SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE

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TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Marina Bay Sands
Location: Singapore
Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore, owned by the Las Vegas Sands corporation. At its opening in 2010, it was billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including the land cost. The resort, designed by Moshe Safdie, includes a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000-square-metre convention-exhibition centre, the 74,000-square-metre The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, art-science exhibits, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340-metre-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m. The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie architects.

Marina Bay Sands was originally set to open in 2009, but its construction faced delays caused by escalating costs of material and labour shortages from the outset. The grand opening of Marina Bay Sands was held on 17 February 2011.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Bay_Sands
Name: Gardens by the Bay
Location: Singapore
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land in the Central Region of Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden (in Marina South), Bay East Garden (in Marina East) and Bay Central Garden (in Downtown Core and Kallang). The largest of the gardens is Bay South Garden at 54 hectares (130 acres) designed by Grant Associates. Its Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world.

Gardens by the Bay is part of the nation's plans to transform its "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden", with the aim of raising the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. First announced by the Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, at the National Day Rally in 2005, Gardens by the Bay was intended to be Singapore's premier urban outdoor recreation space, and a national icon.

Being one of the popular tourist attractions in Singapore, the park received 6.4 million visitors in 2014, while topping its 20 millionth visitor mark in November 2015. The nearest Mass Rapid Transit station is Bayfront MRT station.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardens_by_the_Bay
Name: Sentosa
Location: Singapore
Sentosa is a resort island in Singapore. It was once a British military base and a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. The island was renamed Sentosa and turned into a tourist destination in 1972, and it is now home to a popular resort that receives some twenty million visitors per year. Attractions include a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, the Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore and one of Singapore's two casinos.

Sentosa has a stretch of sheltered beach of more than 2 km (1.2 mi) on its southern coast, divided into three portions: Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach and Tanjong Beach. These beaches are artificial, reclaimed using sand bought from Indonesia and Malaysia. They are manned by a beach patrol lifeguard team who are easily identified by their red and yellow uniforms.

The island hosted the 2018 North Korea–United States summit between the United States President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea on 12 June 2018, at the Capella Hotel.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentosa
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO SINGAPORE.
FACTS:
Official Languages: English / Malay / Mandarin / Tamil
Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)
Time zone: SST (Singapore Time) (UTC+8)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +65
Local / up-to-date weather in Singapore (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Singapore travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Singapore, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO SINGAPORE.

The Singaporean currency is the Singapore dollar, denoted by the symbol S$ or $ (ISO code: SGD ). It is divided into 100 cents, denoted ¢. There are coins of 5¢ (2nd series: bronze; 3rd series: gold), 10¢ (silver), 20¢ (silver), 50¢ (silver) and $1 (2nd series: gold; 3rd series: silver with gold rim). Notes are in denominations of $2 (purple), $5 (green), $10 (red), $50 (blue), $100 (orange), $1,000 (purple) and $10,000 (gold). The latter two denominations are extremely rare and will be useless outside of luxury boutiques, the casino, and department stores – travelers would be wise to avoid them.

You can safely assume that the “$” sign used in the island-nation (and in this guide) refers to Singapore dollars unless it includes other initials (e.g., US$ to stand for U.S. dollars).

The Brunei dollar is pegged at par with the Singapore dollar and the two currencies can be used interchangeably in both countries, so don’t be too surprised if you get a Brunei note as change.

Along with its Brunei counterpart, the $10,000 banknote has the largest intrinsic value of any banknote in current circulation (valued at US$7,840 in September 2014). It ceased to be printed in October 2014 because it facilitates bribery and corruption in neighbouring countries such as Indonesia.

Currency exchange booths can be found in every shopping mall and usually offer better rates, better opening hours, and much faster service than banks. The huge 24 hr operation at Mustafa in Little India accepts almost any currency at very good rates, as do the fiercely competitive small shops at the aptly named Change Alley next to Raffles Place MRT. For large amounts, ask for a quote, as it will often get you a better rate than displayed on the board. Rates at the airport are not as good as in the city, and while many department stores accept major foreign currencies, their rates are often terrible.

BY RAIL:

The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit) are trains that are the main trunk of Singapore’s transit system. They are a cheap and very reliable mode of transportation, and the network covers most points of interest for the visitor. All train lines use contactless RFID tickets. Just tap the reader to validate your train ticket at the ticket gate when entering and exiting paid areas of stations. Since 2012, single-trip tickets have been replaced with new standard tickets which can be used up to six times within 30 days. A trip costs between The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit) are trains that are the main trunk of Singapore’s transit system. They are a cheap and very reliable mode of transportation.80 and single-trip tickets have been replaced with new standard tickets which can be used up to six times within 30 days. A trip costs between $0.80 and $2, and a The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit) are trains that are the main trunk of Singapore’s transit system. They are a cheap and very reliable mode of transportation.10 deposit is incurred on first purchase. The deposit is refunded on the third top-up of the ticket and a The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit) are trains that are the main trunk of Singapore’s transit system. They are a cheap and very reliable mode of transportation.10 discount is automatically given on the last (sixth) top-up. The ticket can thereafter be discarded or kept as a souvenir. EZ-Link or NETS FlashPay farecards (described above) are the easiest and most popular ways to use on the MRT. All lines are seamlessly integrated, even if the lines are operated by different transport companies, so you do not need to buy a new ticket or go through multiple gates to transfer between different operators’ lines.

The MRT stations are clean and equipped with free toilets. All stations have screen doors, so there is no risk of falling onto the tracks. The North-East Line, Circle Line, Downtown Line, LRT and all upcoming lines are operated automatically without a driver, so it is worth walking up to the front of the train to look out a window and realize that there is no driver!

As of October 2017, a Downtown Line extension connects the Chinatown Station with the Expo Station on the Changi Airport Extension, providing travellers with an alternative route to get between Changi Airport and the city.

Eating and drinking is prohibited in the stations and trains, with offenders being liable for a $500 fine.

When using escalators, stand on the left to allow those in a hurry to pass on the right.

BY BUS:

Buses connect various corners of Singapore, but are slower and harder to use than the MRT. Their advantage is you get to see the sights rather than a dark underground tunnel at a low price. On a long distance bus, frequent stops and slow speeds may mean your journey could take two to three times as long as the same trip via MRT. You can pay cash (coins) in buses, but the fare stage system is quite complex (it’s easiest to ask the driver for the price to your destination), you are charged marginally more and there is no provision for getting change. Payment with EZ-Link or NETS Flashpay card is thus the easiest method: tap your card against the reader at the front entrance of the bus when boarding, and a maximum fare is deducted from the card. When you alight, tap your card again at the exit, and the difference is refunded. Make sure you tap out, or you’ll end up paying the maximum fare. Inspectors occasionally prowl buses to check that everybody has paid or tapped, so those who are on tourist day passes should tap before sitting down. Dishonest bus commuters risk getting fined $20 for not paying or underpaying fares (by premature tapping-out) and $50 for improper use of concession cards. Another advantage of ez-link or Nets Flashpay cards is that you will be able to enjoy distance-based fares and avoid the boarding fee.

