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9 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Singapore

May, 18 || No Comments |

Travelling can be and is a lot of fun. There are a lot of exciting places to see in your own country and around the world. Most locations are exciting, breath taking and some are beyond description. Unfortunately when certain tourists leave the confines of their own country they are at a loss of what to do in the new land. One complaint about Western tourists is that they seem to think the nation they visit is just an extension of their own country and they can follow their native land’s laws, rights and rules of behavior.

This is just not so and there are important pieces of information every tourist needs to know before traveling to other countries like Singapore. Singapore is a unique travel destinations and there are some best tips to help you enjoy your visit.

9 Best Tips to Know When Traveling to Singapore

#1. It’s a City…No a Country…No…

Singapore is both a city and an independent country. Built upon several islands, Singapore broke away and received its independence from Malaysia in 1965. Singapore has gone from humble roots as part of the East India Company, and when that company went bankrupt the city was given over to Britain, and has built itself into a very multicultural financial hub.

The only way to leave the country/city state is to emigrate as there is no surrounding countryside to escape the stress of city life.

#2. 4 May Be Better Than One

Since the 70s, English has been the dominate language for instructing students in Singaporean schools but the city has 4 recognized languages being used within its borders- English, Mandarin, Malay & Tamil.

Like many former British colonies, Singapore has developed its own version of English called Singlish. This brand of English took root through the interchange between different ethnic groups. Unfortunately there is more than one way to speak Singlish and that fact can cause some confusion if you are speaking to a Chinese Singaporean or a Malay citizen. It is best to be prepared to be confused until you grasp the language environment.

#3. Location! Location! Location!

Those are the keywords of any real estate agent and they work well in Singapore also. Finding a condo to rent is not to difficult and the traveler can always head to Paya Lebar area which offers, as well as many other great areas in Singapore, great Paya Lebar condos for rent that can meet your budget either if you are just visiting or planning a long stay.

#4. Shop Till You Drop

Malls have become the commercial fad of the world and Singapore is no exception. Like their western counterparts Singaporeans have found malls to be a great place to shop or kill time just looking at what the stores have to offer. It seems that malls are everywhere and you can’t escape them. Malls can be found at train stations and even underpasses. If you need apace to escape the humidity and heat of the city then do as Singaporeans do and hang out at the mall.

#5. Batter Up!

Like America, the people of Singapore has developed its own national pastime—food. They can’t get enough of it or enough of different varieties as the same dish can be prepared under different ethnic influences. Celebrity dishes like fish head curry or crab will be prepared differently by the cooks of the different food vendors in the city. Singapore cuisine is a delightful combination of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and Western tastes and can meet any taste bud. The hawker center is where you will truly experience the Singaporean food adventure.

#6. The Lau Pa Sat Festival Market

The experts say this is a great experience if you visit in the evenings. Given a $4 million facelift in 2014, the enhanced market allows for 2500 to sit and enjoy the offering of Singaporean and international cuisine.

Established in 1894 this traditional market was made a national treasure in 1973 and has served countless tourists and natives ever since. Vegetarians and vegans do not have to worry about finding something to eat as at least one stall serves up a salad and there is at least one Indian Vegetarian restaurant. For the sweet tooth the desserts offered here are out of this world.

#7. I Get Around

The Beach Boys sang a great little song in the 60s called I get around and that is exactly what you can do when you use the MRT in Singapore. First opened in 1987, the MRT became the second oldest transit system in Southeast Asia. With 170 kilometers of track covering the city and 102 train stations it is very difficult to get lost in Singapore and very easy to navigate the city. 3 million riders can’t all be wrong when it comes to exploring Singapore and getting to your destination with ease and little confusion.

#8. The Sin Tax & You

The sin tax is called so because it is a levy placed upon those sinful habits like smoking and drinking. Governments try what they can to ease the health problems of its citizens by adding taxes to these products. Singapore does the same as it places a high tax on drinking alcohol. If you like to drink like to drink while on vacation and you want more than one or two then budget your money to meet this high expense. The experts say that the only way to cut this cost is to buy your beers at a hawker center.

#9. Walk But Don’t Spit

Maintenance costs are one of the reasons why Singapore banned chewing gum within the borders of this city state. Another reason is that vandals stuck gum on the door senor of the MRT trains creating expensive repair costs to those vehicles. So whatever you do in Singapore do not chew gum and spit it out in Singapore. You will face an approx fine of $700 if you are caught. Also you are not allowed to import gum into the city so don’t act innocent if some packs of gum are found in your suitcases by custom agents.

Conclusion

Travelling to Singapore and visiting the city-state can be fun if you know what to expect and find out what you need to know before heading to that country. One way to know you are going to have a great vacation in Singapore is through your experience at the Changi Airport. With 3 terminals and one luxury one to serve you, you will find all that you need to help you begin or end your vacation.

It is a world class transit hub, serving over 7,000 flights each week, Changi airport is one of the busiest and best airports in the world. It has won over 500 awards including 26 for being the best airport in the world. Designed to meet your traveling needs and taste this airport will serve you well and help you enjoy your stay in Singapore.

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Related post:  Traveling Out of the Country? Here are Some Useful Tips

Images credit (under CCL) by order: feature, paya lebar, free gum zone 

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