Singapore is an amazing island that attracts tourists not so much for its rich flora and fauna or beaches, but for its architectural marvels and modern technology. Despite the small size of the island, everyone can find a corner to their liking here. Here live very open, friendly and independent people who will be happy to introduce you to their homeland. Welcome to Singapore, it’s waiting for you!
Singapore on the map
Geographical location of the country
Singapore is an island nation in Southeast Asia. It is located on several dozen islands at the southern tip of the Malacca Peninsula. The island is separated from the continent by the Strait of Johor, which is narrow and winding. The width of this strait is from 1 to 5 kilometres.
In the south-west, Singapore is separated from the island of Sumatra, which belongs to Indonesia, by the wider and deeper Singapore Strait. The width of this strait is from 12 to 20 kilometres, and it connects the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
In the east, the shores of the Republic are washed by the waters of the South China Sea, which belongs to the Pacific Ocean.
The country lies just a few kilometres north of the equator.
Safety for tourists
Singapore is considered one of the safest countries for tourists. There is practically zero urban crime rate here due to very cruel, sometimes harsh laws. But the same laws impose certain restrictions on tourists visiting the country. Many harmless in other countries, actions here threaten you with high fines or imprisonment.
The main types of crime that tourists may encounter are petty theft, fraud and credit card fraud. There are almost no police on the streets, and all offences are monitored by CCTV cameras.
Road traffic here is left-handed, drivers respect the rules, because for their violation threatens serious fines.
There are no dangerous flora and fauna on the island. Only poisonous jellyfish, the appearance of which is warned about by the control services, and mosquitoes – carriers of malaria, which are numerous in natural parks, can pose a certain danger.
The hot and humid climate can also pose a certain danger to tourists unaccustomed to such weather. It should be remembered that in such a climate, even a slight cold is very hard to bear.
The country has ten official holidays declared as days off. Among them, there are both secular and religious holidays. For example, not only the European New Year, but also the Chinese New Year is traditionally widely celebrated here. And two days off are allocated for the celebration of the second one.
May Day, Independence Day, Buddhist Vesak and Christian Christmas are also celebrated in the country.
There are also numerous festivals for tourists, as tourism is an important part of the country’s economy. Among them are the River Festival and Dragon Boat Festival, Lord Muragana Day and the International Arts Festival.
Festivals here are held with unprecedented scope and use of modern technological achievements, but most importantly – a lot of fun.
What fun things to do in Singapore
In terms of variety of entertainment, this country can satisfy any, the most demanding taste.
- Bars and restaurants. There are a lot of bars, karaoke clubs and restaurants in the country, which are open all day and night. They are famous for their cuisine and live music. Especially attractive is Sentosa Island, which is even compared to Ibiza in terms of the scope of club life.
- Performances and concerts. At any time of the year, Singapore is filled with world celebrities in the field of theatre and vocal art. World-famous troupes and rock bands give their performances here, and the Chinese Opera is always open.
- Amusement Parks. The island has many of the most amazing parks and attractions that appeal to adults and children. There is a safari park, water parks, swimming pools, and a zoo.
- Sightseeing. Despite its small size, Singapore is literally packed with all sorts of attractions. There are historical Chinatown and super modern hotels, unusual sculptures and museums, futuristic artificial trees and one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world.
- Ubin Nature Reserve. A corner of unspoilt wilderness on a small island. Turned into a national park, where travelling by bicycle is possible.
- Beach holidays. Extremely unpopular in this country, despite the island position. There are practically no beaches in Singapore, and the only exception is Sentosa Island. There is a beach area there, designed exclusively for tourists.
- Shopping. Orchard Road is the centre of shopping in the country. It is home to name-brand boutiques, restaurants and cinemas.
What’s important to know about Singapore
If you are planning to visit Singapore, here are some of the most important things to know:
Singapore has four official national languages. It is Malay, the language of the indigenous people of these islands and the neighbouring country, Malaysia. It is Chinese, as the language of the country’s largest population group. This is Tamil, because there are a lot of representatives of this ethnic group. And it is English, because the republic has been under British rule for a long time.
But it should be taken into account that the national anthem of the country is written and sung in Malay, and English and Chinese are used in official institutions.
For several years, Singapore has held the honourable second place in the world in terms of population density. Almost 6 million people live here, and the area of the country is only 743 square kilometres.
The national composition of the population is quite motley, but most of it is Chinese. They make up almost 75% of the population. Then come the Malays, Tamils, Bengalis and other natives of India.
To a small extent, other ethnic groups are represented in the country: British, Thai, Japanese, Jews, Arabs and others.
More facts about Singaporean, their character and local colour can be found in this article.
The official currency of the country is the Singapore dollar. It was put into circulation in 1967. Both metal coins and banknotes are issued.
The Singapore dollar is known among numismatists for colourful series. Thus, banknotes with the image of Orchids, then Birds, Ships and Portraits were issued.
The Singapore dollar is divided into 100 cents.
Singapore is a secular state in which religion is separated from the government. And this is not surprising. After all, representatives of a dozen churches and denominations gather side by side in the country. None of them has an overwhelming advantage in the number of believers.
