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Things that you need to know when visiting Singapore

Travelling tips

. The name Singapore
The name “Singapore” was derived from the Sanskrit term Simha or Singha, which means “Lion.” The lion is also the national animal of Singapore. Singapore is the English word for “Singapura,” which means Lion City. It was named like that because Sang Nila Utama, a king from Sumatera, saw a lion when he visited the island hundreds of years ago

2. The Singapore flag meaning

The Singapore flag meaning Red symbolizes universal brotherhood and equality of man while white signifies purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise and the five stars signify the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality.

3. Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay” is a park in Singapore spreading across 250 acres of land. It has three waterfront gardens: Bay East Garden, Bay South Garden, and Bay Central Garden. The whole park is known for its beautiful design and architecture. This park consists of 18 supertrees that act as vertical gardens and also generates solar power. They work as air venting ducts for nearby conservatories. Singapore has the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, which is a towering 35 meters high! It’s in Gardens by the Bay, which is an indoor garden housing over 500,000 plants from across the world.

4. Singapore Flyer

Singapore-Flyer is the second-largest wheel in the world. The glass-cabins of this wheel is air-conditioned & UV protected, It moves so slowly (0.24m per second, or 0.76km/h.) that even identifying whether the wheel is rotating or standing still is difficult  Singapore Flyer measures 165 meters in height – about the height of a 42-story building. To amuse your child, describe the height as “31 male giraffes stacked on top of one another”. The average height of a giraffe is 5.3 meters. Each capsule is 4 meters x 7 meters – about the size of a city bus. There are 28 capsules. Each capsule can carry up to 28 passengers. total capacity per revolution is 784 passengers. Initially, the wheel turned in a counterclockwise direction, if viewed from Marina Centre, but its direction was reversed on the 4th of August 2008 upon advice from a Feng-Shui expert. The view from Singapore Flyer opens up a magnificent panorama of the city and the Singapore Bay from a bird’s eye view. You may even catch a glimpse of the coasts of Malaysia and Indonesia!

5. Changi Airport

Changi Airport, in Singapore, is the 15th busiest airport in the world. It serves more than 51 million passengers a year. The airport is very big with superb construction. In fact, it is ranked as the best airport in the world. Changi Airport has a butterfly garden, it features flowering plants, a six-meter waterfall and 1,000 butterflies from 40 species.  a rooftop swimming pool and jacuzzi from which you can watch planes taking off, a collection of rare orchids, 500 bright yellow sunflowers,  decorative mosaic sculptures, and the Entertainment Deck, home to Xbox 360s and a free 24-hour cinema, All travelers enjoy free Wi-Fi since 2002 and free city tours if they are waiting for a connecting flight.

6. Singapore is an island country

Singapore is an island country with 63 small islands of which only one is inhabited by a majority of the population the rest remains mostly uninhabited. These include Sentosa (the largest of the 62 offshore islands), Pulau Ubin, St John’s Island, and Sisters’ Islands. 

7. Singapore is one of the smallest countries

Singapore is one of the twenty smallest countries in the world, the total land area is only about 425 square miles. Its area is roughly 276 square miles. Singapore's territory features both the mainland and other islands. The mainland's measurements are roughly 17 miles from north to south and 31 miles from east to west, with 120 miles of coastline. The Straits of Johor separate the state from Malaysia while the Singapore Strait separates it from Indonesia. The largest of Singapore's outlying islands are Sentosa, Jurong Island, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Tekong. Singapore has been able to expand its territory by reclaiming land using earth acquired from the seabed, its hills, and neighboring nations. The United States is about 15,000 times bigger compared to the total land area of Singapore.

8. Singapore National Day

The National Day of Singapore is celebrated on 9th August every year, to cheer Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in the year 1965. The inaugural National Day Parade (NDP) was held at the Padang in 1966 to commemorate where Singapore declared its independence. The average Parade & Ceremony involves over 2,000 people who have gone through 200 hours of training before the grand day. The parade was held in the morning till 1973 when it became an early evening event to attract more attention from the public. It proved to be such a huge success, that the parade has continued to start at 5.30 pm to this day.

9. World’s first-night safari zoo

The world’s first-night safari zoo was opened in Singapore on 3 May 1994. This Night Safari took almost seven years to complete at the cost of S$62.5 million. The night-time zoo was initially named the Asian Night Safari with a focus on Asian species but was later renamed the Night Safari. It is the Brain Child of Ong Swee Law (the zoo’s former chairman) he suggested creating an open space for nocturnal animals to go free-range. There are over 2,500 animals currently housed at the Night Safari, spanning more than 130 species, 37 percent of which are endangered. It’s completely separate from the Singapore Zoo.

10. Singapore – One of The Three Sovereign City-States in the World

Singapore is one of only three surviving city-states in the world because Singapore doesn’t have a capital. The other two are Monaco and Vatican City. A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government. A city-state can also be defined as a central city and its surrounding villages, which together follow the same law, have one form of government, and share languages, religious beliefs, and ways of life.

