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Singapore - Country Profile

Singapore is a friendly, clean, modern, efficient city built on strict rules that everyone now follows. The chaos and vibrancy of South East Asia is subdued but still prevalent in the Chinese and Indian quarters.


Singapore's is located on an island at the tip of the Malay peninsular. It was established as a trading post and has grown up to be one of the biggest cities in the region. Strict rules have made the city-state clean and efficient and at first glance a little sterile. The constant heat and humidity means that life has moved indoors to the many air conditioned shopping centres.

However life in Little India, Kampang Glam or Chinatown is still bustling and vibrant. Temples and tradional shops vie for space with modern electrical stores, while in the hawker centers, food is plentiful and cheap and the locals mingle on the communal tables.


Weather and times to visit

Singapore's location on the Equator means the weather is the same all year round. It's very hot and humid, with frequent thunderstorms. Singapore's Chinese districts do pretty much shut down for two days over Chinese New Year.


English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil are all official languages - you'll have no problem getting by with just English.

Currency and money matters

Singapore uses the Singapore Dollar. Major credit cards are accepted pretty much everywhere and there are plenty of banks and ATMs throughout the city. Accommodation is expensive, but transport cheap and efficient and food from the hawker centres is very good value.

Business Hours

Banks open Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, while shopping centres are open until around 9pm.


Most visitors from Western countries can receive a visa on arrival - for 30 days if arriving by air, 14 days overland. Immigration officials are surprisingly welcoming, but aren't particularly forgiving if you overstay your visa.