SMRT Buses are a great way to get around in Singapore and there are currently 47 services in operation. There's a special service (926) to the Singapore Zoological Garden and others include Yishun, Woodlands, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Sembawang and the upcoming Simpang New Town.
Singapore's commuter train is fast and cheap and can easily transport you from one corner of the island to the other. Most of Singapore's attractions are within a short walk of one of 90 MRT stations in the network, plus suburban stations are integrated with the bus system so it's always easy to reach any attraction by public transport.
Night-time in Singapore offers fewer buses, but you can still get the 7 Night-Rider services. Look for the numbers NR1, NR2, NR3, NR5, NR6, NR7 and NR8 all over the city and surrounds. These buses are all air-conditioned and very safe.
Metered taxis are easily flagged all over Singapore and are fairy cheap compared to cabs in other developed cities (less than S$10 per ride). When it's raining during rush hour, you might have a problem, but generally taxis can be flagged at any time of the day along public roads outside the Central Business District.
Singapore can be a sweat-box, especially in the CBD with its concrete skyscrapers. It's generally warm and humid all year round with an average temperature of around 25 to 32 degrees. (77 to 89 F). There are two rainy seasons a year, but rain comes in short bursts, from December to March and June to September.
Surprisingly, free Wi-Fi is quite hard to come by in Singapore. The majority of 4 and 5 star hotels will offer it in their rooms for a price whereas many smaller hotels and hostels will offer it for free. Starbucks has free Wi-Fi if you buy a drink, otherwise head to Ngee Ann City shopping emporium, or the Singapore Visitors Centre at the corner of Cairnhill and Orchard roads.
All travellers to Singapore must have a passport with at least 6 months left on it. You must also have onward flights confirmed, although they don't always check this. If you're planning to work, you must have a valid Singapore visa.
Singapore is probably one of the safest cities in the world, and the healthcare system is one of the best in Asia. There are 13 private and 10 public hospitals in Singapore. For emergencies, there are 24-hour accident and emergency services available including at the centrally located Gleneagles Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
There are 27 airlines operating between Singapore and Sydney. The most popular and frequent are British Airways, Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Malaysia Airlines. Flying from Sydney to Singapore takes 7 hours and 20 minutes.
There are 18 airlines operating between Singapore and Sydney. The most popular and regular are Emirates, British Airways, Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Flying from Brisbane to Singapore takes 8 hours.
There are 24 airlines operating between Singapore and Sydney. The most popular and frequent are Emirates, British Airways, Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. Flying from Melbourne to Singapore takes 7 hours and 50 minutes.
Though buses and trains are available from Changi Airport, the best and most convenient way of heading into town from here is to get in line for a taxi (just follow the signs). A ride to Orchard Road should cost about S$20 and if the traffic's not too bad, you'll be checking into your hotel within 30 minutes.
To get to the city on the Sky Train, you'll need to transfer to the west-bound train at Tanah Merah station. The last train service leaving Changi Airport station (allowing for a transfer) is at 11.18pm. So if your flight gets in after that, a taxi will take you where you need to go. Plus traffic will be better at night.
This handy service serves most hotels in Singapore and if you want to make a booking you'll have to head to the Ground Transport Desk at the Arrival Hall. Both services to the city and Marine Parade/Pasir Ris/Tampines will cost S$9 per adult and S$6 per Child (below 12 years of age).
If you're staying in Singapore for a while, hiring a car is a good way to get around – especially if you're planning a lot of trips. Avis can be found in Terminal 1 at Changi Airport, and Avis and Hertz can both be found in Terminals 2 and 3. Prices vary. Check online and book before you depart for the best deals.
Get to this green space early to watch the tai chi exponents or have a jog, and stay for a picnic. This national park is open every day and offers stunning lakes, various animals, flowers and plants, plus one of the region's first rubber tree orchards and an orchid garden.
You can't miss the triple-towered Marina Bay Sands, visible from everywhere in Singapore and perched on its own offshore island. The observation deck in the SkyPark (S$20) is well worth a look and the inside boasts an impressive shopping mall with hundreds of stores, restaurants and a theatre.
A great day out for kids and adults alike is a trip to the world-famous Singapore Zoo. Spanning 220 acres, this free-ranging zoo lets you get up close and personal with a huge variety of animals, and boasts the world's largest captive orangutan group. Go at night for a fun experience.
