Singapore is quickly becoming one of the hit-list destinations for tourists. The rich culture, good places, and nice food are just some of the things to be excited about in this country.
As with other places, you would want to behave properly. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts you should remember before laying down your itinerary.
- Stand on the correct side. To ease human traffic, people stand on the left side on escalators and walk on the right side. Also, use the proper walking paths.
- Get a copy of the MRT guide. For most of your time in Singapore, you will need to use the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). By familiarizing yourself with the system, you can save a lot of time finding your destinations.
- Carry cash. While most establishments accept cards, some still don’t. It wouldn’t hurt to carry some cash in these instances. It will save you the hassle.
- Look out for tissue packets or umbrellas. In coffee shops and hawker centres, Singaporeans use these items to reserve seats with these items while they’re lining up to order. In Singlish this is called “chope”. It’s best practice to steer clear of these tables. Singaporeans love to queue. Be mindful of this especially when eating out at hawker centres. Never cut queue.
- Bargain. Make sure you go to different shops to assess the prices. When you finally select a shop, do try to bargain. You might end up with some nice savings.
- Dress appropriately. Singapore’s is warm and humid due to its tropical climate. Make sure you add pack outfits suited for this. Don’t forget some sunscreen, sunglasses, as well as an umbrella. You might also want to refrain from going out in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. There are plenty of indoor activities you can enjoy though in Singapore.
- Be respectful. This almost goes without saying. Be tactful, avoid topics about religion and politics. Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-religion society. It would help to research a bit of background info on them. For example, be mindful that Muslims refrain from products with pig and Hindus consider cows to be sacred. Also, make sure that you ask permission before you take pictures of people or religious establishments. It also a common practice to address elders as uncle or auntie.
- Observe cleanliness. It is a common practice in Singapore to remove your shoes or outside footwear when you enter a home or some places of worship.
- Always bring drinking water. Some restaurants do not offer free drinking water. This is because Singapore is very particular about conserving water and preventing waste. Best to bring your own drinking water when going out.
- Don’t litter. This is obvious and should be practised wherever you are. Note that littering will cost you a fine or could even land you in court. Don’t spit wherever.
- Don’t vandalise. You may land in jail for doing this. Singapore has a reputation for being a very clean city and acts of vandalising or destroying properties will be met with harsh punishment.
- Don’t jaywalk. Again, this should be the common practice even if you are not in Singapore. You will be fined for committing this violation as well.
- Don’t smoke in public. This is illegal in Singapore and this law is strictly enforced.
- Don’t tip. Goods and services tax (GST) and service charge are Singapore’s equivalents for tipping. They are already included in your bill, so there is no need to tip.
- Don’t bring and consume chewing gums. It is banned in Singapore and can land you with a heavy fine if caught.
- Don’t eat or drink inside MRT stations. Eating and drinking are prohibited inside MRT stations and trains.