I always find it helpful to read about local customs and insights before travelling to any other country. So I put together a little summary of traveller tips for your first trip to Singapore.
Like most Southeast Asia countries, Singapore is generally hot and humid all year round, with the temperature averaging between 25°C to 33°C. The rainy season is usually in the months of November and December. June through August is considered to be the best time to visit. However, even when it does rain, it’s usually only for a short period. Ladies, this also means that every day is basically a bad hair day. Make sure to bring along your hair straigthener and hair-care products or think about different alternatives for wearing your hair BEFORE arrival. Otherwise it could get really frustrating when all your pictures just look awful because of your mop of hair. – Yes, I speak from experience ;-)
What to wear
For travellers who love the sun and the beach, Singapore is the perfect and ideal place for you as you can experience the sun throughout the year. Thus, its tropical climate makes light summer clothing most ideal, especially for activities like sightseeing. Most buildings, especially restaurants and the malls, are air-conditioned. This can be a bit chilly, so take a light but warm jacket or cardigan.
Generally, Singapore is pretty lenient for dress standards in most instances. If you’re going somewhere decent, dress appropriately. Shorts on middle-aged men look a little incongruous, but won’t attract too much attention. Ladies should exercise some sort of modesty. Suits and evening dresses will never be out of place in Singapore’s stylish nightspots. However, most restaurants and nightspots do not place restrictions on the dress code and casual wear is widely accepted.
Visitors to Singapore must have valid passports and visas to enter Singapore. However, visas are not required for Commonwealth citizens, British passport holders, and Republic of Ireland citizens for a stay of up to 14 days. All onward visitors should have passports valid for at least three months from the time of arrival. Check out the detailed customs guide for travellers to Singapore:
Singapore is effectively a multilingual nation. Although English is the first language of Singapore, there are also a multitude of other languages spoken in the country that reflect its multiracial, multicultural and multilingual society. The four official languages are English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.
International Country Code
Singapore’s country code is 65. There is no city code for Singapore.
General Dos and Don’ts
Singapore is a very safe and clean city due to the strictly enforced laws. Smoking in public buildings, transportation, air-conditioned restaurants and shopping centres is against the law. Also, littering and the import, sale and possession of chewing gum are prohibited.
Singapore Standard Time is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, and 16 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
The currency code of Singapore Dollar is SGD. Money changing services are available at Changi Airport and at most banks, hotels, and shopping centres. Make sure to always have some cash when taking a cab, since the taxi drivers don’t accept your Visa credit card.
Tipping is not very common in Singapore as most places have a 10% service charge added to the bill.
Shop till you drop and enjoy tax-free shopping anywhere you go in Singapore. The island is literally stacked with tons of shopping malls; on top of that, the 7% Goods and Service Tax (GST) levied on all sales in Singapore can be refunded at Changi Airport before your outbound flight, or at one of four downtown Global Refund offices.
During my stay in Singapore I will try to bring you the inside scoop of the latest trends and hot spots in order to provide you with more details. In case you are hooked and want more Singapore traveller tips, please also visit http://www.yoursingapore.com before travelling. There you’ll find pretty useful tips and loads of awesome insights for your trip.
photo credentials: Singapore Tourism Board