Full country name: Republic of Singapore
Area: 683 sq. km.
Population: 4 million people
Capital(s): Colonial Singapore
Nationalities: 76% Chinese, 15% Malays, 6% Indians
Language: English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil,
Religion: 42% Buddhist, 15% Muslim, 14% Christian, 9% Taoist, 4% Hindu
Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Branches of the national economy: Light industry, electronics, chemical, trade, business and financial services, shipbuilding, tourism and construction
Main partners: USA, Malaysia. Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea
Health Risks: Hepatitis A
Time: GMT plus 8 hours
Mains voltage: 220-240V, 50Hz
Weights and Measures System: Metric with local options
Although geography has played an important role in the success of Singapore, but still its stronghold is its people. Lacking in natural resources, Singapore is strong with its hardworking, adaptable and resilient population.
The population of Singapore is almost four million people. Of these, 77% are Chinese, 14% are Malaysians, 8% are Hindus and 1% are other nationalities.
Initially, the inhabitants of Singapore were Malay fishermen, but after the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles and representatives of influential circles of British trade, Singapore became a magnet that attracted hundreds of thousands of migrants and merchants. Seeking a better life for themselves and their families, they came here from the southern regions of China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Ceylon and the Middle East. Although intermarriages and marriages between relatives have taken place over the years, each racial group has retained its own cultural identity as an integral part of the Singaporean community.
Singapore has four official languages: Malay (the national language), Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the language of business and administration and is widely spoken. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, speaking both their mother tongue and English.
With such a mixture of population, Singapore also has a mixture of religions. The Singaporean landscape boasts minarets of mosques, spiers of Gothic cathedrals, Hindu temples and distinctive Chinese temple roofs.
Major religions: Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism.
According to agooddir, Singapore consists of the main, low-lying island of Singapore and 63 small islands in its territorial waters. The urban zone makes up almost 50% of its territory, while parklands, reserves, plantations and open military zones occupy 40%. The distance from west to east on the island of Singapore is 42 km, and from north to south – 23 km. Although there are built-up, high-density areas on all islands, the main urban area is located in the south, on the banks of the Singapore River. The central business district is located in the southern part of the delta. Chinatown joins the Central Business District from the south. North of the Singapore River is a colonial area that has many reminders of British rule. Further north are Little India and Arab Street.
To the west of the island is Jurong, an industrial area with many interesting tourist attractions. To the east are some of the oldest residential areas, a large beach with a park and an international airport. The northeast has the most residential buildings, while the north central part of the island has the most undeveloped land and the remnants of rainforest. A 1 km causeway connects Singapore with Johor Bahru in Malaysia; in the west of the island, another causeway was built to facilitate communication between countries. It is planned that land development and new housing construction will further change the face of Singapore.
Singapore is one giant sauna. It is hot and humid throughout the year, with temperatures never dropping below 20 degrees Celsius, even at night, and usually rising to 30 degrees Celsius during the day. Humidity is very high, averaging around 75%. The highest humidity is from November to January. And the driest weather occurs from May to July, but the difference between these two seasons is very small. Due to its proximity to the equator, Singapore receives a large number of sunny days throughout the year.
Moving from point A to point B in Singapore is not only very easy, but also economical. A highly developed and efficient public transport network offers taxis, buses and a modern rapid transit train (MRT) system.
You can easily get from one point to another by bus with an ez-link card, which can also be used on the MRT. There are 36 routes in the bus service system between Orchard Road and Chengji Airport. Details about bus routes and fares are indicated at bus stations.
Rapid Train System (MRT)
The Singapore Rapid Train System (SMRT) is a modern air-conditioned passenger train service with modern stations throughout the city. There are two main lines – one from Marina Bay to Yurong East through the woodlands and the other from Chengji Airport to Boon Lay.
You can get the “Handbook for MRT Travel” from the control rooms at all MRT stations. For more information about MRT and bus services, you can refer to the Directory, which is available at most MRT and bus stations, as well as in major bookstores in the city.
The Information System (RATIS) provides real-time data on train arrival and departure times and destinations. Information is displayed on plasma screens located on the platforms and in the waiting rooms.
Over 15,000 air-conditioned taxis provide comfortable travel at a very reasonable cost. Taxi services can be used 24 hours a day. Many taxis are located near the main shopping centers and hotels.