General Information

General Information about Singapore

Airport

Singapore Changi Airport is on the eastern tip of Singapore and it is located about 20 – 30 minutes from the city.

Airport Transfer

Airport Shuttle

There is an airport shuttle bus serivce which serves most hotels in Singapore. The cost of a ticket is approximately S$9.00 per adult.

Taxi

Taxis are available at the taxi stands at the Arrival level of each Terminal. The journey to the city is estimated to cost between S$18 and S$38.00 and takes approximately 30 minutes. Fares are metered and there is additional airport surcharge for all trips originating from the airport.

S$5.00 airport surcharge – 1700h to midnight

(Fridays to Sundays)

S$3.00 airport surcharge – all other times

Midnight surcharge of 50% of final metered fare –

Midnight to 0559h (daily)

Train (MRT)

To get to the city, passengers need to transfer to the west bound train at Tanah Merah train station. First train to Tanah Merah Station departs Changi Airport Station at 0531h on Monday to Saturday and at 0559h on Sunday and public holidays. Last train to Tanah Merah station that connects to the city departs Changi Airport Station at 2318h.

Public Bus

The number 36 public bus service brings you to the city centre. A single fare costs below S$2.50 and takes about an hour. Bus stops are located at the basement bus bays of Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Please prepare exact fare and no change will be given.

Further information on transportation from the airport can be found on the Changi Airport website – http://www.changiairport.com/en/transport/public-transport.html

Banks

Usual Banking hours are as follows:

Monday – Friday        :           1000h – 1500h

Saturdays                    :           0930h – 1300h

(some banks open until 1500h)

Sundays                      :           0930h – 1300h

(only applies to some bank branches along Orchard Road)

Climate

Singapore is warm and humid all year round. The daily average temperature is 27 °C . The average daytime temperature is 31°C (88°F), dropping to around 24 °C  (75°F) in the evenings. Abundant rainfall can be expected during monsoon season from December to March and June to August. Most buildings are air conditioned (sometimes to the point that bringing a sweater maybe advisable).

 Cultural and Entertainment

Diversity does not get any wider than in Singapore. Being a multiracial society, Singapore is home to a collage of communities, cultures and religions, each accompanied by a rich heritage that dates far back. Beyond just co-existing with one another, there is also mutual respect and this can be seen in daily interactions and festive celebrations. As nightfalls, Singapore takes on another persona to offer a vibrant array of nightlife and entertainment choices. Three are nightclubs, bars and lounges, and live entertainment venues.

Currency

The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (S$ or SGD). Automated teller machines (ATMs) are located everywhere in Singapore and they accept most main credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express. The US and Australian Dollars, as well as the Japanese Yen, the British Pound and the Euro are also accepted in  many major shopping centre and department stores.

Electricity

Singapore uses 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. Power plugs are usually of the three-pin, square-shaped type.

Emergency Numbers

Police                          : 999

Ambulance and Fire   : 995

Food and Drink

With its rich multicultural heritage, the city services up to a true melting pot of flavours and foods. Singapore’s cultural diversity is reflected in the array of local cuisines on the menu – Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan among others. Singapore also offers a wide range of international cuisines – from Mongolian and Korean food to Italian and French food and much more.

Health and Medical Care

Singapore is a renowned medical tourism hub, with patients from all over the world coming to the country for essential and elective medical procedures. The prevalence of excellent healthcare facilities also makes it easier for regular tourists who happen to fall ill or get injured in Singapore.

A General Practitioner (GP) is a great way to start — both for travel medicine, and for minor ailments and injuries. GP clinics are generally found in most neighbourhoods, in anything from shopping malls to HDB residential estates. You will normally be seen without an appointment, and the doctor will be able to prescribe drugs on the spot, which you can buy from the clinic itself.

More complex or serious problems are best seen at a hospital. The biggest public hospitals are Singapore General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital and offer healthcare services of almost all types. Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Glenagles Hospital are large private hospitals where you will also find a range of medical services.

Insurance

You are advised to arrange your own adequate travel and medical insurance against medical treatment, accidents, cancellation of bookings, etc.

Internet

You will have access to free Wi-Fi at the conference venue.

Language

The four official languages are English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. English is the working language and is widely spoken throughout Singapore.

Money Changers

Money changing services can be found not only at the Singapore Changi Airport but also most shopping centres and hotels aournd the island.

