Facts at a Glance

About Singapore - Facts at a GlanceAbout Singapore - Facts at a GlanceAbout Singapore - Facts at a Glance

This page covers information and statistics of Singapore. Including events and holidays in Singapore, population, land size, the Singapore flag and other useful tips.

Events and Public Holidays

Singapore's polyglot population celebrates a number of festivals and events. Chinese, Hindu and Muslim celebrations follow a lunar calendar so dates of festivities vary from year to year.

Chinese New Year, in January or February, is welcomed in with dragon dances, parades and much good cheer. Chinatown is lit up and there are fireworks and night markets.

During Ramadan, food stalls are set up in the evening in the Arab Street district, near the Sultan Mosque. Hari Raya Puasa, the end of Ramadan in January or February, is marked by three days of joyful celebrations.

Vesak Day in April or May celebrates Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. It is marked by various events, including the release of caged birds to symbolise the setting free of captive souls.

The Dragon Boat Festival, held in May or June, commemorates the death of a Chinese saint who drowned himself as a protest against government corruption. It is celebrated with boat races across Marina Bay.

The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts is usually celebrated in September. This is when the souls of the dead are released for feasting and entertainment on earth. Chinese operas are performed for them and food is offered; the ghosts eat the spirit of the food but thoughtfully leave the substance for the mortal celebrants.

The festival of Thaipusam is one of the most dramatic Hindu festivals and is now banned in India. Devotees honour Lord Subramaniam with acts of amazing body-piercing masochism - definitely not for the squeamish. In Singapore, devotees march in procession from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road to the Chettiar Hindu Temple on Tank Road. The festival is based on the lunar calendar but will be held in October for the next couple of years.

Public Holidays in 2016

New Year’s Day

1 January 2016

Chinese New Year

8 February - 9 February 2016

Good Friday

25 Mar 2016

Labour Day

1 May 2016

Vesak Day

21 May 2016

Hari Raya Puasa

6 July 2016

National Day

9 August 2016

Hari Raya Haji

12 September 2016


29 October 2016

Christmas Day

25 December 2016

Facts and Figures

Quick Facts

Full country name:

Republic of Singapore


715.8 sq km


5,312,400 (36% foreigners)


74% Chinese, 13% Malay, 9% Indian, 3% Others


English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil


9% Taoist, 42% Buddhist, 15% Muslim,
15% Christian, 4% Hindu, 15% Others


Parliamentary democracy


Tony Tan

Prime Minister:

Lee Hsien Long

Major industries:

Shipping, banking, tourism, electrical & electronics, chemicals, oil refining

Major trading partners:

US, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan

Health risks:





220-240V, 50 Hz

County code:


Mobile Phone network:

GSM 900, GSM 1800, 3G, 4G

Weights & measures:

Metric with local variations

General Information


The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. Notes come in denominations of SGD 2, SGD 5, SGD 10, SGD 20, SGD 50, SGD 100, SGD 500, SGD 1,000, and SGD 10,000. Coins come in denomination of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and SGD 1.

Banking hours are Monday to Friday: 10 am to 3 pm, and Saturday: 9.30 am to 1 PM (some banks are open until 3 PM). Sunday, 9.30 am to 3 PM (some banks in Orchard Road). Most banks handle travelers' cheques and change foreign currencies. However, some banks do not have foreign exchange dealings on Saturday. Passports are required when cashing travelers' cheques. A nominal commission may be charged.

Credit / Charge Cards

Major cards are widely accepted by establishments in Singapore. Should any shop insist on adding a surcharge, contact the respective card company to report the errant shop-owner.

Drinking Water

It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers always have ample stocks.


Visas: Most Western nationals either do not require a visa at all or do not require a visa for a social stay of up to 90 days. A 30-day permit is issued on arrival, and extensions are difficult to obtain.


Singapore's government is strict on drug laws, with the death penalty applied for drug trafficking. It is also against the entry of firearms, controlled drugs, endangered species of wildlife, chewing gum and cigarette lighters in the shape of a firearm. Smoking in public buses, the MRT, taxis, lifts and air-conditioned places is also deemed against the law; with fines up to S$1,000. The government is also adamant that littering is an offence and carries penalties of a fine of S$1,000 or more; and also a stint of corrective work order.


