Prospect for Finance Professionals in Singapore

Excellent prospects for finance professionals
If you are a finance professional, there is no dearth of jobs for you in Singapore.  The prospects of accountants, bankers, finance analysts and specialists are bright here.  According to prominent recruiters, hiring trend is going to be positive in the coming year for the finance professionals.  In fact, the economy of Singapore is showing a trend of growth, so it is good news for the entire business community.  The increasing demand for finance professionals is a strong indicator that businesses are in an optimistic mode.  Many businesses are seeking growth and productivity, but the existing global downturn was responsible for sluggish trend of hiring in the previous three years.  However, as soon as the global economic situation experiences some improvement, businesses are likely to hire more professionals to boost their capabilities.

Employee crunch
According to a report, many CFOs in Singapore are apprehensive about possible attrition of finance and accounting professionals this year.  A majority of top financial executives were concerned that their top performers may switch to other jobs.  The Singapore economy has a promising outlook and increased confidence in the market indicates that the employee turnover is going to increase.  With more and more companies prospering and expanding, they are planning to recruit the best finance professionals to streamline their operations.  With such a comprehensive growth around the corner, it would be a challenge for the corporate world to hire and retain the best talent.

Increasing headcounts
However, it is good news for job seekers, especially finance professionals.  They have bright prospects ahead, as vacancies for a diverse range of professionals will soon be announced and professionals with all types of qualifications and experience such as information technology, manufacturing, marketing, sales, office administration and secretarial fields, will soon be in great demand.  Though, there has been a strong demand for finance professionals for the past two years, 2014 is going to be a very promising year.  According to a report, most of the companies are interested in maintaining or increasing their headcounts for finance and accounting functions. Banking sector is also bullish.

Come and settle in Singapore
This is good news for foreign professionals too, who have some difficulties in their native countries.  Singapore is offering you a lifetime opportunity to come, settle down and become rich.  Singapore doesn’t discriminate against immigrant workers as some advanced nations do.  On the contrary, the government of Singapore is quite supportive for foreign immigrants.  In Singapore, you can easily get a social visit pass or the work permit.  Visit visa in Singapore is normally for 30 days and can be extended to another 30 days, if required.  Singapore is generally considered to be a highly paid country, so the average salaries in Singapore are far higher than the ones in other countries.

Abundance of jobs
With majority of the companies looking for additional workforce, especially for finance, accounting and banking operations, it is the best time ever to migrate to Singapore to work as a finance professional.  The rewards of working at Singapore far outweigh its downsides.  Most of the finance professionals get a much higher package in Singapore as compared to their native countries, especially if they are talented and are willing to work hard.  Singapore companies are in dire need of hard-working professionals, who do not care about working hours, etc.

Settling down in Singapore

So, have you got an air ticket to travel to Singapore with a resident permit to live and work in Singapore?  If it is so, you’d obviously be curious to know more about the city state and how to settle down there.  It is important to know many things about the country you are immigrating to, including housing, public transport, education for the children, finances, taxes, shopping or buying or renting a car.
As far as settling down in Singapore is concerned, there are no complicated facts involved.  Governance is quite smooth and most of the information is just a call away or available on the Internet.  However, some of this information should be handy, before you even land in Singapore.  For example, Singapore is quite intolerant about drug trafficking and it is illegal and punishable offense to carry even the small amounts of drugs inside the country.  The next array of information is related to basic amenities, such as housing, temporary accommodation, applying for water, electricity, phone connection and cooking gas.  This article would provide you brief information on all of these topics.

Housing
in Singapore, housing can be categorized into three main housing types: low-cost housing, apartments, and serviced apartments.  Low-cost housing is available in suburban areas and is known as SHIFT.  Given excellent transportation facilities in Singapore, this option is not bad at all.  If you want a luxurious apartment in urban part of the city, you can get it by paying some premium price for it.  You can also go for apartments known as serviced apartments on a temporary basis.

Hotels
As far as hotels are concerned you would find all types of hotels from economic to luxury, based on your choice as temporary accommodation.

Telephone Services
Singapore offers fixed line telephone, mobile subscription and public phone services.  To apply for fixed line telephones, which often come with Internet connection, you need to deposit $300 and submit your documents such as passport and work permit or other residential passes to SingTel Retail Shops or authorized dealers of SingTel Mobile.  Corporate discounts are available on behalf of the employer to go for prepaid or postpaid mobile phone subscription, which comes at attractive call plans.  However, there is a contract for one or two years and terminating this contract may result in heavy penalties.

