Singapore is located at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsular, lying just 137km north of the equator. Early settlements on this land were established around AD 1298, but Singapore as we know it now was founded in the 19th century, thanks to British Statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Raffles saw the potential of this small port, and entered into trade negotiations to establish Singapore as a major trading hub. Singapore gained independence as the Republic of Singapore in August 1965, and is now an independent and sovereign democratic nation.
Singapore consists of 63 islands, with the main island, Pulau Ujong, covering an area of 710 square kilometres. The main island is very densely populated, and this urbanisation means that Singapore has lost a large proportion of its historic forests. However, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve now host over half of the island's naturally occurring fauna and flora. The Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix is held on the streets of the bustling Marina, at the heart of Singapore's main island.
Singapore’s Changi Airport is 20km east of the city, and you can reach the track by taxi in 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can use the local metro service, the MRT, to reach central Singapore in around 30 minutes.
Singapore has a tropical rain forest climate, with no distinctive seasons. Generally, temperatures will range from 22 - 35 degrees centigrade and humidity levels are high. Although temperature does not vary too much throughout the year, the rainier monsoon season runs from November to January. From July to October there is often haze over the island of Singapore, caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia.