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Singapore at a Glance
Area: 618 sq.km. Population: 3 million Climate: Tropical Electricity 220 - 240 Volts (3 pins) Banking Hours Mon-Fri :10 am - 3 pmSaturday : 6.30 am -11.30 pm Time Difference: Singapore is 8 hours ahead of GMT Visas: Required except for visitor with valid passport, return ticket and who does not intend to stay longer than 14 days Duty Free Customs: 1 litre wine or spirit No cigarette allowed. Foreign Exchange Control: No restrictions. Distance From Airport to City 20 Kms,Singapore has two airport - Changi International Airport Terminal One & Terminal Two Getting ThereBy air:
Singapore's Changi International Airport has 2 terminals - Terminal 1 and the newer, even more impressive Terminal 2 - each in themselves as international airports to match the world's best. They are connected by the Changi Skytrain, a monorail that shuttles between the two terminals. Terminal 2 is expected to handle Singapore's increasing air traffic well into the 21st century .
The following airlines uses Terminal 2:
Air France, Finnair, MAS, Myanma Airways, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Silk Air, Singapore Airlines and Swiss Air.
All other airlines use Terminal 1. The airport tax (Passenger Service Charge) from Changi is S$15, payable at check-in or you can purchase PSC coupons in advance at airline offices, travel agencies and major hotels.
Singapore does have another forgotten 'international' airport- the Seletar Airport which handles a few services for the smaller regional airlines. It is in the north of the island, and the easiest way to get there is to take a taxi ; the nearest MRT station is Yio Chu Kang. The airport tax from Seletar is only S$10.
Singapore's Changi International Airport is at extreme eastern end of the island, about 20 km from the city center. The public buses(catch them in the basement), taxis or the more expensive limousine services run along the expressway into the city center.
By Land: To/From Malaysia:
Bus - For Johor Bahru, SBS bus No 170 leaves from the Ban San terminal on the corner of Queen and Arab Streets ; the Bugis MRT is within walking distance. You can also catch the bus on Rochor Rd, Rochor Canal Rd. or Bukit Timah Rd. You can also take the express bus to Johor Bahru operated by Singapore-Johor Express Ltd (Tel: 6292-8149) which departs every 10 minutes, also from the Ban San terminal.
The bus stops at the Singapore checkpoint while you clear immigration-keep your ticket and you can just hop on the next one that comes along. The bus then stops at Malaysian immigration and customs at the other end of the Causeway, one km away. After clearing the Malaysian checkpoint, you can then catch the bus again (your ticket is still valid) to the Johor bus terminus, or you can walk to the town. Money exchanges, whose first offer will usually be less than the going rates, will approach you or there are plenty of banks and official money exchanges in Johor Bahru.
If you are travelling beyond Johor Bahru, it is easier to catch a long-distance bus straight from Singapore, but there is a greater variety of bus services from Johor Bahru and the fares are cheaper.
In Singapore, most of the long-distance buses to Malaysia leave from and arrive at the bus terminal on the corner of Lavender St. and Kallang Bahru,opposite the large Kallang Bahru complex. It is to the north-east of Bencoolen Street ,near the end of Jalan Besar. Take the MRT to Lavender station the bus No 5 or 61, otherwise it's a half-km walk. However,current plans are to move the Malaysia bus terminal to Beach Rd, near Arab St.
Pan Malaysia Express (Tel: 6294-7034) has buses to Kuala Lumpur (S$17.80) at 9 am, Mersing (S$11.10) at 8, 9, 10 am and 10 pm, Kuantan (S$16.50) at 9 and 10 am and 10 pm, and Kota Bharu (S$30.10) at 7.30 pm. Also at the bus station, Hasry-Ekoba (Tel: 6292-6243) has buses to Kuala Lumpur (S$17), Ipoh (S$24) and Taiping (S$26) at 7.30 and 9.30 pm, Penang (S$30) at 6.30, 7.30 and 8 pm, and Melaka at 8 am and 2.30 pm.Malacca-Singapore Express (6293-5915) has buses to Melaka at 8, 9, 10, 11 am and 1 ,2 ,3 and 4 pm. The fare is S$11 for an air-con bus and the trip takes six hours. Many travel agents also sell bus tickets to Malaysia.
Morning Star Travel (Tel: 6229-2221) is another agent right at the Lavender MRT station. They have buses to Kuala Lumpur (S$17) at 9.30 pm, Penang (S$35) at 8 pm, Alor Setar (S$36) at 6 pm and Kelaka (S$11) at 8.30 am. All buses leave from next to the MRT station, except for the Melaka bus which leaves from the Kallang Bahru terminal.
