While the earliest known historical records of Singapore are shrouded in time, a third century Chinese account describes it as “Pu-luo-chung“, or the “island at the end of a peninsula”. Later, the city was known as Temasek (“Sea Town”), when the first settlements were established from AD 1298-1299.
During the 14th century, this small but strategically-located island earned a new name. According to legend, Sang Nila Utama, a Prince from Palembang (the capital of Srivijaya), was out on a hunting trip when he caught sight of an animal he had never seen before. Taking it to be a good sign, he founded a city where the animal had been spotted, naming it “The Lion City” or Singapura, from the Sanskrit words “simha” (lion) and “pura” (city).
The city was then ruled by the five kings of ancient Singapura. Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, the natural meeting point of sea routes, the city flourished as a trading post for vessels such as Chinese junks, Arab dhows, Portuguese battleships, and Buginese schooners.
The Singapore dollar is used here and notes come in denominations of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$50, S$100, S$1,000 and S$10,000. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and S$1.
Singapore is hot and humid all year-round, with temperatures usually reaching over 30°C. You should be prepared for rain at any time, which can be torrential but usually brief.
You will be able to speak English to Singaporeans, most of whom are fluent in it. Many Singaporeans also speak an additional language, usually Mandarin Chinese, Malay or Tamil.
Power Plug –
The standard electrical current used in Singapore is 220-240 volts AC (50 cycles) and you can use power plugs with three square prongs here.
Prepaid SIM card
If you wish to continue making calls and sending messages on your mobile phone, a good option will be to purchase a Singapore prepaid SIM card. All three local telcos – M1, Singtel and Starhub – offer a wide variety of packages, so take a little time to decide which plan best suits your needs. You can choose from bundles for local and international calls and SMSes and select varying amounts of local mobile data. Durations typically range from five to thirty or more days.
Prepaid SIM cards are easily purchased at the telcos’ retail counters and convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Cheers through the island, as well as at Singapore Changi Airport at Changi Recommends, currency exchange and telcos’ retail counters. You will have to produce your passport for registration when purchasing a prepaid SIM card.
You can also choose to connect to the Internet from multiple devices with a pocket Wi-Fi device. This is simply a mobile hotspot that provides data access via the cellphone network for your laptop, tablet and/or smartphone wherever you go in Singapore.
This is recommended if you carry a few devices, desire Wi-Fi connectivity and do not intend to make many phone calls. Pocket Wi-Fi devices are available for rental at the Changi Recommends counters at the Singapore Changi Airport, and you can conveniently drop off the devices at the Changi Recommends counters just before your return flight. There are other pocket Wi-Fi rental companies available in Singapore, and if you prefer to search and pre-register online, these companies offer easy delivery and return of the pocket Wi-Fi device to and from your hotel.
Free Public Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi hotspots are also widely available at various public areas in Singapore. Here are some options.
This is a free public Wi-Fi service across Singapore, with hotspots available at many locations, including malls, museums, public libraries, community centres, MRT stations, Changi Airport and Sentosa island. An updated list of hotspot coverage is available here. You can also look out for the Wireless@SG decal on display wherever this network is available, as well as the SSID Wireless@SG on your device. To get connected, register for an account with your foreign mobile number at any Wireless@SG hotspot and you will receive your login details via an SMS message. Overseas charges may apply.
Free Wi-Fi service is available in the transit areas of Changi Airport with #WiFi@Changi. Find out more here.
Free Wi-Fi service is offered and available for login at some shopping malls, restaurants and cafes in Singapore. This service is usually displayed prominently for customers but do feel free to enquire directly or at the malls’ information counters for Wi-Fi access.
Source: Your Singapore
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