Singapore comprising 63 islets encircling the main island is a land of natural and manmade beauties. A popular centre of commerce, one of the world’s most significant oil refining and distribution centres and the hub of tourism, Singapore in the last 150 years has proved to be a leader in all respects.
A country with a fusion of the traditional and the modern, Singapore’s dynamics is unique and incomparable. A melting pot of cultures, Singapore’s population includes Malays, Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Thai and ethnic groups. The different ethnic quarters in Singapore like Little India, Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Geylang Serai further display the variety and assortment of cultures and ethnicity in Singapore.
Singapore is a magnificent land of numerous skyscrapers, state-of-the-art architecture, delicious cuisine, breath-taking locations, many museums, temples and above all extremely warm and amiable people. Singapore has some of the most picturesque locations, beautiful architecture, very interesting ethnic quarters, different places of worship, many wildlife sanctuaries, the fascinating Singapore River, the fabulous parks and gardens and the state-of-the-art museums.
Location for accommodation varies from the famous shopping street Orchard Road to the touristy Clarkes Quay bustling with evening entertainment to Suntec City area if you are visiting Singapore for an exhibition or to stay in the ethnic suburbs of Little India or China Town….check with us for options to suit your budget and taste.
Whether as a stopover or for a shopping extravaganza or just to chill out for a few days, we have quite a few options to make your stay in Singapore interesting. Take private or seat-in-a-coach tours to explore this fascinating city. Ask us for more information.
This information has been compiled for your reference in good faith but please use this only as a general guide. We advise you to check with relevant authorities with regard to the latest requirement for passport, visa, travel advisory, entry restrictions, health requirements, local currency etc. as these are subjected to change with without prior notice and our information given below may not be as updated.
Best time to go: Singapore is year-round destination with warm and humid tropical climate. It’s hot and sunny throughout, with two monsoon seasons – December to March and June to September bringing heavy rains.
Visa: New Zealand passport holders do not require a Visa for Singapore. Entry Permit for a 30 days’ stay is granted on arrival free of charge. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the expected departure from Singapore.
Currency: Singapore currency is called Singapore Dollar and is divided into 100 cents. The notes include S$1, S$2, S$5, S$ 50, S$ 500, S$ 500, S$ 1000 and S$ 10,000. The coins are in the denomination of 5 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and 1 Dollar.
All the major credit cards are accepted in the hotels, restaurants and shops. In the Singapore economy there is no restriction of export or import of local and foreign currency. The foreign currency and travellers’ cheque can be changed at most banks and licensed moneychangers. ATM’s are also available at many places.
Health: There is no need for precautionary vaccination for Singapore but it is recommended to check the latest conditions with your doctor while planning your trip. Singapore has one among the best health and medical facilities in the world. The pharmaceuticals are easily available in numerous outlets, including the supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Make sure that you have adequate health insurance, as medical care can be very expensive in Singapore.
Food and drinks: The cuisine of Singapore bears strong influence of the Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, and Indonesian delicacies. The western traditions can also be reflected in the Singaporean cuisines. In Singaporean hawker stores one can come across a Chinese chef experimenting with tamarind, turmeric and ghee, which bear strong influence with the Indian style of cooking.
The tourists in Singapore are very fond of skewers popularly known as satay. This is one of the original Malay dishes prepared in a traditional Malayan method to melt the hearts of the food lovers. The northern and south Indian cuisine is marked as one of the most popular Singaporean dishes. The spicy Indian food is a hot favourite in the local food stalls and menu comprises of biriyani, curries, masala, thosai, idli and tandoori. The wide variety of seafood dishes is also quite popular among the Singaporean food lovers.
The Singapore popular dishes include seafood varieties like barbequed stingray, chili crab, fried oyster and black pepper crab. The vegetarian food outlets are well known for selling special Singapore dishes. In the recent times to promote healthy living people have started to remain stick to the vegetarian diets.
Being cosmopolitan in nature, Singapore offers all brands of international beverages but one must try the local legend – Singapore Sling. Considering the warm climate, it is advisable to drink a lot of water. Tap water is safe to drink and bottled water is widely available.
Safety & security: Like in any other part of the world, a few precautions need to be taken to avoid any problems. Please do not leave your bags unattended at any times. Please use safe deposit in your hotel room or Reception to keep your money or valuables including passport. When you leave the room, it is recommended that you lock your suitcase. It is also recommended to carry a copy of your passport including the visa page.
Clothing: Casual and semi-casual summer clothes are acceptable in Singapore and residents are fairly tolerant of different cultures’ mode of dress. Take light cotton clothing and smart casual for evening dining.
Language: There are four official languages – English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Most Singapore residents speak English in addition to another language.
Gratuities: Most of the restaurants include service charge in the bills, hence you do not need to tip the waiters. Hotel Bell Boys, guides and your driver would expect some gratuities. Tipping is not mandatory but it is highly appreciated by the people who serve you.
Airport tax: Generally your international air ticket should include airport tax on international departure.
Internet: Internet is common in hotel rooms and a lot of hotels also have internet facilities at their Reception or Business Centre for use by guests at a small fee. Cyber cafes are available in the city in main shopping streets at very reasonable costs.
Telephone: Singapore has a dialling code of +65 from New Zealand. Telephone numbers of Hotels arranged by us will be supplied to you in your itinerary. While calling New Zealand from Singapore, you will need to dial +64.
Time Difference: Singapore is 4 hours behind New Zealand from April to September and 5 hours from October to March.
Photography: Taking photos of airports, government buildings and military establishments are prohibited. Please avoid taking photos of local people without their permission.
Electricity: Voltage supply in Singapore is 220 volts and 2-pin or 3-pin (round pins and square pins) are used. Few Hotels have adapters available which you could borrow free of charge during your stay but it might be a good idea to carry one from home. Please visit this website for more information on plugs: http://kropla.com/electric2.htm
Do’s & Don’ts: There are several do’s and don’ts that a visitor should remember while in Singapore. Handshaking is a warm way of greeting others regardless of racial background. Once invited to a home remove your shoes and also while entering a temple or a mosque. Leave a little on the plate when you have finished eating as it might be interpreted, as you are still hungry.
Laws relating to littering are strictly enforced in urban areas so don’t litter while in Singapore. Other don’ts in Singapore include no smoking in public areas including restaurants also for dropping a cigarette end in the street would lead to fine of S$ 50. Chewing gum in Singapore may get you arrested. For drug trafficking there is death penalty and harsh penalties for those possessing and using within the country.
Those on business trip should be punctual for the appointments. Exchange of cards is quite common and while giving hold it with both hands. It is considered proper to address by using Mr., Mrs. or Miss and not first names.
Don’t touch opposite sex as it may not be received in a good light. On the other hand don’t point with your finger this is considered rude and you may use entire hand with the palm to draw attention.