After midnight on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays, the NightRider and Nite Owl bus services are a fairly convenient way of getting around, with 13 lines running every 20 to 30 mins. All services drive past the major nightlife city districts of Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Mohamed Sultan and Orchard before splintering off. The fare is between Clarke Quay.00 to Clarke Quay.40, the EZ-link card and Nets Flashpay cards are accepted but the Singapore Tourist Pass is not valid on this line.

As mentioned earlier, Gothere.sg will give you options as to which buses will take you from your origin or destination.

BY TAXI:

Taxicabs use meters and are reasonably priced and honest. Outside weekday peak hours, trips within the city centre should not cost you more than $10 and even a trip right across the island from Changi to Jurong will not break the $35 mark. If you are in a group of 3 or 4, it’s sometimes cheaper and faster to take a taxi than the MRT. However, at peak periods and when it rains, demand often exceeds supply, so if there’s a long queue at a taxi stand, you’ll want to call a taxi from the unified booking system at +65 6-DIAL-CAB (3425-222) or take the MRT instead. Ride-sharing apps also provides an alternative in such conditions, though surcharges during periods of high demand should be expected.

Taxi pricing is largely identical across all companies at late night (50%).00-3.90 as a flag down rate (depending on the type of vehicle used), which lasts you 1 km before increments of Taxi pricing is largely identical across all companies at $3.00-3.90 as a flag down rate (depending on the type of vehicle used).22 per 400 m (for the first 10 km) or Taxi pricing is largely identical across all companies at $3.00-3.90 as a flag down rate (depending on the type of vehicle used).22 per 350 m (after the first 10 km). (The sole exception is SMRT’s giant black Chryslers, which charge trips from airport or the casinos ($3–5 during peak hours) and then Taxi pricing is largely identical across all companies at $3.00-3.90 as a flag down rate (depending on the type of vehicle used).30 per 385 m.) Watch out for surprises though: there are a myriad of peak hour (25%), late night (50%), central business district (late night (50%)), trips from airport or the casinos (late night (50%)–5 during peak hours), phone booking (late night (50%).00 and up) and Electronic Road Pricing surcharges, which may add a substantial amount to your taxi fare. All such charges are shown on the bottom right-hard corner of the meter, recorded in the printed receipt and explained in tedious detail in a sticker on the window; if you suspect the cabbie is trying to pull a fast one, call the company and ask for an explanation. There is no surcharge for trips to the airport. While all taxis are equipped to handle (and are required to accept) credit cards, in practice many cabbies do not accept electronic payment. Always ask before getting in. Paying by credit card will incur an additional surcharge of 17%. As usual in Singapore, tips are not expected.

In the Central Business District, taxis may pick up passengers only at taxi stands (found outside any shopping mall) or buildings with their own driveways (including virtually all hotels). Outside the centre, you’re free to hail taxis on the street or call one to your doorstep. At night spots featuring long queues, such as Clarke Quay, you may on occasion be approached by touts offering a quick flat fare to your destination. This is illegal and very expensive but reasonably safe for you. (Drivers, on the other hand, will probably lose their job if caught.)

Some Singapore taxi drivers have very poor geographical knowledge and may expect you to know where they should go, so it may be helpful to bring a map of your destination area or directions on finding where you wish to go. Some cabbies may also ask you which route you want to take; most are satisfied with “whichever way is faster”.

VIA RIDE SHARING:

Beginning April 2018, the major rideshare competitors Uber and Grab have consolidated into a single Grab app with complete coverage and presence in Singapore; Uber has ceased to operate in the country. Before arriving, download the Grab ride-hailing app. Rides are reasonably priced and the app also allows users to hail conventional taxis. Most international credit/debit cards are accepted on the app, and Grab notably allows you to pay using cash as well.

Other ride sharing apps include Ryde, SWAT, Maxi Taxi, and Gojek.

BY TRISHAW:

Trishaws, three-wheeled bicycle taxis, haunt the area around the Singapore River and Chinatown. Geared purely for tourists, they should be avoided for serious travel as locals do not use them. There is little room for bargaining: short journeys cost $10–20 and an hour’s sightseeing charter about $50 per person.

BY BOAT:

Tourist-oriented bumboats cruise the Singapore River, offering point-to-point rides starting from $3 and cruises with nice views of the CBD skyscraper skyline starting from $13.

Bumboats also shuttle passengers from Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin ($2.50 one-way), a small island off Singapore’s northeast coast which is about as close as Singapore gets to unhurried rural living. Ferries to the southern islands of Kusu Island and St John’s Island depart from Marina South Pier.

BY CAR:

Car rental is not a popular option for visitors to Singapore, as public transport covers virtually the entire island and it’s generally cheaper to take taxis all day than to rent. You will usually be looking at upwards for $100 per day for the smallest vehicle from the major rental companies, although local ones can be cheaper and there are sometimes good weekend prices available. This does not include petrol at around although local ones can be cheaper and there are sometimes good weekend prices available. This does not include petrol at around $2/litre or electronic road pricing (ERP) fees/litre or electronic road pricing (ERP) fees, and you’ll usually need to pay extra to drive to Malaysia. If planning on touring Malaysia by car, it makes much more sense to head across the border to Johor Bahru, where both rentals and petrol are half price, and you have the option of dropping your car off elsewhere in the country. This also avoids the unwelcome extra attention that Singapore cars tend to get from thieves and greedy cops.

Foreign licences in English or from other ASEAN member countries are valid in Singapore for up to a year from your date of entry, after which you will have to convert your foreign licence to a Singapore version. Other foreign licences must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official English translation (usually available from your embassy) to be valid.

Singaporeans drive on the left (like their Indonesian, Malaysian & Thai neighbours) and the legal driving age is 18. Roads in Singapore are in excellent condition and driving habits are generally good compared to other countries in the region, with most people following the traffic rules due to stringent enforcement, although road courtesy tends to be sorely lacking. The speed limit is 90 km/h (56 mph) on major expressways (with the exception of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) being 80 km/h (50 mph) ) and typically 50 km/h (31 mph) on most medium-sized roads. While signs are usually good, expressways are almost universally referred to only by acronym, so the Pan Island Expressway is “PIE”, the East Coast Parkway is “ECP”, etc. Parking is tolerably easy to find but very rarely free, with rates varying depending on time, day of week, and location, from around although road courtesy tends to be sorely lacking. The speed limit is 90 km/h (56 mph) on major expressways (with the exception of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) being 80 km/h (50 mph) ) and typically 50 km/h (31 mph) on most medium-sized roads. While signs are usually good/hour at private CBD carparks to Malaysian & Thai neighbours) and the legal driving age is 18. Roads in Singapore are in excellent condition and driving habits are generally good compared to other countries in the region/hour at public carparks, usually payable with the CashCard.

