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Among states in Asia, due to its rapid economic development, Singapore attracts many foreigners to immigrate to work and study. As one of Asia’s top destinations for holiday, Singapore is also a tourist magnet.
The amount of foreigners in Singapore covers almost half of its population. With 70 percent of the Chinese descendents living in Singapore, other ethnics derive from Malaysia, India and Eurasia.
The diverse ethnics in Singapore impacts positively towards its tourism development. In culinary, for instance, you can easily encounter various luxurious as well as budget restaurants offering different food and beverages from all over the world.
Singapore is an archipelago divided into 63 beautiful islands: *Singapore (the main island)*, Jurong, Sentosa, Ubin and Tekong. Some of the 63 are artificial islands, including Jurong Island.
These are five main areas in Singapore:
Although this region is known as a business area, the central region covers green areas such as recreational parks. In the central region, you may visit places such as Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah and Marine Parade.
Changi International Airport is located around this region. The east region is not large, however, it is the most populated among all five Singapore major areas.
If you are looking for the greenest area in Singapore, the north region is your destination. This region also has the least amount of population compare to other four regions.
Northeast region covers areas such as Sengkang, Punggol and Ang Mo Kio. You may also find several settlements in this region.
West region covers areas such as Bukit Batok, Jurong East, Jurong West, Bukit Panjang, Benoi, Jurong Island and Boon Lay. This part of Singapore is known to be the largest and most developed region. Around the area, you can visit TV stations, educational institutions and the popular shopping center, West Mall.
Before it was known as a clean, modern and developed country, Singapore was a settlement named by the Javanese term, Temasek, which means ‘the ocean city’. At the time, it was ruled under the Sriwijaya Empire. Temasek was also once ruled by the Sultanate of Johor. However in 1613, Temasek was burnt down by the Portuguese who urged to seize power.
In the 19th century, as it was colonized by the British, the south region of Singapore became a trade area. Some parts of Singapore at the time had also begun to be inhabited by the British.
During World War II, Japan made their way to invade Singapore from the British. This was the era where many Chinese-Singaporeans were slaughtered. However on 12 September 1945, Singapore fell again to the hands of the British government. By 1963, Singapore had already reached its independence.
Traveling to Singapore by airplane will arrive at Changi International Airport (SIN).
T1: Indonesia AirAsia, Jetstar/Valuair
T3: Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air
T4: (scheduled for completion in 2017)
Baby Care room
A 2-hour free tour around Singapore
Post and telecommunication offices
Disabled toilets and other facilities for the elderly
Transportation to and from Changi International Airport
At the airport, you could easily find public transports such as taxi, bus and MRT (underground train) that serves routes to the city and other areas.
Between midnight and 06:00, taxis will charge you with 50% above the average cost.
MRT operates from 05:31 to 23:18 at Terminal 2 of Changi International Airport.
Bus operates from 06:00 to 23:59 at Terminal 1, 2 and 3 of Changi International Airport. A bus ticket costs 2 SGD.
The costs of all flights to Singapore include the airport tax.
(All prices shown may be subject to change).
When traveling by ferry to Singapore, you can depart from Indonesia or Malaysia.
Singapore has five ferry harbours/terminals:
1. Changi Ferry Terminal
You could either take the MRT from Tanah Merah MRT Station or a taxi from Changi Village to go to the terminal.
2. Changi Point Ferry Terminal
A trip from Changi Village bus terminal to Changi Point Ferry Terminal is a 5 minute walk.
3. HarbourFront Ferry Terminal
It is located beside HarbourFront MRT Station.
4. Marina Bay Cruise Centre
To get here, take the shuttle to Marina Bay MRT Station.
5. Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
To get here, take no. 35 bus from Bedok MRT Station.
From and to Indonesia
From Indonesia to Singapore, you can take a ship from Batam, *Bintan Island* and Karimun.