You can also catch buses to Kuala Lumpur from the Ban San station on the corner of Queen and Arab Streets. Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Express (Tel: 6292-8254) has buses to Kuala Lumpur at 9 am and 10 pm for (S$17.30).
Most of the buses are new and in immaculate condition with TV , toilet and air-conditioned. To Kuala Lumpur takes about eight hours. There's also a lunch and snack break on the way.
Singapore is the southern termination point for the Malaysian railway system. Malaysia has two main rail lines: the primary line going from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth, Alor Star and then into Thailand; and a second line branching off at Gemas and going right up through the center of the country to Tumpat, near Kota Bharu on the east coast.
The Singapore Railway Station (Tel: 6222-5165) for fare and schedule information is on Keppel Rd., South-west of Chinatown, about one km from the Tanjong Pagar MRT station.
Five trains go everyday to Kuala Lumpur. The Ekspres Rakyat leaves at 7.30 am (arrives 2.50 pm), the mail train at 8.30 am (arrives 7.05 pm), the Ekspres Sinaran Pagi at 1.30 pm (arrive 9.10 pm), a limited express train at 8 pm (arrive 6.15 am) and the Sinandung Malam at 11 am (arrive 7.10 am)
All trains are efficient, well - maintained and comfortable, but ordinary and mail train stop at all stations and are slow. The express trains are well worth the extra money, and the Ekspres Rakyat continues on to Butterworth arriving at 10.20 pm. There is also a train to Tumpat (in the very north-east of Malaysia) at 8.10 pm, which passes Jerantut and Kuala Lipis for Taman Negara National Park in the afternoon. Train fares from Singapore to Malaysia include:
Train fares from Singapore include:
Destination Fare 1st 2nd 3rd Johor Lumbur S$4.20 S$1.90 S$1.10
Kuala Lumpur S$60 S$26 S$14.80
Ipoh S$91.50 S$39.70 S$22.60
Butterworth S$118.50 S$51.40 S$29.20
Kuala Lipis S$67.50 S$29.30 S$16.70
Wakaf Bahru S$111 S$48.10 S$27.40
Express train fares from Singapore include:
Destination Fare 1st 2nd 3rd Johor Lumbur S$13 S$10 S$6
Kuala Lumpur S$68 S$34 S$19
Ipoh S$100 S$48 S$27
Butterworth S$127 S$60 S$34
Kuala Lipis S$76 S$38 S$21
Wakaf Bahru S$119 S$57 S$32
You can buy a 30-day rail pass allowing unlimited travel in Malaysia for RM 175, or a 10-day pass for RM 85. The pass allows you to travel on any class of train, but does not include sleeping berth charges. Rail passes are only available to foreign tourists and can be purchased at a number of main railway stations.
From Singapore, there is also a relbas services to Kualai, just past Johor Bahru, but you should allow up to an hour to buy your ticket and clear customs. Trains leaves at 10 and 11.20 am. and 12.30, 4 and 6 pm.
Malaysia has a cheap, well-developed, long distance taxi system that makes Malaysian travel a real fun. A long-distance taxi plies between set destination and as soon as a full complement of four passengers turns up, off you go. From Singapore, the best bet is go to Johor Bahru and then take a taxi from there - it's cheaper and there are many more services but Singapore also has such taxis to destinations in Malaysia.
Crossing the Causeway
The Causeway is that one km. link between Singapore and the mainland. An impressive piece of engineering in its day, it has difficulty coping with the amount of traffic on weekends and public holidays. If you're travelling by private vehicle or taxi, try to avoid these times.
Singapore has all sorts of future plan for improving cross-border traffic to Malaysia. A new bridge is planned between Geylang Patah in Malaysia and Tuas on the western side of Singapore Island. The MRT is extended out to Woodlands and a new checkpoint will be built.
To/From Thailand - If you want to go direct from Singapore to Thailand overland, the quickest and cheapest way is by bus. You must have a visa to enter Thailand overland.
