Untitled Document

AOGS 2012

Singapore & Beyond

People, Language, Culture | Weather | Electricity & Voltage | Currency | Transport |
10 Things to Do in Singapore | Beyond Singapore


A vibrant, multi-cultural, cosmopolitan and sophisticated city-state, Singapore expresses the essence of today's New Asia. Its many names describe its attributes: City of Diverse Cultures, The Garden City, The Fun City and City for the Arts - these are characteristics that best describe Singapore. The diversity of things to do and see is unrivalled.

Essential Information

People, Language, Culture
One of the most remarkable aspects of Singapore is the truly diverse nature of her population. Established by Thomas Stamford Raffles as a trading post on 29 January 1819, the small sea town of Singapore soon attracted many migrants and merchants and they brought with them their own cultures, languages, customs and festivals. Though intermarriage and integration, Singapore is now a multi-faceted society with a vibrant and diverse cultural heritage, with major ethnic groups being the Chinese, Malays, Indians, Peranakans and Eurasians. Singapore is also home to many expatriates from countries all around the globe.
As a reflection of its collage of cultures, Singapore has adopted English as the representative language for the four major ethnic groups. However, in recognition of the status of the Malay people as the indigenous community in Singapore, the national language of the country is Bahasa Melayu, or the Malay Language.

Singapore's weather is hot and humid, with little variation throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 31℃ (88℉), dropping to around 24℃ (75℉) in the evenings. The monsoon season can bear down pretty heavily on our tropical weather from November onwards, so be prepared for rain on a daily basis during this period.

Electricity and Voltage
The voltage used is 220-240AC, 50 hertz. The plug sockets tend to be 3-pronged pins more often than not, but adaptors are cheap and easy to buy.

The local currency is the Singapore dollar (S$). The current exchange rate against the US dollar is SGD 1 = USD1.3 approx. Money changing services can be found at many shopping centres and hotels around the island, and the ATMs accept most main credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Singapore has one of the most extensive and efficient public transportation systems in the world. Travelling in the city and suburbs is typically a quick and affordable affair.

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) operates an extensive network of trains serving stations all across the island. It is a fast and cost-effective way of getting around Singapore. There are currently four main lines, the North-South Line (Red), East-West Line (Green), North-East Line (Purple), and Circle Line (Orange), with plans for future expansion on the existing MRT system. Some MRT Stations are linked to several bus interchange stations, making it even more convenient to continue your journey to areas in Singapore not covered but the MRT.

For the MRT Network Map, click here

Also conveniently available are Singapore's public bus services. There are currently more than 300 bus services which run daily from 5.30 to midnight, even covering destinations that are less available. The two main bus service providers in Singapore are SBS Transit and SMRT Buses.

For more information on SBS Transit's transport services, click here
For more information on SMRT Buses' transport services, click here

Taxis ply the island round the clock, bringing you wherever you want, anytime you want. However, do note that peak-hour, city area and ERP gantry surcharges apply. There are numerous taxi stands available island-wide, as well as in hotels and shopping centres.
Here are the hotlines for various taxi services in Singapore, which will come in handy if you end up in a more obscure part of the island where the traffic is sparse, or if you are unable to find a taxi during peak hours or any other reason. If you're coming from an entertainment or dining venue, most concierge services will also be happy to call a taxi for you.

The city's major cab companies are:

Comfort Transportation Pte Ltd / CityCab Pte Ltd: (65) 6552 1111
Premier Taxis Pte Ltd: (65) 6476 8880
Maxi Cab: (65) 6535 3534
SMRT Taxis: (65) 6555 8888

For more travellers' essential information, click here

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10 Things to Do in Singapore

Heritage Sites | Singapore City Gallery | Singapore Flyer | Integrated Resorts (IR) |
Universal Studios Singapore | Food | The Scenic Route | Shopping | Nature | Nightlife

1. Immerse yourself in Singapore's rich and diverse cultural community.

Head down to the different ethnic quarters for a first-hand experience of Singapore's heritage. Relive the olden days of Singapore's early Chinese immigrants at Chinatown and expose yourself to the vibrant and colourful history of the Malay community at Kampong Glam. Treat your five senses to the colourful sights and sounds at Little India and explore the fascinating background of the early Peranakans along the districts of Joo Chiat and Katong. Glimpse into history and culture of the earliest Eurasian residents at the Eurasian Heritage Centre.

