Singapore Culture

Singapore is a place where Chinese, Indian, Malay and western cultures converge and fuse to reflect the immigrant history of the land.

Singapore remained as British Malaya under Sultanate of Johor for more than a century. British colonised the island when they set-up their port here in 1819. The port flourished significantly and attracted migrants. In 1962, it became part of Malaysian Federation and gained independence in 1965.

Singapore currently has a population of 5.3 million people of diverse ethnicity. Asians of different origins, Caucasians, Eurasians, Chinese, Indians, Malays and various other races and ethnicity can be found in country. About 38% of population is constituted of foreigners (PRs and non-residents), making it 6th Worldwide. It is the 3rd most densely populated city in the World trailing Macau and Monaco.

Many Singaporeans are bilingual with English being the common language for most of them. English, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin are the major languages commonly spoken in the island country.

English is taught as the first language in every school. Vernacular or mother-tongue language is taught as the 2nd language. Singaporean Standard English uses British grammar and spelling while Singlish (Singapore Colloquial English) is in local dialect unique to Singapore. Singlish has close affinity with Malaysian English called Manglish.

Bahasu Melayu is the National Language of Singapore and is used in military commands, National Motto, and National Anthem. However, only 15% of Singaporeans speak Malay. Mandarin is commonly spoken among Chinese while some Chinese also speaks various dialects. Tamil is spoken by most of the South Indians and Sri Lankans.

Ethnic Areas
Kampong Glam, Chinatown and Little India are some of the distinct ethnic neighbourhood in Singapore. South Indian food served traditionally on banana leaves as thalis is known and patronised by all. Similarly, Chinese culture can be experienced distinctly in Chinatown. Mass Rapid Transit of Singapore connects most of these ethnic neighbourhoods.

The racial diversity in Singapore is exhibited by public holidays and festivals observed in the country too. Buddhist Vesak Day, Chinese New Year, Muslims’ Eid-ul-Fitr (locally known as Hari Raya Puasa in Malay) and Diwali of Hindus (locally known as Deepavali in Tamil) are major festivals in Singapore. New Year, Good Friday and Christmas have become public holidays due to growing Christian population in the country. 9th August is the Singapore Independence Day, which is celebrated with National Day Parade.

The diversity in ethnicity and races is bound to introduce different religions on the land. Notably, even people from Arabia immigrated to Singapore post its declaration as a port city. Chinese constitute 74% of population and over 30% of them is Buddhist. Other Chinese follows Christianity, Confucianism and Taosim.

Malays are the 2nd largest majority comprising 18% of the population and majority of them are Muslims. Hindus are largely from India and constitute 5% of the population. Indian population in Singapore has considerable numbers of Sikhs and Muslims too. Large numbers of mosques, temples and churches that are found in Singapore are the result of such religious diversity. Jewish synagogues and Sikh gurudwaras are also there. Some of these buildings are of great historic significance and most of them are prominent landmark architectures in the cosmopolis.

Cultural Policy
Tight restriction is maintained on cultural and arts performances in Singapore by the national government. Most artistic works are vetted by Singaporean government and subjects that breach the cultural policy are disallowed to be exhibited. Religion, race, nudity or obscenity in any form, allegations of nepotism or corruption in government, etc. are some sensitive topics that are considered beyond Out of Bounds (OB) markers in Singapore.

School of the Arts is the first pre-tertiary school for arts in the country. It opened in 2008 for students between 13 years and 18 years of age. Liberalisation and development of creative economy are much discussed and talked about in Singapore. Civil society activists, academics, public intellectuals and artistes are mixed in their opinion on the subject.

Diversity is apparent in Singaporean cuisines too. Halah version of Tamil food is served by Malay hawkers at various hawker centres. Similarly, dishes cooked with Malay ingredients and techniques are available at Chinese stalls. Oysters, squids, clams and crabs are popular seafood. Barbequed stingrays served on banana leaves with chilli are among the favourites of locals.

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Singapore History

It is believed that mariners discovered Singapore in the 3rd century and by 7th century the place had established itself as a primary trading outpost acting as the supply and entry point for Indian, Chinese, Javanese, Thai, Arab and Malay traders.

