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SINGAPORE
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

The glittering Singapore skyline beckons you to have an extravagant trip in the land of urban lavishness and natural beauty. Be it sunny beaches with turquoise sea or lush green gardens or fascinating amusement parks, Singapore is ready with its many amenities to welcome you whole-heatedly. The beaches and the bays of Singapore are always bursting with life as the magnificent skyscrapers has their own kind of entertainment in store for you. Enjoy various rides and the splashes of the sea by spending the ultimate holiday in Singapore. Bars and restaurants galore as Singapore brings the best of the oriental to its visitors.

Attractions in Singapore

From stunning skyscrapers to glittering bays there are many attractions in Singapore that will give you an enthralling vacation.

Orchard Road

This iconic road of Singapore is an Eastern equivalent to London's Oxford Road. Lined with supermarkets and shopping centers this place will tempt you to go absolutely crazy with your buying ideas. There are both international as well as some domestic department stores on the both side of the road along with the small boutique shops and luxury spas for the tourists to enjoy. Along with these there are also some fabulous restaurants and pubs where you can spend an afternoon after shopping in the Orchard Road for the entire day. Apart from the shopping centers you can also spot some kind of an activity or the other going on there with musicians and performance artists displaying their skills to an amused audience.

Chinatown

Chinatown is yet another great shopping destination for the tourists in Singapore and it is indeed the street from where you can get the cheapest souvenirs in the entire city. The shoppers here are more open to bargain, making this place a liveware of hawker-customer interaction. Variety of items are available around the corner as this place is also known for its superb collection of restaurants and eateries. Starting from authentic Chinese dining venues to lively noodle stalls maintained by the hawkers, foods galore in this corner of the city. You must also visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre located at the Pagoda street in order to enlighten yourself about the history of Chinese immigrants in the city.

Little India

Just like the Chinatown Singapore also has a small section dedicated for the Indian immigrants who have settled in this place, for years. The tourists can avail the famous Little India Heritage Walk which will allow them to explore the rich Indian traditions which are still being practiced in this part of the town. It is like a home away from home for all the Indian travelers. The Tekka Market is a special place where you will find all sort of things from fancy Indian handicrafts to exotic garments as the entire area is lined with many Indian restaurants and eateries serving you hot and scrumptious food, just like how you have it back home.

Kampong Glam

It is the place where you can find Singapore's Mediterranean connection. The busy alleys of Kampong Glan will make you believe that you are inside an Arabian Night storybook. The magnificent Sultan Mosque brightens up the place as you will find many Turkish and Mediterranean food stalls lining both sides of the street. There is always magic in the air, as far as this place is concerned, as you will find various flea markets operating here during the weekends. Located at the north of the Singapore River, this place is really a art and cultural hub of this island nation. You can witness how the different communities of Singapore live harmoniously here in this locality.

Siloso Beach

Singapore is not just an urban hub full of dazzling skyscrapers and theme parks but it is also a magnificent island boasting its forest covers and beautiful beaches. Siloso beach is one such enchanting escapade where tourists can come and gather to have a decent time with their friends and family. The beach has a very hip vibe as you can find various party loving youngsters gathering here on a regular basis. The Palawan Beach, nearby, is also another spectacular location for the tourists to have wild nightlife out in the open. If you are looking for some quite time then you can visit the various quaint little restaurants bordering the beautiful beach.

When To Reach

The ideal time to reach Singapore is between the months of February and April. This is the time when the weather remains pleasant and you can indulge in various outdoor activities. In general Singapore is very hot and humid. Singapore experiences a huge number of tourists during the months of July to September. This is the time when the majority of the festivals happen and the tourists flock to enjoy the destination. The months of November to January are generally cold and wet, with heavy rainfall happening in all the surrounding islands. The months of May and June are the hottest and it is hardly suitable for traveling.

Seasonality

High Season: The high season for tourist to visit Singapore is between the months of July to September. These are the months when the weather remains warm and it is ideal for outdoor activities. Many festivals also take place during this time.


Shoulder Season: The months of February to April is definitely the shoulder season when it comes to Singapore as the weather is yet not quite hot and the rainfall is low. Also you will not encounter many tourists during this period.


Low Season: The months of November to January is definitely the low season for traveling to Singapore. Though the weather remains cool the island experiences heavy rainfall, maing it difficult for the tourists.