The main terminal for buses to and from Thailand is at the Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Rd. It's at the north-eastern end of Beach Rd, where it meets Crawford St; the Lavender MRT station is within walking distance A number of travel agents specialising in buses and tours to Thailand operate from there. We travel (Tel: 6293 6233) has buses to Hat Yai at 2 pm for S$32 and S$35. Grassland Express (Tel: 6292 1166) has a bus at 2.30 pm to Hat Yai for S$45. Singapore Comfort Travel (Tel: 6297-2910) has a 1 pm bus to Hat Yai for S$23 and another at 2.30 pm for S$32. The difference in the fares reflects the difference in the buses, through all buses are air-con. The S$45 VIP coaches have videos and include a free meal. Most of these buses also stop in Butterworth.
Morning Star Travel (Tel: 6299 2221) at the Lavender MRT station also has to Hat Yai at 2.30 pm for S$39. Hasry-Ekoba (Tel: 6292 6243) at the Malaysia bus station, on the corner of Lavender St. and Kallang Bahru, has VIP coaches to Hat Yai at 2.30 and 3.30 pm.
The rail route into Thailand is on the Butterworth - Alor Setar - Hat Yai route which across into Thailand at Padang Besar. From Butterworth trains go to/from Singapore. You can take the International Express from Butterworth in Malaysia all the way to Bangkok with connections from Singapore. The International Express leaves Butterworth at 1.30 pm, arrive in Hat Yai at 4.40 pm and in Bangkok at 8.35 am the following morning. From Singapore to Bangkok costs S$91.70 (2nd class).
A variation on the International Express is the Eastern & Oriental Express which runs once a week and caters to the well-heeled. The train is done out in antique opulance, and is South-East Asia's answer to the Oriental Express. It takes 42 hours to do the 2000-km journey from Singapore to Bangkok.
To/From Malaysia - A ferry operates from north Changi t o Tanjung Belungkor, east of Jahor Bahru. It primarily serves as a service for Singaporeans going to Desaru in Malaysia, but hasn't proved to be a great success since its opening in mid-1993. The 11-km journeys takes 45 minutes and costs S$15/24 (RM15/27) one-way / return for adults and S$9/15 (RM9/16) for children aged under 12 years. Cars cost S$20/32 (RM20/36), motorbikes S$7/12 (RM 7/12) and bicycles S$ 4/7 (RM 4/7), while checked luggage costs S$1 per piece. Ferries leave Singapore at 9 am, 12 noon and 4.15 pm and from Tanjung Belungkor departures are at 10.30 am and 1.30 and pm. From the Tanjung Belunkor jetty two bus services operate to Desaru, and a Kota Tinggi services is planned. To get to north Changi, take bus No 2 to Changi Village and then a taxi.
From Changi Village, ferries also go to Pengerang across the strait in Malaysia. This is an interesting backdoor route into Malaysia. Ferries don't have a fixed schedule, which is most unlike Singapore, and leave throughout the day when a full quota of 12 people is reached. The cost is S$45 per personal S$60 for the whole boat. The best time to catch one is early in the morning before 8 am. Clear Singapore immigration at the small post on the Changi River dock.
To Tioman Island, Resort Cruises Pty Ltd (Tel: 6278 4677 ) 02-03 Shing Loong Building, 337 Telok Blangah Rd, is the for the high-speed catamaran that does the trip in 4.5 hours. Departures are at 7.50 am from the World Trade Center. To get to the World Trade Center, take the MRT to Tanjong Pagar then bus No 10, 97, 100 or 131. Buses Nos 65, 143 and 167 go from Orchard Rd to the WTC, or buses Nos 97 and 100 .
To/From Indonesia - Curiously, there is no direct shipping service between the the main port in Indonesia and near neighbour Singapore but it is possible to travel between two nations via the Island of the Riau Archipelago. Most nationalities are issued a tourist pass, valid for two months, upon arrival in Indonesia but only at major air and sea ports. At other ports, visas are required.
The Riau Archipelago is the cluster of Indonesian islands immediately south of Singapore. Thw two most visited islands are Batam and Bintan, both of which can be reached by ferry services from Singapore. The ferries are modern, fast, air-conditioned and show movies. From Tanjung Pinang on Bintan, you can catch boats to Java and Sumatra.
Batam Island is resort and industrial park. From Singapore it only take half an hour to reach Sekupang or 45 minuites to Batu Ampar, both on Batam Island. Direct ferries from Singapore to Tanjung Pinang on Bintan Island take 2.5 hours.
Departure are from the World Trade Center. The World Trade Center is a mini Changi airport with duty free and others shop, and a departure area where you can buy tickets from the various agents. The 2nd floor is full of travel agents which also bookings for the boats and resorts. You cam usually buy ticket on the day of departure, but it may be wise to book on public holidays .