For more information, click here

2. Singapore City Gallery

Explore Singapore's history and the government's planning efforts, and see how we grew from a small fishing village to one of the most livable cities in Asia, at the Singapore City Gallery. Catch a bird's eye view of Singapore's central area through a fascinating 100-square metre architectural model and play around with more than 50 audio and visual interactive exhibits. The Singapore City Gallery offers an exciting, multi-sensory learning experience into Singapore's planning journey.

For more information, click here

3. "A moving experience at every turn"

Hop on the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the Singapore Flyer, for a breathtaking panoramic view of Singapore's cityscape. With the view stretching from East Coast to Marina Bay, from Sentosa Island to the neighboring shores of Malaysia and Indonesia, every moment on the Singapore Flyer is a moment to remember.

For more information, click here

4. Intergrated Resorts (IR)

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Singapore (RWS) are Singapore's only two Integrated Resorts, combining a wide variety of leisure and entertainment attractions. Enter a world of glitz and glamour at MBS, where you can browse among the best names in designer fashion and goods, dine in "celebrity-chef" restaurants, be inspired by the exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum, and try your luck at the MBS Casino, world's largest atrium casino. On the other hand, RWS offers families a day of fun and adventure. Located in Sentosa, tourists can bask on sandy beaches, stroll along landscape gardens and jump right into the action at Universal Studios Singapore (USS) for a stimulating experience. RWS also features the other of Singapore's two casinos.

Click here for more information on MBS, and here for more information on RWS

5. The Ride of your life - Universal Studios Singapore

Opened in 2010, USS is the first Universal Studios Theme Park in South East Asia. Rides and attractions are based on some of the highest-grossing international blockbuster films, bringing the reel-life experience to REAL-LIFE. Featuring 7 zones of fun and entertainment, including the world's tallest duelling roller coasters, Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYLONTM, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

For more information, click here

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6. Nosh and nibble of local fare

It is no secret that Singapore is a food paradise. Over here, we offer an incredible variety of local and international cuisines and dining choices. Needless to say, local dishes are a must try. Drop by Ya Kun Kaya Toast and grab a cup of piping hot coffee and crispy charcoal-grilled toast slathered with butter and homemade kaya (coconut jam) before you kick-start your day. Be sure to try Singapore's signature dishes, Chilli Crab and Hainanese Chicken Rice, a favourite among locals and tourists. And let's not forget about Char Kway Tiao (stir fried noodles with cockles), Bak Kut Teh (meaty pork ribs simmered in a unique broth of herbs and spices), Satay (grilled meat served with peanut sauce).. the list is endless. If the weather gets too hot to handle, cool off with a bowl of Ice-Kachang and Chendol, and refresh yourself with a cup of Sugarcane Juice topped with a hint of lemon.

For more information, click here

7. The Scenic Route

There's no better way to take in the sights and sounds of Singapore. Cruise down the Singapore River for a trip down Singapore's history, or hop on the City Sighting Bus and enjoy as it tours the Singapore Island while bringing you to the major local sights and attractions. For a more interactive experience, board a trishaw and explore historical and cultural districts like Chinatown and Little India. Be charmed by the diversity and vibrancy of Singapore's culture.

For more information, click here

8. Shopping

Shopping in Singapore is never dull and boring. Singapore offers a myriad of shopping destinations, from the wonderfully varied shopping malls at Orchard Road and the swanky shopping belts of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands to the old world charm of outdoor street bazaars of Bugis Street, Haji Lane, and Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour shopping mall a located in the ethnically rich Little India. Alternatively, pop over to Sungei Road Thieves Market, Singapore's oldest flea market. Dig hard and dig deep to uncover vintage and antique gems at this local treasure trove.

For more information, click here

9. Get in touch with nature

Take a breather from the bustling city life and indulge in the peace and tranquility at the various nature spots nestled within the corners of the island. The Southern Ridges is home to some of nature's greatest gifts of flora and fauna, and is one of the best spots to capture the spectacular views of the city, the harbour and the Southern Islands, while the Singapore Botanical Gardens features the world's largest orchid display and houses over 60,000 plants and orchids. For a taste of Singapore's traditional "kampong" (village) lifestyle, catch a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin and be sure to visit Chek Jawa, home to extremely rare ecosystems, animals and plants. Get up-close and personal with wildlife at Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo, and the internationally acclaimed Night Safari.

