GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION: Singapore – an island nation with an area of 710 square kilometers – is located on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 1 degree (137 km) north of the equator. It is believed that this is the southernmost inhabited point of our hemisphere.
POPULATION: According to findjobdescriptions, Singapore has a population of 5,300,000 according to the latest census. 74% of the population are Chinese, 14% are Malays, 9% are Indians (mostly from South India), 3% are all the rest, including Europeans and small ethnic groups. Singapore has 4 official languages: English is the language of office work, jurisprudence, education, international communication, as well as Chinese (Mandarin), Malay and Tamil – the language of South India). In Singapore, a motley mixture of religions is represented: Buddhism is the leader in the number of believers, followed by Christianity (Catholicism, Anglicanism, etc.), Islam, Taoism, Hinduism. There are two synagogues in the city, one Orthodox and one Gregorian Armenian Orthodox Church. Any manifestation of racial and religious intolerance is strictly prosecuted by law.
CLIMATE: Tropical climate with an average annual temperature of +28 degrees is characterized by high humidity and abundant rainfall, especially in the winter months from November to January inclusive. The maximum temperature reaches + 35 – 36 degrees, the minimum drops to +24. The peak of sunny and hot weather falls on the period from February to July, but even at this time, short-term heavy rains are possible.
DRINKING WATER: It is absolutely safe to drink tap water in Singapore. And for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocery stores offer a wide selection.
ELECTRICITY: Singapore uses mains voltage 220-240V, 50Hz. In most hotels, upon request, guests are provided with adapters and transformers for connecting electrical appliances rated for 110-120V, 60 Hz. When buying electrical goods from local shops, remember to check whether they are suitable for the mains supply in your country. In Singapore, three-pole plugs with flat pins are used.
LANGUAGE: 4 official languages: English, Malay, Chinese (Mandarin) and Indian (Tamil). As in a multinational state, religions are practiced in Singapore: Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism.
TRANSPORT: The city has an excellent public transport system. To services of inhabitants – the underground, buses, a taxi. For tourists, taxis are the most convenient way to travel. Taxis stop only at special parking lots (Taxi Stand) or at the entrance to hotels. The fare is paid according to the meter. At the end of the trip, the meter may be added to the toll road (ERP), as well as a 35% surcharge for the trip during peak hours. After midnight there is a double rate. The new cars are equipped with devices for paying by credit cards. However, since there are still old cars on the roads, it is better to have cash with you.
At the end of the trip, you can ask the taxi driver for a check, which will indicate the mileage, surcharges to the meter, as well as the car number – this can come in handy if you forgot something in the taxi.
CURRENCY: The monetary unit is the Singapore dollar. As in other countries, foreign currency can be changed at the hotel (around the clock), but the exchange rate will be less favorable compared to city exchange offices. Exchange offices (Moneychangers) can be found in any large shopping center, as well as just on the streets in the central part of the city. Their working hours are from 10:00 to 21:00. When exchanging currency, a passport is not required. Commissions are not charged. ATMs (they are called ATMs) are located at metro stations, banks, shopping malls, and at busy intersections. ATMs only dispense Singapore dollars. The maximum cash out amount per day is SGD 2,000.
MOBILE CONNECTION: There are two mobile telephone networks in Singapore – GSM900 and GSM1800, and mobile services are provided by three operators – SingTel, M1 and StarHub. For international calls, the access codes are 001, 013 or 019 (SingTel), 002 or 021 (M1) and 008 or 018 (StarHub).
If you are in roaming and want to call from your mobile phone to a subscriber’s number in Russia, then dial his federal number, i.e. +7 (area code) (subscriber’s phone) – for fixed and mobile telephone subscribers.
International calls. You can use the hotel services as well as use your cell phone by purchasing a Sunshine card. The card is perfect for calls to Russia, even for long calls. Its cost is 10S$. You can buy it at Seven Eleven stores, exchange offices and cell phone stores.
SAFETY: Singapore is safe. The statistics speak for themselves – Singapore ranks 2nd in the world after Luxembourg in terms of security.
TIPS: A 10% tip is included in the bill as a service charge. Taxi drivers return the change in full. However, as elsewhere, in the case of a service you particularly like, you can leave some amount (not fixed) for tea – to the waiter, taxi driver, chauffeur and tour guide, etc., which will be accepted with gratitude. Tipping is obligatory when luggage is delivered to the room (the amount varies from SGD 2 to SGD 10).