Although it has been proven that lions never inhabited Singapore but during the fourteenth century, an auspicious beast was spotted by a Sumatran prince on the island. This led to the name Singapore which comes from Malay words “Singa” which means lions and “Pura” which means city. Before the Europeans started settling on the island, it served as site for Malay fishing village. The island was also home to hundreds of Orang Laut people.

In the 15th Century
It was in the year of 1511 when the Melaka port was captured by Portuguese explorers which forced reigning sultan of the area to flee towards south. A new regime was established which came to be known as Johore Sultanate in which Singapura was part of the governing land.

In 1613, a trading post was burned down by the Portuguese located close to Temasek River. After that incident, most part of the island remained abandoned. This was the main cause behind the shifting of planting and trading activities towards south to Sumatra and Riau Islands. By the early part of the nineteenth century, planting activities resumed at Temasek and in 1818, the area was settled in by a Johore Sultanate’s Malay official along with his followers and the island served as home to several Chinese planters and indigenous tribal people.

In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles, obtained permission from the British East India Company to set up a trading post on the island. He named the island as Singapore and developed it into a port suitable for free trade and immigration. By 1827, among the different ethnic groups of the island, the Chinese population increased considerably arriving from different parts like Riau, Penang, Melaka as well as various parts of Malay Archipelago. Singapore was the 3rd British acquisition after Penang and Malacca. In 1832, the island served as centre of government for Straits Settlement of Malacca, Penang and Singapore.

Post the 18th Century
The opening of Suez Canal in 1869 along with the introduction of steamship and telegraph helped with the expansion of trade between the West and the East. The prosperity of Singapore attracted immigrants from different parts of the region and its population quickly grew from 150 to nearly 80,000 consisting mainly of Malays, Indians and Chinese.

It was during the 2nd World War that Singapore came under the occupancy of the Japanese. After the end of the War, Singapore was faced with critical issues like slow economic growth, high unemployment, decaying infrastructure, social unrest and labour strikes. But all these problems account for the rise of political awakening which ultimately led to the rise of national and anti-colonial sentiments. It was in the year of 1959 when Singapore was declared as self-governing state under British Empire and ultimately, sovereignty was declared officially on August 9th, 1963.

The Modern Singapore
After getting separated from Malaysia, Singapore started focusing more on the economy. Singapore started promoting labour extensive, export oriented industrialization so as to attract investment from foreign nations. The strategic location was the biggest advantage available to the country. By 1972, nearly a quarter of manufacturing firms of the country were either joint-venture companies or owned by foreign investors. The steady political climate along with rapid expansion of world economy and favourable investment conditions helped to increase the GDP growth of the country to double digits.

The private sector created more job opportunities and by the 70’s, the focus shifted towards technology and skill-intensive industries instead of labour intensive industries. By 1990, more than six hundred and fifty multinational companies started operating in Singapore along with several thousand trading firms and financial institutions. The rugged individualism of the country is now more focused on excellence.

History is the mirror to the future. Strong and effective governance has led Singapore to become the advanced nation of today.

Singapore Major Festivals

The happening city of Singapore can be considered as a cultural hub where you can find ethnic groups of various origins like Indian, Malay and Chinese. The development of the country has led to an increasing influx of people from different parts of the world to offer the place with a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural image. Every ethnic community maintains their lifestyle in their own way and together live harmoniously and peacefully. The unique blend of people and cultures leads to celebrations all year round from socio-cultural festivities to religious celebrations.

Popular Singapore Festivals
Apart from celebrating specific festivals of every ethnic group along with their festivals, Singapore also celebrates different important anniversaries throughout the entire nation.

Watching the famous Hindu festival of Thaipusam is definitely worth an experience. In this festival, male Hindu devotees seek forgiveness and penance from the gods by undertaking the tough challenge of walking a distance of three kilometres laden with portable shrines or the enormous kavadi. The shrine is pierced into the body with the help of skewers and spikes and there are times when the devotees need to drag the kavadi like chariots. Many supporters gather around the person shouting, clapping and chanting prayers for encouragement.

Chinese New Year
Without any doubt, the Chinese New Year happens to be Chinese lunar calendar’s most important festival. The festive period usually lasts for at least fifteen days and generally takes place during the period from January to February. This special festival brings the entire island to a stop as people of all origins get in the mood.

The real action, however takes place at Chinatown. Every Chinese person, the night before the start of their New Year, rushes home for the yearly family reunion dinner. The specialty dish that usually feature during the feast is Yu Sheng, which is basically raw fish placed in colourful salad.

During the festive weeks, the streets get lined with colourful stalls selling everything starting from pussy willow to golden and red greeting cards. The smell of incense fills up the air and creates an environment where everybody seems to be in good mood.

Vesak Day
The Buddhists celebrate Vesak Day which marks the birth of Lord Gautama Buddha. Followers of Buddha in Singapore pay their visits to different Buddhist temples available all throughout the island to offer their prayers and worship. Monks donned in new saffron coloured clothing sprinkle holy water and chant blessings to the devotees.

This is also the time when many Buddhists dedicate themselves towards moderation and release from other worldly desires. You can also witness the release of doves from cages by the monks signifying freedom of humanity from earthly bondages.

Hari Raya Puasa
Also known by the name of Eid al-Fitr throughout the world, this festival holds extreme importance for Malayan community residing in Singapore. The festival can take place in any month. Marking the end of the month of fasting or Ramadan, the festival tends to light up the atmosphere with cultural performances and Malays wearing new clothes with striking colors. Muslims visit their near and dear ones and even offer morning prayers at local mosques. Cultural performances such as traditional Malay dance and song are also considered to be a part of this festival.

Among the different festivals for Hindus, Deepavali is definitely an important date in the Hindu calendar. The festival takes places either during the month of October or November and tends to last nearly a whole month. Described as Festival of Lights, the festival marks the end of evil Narakasura by Lord Krishna. This day is celebrated all over the globe by Hindus which signifies the end of darkness and triumph of light or end of evil and triumph of good.

Little India is the place where you should visit during Deepavali as the streets are lighted in beautiful colours with booming music and roadside stalls featuring variety of dishes. The streets are thronged by people in search of appropriate ethnic wears or to shop for Indian spices and foods. Hindus light their homes with oil lamps and also offer garlands and sweetmeats at their family altars.

Campbell Lane is another place which opens up to life during this festive season. The stall in Deepavali festival Village offering variety of things which include Indian jewellery, costumes, furniture, foods as well as arts and crafts.

Holiday spirits for Christmas start to build weeks before the actual date of the festival. You can find all trappings of traditional Christmas like late-night mass, Christmas Carolling, winking fir trees, nativity scenes, as well as gaily-wrapped presents.

Marina Bay and Orchard Road undergo huge transformation during this time of the season highlighted by glorious celebratory arches, festive street lighting, brilliant water features and picture-perfect themes. Several night time entertainment events take place along Orchard Road which includes parade float and Christmas themed activities performed by choral groups. Artificial frost is sprayed on the shopping malls and snow making machines are also put to use for delighting people immersed in the festive mood.

Mooncake Festival
Also known as Mid-Autumn Festival or Lantern Festival, the Mooncake Festival generally takes place in September. According to Chinese Lunar Calendar, the festival is held on fifteenth day of the 8th month when the moon is the brightest and fullest. There are lots of legends that surround this beautiful festival.

During the festival night, brightly coloured lanterns are lit up by children. The lanterns are of different shapes like butterflies, squirrels or fishes. The suburb corners look like some distant fairylands with the lanterns lighting up the entire area. When it comes to Chinatown, majority of the stalls feature mooncakes as well as other tidbits. The Chinese Gardens offer a spectacular sight to the visitors as hundreds of Chinese lanterns adorn the park.

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Getting Around Singapore

It is quite simple and painless in getting around Singapore with the high coverage of public transport system. If you are planning to stay in Singapore for some period of time or visit the country several times in the near future, it would be wise idea to purchase Nets Flash Pay card or the EZ- link RFID farecard. This card is quite similar to the Octopus Card in Hong Kong, Oyster Card in London Underground, SmarTrip Card in Washington DC and the IC cards of Japan Railways.

Value can be stored in the card and used on MRT trains along with all public buses at a discount. The EZ-link card can be replenished easily at all MRT stations. It has a lifespan of 5 years. Unused credit can be refunded upon request.

Singapore Tourist Pass is another alternative that is available at major MRT stations and includes EZ-link functionality and numerous discounts on tourist attractions. Unlimited travel on non-premium buses and MRT are included and comes at a price of $10, $16 and $20 for one day, two days and three days respectively.

