Singapore is traveler’s paradise in true sense of the word! Be it fun, food or entertainment, it is all there on a platter! Simply put, it is a Westernized country Asia is proud of, sans the culture shock. And, you can easily survive with English too! Be it a limousine service provider or a roadside vendor, they will all use English with a bit of Singapore accent. If you are traveling to Singapore for the first time, there are ten things to know.
1. A predominantly equatorial climate
Singapore is just one degree off the equator. Therefore, the climate is hot and humid all round the year. Soft cottony clothes that dry off easily should be packed. Also it rains pretty often. Monsoon friendly shoes and a small folding umbrella can come in handy. Carrying loads of sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat is advisable.
2. Strict supervision is in place
When you are in Singapore, you are always on camera, quite literally. CCTV cameras are strewn across the country for strict supervision. Therefore, it is advisable to stick to the law and behave like a responsible tourist.
3. Shop timings
Singapore is a shopper’s paradise with Orchard Road being the prime shopping area. Shops open at 10am and close down by 9pm. Some shops might open only by 11am. Some shopping malls offer extended shopping hours to 11pm on weekends.
4. Eating out
Singapore enthralls global tourists with its sumptuous delicacies. If you are wondering where to eat from, roadside eateries and small vendors are perfect places to savor local delicacies. The country follows high levels of hygiene. Each and every food establishment has to display a health certificate issued by the Singapore Health Authority with a grading from A to D, with A being the best.
5. Littering is not permitted
Singapore is strict on public cleanliness. Littering is strictly prohibited. If you are caught littering 3 times, you might be penalized and would have to clean the roads on the following Sunday as punishment.
6. Don’t carry gum
Gum chewing is illegal in Singapore. So, if you are addicted to chewing gum, it is important to refrain.
7. Do not tip
Tipping is not a common practice in Singapore and is not expected by those serving at restaurants, bars or even hotels. So, save your precious penny and refrain from tipping.
8. GST and Service Tax is applicable
When you eat out, expect a bill that includes Service charge and GST. Normally, the service charge would be about 10% of your bill and the GST about 7%. However, service charge is not added in food courts or hawkers counters.
9. Transport is excellent
If you are looking for public transport, the train system is safe, clean and comfortable. Hop-on buses are available too. For customized tour plans you can opt for a minibus rental service that accommodates the entire group. Limousine services are available too, for more comfortable journey.
10. Mobile communication is easy
There are several prominent telecom providers; you can purchase your cards from. Lucrative schemes are offered to tourists. All you will need is your passport.
Singapore is a true delight for tourists across the globe. There are a multitude of exciting destinations to explore including Universal Studios and the Jarong Bird Park. Reading up a bit about the country before planning the travel is advisable.