Just 12km away from the city's skyscrapers, this protected rainforest is a cool respite from the scorching sun and offers families plenty of activities, like hiking and bike trails. Take some insect repellent and get back to nature as you look for squirrels and long tail macaques.
With great food and a refreshing, relaxing atmosphere, Keyaki also serves up some of the best staff in town. It's hidden too, on an idyllic Japanese roof garden on level four. Tuck into authentic Japanese cuisine and if you're hungry try the seasonal kaiseki course dinners. The Teppanyaki and Sushi counters are also excellent.
If it's waterfront dining you're after, Barnacles at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa offers an unrestricted view of the twinkling sea. On Sundays, brunch on an array of timber-decked tables is a popular choice for locals, tourists and those lucky enough to be staying at the Shangri-La. Try the freshly shucked oysters and champagne.
For top notch Asian cuisine, Justin Quek's fusion menu of foie gras-topped xiao long bao and mouthwatering Maine lobster in black pepper sauce, plus a whole lot more will leave you speechless – and that's before you've taken in the view! A panoramic Singapore spreads out before you at Sky on 57. The desserts, such as the pandan macaroon, are magical.
For a slightly cheaper eat, try the famous Blue Ginger in a cosy and nostalgically restored shophouse. Serving up delicious Malaysian/Chinese dishes, it's a good bet for the kids as well as other fussy eaters. Try the udang goreng tauyu lada (sautéed prawns with pepper in a sweet and sticky soy sauce), or the ngo heong (minced pork rolls and five-spiced prawns). Stay away from the durian dessert.
Bar Cocoon offers the chance to socialise while lounging on huge opium beds, surrounded by the opulence of pretty silk lanterns, incense and plush drapery. You'll feel like you're in a protected cocoon, naturally. Half of this place is devoted to Singapore's first ice bar, where you can drink in -15 degrees, if you like.
Popular with expats and local pretty things, Loof is a night out in itself on the top of the looming Odeon Towers. At night the cool breeze is a welcome respite from the heat of the day, and it's a great place for a sunset cocktail and nibbles as you watch the rich people heading into Raffles Hotel, just opposite. Dress to impress.
For cocktails, ambience and polite sophistication, new venue Tree offers a relative garden of Eden in the mayhem complete with graffiti style walls. It's quite hard to find but look for the red door and the signage up above you on the pillar. Try the selection of boutique beers including the scrumptious Napoleone & Co Pear Cider.
Offering top notch Spanish tapas and a dark, cosy and oh-so romantic spot to snuggle, Octapas is a surefire hit if you're looking to start your night in Clarke Quay. Happy hour starts at 12 noon till 8pm with discounted beers, sangria and house spirits, while live music rocks the house until late. The staff are sexy too, dressed in red and black with flowers in their hair. True Singapore style.
Take a cool cable car ride from Mount Faber to Sentosa and head to the Dolphin Lagoon. Watch the pink dolphins do their tricks and then get deep at Underwater World, an 80-metre tunnel designed to show you over 2500 sea creatures. Take in the Images of Singapore and then head to the Musical Fountain for a night-time state-of-the-art laser, fire and water jet display. Amazing.
Uncover the rich cultural heritage of the Malays in a typical Malay ethnic area. A private guide can tell you exciting stories about the region during World War II, but make sure you're heading towards the intriguing Changi Chapel and Museum for a visit. Drive through chilled Changi Village for a taste of a more subdued Singapore and head to the township of Tampines New Town for a lovely dinner.
Malaysia's most historical city has seen the rise and fall of major empires, all of which have influenced the region. Malacca's medieval charm will mesmerise and its beautiful buildings and canal make for good photo opportunities. Climb St Paul's Hill and visit Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia. Dine by the water in one of the cute International restaurants.
Singapore's Chinatown is a sprawling myriad of colour and charm, and you can pick up anything from a hologram mobile phone case to a pair of Chinese slippers or a dragon puppet. Explore and have lunch in one of the street-side restaurants (try the duck) and then head on to Clarke Quay where boutique market stalls are often on show for a classier shopping opportunity. Have a cool beer in one of the waterfront bars.
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