Travel Tips for Singapore
 
      Clothing | Eating | Law Life | Language | Travelling | Some Notes | Tipping | Shop tactics | Safety

Online Travel Tips for Singapore

 
Clothing and Dressing Tips

Clothing Tips - Travel Safety Tips for Singapore

They say Singapore is more like a sauna - hot and humid. Dress or undress accordingly. Bring light summer clothing and dress comfortably.

The dress code here anyway is casual clothes, preferably made from natural fibers. They'll let you and your skin breathe. Businessmen also commonly wear short-sleeve shirts, with or without ties.

Fussy eaters can have it easy. Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Peranakan, Thai, Japanese, Korean cuisine, herbal food and what have you - it's all here at the fanciest of restaurants and by the liveliest of street stalls. A great gastronomic experience for everyone.
 
If eating with a Chinese, remember not to point your chopsticks at them or even leave them 'standing' in a bowl. It's seen as being rude.
 
Most street-side food vendors or hawker centers practice self-service. So, please don't sit twiddling your thumb if the Haka noodles you asked for never arrived !
 
Sharing a table with strangers is a common practice.
If you are in the mood for seafood (it's a must-eat in Singapore), always check for the exact amount you will be charged, before placing the order.
Singapore is one of the best places to feast on tropical fruits, especially some extraordinary ones like rambutan, mangosteen, durian, pomelo, zirzat, buah duku, chiku and jeruk.
 
If you manage to be in Singapore during April, you sure have good timing ! This is a month full of feasting with the Singapore Food Festival
 
Law-Life

law and safety Travel Security Tips for Singapore

Singapore's laws are severe by most standards. One visit to the island and you'll be convinced that they be imposed everywhere on earth. Some of these you ought to know...

If you are the one who loves to chomp and champ on gums, you are in for a big surprise. The sale and importation of chewing gum is banned although possession is not necessarily a criminal offense. So you can

bring in a small quantity to chew. This is just to discourage people from chewing it.
Smuggling gum into the country is heavy penalty stuff - for a first-time offender, the fine can be close to S$10,000 or a maximum of a year's imprisonment or both. If you do it again, cough up S$20,000 or be ready to be jailed for 2 years or both.
 
Litter and get embarrassed. And, this is not it. First-timers face a fine of up to $1000 and second-timers may be fined S$2000 plus and made to do community services like cleaning public places. They sure teach you lessons !
 
 

Smoking is not allowed in public service vehicles, museums, libraries, lifts, theaters, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants, hair salons, supermarkets, department stores and government offices. If you don't listen, pay S$1000 in fines. But if the urge to light a ciggie is getting to you, rush to pubs, discos, karaoke bars, and nightspots....it's permitted here but not in eating places.
 

 
Spitting is not done too. Thankfully ! In public places it is an offense subject to a fine of S$1,000 for first-time offenders and S$2,000 for repeat offenders.
 
 

Trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting drugs (more than 15 grams of heroin, 30g of morphine, 30g of cocaine, 500g of cannabis, 200g of cannabis resin and 1.2 kg of opium) carries death penalty, if convicted. Unauthorized traffic in other drugs will give you a minimum sentence of 2 years' imprisonment and 2 strokes of cane (OUCH!) and a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment and 15 strokes of cane. Consuming drugs translates into a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment or fine of S$20,000 or both.
 

 
The only gambling that you can do are the charity draws, Toto and Singapore Sweep lotteries and on-course betting on horse races at the Singapore Turf Club. The others are all illegal.
 
 

You better remember to flush public toilets after use otherwise face a fine of up to S$150 for the first offense, S$500 for the second offense, and S$1,000 for subsequent offenses.
 

 
Go slow, if driving. Speeding is condemned. There are several speed-trap cameras installed around the island to eye you.
 
 
Don't jaywalk. It is illegal for a pedestrian to come within 50 meters of another pedestrian crossing the street. If you must, then pay a S $50 fine.
 
 
It is illegal to pee in an elevator. Thank God for small mercies !
Language Tips

This is a no-brainer. English is widely understood and is the medium of instruction in schools. Yet, the only non-English speaking section here could be the older Singaporeans who didn't learn English at school. These people speak in Singlish (a mix of English with a smattering of Chinese and Malay), a popular colloquial language.

