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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.