Traveling Luck for Singapore

Singapore is located in Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia.

Land in Singapore is lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve.

Singapore land covers an area of 692.70000000000005 square kilometers which is slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

As for the Singapore climate; tropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons - Northeastern monsoon (December to March) and Southwestern monsoon (June to September); inter-monsoon - frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms.

Singaporean(s) speak Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census).

Places of note in Singapore

Singapore National Map

Singapore Map

Regions of Singapore

Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. It subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.


Singapore Country Profile

Singapore, a highly-developed and successful free-market economy, enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP equal to that of the four largest West European countries. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in electronics and manufacturing. It was hard hit in 2001-03 by the global recession, by the slump in the technology sector, and by an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, which curbed tourism and consumer spending. The government hopes to establish a new growth path that will be less vulnerable to the external business cycle and will continue efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia's financial and high-tech hub. Fiscal stimulus, low interest rates, a surge in exports, and internal flexibility led to vigorous growth in 2004, with real GDP rising by 8% - by far the economy's best performance since 2000 - but growth slowed to 5.7% in 2005.

Singapore natural resources include fish, deepwater ports

focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes

Singapore religion is Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8% (2000 census).

Natural hazards in Singapore include NA.

Travel Advice on Singapore

Singapore

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Health section (forest fires).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • You should not become involved with drugs of any kind:  possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty.

  • You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Around 500,000 British tourists visit Singapore every year.  Most visits to Singapore are trouble-free.  The main types of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Singapore are arrests for drug offences and arrests for the provision of financial and other consultancy services without having an employment pass.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY



There have been serious attacks in other parts of South East Asia.  In neighbouring Indonesia, Westerners were killed and injured following the terrorist attacks in Bali (October 2002 and October 2005) and Jakarta (August 2003 and September 2004).  The Singaporean Government has put in place extensive measures to combat terrorism and has arrested a number of terrorist suspects.

Please read: Security and General Tips and Risk of Terrorism when Travelling Overseas pages for further information and advice.

Crime

Violent crime is rare.  You should be aware of the dangers of street crime, particularly bag‑snatching.  You should:
  • take particular care of your passport;
  • leave tickets and unneeded cash/travellers cheques in the hotel safe or at (hosts') home;
  • when going out, avoid carrying valuables with you, and be aware of your surroundings;
  • not leave possessions in unattended vehicles.
Police permission is required for certain kinds of public gatherings in Singapore.  You should therefore avoid street gatherings and public demonstrations, which might place you at risk.

Road Safety

Road conditions in Singapore are generally good.  If you are involved in an accident, you should not leave the scene until the police have attended.

A foreign driving licence can be used in Singapore for as long as it is valid.  But if you are staying in Singapore for longer than one year you should get a Singaporean driving licence or an annually-renewable International Driving Permit.  These are more readily recognised by the Singaporean authorities.

Sea Safety

There have been attacks against ships in and around the waters of Singapore and the Malacca Straits.  Mariners are advised to be vigilant and take appropriate precautions; reduce opportunities for theft; establish secure areas onboard; and report all incidents to the coastal and flag state authorities.


LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

The mandatory death penalty exists in Singapore for certain capital offences, including murder and drug trafficking.  There are severe penalties for all drug offences in Singapore.  Trafficking is defined by possession of drugs above a certain amount (eg 500g in the case of cannabis).
A wider range of lesser offences such as “outrage of modesty” (inappropriate behaviour by men towards women) carries corporal punishment (the rattan cane).

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence in Singapore, and the traffic police regularly carry out breath tests.  Sentences can be up to 10 years in prison.

The Singaporean authorities will prosecute cases of air rage within their jurisdiction.  The maximum sentence is seven years imprisonment, and corporal punishment (the rattan cane).

Don't smoke in any public place or indoor restaurant.  It is banned.  Failure to observe this regulation attracts an immediate fine.  Don't chew gum on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.  It is forbidden and the penalty can be a heavy on-the-spot fine.  Don't litter.  The penalty is an on-the-spot fine.

Dual nationals and Permanent Residents

Singapore does not recognise dual nationality beyond the age of 21.  If you are male and a citizen of Singapore or you hold Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) status you are liable for national service from the age of 16 up to 50.  Male children granted Permanent Resident status as part of their parents’ SPR application are also liable for national service.  For further information see the following websites: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority at: http://www.app.ica.gov.sg/serv_pr/per_res/app_for_pr.asp and Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) at: http://www.mindef.gov.sg.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

You do not normally need visas to enter Singapore for up to 30 days stay for tourism, business discussions or social visits.  However, women who are 6 or more months pregnant must obtain permission to enter before travelling.  Prior entry clearance is also required to give birth in Singapore.  Applications can be made at the nearest Singapore visa issuing office.  For further information check with: Singaporean representation in the UK.
Singaporean immigration authorities require that you have at least six months' validity on your passport beyond your departure date from Singapore.  Likewise, if you are intending to transit Singapore to neighbouring countries, you should ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months.  You may be refused entry or be turned away by airlines if your passport does not meet this requirement.  Check departure tax is included in the cost of your airfare.
You should be careful to comply with Singaporean customs regulations.  Importation of controlled drugs and pirated copyright material is prohibited and there are restrictions on entering with items such as replica guns, radio communications equipment, and weapons and ammunition (including empty cartridge cases).  For more information we recommend that you visit the travellers section of the Singaporean government website: www.customs.gov.sg before arrival.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.  They may want to see birth certificates, a letter of consent from the other parent or some evidence as to your responsibility for the child.  Singaporean authorities do not normally require such evidence, but if you have any concerns please check with: Singaporean representation in the UK


HEALTH

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance
Singapore periodically suffers from smoke haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia.
Healthcare in Singapore is both high quality and high cost.  Local hygiene standards are high.  You should take enough medication to cover your stay and carry it in your hand baggage.  Not all UK prescribed drugs are available in Singapore.  Some over-the-counter medications (eg Ibruprofen) need a prescription.

There is a risk of dengue fever in Singapore.  Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas such as Singapore (where cases have seen an increase in recent years).  It is a severe, flu-like illness but seldom causes death.  2005 saw the highest number of recorded Dengue Fever cases (13,000) in a single year in Singapore (though most of the very small number of fatalities had other complicating factors).

There is currently no vaccine to prevent infection.  You should take normal precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

For more information on the disease, please consult the World Health Organisation's Dengue fact sheet (under `health topics') at the following website: http://www.who.int/topics/dengue/en/

For up to date information on the local Dengue fever hotspots please consult: http://www.moh.gov.sg/dengue_hotspots

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, check the DoH website at: www.dh.gov.uk.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)


There have been no reported cases of avian influenza (bird flu) in Singapore during the current series of outbreaks.  But the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed cases elsewhere in the region.

You should read this advice in conjunction with the FCO’s Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet, which gives more detailed advice and information.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see: What We Can Do To Help

Money

The local currency is the Singapore Dollar.  Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and department stores.  Credit card fraud is not a major problem in Singapore, but check your statements carefully.  Keep your credit card company’s telephone number to hand: your card may be stopped if they think it has been stolen or cloned.


OTHER

Singapore Country Profile