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Singapore Overview

Overview
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. In the crowded streets of Chinatown, fortune tellers, calligraphers and temple worshippers are still a part of everyday life. In Little India, you can buy the best sari material, freshly ground spices or a picture of your favourite Hindu god. In the small shops of Arab Street, the cry of the imam can be heard from the nearby Sultan Mosque.

Geographical Information
Singapore lies close to the southern extremity of the Eurasian tectonic plate and the northeast extension of the Sumatra-Java oceanic trench.

Language
English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil

Currency
The unit of currency is the Singapore dollar. Most shops and entertainment outlets accepted major credit cards and travelers` checks.

Population
3.87 million

Visa
Foreigners holding travel documents issued by certain countries require either a Business or Social visa.

Customs

Travelers enjoy Duty-Free concessions if they:
    * are at least 18 years old
    * have arrived from countries other than Malaysia
    * have been away from Singapore for at least 48 hours

The Singapore Customs and Excise Department collects a 3% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all goods imported into Singapore.

GST relief is given for all new purchases as a tourist or returning Citizen/Permanent Resident of Singapore.

Taxes
There is a 3% Goods and Services Tax imposed in major shops and departments, with an additional of 10% service charge in restaurants, 1% government tax is also added in hotels.

Tipping
There is no need to tip if a 10% service charge is already added to the bill. If not, tipping is up to one`s preferences.

Public phones
Most public phones accept coins or phonecards purchased from bookstalls and newsagents, with a minimum value of S$2.00.

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