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Singapore Travel Tips

Dress Code General Info Money Matters
Phone Home Medical Info Outward Bound

What to Wear
Loose and light summer clothing (preferably natural fabrics) is recommended, especially for outdoor activities like bazaar shopping and sightseeing. Evening wear depends very much on the setting. Jeans, T-shirts and sandals are acceptable in casual eateries and hawker stalls, but discouraged in fine dining establishments. For men, a tie and jacket may be necessary in some of the more exclusive places. For woman, anything from dressy silk to casual cotton would be appropriate.

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General Information
Drinking Water
This is Singapore and yes you can drink water straight from the tap but we suggest you get in the habit of drinking bottled water especially if you will be visiting other countries in the region.

Singapore's voltage is 220 - 240 AC, 50 Hertz. Outlets and plugs are of the large 3-prong variety. Most hotels can provide adaptors and transformers to convert it to 110 - 120 AC, 60 Hertz. That said, be aware when buying large electrical appliances like computers of the difference with your home country.

Smoking, rather No Smoking
Smoking is banned in public buses, taxis, lifts, theatres, government offices, cinemas, air conditioned restaurants, shopping centres air-conditioned pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots, covered areas or in any public spot (a public spot being defined as anyplace where more than two persons are gathered). First-time offenders may be fined up to SGD1,000.00.

Singapore is clean and wants to remain so. A carelessly thrown tissue could result in a SGD1,000.00 fine for a first offender, and a SGD2,000.00 fine and a stint of corrective work order cleaning a public place for repeat offenders.

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Money Matters
There is no limit on the amount of currency you can bring into take out of Singapore.

The local currency is Singapore Dollars, expressed as either S$ or SGD. Paper notes are available in SGD1, SGD2, SGD5, SGD10, SGD20, SGD50, SGD100, SGD500, SGD1,000 and SGD10,000. Coins are minted in 1,5,10,20,50 cents and SGD1 and SGD2.

Money changing services are available at Singapore Changi Airport 24/7 and at most banks, hotels and shopping complexes. Generally speaking licensed money changers give a better rate than most hotels and banks. That said, if you take a step or two into a shopping centre you'll almost always get a better rate than if you use the one at the entrance. Visitors are advised not to change money with unlicensed operators. Most banks open from 9.30 am to 3.00 pm on weekdays and 9.30 am to 11.30 am on Saturdays.

Credit / Charge Cards
Credit and charge cards are widely accepted in Singapore. Hotels, travel agents, retailers, restaurants and even taxi cabs readily accept international credit and charge cards.

Oddly for a service economy tipping is not common or expected in Singapore. It is prohibited at the airport and discouraged in hotels and restaurants where there is a 10% service charge automatically added to your bill. As well taxi drivers are generally not tipped. A tip should only be exercised in instances where the bill does not include a service charge.

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Phone Home
The country code for Singapore is 65. As of now there are no area codes. Local calls cost SGD10 cents for the first 3 minutes. Many businesses have toll free numbers (1-800-xxxx-xxxx). Coin phones are being phased out in favor of card phones (but everyone in Singapore seems to have their own hand phone).

There are three mobile phone networks: CDMA, GSM 900 and GSM 1800. Rates for all calls are based on SingTel, MI or Star Hub IDD rates. Visitors with a GSM hand phone may purchase a 'HI-Card' - a temporary phone card - SGD25.00 or SGD50.00 at any SingTel outlet. Visitors purchasing a HI-Card are required to present their passport as identification. Additional money can be added to the HI-Card with a "top up" card available at any Sing-Tel outlet or 7-11 store.

IDD calls can be made from the numerous phone card and credit card phones located at post offices and around the city area. Phone cards come in five denominations of SGD 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50, and are sold at Singapore Telecom service outlets, post offices and some retail shops. International Calling Cards in denominations of SGD 10, 20 and 50 are available at all post offices, Changi Airport, SingTel, Sunpage shops and some retail outlets.

Getting connected in Singapore is a breeze. Some hotels and most restaurants and cafes have free wireless broadband internet connections, just bring your laptop or blackberry and logon.

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Medical Facilities
Feeling queasy? Not to worry you're in Singapore. Singapore's medical facilities are among the finest in the world, indeed Singapore is SE Asia's medical centre of choice with well-qualified doctors and state of the art equipment. Registered pharmacies are open until 10.00 pm Most hotels have their own doctor on 24-hour call. For a brief list of hospitals click here.

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Outward Bound
When leaving for the airport make sure to keep SGD 15.00 for the Passenger Service Charge (airport tax). This is almost always already included into your air ticket but every once in a great while it isn't (especially if you buy a ticket at a discount travel agency) and you'll need to pay during check-in. If you are in transit for less than 24 hours, you may leave the airport without having to pay the service charge upon departure.

Also just a quick last minute reminder. It would quite hard not to get in the shopping mood when you visit Singapore. That said make sure you check with your home country's customs department to understand how much duty you may have to pay upon returning home.

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Singapore Hotels - Visitor information
Healthy Traveling

Singapore's medical facilities are among the finest in the world, indeed Singapore is SE Asia's medical centre of choice with well-qualified, English speaking doctors and state of the art equipment. Registered pharmacies are open until 10.00 pm and most hotels have their own doctor on 24-hr. call.

Still no one wants to have a medical emergency while on holiday. Play safe and make sure you have medical insurance before you come. Get plenty of rest and take prompt care of any cuts or burns - do not risk infection in this heat and humidity. As well, many people don't realise just how strong the sun is near the equator and end up with a miserable sunburn or worse, heat stroke, shortly after arrival. Cover up when you are outside for prolonged stints. That said, below are a couple of common sense points that should keep you in good shape and enjoying your visit.

Dehydration is a concern. It's happened to us and it sneaks up on you. It's hot and you'll perspire, or if you eat some spicy food that causes diarrhea you'll need to replenish your body fluids. Drink plenty of fluids (water, fruit juice or soup). Tap water is okay but bottled water is preferred.

Singapore restaurants are well regulated - still, use common sense when choosing a place to eat. Eat in established restaurants that are clean and well patronized (hawker stalls and Food Courts like Newton Circus are fine) but most importantly avoid spicy & fried foods if you're not used to them.

Prescription medicines - Singapore takes drug abuse seriously. Travelers who are carrying medicine with them, especially sleeping pills, depressants or stimulants are advised to bring along the prescription confirming that the medicine is used for their physical well-being while traveling.

Additional information on health matters may be obtained from the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Telephone the CDC international travelers hotline (USA) at (404) 332-4559 or visit the CDC home page on the Internet at

Please remember that information on this page may change without notice and accepts no responsibility for any information contained herein. Please check with your local authorities prior to departure.

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