ERP payments require a stored-value CashCard, which is usually arranged by the rental agency, but it’s your responsibility to ensure it has enough value. ERP gantries are activated at different times, usually in the expected direction of most cars. As a rule of thumb, gantries found in roads leading to the CBD are activated during the morning rush hour while gantries found in roads exiting the CBD are activated during the evening rush hour. Passing through an active ERP gantry with insufficient value will mean that an alert is sent to your registered address. You will need to pay an administrative fee in addition to the difference between the remaining amount and the actual charge. You have a limited time to settle this, or the penalty becomes harsher.

All passengers must wear seat belts and using a phone while driving is banned. Drink-driving is not tolerated: the maximum blood alcohol content is 0.08%, with roadblocks set up at night to catch offenders, who are heavily fined and possibly jailed. Even if your blood alcohol level does not exceed the legal limit, you can still be charged with drink driving if the police are convinced that your ability to control the vehicle has been compromised by the presence of alcohol (e.g., if you are involved in a collision). The police conduct periodic roadblocks and speed cameras are omnipresent. Fines will be sent by mail to you or your rental agency, who will then pass on the cost with a surcharge. If stopped for a traffic offence, don’t even think about trying to bribe your way out.

BY BICYCLE:

Using bicycles as a substitute for public transportation is possible. While the city is small and its landscape is flat, it can be difficult to predict how ridable a route will be without scoping it out first. Buses, taxis, and motorists stopping to drop off or pick up passengers rarely check for cyclists before merging back onto the roadway, which makes certain routes especially treacherous. The ubiquitous road works around Singapore can also make cycling more hazardous when temporary road surfaces are not kept safe for biking, portable traffic barriers make it hard for vehicles to see cyclists, and construction teams directing traffic are unsure of how to deal with cyclists on the roadway.

Cycling paths are quite common in suburban areas (heartlands) but uncommon in the city center. They are marked either with a bicycle symbol or with “PCN” (Park Connector Network). The maximum speed limit for bicycles in cycling paths is 25 km/h; however, in several sections the cycling paths merge with pedestrian paths, reducing the max. speed to 10 km/h, which is also the maximum speed for bikes in pedestrian-only paths. It’s also common to have pedestrians using cycleways, so in practice it is often needed to reduce speed even at non-shared cycling paths. An up-to-date (as for May 2019) map of cycling paths and other important bicycle route information (such as road crossing points) can be found in this blog. Bicycle parking lots, like cycleways, can easily be found in suburban areas, such as near MRT stations, public housing states, large shopping malls and town centers, but aren’t that common in the city center.

The only cycling path suitable for sports cycling is the Tanah Merah Coast Road cycling lane around the Changi Airport. Since it is technically on-road, it is not subject to the 25 km/h speed limit.

Small folding bicycles may be taken on the MRT during certain times of the day, but large bicycles are a no-no. Bicycles may cross the causeway to Malaysia (on motorbike lanes), but are not allowed on expressways. Singapore has an app-based bike sharing system operated by private companies, current businesses including SG Bike and Anywheel.

BY PERSONAL MOBILITY DEVICE (PMD):

As in many other cities across the World, e-scooters and other electric PMDs have become widely popular in Singapore. Unlike some other cities, in Singapore PMDs are allowed on cycling paths and Park Connector Networks (marked as “PCN”) but not on roads. As of 5 November 2019, PMDs with handlebars, including e-scooters, are further banned from pedestrian-only paths, in an effort to reduce accidents between PMD riders and pedestrians. The speed limits are the same for bicycles: 25 km/h on cycling paths and PCNs not merged with pedestrian paths, and 10 km/h on pedestrian-only paths and cycling paths/PCNs merged with pedestrian paths (only permitted for PMDs without handlebars). PMDs are not allowed on the Tanah Merah Coast Road cycling lane.

This webpage gives a good outline on the relevant laws regarding PMDs in Singapore.

ON FOOT:

Singapore is very pedestrian-friendly. In the main business district and on main roadways, pavements and pedestrian crossings are in good shape and plentiful. Drivers are mindful of marked crossing zones, but are less likely to be aware or respectful of pedestrians crossing at street corners on less busy streets where crossings are not marked, even though by law any accident between a pedestrian and a vehicle is presumed to be the driver’s fault. Jaywalking is illegal and punished with fines of $25 and up to three months in jail. This is however rarely enforced.

An unavoidable downside, though, is the tropical heat and humidity, which leaves many visitors sweaty and exhausted, so do as the locals do and bring along a little towel and a bottle of water. Also, afternoon thunderstorms are fairly common during the monsoon season. It’s best to get an early start, pop into air-conditioned shops, cafes and museums to cool off or take shelter from rain, and plan on heading back to the shopping mall or hotel pool before noon. Alternatively, after sundown, evenings can also be comparatively cool. On the upside, the fact that the sun is often covered in clouds and shaded by trees and greenery along roads means that you won’t get as easily sunburnt as otherwise at these latitudes.

A useful tip to combat the tropical weather is to look out for air-conditioned underground pedestrian crossings. These climate-controlled walkways are plentiful and often between shopping malls and high-rise office buildings. In addition, look out for the pedestrian walkways connecting to underground MRT stations. Some stations can have up to 25 different walkways connecting to different entrances/exits in the area, creating an extensive network of walkways around the downtown core that gives one the impression of a city underneath the city.

Classic walks in Singapore include walking down the river from the Merlion through the Quays, trekking along the Southern Ridges Walk or just strolling around Chinatown, Little India or Bugis.

EAT:

Singapore is a melting pot of cuisines from around the world, and many Singaporeans are obsessive gourmands who love to makan (“eat” in Malay). You will find quality Chinese, Malay, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Italian, French, American and other food in this city-state.

Eating habits run the gamut, but most foods are eaten by fork and spoon: push and cut with the fork in the left hand, and eat with the spoon in the right. Noodles and Chinese dishes typically come with chopsticks, while Malay and Indian food can be eaten by hand, but nobody will blink an eye if you ask for a fork and spoon instead. If eating by hand, always use your right hand to pick your food, as Malays and Indians traditionally use their left hand to handle dirty things. Take note of the usual traditional Chinese etiquette when using chopsticks, and most importantly, do not stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice. If eating in a group, serving dishes are always shared, but you’ll get your own bowl of rice and soup. It’s common to use your own chopsticks to pick up food from communal plates, but serving spoons can be provided on request.

Keep an eye out for the Singapore Food Festival, held every year in July.

Local delicacies:

Singapore is justly famous for its food, a unique mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western elements. The following is only a brief sampler of the most popular dishes.

Peranakan/Nonya cuisine:

The most identifiable cuisine in the region is Peranakan or Nonya cuisine, born from the mixed Malay and Chinese communities of what were once the British colonies of the Straits Settlements (modern-day Singapore, Penang and Malacca).