Tipping is seldom necessary, as a 7% goods and services tax (GST) and a service charge of 10% is usually added automatically (though always double-check the bill). However it is customary to spare a few dollars for efficient waiters, bellboys and taxi drivers.

Singapore Flag

The colours of the Singapore flag represent red for brotherhood and equality; white for purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise. The five stars stand for Singapore's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

The crescent moon originally served as a symbol of assurance to the Malays in 1959 —the year the flag was designed— that Singapore was not a Chinese state. Today it is generally said that the moon signified a young nation rising. The flag was designed initially to have three stars, until leaders such as then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye expressed concern that Singapore might be perceived to have associations with the Malayan Communist Party, the flag of which also had three stars. The flag was originally meant to be red as red is a very traditional Chinese color. But because of the fear of Communism in those days, a completely red flag was abandoned.

The Singapore Flag

Related Page

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

Yeah maybe they are all bullshit, IDK. Actually my time will divided into two, I need to go to Phillippines for 4-5 days. I'll reserve the BnB for the first 10 days, but during that time will see if I can get something lined up for the other 10 days in August.

Then again I may not have the patience to wade through the bullshit. I'll report back with what I find, just for fun :)

Re: Singapore shipping customs

Strong Eagle:

The customs folks aren't out to whack people like you... they are actually quite reasonable. They are after entirely different game.

They require that everyone declare because if they do catch a big fish, the law's been broken.

I really wouldn't sweat it.

Re: Singapore shipping customs

TBH I think you're over-worrying. You do have to itemise/list media, every single CD, DVD, etc, but we never give a thought to what meds we relo with into SG. .
So there will be various remnants of prescription meds, and we've never had copies of original prescriptions on us, NOR felt any necessity at all to declare any of these products on any customs forms.
I reckon absolute worst case is a tiny chance they happen to find something and ask you to explain it. So you explain, perhaps getting a copy of the original prescription as proof if needs be. That said, I've never heard of anything like even this happening before...

Re: looking for any investment opportunity in Singapore

How about starting by describing your circumstances, assets and goals?


Re: Singapore shipping customs

Thanks a lot for the reply. It's just I know how strict they 'can' be here in Sin. The meds are nothing fancy, Antibiotics, pain meds like co-codomol ok, some breast cancer meds (belonging to mom)and fertility meds. No 'party drugs' as they say. I guess we just gotta wait and see - I suppose worst case I'm looking at a big fine and confiscation...lets hope neither.

Re: Climbing, bouldering - regionally

Jeez no I don't want to hehe... :-D Hard enough walking to an 'Eagle's Night' meet-up at the pub these days never mind home afterwards ;) But as I said the question has been asked before, and within the past year, hence my pre-emptively linking it just in case for the future. And I thought the site was laid out well and gave useful background and all the strategy, route approach, route-options and more technical aspects etc.
As I understand it granite has the advantage of being very stable. So any bolted lines should remain usable/reliable far longer than those in say the more usual regional limestone and sandstone.

Nice description you give there. I spent a few months camped out expeditioning in the remote Amazon so can imagine what you describe. Interesting too as despite knowing Tioman well I don't think I've met anyone who has climbed that peak. Did you also do the hike from Tekek over to Juara? I know a few people who have ... that sounds like an interesting and challenging hike.

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist


'Chill mahn' ;)
Ah, so you've set yourself up for a challenge now. Can you find an ad for say a legit unit in SG, for say a 7-day stay. Where you pay the owner or his agent when you collect the keys? Where you know the location and preferably name of the building, and it all checks out?

looking for any investment opportunity in Singapore

I will like to seek the advice of everyone out there to tell me the type of investment opportunity which are good and favorable in Singapore. Need advice

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist

On the London site, things don't look right either... example:

'GBP60 / 2br - Glamorous Apartment In West London! (Ifield Rd, Kensington)
The apartment is a bright 40sqm, completely refurbished accommodation that is fully furnished to welcome up to 8 guests, making it the perfect choice for a holiday with family or a group of friends. '