Mass Rapid Transmit or MRT and Light Rail Transmit or LRT are the lifeline of the country’s transit system. Apart from being a reliable and cheap mode of transportation, the vast network covers majority of the tourist spots. The lines are integrated seamlessly, even though they are controlled by different companies.

Contactless RFID tickets are used by all train lines. Single trip tickets cost between $0.80 and $2.20. At the time of purchasing a new card, a deposit amount of $0.10 is charged that gets refunded in double on the third and sixth trip.

By Bus
Singapore buses are slower and less convenient to use when compared with MRT. The advantages of taking a bus are that you get to have a closer look of the surroundings and buses take you to attractions that are inaccessible by MRT or LRT.

The payment can be made in cash but the fare system is a bit complex where you might even get charged marginally more than the usual fare. Thus, the better option is to pay with Nets Flashpay or EZ-link card. You just need to tap the card at a reader located at the front door of the bus where the system will deduct a maximum amount from the card. Before alighting, the card needs to be tapped again where the difference will get refunded.

Singapore taxi are reasonably priced and most drivers are honest but because the number is too low, one might be left stranded for a long period of time.

Trips within city centre on weekdays should not be costing more than $10. It is sometimes faster and cheaper to take a cab when travelling in a group of 3/4 people. But again, taxis are difficult to secure even through booking agents particularly during peak hours.

The flag down rate across all companies stays between $3- $3.20, with increments starting from $0.22 for every 400m. Also there are some additional charges depending on peak hour, late night, central business district, trips from airport, phone booking, etc that will be added to the taxi fare. These charges are explained on a corner of the meter with tedious detailing.

Taxis are equipped enough to handle credit cards but there are certain drivers who are not in favour of electronic payment. To avoid being embarrassed, it is better to ask before getting in. An additional 17% surcharge will be added to the amount if credit card is used. Despite such costs, taxis can turn out to be a saviour if one is in a great hurry. Some taxi drivers possess poor geographical knowledge so it will be of great help if you carry a map along with you. Some drivers with good grasp of Singapore map may ask for the route you want to take to avoid dispute
if the route they take is not what you intend.

There are several islands in Singapore and bumboats are the main mode of transport to connect the islands. The busiest bumboats traffic is between Pulau Ubin and Changi Point Ferry Terminal where the ride fare starts from $3 per trip.

Bumboats can be seen along Singapore River where several pickup points are available. The bumboats are free of air pollution because they are all electrically driven. The ride has been nominated by the Singapore Tourism Board in the Best Sight Seeing / Leisure / Educational Program Category. The 40-min ride gives you an amazing view of CBD skyline and the price starts as low as $13.

n Singapore, car rental is not that popular as compared to other Asian countries. It is also not that important for tourists since the island gets sufficiently covered by the public transportation.

Major rental companies will be charging $100/day for the smallest of vehicles available. Electric vehicle rentals are offered by a company named Smove at a registration fee of $19. Electric cars can be rented from fifteen minutes to an entire day. This service is offered at Singapore’s Buona Vista area.

Roads in Singapore are in great condition and the driving habits are pretty good. When compared with major cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo or Sydney, the parking spaces of Singapore are relatively easy to find. The traffic is smooth overall but the congestion during peak hours can be a severe one. That’s why ERP gantries are setup at roads with high traffic to collect payment for those entering at the busy hours. The payments are deducted through an IU with a stored-value CashCard.

Singaporeans practise UK-style of driving with the minimum driving age being 18 years old. The speed limit is 90 km/h on express ways while on normal roads it is 60 km/h.

Passengers must be wearing seatbelts all the time and using mobile phones while driving is strictly banned. Singapore does not tolerate drink-driving with 0.08% being the maximum level of blood alcohol content. Roadblocks are set up at night regularly to catch offenders. The ones caught are fined heavily and possibly jailed. Even if the blood alcohol level doesn’t exceed the limit, they can charge the travellers for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police will be mailing the files to the accused and the rental agency. The agency will then be passing on the cost by a surcharge.

By Bicycle
Bicycles can be a great substitute but there is no cycling culture here and amenities such as bike racks and bike lanes are a rarity.

