Selamat Datang (Welcome)!

For our overseas participants, here’s a snapshot of Singapore – a cosmopolitan island city that is both tropical and urban, Asian and global, traditional and progressive. You will also find some useful tips on your arrival and getting around the city.

Origin of Name: “singa” = lion, “pura” = city
Land area: 710 square kilometres
Landscape: A garden city characterised by high-rise buildings and world-class living
Population: 5 million
Ethnicities: Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian
Languages: English and/or Chinese, Malay, Tamil or the respective native dialect/language of each ethnicity
Religion: Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity
Inhabitants: 64% citizens, 10% permanent residents, 26% non-resident foreigners
Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)
Country Dialling Code: 65
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +8 (Standard Time)
Climate: Er… Tropical

Click here for more information on Singapore.
Click here for the daily Weather Forecast. The next three days’ forecast (15 – 17 Sep 2011) is mostly cloudy with some sporadic thunderstorms at an average temperature of 31°C (25°F) and 84% humidity.

Arrival at Changi Airport

If this is your first visit to Singapore, you will quickly realise why Changi Airport has consistently been voted one of the world’s best airports. Upon disembarking your plane, you will find yourself easily directed to the Arrival Hall and Immigration counter before exiting to Baggage Claim. Pick up your bags and then head out the exit to catch a bus, train or taxi to your Hostel (hangout @ mt. emily). There are enough signs (and people) to direct you to your choice of transportation.

Before leaving the airport, you may want to do a few things:
– Change your cash for some Singapore dollars (at least enough to pay for your trip from the airport to the hostel). There are many money changers available near LASALLE campus if you don’t want to change all of your money at the airport.
– Purchase an EZ-link card . This is a pre-paid electronic card to pay for your bus or train rides. Get the minimum amount first and you can always top it up during the week if needed. You can also pay with exact change on the bus or per-trip cards on the train. Note the bus captains DO NOT have change, so it’s more advisable to have an EZ-link card instead of trying to figure out how much you need to pay each time you get on the bus.
– Purchase a local mobile phone SIM card for your temporary use in Singapore. Don’t worry if you forget or don’t feel like doing this at the airport; there are plenty of shops next door to LASALLE where you can buy this (and other electronic gadgets if you’re a tech-geek – check out Sim Lim Square).

Average cost and duration of trip from airport to the Hostel:
Bus S$2.00, 70 minutes
Train S$1.70, 50 minutes
Taxi S$21.20, 30 minutes (including an airport surcharge of S$5.00)

A Nostalgic Look at the Lion City in 1957