How To Reach

There are many direct non-stop flights which will help you reach Singapore from your hometown. The likes of Singapore Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways will take you directly to Singapore without halting anywhere else in between. That is why Singapore is considered to be one of the most convenient international destination for the Indian tourists. Apart from the direct flights there are also various connecting flights like in the form of IndiGo, Malindo Air, Air Asia which will also offer you affordable options for reaching Singapore from India. The flights are frequent and they leave on a daily basis.

Why should you go?

The island nation of Singapore is an affordable and convenient international destination for the Indians to enjoy. The various theme parks, gardens, and markets of Singapore lure many tourists from this country to have a fabulous time abroad. Singapore also has some nice and charming beaches making it the ideal destination for an Indian tourist to enjoy. Most importantly Singapore has a very strong Indian background and you can feel the homely touch in the food and the language. Overall Singapore offers a very suitable holiday destination for the Indians.
10 Reasons to visit Singapore -
  • Singapore is a convenient holiday destination as it is not only near to come but it also has many direct flights connecting India.
  • Singapore is also very affordable when compared to the Western holiday destinations and a quick trip to the place would not burn hole in your purse.
  • Singapore has plenty of themed parks which you can enjoy with your kids and family. The huge variety of themed destinations makes Singapore an ideal family holiday site.
  • There are many ornamental gardens in Singapore for the tourists to enjoy. The Japanese and the Chinese influence of gardening is very vivid in this place.
  • Singapore is a multi-cultural destination where you can find people from both South East Asia and Europe settling together in harmony.
  • Due to its multi-cultural set-up Singapore celebrates twice the number of festivals than any other country and they tempt the tourists to be a part of it.
  • Singapore is known for its liberal policies and it is the ultimate destination to explore the wild nightlife at the various pubs and nightclubs. The open-air nightclubs are also quite famous in Singapore.
  • Singapore offers you the chance to go for a wee island hopping experience and there are also some fascinating beaches which you can enjoy.
  • The food scene of Singapore is very vibrant as you can find various cuisine including Chinese, Japanese, Malay, and even Indian.
  • Since the domestic transportation is very cheap it is easier for you to travel from one corner of the country to another.

Getting Around

As a well-connected city Singapore has a lot of options for the tourists to avail if they desire to commute from one end of the city to another. The train line is called the Mass Rapid Transit and it is a very strong mode of transportation taking people from one place to another on a daily basis. Apart from the train there is also a decent network of buses which will allow you to get a Singapore Tourist Pass enabling you to have a smooth and enjoyable journey. So overall the domestic transportation of Singapore is very tourist-friendly.

Train

The train network of Singapore is known as the Mass Rapid Transit and most of the key attractions of Singapore are in a walking distance from any Mass Rapid Transit station. This makes it an ideal mode of commute for the tourists.

Bus

The Singaporean buses also allow the tourists to obtain a Singapore Tourist Pass thereby allowing the tourists to travel cash-free from one place to another. The buses take more time than the train but it allows you to enjoy the journey.

Taxis

There are taxis in Singapore which are metered and additional surcharges are applicable. But it is only reasonable to take a taxi if you are planning to go some obscure or off-route, because the Mass Rapid Transit will take you to any destination in no time.

Weather

The climate of Singapore is normally hot and humid and being close to the sea, it experiences quite a lot of rainfall throughout the year. The months of November and December experience the highest rainfall as the temperature remains in the range of 30 to 20 degree Celsius. The magic of Singapore is that the average temperature remains steady throughout the year and you have to choose between the periods of fewer rainfall. So ideall the months of February to April and July to September has the minimum rainfall but you will be extremely lucky not to face the rain during your travels. Being closer to the sea the city experiences moderate weather throughout the year with no such deviation during the months.

What to take in your suitcase?

  • You should pack light jackets, plenty of t-shirts and tops, and definitely some shorts. The warm weather will allow you to dress very casually.
  • Pack raincoats and umbrellas for each member of the group with whom you are traveling, because you can face small patches of rain and one umbrella would not be enough.
  • Pack light flip-flops and sandals along with boots as the temperature is humid and they will dry-off quickly if you get wet.
  • Pack sunscreen lotions if you are planning to visit the beach.
  • Loose colorful shirts and sunglasses are a must when it comes to Singapore. Also bring lot of changes because you might sweat a lot.
In the Spotlight

The food obsessed island of Singapore is pitted with several fascinating eateries. Stretched from the north of the city to the southern banks, you will find hundreds of restaurants offering quality food. If you are yet to be bowl-over by fact that Singapore has one of the best Chinese restaurants in the entire orientals then you should also know that Singapore is famous for its Middle-Eastern and European restaurants which have won the hearts of many, through the last few decades. A multi-cultural environment ensures a vibrant restaurant scene and wherever you go you will not be disappointed.

