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Travel Tips

COVID-19 and the 2022 Conference

Today, no one can predict when it will be safe to hold large face-to-face meetings.  Here is what we promise you:

  • We will refund 100% of your fees if you register and we cancel the conference.
  • We will make a firm decision about holding the conference on the dates planned as soon it is possible to do so.  At the very latest, the decision will be made one month before the event.

Please make sure that all of the plans you make can be changed and/or refunded until at least one month before the event. 

Visas for Singapore

Among our member countries, you do NOT need a visa to visit Singapore for 30 days or less if your passport is from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, New Zealand, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, USA, and Vietnam. However, you do need an electronic arrival card which must be completed at least 3 days before entry:

For a list of countries that do need a visa and the requirements for each country, use this link for the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA):

You can apply for a visa through any authorized agent listed on the ICA Website and it usually takes 3-5 business days to obtain it.

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Arriving and Transportation

Changi Airport is located in the east end of the island which is approximately 25-30 minutes away from the City Hall. Options include an airport shuttle, airport taxi, MRT (subway train service), public bus or using Grab. You can pick the option that best fits your needs through this travel guide:

Below is a partial map of the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). Click here for a complete map.  Marked on the map you can see Changi Airport and the Paya Lebar station, where the Lifelong Learning Institute (our conference venue) is located.  Notice that the green line and the orange line are both very convenient for our conference.

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Hotels in Singapore

Conference venue is located in the Geylang area in the eastern part of the central region of Singapore. There are number of hotels around the area.  A few recommended hotels are:

  • Aqueen Hotel Paya Lebar (3 star)
  • XY Hotel Bugis by Asana Hotels (4 star)
  • Hotel NuVe Urbane (4 star)
  • Hotel Classic by Venue (3 star)

APCDA Officers will be staying at Aqueen Hotel Paya Lebar which is walking distance from the conference venue.  It is recommended that you select a hotel located near the Green line (East-West) or Orange line (Circle) of MRT to ensure easier travel access. 

Below is a map featuring the Aqueen Hotel Paya Lebar, Lifelong Learning Institute (marked with red pin) and hotels nearby.  This map was produced using  Note that the room prices are in US dollars, but they change constantly.

The address of the conference venue is:

Lifelong Learning Institute
11 Eunos Road 8
Singapore 408601

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Explore Singapore

by Emily Lizada

This tiny island nation is separated from Malaysia by the narrow Straits of Johor on the north.  On the south is Indonesia, separated from Singapore by the 20 kilometer-wide Singapore Strait. But Singapore is a world of its own. This wealthy and very well-run country has its own culture, languages, history, and politics, plus a of sights and amenities that make it a fascinating travel destination.

Jewel Changi Airport

When you arrive in Singapore via Changi Airport, be sure to take time to visit this unique spacious entertainment and retail complex called the Jewel.  Enjoy the garden and majestic waterfalls at the center of the building. There are shops and restaurants to visit.

Singapore’s downtown includes many fascinating sights.  In the map above, under the ‘e’ in the words “Downtown Core,” is the famous Merlion – a half lion and half mermaid - which is the symbol of Singapore. On the other side of this bay is Sands Expo and Convention Center – a large hotel with a boat-shaped granite top called the Sands Park Observation Deck (which offers a great view for a price).  To the right, you can see Marina Bay which is home to Gardens by the Bay.  On the north side of the bay is the Singapore Flyer (a gigantic Ferris wheel which also offers a great view).

Gardens by the Bay

The Gardens by the Bay include 101 hectares at the center of the city in Marina Bay.  It includes two domes providing indoor flower viewing in a controlled environment plus the Supertree Grove and the OCBC Skyway (an elevated pathway).  The Flower Dome has themed shows which change several times a year plus a permanent exhibit of plants from many parts of the world. It holds A Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Glass Greenhouse in 2015.

The Cloud Forest is a 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding a breath-taking indoor waterfall. With plant life from tropical highlands, you’ll enjoy learning about unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests and the environmental threats they face within the nine unique zones of this Conservatory.

