WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO SINGAPORE
• Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate, with very little variation in temperatures throughout the year and no distinction between the four seasons. The entire year in Singapore is relatively the same, high humidity, high temperatures, and plenty of rainfall!
• The average temperature throughout the year ranges from a low of 23°C to a high of around 31°C.
• Feb-Mar are quite pleasant, with plenty of outdoor activities that become available.
• April – May: The hottest time to visit.
• November-January: The wetter monsoon season.
WHAT TO PACK
It is always wise to dress in comfortable and light clothes. Cotton T-Shirts work best in Singapore, and although flip flops are tempting, a pair of comfortable shoes might serve you better, as you will do quite a bit of walking. Cool summer dresses are recommended for the ladies, as humidity can increase to up to 83% in summer.
Smarter clothes for the evening are recommended for a night out, or to enjoy a good meal at any of Singapore’s fine restaurants. Singaporeans rarely dress down, so this would be a great way to fit in.
Shopping malls are open daily, between 10:00 – 10:30 and close between 21:00 – 22:00.
• The local currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD).
• Major credit cards are accepted by hotels and most retailers, however there are some smaller retailers that are only able to accept cash payment.
• Bureau de Change can be found at the airport and in Shopping Centres, but it is also possible to change money at most hotel receptions.
• ATMs can find in shopping outlets.
POPULAR SHOPPING OUTLETS
• Orchard Road is the epicentre of shopping in Singapore and is similar to London's Oxford Street or Hong Kong's Nathan Road.
• VivoCity is the largest shopping mall in Singapore, located in the HarbourFront precinct of Bukit Merah.
• Shop, eat, play and relax is the mantra at Marina Square, located at 6 Raffles Blvd
It is safe to drink from the Singapore water tab. Mineral water can be easily purchased in supermarkets.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
It is generally accepted to tip local restaurant staff, luggage porters, drivers and guides. It is however not mandatory. Recommended tipping for guides is between SGD5 to SGD8 (ZAR50 – ZAR 80) per day and for driver it is SGD5 (ZAR50) per day.
• Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
• Appropriate behaviour by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospitable and friendly.
• Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
• Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
• Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. Buy them preferably from the craftsman himself to ensure your money goes to the artist and not the middle man.
Bahasa Malay is the national language, however English is one of the four main official languages and most Singaporeans are fluent in all four.
• Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
• South African passport holders do not require a visa.
• The time difference between Singapore and South Africa is 6 hours.
• Smoking is only allowed in designated areas.
• Chewing gum is not allowed into Singapore
• English is widely spoken in Singapore
• Taxi and buses are easily accessible in Singapore and a Subway (MRT) tourist pass can be purchase at all MRT stations.
• Singapore uses 230V AC electricity. It is safe to use your 220V – 240V electricals. The power outlets are based on a flat 3-prong plug, as in the UK.
WHAT THINGS COST
Costs vary from Local Supermarkets / Street Food Stores and Local Restaurants. The below is an average of local costs
• Bottle of water S$1.50; Soft Drink S$2.00; Beer S$7.00; Bottle of wine local from S$35; Light lunch from S$7.50; Dinner from S$35.00
• Drunk and disorderly conduct is treated seriously. Penalties for convicted offenders include fines, imprisonment, and/or corporal punishment (caning).
• It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places from 22:00 to 07:00 and all day on weekends in specific areas and designated Liquor Control Zones. Offenders will be fined.
• Penalties for drug offences are severe and can include the death penalty. Possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment, corporal punishment (caning) or the death penalty.