11. Huge taxes to own a car

Singapore's government makes owning a vehicle extremely expensive through high taxes (a car is taxed at least 100 percent of its open market value, for instance) as well as requiring something called a certificate of entitlement. The price of obtaining a COE has risen considerably over the past few years. The cost of obtaining a permit to own a car can easily approach SGD 90k. This system means that only about 15 percent of Singaporeans own a car. It keeps the roads fairly clear for such a small island.  It must be noted that the banks are not required to give the car buyer the maximum loan quantum even though the present regulations allows for the maximum of 70% and 60% based on the respective categories.

12. Chewing gum is banned 

The Singapore chewing gum ban has been in place since 1992. Since 2004, an exception has existed for therapeutic, dental, or nicotine chewing gum,  which can be bought from a doctor or registered pharmacist. It is currently not illegal to chew gum in Singapore, merely to import it and sell it, apart from the aforementioned exceptions. Tourists visiting Singapore are allowed to bring in up to two packs of chewing gum per person.

13. Singapore Population

Singapore comes second in the list of the world’s most densely populated countries 6,430 people per square km., after Monaco. There are 5.3 million people living in Singapore. Only 3.2 million (about 60%) are citizens. Non-citizens contribute to 40% of the Singapore population. Today, the population is estimated to be 5.5 million. Immigration into the Island has played a critical role in realizing the current population figure. As the government’s recent campaigns to increase the fertility ratio from 1.20 to 2.1 have been futile, the government has been forced to amend its immigration policies to accommodate the increasing labor demands caused by the Island’s industrialization.

14. Singapore has the world's fastest walkers

According to research by the British Council, Singaporeans have the fastest walking speed. On average, we walk a distance of 18 meters in 10.55 seconds. That’s approximately 6.15km in an hour! The study showed pedestrians were upping their pace at an alarming rate as they scurried from place to place, determined to cram as much as possible into each day. Scientists say it is symptomatic of a modern life driven by email, text messages and a need to be available 24 hours a day.


Malay, Chinese, English, and Tamil are all official languages. Almost everyone speaks English, which is the business and administrative language. Most of the school curriculum is also in English, which was selected as a national language partly as a way of unifying Singapore's different ethnic groups. Subway station names and signs on buses are written in all four official languages: Malay Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, and English. Schooling is available in all four of Singapore’s languages. 

16. It is illegal to not flush the toilet in Singapore

Not flushing the toilet is more than just a breach of propriety in Singapore, you will be breaking the law if you do so. Expect to pay a fine if you get caught. Don’t even think of urinating in elevators, as they are equipped with Urine Detection Devices (UDD), which detect the scent of urine, setting off an alarm and closing the doors until the police arrive to arrest the offender.

17. Power of Singapore passport

Singapore is the only country on earth whose citizens don't need a Visa to enter North Korea, South Korea, China or the United States.  The Singapore passport is ranked as one of the most powerful passports in the world.  Singapore Passport holders have very few travel restrictions around the world. A Singapore Passport holder enjoys liberal visa requirements especially while traveling to 188 countries on earth.

18. Singapore home of millionaires

Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least $1,000,000 US dollars in disposable wealth. This is according to the Credit Suisse Research Institute's 2018 Global Wealth Report released on Thursday (Oct 18), which found that household wealth in Singapore grew strongly at 7.4 percent to around US$1.3 trillion. Credit Suisse said Singapore's wealth per adult has increased more than 146 percent since 2000, mainly from high savings, asset price increases and a rising exchange rate from 2005 to 2012.

19. Tissue paper on tables

Singaporeans put tissue paper on tables in hawker centers (open-air public communal eating places) to 'book' their seats while they go around buying food.   sometimes name cards, office access cards, and umbrellas. It is an unwritten social rule, something that everyone has subtlety agreed. 

20. Urine Detection Device in an elevator

It's illegal to pee in an elevator in Singapore, and that some elevators have a Urine Detection Device which detects urine odors, sets off an alarm, and close the elevator doors until the police arrive. Fines depend on where you do it (and how often) but are between $300 to $2000 with the chance of corrective work order.

21. Feeding pigeons are illegal in Singapore

You might not think it's a big deal to toss your leftover sandwich bread to pigeons, but think twice when you're in Singapore because feeding the birds here will cost you $500.

22. Greenest cities in the world

Singapore is one of the greenest cities in the world, Singapore has 30% land as garden Almost 30 percent of Singapore’s area is covered by greenery. According to the study, almost 30% of the city-state is covered by trees and vegetation, which is nearly 4% more than joint second-place cities Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada, which both have 25.9%. Nicknamed the City in a Garden, Singapore’s top place spot is no surprise. Parks such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the Botanic Gardens and the newer Gardens by the Bay super park – home to around 400,000 plants – have no doubt contributed to its winning place. The city also has a considerable number of roof gardens and ‘skyrise’ greenery on building facades – in fact, this type of greenery alone has increased from 61 hectares in 2013 to 72 hectares in 2015.Singapore’s National Parks Board also manages around two million individual trees along streets, and in parks.

