Singapore is a state of Southeast Asia. The narrow Strait of Johor, whose width does not exceed one kilometer, separates the island of Singapore from the Malacca Peninsula, and the Singapore Strait separates the island from Indonesia.
Singapore is a parliamentary republic by its form of government. The Cabinet of Ministers exercises executive power and is headed by the Prime Minister. The Popular Action Party has dominated since 1965, but opposition parties are present in parliament in one way or another. The Singapore government has a reputation for being uncorrupted.
The total area of Singapore is approximately six hundred ninety-three square kilometers. There is no main religion in Singapore, and the constitution of this country allows everyone to practice their faith. The main religions of Singapore are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism.
Singapore time is five hours ahead of Moscow time in winter and four hours ahead of in summer. In Singapore, there is a fight against smoking and drug use is strictly prohibited. The death penalty is even provided for the distribution of drugs.
The working day of basically all banks is limited from half past nine in the morning to fifteen o'clock in the afternoon on weekdays, and from half past nine to half past eleven on Saturdays. Holidays and Sundays are non-working days. The working day of a significant number of shopping malls is limited from half past nine in the morning to half past nine in the evening both on weekdays and on holidays. The only exception is the Lunar New Year.
Singapore is a country located on the equator. This is practically the case. Singapore is located one hundred and thirty-seven kilometers north of the equator line. This circumstance is the reason for the prevalence of a typically tropical climate in Singapore. The weather is almost constant throughout the year. Between November and January, when the monsoon season hits Singapore, showers last one to two hours daily. In January, the average air temperature ranges from thirty to thirty-four in the afternoon and twenty-three to twenty-seven degrees in the evening.
There are several official languages in the city of Singapore. These are Malay, English, Tamil and Chinese. English serves as an administrative language, and Malay is the national language. For those who are at least a little familiar with English, it will not be a problem to be in the city. This is due to the fact that most of the local population speaks English. In addition, a significant proportion of signs and signs in Singapore are also in English.
When entering Singapore, you can take any amount of money with you. However, this circumstance does not apply to any tobacco products, including cigarettes, which is associated with a certain policy in Singapore. The government of this country is fighting smoking and striving to reduce the number of smokers. Thus, when planning a trip to Singapore, you should consider the impossibility of transporting a significant amount of cigarettes. The surplus will remain at customs, and a certain amount of money will be taken for storage. Some goods are generally prohibited from being imported into the country. These are fireworks, pornographic articles, drugs and psychotropic drugs, pistol / revolver lighters, fake tobacco products, chewing tobacco, even chewing gum, and some others. When importing medicines into Singapore, the tourist must present the appropriate prescription. This is especially true for stimulating and sedative drugs, as well as sleeping pills. It should be remembered that the use of drugs in Singapore is strictly prohibited, and all transactions with them (export, import, production, trade) are punishable by death.
The Singapore dollar is the national currency. It is she who is preferred when shopping in stores and visiting restaurants, but no one will refuse American dollars either. As for the latter, the US dollars will need to be exchanged for local currency, albeit at a rate that is unfavorable for the tourist. Based on this, you should think in advance about the presence of local currency in your wallet. There are exchange offices at the Singapore airport for this purpose. There are also exchange offices at shopping malls, hotels and banks. Credit cards can be freely used throughout the country. In circulation there are coins of one, five, twenty, fifty cents and one dollar, as well as banknotes in denominations of one, two, five, ten, twenty, one thousand and ten thousand Singapore dollars.
Smoking is prohibited in Singapore. There is an active fight against smoking in this country, but it is not completely banned. Smoking is prohibited in closed areas, shopping malls, air-conditioned restaurants, cinemas, government offices, theaters, elevators, taxis, and public transport. Often, smoking is prohibited in food centers, air-conditioned beer bars, etc. Before getting a cigarette, a tourist is advised to make sure there is no sign nearby warning: "NO SMOKING".
Singapore is a clean country. The government is committed to keeping Singapore clean. Even small pieces of paper should not be thrown away in specially not designated places. The penalty for such a negligent act can be up to 1,000 Singapore dollars.
Singapore is a land of prohibitions. And those who are waiting, going to this country, the feeling of permissiveness, will be disappointed. An idle revelry in Singapore is impossible. You can't even chew gum in Singapore. Films with violent scenes are also prohibited. It is illegal to download from the Internet, litter on the street, cross the road in an unidentified place, ride without seat belt - all this is a violation of public order. Men should not flirt with women, and in general should not touch another person without reason. There are no casinos in this country. As for the locals, they are very loyal to all these prohibitions. In Singapore, you can even buy souvenirs that will list the most popular bans.
Singapore is a poor country. Not at all. The GNP (Gross National Product) in Singapore has some of the best rates in the world. According to data for 2008, GNP was 38,972.1 US dollars. Singapore's economy has taken a dramatic leap forward, making the country now classified as an East Asian tiger. In Singapore, the financial services sector is shipbuilding and electronics production. Local residents live in high-rise buildings. In Russia, such housing belongs to the elite. These high-rise buildings are equipped with gyms, matting and playgrounds. The appearance of these houses is striking in its neatness, all the windows are the same. The kitchen windows face the courtyard, while the living rooms face the street. Locals rarely cook at home, as you can eat delicious food in cafes and restaurants for a completely affordable fee. The quality and taste of food in them is not worse than that of homemade food. As for fresh water, Singapore has to buy it from Malaysia. The fresh water quality is excellent. True, few Singaporeans have a private car, a similar circumstance in the state is considered a luxury here. A significant part of local residents travel by bus or metro, payment for them is made with electronic cards. There are strengths and weaknesses in the Singapore economy. The strong ones, of course, include the increased level of prosperity, a highly competitive environment, a favorable investment climate, etc., the weaknesses include the import of energy and practically all food, the lack of space and specialists, and dependence on the supply of Malaysian water. Singapore's economy is dependent on exports. This is especially true for pharmaceuticals, information technology, and electronics.