Thus, Buddhism is professed by about a third of Singaporeans. About 20 per cent of residents identify themselves as Christians, and 15 per cent as Muslims. The communities of Taoism and Hinduism are significant. And about one-fifth of the population classifies itself as atheists.
That is why the principle of harmony and freedom of religion is practised in the Republic. Representatives of all faiths have equal rights and freedoms.
Singapore’s equatorial location has a major influence on its climate. It has hot summers all year round with minimal monthly temperature fluctuations. Thus, in January the average temperature is +26 degrees Celsius, and in July – +27 degrees Celsius.
During the day it is very hot here, the temperature rises to +35 degrees Celsius, and at night it drops to +24 degrees Celsius. At the same time, the absolute minimum temperature, which was recorded on the island, is +20 degrees.
The equatorial climate is characterised by a division into dry and wet seasons, but the difference between them is also insignificant. Thus, in winter, during the rainy season, 250 mm of precipitation falls monthly, and in summer, during the dry season – 150 millimetres.
Sea water temperature
Tourists do not come to Singapore mainly for beach holidays, but being near the warm sea, it is difficult to refrain from water procedures. Regardless of the time of year, the temperature of water in the sea is equally high. This is another feature of the equatorial climate.
In the winter months the water temperature drops to +26 – +27 degrees, and in summer the sea warms up to +30 – +31 degrees. Therefore, while bathing in the winter months is a real pleasure, in summer the local waters become too warm.
Singapore is one of the safest places in Southeast Asia in terms of the threat of natural disasters.
The most frequent of these include storms that periodically strike the archipelago, heavy rainfall that can cause short-term flooding, and echoes of earthquakes that often occur in neighbouring Indonesia.
There is no tsunami threat to the island; these destructive ocean waves are weakened in the shallow waters surrounding the island. The volcanic eruptions of the Pacific Ring of Fire also do not affect the island.
You can read about the most devastating disasters in Singapore’s history in this article.
Singapore is a parliamentary republic. The head of the executive branch is the Prime Minister, who runs the country, and the role of the President is more of an honour than a real one.
Nevertheless, the president is considered the head of the legislative branch and heads the parliament. The parliament in the country is unicameral.
Administratively, the country is divided into 5 districts.
Islands of Singapore
Most tourists think of Singapore as an island, which is how it is labelled on maps. In fact, it is a small archipelago of 63 islands.
Pulau Ujong. This is the largest island, which is often so called – Singapore. Four of the country’s five administrative districts and all of its major attractions are located here. Its area is 617 square kilometres and it is connected by two bridges to Malaysia. In the south of the island is the city of Singapore itself.
Pulau Tekong. The easternmost island of the republic. Tourists cannot get here, the island is used for military purposes.
Pulau Ubin. An island in the north-east of the country, now a national park. It is home to many birds and preserved in pristine wildlife. There are almost no tarmac roads on the island, tourists are offered cycling routes and outdoor recreation.
Sentosa. A small island at the southern tip of Singapore. It is a popular tourist area with a water park and a butterfly park. It is also home to Asia’s first four-dimensional interactive theatre.
Symbols of Singapore
Singapore is a tiny country even by European standards, but nevertheless it has its own recognizable symbols.
Merlayon. A mythical creature with the head of a lion and the tail of a fish. His statues can be easily seen in various parts of the country. He is considered the patron and protector of the land. Was able to sizzle the enemy with a fiery look and protect from the storm.
Orchid. It was here that a hybrid orchid was first bred, which eventually became the symbol of the country and the ruling party in it. The image of orchids can be found not only on the country’s banknotes, but also on its postage stamps. Singapore itself has an Orchid Park.
How to get to Singapore
Despite the fact that Singapore is geographically located on islands, it can be reached by almost any means of transport.
The largest airport in Southeast Asia, Changi Airport, connects the country with almost any country in the world, with any continent. Several dozen airlines fly here every year.
Traditionally, the port of Singapore has served as a connecting hub between India and Europe on the one hand, and China and Japan on the other. It is the world’s largest commercial port, but passenger cruise ships also arrive here.
Another way to get to the republic, the most economically favourable, is overland via Malaysia. From the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, there are daily trains and buses to Singapore. Trains arrive via the Western Link at Woodlands train checkpoint station, which is also a customs checkpoint.
Buses between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore run daily from 7am to midnight. This is the most popular route for locals and the most favourable for tourists. There are more than a dozen transport companies that carry passengers, and the number of flights per day exceeds 50.
How much money to take with you
Singapore is considered a very expensive place for a holiday, not only in terms of flight costs, but also in terms of entertainment and accommodation prices. If you can buy a trip to the island for 7 days from 2500 dollars, then a holiday for the same time for two people will cost you 2-3 thousand dollars.
Of course, if you want, you can get away with half the amount, but remember: Singapore is a country of temptation. There are so many interesting, surprising and delightful things to see here that you just can’t resist visiting some iconic landmark!
If you have already visited this country, please share your impressions in the comments. Please write a few words, what you liked most of all in the country, what moments remained in your memory forever, and what you would recommend to other tourists. We will be very grateful for your recommendations!