Planning a visit to the Lion City, also known as Singapore? Here are some travel tips and recommended places to visit during your stay.
Singapore is officially known as the Republic of Singapore. It is a global city in Southeast Asia and lies one degree north of the equator. Singapore has 62 islets and is surrounded by peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia’s Riau Islands. Singapore’s greening policy has established beautiful tropical parks and gardens throughout the densely populated island.
When traveling to any new place, be aware of strict laws that are enforced by that country. Singapore forbids jaywalking, chewing gum, smoking in public places, littering and eating in public transportation like the MRT. If you are caught doing any of the above, you will be handed a hefty ticket. Save your vacation money and obey the rules!
Singapore’s currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD) which converts to about three-fourths of a U.S. dollar. Although you may be very used to the practice of tipping at restaurants and the like, tipping in Singapore is not customary. Most hotels and restaurants factor in a 10-percent service charge automatically.
Some practical advice when traveling to Singapore is to take into account the weather. Singapore is an extremely hot and humid island year-round with temperatures climbing to 30 degrees Celsius and above. Also, be prepared for torrential rain at any moment.
With the weather in mind and the amount of activities involved in your itinerary, bring water with you everywhere. Dehydration is not uncommon among tourists who are not prepared. You can drink tap water in Singapore as it passes the World Health Organizations standards. Bottled water is also available and easy to buy there.
Getting around Singapore is relatively easy and affordable. The MRT rail system (Mass Rapid Transit) runs all over the country and has base fares at $1 SGD, which is about $0.80 USD. Buses and taxis are also plentiful.
Eating in Singapore is an activity many tourists plan in advance for. The Hawker Center is most widely known for its many food stalls that sell excellent and inexpensive food. Smith Street stalls offer a sampling of local snacks for cheap. Also, check out Little India and Chinatown for some other good eats that will keep your wallet and tummy happy.
Accommodation in Singapore is not always inexpensive. A hostel dorm room and budget hotel rooms can cost from 15-100 SGD per night. Try looking into vacation home rentals for other options.
The little island getaway of Sentosa is a popular hang out spot for the locals and has an observation tower at 450 feet tall. Head up to the tower and see amazing views of Singapore and Sentosa. There is also an Underwater World aquarium on the island where you can view piranhas, sharks, and eels.
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is Singapore’s only remaining rainforest. View exquisite wildlife such as macaques and flying lemurs in their natural habitat. The reserve is a small piece of paradise lying only 30 minutes outside the city.
Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore is an extremely ornate and colorful temple. It is found in Chinatown.
Unwind in Singapore’s Botanic Gardens. Here you can visit the National Orchid Garden which houses hundreds of different orchid species.
With so many sights, islands and places of interest to visit, Singapore will keep you captivated!