  • Chilli crab is a whole crab ladled with oodles of sticky, tangy chilli sauce. It’s spicy at first, but the more you eat, the better it gets. Notoriously difficult to eat, so don’t wear a white shirt: just dig in with your hands and ignore the mess. The seafood restaurants of the East Coast are famous for this. For a less messy but equally tasty alternative, ask for black pepper crab.
  • Kaya is a jam-like spread made from egg and coconut, an odd-sounding but tasty combination. Served on toast for breakfast, canonically accompanied by runny eggs and strong, sweet coffee (kopi). Exists in two distinctive styles; the greenish Nonya version, coloured with pandan leaf, and the brownish Hainanese version.
  • Laksa, in particular the Katong laksa or laksa lemak style, is probably the best-known Singaporean dish: white noodles in a creamy, immensely rich coconut-based curry broth, topped with cockles or shrimp. The common style found in hawker centres is very spicy, although you can ask for less/no chilli to dial down the heat. The Katong style is much less spicy and is generally found only in Katong itself (see the East Coast page). Despite sharing the same name, the dish bears almost no resemblance to the varieties found in neighbouring Malaysia.
  • Mee siam is rice flour noodles served in a sweet-sour soup (made from tamarind, dried shrimp and fermented beans), bean curd cubes, and hard boiled eggs. Though the Chinese, Malays and Indians all have their own versions, it is the Peranakan version that is most popular with Singaporeans. You will largely find this at Malay stalls.
  • Popiah (薄饼), or spring rolls, come fresh or fried. They consist of a filling of boiled turnip, fried tofu, pork, shrimp with a slew of condiments, wrapped in a thin crepe smeared with sweet dark soy sauce and eaten like a fajita. They are related to the lumpia and runbing of other Chinese communities in Asia.
  • Rojak means a mixture of everything in Malay, and there are two very different types. Chinese rojak is a salad of pineapple, white turnip, cucumber, tau pok (fried bean curd) with thin tiny slices of bunga kantan (torch ginger flower buds), tossed in shrimp paste sauce and sugar, then sprinkled with crushed peanuts. Indian rojak consists of mainly fried fritters made from flour and various pulses with cucumber and tofu, with sweet & spicy sauces.
  • Ice cream is just as it is in Western countries. However, in Singapore, there are various local flavours such as durian and red bean which are not available outside the region and are certainly worth a try. To impress the locals, try asking for ice cream in roti (bread).

Besides these dishes, the Peranakans are also known for their kueh or snacks, which are somewhat different from the Malay versions due to stronger Chinese influences.

Malay cuisine:

The Malays were Singapore’s original inhabitants and despite now being outnumbered by the Chinese, their distinctive cuisine is popular to this day. Characterised by heavy use of spices, most Malay dishes are curries, stews or dips of one kind or another and nasi padang restaurants, offering a wide variety of these to ladle onto your rice, are very popular.

  • Mee rebus is a dish of egg noodles with spicy, slightly sweet gravy, a slice of hard boiled egg and lime.
  • Mee soto is Malay-style chicken soup, with a clear broth, shredded chicken breast and egg noodles.
  • Nasi lemak is the definitive Malay breakfast, consisting at its simplest of rice cooked in light coconut milk, some ikan bilis (anchovies), peanuts, a slice of cucumber and a dab of chilli on the side. A larger ikan kuning (fried fish) or chicken wing are common accompaniments. More often than not, also combined with a variety of curries and/or sambal
  • Otah/Otak is a type of fish cake made of minced fish (usually mackerel), coconut milk, chilli and various other spices, and grilled in a banana or coconut leaf, usually served to accompany other dishes like nasi lemak.
  • Rendang, originally from Indonesia and occasionally dubbed “dry curry”, is meat stewed for hours on end in a spicy (but rarely fiery) coconut-based curry paste until almost all water is absorbed. Beef rendang is the most common, although chicken and mutton are spotted sometimes.
  • Sambal is the generic term for chilli sauces of many kinds. Sambal belacan is a common condiment made by mixing chilli with the shrimp paste belacan, while the popular dish sambal sotong consists of squid (sotong) cooked in red chilli sauce.
  • Satay are barbecued skewers of meat, typically chicken, mutton or beef. What separates satay from your ordinary kebab are the spices used to season the meat and the slightly spicy peanut-based dipping sauce. The Satay Club at Lau Pa Sat near Raffles Place is one popular location for this delicacy.

Malay desserts, especially the sweet pastries and jellies (kuih or kueh) made largely from coconut and palm sugar (gula melaka), bear a distinct resemblance to those of Thailand. But in the sweltering tropical heat, try one of many concoctions made with ice instead:

  • Bubur cha-cha consists of cubed yam, sweet potato and sago added into coconut milk soup. This can be served warm or cold.
  • Chendol is made with green pea noodles, kidney beans, palm sugar and coconut milk.
  • Durian is not exactly a dish, but a local fruit with distinctive odor you can smell a mile away and a sharp thorny husk. Both smell and taste defy description, but eating garlic ice cream next to an open sewer comes to mind. If you are game enough you should try it, but be warned beforehand — you will either love it or hate it. The rich creamy yellow flesh is often sold in places like Geylang and Bugis and elsewhere conveniently in pre-packaged packs, for anywhere from but a local fruit with distinctive odor you can smell a mile away and a sharp thorny husk. Both smell and taste defy description for a small fruit all the way up to $18/kg depending on the season and type of durian. This ‘king of fruits’ is also made into ice cream, cakes, sweets, puddings and other decadent desserts. You’re not allowed to carry durians on the MRT and buses and they’re banned from many hotels.
  • Ice kachang literally means “ice bean” in Malay, a good clue to the two major ingredients: shaved ice and sweet red beans. However, more often than not you’ll also get gula melaka (palm sugar), grass jelly, sweet corn, attap palm seeds and anything else on hand thrown in, and the whole thing is then drizzled with canned evaporated milk or coconut cream and coloured syrups. The end result tastes very interesting — and refreshing.
  • Kuih (or kueh) refer to a plethora of steamed or baked “cakes”, mostly made with coconut milk, grated coconut flesh, glutinous rice or tapioca. They are often very colourful and cut into fanciful shapes, but despite their wildly varying appearance tend to taste rather similar.
  • Pisang goreng is a batter-dipped and deep-fried banana.

Chinese cuisine:

Chinese food as eaten in Singapore commonly originates from southern China, particularly Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan. While “authentic” fare is certainly available, especially in fancier restaurants, the daily fare served in hawker centres has absorbed a number of tropical touches, most notably the fairly heavy use of chilli and the Malay fermented shrimp paste belacan as condiments. Noodles can also be served not just in soup (湯 tang), but also “dry” (干 gan), meaning that your noodles will be served tossed with chilli and spices in one bowl, and the soup will come in a separate bowl.