Postal Services

Singapore Post has about 1,300 postal outlets island-wide for your convenience and most of the branches are open Monday through Friday from 0830h to 1700h and until 1300h on Saturday. For more information visit http://www.singpost.com/

Shopping and Opening Hours

From niche luxury boutiques to streetside flea markets, shopping doesn’t get any better than here in the shopping paradise that is Singapore – whatever your budget. Opening hours vary; the standard is from 1000h to 2200h. For more information on shopping in Singapore, please visit http://www.visitsingapore.com/en_in/singapore-shopping.html

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited in air-conditioned areas such as shopping centres, restaurants, entertainment outlets and cinemas, lifts and on public transportation, e.g. buses, MRT trains and taxis. There is also a smoking ban imposed on public eateries and within a five-metre radius from most building entrances, except for allocated smoking areas that are clearly marked with bright yellow paint. A  maximum fine of S$1,000 may be imposed on first-time offenders.

Tax Refund Schemes

While you are in Singapore, it is possible to get arefund on the seven percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on purchases. This is possible with retailerswho display the “Tax Refund” logo and when you spend S$100 or more in a single receipt. GST isrefunded directly to you at selected retailers, Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport on goods thatare brought out of Singapore. A handling fee for the refund service may be deducted from the GST amount.  Please note that tax refund is available for departure by air only. Refunds are available via the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS).

Telephone

Singapore’s international dialling code is + (65).

Tipping

Tipping is appreciated but not common practice because most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on customers‘ bills. Taxis are metered and there is no need to add a tip beyond the reading.

Tourist Information Office

Singapore Visitors Centre (SVC) at Arrival Halls in Changi Airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3

Opening Hours: 0600h to midnight daily (T3 until 0200h)

Nearest MRT Station: Changi Airport (CG2)

Singapore Visitors Centre @ Orchard

Opening Hours: 0830h – 1230h daily

Nearest MRT Station: Somerset (NS23)

Transportation

By Car

All drivers of foreign-registered vehicles can drive into Singapore for a maximum of 10 days in each calendar year without having to pay VEP (vehicle entry permit) fees. However, toll charges still apply. Toll charges are calculated on a per trip basis, to be paid on arrival and departure at the Tuas Checkpoint, but only on departure at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

By Taxi

The most convenient way around in Singapore is using taxis. In most parts of Singapore, it should be easy to hail a taxi without any problems. For groups or for those carrying a load of shopping or luggage, booking a taxi to a designated location is recommended.

Major taxi companies include:

Comfort Transportation Pte Ltd /CityCab Pte Ltd      : Tel.: +65 6552 1111

Premier Taxis Pte Ltd                                                  : Tel.: +65 6476 8880

Maxi Cab                                                                                 : Tel.: +65 6535 3534

SMRT Taxis                                                                 : Tel.: +65 6555 8888

By Train

Singapore’s MRT (mass rapid transit) system is probably the fastest way to zip around the city. The extensive rail network means that most of Singapore’s key attractions are within walking distance from an MRT station. You can buy tickets for single trips, but if you intend to use the MRT and basic bus services frequently during your visit, you can buy a Singapore Tourist Pass, a special EZ-Link stored-value card which will allow you unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16) or three days (S$20). The cards can be bought at the TransitLink Ticket Office at the following MRT stations―Orchard, City Hall, Raffles Place, Bayfront, Tanjong Pagar, Harbourfront, Chinatown, Farrer Park, Changi Airport, Bugis, Lavender, Jurong East, Kranji, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio―or at the Concession Card Replacement Office at Somerset station.

Train operation hours are from 0530h to about midnight daily and are usually extended during festive periods. The train frequency during peak hours of 0700h to 0900h is about 2 to 3 minutes and about 5 to 7 minutes during off-peak times. Singapore’s trains and stations are accessible to wheel chair users and the visually impaired, as well as families with strollers.

By Bus

Singapore’s bus system has an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore and is the most economical way to get around, as well as being one of the most scenic.

You can pay your bus fare using an EZ-Link stored-value card or the Singapore Tourist Pass, which you tap on the card reader located next to the driver as you board. Do remember to tap your card again, on the reader located at the rear exit, when you alight. You can also pay in cash but you need to have exact change. Most buses in Singapore have air-conditioning – a welcome comfort in a tropical city. For more information on Singapore Tourist Pass, please visit http://thesingaporetouristpass.com.sg/

Visa and Customs

Most foreigners coming into Singapore do not require visas for entry and may be given social visit passes for up to 30 days upon their arrival in Singapore. It is best to consult your local consular office for the latest information with regards to entering Singapore. Attendees who require an entry visa must allow sufficient time for the application procedure. Attendees should contact the nearest embassy or consulate to determine the appropriate timing of their visa applications. It is recommended to apply for a visa at least 3 months in advance.

The above information is accurate as of July 2017.  Please confirm with the relevant agencies for new updates, if any.