Getting settled in Singapore

So, you are all set to make this big move. The next couple weeks, you will be busy to make the choices about the many essential things in Singapore: Looking for a home, getting your kids enrolled in a great school, getting familiar with public transport, purchasing an auto, opening an account and managing a banking relationship, finding where to shop, and so on.
Luckily, Singapore is an astoundingly friendly city to get used to. You can easily access information through a telephone call or on the web space. However, it is recommended that you do some homework and some preplanning even before you ultimately land in Singapore.
That’s the sole purpose of this article. Apart from lodging regulations, info about hotels/lodges, flats, and global schools, this article also tells you about how to obtain your water, power, gas and telephone connection.  The information given below will help you settle in Singapore fast and in a convenient manner. 
Expat Housing - First of all, search for expect housing. It’s not easy to find a suitable accommodation in Singapore because of its demanding work environment. SHIFT (Short-term Housing for Foreign Talents in areas like JTC (Jurong Town Corporation) may be some good options.  
Lodging – Your first task should be to find a place to live, for the next couple months or years.  For that you can contact property consultants or the web-based agents, who will help you to find an apartment with an area, size and facilities you are looking for.
Look for comprehensive description of housing options in Singapore.
Least expensive lodging
SHIFT is a good option for foreign expatriates, if you do not mind traveling a bit more every day to commute to your office.
Premium apartments in the heart of the city
If you want to live in the heart of the city in a swanky apartment, you can avail it by paying a little more. 

Serviced apartments
This is temporary option to settle down, if you want to keep on looking for more permanent option.  In each case, you have a lot of choices.

Hotels/bachelors’ accommodations
If somehow your lodging arrangements are delayed or you need to wait a bit more to get an apartment ready to move-in, you can always go for hotels or bachelors accommodations, which are available according to your budget. 

Phone Services
Contact SingTel retail shops and SingTel Mobile authorized dealers for fixed line and mobile phone connections.  You need to deposit $300 to get a fixed line.  Go for prepaid services, for your mobile connection, in case you are in Singapore for a short stay, otherwise you can go for a one or two years’ contract.

Furniture and Decoration Services
There is no dearth of furniture and decoration services for your home, and you can choose one according to your ethnicity and preference.  There are different home furnishing service providers, who can provide you the right choice of European, Asian and antique furniture.

Water, Electricity & Gas Utilities
The Public Utilities Board (PUB) is a one-stop shop for all your water, electricity and gas connections in Singapore.  You can call at 1800-235-6841 (toll-free) to contact the PUB.

 Aviation Industry in Singapore

Singapore one of the five founding members of ASEAN is one of the world’s leading commercial hubs.  It is home to the sixth busiest airport and fourth biggest air cargo hub in Asia.  Apart from being a big financial hub, Singapore is also a major tourist destination for globe trotters.  17 million tourists are expected to visit Singapore and tourism revenues are expected to touch 30 billion SG$ by 2015.

Aviation in Singapore started with the Malayan Airlines Limited (MAL) when a plane took off from the Kallang Airport way back in 1947 since then there was no looking back.  Air traffic increased drastically over a period of time with better planes, better comfort, speed  and in-flight recreation.  Aviation helped the economy of Singapore grow to a large extent, it also provided excellent employment opportunities to large number of people in Singapore. 

Three different business verticals viz., Passenger traffic, Cargo and Aircraft maintenance thrive due to Singapore’s strategic location.  Of the 14 million international visitors (all travel modes put together), more than 11 million international visitors have traveled to Singapore by air during the period January to December 2012. Approximately 3000 flights land into Singapore airports every week with more than half a million seats on offer to tourists.

Most of the leading air carriers in the region have daily flights to Singapore and the long  haul carriers do a stop over here.  Singapore has 8 airports, Changi International Airport is the largest commercial airport in Singapore. It has three airport terminals with a capacity to handle 66 million passengers annually.  Changi International Airport handled 51.2 million passengers in the year 2012,  its 4th terminal should be ready by 2017. 

Singapore Airlines after the split from MSA has been in operations since 1972 and today is a very respected brand in the whole world.  It is the largest airline in the world by market capitalization and flies one of the youngest fleets of aircraft.  It is well known for providing superb state of the art entertainment and passenger comfort systems.

Aerospace Maintenance  in Singapore : Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is a huge business in Singapore.  Singapore serves as a link between continents for trans-continental flights and hence major air carriers have stop over here.  The Changi International Airport being a major hub for air traffic in Southeast Asia prompted many MRO companies to setup shop in the island nation. The wide bodied passenger jets gets serviced here. To cater to servicing of Corporate Aircraft’s, aerospace majors like Jet Aviation and Hawker Pacific has set up service centers at the Seletar Airport which is a relatively smaller airport.  Many more companies have planned to set up MRO units in Singapore in the near future.