  • Bak chor mee (肉脞面) is essentially noodles with minced pork, tossed in a chilli-based sauce with lard, ikan bilis (fried anchovies), vegetables and mushrooms. Black vinegar may also be added.
  • Bak kut teh (肉骨茶), lit. “pork bone tea”, is a simple-sounding soup of pork ribs simmered for hours in broth until they’re ready to fall off the bone. Singaporeans prefer the light and peppery Teochew style (“white”), but a few shops offer the original dark and aromatic Fujian kind (“black”). Bak kut teh is typically eaten with white rice, mui choy (pickled vegetables) and a pot of strong Chinese tea, hence the name — the broth itself doesn’t contain any tea. To impress the locals, order some you tiao fritters from a nearby stall and cut them up into bite-sized chunks to dip into your soup.
  • Char kway teow (炒粿条) is the quintessential Singapore-style fried noodle dish, consisting of several types of noodles in thick brown sauce with strips of fishcake, Chinese sausage, a token veggie or two and either cockles and shrimp. It’s cheap (Chinese sausage–3/serve), filling and has nothing to do with the dish known as “Singapore fried noodles” elsewhere. (And which actually doesn’t exist in Singapore.)
  • Chee cheong fun (豬腸粉) is a favourite breakfast consisting of lasagna-type rice noodles rolled up and various types of fried meats including fishballs and fried tofu. The dish is usually topped with a generous amount of sauce.
  • Chwee kway (水粿) is a breakfast dish consisting of rice cakes topped with chai po (salted fermented turnips), usually served with some chilli sauce.
  • Fishball noodles (魚丸面) come in many forms, but the noodle variety most often seen is mee pok, which are flat egg noodles. The noodles are tossed in chilli sauce and accompanied by a side bowl of fishballs in soup.
  • Hainanese chicken rice (海南鸡饭) is steamed (“white”) or roasted (“red”) chicken flavoured with soy sauce and sesame oil served on a bed of fragrant rice that has been cooked in chicken broth and flavoured with ginger and garlic. Accompanied by chilli sauce made from crushed fresh chillis, ginger, garlic and thick dark soy sauce as well as some cucumber and a small bowl of chicken broth. Despite its name, only the method of preparing the chicken originated in Hainan, while the method of cooking the rice was actually invented by the Hainanese immigrants in what is today Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Hokkien mee (福建面) is a style of soupy fried noodles in light, fragrant stock with prawns and other seafood. Oddly, it bears little resemblance to the Kuala Lumpur dish of the same name, which uses thick noodles in dark soy, or the Penang version, which is served in very spicy prawn soup.
  • Kway chap (粿汁) is essentially sheets made of rice flour served in a brown stock, accompanied by a plate of braised pork and pig organs (tongue, ear and intestines).
  • Prawn noodles (虾面, hae mee in Hokkien) is a dark-brown prawn broth served with egg noodles and a giant tiger prawn or two on top. Some stalls serve it with boiled pork ribs as well. The best versions are highly addictive and will leave you slurping up the last MSG-laden (probably from the shrimp heads) drops.
  • Satay bee hoon is rice vermicelli (bee hoon) served with the same peanut and chilli sauce used for satay, hence the name. Usually cockles, dried squid and pork slices are added.
  • Steamboat (火锅), also known as hot pot, is do-it-yourself soup Chinese style. You get a pot of broth bubbling on a tabletop burner, pick meat, fish and veggies to your liking from a menu or buffet table, then cook it to your liking. When finished, add in noodles or ask for rice to fill you up. This usually requires a minimum of two people, and the more the merrier.
  • Tau huay (豆花), also known as beancurd, is probably the most common traditional Chinese dessert, a bowl of tofu curds in syrup, served either hot or cold. An innovation that has swept the island is a delicious custard-like version (“soft tau huay”) which includes no syrup and is extremely soft despite being solid.
  • Wonton mee (云吞面) is thin noodles topped with wantan dumplings of seasoned minced pork. Unlike the soupy Hong Kong version, it is usually served ‘dry’ in soy sauce and chilli.
  • Yong tau foo (酿豆腐) literally means “stuffed tofu”, but it’s more exciting than it sounds. The diner selects their favourites from a vast assortment of tofu, fish paste, assorted seafood and vegetables, and they are then sliced into bite-size pieces, cooked briefly in boiling water and then served either in broth as soup or “dry” with the broth in a separate bowl. The dish can be eaten by itself or with any choice of noodles. Essential accompaniments are spicy chili sauce and sweet sauce for dipping.

Indian cuisine:

The smallest of Singapore’s big three ethnic groups, Indians have had proportionally the smallest impact on the local culinary scene, but there is no shortage of Indian food even at many hawker centres. Delicious and authentic Indian food can be had at Little India, including south Indian typical meals such as dosa (thosai) crepes, idli lentil-rice cakes and sambar soup, as well as north Indian meals including various curries, naan bread, tandoori chicken and more. In addition, however, a number of Indian dishes have been “Singaporeanised” and adopted by the entire population, including:

  • Fish head curry is, true to the name, a gigantic curried fish head cooked whole until it’s ready to fall apart. Singapore’s Little India is the place to sample this. There are two styles: the fiery Indian and the milder Chinese kind.
  • Nasi briyani is rice cooked in turmeric, which gives the rice an orange colour. Unlike the Hyderabadi original, it’s usually rather bland, although specialist shops do turn out more flavourful versions. It is usually served with curry chicken and some Indian crackers.
  • Roti prata is the local version of paratha, flat bread tossed in the air like pizza, rapidly cooked in oil, and eaten dipped in curry. Modern-day variations can incorporate unorthodox ingredients like cheese, chocolate and even ice cream, but some canonical versions include roti kosong (plain), roti telur (with egg) and murtabak (layered with chicken, mutton or fish). Vegans beware: unlike Indian roti, roti prata batter is usually made with eggs.
  • Putu mayam is a sweet dessert composed of vermicelli-like noodles topped with shredded coconut and orange sugar.

Hawker centres:

The cheapest and most popular places to eat in Singapore are hawker centres, essentially former pushcart vendors directed into giant complexes by government fiat. Prices are low ($2.50–5 for most dishes), hygiene standards are high (every stall is required to prominently display a hygiene certificate grading it from A to D) and the food can be excellent. Ambience tends to be a little lacking though and there is no air-conditioning either, but a visit to a hawker centre is a must when in Singapore, if you wish to experience authentic local food culture in the heartlands themselves. However, be leery of overzealous pushers-cum-salesmen, especially at the Satay Club in Lau Pa Sat and Newton Food Centre at Newton Circus: the tastiest stalls don’t need high-pressure tactics to find customers. Touting for business is illegal, and occasionally a reminder of this can result in people backing off a bit.

To order, first chope (reserve) a table by parking a friend at the table, or do what the locals do: place a packet of tissue paper on the table. Note and remember the table’s number, then place your order at your stall of choice. Employees deliver to your table, and you pay when you get the food. Some stalls (particularly very popular ones) are “self-service”, and this is indicated by a sign, but if it is quiet or you are sitting nearby, you need not deliver your own food to your table. At almost every stall you can also opt for take-away/ take-out (called “packet” or ta pao (打包) in Cantonese dialect), in which case employees pack up your order in a plastic box/bag and even throw in disposable utensils. Once you are finished, just get up and go, as tables are cleared by hired cleaners, or if you are particularly thoughtful, return your food tray by yourself to designated collection points.

