First of all, Welcome to Singapore!
|2015 is Singapore's 50th Anniversary!|
I am an Australian expat, living and working in-between Melbourne and Singapore.
Singapore is the Lion City of Asia and is located in Southeast Asia, next to Malaysia and Indonesia.
Singapore is by and large a safe and clean city, as it's reputation holds it strongly for. It even has it's own Restroom Association (http://www.toilet.org.sg), so why wouldn't it be clean? The public transport system is also one of the best in the world and it is something that will keep improving as their building and infrastructure plans continue.
There are approximately 5 million+ people living in Singapore (~70% Chinese, 13-15% Malay, 9% Indian). Living here you'll find that there is no major natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis. Being so close to Indonesia though, both Singapore and Malaysia can sometimes experience haze from their close neighbour in Sumatra, Indonesia. The weather is also generally quite consistent with the same temperature (heat and humidity) all year around. Normally it is around 30-32 degrees Celsius. So the key difference that I find is really how wet or dry the weather will be.
Now that I have a good overview of Singapore, what is it that I need to know to get settled here?
Well, here is a list of some quick mini guides that I have written to help you understand your new surroundings. Some of these are quite straightforward, while others give you insight into some processes that you need to go through.
Basics and Getting around
- Prepaid mobile SIM card - Getting a prepaid SIM card is relatively easy. You just need to visit a 7 Eleven or one of three telcos (Singtel, Starhub, M1) in Singapore to buy them. You will find that incoming calls are charged in Singapore. So if you have brought a prepaid card, then it will use some of the prepaid credit to receive calls (but not to receive SMSes).
- Post-paid SIM card - Post-paid phones receive smses for free overseas. Great for receiving those OTP from banks. Sending smses and receiving/ making calls is not free.
Tip - Payphones in the airport are free to use. So you can call your local contact/ friends or family for free using these payphones
- EZLink card, NETS FlashPay cards what are the differences?
- How to set up your Ezlink enabled credit card in Singapore
- How to set up auto top up on your Nets Flashpay card
- New Employment Pass guides
- Already have an Employment Pass guides
Credit cards - In Singapore, banks offer credit cards full of discounts and rebates. Locals never pay annual fees, and nor should you. Most people will call up up the bank and threaten to cancel if they don't waive the annual fees.
In fact, some banks already have an automated system that calculates how much you have used their credit cards, etc. and clear your credit card annual fee for another year for free. I have seen some even offer bonus rewards if you paid for the annual fee, so it's up to you if you're looking to buy these points each year. From what I have heard, only American Express (Amex) is the exception.
- Banking in Singapore - What to know when selecting a bank account
- Share trading in Singapore - How to get started
- Consumer protection in Singapore - CASE and the Lemon law
|Japanese Supermarket, "Meidi-Ya" in Singapore (located near Clarke Quay)|
Food/ Shopping supermarkets (online shopping available)
- Giant - www.giantsingapore.com.sg - online shopping available
- Fair price (NTUC) - www.fairprice.com.sg/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/fairprice - online shopping available
- Sheng Siong - www.shengsiong.com.sg and http://www.allforyou.sg - online shopping available
- RedMart - www.redmart.com - online shopping only
- Mustafa - www.mustafa.com.sg
- Isetan (Japanese supermarket) - www.isetan.com.sg - online shopping available
- Meidi-ya (Japanese supermarket)- www.meidi-ya.com.sg - online shopping available
- Where you can buy cheap toiletries in Singapore
- Robinson's - www.robinsons.com.sg
- Tangs - www.tangs.com/estore - online shopping available
- Metro - www.metro.com.sg
- Marks and Spencer - global.marksandspencer.com/sg/
- Daiso - www.daisoglobal.com/store/list/?c_id=C0019
- OG - www.og.com.sg
- Uniquo - www.uniqlo.com/sg - online shopping available
- H&M - www.hm.com/sg
- Zalora - www.zalora.sg - online shopping only
How to find a rental property in Singapore
Depending on whether you are looking for a room or an entire place in Singapore for your self or your family. Locally, most people in Singapore use:
- EasyRoomMate - http://www.easyroommate.com.sg
- Gumtree - http://singapore.gumtree.sg/p/Property-Room-for-Rent-Flat-Share?CatId=10
- Craigslist Singapore -http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/search/roo
- PropertyGuru - http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/singapore-property-listing/property-for-rent/1
- ST Property - http://www.stproperty.sg/room-for-rent
|F1 Event - September 2014|
Things to do in and places to see in Singapore
- Pulau Ubin Island - Getting to and around Singapore's nature island (great for biking riding)
- Sungei Buloh wetlands reserve - Getting to and around Sungei Buloh (a global stop-over point for migratory birds)
- Go Dragonboat racing at Kallang
- Go skating at Jurong or at the Marina Bay Sands
- Prawning - Go prawn fishing in Punggol
- Meet up - www.meetup.com/cities/sg/singapore
- Internations - www.internations.org/singapore-expats
- National events - Chinese New Year in Singapore
- National events - National Day - August 9
Places to see (outside but near Singapore)
- Visit Genting Highlands, Malaysia
- Visit Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
- Going through Malaysian Customs in Johor fast with Iskandar Malaysia's Automated Clearance System (MACS) - just over the border from Woodlands, Singapore