The quality of air can also pose a big problem to cyclists. Singapore’s LTA states that the country has over 178,000 diesel-engine cars, trucks, buses and taxis which can make cycling on crowded roads fairly unpleasant. The air quality drops even further when thick smoke from Indonesia starts descending on Singapore. It happens during the middle of the year when Indonesia carries out the illegal method of “slash and burn” in removing waste crops.

On foot
The roads in Singapore are generally “pedestrian-friendly”. Pedestrian crossings and pavements are in great shape and plentiful. The marked crossing zones are nicely followed by Singaporean drivers, but can be less careful and respectful at street- corners.

Jaywalking is illegal here and will be fined up to $1000 or 3 months in jail.

In Singapore, classic walks include walking down from the Merlion, trekking along Southern Ridges Walk and strolling through Bugis, Little India or Chinatown.

By trishaw
These are 3-wheeled “bicycle taxis” that are of great demand near Chinatown and the Singapore River. These are mainly for tourists who want to explore the small area. This is not an option if you aim for some serious travel. Room for bargaining is quite low and short rides cost around $10-20. An hour of sightseeing can set you back by $50.

Tropical humidity and heat is one downside here which leaves many tourists sweaty and exhausted. So, it is better to carry a water bottle and a handkerchief wherever one goes. But you can always be able to find air-conditioned cafes, shopping mall and indoor attractions to cool yourselves off.

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Getting to Singapore

Most nationalities are allowed to enter Singapore without visa. Generally, 14 – 30 days is the entry permit duration, which exactly depends on entry point and nationality of the visitor. There are more than 30 nationalities who have to obtain visa before getting to Singapore.

Drug trafficking in any form is a capital crime in Singapore. Even travellers who changeover in Singapore and do not need to clear customs and passport control are subject to the regulation. Carrying drugs even in consumed state is prohibited under the same law.

Patients carrying medicines have to have prescriptions, without they are confiscated. Spirits, wine and beer are allowed 1 litre each. However, Malaysians have to pay duty charges for all. Cigarettes are not allowed free of duty and so are chewing gums. Pirated goods, pornography, etc. are prohibited too.

By Airways
Singapore is one of the largest aviation hubs in Southeast Asia making aeroplanes. Singapore Airlines is the flagship airline for the country. Scoot, Jetstar Asia, Tiger Airways, etc. are low-fare airlines operating in the country. Moreover, all big and small airlines in Asia offer flights to Singapore.

There are direct airways to Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, South Africa, Europe and North America. Some of the popular names include Emirates, Etihad Airways and British Airways stopover at Singapore on their flight between Europe and Australia.

Changi Airport
Changi Airport is officially considered the best airport in the World. It is divided into 3 termini. Terminal 1 has physical connectivity to others while Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 are connected by Skytrain, which offers free services. Passengers can move from one terminal to another without going through immigration. Travellers can get their passports cleared at any terminal which can go through custom at a specific terminal.

Changi Airport is loaded with entertainment and utility facilities. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the premises in addition to around 200 computer kiosks. Unlimited local calls can be made for free from Starhub and SingTel payphones. ATMs are available in aplenty and so are currency exchanges. There are numerous eateries serving local and international food at reasonable price. However, the staff canteen is still cheaper than the rest.

Waiting passengers opt for occasional live music at the lounge, some Xbox systems interspersed in the premises, jacuzzi, swimming pool, butterfly garden, duty free shops, paid massage parlour, gym, shower, movie theatre, computer games zone, indoor garden and music area.

Transportation from Changi Airport

Taxi is the simplest and easiest means to reach the city. During days, S$3 – S$5 airport surcharge is levied while 50% additional surcharge applies from 00:00 to 06:00.
Shuttle service is offered in MaxiCabs are 6-seater vehicles tripping designations locations every 15-30 minutes available from 06:00 to 02:00. S$9 is fare for an adult can seat can pre-booked or at the arrival hall.
Limousines charge flat S$50 to anywhere in the city.
MRT trains operate from 05:31 to 23:18. Passengers have to interchange at Tanah Merah.
Bus terminals are at the basement of all 3 termini and operate from 06:00 to 23:59.
Seletar Airport
Only private aircrafts land at Seletar Ariport, from where only taxis are available at $3 surcharge.