Every district in Singapore has its own hawker centres and prices decrease as you move out into the boonies. For tourists, centrally located Newton Circus near (Newton MRT Exit B), Gluttons Bay (near Esplanade MRT Exit D) and Lau Pa Sat (near Raffles Place MRT Exit I, the River), are the most popular options — but this does not make them the cheapest or the tastiest, and the demanding gourmand would do well to head to Chinatown or the heartlands instead. A dizzying array of food stalls with a large South Indian representation can be found in the bustling Tekka Centre at the edge of Little India. Many of the best food stalls are in residential districts off the tourist trail and do not advertise in the media, so the best way to find them is to ask locals for their recommendations. Good examples closer to the city centre include Old Airport Road Food Centre (near Dakota MRT Exit B) and Tiong Bahru Market (near Tiong Bahru MRT), both of which are sprawling and home to a number of much-loved stalls. Botak Jones in several hawker centres offers reasonably authentic and fairly sized American-restaurant style meals at hawker prices.

Coffee shops:

Despite the name, coffee shops or kopitiam sell much more than coffee — they are effectively mini-hawker centres with perhaps only half a dozen stalls (one of which will, however, sell coffee and other drinks). The Singaporean equivalent of pubs, this is where folks come for the canonical Singaporean breakfast of kopi (strong, sugary coffee), some kaya (egg-coconut jam) toast and runny eggs, and this is also where they come to down a beer or two and chat away in the evenings. English proficiency can sometimes be limited, but most stall owners know enough to communicate the basics, and even if they don’t, nearby locals will usually help you out if you ask. Many coffee shops offer zi char/cze cha (煮炒) for dinner, meaning a menu of local dishes, mostly Chinese-style seafood, served at your table at mid-range prices.

The usual Starbucks and other local cafe chains such as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf can be found in any shopping mall but an iced coffee or tea can set you back $5 or more, whereas a teh tarik (“pulled” milky tea) or kopi coffee runs closer to $1 at any hawker centre. While exploring, you’re also likely to come across a good number of independent cafes offering gourmet coffee, pastries and cakes, which have mushroomed across the city centre over the last decade.

Food courts:

Found in the basement or top floor of nearly every shopping mall, food courts are the air-conditioned version of hawker centres. The variety of food on offer is almost identical, but prices are on average $1–3 higher than prices in hawker centres and coffee shops (depending on the area, it is slightly more expensive in tourist intensive areas) and the quality of food is good but not necessarily value-for-money.

Fast food:

International fast food chains like McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Burger King, KFC, MOS Burger, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Subway etc. are commonly found in various shopping malls. Prices range from $2 for a basic burger to upwards of $5 for a set meal. All restaurants are self-service and clearing your table after your meal is optional. In addition to the usual suspects, look out for these uniquely Singaporean brands:

  • Bengawan Solo. Singapore version of Indonesian cakes, Chinese pastries and everything in between. The name is taken from the name of a famous river in Java.
  • BreadTalk. This self-proclaimed “designer bread” chain has taken not just Singapore but much of South-East Asia by storm. Everything is jazzily shaped, funkily named (e.g. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bacon) and baked on premises. To the Western palate, almost everything is rather sweet.
  • Jollibean. Fresh soy drinks, beancurd and tasty mee chiang kueh Chinese pancakes.
  • Killiney Kopitiam. Serves kaya toast, kopi and ginger tea (with ice or without); waiters at the original Somerset location shout your order towards the back with gusto.
  • Mr Bean. Offers a variety of soya bean drinks, ice-creams and pastries snacks.
  • Old Chang Kee. Famous for their curry puffs, but their range now covers anything and everything deep-fried. Take-away only.
  • Ya Kun Kaya Toast. Serves the classic Singaporean breakfast all day long: kaya toast, runny eggs and strong, sweet coffee (plus some other drinks). Arguably one of the more successful chains with branches as far away as South Korea and Japan.

Restaurants:

Singapore offers a wide variety of full-service restaurants as well, catering to every taste and budget.

As the majority of Singapore’s population is ethnic Chinese, there is an abundance of Chinese restaurants in Singapore, mainly serving southern Chinese (mostly Hokkien, Teochew, or Cantonese) cuisines, though with the large number of expatriates and foreign workers from China these days, cuisine originating from Shanghai and further north is also not hard to find. True local Chinese restaurants generally serve dishes little seen in Chinese restaurants internationally and in Mainland China, due to the combination of their southern Chinese roots and local influences.

Depending on where you go and what you order, prices can vary greatly. In ordinary restaurants, prices usually range from $15 ~ $35 per person, while in top-end restaurants in luxury hotels, meals can cost $300 per person when they involve delicacies such as abalone, suckling pig and lobster. As with Chinese restaurants anywhere, food is eaten with chopsticks and served with Chinese tea.

Being a maritime city, one common speciality is seafood restaurants, offering Chinese-influenced Singaporean classics like chilli crabs. These are much more fun to visit in a group, but be careful about what you order: gourmet items like Sri Lankan giant crab can easily push your bill up to hundreds of dollars. Menus typically say “market price”, and if you ask they’ll quote you the price per 100g, but a big crab can easily top 2kg. The best-known seafood spots are clustered on the East Coast, but for ambience, the riverside restaurants at Boat Quay and Clarke Quay can’t be beat. Again, always enquire about the prices when they aren’t stated in full, and be wary of touts.

Singapore also has its share of good Western restaurants, with British- and American-influenced food being a clear favourite among locals. Most of the more affordable chains can be found in various shopping centres throughout the island, and prices for main courses range from $14 ~ 22. For a more localised variant of Western food, one should try Hainanese Western food, which traces its origins to the Hainanese migrants who worked as cooks for European employers during the colonial period. French, Italian, Japanese and Korean food is also readily available, though prices tend to be on the expensive side, while Thai and Indonesian restaurants tend to be more affordable.

One British import much loved by Singaporeans is high tea. In the classical form, as served up by finer hotels across the island, this is a light afternoon meal consisting of tea and a wide array of British-style savoury snacks and sweet pastries like finger sandwiches and scones. However, the term is increasingly used for afternoon buffets of any kind, and Chinese dim sum and various Singaporean dishes are common additions. Prices vary, but you’ll usually be looking at $35–80 per head. Many restaurants only serve high tea on weekends, and hours may be very limited: the famous spread at the Raffles Hotel’s Tiffin Room, for example, is only available from 15:30-17:00.

Singaporeans are big on buffets, especially international buffets offering a wide variety of dishes including Western, Chinese and Japanese as well as some local dishes at a fixed price. Popular chains include Sakura and Vienna.

Most hotels also offer lunch and dinner buffets. Champagne brunches on Sundays are particularly popular, but you can expect to pay over $100 per head and popular spots, like Mezza9 at the Hyatt on Orchard, will require reservations.

Some restaurants put small side dishes (usually braised peanuts or prawn crackers) and wet paper towels on the table without asking. These are usually not usually free of charge, so consume them only if you really want to. Otherwise you can ask them to take it away or remove the charge from your receipt.