Be amazed with the light and sound of the Supertree Grove at night. You can take an elevator to OCBC Skyway and get a closeup view of the Supertree Grove and the outside gardens.

The National Museum of Singapore

While in the Downtown area, visit the National Museum of Singapore.  The Museum exhibits the history of this small city state that became a great country.  It is an architectural landmark in Singapore.  The National Museum hosts innovative festivals, exhibitions, art installations and events in which you can participate. It is the oldest museum in Singapore. The wonderful building structure has combined the old with the in an elegant neo-classical modern extension of glass and metal. It houses cafes and restaurants as well as souvenir shops. 

Nearby is the National Gallery Singapore, the largest collection of modern art in southeast Asia. And the Asian Civilizations museum displaying the artistic heritage of Asia with an emphasis on ancestral cultures of Singapore.


Heading straight west from Downtown, you can find Mount Faber Park.  There you can take a cable car to the island named “Sentosa” meaning – the island of peace and tranquility.  It was a British military fortress and in WWII it was occupied by the Japanese. It is an inland resort known for beautiful beaches and luxurious restaurants. Main island of Singapore and Sentosa is separated by Keppel Harbor.

Singapore Botanic Garden

Northwest of Downtown is the Singapore Botanic Garden. This is a national park with beautiful lakes, flowers, plants and animals.  Enjoy Kaya Toast and coffee before or after you stroll in the garden.  The park is ideal for jogging or walking, enjoy the sights and inhale fresh air. The location is near the Orchard area in the city.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens as UNESCO World Heritage Site at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee in Bonn Germany. It is the first and only tropical and botanic garden in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

National Orchid Garden

Inside the Botanical Garden is the National Orchid Garden.  Enjoy the beautiful orchids in full bloom! The breeding program for orchids started in 1928.  The orchids have been “hand-crafted” by the horticultural staff, with 1000 species and 2000 hybrids available at the garden.

Singapore Zoo

Heading north from the Botanical Gardens, you can find the Singapore Zoo. Singapore Zoo is famous for “Open-Concept” where you can experience nature and wildlife set in a rainforest environment. It is a home to 2,400 animals from 300 species of mammals, birds and reptiles. It is known for its conservation and breeding programs. The Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre was built in March 2006 to meet he needs of animals.  The zoo is aspiring to become the leading global center of excellence for veterinary healthcare and research.

They have educational programs like day and night camps, guided tours and workshops. Feast on a jungle Breakfast with Wildlife, including orangutans.  The animals are endless fun!

Food Tour

Savor the multi-cultural flavors of Singapore. Explore Chinatown, little India and Kampong Glam and taste different food while learning about the history and culture of this beautiful city.


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Singapore - Where Cultures, Religions and Passions Meet

by Sing Chee Wong

The Singapore historical records are covered in the mists of time.  In Malay history, early records called it the "island at the end of a peninsula" or “Pulau Ujong.”  Later, a town there was known as “Temasek” meaning “Sea Town.”  According to legend, the area gained a new name in the 1299 when Sang Nila Utama, an Indonesian Prince, was on a hunting trip and saw an animal he had never seen before. He founded a city where he saw the animal, naming it “The Lion City” or Singapura, meaning “simha” (lion) and “pura” (city).

Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Sir Raffles was employed by the Dutch East India Company, a British company, to manage an outpost on the island of Sumatra.  He was determined to destroy the Dutch mercantile monopoly in the area and open a British gateway for trade with China and Japan. The island at the end of the Malay peninsula was well positioned and in 1818 he secured the rights to set up a city and chose the name Singapore. By May 1819, the initial five-hundred villagers had grown to five-thousand merchants, soldiers, and administrators.

The Raffles Hotel is an important landmark in Singapore, although it was built in 1887 (long after his death).  The hotel represents the island’s colonial history. The main building, showcasing neo-Renaissance architecture with high ceilings and vast verandahs, was completed in 1899.  It was restored again in 2019 and now combines a fresh look with historical elegance.

