Known as “Lion City,” Singapore is a sovereign city-state located in Southeast Asia. Singapore is a leading global trading, finance and transport hub in the Southeast Asia Region. The climate is mainly tropical with no distinctive seasons, making Singapore a great place to visit all year-round. However, there is a wetter monsoon season from November to January, so it is recommended that you visit after January if you want to stay dry!
There are five main airports in Singapore; Sembawang Helicopter Air Base (WSAG), Paya Lebar Air Base (WSAP / QPG), Tengah Air Base (WSAT / TGA), Seletar Airport (WSSL / XSP) and Singapore Changi Airport (WSSS / SIN), which is Singapore’s main international airport. Changi Airport has a 4,000-meter runway and is most popular for general aviation and cargo flights, it is also based next to Singapore Expo (the largest convention and exhibition venue in Singapore). In-flight catering for flights departing from Singapore is available out of Changi Airport and Seletar Airport through the Air Culinaire Worldwide Network.
The Singapore cuisine is most famous for noodle dishes, such as egg fried noodles with prawns, sliced pork and gravy (known as “fried hokkien mee”), rice noodles with coconut prawn broth and char kuey teow (known as “nonya laksa”) being local favorites. Kaya toast is also a common snack that locals enjoy (made with kaya, a topping of sugar, coconut milk, eggs, pandan, and margarine or butter). It is generally served on toast, and also sometimes on crackers. Head down to the local “hawker centre” which you can find in the city centre. Hawker centres are open-air complexes, where you can find many stalls that sell a variety of inexpensive local cuisines, with each stall offering its own specialty dishes.
Singapore is home to ten major religions, including Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. Alongside this, you will find that the population is also very diverse, with Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western influences across the state. You will hear languages spoken such as English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil – Singapore has a great ethnic diversity in all aspects.
Whilst exploring the culture in Singapore, you will discover that many of the buildings are religious. If you have time to visit the city, you must abide by certain rules before entering a place of worship: take off your shoes before you enter a mosque or a temple, make sure you wash your feet and hands before entering a Hindu temple, and women are expected to cover their hair or parts of their body before entering a mosque or a temple. You can also bring along food or flowers to Hindu and Buddhist temples as an offering for the gods.
The Singapore Dollar is the local currency (with 0.7 USD exchanging around 1 Singapore Dollar). Local transport is cheap and so is the food and drink. You can explore the city very easily with the hop on hop off buses, which can take you to the wonders of Sentosa Island, Universal Studios Singapore, Jurong Bird Park and Mandai Zoo.
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