Fine dining:

The opening of the two casinos in Marina Bay and Sentosa has led to several of the world’s top chefs opening local branches of their restaurants, including Santi, Waku Ghin and Guy Savoy. Prices are generally what you would expect for eating at a fine dining restaurant in the West, with $400+ per person not unheard of for a tasting menu with drinks.

Dietary restrictions:

Singapore is an easy place to eat for almost everybody. Some Indians and small groups of Chinese Buddhists are vegetarian, so Indian stalls may have a number of veggie options and some hawker centres will have a Chinese vegetarian stall or two, often serving up amazing meat imitations made from gluten. Chinese vegetarian food traditionally does not use eggs or dairy products and is thus almost always vegan; Indian vegetarian food, however, often employs cheese and other milk products. Be on your guard in ordinary Chinese restaurants though, as even dishes that appear vegetarian on the menu may contain seafood products like oyster sauce or salted fish — check with the waiter if in doubt. Some restaurants can be found that use “no garlic, no onions”.

Muslims should look out for halal certificates issued by MUIS, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. This is found at practically every Malay stall and many Indian Muslim operations too, but more rarely on outlets run by the Chinese, few of whom are Muslims. However, there are a few halal food courts around, which are an excellent choice for safely sampling halal Chinese food. Many Western fast-food chains in Singapore use halal meat: look for a certificate around the ordering area, or ask a manager if in doubt. A few restaurants skimp on the formal certification and simply put up “no pork, no lard” signs; it’s your call if this is good enough for you.

Kosher-observant Jews, on the other hand, will have a harder time as kosher food is nearly unknown in Singapore, though there is a single kosher grocery store and restaurant in the Maghain Aboth Synagogue on Waterloo Street, as well as a kosher branch of Coffee Bean nearby; check with the Jewish Welfare Board for details.

Coeliac disease is relatively unheard of in Singapore, so don’t expect to find information on menus about whether dishes contain gluten or not. A few exceptions to this include Cedele, Barracks @ House and Jones the Grocer. Gluten awareness is spreading in Singapore as well, and many upmarket restaurants will have internationally trained chefs who can cater to your needs. Gluten-free products are available in most Cold Storage and Marketplace supermarkets, as well as specialist shops such as Brown Rice Paradise. You can also treat yourself to many naturally gluten-free regional specialities, such as Hainanese chicken rice (be sure to ask for chicken without sauce) and Masala dosa.

DRINK:

Singapore’s nightlife isn’t quite a match for Patpong, but it’s no slouch either. Some clubs have 24 hr licences and few places close before 03:00. Any artists touring Asia are pretty much guaranteed to stop in Singapore, with superclub Zouk in particular regularly clocking high on lists of the world’s best nightclubs. Singapore’s nightlife is largely concentrated along the three Quays — Boat, Clarke and Robertson — of the Riverside, with the clubs of Sentosa and nearby St James Power Station giving party animals even more reason to dance the night away and the casino on Marina Bay also entering the fray. Gay bars are mostly found around Chinatown. The legal drinking age is 18, and while this is surprisingly loosely enforced, some clubs have higher age limits. If you are asked for identification, the only acceptable forms of identification are a Singapore-issued identity card or a passport.

Friday is generally the biggest night of the week for going out, with Saturday a close second. Sunday is gay night in many bars and clubs, while Wednesday or Thursday is ladies’ night, often meaning not just free entrance but free drinks for women. Most clubs are closed on Monday and Tuesday, while bars generally stay open but tend to be very quiet.

For a night out Singapore style, gather a group of friends and head for the nearest karaoke box — major chains include Party World. Room rental ranges from $30/hour and up. Beware that the non-chain, glitzy (or dodgy) looking, neon-covered KTV lounges may charge much higher rates and the short-skirted hostesses may offer more services than just pouring your drinks. In Singapore, the pronunciation of karaoke follows the Japanese “karah-oh-kay” instead of the Western “carry-oh-key”.

Alcohol:

Alcohol is widely available but expensive due to Singapore’s heavy sin taxes. On the other hand, tax-free at Changi Airport has some of the best prices in the world. You can bring in up to one litre of liquor and two litres of wine and beer if you arrive from countries other than Malaysia. Careful shopping at major supermarkets will also throw up common basic Australian wine labels for under $20.

Alcohol is haram (forbidden) to Muslims, and most Muslim Singaporeans duly avoid it. While most non-Muslim Singaporeans are not puritanical and enjoy a drink every now and then, do not expect to find the binge-drinking culture that you will find in most Western countries. Unlike in many Western countries, public drunkenness is socially frowned upon in Singapore, and misbehaving yourself under the influence of alcohol will certainly not gain you any respect from Singaporean friends. Do not allow any confrontations to escalate into fights, as the police will be called in, and you may face prison and possibly caning.

Liquor laws were tightened in 2015, and public drinking is now heavily restricted between 22:30 and 07:00. While most bars, nightclubs and restaurants are an exception to the rule, this means that supermarkets and liquor stores will not be able to sell alcohol during that period.

Prices when drinking out vary. You can enjoy a large bottle of beer of your choice at a coffee shop or hawker centre for less than although in these places you’ll need to bring your own bottle opener and glasses. Fancier places charge $20–50 (and the local colour comes thrown in for free). On the other hand, drinks in any bar, club or fancy restaurant remain pricey, with a basic drink clocking in at $10–15 while fancy cocktails would usually be in the $15–25 range. On the upside, happy hours and two-for-one promotions are common, and the entry price for clubs usually includes several drink tickets. Almost all restaurants in Singapore allow bringing your own (BYO) wine and cheaper restaurants without a wine menu usually don’t even charge corkage, although in these places you’ll need to bring your own bottle opener and glasses. Fancier places charge $20–50, although many offer free corkage days on Monday or Tuesday.

Tourists flock to the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel to sample the original Singapore Sling, a sickly sweet pink mix of pineapple juice, gin and more, but locals (almost) never touch the stuff. The tipple of choice in Singapore is the local beer, Tiger, a rather ordinary lager, but a microbrewery boom has led to outlets such as, Archipelago (Boat Quay), Brewerkz (Riverside Point), Paulaner Brauhaus (Millenia Walk) and Pump Room (Clarke Quay) offering interesting alternatives.

Accommodation in Singapore is expensive by South-East Asian standards. Particularly in the higher price brackets, demand outstrips supply and during big events like the F1 race or some of the larger conventions it’s not uncommon for pretty much everything to sell out. Lower-end hotels and hostels, though, remain affordable and available throughout the year.

Unless you’re a shopping maven intent on maximizing time in Orchard Road’s shopping malls, the Riverside is probably the best place to stay in Singapore.

GST and Service charge are generally not included in the advertised rates. Therefore, when considering how much to allocate for accommodation, don’t forget to add 17.7%.

Budget:

Backpackers’ hostels can be found primarily in Little India, Bugis, Clarke Quay and the East Coast. Backpacker hostels cost from $12–40 for a dorm bed. There seems to be a bedbug epidemic among many of the very cheapest hostels – read the reviews carefully before booking.