Home furnishing and decoration
Singapore is a modern city, which offers excellent home furnishing items and furniture.  You can also take a few items on lease.
Education
As far as education of your children is concerned, there are various ethnic and international schools in Singapore, along with some schools with special or vocational training.  There is no dearth of play schools, nurseries and kindergartens for small kids.

Getting Domestic Help
Hiring a maid servant in Singapore is not very expensive, given the fact that it becomes extremely important for working couple.

Cost of living
Apart from cars and properties, everything else is quite affordable, which includes grocery, clothes, entertainment, food and other basic goods.  You must be familiar with the fact that Singapore is a shopping paradise and basic goods are competitively priced at local supermarkets and other places for expatriates, which provide good discounts.

Water, Electricity & Gas supply
To avail water, electricity and gas supply, you need to contact The Public Utilities Board (PUB).

Postal Services
Postal services are quite affordable, efficient and rapid in Singapore, even if it is as small as a grocery item.

Health Care
Singapore offers affordable healthcare, both at private and public hospitals, which are equally competitive and advanced.  Healthcare coverage is also offered through employers and private insurance operators.

Experiencing the most romantic dinner in Singapore

Want to experience the most romantic dinner in Singapore?  Well, you have chosen an ideal destination for the most romantic excursion ever in your life.  Singapore offers plethora of opportunities for couples enjoying their holidays.  But, to select the most romantic dinner spots, you must be familiar with the city.  To make your task simpler, we would like to suggest some of the best places to experience the most romantic dinner ever in your life in this article.
Well, this list is not prepared by a novice, but some choosy travel journalists, therefore, we are a hundred percent sure that these are the best places to enjoy a romantic dinner in Singapore.  The list is prepared keeping a holistic experience in mind, rather than just the outlook, ambience or the surroundings.  Quality of food and service standards was a major concern for our research team.  However, we don’t claim that the order is according to the quality standards, as we have given them in a random order. 

Restaurants, according to ambience
If you talk about ambience, then, we have chosen three places for you viz. Dempsey-Hill, Halia Restaurant in Botanical Gardens and the Jewel-Box in Mt. Faber.  These are the best places, we recommend as far as surroundings and ambience is concerned.  Though, these places are slightly inaccessible, and you need to hire a taxi to reach there, but you would be thrilled to experience the ambience there.  

Restaurants with the best views of the city
Another exciting romantic dinner destination is at the sixty ninth story of Swissotel the Stamford and it is known as Equinox Restaurant.  For a nice view, Jewel-Box is good, because it is located at a certain height.  However, if you want to have the best landscape view of the Singapore skyline, you should choose the Cliff located in Sentosa Spa and Resort.  

Restaurants according to specific foods and dishes
For food lovers, Hai Tien Lo, maybe an ideal destination that has a modern setup and a great view.  To enjoy the lush green tropical look and natural surroundings, you may approach Flutes at the Fort, which also provides delicious food made by some of the best foreign chefs.  If you want to enjoy some of the most exotic menus that include fresh garden vegetables with vibrant tropical colors, then head towards St. Pierre.   If romance is on your mind, then you should choose Desire.
For amazing views, the Lighthouse Restaurant at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore is the best.  Besides the warm interiors, this luxurious restaurant offers an amazing waterfront view and exquisite food.  It is rated highly and recommended by the visitors for the overall experience.  Once you are there, we recommend you to place an order for seafood risotto.  We are sure you wouldn’t have eaten such a wonderful seafood risotto ever.  LaBrezza restaurant at St. Regis Hotel is the best for Italian food.  It offers some of the most exotic Italian dishes such as buratta and cavatelli with lobster. LaBrezza wins hands on, on both food quality and service.

Outdoor dining
If the romantic outdoor dining is your choice, a visit to the La Cantina at the Changi Village Hotel will prove to be the best romantic evening with treetop sea views.  However, you are supposed to reach there well before 7 PM to book an early cocktail for you that will bring you the exciting view of the sunset as well.

Singapore customs at a glance.

