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Living in Singapore

Living in Singapore


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Being a consistent top performer in Mercer’s Quality of Living surveys and the top-ranked Asian city in the 2012 survey, Singapore has taken the work-live-play approach very much to heart. Singapore is recognised as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the world. The public transport system and healthcare services are world-class. This provides a dynamic business environment and creates plenty of work opportunities locally and overseas. There are numerous schools catering to the education needs of expatriate children. It is one of the push factors that make Singapore a great place to raise a family.

The arts and culture scene here is thriving and growing. A host of acclaimed museums, such as the ArtScience Museum located at the luxurious Marina Bay district and countless theatre and musical productions at world-class venues like The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

FOOD

Singapore is a huge gastronomic draw for the expatriates staying here. The lively dining and entertainment scene offers some of the best cuisine in Asia, as well as unique street food better known as “hawker food” locally. During one of the visit by Michelin-starred and celebrity chef of top TV shows (Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef US & Hotel Hell) Gordan Ramsay, he took part in the much-talked about food challenge with the Singapore’s hawkers. We are proud to win the challenge! So don’t forget to try some of the famous local dishes like Chicken Rice, Chili Crab and Laksa. Popular areas for nice hawker food includes Old Airport Road Hawker Centre, Lau Pa Sat at Shenton Way, Changi Village, Geylang, etc. Fast food restaurants like McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Mos Burger, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut, etc, are conveniently located in various shopping malls and even have delivery services. Because of the multi-racial society, Singapore is a country offering countless delicacies, with Chinese, Malay, Indian and western food being the major food cultures. Seafood is also of high quality here.

WEATHER

Singapore is located near the equator, approximately 01 degrees North and 103 degree East. Being an island surrounded by straits and seas, the humidity is on the high side and and without four seasons. However, rain fall tends to increase towards the end of the year with mid year having the least rainfall. Singapore’s sunny weather makes water sports and outdoor activities with your loved ones suitable all-year-round! The city of greenery has a wide variety of well-tended green spaces and exercise facilities available. Some of the popular parks including the East Coast Park and the Botanical Gardens, is a perfect place for a jog or to enjoy a picnic on the lawns.

Golf lovers can enjoy a game of golf at the beautiful Marina Bay’s 18-hole golf course. For the water sports enthusiast, Singapore is the place for you; with waterfront parks such as the Kallang Riverside Park that allows you to enjoy the pristine sea and sun. Singapore is also ploughing resources into the state-of-the-art sporting facilities such as the Sports Hub in Kallang, which will be ready in 2014.

CONNECTIVITY

Connectivity in Singapore is beyond excellence. Public transportation consist of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains, buses and taxis. government vendors; SMRT and SBS Transit. As bus routes increase faster these days, some websites are useful to find out things like bus routes or public transport journey planner.

There are several quasi-government taxi vendors. They all provide telephone booking support. With the wide adoption of smart phones, booking phone apps are also available today. Bookings may be immediate or advance and surcharge applies. Per jump in fare is approximately $0.22 for every 350 to 400 metres or every 45 seconds waiting. Below are the telephone numbers to book a taxi in Singapore.

Comfort & City Cab –   6552 1111
SMRT Taxi –   6555 8888
Trans Cab –   6555 3333
Premier Taxi (Silver Cab) –   6363 6888
Prime Taxi –   6778 0808
Yellow Top Cab –   6293 5545

The MRT network is governed by 2 major authorities; Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT. Below is the MRT & LRT map.

MRT map

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Uniquely multi-racial, Singapore may have a fair bit more public holidays. Below are the public holidays that Singapore has. You may want to plan for a short getaway during the long weekends.

  • New Year’s Day (01 January)
  • Chinese New Year’s Eve (last day of lunar calendar)
  • Chinese New Year (1st & 2nd day of lunar calendar)
  • Good Friday
  • Labour Day (01 May)
  • Vesak Day
  • Hari Raya Puasa
  • National Day (09 August)
  • Hari Raya Haji
  • Deepavali
  • Christmas Eve (24 December)
  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • New Year’s Eve (31 December)

INTO OUR NEIGHBOUR

Another fantastic connectivity that many overlooked are our 2 Causeways into Malaysia. You may choose to take bus, taxi or drive into the neighbouring country which expands your choice of food and shopping locations. The 1st Causeway is known as the Woodlands Checkpoint. With the implementation of Iskandar project by Malaysian government, the efficiency of Woodlands Checkpoint has been greatly improved with waiting time significantly reduced. Woodlands Checkpoint leads into the buzzling waterfront town of Johor Bahru that is growing to become a financial district. Primary users of this checkpoint seeks to do shopping in the malls in Johor Bahru.

The 2nd causeway is Tuas Checkpoint, which is a less crowded checkpoint but leads faster to the North-South Highway linking throughout other states of Malaysia. The other attractions across Tuas Checkpoint that lies in Nusajaya, which has growing number of shopping malls and family entertainment like LEGOLAND. Also, motorsports enthusiasts gets to enjoy two race tracks in Malaysia; Johor Circuit and Sepang International Circuit. Several annual motorsports events are held in Sepang International Circuit, like F1, MotoGP, World SBK, Japan GT, Malaysian Super Series, Asia Pacific Road Racing Competition, etc.