Cheap hotels are clustered in the Geylang, Balestier and Little India districts, where they service mostly the type of customer who rents rooms by the hour. Rooms are generally small and not fancy, but are still clean and provide basic facilities such as a bathroom and television. Prices start as low as $15 for a “transit” of a few hours and $40 for a full night’s stay. The two major local chains, with hotels throughout the island, are:

  • Fragrance Hotel, +65 6345 6116. Chain of 13 hotels and one backpackers’ hostel. Rooms from $58, discounts on weekends and for ISIC holders.
  • Hotel 81, +65 6767 8181. A chain of over 20 functional hotels with rates starting at $49 for two.

Mid-range:

Much of Singapore’s mid-range accommodation is in rather featureless but functional older hotels, with a notable cluster near the western end of the Singapore River. There has, however, been a surge of “boutique” hotels in renovated shophouses here and in Chinatown, these can be pretty good value, with rates starting from $100/night.

Splurge:

Singapore has a wide selection of luxury accommodation, including the famed Raffles Hotel. You will generally be looking at upwards of $300 per night for a room in a five-star hotel, which is still a pretty good deal by most standards. Hotel rates fluctuate quite a bit: a large conference can double prices, while on weekends in the off-peak season heavy discounts are often available. The largest hotel clusters can be found at Marina Bay (good for sightseeing) and around Orchard Road (good for shopping).

Being spoilt for choice in the lion city as far as luxurious accommodation is concerned is quite an understatement.

Even with her young age, Singapore has a wide range of souvenirs available for tourists due to the rich multi-cultural history. While you can find Merlion Keychains, Chocolates, T-shirts & Postcards around Chinatown & Little India, there are plenty of unique souvenirs that are homegrown labels & represent Singapore.

Fashion label Charles & Keith (started out as Shoe Heaven), has got you covered if you’re looking for a pair of perfect shoes & has evolved into handbags & accessories. Grab the mini Singapore sling cocktail set at Raffles Hotel and Changi Airport for the true heritage flavour. With their luxurious gold plating technology, RISIS provides beautiful gifts like gold-plated Orchids and brooches.

One of the popular snack souvenirs – Bak Kwa from Bee Cheng Hiang (Smoked Barbecue Pork) is a well-loved snack by Chinese tourists, though most locals prefer the version from Lim Chee Guan, which has extremely long queues lasting several hours over the Chinese New Year period. Kaya is a savoury coconut milk, eggs, and sugar, usually spread on toast where locals consume for their breakfast. Depending on the brand, it can taste rich & sweet to having a light pandan flavour. Ya Kun Kaya is readily available in their nationwide outlets and Changi Airport.

For those who will miss Singapore’s rice dishes, you can get Instant rice meals from Yamie , where local favourites like Chicken Rice & Biryani Rice are pre-made, easy to prepare. A must-get, Chilli crab & Laksa sauce kits from Prima Taste are also saliva-inducing souvenirs available to purchase at supermarkets. These are Halal.

Bak Kut Teh (literally translated as Meat Bone Tea) Spices are also a fine choice to bring back a taste of Singapore, and one can choose from ranges like A1 Bak Kut Teh to celebrity-favourite Outram Park Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh. Speaking about Tea, Singapore also has her own luxury tea collection from TWG which offers an impressive selection of over 800 teas, specially harvested from all around the world.

Local Designers like SUPERMAMA have also came up with Singaporean omiyage (contemporary giftware) ranging from porcelain tableware to quirky socks. Most of these souvenirs can be found in their own store outlets, Changi Airport or Singapore Souvenir curator – SG Style, who does same-day delivery to your hotel.

Independent bookstore Booksactually in Tiong Bahru has an in-house publishing arm Math Paper Press that publishes works by local authors. Cat Socrates is another quirky bookstore that sells Singaporean literature as well as postcards, stationery and trinkets with Singaporean motifs made by local artists.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Singapore
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Name: Marina Bay Sands
Location: Singapore
Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore, owned by the Las Vegas Sands corporation. At its opening in 2010, it was billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including the land cost. The resort, designed by Moshe Safdie, includes a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000-square-metre convention-exhibition centre, the 74,000-square-metre The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, art-science exhibits, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340-metre-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m. The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie architects.

Marina Bay Sands was originally set to open in 2009, but its construction faced delays caused by escalating costs of material and labour shortages from the outset. The grand opening of Marina Bay Sands was held on 17 February 2011.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Bay_Sands
Name: Gardens by the Bay
Location: Singapore
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land in the Central Region of Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden (in Marina South), Bay East Garden (in Marina East) and Bay Central Garden (in Downtown Core and Kallang). The largest of the gardens is Bay South Garden at 54 hectares (130 acres) designed by Grant Associates. Its Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world.

Gardens by the Bay is part of the nation's plans to transform its "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden", with the aim of raising the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. First announced by the Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, at the National Day Rally in 2005, Gardens by the Bay was intended to be Singapore's premier urban outdoor recreation space, and a national icon.

Being one of the popular tourist attractions in Singapore, the park received 6.4 million visitors in 2014, while topping its 20 millionth visitor mark in November 2015. The nearest Mass Rapid Transit station is Bayfront MRT station.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardens_by_the_Bay
Name: Sentosa
Location: Singapore
Sentosa is a resort island in Singapore. It was once a British military base and a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. The island was renamed Sentosa and turned into a tourist destination in 1972, and it is now home to a popular resort that receives some twenty million visitors per year. Attractions include a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, the Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore and one of Singapore's two casinos.

Sentosa has a stretch of sheltered beach of more than 2 km (1.2 mi) on its southern coast, divided into three portions: Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach and Tanjong Beach. These beaches are artificial, reclaimed using sand bought from Indonesia and Malaysia. They are manned by a beach patrol lifeguard team who are easily identified by their red and yellow uniforms.

The island hosted the 2018 North Korea–United States summit between the United States President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea on 12 June 2018, at the Capella Hotel.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentosa
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

Global Immigration Leader, Big 4

“Manny. You have really gone the extra mile in supporting the US Business Visitor Service. You have demonstrated real commitment and energy, working a late shift night while we try and find others to fill the position. I know that the other night you stayed until 4am. You are always so positive and your cheerful disposition and attention to detail has resulted in excellent client feedback. On Monday the key client came to London and she was effusive about the service. This is largely due the cover you provide.”

Internal stakeholder, Big 4

“Manny is a big reason why the move from (external provider) to the UK firm’s passport and visa provision has been so smooth. He’s an extremely likeable honest hard working guy who takes his role very seriously. We’re very fortunate to have him leading our dedicated team”

External client, Private practice

“Most of my contact was with Manpreet Singh Johal. He did the best job someone could imagine. Extraordinary service from his side.”

Team member, Big 4

“Working on two priority accounts is naturally pressurised especially where he has also been responsible for billing on both accounts; yet Manny delivers every time and this I believe is an exceptional quality.”

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