Population – 4.6 million, Area – 271.8 sq. mi. (704 sq. km.), Currency – Singapore Dollar (SGD, $) and Cents, Flight times – From UK it takes 14-15 hours, from New York it is an 18 hour flight, Cities - Singapore, Time Zone - GMT +8, Weather - Warm and humid; November and December is the rainy season, Languages - English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, Religion:- Buddhism - 42.5%, No religion - 14.8%, Christianity - 14.6%, Islam - 13.9%, Taoism - 8.5%, Hinduism - 4%, Other religions - 1.6%, Electricity - 230V/50Hz (British Plug); power outlets accept only flat three pin plugs.
Singapore's immediate neighbors are Malaysia to the north and Indonesia to the south. Singapore is linked to Peninsular Malaysia by a 1,056-m-long causeway, which carries a road, a railway and a water pipeline across the Strait of Johore.
Medical Tourism in Singapore is an upcoming field. Singapore's strategic location, exceptional healthcare facilities, captivating cultural contrasts and varied tourist attractions contribute to its success as one of the world’s leading destinations for both medical tourism and pleasure.
Singapore is emerging as an excellent health care destination due to its excellent health care service, quality, safety, trustworthiness and advanced research and international accreditation. Many of the hospitals and clinics in Singapore have obtained JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditation. Many people travel to Singapore from all over the world to get quality treatment in areas like Cardiac care, Cosmetic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Dental procedures.
Singapore is a state deserving of its reputation for cleanliness, order and its ultra-high standard of private medical care. While in no means as cheap as say, India or Thailand, the medical staffs have a good command over English and the healthcare infrastructure is easily comparable with those in US and Europe.
The inhabitants of the Malaysian peninsula and the island of Singapore first migrated to the area between 2500 and 1500 B.C. British and Dutch interest in the region grew with the spice trade, the trading post of Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles. It was made a separate Crown colony of Britain in 1946, when the former colony of the Straits Settlements was dissolved. The other two settlements on the peninsula—Penang and Malacca—became part of the Union of Malaya, and the small island of Labuan was transferred to North Borneo. The Cocos (or Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island were transferred to Australia in 1955 and in 1958, respectively.
Singapore attained full internal self-government in 1959, and Lee Kwan Yew, an economic visionary with an authoritarian streak, took the helm as prime minister. On Sept. 16, 1963, Singapore joined Malaya, Sabah (North Borneo), and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia. It withdrew from the federation on Aug. 9, 1965, and a month later proclaimed itself a republic.
Festivals & Events:
The most important festival of the Chinese culture, Chinese New Year is a 15-day celebration of the New Year according to the lunar calendar and a huge occasion in Singapore. It was originally called Chun Kie, or Spring Festival, to celebrate the passing of winter and spring's promise of a fertile and prosperous growing season.
Thaipusam is an auspicious festival of the Hindus, celebrated in Singapore in the month of October according to the Hindu calendar, which fall either in the month of January or February. Thaipusam is the day of when the Goddess Parvati asked his son Murugan to annihilate the demons. In Singapore, the devotees begin their ceremonial journey by observing dietary retractions, meditation and prayers.
Vesak or Buddha Day is an important Buddhist Festival of the Theravada Buddhists, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and salvation of Buddha. The festival is celebrated in Singapore on the full moon day of the Lunar month of Vesakh, which falls on 30th April in Singapore. Vesak Day is observed in different manners all over the world.
Lantern Festival is celebrated in Singapore during late September or early October to honor Lord Buddha. It comes right after the Chinese New Year. The celebration of the festival includes lighting of the fireworks, folk dances, preparations of delicacies and making of lanterns.
Although touring Singapore is simple enough for DIY travelers, visitors with little time, or who want to delve deeper into local sights, can take advantage of convenient organized activities. Coach tours, Walking tours, River tours & cruises, and Trishaw tours.
Places of Interest
The Singapore Zoo or the Mandai Zoo as it is popularly called, is the finest zoo in the whole of Asia and one of the most beautiful in the world. It occupies twenty eight hectares of land and encompasses 315 species of animals with 2530 total number of varied animals in their natural habitat.
Jurong Bird Park: Features a huge, open air dome, a 30m waterfall, and thousands of free ranging birds. Attractions include a flamingo lake, pelican cove and underwater viewing gallery.
Orchard Road is a major shopping street in the city of Singapore. The road derives its name from the nutmeg, fruit and pepper orchard trees that lined the road in the 1830’s and which still provide shade and shelter today. The road is elaborately decorated and lit up each year for Christmas. Ngee Ann City is the largest shopping mall on the road and other malls and hotels here include the Plaza Singapura, the Wisma Atria, the Paragon, the Hilton Singapore and more. There are also several museums, restaurants and eateries situated on the street. It offers everything from premium apparel brands and Southeast Asian antiques to the latest electronics and kitschy souvenirs.
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