The main agents to Batam are Dino Shipping (Tel: 6270 0311), Indo Falcon Shipping & Travel (Tel: 6270 6778),Sing Batam Ferries(Tel: 6734 1866) and star Ferry Services (Tel: 6278 2788). Between them they are more than 100 departures per day to Batam, from 7.50 am to 8.40 pm. The going-rate is S$16 one-way and S$26 return.
For Bintan, Dino Shipping has boats to Tanjung Pinang at 10 am and 3 pm, and Indo Falcon Shipping has a 9 am departure on Saturdays. A one-way ticket is S$51 or S$81 return. Dino Shipping also has a boat to Tanjung Balai on Karimun Island at 1.30 pm for S$36 one - way or S$61 return.
Once you get to Batam and Bintan, there is a variety of ways of continuing to other parts of Indonesia. The most popular travellers' route is from Batam t o Pekanbaru in Sumatra. The easiest way is to fly. Merpati has direct flights between Batam and Jakarta, Jambi, Medan, Padang, Palembang, Pekanbaru and Pontianak. Tanjung Pinang's airport is smaller and there are only a few direct flight to Jarkata and Pekanbaru.
From Batam boats go to most of the Riau island to the west, from where it is possible to get connection to the Sumatra and mainland. The easiest way to get to the mainland is the speedboat from Sepukang (Batam) to Pekanbaru which leaves at 10.30 am and costs 35,000 rp. There are other boats to Selat Panjang and then eitherfast or slow boats to Selat Panjang and then either fast or slow boat to Pekanbaru. Boats go to Tembilahan (four hours , 40,000 rp) in Sumatra and to Kula Tungkal (six hours, 50,000 rp), from where buses go to Jambi for 7,500 rp.
From Bintan boats go to Singkep and Lingga islands to the south. Pelni's KM Lawit stops at Tanjung Pinang every second week on its way to either Jakata or Sumatra. The fare to Jakata costs 34,500 rp economy, 134,000 rp 1st class , but check with travel agents in Singapore to book a passage on this boat - otherwise you could miss it and have to wait a month.
Airline Offices Singapore is a major international crossboard and a great number of airlines fly there. Offices of some airlines include:
01-02 Tan Cheong Tower, 15 Queen St (6336 1757)
17-01 UIC Building, 5 Shenton Way (6225 9411)
02-00/B PIL Building, 140 Cecil St (6223 6026)
04-02 LKN Building, 135 Cecil St (6222 3033)
Air New Zealand
24-08 Ocean Building, 10 Collyer Quay (6535 8266)
20-02 Wiswa Atria, 435 Orchard Rd (6737 3166)
01-56 United Square, 101 Thomson Rd. (6253 8444)
16-01 Ocean Building, 10 Collyer Quay (6533 1333)
08-02 Orchid Towers, 400 Orchard Rd (6737 2211)
01-57 United Square, 101 Thomson Rd. (6250 2888)
01-03 Marina House, 70 Shenton Way (6225 4949)
01-01 Hong Leong Building, 16 Raffles Quay (6221 0522)
01-02 Mandarin Hotel, 333 Orchard Rd (6737 7622)
Korean Air Lines
07-08 Ocean Building, 10 Collyer Quay (6534 2111)
05-01 Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Rd (6737 9222)
02-09 Singapore Shopping Center, 190 Clemenceau Ave. (6336 6777)
08-06 Odeon Towers, 331 North Bridge Rd. (6336 3371)
08-21 Parkmall, 9 Penang rd (6336 6061)
Pakistan International Airlines
01-01 United Square, 101 Thomson Rd. (6251 2322)
04-02 The Promenade, 300 Orchard Rd (6737 3744)
Royal Brunei Airlines
01-4/5 Royal Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, 25 Scotts Rd (6235 4672)
Royal Nepal Airlines
03-07 Peninsula shopping Center, 3 Coleman St (6339 5535)
Scandinavian Airlines System
23-01 Gateway East, 152 Beach Rd. (6294 1611)
02-43 Meridien Shopping Certer, 100 Orchard Rd (6734 5077)
SIA Building 77 Robinson Rd. (6223 8888)
SIA Building 77 Robinson Rd. (6223 8888)
18-01 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Rd (6737 8133)
02-00 The Globe, 100 orchard Rd (6737 8133)
44-02 Homg Leong Building, 16 Raffles Quay 6220 0711)
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