Low Cost Carriers : Singapore is an important destination for travelers across the globe and LCC’s has played a vital role in ferrying huge number of passengers to Singapore.  Low cost carriers bring in most of the tourist volume, carriers like Singapore based Tiger Airways, Malaysia based AirAsia and Australia based Jetstar Asia Airways have major presence in Singapore.  Singapore is a small country with limited air space, with these  limitations low cost carriers have to be contended with the few negotiated air rights and operate fewer schedules in the region.

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.

How to Handle Legal Implications in Singapore

Singapore has long been a top draw for tourists, business travellers and expatriates and continues to be so as the city-state has something to offer for every sort of visitor. In the present times when crime rates have gone up in almost every nation on the face of this earth and tourists are pervaded by a feeling of insecurity when they travel overseas, Singapore offers a save haven. In fact, Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world where even a heavily bedecked woman can criss-cross the city late at night without the fear of getting mugged.
Since Singapore used to be a British colony, the legal structure of the country has been modelled on the judicial setup of the English Parliamentary System. Many have termed Singapore as a police-state because of its rigorous law enforcement policies. You could be fined heavily even for petty misdemeanours like littering, jaywalking, chewing gum, smoking in the open or for leaving toilets un-flushed!

The Legal Framework in Singapore

The Singapore Police Force is entrusted with enforcing and safeguarding the laws and bringing culpable citizens to book. Before you can start planning your Singapore sojourn, it is imperative to be aware of the legal framework of the island-state and also have a fair idea of dealing with the legal niceties if you’re unwittingly caught on the wrong side of the law.
The principal segments of legal jurisprudence- administrative law, property law, trust law, equity law, tort law, and contract law are generally framed by judges. Nevertheless, criminal law, civil law, family law and company law are of a statutory (as enshrined in the Singapore Constitution) nature and amendments in these specific legal segments are made on the basis of past precedents. The entire legal structure (or infrastructure) of Singapore is supported by the four props of Constitution, Legislation, Auxiliary Legislation, and laws framed by Judges.

The Court System

The Supreme Court of Singapore is the apex court of the country headed by the Chief Justice. The Supreme Court is broadly sub-divided into High Court and Court of Appeal for hearing criminal and civil cases. The           ‘juvenile courts’, ‘district courts’, ‘coroners’ court’, ‘small claims tribunals, ‘magistrates’ courts’, ‘family courts’, ‘traffic courts’, syariah courts, ‘night courts’, and ‘community courts’ make up the rank and file of Subordinate Courts. Before you move the court against someone or before somebody can file a case against find out which court of law you should approach.

 About Dispute Resolution

It goes without saying that moving the court in Singapore could be pretty expensive as well as a very time consuming affair. So, you’d do well to know that no matter whatever the dispute you’re involved in (business, family, criminal or civil), you can go for an out of the court settlement via the procedures of Arbitration and Mediation. A mediator is an experienced legal professional who can help you negotiate with your adversary and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. The Singapore Mediation Centre is the monitoring and regulatory body entrusted with appointing neutral mediators. Nearly 90% of cases settled through the mediation route have been resolved within a day. The mediation fee is a minimum of 900 SGD for each day for a single party.

The Arbitration process unlike Mediation is legally enforceable. However, you do not need to be present in a courtroom as the arbitrator presides over a case in a private setting. The arbitrator announces a verdict at his own discretion and the same is legally binding on both the parties. The SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre) is the regulatory body that supervises only civil arbitration matters in Singapore. Family law and/or criminal law cases are handled by the respective courts meant for such disputes. The particular court you’ll approach for your dispute resolution will invariably depend upon the character of your case and the amount you’re claiming as compensation. Bear in mind that once a verdict has been declared, it is legally enforceable although you can always appeal against the sentence in a High Court or Court of Appeal.   

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.   

Birds Park in Singapore

Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park was inaugurated in 1971 and it is the biggest bird park in the entire Asia.  It is spread over an area of 20 hectare along the hillside.  It houses more than 400 species and a total of 5000 birds.  This park is primarily aimed at conservation an exhibition of birds maintaining their natural habitats.  These natural habitats are inspired from different parts of the world, where these species of the birds are brought from.
This bird park provides ample exposure and knowledge of the avian world to the wildlife enthusiasts through different activities such as interactive encounters, bird feeding, bird shows, and other global events that attract around 1 million visitors every year.


Jurong Bird Park also houses the largest lory flight aviary, which is spread over 3000 sq mt and is around nine stories high.  You can walk in to his aviary which has 15 colorful species of lory and get the opportunity to feed these beautiful birds.
The other highlights of this Bird Park are Macaw Island, Penguin Coast, the hornbill and toucan exhibit, Heliconia Repository, African Waterfall Aviary and Flamingo Lake.  This is one of the rarest bird parks in the entire Asia, which has an avian hospital.  It also has a breeding and research Institute that takes care of the welfare and promulgation of birdlife, with special emphasis on rescued birds. 
Birdz of Play, is meant for children for fun and play.  It is a place that they can enjoy splashing in wet and dry zones.

