Thinking about where to travel next and which new country and culture to explore is often a very exciting but also stressful decision-making process. Our world is rich and diverse in every sense of the words, so picking and choosing the destinations should be and always will be hard. You cannot expect to visit every place in the world for the obvious reasons of time and resource constraints, but you can see a good chunk of it. Once you visit the surrounding countries and the top tourist destinations in the world, you should start thinking bigger and further and try to find places that do not really come to mind often.
One such destination for many people, at least from Europe and North America, is the city-state of Singapore. Despite its importance on a global scale and its rich and diverse history, Singapore is often forgotten when people are discussing where they would like to travel next. This is a pity as it is a truly unique place that everyone should aim to visit at least once. In this article, we will try to change that by telling you a bit more about it. More precisely, we talk about the most important things you definitely need to check before you decide to travel to Singapore. Read on to learn more.
Before we talk about what you need to check to ensure a good trip, we have to talk about Singapore more. Located in maritime Southeast Asia, it is comprised of the main island and 63 other satellite islands and islets. In an effort to expand their area, the country does extensive land reclamation projects. There are four official languages spoken there, English, Mandarin, Tamil, and Malay. The modern country is very young, as it gained full self-governance and proclamation as an independent country in 1965. The Chinese make up the largest ethnic group with 76%, and Buddhism is the most dominant religion with 31%.
The total area of the city-state spans 728 square kilometers and the total population is 5.4 million. This means that Singapore is the second-most densely populated country in the world with 7,804 people per square kilometer. The country is a great place to live and work as it ranks high in healthcare, education, life quality, and safety. On top of that, people have one of the longest life expectancies in the world, their internet speeds are some of the fastest on the globe, and they are among the countries with the lowest infant mortality rates on the planet.
You may need a visa
The biggest reason why some people cannot visit other countries is the visa. Residents of certain countries and holders of certain passports cannot freely travel worldwide as there are guidelines and regulations that have to be followed. For a complex set of reasons, these residents must have visas approved before they can enter. The same goes for Singapore. At the moment, 38 countries and territories are on the list and their citizens need a visa to enter Singapore. Luckily, the process of obtaining one is rather simple and straightforward. All you need to do is apply online, pay for the electronic visa, and you will receive it by email. To find out more about this and exactly how and where you need to apply, make sure to check out singaporevisa.com.
Since the Republic of Singapore, as it is officially known, is also an island apart from being a city-state, the weather conditions there can be unpredictable and difficult to deal with. It has different seasons but not in the same sense you are probably used to. It is consistently warm so any time of year is great to visit, but humidity and rain can prevent you from fully enjoying it. Before you go there, make sure to check the forecast and do a bit of research regarding the usual conditions and temperatures for that time of year.
Singapore is somewhat difficult to navigate in terms of pricing because there are certain extremes. For example, it is much more expensive in general than in other places in Asia. It has the most millionaires in the world so this should not be a surprise. It is more expensive than New York and London on average, but not everything is that bad. For example, food is quite cheap which is something tourists need no matter where they go. The hawker centers are the places to be if you want cheap, tasty, local food that Singaporeans also regularly eat. When it comes to booze though, you will have to spend quite a lot. Cocktails are very expensive, a sour surprise for many tourists. Try bringing some duty-free bottles if you want to enjoy a few crazy nights since you will otherwise have to spend a small fortune.
Transportation routes and opportunities
You may think that you will be fine without checking what kind of transport to use as this is just one city after all. Although public transport is easy in Singapore, you should also check the routes closest to your accommodation and where you can get with them. Their MRT train system is amazing and quite efficient, with AC and plenty of room. It is not expensive either like other capital city metros or trains. You can also do with taxis since they are also quite cheap on average. However, there may be some extra charges for certain times like very late at night or early in the morning. Peak hours are also more expensive due to traffic and the number of customers.
Like anywhere else, you have to check the sights before you visit the place so that you know where to go and what to do. For nightlife lovers, make your way to Clarke Quay. Marina Bay Sands, the iconic and world-famous hotel, is a must-see. If you can, spend at least a night there to experience the amazing rooftop infinity pool. This is a good idea because Singapore is not really big on beaches. It may sound weird but visit the Changi airport too as it is one of the best to experience. The Orchard is perfect for shopping at fancy boutiques. Being a multicultural place, the mix of local cultures and experiences is widely present and evident so indulge in as many of them as you can.