Welcome to Singapore!

SINGAPORE LAST STREET BARBER 

In the old days, it was well-known as the busy “Barber Street” filled with street barbers, yet the narrow back alley off Aliwal Street today is nothing but a quiet and forgotten lane unnoticed by most passers-by having their lunch at the Jalan Sultan vicinity.

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Barbering tools such as the scissors, clippers, blades and brushes are kept neatly in the small box-shaped cupboard. It also contains a calender and a small clock to remind him of the date and time. A FM radio that broadcasts old Chinese songs accompanies Mr Tan when the business is quiet and the day is slow.

Other items include a broom, which is used to clear the hair on the ground, and stacked plastic chairs ready to serve more customers. There is also a seat cushion to be placed on the old fashioned chair when its leather seating gets too warm.

Taking about 15 to 20 minutes per head, Mr Tan made sure his customer’s hair was neatly trimmed, followed by a clean shaving of facial hair around the lips, cheeks, ears and forehead. The unsightly nose hair would also be taken care of. All these services for a price of only $6.

SINGAPORE : Singapore regulation and supervision of its financial sector has been assessed as among the best in the world by the International Monetary Fund

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s regulation and supervision of its financial sector has been assessed as among the best in the world by the International Monetary Fund.

Banks in Singapore cleared IMF’s stress tests under the IMF’s financial stability assessment programme (FSAP) — meaning they are resilient to adverse global economic scenarios.

However, the IMF also highlighted some risks, including rising credit growth.

“The FSAP is a rigorous and comprehensive programme. It provided us the opportunity to be independently benchmarked against international best practices and to evaluate policy actions to address any vulnerabilities in our financial system. The assessment is a testament to MAS’ long tradition of prudent regulation and supervision,” said Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS.

High leverage in the economy, property prices rising to above its 2008 peak — these are risks identified by the IMF that could pose a challenge to Singapore’s financial stability.

The IMF said while these risks appear manageable, the impact will become clearer only when the interest rate cycle turns.



SINGAPORE NEW WATER PARK : ADVENTURE COVE

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Promising endless splashes of fun, Adventure Cove Waterpark™ is an aquatic adventure park with something for everyone. Feel the adrenaline rush as you zoom down thrilling waterslides such as Southeast Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster. Chill out with friends at Bluwater Bay wave pool, or grab a tube and journey down Adventure River, passing through 14 themed zones including a tropical jungle garden and a grotto inhabited by whimsical sea creatures. Snorkel over a colourful coral reef with 20,000 friendly fishes or wade amongst dozens of rays as you touch their velvety wings. For a day of wet and wild fun in the sun, come and experience it all at Adventure Cove Waterpark


SINGAPORE GIVE VIP FROM CHINA A BIG WELCOME

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Singapore on Thursday gave a VIP welcome to a pair of giant pandas loaned by China for 10 years to mark two decades of close diplomatic relations.
The bears — five-year-old male Kai Kai (“victorious”) and four-year-old Jia Jia (“beauty”) — will be the stars in a new section of the Singapore Zoo and will make their public debut in December after a quarantine period.
Singapore hopes they will have babies during their stay in the city-state and has devoted millions of dollars to a climate-controlled enclosure designed to promote breeding in the island’s humid tropical climate.
“It is indeed our privilege to be entrusted with two of China’s national treasures,” a Singapore government representative, Teo Ser Luck, said at Changi airport after the pandas arrived.
Dai Bing, charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy in Singapore, called the animals “the friendship ambassadors of China and Singapore.”
The pandas were delivered in a chartered Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 cargo jet that stopped at an exclusive terminal normally reserved for foreign dignitaries, celebrities and wealthy flyers.
Singapore is the ninth country to receive the bears from China since the loan scheme began in 1994, and the fourth Asia-Pacific nation to be given the honour after Thailand, Japan and Australia.
Other places such as Hong Kong received pandas under a different scheme.
The two pandas will be housed in a custom-built 1,500 square metre (16,145 square foot) enclosure costing Sg$8.6 million ($6.9 million) within the zoo’s new attraction called the River Safari.
The accommodation will be cooled to between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius (64-72 degrees Fahrenheit). In Singapore the temperature usually ranges from 25 to 32 degrees.
Humidity will be set at 50 to 60 percent to simulate the pandas’ natural habitat in southwest China’s Szechuan province. Live plants, boulders and waterfalls have also been installed.
State-linked Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) operates the zoo, which welcomed 1.6 million visitors in 2010.
The River Safari, which is scheduled to open fully next year, expects to attract at least 850,000 visitors annually, WRS said.
WRS director of exhibit design and development Cham Tud Yinn said he had visited panda enclosures all over the world to look at their designs, and learnt most from Hong Kong’s Ocean Park.
“We went there and actually we learnt a lot from them, the mistakes that they made especially with the technical aspect of cooling a building,” he told AFP.
Should the pandas wish to sample Singapore’s tropical temperatures, the enclosure has an outdoor segment where they can laze around.
WRS hopes to use temperature and lighting conditions to stimulate the bears to produce babies.
“In the wild, their breeding behaviour is very much triggered by the change in seasons,” Cham said.
A dedicated den and nursery for baby pandas were constructed in advance.

SINGAPORE NEW INDOOR JUNGLE : GARDENS BY THE BAY

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From re-developing old city while retaining its original essence to coming up with modern marvels, one is awestruck by the method that goes into the authorities’ meticulous madness. Additions such as Gardens by the Bay to its long list of infra structural accolades only strengthen the burgeoning image of Singapore as a wholesome holiday destination. After a strenuous process of selecting from close to 70 designs submitted by firms from across the globe and showcasing the models to residents of Singapore, a design was finally decided upon. This was a part of a vision to turn Singapore from a ‘Garden City’ to ‘City in a Garden”.

The end result of this entire exercise was a breathtaking botanical garden that even surpasses even the wildest imagination of a well traveled tourist. It is one of the unique spots in the world that sees union of greenery with much hated steel, concrete and glass structures. Modern construction houses some of the best flora and fauna sourced from across the globe. Divided into various parts, a walk across this garden can actually be a lesson in global ecology.

Flower Dome exemplifies a flower valley that we all dream of but very few can witness. Given a futuristic design, this spaceship like oval shaped recreates the Mediterranean climate and houses plants from the region. The Cloud Forest area located inside a dome adjoining the Flower Dome replicates the misty experience of walking through a forest adjoining a waterfall. The sound of water falling from a height remains your constant companion while you admire the vegetation from various corners of the globe. Take the walkway that takes you through the various plants and tree varieties while offering you breathtaking view of the region. If you’re game to behold the futuristic forests, then Supertree Grove is just near perfect.

After treating your visual senses, round up this memorable trip with a culinary delight at the gastronomic wonder Pollen. It’s a gourmet ride curated by famous chef Jason Atherton that is definitely worth a stopover. Even if one isn’t game to strut though the garden area, business travelers or tourists are advised to try this feast prepared using fresh seasonal produce. Since the meal here also offers complimentary access to the Flower Dome, one is usually tempted to also check out the vibrant blossoming gardens.

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