23. Singapore has changed our timezone 6 times since 1905

From 1905 to 1932, Singapore was 7 hours ahead of GMT. From 1933 to 1941, we moved our clocks forward 20 minutes for daylight savings but then changed it to 30 minutes from 1941 to 1942. During the Japanese occupation in World War II, our clocks were synced with Tokyo, to become 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of the previous time zone. It reverted back to 7 hours 30 minutes ahead of GMT after the occupation ended. The most recent switch was in 1982 when our clocks were synchronized with neighboring Malaysia.

24. Singapore land area expanded by 25% in the past 200 years

Over the years, the total land area has increased from 578km² in 1819, to 719km² today. This gradual increase in the land surface is not because of tectonic movements or divine intervention, but rather the miracle of a man-made engineering feat known as land reclamation. The quest for land is as old as time immemorial; one of the reasons nations go to war is to gain new territory to support a growing population. Land-scarce Singapore, however, has elected to create new land by reclaiming it from the rivers and the seas.
identification number for trees

25. Tree with unique ID number

Every single tree along the highway and urban areas have an ID number comprising a species code, year it was planted and a six-digit serial number.

26. Only Singapore citizens can buy landed properties in Singapore

Only Singapore citizens can buy landed properties in Singapore. Not Permanent Resident (PR) or foreigners can invest in any landed property. Privilege is given only to Singapore citizens. If you’re not a citizen, but you’ve been a Permanent Resident (PR) for at least five years, you can apply. That having been said, things aren’t that straightforward – applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration several factors including whether you’ve made “exceptional economic contribution” to Singapore.

27. Best education 

Singapore’s mathematics and science education is one of the best in the world, and we have been producing textbooks for students all over the world.

28. Stealing Wifi

You may be subject to a jail sentence an a hefty 10000$ fine for logging into someone else's WiFi without their permission.  under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, stealing wifi counts as ‘Unauthorised use or interception of computer service’, which is similar to hacking.

29. “Hug Me” Coca-Cola machine in Singapore

There is a “Hug Me” coke machine in Singapore that gives out free coke cans to people who hug it! This awesome idea is nothing, but the Open Happiness campaign initiated by the manufacturing company. This campaign has been created and designed to aim the young crowd and it is currently being tested in Singapore.

30. The highest natural point of Singapore

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the only hill dipterocarp forest in Singapore. This is unique as such a forest type usually occurs in regions that are 300 meters to 762 meters above sea-level. The Nature Reserve also contains Singapore’s tallest hill - the Bukit Timah Hill - that stands sentinel over the area at 163m. It also contains at least 40 percent of Singapore’s native flora and fauna even though it makes up less than 1 percent (0.2 percent) of the country’s area. It is home to animals such as the Plantain Squirrel, the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the Singapore Freshwater Crab - a very rare species of crab that can only be found in Singapore.

32. Not so tall

Buildings in Singapore cannot be higher than 280 meters, There are presently three buildings of that height: OUB Centre, UOB Plaza and Republic Plaza.

33.highest man-made waterfall

Jurong Falls is one of the tallest artificial waterfalls in the world, at 30 meters (98 ft) tall. The falls are located within the open-access Waterfall Aviary at the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. Designed with a rainforest landscape, the Waterfall Aviary is a 20,000-square-metre (4.9-acre) walk-in aviary, the second largest in the world, that houses some 1,500 free-flying birds from 80 African species and 10,000 plants with 125 species of trees, bamboo, palms, and ground-cover vegetation. Two observation posts at the top of the waterfall offer visitors panoramic views of the aviary.

34. Jaywalking is a crime in Singapore

Jaywalking, defined as crossing the road within 50 meters of a crossing zone, can cost you a $20 fine. But offenders can also be charged and fined up to $1,000 or jailed for a maximum of three months. Get caught doing it again and you may be fined up to $2,000 of jailed a maximum of six months.

35. First platinum coin 

The first platinum coin was the S$500 Platinum Proof Coin issued in 1990 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Singapore's Independence.

36. The largest fountain in the world

The largest fountain in the world is located in Singapore at Suntec City. Made of cast bronze, it cost an estimated US$6 million to build in 1997

37. National anthem on a note

Did you know that the entire lyrics of the Singapore national anthem are printed on the back of the $1000 Portrait series banknote in microprint For all other denominations, only the words Majulah Singapura is used ‘Majulah Singapura’ is Singapore’s national anthem. Written in the official language of Malay, it is translated as ‘Onward Singapore’. The national anthem of Singapore was composed in 1958 by Zubir Said, initially as a theme song for the official functions of the City Council of Singapore. Later in 1959, this song was selected as the island’s anthem upon attaining self-government.

Team ExploreBees


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