By Roadways
Causeway is the most popular entrance route to Singapore connecting and remains terminally congested. Its inbound flank remains jammed on Sundays while the Malaysia-bound flank remains congested on Fridays. Second Link between Tanjung Kupang is much less congested and used by only private vehicles, some luxury bus services and Malaysian Limousines. Foreign vehicles and motorcycles are allowed to be driven for free for a maximum 10 days, after which S$20 per day tax is levied.

Bus Services
There is no central bus terminus in Singapore and different bus operators have their termini at different points in the city. The main overseas bus terminal is in Golden Mile Shopping Centre.

Direct buses to and from Kuala Lumpur are available. Major bus operators and their services are:

Aeroline runs luxury buses from HarbourFront Centre to Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur. They offer on-board lounge, power sockets and meal.
First Coach services from Novena Square through Second Link to Kuala Lumpur.s NiCE++ are 18-seater luxury buses and NiCE 2 are 27-seater double-decker buses plying between Copthorne Orchid Hotel and Kuala Lumpur.
Transnasional is the largest bus operator from Malaysia.
Transtar has First Class Solitaire with Wi-Fi, video on demand, onboard attendants and massaging chairs. Its service is from Golden Mile Complex to Genting and Malacca.
Online booking is available for some bus operators:

Bus Online Ticket consists of StarMart, 707 Express, Delima Express, Golden Coach Express, Fivestars Express and other minor operators.
Easibook has several bus operators, among which Konsortium is the major one.
Generally, expensive bus services are punctual while cheap ones stop at certain locations and use congested thoroughfares. An alternative to international bus services is Larkin Bus Terminal at Johor Bahru, from where long-distance Malaysian domestic express buses depart to various Malaysia destinations. Malaysian domestic buses certainly offer more options and their fares are much lower.

Taxi Service
Like some other countries in the world, Singapore can be entered or left by specially licensed taxis.

From Singapore to Malaysia:
Licensed Singapore taxis can be flagged at any location in Singapore. The default drop off point is Kotaraya in Malaysia but you can choose to alight anywhere in Johor Bahru at a higher fee. One way trip fee starts at S$45.

Licensed Malaysia taxis are only available at Johor Taxi Service located at Queen Street, which is within walking distant from Bugis MRT. Like Singapore taxi, the default alighting point is Kotaraya and other drop off point is available at a higher cost. One way trip fee starts at $40.

From Malaysia to Singapore:
Licensed Singapore taxis are only available at Kotaraya and you can choose to drop of at any location in Singapore at a fee minimum fee of $30.

Licensed Malaysia taxis can be booked at any location in Johor Bahru. Queen Street Taxi Terminal is the only drop off point in Singapore. The one way taxi fare is about RM40.

By Railways
Train Services
Singapore is the southern terminus of Keretapi Tanah Melayu network of Malaysia.

Ekspres Rakyat and Ekspres Sinaran Pagi are daily day services from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
Ekspres Sinandung Malam is daily sleeper service from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
Lambaian Timur is daily sleeper service from Singapore to Gua Musang at 04:45.
Ekspres Timuran is daily sleeper service from Singapore to Tumpat at 18:00.
Trains are efficient and clean but take more time than buses. Railways stations have Platform screen doors of half the height of normal human being have been installed in all railways stations. This prevents accidental fall onto the rails.

The fare currency is charged according to where you aboard the train. Johor Bahru is the first station in Malaysia and Woodlands Train Checkpoint is the railway station in Singapore.

By Waterways
Singapore is linked to Johor in Malaysia and Riau Island in Indonesia by ferry services. There are 5 ferry terminals in Singapore for international ferries:

HarbourFront is next HarbourFront MRT station.
Marina Bay Cruise Centre is accessible from Marina Bay MRT station by shuttle services.
Tanah Merah is served by bus route no. 35 from Bedok MRT station.
Changi can be accessed only by taxis from Tanah Merah MRT station or Changi Village.
Changi Point is not served by any public transport mode. Changi Village Bus Terminal is nearby and served by bus route no. 2, 29 and 59.
Star Cruises offers cruises from HarbourFront to various Southeast Asian destinations. Bangkok, Ko Samui, Krabi, Phuket, Tioman, Redang, Langkawi, Penang, Klang and Malacca are some of the common. Yearly cruise destinations include Hong Kong, Ho Chin Minh City in Vietnam, Sihanoukville