Name: Republic of Singapore
Location: Southeastern Asia. Islands are linked to Malaysia by two causeway bridges and the islands of the Riau archipelago of Indonesia just a ferry away.
Population: 4.4 million (UN, 2005)
Area: 660 sq km (255 sq miles)
Major languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil
Major religions: Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity Life expectancy: 77 years (men), 80 years (women) (UN) Monetary unit: 1 Singapore dollar = 100 cents
Main exports: Computer equipment, machinery, rubber products, petroleum products
GNI per capita: US $24,220 (World Bank, 2005) Electricity: 230V 50HzHz
Internet domain: .sg
International dialling code: +65
Airport: Changi International Airport
Flying time: 13 hours from UK
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +8 (Standard Time)
Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons - Northeastern monsoon from December to March and Southwestern monsoon from June to September; inter-monsoon - frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms
Entry requirements: A passport valid for at least six months. A Social Visit Pass, which is issued on arrival, provided the traveller holds a valid passport, sufficient funds to cover stay in Singapore, confirmed onward/return tickets and entry documentation for further destinations. For nationals holding British and Irish passports, the maximum length of stay is 30 days; for other nationals the maximum length of stay is 14 days. Visitors on a Social Visit Pass are not permitted to work in Singapore.
Mascot: The Merlion, a half lion, half fish often placed in fountains
Sales in Singapore: The sales start from May 25th and last till June 24th. Expect 80 per cent reduction on clothes and electronics. Orchard Road offers wall to wall malls and for designer labels head for Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road where you will find DKNY, Versace and Prada. Next door at Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard road, look out for Zara and Mango. At Scotts, 6 Scotts Road, there are designers like Esther Tay and boutiquies including lingerie specialist Blush.
Colonial hot-spots: the Padang, fort Canning, Raffles Hotels, Theatres on the Bay
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Haw Par villa
Orchard Road - pure indulgence