For most of its history, immigration has been the major contributor to growth in Singapore. The majority of immigrants to Singapore came from three major ethnic groups: China, Malaysia/Indonesia, and India. The map to the left marks in red or blue the areas contributing the largest numbers of immigrants to Singapore.

Outside Greater China, Singapore is the only country in the world where people of Chinese descent constitute a majority of the population and are well represented in all levels of society, politically and economically.  When Singapore became a British colony, many of the first immigrants were Peranakans, or descendants of Chinese who had lived in Malaysia for several generations. Most of them were traders who could speak Chinese and Malay, though some were also English-educated and could communicate with the British. By the census of 1826, there were already more Chinese than Malays. Most of the early Chinese migrants to Singapore were males because it was not considered appropriate for Chinese women to immigrate with their husbands.  Husbands sent money home to support their family and some returned to China to retire.  Others, eventually married Malaysian women.

Singapore's infrastructure and environment might seem Western, but on closer observation, aspects of Chinese culture are found in all corners of Singapore. This includes the widespread use of different Chinese dialects, Chinese writings, press and entertainment media, a thriving Chinese pop culture, Chinese Clan associations, Chinese cultural festivals, Chinese opera, Chinese religious activities, Chinese bookshops etc.  For the tourist, Singapore’s China Town is a great place to see traditional Chinese culture and Chinese food is available everywhere.

Malaysians have always played an important role in Singapore.  The Raffles Plan of 1822 divided Singapore into different sections according to ethnic groups.  A large area which is now known as Kampong Glam was created for use by Malays and other Muslims.  Arabic traders settled there and built shops, restaurants, and mosques.  Since Singapore’s independence, Malaysians have continued to move to Singapore seeking better opportunities and Muslims currently represent 15% of the population.

Indians form the third largest ethnic group with 9% of the population.  When Singapore became a British colony, Indians mainly comprised young men who came as workers, soldiers and convicts. By the mid-20th century, a settled community had emerged, with a more balanced gender ratio and a better spread of age groups. Singapore Indians are linguistically and religiously diverse, with ethnic Tamils and Hindus forming majorities. The local Indian culture has endured and evolved over almost 200 years. By the 1990s, it had grown somewhat distinct from contemporary South Asian cultures, even as Indian elements became diffused within a broader Singaporean culture. Since then, new immigrants have increased the size and complexity of the local Indian population. Low-cost carriers, cable television and the Internet now connect the Indian Singaporean community with the culture of India and the Indian diaspora. The Indian culture is most visible in Little India, which is full of temples, restaurants and shops.

Singapore continued to develop as trading hub.  In 1924, a causeway opened the northern part to Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Singapore was attacked and occupied by the Japanese during World War II.  When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the island returned to British control.  In 1963, Singapore joined the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. However, social unrest and disputes resulted in Singapore's expulsion from Malaysia. Singapore became an independent republic on 9 August 1965.

Facing severe unemployment and a housing crisis, Singapore embarked on a modernization program continuing through the 1970s that focused on establishing a manufacturing industry, developing large public housing estates, and investing heavily in public education and infrastructure. It also invested in the greening of the city, turning Singapore into a “City in a Garden.” Lee Kuan Yew served as Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990 and provided steady guidance for growth and stability. By the 1990s, the country had become one of the world's most prosperous nations, with a highly developed free market economy, strong international trading links. It now has the highest per capita gross domestic product in Asia. It is ranked 10th by the World Bank on GNI (Gross National Income per capita) for 2019 and 9th on the UN Human Development Index for 2017.

Another landmark is the tall metal sculpture entitled “Momentum.”  It symbolizes the upward cycle of progress, the energy and momentum of the downtown district, Singapore, and its people.  Singapore’s diversity is its strength. The many communities may have their own festivities, traditions and practices, yet you’ll find Singaporeans celebrating all of these festivals as one people.

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