Singapore Zoo

It is consistently been ranked as one of the most beautiful places in the world for many decades as far as the settings and ambience is concerned, where you can spot freely roaming animals in their natural habitats.  It is spread over more than 25 hectares and houses more than 3000 animals and 350 species.

In 2008, Singapore Zoo was awarded the Singapore Tourism Award, for the ninth time as the best place for leisure experience.
As a major tourist attraction, Singapore Zoo attracts around 2 million visitors per year.  With enhanced service quality and offers, this is truly a world class tourist attraction.


Singapore Zoo has many attractions which are unique in the world, such as the free ranging orangutan habitat, which charismatic apes.  You will find these apes in their natural surroundings here and experience proximity with these species on a raised boardwalk.
The other attractions of these new include the Elephants of Asia, Australian Outback, the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia and Fragile Forest.  These natural habitats offer very good educational experience.

Changi Beach Coastal Walk.

If you want to enjoy the beautiful view of the coastline, you should enjoy the boardwalk at the western end of Changi Point.  Changi Point area is popular for clubs and holiday chalets scattered along the beach.

To reach the point, where you can start the boardwalk, you can take a bus and get down at the interchange.  Or else, if you’re coming by car, you can park it at the ferry terminal, which has a local name Lorong Bekukong.  The start point of the walk is a sign “Changi Point’s Coastal Walk”.

The boardwalk is 2km long and you can walk at any time you want.To enjoy it, you can wear comfortable shoes, so that you can stroll without any hassle on the scenic way.Previously, the coastline was bare and boring, but here stands a well lit boardwalk with the natural surroundings.

This boardwalk can be divided into six distinct parts:  
Sailing Point Walk, Kelong Walk, Cliff Walk, Creek Walk, Beach Walk, and Sunset Walk.
Beginning with Changi Creek in the east, it passes along the western rocky coast, which is near to Changi Beach Club.  Finally, the coastal walk finishes at Changi Point.  You will also pass through Loyang Park Connector this way.The authorities have tried their best to retain the natural ambience and the rustic look of the place.  It has been designed in such a way that the flora and fauna merge with the design of the boardwalk.

How to get there?
By Car:
Destination: Changi Village
If you’re coming by car you can park it at the public car park.  The public parking is opposite to Changi Ferry Point Terminal.  You can enter the boardwalk area either through Netheravon Road or Changi Village Road.
By Bus:
Destination: Changi Village Bus Terminal
You can take bus number two or bus number 29 from Bedok or from Tampines MRT Station respectively.  Bus number two can also be taken from Tanah Merah MRT Station.
Destination:  Telok Paku Road or Loyang Avenue
You can take bus No. 9, 19 or 89 from Simei or Tanah Merah MRT Station, Tampines MRT Station and Pasir Ris MRT Station respectively.

Highlights of the boardwalk

•It is a scenic walk along the beach in an area which is full of Flora and fauna
•It is full of greenery and coastal-plants
•It offers amazing views of the coastline

The different sections of the boardwalk are described below:
Creek Walk (280m)
The coastline here is full of bumboats used to ferry people between the islands.  Crabs and sea stars are also visible here.

Beach Walk (660m)
During the walk along the clean beach, you will find many things that will refresh your mood.  You will discover many rare flower plants here.  Maiden’s Jealousy is one of the most common plants here with bright yellow flowers.

Sailing Point Walk (600m)
This particular area of the beach provides a panoramic view of yachts anchored along the beach.  Sailboats go here and there from this part of the boardwalk.

Cliff Walk (180m)
This part of the boardwalk reminds you of a lush green forest right next to the passage.

Kelong Walk (200m)
This part of the boardwalk is the heaven for people who love fishing.  There are several pavilions, where you been enjoy fishing and sightseeing.

Sunset Walk (120m)
This part of the boardwalk allows you an exemplary view of the sunset at the extreme end of Changi Point.  It is perfect for romantic excursions.

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.

Wildlife in Singapore

A wonderful tropical ecosystem of wildlife

Though the planners and smart administrators have developed the Island state into a multistory cosmopolitan city, all around this jungle of concrete is scattered a haven of wildlife with wonderful and rare species thriving in the midst of rich flora and fauna. The tropical rainforests and wetlands provide a treat for the eyes and senses. The gardens and parks are specially landscaped showcasing the local vegetation and flowers at key locations, where you can also have a panoramic view of the city. The nature reserves are planned not only to preserve the rarest species of the area, but also to entertain the visitors. If you want to take one further step into this amazing world, you can visit Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Sanctuary and Night Safari, where you will be face to face with some of the most dangerous beasts of our planet.

