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Singapore Cycling - About cycling in Singapore
Singapore may be seen as one beautiful tropical garden and motorized traffic may seem to be in paradise, but not the cyclist. Oh yes, facilities for cyclists were made in the East Coast Park, enabling you to ride a few kilometers on a bicycle track, and you can move around freely on the small island of Pulau Ubin. But cycling in Singapore has the status of a leasure activity and when you think of it as a real sport, let alone a means of transport, be aware!
The good side of 'Singapore Cycling' is the good quality of the roads. And the road signs. And all the park-like green that covers Singapore, which make you feel sometimes right in middle of a jungle, rather than in a city state. This can't be said anymore for the land that surrounds Singapore in a wide range.
But when you enter Singapore on a bicycle, you are just not welcome. The airport can only be left via motorways. The west link to Johor, at Tuas, is forbidden for bicycles. From the north, the causeway at Woodlands can be passed alright, but look out! For rainwater drainage, steel grids exist at Woodlands Checkpoint, with bars in the direction of traffic. The spacing between the bars is small enough for motorcycles (and MTB's) to pass safely, but not for road bikes. So, after you finally found a way to enter, you may be trapped in the end and it inflicted a nice knee wound at myself, after a fall. To make the list of hostilities towards cyclists complete: there is no way of leaving Singapore via Woodlands other than taking the motorway. Or you take a 200 metres run against traffic rules, what I usually do.
As said before, Singapore isn't that bad, once you are in. The roads are wide, which gives you in general enough space to pedal. There are no bicycle paths, but I do not see that as a bad thing, personally. Bicycle paths in countries with few bicycles are always misused as parking places, as outside storage facilities, as footpath and they are dangerous because people do not expect a cyclist on a bicycle path. In relation to other Asian countries, Singaporians comply very well with traffic rules. There are no rules for bicycles (I checked the standard booklet of traffic rules: not a word!) and also this may be a good thing, rather than a disadvantage. The motorists and the authorities lack legal means to expel the bike from the Singapore roads altogether.
There are as many opinions as there are souls in this world, so it is good to quote a friend's opinion about biking safety in Singapore as well:
Regarding the dangers of bicycling in Singapore, I feel a note of caution is worthwhile. I've had several incidents where cars or trucks passed really close to me and I could have been hit had I happened to swerve slightly at the right moment. But more worrisome was that I have had three incidents where if I had not reacted defensively, e.g. moved out of the way, I would have been hit. The drivers had no intention, nor the time, to move out of my way.
Cars sometimes don't look out for you, and sometimes pass you very close, so you should always be ready to react defensively.
Singapore Cycling - The Indonesian Riau Islands
important note!The government of Indonesia has changed its visa policy for foreign tourists effective February 1st., 2004.
Entering Indonesia without any visa is possible now only for nationals of the following 11 countries and territories: Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
A Visa on Arrival (VoA) is available for nationals of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Citizens of these countries will be able to apply for a VoA valid for either 3 or 30 days upon arrival by air in Bali, Jakarta and a few other international airports or by ship at a limited number of Indonesian sea ports. A 3-day visa costs US$10 and a 30-day visa costs US$25. Travelers from the above countries must be in posession of a passport which is valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival and the completed embarkation/disembarkation card. They must also be able to prove they have sufficient funds for their stay in Indonesia.
Arriving travelers with Visa-On-Arrival status have to go first to one of the 'VoA Counters' to pay the appropriate fee and have their passports stamped with the VoA before proceeding to the Immigration Clearance Desk. An official bank is part of the VoA service counters. Payment of visa fees can only be made in US dollar bank notes, Indonesian Rupiah equivalent or by VISA or MASTERCARD.
Citizens of countries neither on the VoA nor Visa-Free lists are required to apply for a visa overseas before travelling to Indonesia. In Singapore, the Indonesian embassy can be found on 7 Chatsworth Road, Singapore 249761 Tel:6737-7422 , Fax:6737-5037, 6235-5783. Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 8.30 am - 1.00 pm; 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm; Fri 8.30 am - 12.30 pm; 2.30 pm - 5.00 pm
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