Corner House : Located inside a beautiful tropical garden of Singapore is an enchanting colonial eatery which is run by a very passionate chef called the Jason Tan.
He has a magical ways with the leafy greens and the other vegetables as he prepares the most fabulous fusion cuisine combining both British and Cantonese delicacies. Vegetables play a major role in his signature dishes as they are very vividly displayed with the scrumptious main courses like the New Zealand cod, the fabulous Maine lobsters, and the most famous Japanese Toriyama beef. It is high-end fine dinning venue where you can have a romantic evening in the middle of the garden.
Open Farm Community : If you are seeking an affordable alternative to fill your tummy then the Open Farm Community is perhaps a perfect solution.
Located in the Orchard Road this place really focuses on the quality of ingredients it puts in the cooking. From mint leaves to curry leaves, from parsley to dill, everything is plucked fresh from the nearby garden farm, adjoining the restaurant and apart from the seafood delicacies you can also enjoy various vegetarian alternatives. The place also serves several Southern Chinese items like clams and barramundi, but you can also find normal fish and chicken if you are not willing to explore too much.
Hua Bee Restaurant : Now if you are looking for some authentic Singaporean dishes then Hua Bee Restaurant is the place for you. Known for its famous vinegar-laced bak chor mee,
which is basically a noodle with minced meat, this 50 years old establishment evokes a lively charm which you are bound to enjoy. During each night the area back at the tiled room gets converted into a Bincho, serving the guests with yakitori and chicken fried on authentic binchotan coals. The Japanese-expat chef Asai Masashi has blended the traditional Singaporean cuisines with the Japanese delicacies and the place is also known for its several Japanese cocktails.
Candlenut : The Singaporean cuisine scene is strongly influenced by the Peranakan heritage which is a Chinese ethnic group who came and settled in the country during the 19th Century.
Candlenut as a restaurant celebrates that heritage and it offers its guests a perfect Peranakan flavors in all of their signature dishes. The authentic spicy, tangy, and savory flavors are evident in most of their offerings as you can choose from the buah keluakfry up, the famous starter comprising of berico de Bellota and many other original Peranakan recipes which will keep you hooked for hours.
Tom Yum KungFu: This classic Thai restaurant keeps the fire alive in Singapore as you can find the authentic mookata joints, allowing you to savor delightful steamy barbecues.
This eastern version of the barbecues used to be very popular once in Singapore but now as other cuisines have taken over the place the number of mookata joints have become less. However, this eatery will allow you to sit with your friends and family and enjoy this superb barbecue with fresh tiger prawns or pork, slow cooked and turning golden-brown just in front of you. They will also provide you with some hot red sauce to go with it.

Singaporean cuisine is basically a mix-bag of various cuisines from around the Eastern part of the world. Like in one part it has a strong Peranakan influence, which is basically an extension of the Chinese heritage that the country has enjoyed. Then there is of course the Japanese influence along with the odd Indian impact on the curries. No one can deny the Malaysian and Thai influence on Singaporean dishes. Interestingly there had been a lot of Turkish immigration which has happened in Singapore and it has impacted the cuisine scene also. Rice and noodles galore in any Singaporean diet along with seafood, chicken, and definitely pork. The Singaporeans also like to toss in many vegetables and spices in their meals making it suitable for an Indian palate.

Laksa: This spicy rice noodle soup is an absolute favorite amongst the Singaporeans and along with vegetables it also contains chicken, fish, or shrimps.

Hainanese Chicken Rice:This classic rice recipe reflects strong Chinese influence in Singaporean diet and it is normally rice tossed with chicken, soya sauce, and garlic. They also have a very popular roasted duck version of this rice.

Char Kway Teow: You cannot just leave Singapore without tasting a bit of spicy noodles and this cuisine cooked with a lot of spices and soy sauce fits the bill perfectly.

