Singapore Travel Guide

Population: 5.47 million

Capital City: Singapore

People: Chinese, Malays, Indians and others

Languages: Mandarin Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil

Currency:  Singapore Dollar (SGD)

Time Zone: UTC+8

International Dialing Code: +65

General Information

Passport and visa
Passports must be valid for six months beyond the date of departure. Visa is not required for Australian, United States, British, Canadian, South African, New Zealand and Irish passport holders to travel to Singapore for social reasons. However, a Social Visit Pass is issued on arrival for a stay of less than a month. Nationals not referred above are advisable to check with Singaporean embassy for more details on visa requirements.

Currency
The official currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (SGD). The US and Australian Dollar, Yen and British Pound are also accepted in some larger shopping centers.  Major credit cards are accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cash can be easily withdrawn since ATMs are widely distributed throughout the country. Currency exchange is available at airports, banks and major hotels. Be aware that the service may not be offered in some banks on Saturday.

Phones & Internet service
Telephone connection is widely available. You may need to register with your mobile supplier for international roaming services. Also, SIM cards are available to purchase from any 7 -11 stores or SingTel and StarHub shop. You can also make local and international calls at public phones which take credit cards and phone cards.
Wi-Fi is widely available at internet cafes; however, there may be a fee charge of about $2 per hour for you to be able to access the internet.

Traffic & Transportation
Taxi is the most convenient way to get around. However, be aware that taxis are only allowed to pick up and alight passengers at designated taxi stands. Also, a booking fee is charged for taxi bookings. There are some taxi companies that you can use such as Comfortable transportation, City Cab and SMRT taxi.
Besides taxis, MRT also offers great access to almost every parts of Singapore. Stored value cards (Ez-link cards) or standard tickets can be purchased at MRT stations. Ez-link card can be valued at the minimum of S$10 and maximum of S$100. Standard tickets can be used up to six times within 30days from the date of purchase.

Weather
Singapore’s climate experiences hot and humid throughout the year with average temperatures of between 79°F (26°C) and 86°F (30°C). The wettest months are between November and January (the monsoon period). Rainfall occurs throughout the year but it is more consistent in the monsoon months so you are highly recommended to bring an umbrella with you.

Health and Safety

Health and well-being
The quality of the healthcare system in Singapore is considerably high with excellent medical services and facilities. Pharmacies are widely distributed throughout the island. You are strongly recommended to consult your doctor or country’s travel clinic for up-to-date information and advice regarding appropriate inoculations.

Vaccinations
No inoculations are required for visiting Singapore. However, it is advisable to visit doctor and check for an adequate protection against disease. Some immunizations are highly recommended including Hepatitis A and Tetanus

Travel insurance (recommended)
Buffalo Tours does everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, travel inevitably involves some unavoidable risk. Travel insurance is a cost effective way of protecting yourself and your equipment should any problems occur such as cancelled trips, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. Please also make sure your travel insurance covers all activities planned on your trip so you can enjoy peace of mind during your journey.

Culture & Customs

Etiquette and cultural differences
Experiencing different cultures is one of the joys of travelling, and it is important that these differences are respected. Knowing a few important customs of Singaporean will help make your visit more enjoyable:

Do:

  • Cover up your legs in Indian temples and Muslim mosques

Don’t:

  • Use your left hand for greeting, gesturing and eating since it is the hand used for toiletry purposes
  • Litter as it is against the law and you can be fined for S$1000
  • Smoke in public transport and most indoor areas. You can be fined up to S$1000 for smoking in prohibited places

Food and drink
You will be incredibly surprised by the wide variety offered from street foods to high-end restaurants. The most common are Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. While spices and coconut are used in most Malay dishes Indian food is famous with its spicy vegetarian dishes. Cantonese is the most popular Chinese cuisine which serves a lot of stir fry dishes and dim sum. 
Tap water is safe to drink

Public holidays

  • Chinese New Year: the 1st day of the 1st lunar month
  • Good Friday: Friday before Easter Sunday
  • Labour Day: May 1
  • Vesak day: the 15th day of the 4th lunar month
  • Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr): the 1st day of the 10th Islamic month
  • National day: August 9
  • Hari Raya Haji (Eid al-Adha): the 10th day of the last Islamic month
  • Deepavali (Diwali): the 15th day of Kartika (October/November) in Hindu calendar
  • Christmas day: December 25

Helpful tips

Tipping
Tipping is not practiced in Singapore; however you are encouraged to tip any amount if appropriated. In high-end restaurants, you expect to see ten percent service charge added in the bill. We have included a suggested tipping guide below:

  • Bellhops: $1-$2 per bag
  • Guides: $5-$10 per day, per person (depending on group size and performance)
  • Drivers: $2-$5 per day, per person (depending on group size and performance)
  • Restaurants: In luxurious restaurants, you may find that the tip is already included in the bill. In local restaurants, tips are not expected.

Price guide

  • Bottled water (1.5l): S$1.81
  • Beer (0.5l): S$5.86 (from a grocery store), S$11 (from a pub)
  • Cocktail: S$20
  • Soft drinks (2l): S$2.81
  • Coffee: S$6 - S$7
  • Street food: from S$4
  • Restaurant: S$7 (fast food), S$20 - S$40/person (for a basic meal), S$60 – S$100 (for higher standard)  
  • Sim card: S$8 – S$50

Pre-departure checklist

  • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required)
  • All relevant tickets
  • Money and/or ATM card
  •  Money belt and small padlocks
  • Medication
  • First aid kit
  • Small daypack (for day and overnight trips)
  • Cool and light weight clothing
  • Water repellent jacket
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Umbrella
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Refillable water bottle

Buffalo Tours office in Singapore
61 Stamford Road
01-06 Stamford Court
Singapore 178892
Tel : +65 6635 7062
Fax : +65 6635 7067

Contact us
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