From Batam, Indonesia
There are five ferry terminals in Batam with ships to Singapore:
1. Batam Centre: to HarbourFront Ferry Terminal, Singapore
2. Sekupang: to HarbourFront Ferry Terminal, Singapore
3. Harbour Bay: to HarbourFront Ferry Terminal, Singapore
4. Waterfront City: to HarbourFront Ferry Terminal, Singapore
5. Nongsapura: to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore
From Bintan Island, Indonesia
From Bintan Island to Singapore, you can take the ship from Sri Bintan Pura Ferry Terminal in Tanjung Pinang. The ship takes you to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
From Karimun to Singapore, you can take the ship from Tanjung Balai Harbour. The ship takes you to HarbourFront Ferry Terminal.
From and to Malaysia
There are three harbours in Malaysia with ships to Singapore:
1. Sebana Cove Resort in Desaru
Three times daily, ships from this harbour takes you to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
Ships from Pengerang to Changi Point Ferry Terminal operate between 07:00 to 19:00. Ship leaves when it has accommodate 12 passengers.
3. Tanjung Belungkor in Desaru
The ships you will find here are the Cruise ferry type. They operate three times daily (10:00, 17:00 and 20:00) and take you to Changi Ferry Terminal.
Almost every country do not require a visa to Singapore, including Indonesia. To see the +30 countries that require a visa, visit the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website: http://www.ica.gov.sg/.
Foreigners with or without a visa in Singapore are permitted to stay around maximum 14 to 30 days, depending on their national identity/passport:
Indonesia: 30 days
European Union/USA: 90 days
Foreigners who would like to extend their stay in Singapore are required to apply for extension at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority prior to visa expiration.
Cars are rarely used in Singapore, at least not as often as MRT, bus and taxi. Taxi can sometimes be the more effective vehicle in Singapore as it can pick you up anywhere, be booked online or by phone.
Trains: MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit)
MRT serves routes to all major areas in Singapore. To get in and out of the stations, all tickets are activated through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification, a tracking device).
There are two kinds of smart cards eligible for MRT (and other public transportations in Singapore): EZ-link and NETS FlashPay. These cards can be recharged at all MRT stations.
A single trip ticket costs 0.80 SGD-2.20 SGD.
MRT operates daily from 05:30 to midnight.
If you are taking the bus, make sure to pay the bus fare with either EZ-link or NETS FlashPay smart cards as they can be cheaper than cash. If you pay with cash, make sure to pay the exact amount (and not more) as the driver does not give change.
How to use EZ-link or Nets FlashPay for bus rides:
When you enter or exit the bus stop, do not forget to tap your card/ticket onto the card reader located near the exit. The nominal in your card will automatically be charged based on your travel distance. In contrary, if you forget to tap your ticket on the card reader, it will charge a higher fare.
Bus operates daily from 05:30 to midnight.
There are two buses operating at night: NightRider and Nite Owl.
NightRider operates every Friday, weekends and the night before national holiday from 23:45 to 03:45.
Nite Owl operates every Friday, weekends and the night before national holiday from 00:00 to 02:00.
Taxi can be the perfect choice if you are traveling in three or need to go far from the Central Business District (CBD).
Further information can be seen on http://www.publictransport.sg/
Singapore offers you several interesting tourist destinations. Some of them are:
In Little India, you can visit several religious areas such as Temple of 1000 Lights, *Veeramakaliamman temple*, *Angullia Mosque*, *Kampong Kapor Methodist Church*, the Central Sikh Gurdwara and many more. Apart from that, Little India is also popular for its culinary offered at Zhujiao Centre.
Little India is located in the south of Serangoon Road or the east of Singapore River.
These are two popular after-work hang out areas in Singapore. Most people come here to have dinner, have fun conversations at bars and pubs, or dance at several nightclubs. In the evening, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay may also be the perfect areas for sunset viewing.
If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful area in Singapore, you can visit Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Garden. This may also be a perfect area for jogging and other exercises. It is located next to Gleneagles Hospital.
If you want to travel around Singapore for free, use the MRT before 07:45. These are 16 MRT stations where you can tap out for free: Bayfront, Bugis, Bras Basah, China Town, City Hall, Clark Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Esplanade, Lavender, Marina Bay, Orchard, *Outram Park*, Promenade, Raffles Place, Somerset, Tanjong Pagar. Between 07:45 and 08:00, you will get 50 cents off (excluding holidays).
If you are looking for cheaper bus fares, do not buy the ticket from the bus driver. Instead, use EZ-link or NETS Flashpay smart cards.