Chili Crab:An island nation cannot bypass its love for seafood and this spicy, chili, crab dish is an absolute favorite among the locals and also the tourists.

Sambal Stingray: This popular street food of Singapore is served on green banana leaves and it is basically spicy grilled seafood that locals enjoy a lot.

The hybrid nation of Singapore brings in a unique blend of Eastern and Western market cultures. So on one hand you have the sophisticated shopping malls glittering in the middle of the city whilst on the other hand there are some outdoor markets selling various kinds of commodities, starting from foods to fashion wears. It is in the middle of the two conflicting cultures you find the most exotic shopping destinations of Singapore. From the old to the new, from the costly to the affordable, the options will pamper you to your core.

Ngee Ann City: This marvelous Japanese department store, located on the Orchard Road of Singapore, is one of the most prominent shopping centers in entire Singapore.
The entire decor of the place will certainly tempt you to enter and explore the various shops and the shelves of this supreme marketplace. The main department store itself is pretty huge and it contains all sorts of things that modern department store has. However, the building has many other shops operating at different levels and the good news for book lovers is that there is a very nice bookstore there as well along with plenty of eateries scattered here and there.
Bugis Market : Singapore is not just about huge supermarkets and skyscrapers but it also has its fair share of busy street markets where locals gather on a regular basis.
The Bugis Market is one such vibrant marketplace where you will find different sorts of things placed in different sections of the store and you will have lovely time browsing through the stuff. The bottom floor contains all the retail outlets while in the upper floor you will find all the boutique shops and other stalls selling tacky items like spicey food, flowers, and plastic shoes. The entire place is quite colorful and there is a cheerful vibe in the air when it comes to the Bugis Market.
Chinatown Market: No Singaporean market is more colorful and vibrant than the Chinatown market and you can enjoy an entire day's trip to this place.
The place smells of Chinese food as the displays will certainly grab your attention. The entire market evokes a strong essence of the Chinese influence on the Singaporean culture and things you should try are definitely the various fabrics, the various Chinese souvenirs, and the street food. If you are sporting enough you can certainly collect few authentic Chinese garments to wear at home. This market is open for bargaining and if you are a bargain hunter then you will enjoy a shopping experience in here.
Mustafa Center : This place offers a truly amazing shopping experience, especially for Indian tourists, as it is open 24 hours a day. So you can choose your time wisely to pay visit to this place
and stroll through the different colorful stalls lining the area. It is literally the marketplace that never sleeps and starting from electronics gadgets at an affordable price to reasonably priced fashion wears you will many sorts of items here to buy. The shopkeepers are very friendly and humble and as an Indian tourist you will feel as if you are back at home. Located in the Little India region of Singapore this market also has many eateries where you can sit and relax.
Tekka Wet Market: This is the marketplace where you can feel Singapore coming to life. The exuberance of a multi-cultural community is truly reflected in this wet market of Singapore.
Here is the only place where you can hear people bargaining in English, Chinese, Tamil, and also Malay. Located just outside the Indian community this place will surely make you feel at home. You can find various kinds of football jerseys along with many other brightly colored t-shirts, top, shorts, slippers, and hats. The place has a very touristy feel and you can definitely strike a bargain with the shopkeepers. The place also has a very nice collection of dry food items like spices, herbs, rice, and noodles. You can also find several brasswares which you can collect as souvenirs.

The currency of Singapore is Singapore Dollar (SGD) and it is a more expensive currency when compared to the Indian Rupee. That is why it is critical that you convert your money to SGD before traveling to Singapore. A limit of SGD 20,000 is imposed on by the immigration authorities of Singapore, during the time of entry. However, you can convert more money upon reaching the country. In case if you find it daunting to convert your INR to SDG, you can first convert your INRs to USDs first before traveling as in Singapore's FOREX offices you will get good exchange rates for the USDs.

Special Tips

  • Singapore is a half cashless economy as you can commute from one place to another by paying no cash. However, in order to get the transportation cards you need to pay a deposit, which needs to be in cash.
  • If the hotel bill and the transportation are already paid-off then you will require around SDG 200-300 per person per day on food and entertainment.
  • The amount can reach up to SDG 500-600 per person per day in case you are planning on shopping and also commuting in a cab.
  • All the theme parks, gardens, and other touristy experiences are charged in cash and so you need to plan your expenses accordingly.
  • Try and keep the daily food cost within SDG 100-150 per meal as the city offers a number of eateries to explore.

