotels and restaurants may add service charge to your bill.
Bargaining: Many shops have fixed prices but bargaining is still common practice in markets and street stalls.
Smoking: Prohibited in public areas such as shopping malls, a/c restaurants, cinemas, government offices, public transport. Fines of up to S$500 possible
! Fines: Very strictly prohibited for smoking in public places, littering, jaywalking,, importing chewing gum,etc, etc. You may face the fine.


Health
Medical facilities are of a high standard.
See city info for hospitals. Treatment costs are high.
Drinking water: Tap water is safe to drink.
Food: hygiene Good.
Vaccinations: Not required
Health Hazards: Malaria Carried by mosquitoes.
Not a problem in Singapore but a course of Malaria tablets is recommended if visiting other countries in SE Asia.
Dehydration/Sunburn: Singapore is hot, drink often, cover up and apply sun-block regularly.


Shopping
Singapore is a shoppers paradise. It certainly is the favorite activity of both Singaporeans and visitors. Good buys are electronics, computers, optical goods, sports accessories and brand name goods. Sale time is June/July.
Shopping General opening hours:
9:00-20:00/21:00 Credit cards are widely accepted.
Souvenirs: Most traditional products T-shirts S$? post cards S$0.50
! Warning: For cameras & electrical goods, don't bargain only over the price. Make clear all necessary accessories come with the price, especially international warrantee, case, batteries, etc.


Festival & Holidays 2001
FESTIVALS/PUBLIC HOLS
This info is old. Use as reference only. *: Change every year.
Very complicated because of Singapore's multi-cultural/religious society, Chinese, Hindu, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity.
Jan 1 PH New Years Day
Jan 14 Ponggal
Feb 8-17 Sing Hong Bao:
Many performances are held. Fire works
Feb 12-13 Lunar/ Chinese New Year:
New Year Light-up
15-day festivities held in Chinese communities. Shops close first 3-5 days. Chinatown is decorated with lights and lanterns.
Jan 28 Thaipusam Hindu Festival:
honoring Lord Subramaniam. A procession from Sri Perumal Temple, Serangoon Rd to Chettiyar Temple, Tank Rd.
The followers 'self-mutilate' themselves - skewers pierced through cheeks, tongues, etc.
Feb 16 Chingay: Chingray Parade Colorful parade along Orchard Road, featuring Chinese dragons, floats, etc.
Feb 23 PH Hari Raya Haji: Islam cerebration for the people who finish Haji, visiting Mecca.
April 29 PH Good Friday
Mar 29-Apr 30 Singapore Food Festival
April 12 - 28? International Film Festival
May 1 PH Labor Day
May 26 PH Vesak Day: The most important day for Buddhist communities. Celebrations for Buddha's Birth/Enlightenment/Death, held at most Buddhist temples.
May 31 - Jun 24 Great Singapore Sale:
Jun 25? Dragon Boat Festival: Dragon Boat Races.
Aug 9 PH National Day: Anniversary of Singapore's Independence in 1965.
Sep 9-16 Hungry Ghost festival: Chinese festival lasts for 30 days. Offerings of food and paper money are made to appease tormented spirits released from hell and visiting for a month. Chinese opera is performed in the streets - for the entertainment of the Hungry Spirits.
Sep 21-30 Mid Autumn: On the last day, Grand lantern parade on Singapore river.
Sep/Oct ? Moon cake Festival: Chinese festival to celebrate the defeat of the Mongul Dynasty in China. During the war secret messages were smuggled in moon cakes. Lantern competitions are held, followed by a Lantern Festival Display at the Chinese Gardens.
Oct 1-10? Navarathri: 9 nights festival for the 3 Hindu goddesses. Classical Indian dance & music are performed at Chettiar Temple on Tank Rd. On 10th day a procession through the Indian neighborhood is held.
Oct Birthday of Monkey God
Oct Festival of Nine Emperor Gods:Festival to celebrate the return of 9 emperor spirits to earth.
Oct 14* PH Deepvali Hindu: festival of light which defeated darkness. Ceremonies are help in Little India.
Oct - Nov? Thimithi Festival: Hindu festival. Fire walking by devotees at Sri Mariamman Temple.
Oct-Nov? Pilgrimage to Kusu Island: Chinese & Muslims visit a small island, Kusu. And make offerings at the Malay Shrine and Chinese Temple on the island.
Nov 16-Dec 15 Ramadan
Dec 16 Hari Raya Puasa: (end of Ramadan)
Dec 25 PH Christmas: Christian holidays. The streets are lit up, most impressive lights are on Orchard Rd.

Internet
Many internet cafes in town. the prices varies and are getting down, $3/hr. The speed is fast.

Miscellaneous
Voltage: 220-240v 50 cycles Plug type: English style, 3pin, square
Goods hard to get here: Chewing gum, Cigarettes - not hard to get but expensive.
Photo Developing/Quality: Cheap, good quality
English Newspapers: The Straits Times The Business Times, The New Paper


Information for Japanese
Many Japanese department stores in town, especially on Orchard Rd. Have Japanese magazines. There are many Japanese restaurants.
Japanese Book Cafe: Mohamed Sultan Rd+ Unity St. Japanese menu. Also sells Japanese books, manga, magazines, CD's.

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