Welcome to Singapore

To help you adjust easily and quickly to your new surroundings, it would be wise to learn as much as possible about Singapore - its people and their customs, food, clothing and at least a few phrases in the native language before you go.

Current Time in Singapore is October 17, 2019 Thursday 08:28PM
click here for weather forecasts

Geographical Location

Located at one of the crossroads of the world, Singapore's strategic position has helped it grow into a major centre for trade, communications and tourism. Its geographical location is 136.8 km north of the equator, between latitudes 103 degrees 38' E and 104 degrees 06' E.

It is linked to Malaysia by two causeway bridges and the key islands of the Riau archipelago of Indonesia are just a quick ferry trip away. Thailand and the Philippines are a short plane journey away and Singapore, with an airport served by more than 69 airlines, is very much the gateway to South-East Asia.

Banking

Banking services are very easy to arrange. There is a range of foreign & local banks available to handle your transactions. Each bank has different requirements for opening an account. The minimum balance and account charges may differ.

The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. Notes come in denominations of SGD 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, and 10,000. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and SGD 1.

Banking hours are Monday to Friday: 9:30am to 3pm, and Saturday: 9.30am to 11.30am (some banks are open until 3pm). Sunday, 9.30am to 3pm (some banks in Orchard Road). Many banks now support automated kiosks, phone and on-line banking.

Most banks handle travellers' cheques and change foreign currencies. However, some banks do not have foreign exchange dealings on Saturday. Passports are required when cashing travellers' cheques. A nominal commission may be charged.

Drinking Water

It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers always have ample stocks.

Currency

Other than the Singapore Dollar, the US Dollar and Australian Dollar, Japanese Yen and British Pound are also accepted in most major shopping centres and big departmental stores.

Currency Conversion

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

Singapore Weather

http://intranet.mssinet.gov.sg/nowcast/

Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is viewed seriously in Singapore. Illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is strictly prohibited.

Driving without a valid driver's license

Driving without a valid license is dealt with very seriously. You may even risk imprisonment if your license was previously suspended, or if injury was caused.

Driving while using a mobile phone

Do use a hands-free earpiece while driving, even if it is only for your own safety. Offenders will be fined up to S$1,000, suspension of license and may serve a six-month jail term.

Electricity

Before you move in, you will need to arrange for utilities accounts to be set up. Usually your real estate agent will make this arrangement as part of their services.

Singapore voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. The power plugs used in Singapore are of the three-pin, square-shaped type.

Gambling

Charity draws, Toto and Singapore Sweep lotteries, and on-course betting at the Singapore Turf Club on horse races are the only authorised forms of gambling in Singapore. All other gambling activities are illegal in Singapore.

International Calling

To make an international call, dial the access code followed by the country code, area code & telephone number. There are many companies offering services for international dialing and it's easy to subscribe to such services. To make international calls, the access codes are 001 for SingTel, 002 M1 and 018 for StarHub. Different telephone companies use different access codes. Check with:

SingTel
Hotline: 1800-333-0001
Fax: 6336-0977

StarHub
Tel: 1800-782-7482 or 1633
Fax: 6280-5000

M1
Tel: 1627

International Calling Cards in denominations of S$ 10, S$ 20 and S$ 50 are also available at all post offices including Changi Airport, 7-Eleven stores and other retail outlets.

Internet

The Internet is very popular in Singapore and there are several Internet service providers (ISPs). They have different pricing schemes and special offers for new subscribers.

Check with:
Singnet (http://www.singnet.com.sg)
Starhub (http://www.starhub.com.sg)
Pacific Internet (http://www.pacific.net.sg)

Medical Facilities

Singapore's medical facilities are among the finest in the world, with well-qualified doctors and dental surgeons. Many clinics are opened during the weekends with some closing late during the weekdays.

Pharmaceuticals are available from numerous outlets, including supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Registered pharmacists work from 9 am to 6 pm.