 
   
Just for your information, the 4 official languages of Singapore are Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English. Malay is obviously used by the Malay community. Chinese dialects like Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hainanese and Hakka are still widely spoken among the older Chinese. The Government has long been trying to promote Mandarin and successfully so...lots of Chinese now speak Mandarin, even at home. Indians mainly use Tamil though Malayalam and Hindi are spoken as well.
 
Online Travel Safety Tips for Singapore
 
Travelling Tips

Online Air Travel Tips for Singapore

Easy and economical, Singapore has a super-efficient public transport system. There are taxis, buses and the modern Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system.

From Singapore's Changi Airport, catch the monorail Skytrain that shuttles between the 2 terminals here. To get to and from the airport, there are 'airbuses' that get one straight into town at a reasonable rate.

The island has over 15,000 air-conditioned taxis that are comfortable and inexpensive too. You can flag a taxi anytime. Taxi stands are well-marked and placed outside most major shopping centers and hotels. Expect extra charges during peak hours and for advanced booking.
 

 

The easiest, fastest and most stress-free way of getting around Singapore is the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) subway system. These are clean, punctual and air-conditioned. Fines for littering, smoking, eating and drinking in these trains and at stations ensures cleanliness. They operate from 6 am to midnight at a frequency of 3 to 8 minutes.
 

 

Singapore also has an extremely extensive bus network. You will barely have to wait for more than a few minutes for a bus to take you to any part of the island. It's best to buy a TransitLink Guide - it has a list of all buses and MRT services. Better still, buy the TransitLink Card, a value-for-money card that you can use on both the MRT and buses.
 

 

For some delightful, pleasure commuting, luxurious junk tours can be taken around the harbor. There are regular ferry services operating from the World Trade Center to Sentosa and other islands.
 

 

You can charter bumboats or motorized sampans and tour the Singapore River. Though rickshaws cannot be seen on Singapore's main streets, they still operate in Chinatown and the back streets. Always agree on a fare before you jump on for a trip.

 
Some more tips
Remove your shoes when invited to a Singaporean home.

You can visit Singapore anytime - It's hot and humid year-round. The climate here remains fairly steady with the temperature ranging between 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F). Rains visit frequently. So, it might be a good idea to coincide your visit with the festivals and events that happen here.
    

 

If you visit a temple or a mosque, take your shoes off before entering.

Left-handers beware! Eating with the left hand is considered unclean.

It's one of the cleanest cities in the world and it's perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap.

 

Singapore has well-qualified doctors, dentists and surgeons. God forbid if you need any.Pharmacists work from 9 am to 6 pm. Most hotels have their own doctors on 24-hour call.

 
 
Tipping Tips
Not required. Not in Singapore. It's actually prohibited at the airport and discouraged at hotels and restaurants where a 10% service charge is included in the bill. Only hand one out if the bill does not include a service charge.
Shopping Tactics and Tips

It's no exaggeration to call shopping the national pastime of Singapore. An amazing range of products are available in shopping malls, department stores, boutiques, and bargain stores.

 

Watch out for the annual Great Singapore Sale between June and July. It's a legendary event for both locals and visitors alike. Almost everything including designer products are discounted. These are genuinely great bargains. Sotheby's, Christie's, Tresors and Glerums & Bonhams also hold some exclusive events.

 
Shops are open daily between 10 AM to 9 PM. However, some shops close by 10 PM.
 
Shopping Travel Security Tips for Singapore
A 3% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied on most goods and services. If you spend more than S$300, apply for a refund of the GST paid. Receipts of S$100 or more can be pooled from shops displaying the Tax Free Shopping Sticker. Get a Claims Form at these shops.
 

Most large shops or department stores exchange goods or even refund the price of goods, if returned undamaged within a specified number of days from the purchase date with the receipt or cash slips. Some small shops can be accommodating too.

 
Always ask for a sales receipt and an original warranty card, especially on items such as cameras and electrical goods where the manufacturer's international guarantee card should be available.
 
 
Safety Tips
Singapore is safe! It's one of the safest cities in the world. However, there are strict laws against jaywalking, littering and spitting to name but three. There are also tight laws on where you can and can't smoke. These are usually well signed but in general do not smoke on public transport, in government offices, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants and in shopping centers.

Singapore has earned the distinction of being one of the most crime-free countries in the world. The streets are usually quite safe at all times, even at nights. However, there are occasional pickpockets and purse snatchers who prey on unsuspecting victims. There are no specific areas, which are crime prone but it is better to avoid dark and secluded streets, especially if you are alone.

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