Sep 29, 2014
Gary Bembridge of TipsForTravellers.com shares observations,
tips and advice for visitors to Singapore.
This show covers among other topics:
- Country and city in one - there are actually 63 islands but one
main one which has been constantly expanded through land
- One of wealthiest countries in the world and one of most
expensive to live in.
- Singapore means "lion city" - also known as "Garden City of
- Many see it as too sterile and lacking warmth - been many times
and I like the efficiency, cleanliness and order and mixture
- Strict and regimented state - authoritarian democracy - bit of
"nanny state" with lots of rules and fines.
- Although trying to promote arts and culture constant struggle
against state censorship with strict rules on anything seen as
pornographic, promoting homosexuality etc.
- Economy very export and services focused - one of worlds
busiest harbours - lots of head offices for Asia region based
- About 4,5 population - 75% Chinese - multi cultural though -
lots expats - Buddhist is main religion.
- For visitors is easy as English spoken all over and very
1819 Sir Thomas Raffles wanted to protect British trade routes for
British East India company in Asia and landed in singapore to
establish a base as was along the shortest route between India and
China. Free port was established and he encouraged migrants to come
and settle and boomed from there- he is very fondly regarded even
despite some policies like Raffles plan which segregated ethnic
groups. 1963 joined union with Malay States but did not work as
rest were suspicious about the Chinese so broke away 2 years later
to become independent state.
Best time to go
High humidity all year round - but pretty constant weather too.
Rains most of the year but usually in short bursts.
Great to visit when big events like Singapore F1, Fashion
Week and Big Singapore Sale are on.
Changi airport is a major hub - only about 25-30 minutes into
Cruise ship - big modern cruise terminal in Marina bay development
opened in 2013 - public transport accessible
- Good transport and not too bad traffic as strong disincentives
to private ownership of cars.
- Metro (mass rapid transport ) easy to use and cheap - also the
stops usually named by the tourist feature there so Chinatown is at
- Taxis use meters and inexpensive - lots of them.
- Trishaws - expensive but good for sight seeing.
- Pedestrian friendly with lots if walkways over roads.
- Hop-on Hop-off bus has many options and routes and brands -
very frequent - CitySightseeing has 3 routes with a cross-over
station for all routes at Suntec mall.
- Duck Tour also available - leave from singapore flier
- Know and watch out for the rules and fines - compliance is
- Drug laws very draconian and mandatory death sentence
- Tipping not expected or encouraged ! Though never had anyone
turn it down.
- Pick up the brochures at the airport arrivals or tourist
information centre - excellent ones focused by topics like
Chinatown and little India , shopping, river walks
Tips on must-do things to see and do
- Little India
- Kampon Glam Area
- Raffles Hotel
- Merlion Fountain and Marina Bay Hotel / Development
- Botanical Gardens
- Singapore Zoo and Night and River Safari
- Singapore Flyer
- Sentosa Island