Singapore Customs is the government agency which is responsible for implementation of the customs and enforcement of trade measures in Singapore. This agency was reconstituted in 2003, and is now under the Ministry of Finance (Singapore). Also, Singapore Customs exercises Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund, which is a part of Tourist Refund Scheme.
 A GST (Goods and Services Tax) is levied on all items that are imported into Singapore, regardless of the fact whether the goods were purchased overseas or in Singapore itself. Thus, one is required to declare the goods in possession to the checking officer at Singapore Customs Tax Payment Office or at the self-service Tax payment kiosk. Duty-free Concession is not available on the following items:

1.No concession for tobacco products:
Duty-free concession and GST relief cannot be availed on Cigarettes, Cigars, Shisha and other Tobacco related products. Thus, one needs to pay the required taxes to bring them in Singapore.

2.No concession on motor spirits:
Motor spirits (like Petroleum, Diesel and many more) in containers are not duty-free. Also, there is no GST relief for them.

3.Liquor :
One can avail duty-free concessions on alcohol, if one is aged 18 years or above, has spent 48 hours or longer outside Singapore immediately before arrival and the imported liquor is not prohibited from importing into Singapore. However, there is no duty-free confession on liquor if one is arriving from Malaysia.
Remember: Duty free concessions are generally granted on goods purchased for personal consumption and it is an offense to sell or give them away. Furthermore, one needs to pay the taxes on all goods exceeding the duty-free confession and even on goods one is carrying for or on behalf of others.

Customs Clearance Procedure:
On arrival in Singapore by air, sea, bus or rail, one can spot examination counters in the Arrival hall. This system further bifurcates into a Red Channel System and Green Channel System.

Red Channel:
 The Red Channel Counters are mostly manned by officials from the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA), which has the authority to conduct the required checks on people, baggage and even vehicles that enter Singapore. Also, the ICA officials may also refer these matters to Singapore Customs for follow-up. One must proceed to the Red Channel in the following situations:
a)      If they are carrying taxable or dutiable goods exceeding the GST relief.
b)      If they are carrying goods listed among controlled or restricted goods.
c)       If one is carrying goods listed under the prohibited category.
Accordingly, a customs permit for clearance is required to be produced for the above mentioned items.
 
Green Channel:
One may wish to proceed through the green channel if one is not carrying any of the three above mentioned goods. However, the officers may conduct random checks in order to ensure the same. Furthermore, in case of doubt one may be asked to head to the Red Channel for checking.
Note: It is one’s own responsibility to provide accurate and complete declarations of all goods in possession exceeding the GST relief. Failing which, one can be prosecuted in court and fined up to ten thousand dollars and imprisoned for up to three years.

Singapore Visa Formalities

All foreign nationals having passports and other relevant travel documents would need a visa to set foot in Singapore. However, certain categories of visitors, holders of diplomatic/official passports, and nationals of specified countries (as stipulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore) do not require a visa for gaining entry into Singapore.
All types of visas issued by the consular offices and overseas missions of Singapore including social visit passes, student passes, and professional visit passes are classified under the two broad categories of tourist and business visas. The application form is available free of charge at any Singapore overseas mission. One can also download an e-visa form from the MFA’s website. Nationals holding passports/pertinent travel papers of the following countries will need a visa for entering Singapore:-

Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, India, Georgia, Nigeria, Moldova, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau Special Administrative Region, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Myanmar Yemen, and Palestine (this is not a comprehensive listing)

Visitors from CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) will not require a visa for entering Singapore in case they’re proceeding to a third country. Nevertheless, they’ll need to satisfy the following stipulations:-
They’ll be continuing with their onward journey within the specified 4 day visa-exempt period
They are in possession of a valid passport
They fulfil the immigration clearance perquisites laid down the officers of ICA (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority)
They’ve have a valid air-ticket for onward journey
Their passports are stamped with the visa of the country they’re transiting to
They’ve enough funds to for staying in Singapore

Documentation Requirements for Immigration Clearance
As a visitor, you’ll need to pass through immigration clearance at the Changi International Airport’s ICA area. ICA officials will let you proceed to the city if you have:-
A passport that is valid at least for the subsequent 6 months
A legal Singapore visa (as applicable)
Sufficient funds for financing your stay in the island-state
Confirmed return/onward journey ticket (as applicable)
Legitimate visa of the country you’re journeying to (with a stopover in Singapore)
Vaccination Certificate for Yellow Fever (wherever applicable)
Filled up disembarkation/embarkation card
The visa imprint stamped on your passport will clearly indicate the number of days you’re allowed to stay in Singapore. You’ll be committing an offence if you overshoot your granted stay-period. You’ll have to apply for a visa extension in case you want to prolong or extend your stay in the city-state.   

