Thinking about heading East to avoid the cold winter weather? Singapore is one of the best travel destinations in the Asian continent, thanks to its friendly climate for the better part of the year, low crime rates, and political and economic stability.
The country is also very welcoming and accommodating to visitors from other countries, since it comprises people drawn from all backgrounds. You could also go to Singapore to set up a business or to take up a job position as an expatriate. In such a case, you should liaise with reliable Singapore employment consultants to help you prepare your visa and other documents.
The following is some important information you should know as you travel to Singapore:
Do not chew gum—unless you have a prescription
Singapore is strict as far as urban cleanliness is concerned. It is actually illegal to buy or import gum to Singapore, which is essentially the same thing as banning chewing. It is understood that if you do not have it, you cannot chew it, and thus you cannot dispose of it in the streets. Having gum with you in your suitcase may not result in a penalty, but you could part with a $500 fine if you dare to chew it and spit it out. However, there is an exception to this rule since 2004, which allows people to chew gum if they have a prescription from a doctor or a dentist for “therapeutic purposes.”
Do not litter
Littering of any form is an offence that can attract a fine of $1000. Also, the perpetrators may be sentenced to community service that involves some form of garbage duty. You may think this law is a joke, but do not litter and you will have a good time in Singapore.
Do not forget to flush
Leaving the bathroom clean for the next user seems to be an obvious thing and an act of mindfulness that many would appreciate, but Singapore has taken it to another level. Forgetting to flush could result in a fine of $150. Random spot checks are carried out to find any culprits.
Do not expose yourself or view porn (even in private!)
It may seem difficult to enforce this one, but parading in your birthday suit in your private residence is considered to be like pornography. You must close your curtains so that no one can see you, otherwise you may be fined up to $2000 or be locked up in jail for 3 months. As far as viewing obscene materials is concerned, you should never be caught doing so. The relevant authority is more concerned with distributors and purveyors of porn, but the final consumers must also be very cautious.
You are better off using public transportation than cabs
This is not a rule per say, but is rather useful advice for visitors to Singapore. You have no reason to take a more costly taxi, as the Singaporean public transportation, the MRT (mass rapid transit), is one of the most efficient transportation systems in the whole world. It is quite a convenient and comfortable means to go all over town, and most of the attractions are a short distance from the MRT stations. Also, the bus network’s air-conditioned double-decker buses are so convenient and allow you to view great scenes as you move from place to place.
Tipping is not the norm
Tipping service persons, say in a hotel, is not a common cultural practice, so you should avoid it.