Singapore is a beautiful place to say the least. It is full of things to see and things to do, not to mention that it is also rich in cultural history as well. If you want to find out more about what this wonderful country has to offer then take a look below to find out more.
It’s Humid. Very Humid.
A lot of people know that Singapore is warm, but not a lot of people know that it has a very high humidity level as well. Some people might even compare it to stepping into a sauna, so you need to be prepared for this and you also need to pack accordingly. You are probably going to get sweaty when you travel here, and you will need to try and hydrate all the time as well. It helps to have a small hand towel with you as well, as this will help you to stay nice and dry. If you are completely new to tropical weather then try and go slow, the weather will wear you out more than you could ever realise, so don’t try and cram too many things into one day. After all, you don’t want to visit the doctor when you are there! So why is this country so humid? One of the reasons is because it rains, a lot. For this reason, you might want to take an umbrella with you as well.
There are a Lot of Duty-Free Regulations
Singapore has a lot of duty-free regulations. They are very stringent as well and this is especially the case if you smoke. There is no concession for tobacco regardless of where you are travelling from, so if you do plan on taking cigarettes with you then make sure that you are ready to be taxed for them. The more you have, the more tax you might end up paying so it is worth looking into this before you do get started.
The Subways are Reliable
Singapore’s subway system is known as the MRT. This is easily one of the most reliable systems around and it is a great transportation grid as well. The system is very efficient and it is easily one of the best ways for you to get around the whole island. The best thing about Singapore is that you are always close to a station, but if your train does happen to break down then you will be provided with a bridging service. This ultimately means that buses will travel between all of the buses and affected stations. The bad thing about this is that it will increase the amount of time you are travelling for, so if you have something booked you may have to allow some extra time here. Of course, it’s more than possible for you to claim your ticket back if you happen to be caught in a breakdown and you could even check for delays on Twitter as well as this will help you to understand the way things work.
Taxis are Expensive
Singapore taxis are required by law to operate via a meter. This means that you have to walk away if you see that a taxi driver is operating by negotiation or even if they offer you some kind of special package. You may even find that final fares can pile up with ease and you will probably experience a ton of surcharges as well. The final surcharge can vary depending on whether you are travelling during a peak time, on the highway or even to the airport. If you travel between 12am and 6am there is a 50% surcharge as well. For this reason, if you have a tight budget then you need to try and travel on the subway or even on the bus as this can save you a ton of money when you need it the most.
Travelling at Night
So as mentioned above, taxis are very expensive at night. The subway will always operate until the early hours of the morning and this is especially the case when there are major public holidays. You can even use the night bus if you want and this will only charge you a low flat fee. In short, you will never be stuck without a method of travel, even if you do happen to be very low on cash.
You Need Cash
There has been an active campaign to try and make all of Singapore go cashless. That being said, it is always a good idea for you to carry some cash with you. You do have to be careful however because sometimes it is not safe for you to have cash. For example, if you want to buy a coffee, travel to a neighbourhood shop or even go to an older Hawker centre then you would have to have cash. ATMs are everywhere as well so you really don’t have to take a lot of money with you.
AirBNBs Are Illegal
Did you know that 80% of people who live in Singapore live in HDB estates? Under the laws that are present, lessees are not allowed to rent out their properties to anyone who is considered to be a tourist. You are only allowed to do this if you are visiting with a student pass or if you have a long-term visit pass. Private property owners are also not allowed to rent out their property either unless the tenant is staying there for more than 3 months. Even then, they can only do this if they have permission from the government. If you are a tourist who is visiting Singapore then the implications of you breaking this law are not good. Sure, you probably won’t get arrested but you do run the risk of being thrown out in the middle of the night. If you want to stay somewhere without breaking the bank then consider looking into house rental rates Singapore or even places such as Little India and Chinatown. These tend to be very happy to help and they are also operated very efficiently as well.
Wifi Is Everywhere
Wifi is everywhere in Singapore. You have Wifi in shopping malls and even in museums as well. It is even possible for you to sign up for a free account when you get there from within your hotel as well. The problem is that even though the Wifi is free, you may find it hard to get a good signal. This is especially the case if you are in an area that is incredibly busy. It may be that it is worth you having some extra data on your phone for this reason. Of course, it is very easy for you to top-up your phone when you get there and you would be surprised at how convenient this can be when you have to use the internet.
Did you know that a lot of people in Singapore happen to speak a very good level of English?
You may need to take the time to get to know their intonations and even their colloquiums as well. A lot of people in Singapore happen to speak English much faster when compared to in the west, and those who are not very fluent tend to falter on the pronunciations of certain words.
You Don’t Have to Tip
A lot of restaurants often add a 10% service fee on top of the consumption tax. For this reason, you usually won’t have to tip because it is considered to be unnecessary. Food courts do not charge for this service and food outlets don’t either. Even then, those who actually live in Singapore would find it odd to tip at these kind of places. For this reason, it’s not bad for you to avoid tipping. You can however leave your spare change on the table if someone has provided you with a spectacular service, so do keep that in mind.
The Tap Water is Great!
Singapore tap water is very safe for you to drink. It doesn’t have any strange taste, in fact, it’s rather good! You don’t need to buy bottled water when you are there. Take note however, because even though tap water is safe, that doesn’t mean that it has not been contaminated by the pipes. There is no way for you to be sure about this, but you can look at the colour of the water to know. You do however want to avoid drinking water at coffee shops, out of the tap anyway.
So there are so many things that you need to know before you travel to Singapore and you
would be surprised at how easy it is for you to get the help and support you need when you are going for the first time. If you take the time to really learn what it has to offer, you will soon see how easy it is for you to have the time of your life when you are out there.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.