Visa Fees and Validity Period
You’ll have to pay S$ 30 as visa fees for every issue. You’ll have to pay S$ 40 if you want to extend your stay for at least 3 months. A visa issued for the first time (social visit pass) has a maximum validity period of 3 months. ‘Employment pass’ aspirants upon getting a first-time visa will be able to stay for at least two years.
On applying for a visa renewal, an employment pass holder will be permitted to stay for the subsequent three years. A traveller with a ‘performing artiste work permit’ will be allowed to work for a maximum period of 6 months. A performing artiste who intends to work for a longer period will have to apply for a ‘student pass’ or ‘employment pass’.
Other Relevant Information
A student who has gained admission into a professional education institution in Singapore will require a ‘student pass’ to stay in the city-state for completing his studies. However, professional visit passes are not needed for foreigners visiting Singapore on temporary assignments (effective from 1st January 1999) excepting for:-
Foreigners entering the country to participate in religious, communal, ethnic, political, and commercial seminars, conferences and workshops
Foreigners visiting Singapore to deliver religious sermons and lectures
Foreign journalists, reporters and correspondents proceeding to Singapore for covering an event or interviewing a personality
 Foreigners visiting to perform in a nightclub or discotheque
Cultural troupes and ensembles, foreign models, actors, actresses, film directors, camera crew members, lecturers, acclaimed speakers, professional artistes, foreign sportspersons, foreign cultural missions, and foreign exhibitors do not need a PVP to land in Singapore.

Singapore’s Foreign Policy and Its Relations with Other Countries

Chief tenets of foreign policy of Singapore
If you want to understand the foreign policy of Singapore and its relations with the rest of the world, we have to first understand the chief tenets of Singapore’s foreign policy.  Firstly, Singapore is a small island state; secondly, the prime purpose of Singapore’s foreign policy is to ensure its survival, given its small size and its lack of resourcefulness; and thirdly, practical and power based “realpolitik” approach is active behind its wider foreign policy.

Establishment of ASEAN

Since Singapore got separated from Malaysia in 1965, and became an independent nation, its leaders soon realized that they were living in a world of economic interdependence and there was a need of institution building in the region, which was extremely important to propel the economic and political interests of Singapore.  So, Singapore took the leadership position in the region and became the founding member of ASEAN.  

Close friends of Singapore

Singapore is a member of the United Nations as well and has strong defense ties with US, UK and Israel.  However, it does not allow its military ties with Western countries to instill insecurity in its neighbors, especially Malaysia and Indonesia.  Malaysia, earlier, had a water supply dispute with Singapore, which strained their relationships, but the new leaderships in both the countries have resolved this issue and moved on.

Relationship with Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia

Singapore’s initiative to form ASEAN reaffirmed its regional position and helped in boosting ties with its neighbors, especially with Malaysia and Indonesia.  Today, both Malaysia and Singapore are two rapidly developing nations and they need each other in their quest for progress.  Singapore also has friendly ties with Philippines, which is also one of its neighbors. Philippines Singapore Action Plan covers cooperation on trade, economy, education, tourism, capital market, defense, information technology and culture, etc.

Relationship with Australia and European countries

Singapore also has very good relationship with its neighbor Australia.  Besides maintaining a high commission in Australia, both the countries have signed Singapore Australia Free Trade Agreement.  Both the countries have strong ties in trade, defense and security.  Singapore maintains its embassies and high commissions in European countries as well, such as Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Vatican, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

Relationship with UK

Singapore shares special relationship with UK, its erstwhile colonial ruler, as a member of Commonwealth and a defense partner.  Singapore has signed Five Power Defense Agreements (FPDA) with UK, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia.

Relationship with India

Singapore also shares extremely cordial relationship with India.  The historic ties between the two countries and a 300,000 strong Indian community in Singapore are responsible for high level cooperation in economy, technology, security and culture.  Singapore is the largest foreign direct investor in India.

Relationship with US and Canada

Singapore shares excellent relationship with North American countries such as Canada and US.  Singapore has strong defense ties with the United States and it backs almost all the US military campaigns worldwide.  The US has its naval and air force base in Singapore and the two countries also share good bilateral relationships in health, education and economy.  United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is the only agreement of its kind the US has with any eastern nation.

