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Singapore:Just the Facts

  1. Michael Filippone
  2. Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Credit: Photo courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board

Credit: Photo courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board

Singapore:Just the Facts

Here are some key points for someone coming to Singapore to be aware of.

1. Airport Service Charge

The passenger check-in service charge of S$21.00 at Changi Airport is commonly paid by the airline for transits under 24 hours.

 

2. Education Programs

The city has a community resource center for individuals seeking to attain counseling services and inquiry information on education in Singapore. This education center also offers the chance for foreign students to connect with other students from their country.

3. Etiquette Tips for Visitors

When it comes to Singapore facts, etiquette is very important. Dress appropriately when visiting temples and mosques, and remove your shoes before entering. You should also remove your shoes when you visit resident homes.

Use your right hand when eating an Indian or Malay meal, and never stick your chop sticks into your food while eating Chinese cuisine. In addition, Chinese foods are eaten with a porcelain spoon and served with a long handled spoon.

4. Goods & Service Tax

Singapore has a Goods & Service Tax charge of 7% on all purchases, and tourists can claim the amount of GST paid on their purchases when filing their income tax.

5. Hotel Electricity

Singapore’s voltage is 220-240 volts AC, in which the socket system operates items containing a square-shaped plug with three pins. On the other hand, most hotels provide adapters that will accommodate all of their guest’s personal electronic items.

6. Internet Connection

It is easy to get connected to the internet because many hotels and restaurants offer free wireless broadband connections.

7. Money Changers

Licensed money changers can be found throughout the city in places such as the Changi Airport, malls and shopping centers. Don’t forget to find out what the foreign exchange rates are. Generally, in Singapore, licensed money changers open their doors for business around 10:00 AM.

8. No Smoking Areas

A fine for as much as $1,000 can be imposed on people who smoke in no smoking areas. Smoking is never allowed in both air-conditioned and non-air conditioned eating places, public service vehicles, museums, libraries, elevators, theatres, cinemas, bus-stops, outside food courts, hair salons, malls, supermarkets, department stores, entertainment outlets and government offices. Nevertheless, there are plenty of designated smoking places around the island.

9. SIA Boarding Pass Privileges

Revel in the SIA Boarding Pass Privileges awarded for discounts on shopping, dining, entertainment, activities, attractions and transport services at numerous locations. Just present your SilkAir or Singapore Airlines boarding pass within one week from the flight day.

10. Singapore Postal Services

There are over 1,300 postal outlets located all over the city, and they present a wide range of postal services.

11. Telephone Service

While some coin phones can be found, the majority of the pay phones throughout the island are card call public phones. The phone cards can be purchased all over the city at post offices and shops. Some phone booths are also available for use with your credit cards, and the IDD is 001. SIM cards for 3G and 3.5G mobile phones are sold at various stores around the city, but mobile users on the United States and Japan networks will need to call the Singtel hot-line at 1626.

12. Tipping on the Island

Tipping is always appreciated but usually not necessary, because the hotels and restaurants add 10% to all customer bills to cover the tip. Then again, another important Singapore fact to remember is that it is expected for customers to tip cab drivers.

13. Taxi Cab Tours

Other than the local tour guides, no one knows Singapore better than the cab drivers. They will show you the most interesting landmarks of the island. Go to www.citycab.com.sg for more information.

14. Visa Requirements to Enter Singapore

One of the most important Singapore facts to know is which countries require a passport to visit the island. Visit the ICA Visa Requirements to find out.

15. Water is Safe for Drinking

The city tap water is completely safe to drink. However, if you would rather drink bottled water, it is available throughout the island at supermarkets and other stores.

16. Weather & Apparel

In general, Singapore is hot and humid. It is best to dress in comfortable cotton garments, and carry an umbrella or disposable poncho for unforeseen rain showers. Always check with a venue’s dress code because some require formal attire.

Michael Filippone

About the Author: Michael Filippone

Michael Filippone has traveled throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia. Each year he travels several hundred thousand miles. He regularly visits Singapore for business and has a great love of the Orient.

His favorite things are morning runs in big cities and getting lost. He has a great passion for all things that are water-sport related: paddle surfing, surfing, free diving, fishing, rowing… Here you will find his musings on everything from where to go get lost on a jungle adventure to a road-trip in Thailand to a romantic cruise weaving through the Indonesian archipelago. Here too are hand-selected articles penned for him by writers he likes on the best places to go from Singapore. As well as being one of the key drivers behind setting up Singapore.com, he runs and part-owns Asia.com – a travel site on all things happening in the wider region. Michael is known to be fond of skipping rope and other than the odd beer, his preferred beverage is coconut water. He loves to fish and play volleyball with his children. He trained as an Olympic rower and loves to see his children find their way in sports and life.

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