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Lying almost on the equator, Singapore is a thriving city-state that has overcome its dearth of natural resources to become one of the juggernaut economies of Asia. If there is one word that best captures Singapore, it is "unique". A dynamic city rich in contrast and color, you'll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture here. Brimming with unbridled energy, this little dynamo in Southeast Asia embodies the finest of both East and West. A pristinely clean and vibrant country, Singapore is panoply of diverse cultures, races, and a haven for shopping enthusiasts. It is perhaps the only island in the world where one can find the perfect blend of Oriental and Occidental cultures. This tiny island is home to 4.35 million people, of all races and ethnicities, living cordially and harmoniously. Singapore is a major tourist destination and in July 2006 alone it has welcomed 913,000 visitors from all over the world.

Language
Languages spoken are Mandarin Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. Most Singaporeans are bilingual and speak English, which is used as the main language of communication.

Climate
Singapore's climate is mostly hot and humid with average temperatures ranging between 79"F (26"C) and 86"F (30"C) during the day with cooler temperatures at night. The wettest months are between November and January (the monsoon period); however rainfall occurs throughout the year. Rainstorms are usually short but heavy, so remember to take an umbrella.

Food
Singaporeans are passionate about food and eating. Look around and the proof is everywhere! Almost in every corner of the island, you will find an endless variety of food, served hot or cold, at any hour of the day (or night)! In this cosmopolitan and multicultural city, you can expect nothing less than a melange of flavors from around the globe. It's not just East-meets-West when it comes to feasting in Singapore - it is a tasty tale about a country's unique cultural tapestry woven in with its distinct influences to capture the essence of Singapore's multicultural heritage.

Communications
Public phones are good for local and international calls; they take credit cards or phone cards, which can be bought at newspaper kiosks and Telecom shops. Calls made from hotels are free of any surcharges. Several local mobile phone operators use GSM-900/1800 networks. Email and Internet access is available at Internet cafes throughout the city.

Currency Exchange
Singapore's currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD), which is divided into 100 cents. 1:00SGD is equal to 0.662475 USD and 1.00 USD is equal to 1.50949 SGD. The US and Australian Dollars, Yen and British Pound are also accepted in the larger shopping centers. Major credit cards are accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants. ATMs are widely distributed and banks advance cash against the major credit cards. Traveler's check can be cashed at banks or licensed moneychangers and at selected hotels. Banks are open daily, but some do not do foreign exchange on Saturdays.

Tipping
Tipping is not encouraged as most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on customers' bills. Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore, but is appreciated for excellent service.

Visa Requirements
United States passport holders do not require a visa for travel to Singapore for a stay of up to 30 days, provided they obtain a free Social Visit Pass on arrival. Extensions are possible for a fee of $40.

Immunization Requirements
Although there is no required immunization for Singapore, but it is suggested to get Yellow Fever vaccination and its documents.