Relationship with China, Japan, and Taiwan

Singapore also has very good relationships with China, Japan, and Taiwan, etc.  Despite some stalemate with China over Taiwan, both China and Singapore share strong trade relationships.  The head of the states of both the countries keep visiting each other’s capitals.

Relationship with Other countries

Singapore also has good relationships with Mexico, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Egypt and Pakistan.  Apart from defense ties, Singapore and Israel share warm relationships as far as culture, technology, healthcare and arts are concerned.

Overview of Singapore Economy

The top rankings is the world
Singapore rose from a sleepy colonial city in the 60s, (when it got independence,) to a bustling, cosmopolitan city with a vibrant economy in the 90s. It is also been hailed as one of the most competitive economies in the world, where it is easy to do business.  It has also been honored as the number one country in the world to do business. In this matter, it is far ahead of even New Zealand and Hong Kong. 

Surprisingly, the tiny island state ranks third in the global competitiveness report prepared by the World Economic Forum; in this report Singapore comes just after Switzerland and Sweden, which occupy the top two spots.

Huge influx of FDI and MNCs in the 80s

The boom in the manufacturing sector in the 70s, led four small economies to explode and these were South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.  Consequently, it attracted huge FDI and multinational companies in the island state.  It became the steppingstone for Singapore to grow as one of the most advanced and technology oriented economies.  Tourism grew in Singapore as the byproduct of industrial revolution, as more and more business persons poured into the city.  Therefore, hotel industry grew parallel to manufacturing sector.

Third fastest growing economy
 
Recently, Singapore was ranked as the third fastest growing economy in the world with a GDP growth rate of as high as 14.5%.  Singapore is one of the best examples of a mixed economy, where the free market is complimented by the government controlled factors of production, such as capital resources, labor and land.  This is called famous Singapore Model of economy.

The Singapore Model

There were obvious reasons for the development of the Singapore Model.  First of all, for a tiny country like Singapore, it became inevitable to integrate its economy with the external markets to boost its capacity and avail the global resources.  But, the unexpected events and the upheavals in the global markets exposed the vulnerability of this tiny country, which was largely dependent upon foreign capital, foreign companies and foreign resources.  The rulers of Singapore therefore developed a mixed model, in which the government had an active role to protect its industries and economy.  The government encouraged homegrown industries to survive and thrive, so that they can meet the demands of the global markets.

Singapore Inc.

Interestingly, Singapore is also referred to as Singapore Inc., the concept where the country seems to run as a corporation rather than a country.  The government has its interference in housing, media, and transportation, apart from social policies, which is seen as supplementary activities for the development of economy.  So, it is natural that the city state is called Singapore Incorporation.

An inspiration for many countries

Singapore Model has been a tremendous success so far.  Singapore Model has been an inspiration for many other states, both big and small, such as Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Mauritius and Denmark.  It is because of this model that Singapore successfully survived the 1997 Asian financial crisis and global recession of 2008. 

The best country to do business

It still has AAA credit ratings and it also has the honor of being the only Asian country to have such ratings by the international agencies like Standard & Poor’s.  It is also been awarded the second freest economy in the world and has the reputation of one of the most corruption free states in the world.  You can start a business in Singapore in just three days as compared to the average 34 days in other global locations.  Singapore is blessed with highly skilled workforce, excellent infrastructure, favorable tax structure and the most conducive environment for the companies to grow and do business.

 Wedding Traditions in Singapore

A marriage ceremony or wedding has always been a traditional affair that has transcended national borders, race, caste, creed or religion and even time. So, needless to say even in the 21st century, a typical wedding ceremonial in Singapore no matter how avant-garde and trendy it may appear at the outset is steeped in age-old rituals and customs. Singapore is a melting potpourri of cultures and people with diverse ethnic cultures and practices have harmoniously co-existed in the country for decades.

So, it follows that inter-racial and cross-cultural nuptials and weddings are quite common in the city-state. A wedding in Singapore is Occidental or Western in form but essentially Oriental (traditional) in character. The following lines elucidate some conventional and time-honoured customs that are still zealously followed in a characteristic wedding ceremony in Singapore.