You need to have an Indian passport in order to obtain a Singapore tourist via which will allow you to stay for 30 days, at a stretch and the visa remains valid for 2 years. However, it is important that your Indian passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of application for the visa. In case you have al older (expired) passport then you should attach that one too with your current passport. You can apply for the visa by filling-up the application form and paying the application fees online. The processing time is about 5 days after which you need to go and collect your visa from the visa consulate in your city.

Special Tips

In order to get you visa you need to show certain documents to the Singapore embassy. Since there is no visa on arrival for the Indians, you need to obtain the visa beforehand. During your application you need to have your air tickets (including the return tickets), you bank statement of the last three months, at least 2 passport sized photographs (carry more for safety), your cover letter, passport and also the visa application form. For more details check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore.

Pick-pocketing is the main threat when it comes to the crimes happening with tourists in Singapore. So make sure that your belongings are closely attached to your body whilst traveling through a crowded area. Apart from the purse snatching crimes the Singaporean cab drivers are also infamous for their various scams. They tend to cheat the tourists by charging more, on many occasions. That is why it is vital that you check the cab company and take down all the details before boarding the taxi. Do not engage in any open gambling game on the streets. They also can rob you a lot before you realize anything. It is better to opt for the authorized casinos of the town.

  • Ambulance & Fire: 995
  • Police Emergency: 999
  • Police Hotline: 1800 255 0000
  • Weather: 6542 7788

Entertainment & Event

The truly multi-cultural city of Singapore celebrates everything from Diwali to Christmas.

  • Flora and Fauna

    Singapore has a wide variety of flora scattered all around the city. Also a large number of flora are present in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve where a huge amount of vegetation are being harvested. The main plant which flourishes in abundance is the hardwood timber which covers the northern part of the country. However, on the southern coastlines of Singapore is covered in dense mangrove forestation. Apart from the big trees there are also smaller spice plants and orchids in different parts of the country.

    As far as the fauna population is concerned Singapore is blessed with 80 different kinds of mammals including the Common Tree Shrew, the Malayan anteaters, the Malayan flying lemur, and also the long-tailed Macaques, which are very common in the jungle areas of the country. Apart from the mammals Singapore also has wide variety of reptiles including the geckos, snakes of different kinds, Black-bearded Flying Lizard can be sighted in the country. Singapore is also the home to 300 different species of birds.

  • Festivals

    As a multi-cultural hub of the East, Singapore celebrates all sorts of festivals that falls in the Chinese and also the European calendars. Some of the Indian and Buddhist traditions are also celebrated widely in Singapore. The magic of Singapore is that it as place where both New Years Day and Chinese New Years Day is celebrated with same passion and importance. Then there is the Vesak Day, which is a Buddhist festival held in the month of May. You might be delighted to know that Singapore also celebrates Diwali quite enthusiastically and it will be a treat for every Indian if they visit Singapore during that time of the year.

    Considering the strong presence of the Muslim community the country also celebrates Hari Raya Puasa, which is known world-wide as Eid Ul Fitr. Marking the end of the month-long Ramadan this festival is celebrated across the communities helping people bond together. This festival is normally celebrated during the month of September or October after which Singapore prepares itself for the massive Christmas celebration.

  • Culture

    Singapore is a cultural melting-pot with Chinese, Indian, and Malay people living together in harmony. Also the influx of foreigners from Europe and the United States also has made the island city even more cosmopolitan. The magic of Singapore is that each of the ethnic groups maintain their own cultural identity and follow their customs whilst living side-by-side harmoniously. That is why Singapore has a very vibrant art and food scene which comprises of all the kinds of cultural influences. Apart from the obvious East Asian influences Singapore also has a very dominant Eurasian influence which makes it even more appealing.

    It is for these reasons that Singapore is often associated with nicknames like "East meets West", "Easy Asia" and also the "Garden City". The vibrant cultures of Singapore makes the country multi-lingual and they are very open to the foreigners. In fact the cosmopolitan nature of the city makes it very difficult for someone to differentiate between a local and a foreigner. The people of Singapore are very focused on decorating and beautification of their home and surrounding and it is reflected in the overall ambiance of the city and especially the gardens.

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