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The place name "Singapore" is derived from Singa-pura, "City of the Lion", a commonly used term since the fourteenth century. The main cultural traditions are Malay, Indian, Chinese, and to some extent Western (British).

Singapore lies at the tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, between Indian Ocean and The South China Sea. It borders Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. Its area is 248 square miles (642 square kilometers), including the main island and some sixty islets. The main island is flat with a hilly region in the middle. The highest point is Bukit Timah, feet (206 meters) above sea level. The climate is tropical with high humidity and abundant rainfall, especially during the northeast monsoon in December to March. The period of the southwest monsoon (June to September) is usually the driest.

The island city-state on the southern tip of Malay Peninsula has seen many rulers in its history. It has been an outpost of the ancient Sumatran Srivijaya empire; it was part of the Sultanate of Johore in the 15th and 16th century, and it was burned down by Portugese forces in 1617.In the beginning of the 19th century Singapore became a trade post and settlement of the British East India Company and some years later a British crown colony.

The Republic of Singapore was established on 9 August 1965. Prior to independence, Singapore was a British colony from 1824. In 1963, Singapore gained independence from Britain when it joined the Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to form the Federation of Malaysia. However, political, economic and ideological differences led to Singapore’s separation from the rest of Malaysia, becoming a sovereign, democratic and independent nation on 9 August 1965.

Singapore is today (beside Monaco) the most densely populated independent country in the world. Its strategic location combined with a largely corruption-free government, a skilled work force, pro-foreign investment and export-oriented, led to a successful free-market economy which attracts international investment funds on a large scale despite its relatively high-cost operating environment. The townships are self-contained and have high-rise apartment blocks, shops, medical and social service buildings, religious buildings, and schools; they are well connected by the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRT), which circles the island. Singapore's economy is primarily based on trade and the hospitality industry. Tourists flock to the hotels, shopping centers, and beaches of Singapore for recreation and relaxation.

The total population of Singapore is 5.47 million, of whom 3.87 million are citizens or permanent residents. The three major ethnic groups within the local community are Chinese (74 per cent), Malay (13 per cent) and Indians (9.1 per cent). Singapore has four official languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English, Malay and Tamil.
Singapore is a cosmopolitan society where people live harmoniously and interactions among different races are commonly seen. The immigrants of the past have given the place a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences, all of which have intermingled. The old streets of Chinatown can still be seen; the Muslim characteristics are still conspicuous in Arab Street; and Little India along Serangoon Road still has its distinct ambience. Furthermore, there are marks of the British colonial influence in the Neo-Classical buildings all around the city. Singapore has lots of cuisines to offer, which include Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and Western, Italian, Peranakan, Spanish, French, Thai and even Fusion.

Most Singaporeans celebrate the major festivals associated with their respective religions. The Chinese are predominantly followers of Buddhism, Taoism, Shenism, Christians, Catholics and some considered as 'free-thinkers' (Those who do not belong to any religion). Malays have the Muslims and Indians are Hindus. There are a sizeable number of Muslims and Sikhs in the Indian population.

Singapore has been described as a playground for the rich, and it's true that the small city-state does have certain sheen of wealth. But Singapore offers more than just high-end shopping malls, luxury hotels, and fine dining. There is also a vibrant history and diverse ethnic quarters to discover.

You can enjoy both urban and natural attractions in this mega-metropolis. Some of Singapores most popular attractions are Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay, Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street, Raffles Hotel, Singapore Zoo, Fort Canning Park, Sentosa Island, Orchard Road, Clark Quay, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Universal Studios, The Merlion, Night Safari, Underwater World, and Sri Mariamman Temple.

The Portrait notes are the fourth series of currency notes launched on 9 September 1999. The new series marks the first time a portrait has been featured as its main design theme. The portrait of Singapore's first President, the late Encik Yusof Bin Ishak was chosen in honour of his invaluable contribution towards nation building.

The Singapore Dollar is the currency of Singapore. The currency code for Dollars is SGD, and the currency symbol is $. The local currency is dollars and cents. Notes come in denominations of SGD 2, SGD 5, SGD 10, SGD 20, SGD 50, SGD 100, SGD 500, SGD 1,000, and SGD 10,000. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and SGD 1.

The most popular Singapore Dollar currency exchanges in Singapore are US Dollar (USD), European Euro (EUR), UK Pound Sterling (GBP), Australian Dollar (AUD), Indian Rupee (INR), Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY), and Japanese Yen (JPY).
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