Marine Life Park: the largest oceanarium on the planet

If you want to enjoy the spectacular and rich marine life of our oceans, Marine Life Park offers you an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time.  SEA Aquarium is the largest aquarium here and it’s also the largest in the entire globe. If you love aquatic adventures, you can explore some fun at Adventure Cove Waterpark. To further explore marine life, discover various options available at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore!

River Safari Singapore

In Singapore, you will get a lifetime chance to explore the wildlife park based on river theme with almost eight river habitats, giving you exposure to rare animals and birds.  River creatures such as salamander, river otter and a giant variety of catfish etc. are found at this River Safari.  In the river habitats, you can enjoy strolling in the freshwater galleries. There are more than 300 species of these rare aquatic and dry-land creatures here.

Night Safari, Singapore

This is first of its kind of wildlife Night Park in the world and it offers a sensational experience to visit the wild in the night, where you can watch the animals roaming as if there are in their natural habitat, hunting and grazing in this big park. There are around 1100 animals out there. The entry fee for an adult is $35 and for a kid it’s $25.

Singapore Zoo

You will be hypnotized with this unique “Open Concept,” where you’ll be able to touch the animals roaming freely in their habitats. Over 3000 animals include Asian elephants, mouse deer, lemurs, fruit bats, orangutans and large mammals. You can also see the largest butterfly dome in the world here.

Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

With around 400 species of birds and 5000 birds, this is the superlative bird park on the planet.  Spread over 20 hectare of land, it includes different varieties of birds from African wetlands, Asia, waterfalls birds including hawks and falcons. At the Penguin Coast, you can learn about the birth of the penguins.  Your kids will enjoy it the most as they can also familiarize themselves with lifecycle of birds at the Avian Hospital, where thousands of birds are bred.  

Top 5 things to do while visiting Singapore

Some Singaporeans says that besides dining, shopping and the movies, there’s not a lot you can do here. Ignore all these talks. The must-see list for the one-day visitor to Singapore, especially the first-timer, is very long. There is very little chance that you’ll get bored while your visit to Singapore.

We’re here to guide you to the top 5 places where tourists don’t normally go; in short, the places where Singaporeans in the know live and play.

1. Singapore Botanic Gardens- If you have arrived in Singapore and it’s early morning and nothing really opens for business until around 11 a.m., so how are you going to kill time? The most exciting idea will be to head out to the Botanic Gardens which opens at 5 a.m. to midnight. Wander through the swaths of virgin rainforest (the main boardwalk through it is entered from Upper Palm Valley Road) and then take in the National Orchid Garden’s many-colored collection of 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids. When you’re done and you are hungry you can dive into the food court near Tanglin Gate for a traditional local breakfast of soft-boiled eggs, coffee and toast slathered with coconut jam.

2. Artwork at the Ritz-Carlton- Ritz-Carlton is not an ordinary hotel it is considered as one of the Southeast Asia’s finest (and under the radar) collections of modern and contemporary art. There is a massive three-ton Frank Stella installation at the entrance and the pair of Dale Chihuly crystal glass sculptures that holds both wings of the building. The majority of the pieces were specially commissioned for the public spaces and guest suites. All the great sculptures present over here are free to view, and you even get an iPod-guided tour.

3. Chinatown Heritage Centre- If you do only one cultural thing during your 24-hour Singapore layover, it must be a tour of the unheralded Chinatown Heritage Centre, where entire sets of bedrooms, kitchens and street scenes from the late-19th century and early-20th century have been faithfully recreated. It’s an authentic slice of Singapore’s history that’s made all the more fascinating by the gleaming skyscrapers just a few blocks away. And if you must, pick up a kitschy souvenir from the gift shop on your way out.

4. Electronics for Cheap- Tokyo may have the latest in electronic gadgets, but Singapore has the widest range, and luckily for the time-pressed shopper, they’re all clustered in two massive multistory emporia. Handicams, portable DVD players, mobile phones, hi-tech cameras, MP3 players and laptops in just about every imaginable configuration are up for grabs at Funan Digitalife Mall and Sim Lim Square. The prices are usually about 10% to 20% cheaper than at other commercial outlets.

5. The Singapore Flyer- The 165-meter-high Flyer is Singapore’s answer to the London Eye. For the moment, it is the world’s largest observation wheel. Despite much fanfare and hype, the locals have never really taken to the Flyer, grousing that it’s too far from anywhere and S$29.50 is a lot of money to pay for a 30-minute ride. The best time to hitch a ride is at dusk when the entire row of downtown skyscrapers is softly lit. Back on the ground, head for a dinner of chili crabs at Seafood Paradise.