The Traveller's Health and Vaccination Clinic at Tan Tock Seng Hospital provides pre-and-post travel evaluation, advice and treatment of travel-related illnesses as well as vaccination services.

Traveller's Health and Vaccination Clinic

Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Level B2
Singapore 308433
Tel: (65) 6357 2222
Fax: (65) 6352 5661

The doctors are listed under Medical Practitioners in the Yellow Pages of the Singapore Phone Book. For an ambulance, dial 995. Visitors could also consult doctors at the following hospitals:

Singapore General Hospital
Outram Road, Singapore 169608
Tel: (65) 6222 3322
Fax: (65) 6224 9221

Mount Elizabeth Hospital
3 Mt. Elizabeth Road, Singapore 228510
Tel: (65) 6737 2666
Fax: (65) 6734 0518

Mount Alvernia Hospital
820 Thomson Road, Singapore 574623
Tel: (65) 6347 6688
Fax: (65) 6255 6303

Gleneagles Hospital
6A Napier Road, Singapore 258500
Tel: (65) 6473 7222
Fax: (65) 6475 1832

Mobile Phones

Consumers have a choice of four mobile and paging operators in Singapore.

There are two mobile phone networks - GSM900 and GSM1800 - and three mobile telephone service providers - SingTel , M1 and StarHub .

Money Changers

Apart from banks, you can change currencies from the "Licensed Money Changer". Most shopping complexes have a licensed money changer. Many ATMs are also tied to international network that gives you access to your home country bank.

If you hold travellers' cheques denominated in the legacy national currencies, they can be encashed or exchanged at:

Travelex (S) Pte Ltd
50 Raffles Place
Singapore Land Tower #01-02A/B
Tel:(65) 6535 0111
(for Thomas Cook Travellers Cheques only)
Please note that processing will take one month

Changi Airport - American Express Foreign Exchange Services Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6543 2580
(for American Express Travellers Cheques only)

For more information, including how to recognise the new Euro banknotes and coins and their security features, visit website at www.euro.ecb.int

Phone Services

Consumers have a choice of two fixed-line providers. Only Singtel and Starhub provides fixed line services as well as mobile network services. Telephone rentals are S$ 100 a year for private lines and S$ 150 a year for business lines.

Postal Services

Mail service is very reliable. Singapore Post operates a network of more than 1,300 postal outlets conveniently located throughout the island. These outlets offer a wide range of postal, telecommunication and agency services. Most postal outlets are open Monday through Friday, from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm and until 1.00 pm on Saturday.

Post Restante service is also available at:
Singapore Post Pte Ltd
10 Eunos Road 8
Singapore Post Centre
Singapore 408600
Open: 8.00 am - 9.00 pm (Mon - Fri), 8.00 am - 6.00 pm (Sat),
10.00am - 4.00pm (Sun and Public Holidays)
Tel: (65) 6741 8857
Fax: (65) 6841 6085

Safety

Foreigners are understandably more concerned about personal safety and security issues today than ever before. Singapore remains calm and stable and it is business as usual.

The Singapore Government has and is constantly vigilant in ensuring that Singapore remains safe. It has stepped up security measures at key installations and other sensitive places.

The Government has also made it known that extremism originating from religion or race has no place in Singapore and it will not hesitate to take action against any extremist or terrorist groups or individuals.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in public service vehicles, museums, libraries, lifts, theatres, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants, hair salons, supermarkets, department stores and government offices. Offenders can be fined up to S$ 1,000. While it is an offence to smoke in air-conditioned eating places, smoking is permitted in air-conditioned pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots.

Spitting

Spitting in public places is an offence.

Tipping

Tipping is not encouraged as most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on customers' bills. Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore and is prohibited at the airport.

What to Wear

Singapore has a warm and humid climate throughout the year with a daily average temperature range of 24 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius. Light and summer clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton is best for everyday wear. Casual dress is acceptable for most situations and occasions but some establishments may require a more formal dress code. It is always advisable to check beforehand on dress regulations, if any.

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