The building clearly in view through the window in pic2 is 'The Gherkin' building in the City *6 miles away* lol!
The pictured unit appears materially more than 430ft (430 = a typical studio-flat perhaps a roughly 20*20' studio + a small bathroom, no separate kitchen never mind a 'dine-in kitchen'). The windows appear hotel-style, i.e. ALu framed and only partially openable. It's fitted out like a serviced apartment too.
The price is suspiciously cheap, considering short-lets (3-6 months) cost about double what a 12-24 month TA would cost. Holiday lets with even higher turn over of tenants, hassle, wear+tear, voids, etc etc would need to be priced even higher.

ps. noted Ecu, thanks, haven't used it before and obviously will avoid it like the plague in future.
pps @ Ecu - MrsJR8 just got home and I asked her Q. ''

Re: RE: Any VPN experts here ???

Strong Eagle:
He just wants to route everything to whatever VPN the Fibre provider does.

Then the OP needs two things.

a) Needs to know the brand, protocol, and type of VPN server the fibre provider is using
b) Needs to find a router with a compatible built in client

The second one won't be so easy. Asus provides routers with clients. Or, the OP can flash a router with DD-WRT and set it up himself. The router then negotiates the VPN connection with the fibre provider.

I really don't see the point, though. This is all hard wired (in this case, at least partly fiber optic) data transmission. One would need to have direct access to connection points... routers, bridges, etc... to be able to intercept the stream, then identify the packets belonging to the OP.

Sure... the NSA has this backdoor capability and the computing power to extract individual data streams... but the average hacker? I don't think so.

Re: Any VPN experts here ???


Here's what I would ideally like to do ---

I would like to force connections from my home through a VPN. I understand that my access will most probably slow down but I accept that downside.

I believe there is some hardware available that will sit between my incoming fibre box and the router to do this job.

Can anyone advise? Or point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

- John
I am not sure if you will manage to find such router and the reason I think so, is, you need a pair client server. Although there are some standardised protocols I believe, normally the server needs a match with dedicated client so you would need a specific client software (or proprietary protocol) on your router to connect to a specific VPN server. Normally people are pretty happy using software clients without channeling the whole traffic via the VPN link what combined with the client-server matchmaking gives rather limited market.

Having said that, if you are sufficiently skilled and still insist on such solution, I would look if anything is available under openwrt and similar software router platforms. For example, I see no reason why such strategy could be not implemented with a router running the openwrt with an openvpn client and a vpn server running the openvpn server.

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist


Yeah, I didn't think of them :( :( My bad ... I am gonna look for a shovel now :p :-k

Come to think of it... are these ads from the real CL site, or is the site a spoof of CL?

Almost 90% of more of ads in CL are scam, including those offering jobs, services and what nots. And the apartment rentals.

Seems the advertisers are doing ok because of the victims who keep falling for it :p Somebody has got the maths right there.

of course, CL doesn't go about vetting the ads, and only when somebody reports the ad, they remove it.

Re: Singapore shipping customs

Strong Eagle:

Since he realized that he packed the meds, it's unlikely that he declared them.

It's also quite unlikely that anything is going to happen. The inbound shipment may or may not be inspected, and if it is inspected it may be rather cursory or it could be extensive... something that is relatively rare, and in my opinion, probably related to the origin of the shipment.

I'd just wait. If the meds were to be discovered in an inspection, I would

a) Explain the the shipper piled everything into one box
b) Have doctor's presriptions for the meds in question

I know a fellow who moved from KL to Singapore with a container that had hundreds of DVD's in it, none declared, an oversight, just like yours. Nothing happened.

Re: RE: Any VPN experts here ???


Secure to where? Every VPN requires a client and a server to make the connection. If the OP wants to make secure inbound connections to his home network then see my other post. But you can't just have a one sided VPN connection.

He just wants to route everything to whatever VPN the Fibre provider does.

I left it with my suggestion as I don't have time to go after his requirements :)

I have done such VPN set ups, for clients in SG who want all internet to go via their HQ network in US or Europe. Route to secure network, and secure network would be the remote server. Provided, "PROVIDED" the remote side routes all of via the remote gateway.

In theory and practice, it's possible, but with Fibre, no, I don't know yet.

Re: Vacation rentals on Craigslist


Haha do you think I just learned about AirBnB here? That's the reason for having a forum, do discuss such things. I'm sure there are still great deals to be had on CL, not all 700 listings are scams.