1)The Positioning of the Wedding Bed (An Chuang)

Just before the wedding ceremony, a well-to-do man is generally consulted as far as the positioning of the newly married couples’ bed is concerned. Thereafter, a male kid of a close relation is invited to lie down or roll on it. Such an activity (rolling on the bed or lying down on it) is carried out to sanctify or consecrate the wedding. A male child is selected so that the couple is blessed with a son. Fruits like dates and oranges and vegetables particularly red or green beans are also spread throughout the bed for auspiciousness.

2)Sending Betrothal Gifts (Guo Da Li)

The tradition or practice of sending betrothal gifts to the bride’s family has been handed down from generation to generation. Actually, the entire process (of sending wedding gifts) comprises of two stages. In the first stage, the prospective groom and a lady who is considered lucky, visits the would-be-bride’s home to handover the gifts basket. What goes into the basket depends upon the ancestral provinces of both the groom and the bride. In the stage or final stage, the bride’s family returns the basket out of courtesy. The parents of the bride are supposed to reciprocate the gesture by giving ‘return gifts’. The amount of gifts in the baskets should always add up to an even number.

3)The Ritual of Combing the Hair (Shang Tou)

Prior to the wedding ceremony, the hair of the groom and the locks of the bride are done up generally by a lady and this ritual of combing signals the transitioning of the couple from adolescence to adulthood. The hair is usually done up (or combed) four times and each round has a symbolic meaning. The first combing stands for the lasting of marriage; the second represents holy wedlock till one reaches his or her prime; the third round stands for fertility and the ultimate combing represents lasting prosperity.

4)Bringing the Bride to Her In-Laws Home

Traditionally, the bridegroom in order to fetch his would-be-wife visits her parental or family home along with some of his closest male friends (xiong di dui) and relatives. The entire episode of bringing the bride to her in-laws home is quite an elaborate affair. The groom along with his male buddies has to go through many trials and tribulations before he can get to the bride. The ‘jie meis’ (bridesmaids) make the groom profess his love for his bride by telling him to draw up a marriage contract and put his signature on it. 
 
5)Tea Ceremony (Feng Cha)

The newly married couple after paying homage to their predecessors offer cups of tea to the parents of the grooms. Thereafter, they offer tea to the groom’s elders. In return the couple are presented with red packets containing money.

6)The Banquet

Parents of both the bride and the bridegroom sponsor a lavish wedding banquet that   usually comprises of a 7-to-10 course dinner. The wedding banquet is a perfect way of commemorating the holy union.

7) The Home-Coming (San Chao Hui Men) 

It is customary for the newlyweds to visit the parental home of the bride three days post the wedding reception.    
 

Tourism in Singapore

Tourism in Singapore

Singapore as a melting pot of different cultures 
Singapore is vibrant economy and an attractive tourist destination.  Located on the southern tip of Malaysian Peninsula, it’s formed of 59 islands.  With around 5 million people as its inhabitants, Singapore is one of the four Asian Tigers, and a major business center in the entire Southeast Asian region.  It has been one of the most modern cities in the world for many decades now.  It assimilates various cultures such as Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arab, and English.  The amazing ethnic diversity makes it one of the best tourist destinations for shopping, sightseeing and culinary delight. 

Singapore as a tourist attraction
Traditional festivals and holidays of different ethnic populations in Singapore are celebrated round the year and make it an appealing tourist destination. The island state, which is located one degree north of equator, is the haven of luxury hotels. Singapore has a special appeal because its government is highly efficient and focused towards development.  It has created a name for itself in the world of tourism and trade.  People prefer to visit and work in Singapore because of its administrative excellence and quality of life.  The capital Singapore is located on an island, which is just one third of the main island of the state.

Singapore Amusement Parks
Singapore as a tourist destination has many attractions including its amusement parks, which are meant for fun with family and friends.  At eating joints, you can have some of the most amazing cuisines from around the world.

Art galleries
Singapore competes with Hong Kong and other leading cities of the world as a center of art. It has a lot of prominent galleries, where you can unwind yourself.

Parks and gardens
With around 50 parks, gardens and nature reserves based on Chinese and Malay themes, Singapore is an ultimate destination for nature tourism.      

Night Safari Tour
Night Safari Tour is the best way to explore wildlife at the night zoo.  It has around 1000 animals with 140 species representing various geographic regions in the world. You can explore this tropical forest either by tram or just on foot.

