Singapore

Singapore often defies visitors’ expectations. A garden city lying almost on the equator, it has risen above its neighbours and overcome its dearth of natural resources to become the region’s powerhouse and has the culture, museums, nightlife and restaurants to match.

In the crowded streets of Chinatown, fortune tellers, calligraphers and temple worshippers are still a part of everyday life. In Little India, you can buy the best sari material, freshly ground spices or a picture of your favourite Hindu God. In the small shops of Arab Street, the cry of the Imam can be heard from the nearby Sultan Mosque. And in the upmarket shopping streets you can buy consumer electronics at half the price they would be back home.

Singapore may have traded in its rough-and-ready opium dens and pearl luggers for towers of concrete and glass, and its steamy rickshaw image for hi-tech wizardry, but you can still recapture the colonial era with a gin sling under the lazy ceiling fans at Raffles Hotel.

Fact File

CapitalSingapore

LanguageEnglish, Mandarin, Malay

ClimateSingapore is constantly hot and humid, the temperature never dropping below 20°C with steady year round rainfall. Wettest months are November to January, driest May to July

CurrencySingaporean Dollar (SED)

VisaCommonwealth citizens and most European nationals do not need visas for visits of less than three months. Visitors are usually issued a 30 day visa on arrival by air and a 14 day visa on arrival by land or sea

HealthSingapore is not a malarial zone. Vaccinations only required if you come from a yellow fever area

PassportsPassports should be valid for more than six months after proposed date of departure from Singapore

Time ZoneGMT +8 hours