For more information, click here

10. Nightlife

Although Singapore isn't exactly a city that never sleeps, there's definitely enough to keep pub-crawlers and other nocturnal creatures well occupied. Night spots in Singapore tend to exist in clusters, making pub-hopping even easier. Catch local live bands and entertainment at Timbre, Home Club and the Dragonfly at St James Power Station. Relax and chill out at lounge bars such as Loof, Beer Market and Tanjong Beach Club. For a little more excitement, hit the dance clubs at The Butter Factory and Zouk!
For more information, click here

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Beyond Singapore - Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand & Cambodia

Malaysia | Indonesia | Thailand | Cambodia


The best of Malaysia is what nature has bestowed upon her - hundreds of beautiful tropical islands in sun, white sandy beaches, green lush rainforests, and emerald green sea. Nature and adventure lovers will find that there's plenty for them to explore and enjoy.
Malaysia's hundreds of tropical islands such as Langkawi, Pulau Tioman and Pulau Redang are some of the most beautiful places to visit; some are renowned holiday resorts, yet some are untouched, waiting to be explored.
Visit the cities and towns such as Johor Bahru, Penang and Malacca and experience the diverse cultural and economic activities all over the country - from street markets, shop houses to shopping mall and boutiques. The best place to shop for bargains or get local foodstuff is to shop at roadside stalls, open bazaars or markets.
Malaysian food is a potpourri of flavours. Savour local and international fare at the restaurants, coffeehouses and street hawkers dotting the entire city.

For more information, click here


Indonesia is a tourist's delight. There are number of places to see in Indonesia. These include the capital city of Jakarta, beach resorts of Batam, Bali and Lombok, and the wonderful islands of Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan. As Indonesia is a tropical country and one of the last remnants of tropical rainforests on the earth, it is home to rich flora and fauna and hence a major attraction for nature lovers.
Jakarta is the vibrant and colourful capital of Indonesia. In its quest for modernization, Jakarta has not forgotten its past and has carefully preserved its rich cultural heritage. Apart from the skyscrapers, colonial structures built by European powers form an integral part of Jakarta's skyline. Jakarta features several theme parks, such as Ocean Park and Fantasy World, as well as the National Monument, which symbolizes the fight for Indonesia's independence. Also situated within Jakarta are some of the most exotic orchid gardens.

For more information, click here


Thailand is often called the "land of smiles," not only because tourists love its natural beauty and historical riches, but also because of the country's friendly people and fascinating culture. Bangkok is always bustling with a variety of activity, from exotic temples, to modern shopping malls, to floating markets, to street markets, including of course, Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of the world's largest markets. Head over to the beautiful beaches in Hua Hin, Koh Phi Phi and Krabi for a weekend getaway of sea, sun and sand. Indulge in the fine seafood cuisines over a tropical sunset backdrop while you're there. For a quiet respite away from the busy city life, Chiang Mai and Chang Rai offer tourists the experience of historical and modern Thailand, featuring beautiful historic temples and elephant camps as well as the cultures and lifestyles of indigenous hill tribes, all of this surrounded by lush greenery and exotic wildlife.

For more information, click here


Cambodia, a land of mystical wonders, is a small country filled with amazing culture, warm smiles, and scenic spots. The cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are popular with tourists, with Siem Reap being the primary access point to the Khmer temple ruins of Ang Kor Wat, the largest religious building in the world, also known as one of the greatest wonders of the world. Phnom Penh, capitol of Cambodia, offers tourists the simpler pleasure of life; delve into the fascinating history of Cambodia at The Royal Palace and the National Museum, explore the city markets and local street stalls and stroll along the river banks of the Mekong and Tonle Sap. In Siem Reap, visit the cultural villages and the rice-paddy countryside before heading on to world-famous Angkor Archaeological Park (Ang Kor Wat) for an enriching journey into the history of the Angkor complex and Khmer culture.
Life in Cambodia is laid-back and relaxed, and it is a place to be savoured and explored.

For more information, click here

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