Sentosa thrills
Sentosa offers amazing adventure sports, dining and recreational facilities. You can also enjoy a cable car ride to reach Sentosa Island. It offers a kaleidoscopic view of Singapore skyline. You can also explore the history of Singapore since World War II in Sentosa. Explore the underwater world in the grand Oceanarium and enjoy a sensational show of music and Lights the ‘Songs of the Sea Show’.

Universal Studios
Your visit to Singapore is incomplete without spending a day at Universal Studio. It’s a movie theme park offering various related attractions.

Shopping malls
A visit to Singapore is incomplete without visiting its shopping malls. 
Some of the must vist shopping malls in Singapore are:
TANGS Orchard, Wisma Atria, ION Orchard, Bugis Junction, FestiveWalk™ at Resorts World™ Sentosa, Changi Airport Mall Singapore, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands®, Suntec City Mall, Marina Square, Mandarin Gallery(designer boutiques), Funan Digitalife Mall ( for gadget enthusiasts), 313@somerset at Orchard Road belt, Park Mall with cafes and restaurants, Paragon for designer and luxury items, Palais Renaissance for international brand and dining facilities, Orchard Central (the tallest mall of Singapore) Ngee Ann City at Orchard Road, Mustafa Centre with bustling crowds (known as little India), Knightsbridge at Orchard Road, and Joo Chiat Complex  for Malay Textiles and crafts.   

10 Tips to Save Money in Singapore

It’s not that visiting Singapore is always a nightmare for the middle class. There are ways you can travel Singapore and enjoy your vacations out there on a budget. Some people spend just around three or four days in Singapore as they have heard the stories that Singapore is a very expensive country for holidaying and therefore they miss on many important and entertaining things.

1. Buy a transportation card: It’s wise to buy a Singapore transportation card rather than buying bus and train tickets separately, which quickly pile up.

EZ-Link card is the best way to save money on transportation in Singapore, as it costs just S$15 and has nearly the same amount as credit. You can recharge it at various MRT stations and marts. It will also save you a lot of hassle buying tickets at metro stations.  This card is used at all the modes of public transport such as MRT, LRT and buses. It is charged according to the distance travelled rather than on station to station flat rates. All you have to do is to tap the card on the magnetic reader inside the buses and at entry and exit points at MRT.

2. Avoid the Singapore Tourist Pass: It’s slightly expensive than EZ-Link card, but you can ride a number of times on public transport using this Pass. But, as the cost of this Pass is S$18, you have to travel at least five times to just break even the cost. If you are not travelling that frequently, you are wasting money on this Pass.

3. Drink Tap Water: Try drinking tap water in Singapore, it’s safe to drink. So, don’t waste your money on packaged water, instead have a water bottle and refill it every time you find a tap.

4. Eat at Food Courts: Food is extremely cheap at food courts and it is available at hawker stalls as well. You get quality food in these courts in as little as S$5. If you are okay with Chinese soups and noodles, the cost is even lower at $3.  Food is always expensive at standalone restaurants and hotels and you can find food courts almost everywhere, the ground floors of high rise buildings and Chinatown etc. You can also try affordable food at places such as Lau Pa Sat food center etc.

5. Avoid Smoking and Drinking: Because of heavy taxation smoking and drinking is extremely expensive in Singapore. Just one drink in a night club will cost you around S$30 and a pack of Marlboro is worth S$12.  
Those who are fond of boozing may buy it from 7-11 (store) near Clarke Quay, and enjoy it on a public place.

6. Enjoy sightseeing at parks: Singapore’s parks are interconnected via a skywalk and you can enjoy both the nature and the view of high rise buildings from here.

7. Save money through freebies: Many events of entertainment are organized at the Esplanade, City Center and along the river front, mostly on weekends. You can enjoy these freebies and save money watching public performances and displays at expensive places such as cultural centers or museums. You can check out the free attractions magazines of these places.
You can also buy a three day pass, which will allow many museum visits for just S$20.

8. Avoid shopping at expensive malls: Singapore is a shopping paradise and even its airport is nothing but a big shopping mall. However, it’s like drilling a hole in your pocket if you happen to buy anything from these malls. Try markets such as Chinatown and Little India, which are much cheaper.

9. Rent a hostel dorm: Instead of expensive hotels, you can rent a hostel dorm for just S$20.

10. Know local laws and avoid fines: Eating chewing gums, eating snacks in MRT, not using marked crosswalks and driving offenses can cost you dearly in Singapore, so know the local laws.