Singapore recognizes the oriental art of feng shui. Moreover, all buildings in this country are built in accordance with its laws and recommendations, for example, all skyscrapers in Singapore have rounded corners (since sharp corners lead to misfortune, as Feng Shui says).
Singaporeans value nature. Communication with nature, as they believe, is the most acceptable and suitable recreation for a person. Sentosa Island is proof of this. The island can be called a huge amusement and recreation park. Here, for example, performances are held in a bird park, there is an opportunity to go on a night safari or even have breakfast with an orangutan. In the very center of the island there is a giant lion statue that you can climb inside. The cable car, the "Underwater World" complex, the aquarium - there is a choice of entertainment on Sentosa. The complex "Underwater World" is home to unique pink dolphins that are not born pink (when they are born they are gray), but become as they grow up. At an altitude of one hundred and thirty meters above sea level, there is an observation deck, from which you can appreciate the beauty of Sentosa with an inquisitive eye. And the symbols of Singapore are the tiger and the lion - these animals are depicted on the country's coat of arms.
Singapore is a small country that can be explored in a couple of days. Despite the fact that the territory occupied by Singapore is really small, a large number of attractions are concentrated on it. In view of this circumstance, the tourist will have the opportunity to choose an excursion according to his "taste and color". But do not flatter yourself about the fact that during the day you can get to know all the sights. True, there are quite a few of them: from getting to know museums and places of worship and ending with travels to coastal islands and visiting natural parks. First of all, the best option would be a city tour, the duration of which is three and a half hours. The first thing a tourist will have in this case is a trip to the "colonial center" of the country. Here, the tourists will see the City Hall, the Supreme Court, the Parliament building, the Cricket Club, Padang. There is also a symbol of Singapore - the statue of the Sea Lion, which can be seen by walking along the Esplanade. The next point of the excursion will be the Chinese town. A photo against the background of the oldest Hindu temple in the country - the Sri Mariaman Temple - will remind tourists for a long time about the first days in Singapore. Then the excursion will take the tourist to Mount Fiber. From here you can see the whole city. Finally, there is a visit to the National Orchid Park and a local center specializing in the production of handicrafts. Another exciting excursion, the duration of which is equal to four hours, is a tour of Singapore at night. Its embankment - Boat Quai - really comes to life with the arrival of evening and night. The waterfront has a huge number of places to dine in a romantic setting. The opportunity to bargain will be provided by the Singapore "night bazaar" located on Bugis Street. The excursion includes a visit to the Sea Lion and the famous Raffles Hotel. It is believed that a visit to Singapore without meeting the latter will not be complete. At the Hotel you can taste the "Singapore Sling" - an exclusive Singaporean cocktail.
The Singapore Zoo is famous all over the world. Surrounded by picturesque "jungle", this zoo is located in the northern part of the country near the Seletar reservoir. The zoo is home to about two thousand animals, including sea lions, cheetahs, golden tamarins, Malay tiger, Sumatran tiger. A small number of animals are placed in cages. The wilderness impression is created by natural pens of plants, cliffs, grass. They separate animals from humans. Thus, almost all animals live in open spacious enclosures. The special atmosphere of the zoo is associated with the feeling of being close to a person, both funny monkeys and formidable predators. The barriers insurmountable for them are disguised as natural landscapes. Thanks to this existence, animals do not feel like prisoners, they are, as it were, free.
Singapore is the owner of the largest fountain in the world. This is the "Fountain of Wealth" located in close proximity to the Suntec City shopping center. As the world's largest "Fountain of Wealth" in 1998 it was entered in the Guinness Book of Records. However, one should not think that the fountain is another creation of gigantomania. This is a creation with meaning. At the top of the fountain there is a bronze ring that means "the universe". The ring is a symbol of harmony and equality of all religions and nations of the country, spiritual unity. As for the entire fountain, it is a symbol of life and wealth. A special ritual for raising money is even associated with the "Fountain of Wealth". In reality, the fountain includes two fountains: a large and a small one, which is located inside the large one. As planned, the large fountain turns off from time to time, this period of time must be used in order to lower the right hand into the water of the small fountain and go around it three times (do not take out the hand). In this case, you need to repeat the made desire to get wealth. This ritual, according to experienced ones, solves all material difficulties.
You do not need a visa to travel to Singapore. Only if the period of stay in this country is no more than ninety-six hours, that is, after Singapore, tourists go to a third country. Citizens of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania can use the visa-free regime. As for the Russians, they can get a visa in Moscow - at the Consular Section of the Singapore Embassy. To obtain a visa, you must provide the following documents: foreign passport, two color photographs measuring three by four centimeters, a completed application form. As for children, if the child does not yet have his passport, then only two color photographs, three by four centimeters in size, must be provided. But if the child already has a passport, then in order to apply for a visa to Singapore, it is necessary to collect all the same documents as for adults. The visa will be ready in about three to four days after the submission of documents, its cost is fifty dollars.
Singapore is the Asian food capital. In Singapore, you can taste Western, Indonesian, Malay, Indian, Chinese cuisine. Interestingly, the most delicious dishes are sold directly in the open air - in street stalls. And Singapore is also an ideal place where you can taste a wide variety, including unusual, tropical fruits, for example, the star fruit jackfruit, nephelium, mangosteen and others.