Hello. Welcome to tiny red lil’ dot country called Singapore.

Singapore is a truly diverse destination for any visitor to experience. Combining the skyscrapers and subways of a modern, affluent city with a medley of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences and a tropical climate, with mouthwatering food, various shopping avenues and a vibrant night-life scene, this Lion City makes a great stopover or springboard into the region.  It is one of the most developed and urbanised city / country / island in Asia. Foreigners make up nearly half of the population and they have a distinct influence on the Asian culture today. Due to this diversity in both culture and language, there’s no single set of rules or culturally acceptable behaviour.

Singapore is among the 20 smallest countries in the world but one of the most densely populated country in the world. The Merlion was designed as an emblem and symbol of Singapore. It has a lion head and a fish body resting on a crest of waves. The lion head symbolises the legend of the rediscovery of Singa (Lion) pura (gate).

The heart and soul of Singapore’s food scene, hawkers serve up the best of local cuisine- it is greatest unifier across ethnic divides and heady mix of Malay, Chinese, and the Indians. These foodie havens located across the island offer the cheapest dining options in the pricey city state, with dishes averaging just SGD$4-7.

HOW TO GET TO SINGAPORE?

Changi Airport, voted one of the best World’s airports with vast shopping centres, restaurants, lounges, and playgrounds, offered many international flights across the globe. It is one of the critical hubs and transit point

HOW TO GET AROUND SINGAPORE?

Public Transport


Most efficient, cheapest mode of transportation is the MRT and SMRT buses. Various options are:

  • EZ-Link card (which can be tapped on when you depart and disembark from public transport). Any given ride will be on average twice cheaper than if you would buy an individual ticket. The card costs S$5, you can charge it with minimum S$7. When you leave, you can either redeem the credit left on the card in cash, or save the card for later use when you come back to Singapore (the credit will expire in 5 years).
  • Standard ticket. The price of individual ride will be more expensive (70-100%). Add up 10c for the cost of printing the ticket.
  • Singapore Tourist Pass. Unlimited metro and bus rides in one day (S$10), two days (S$16) or three days (S$20). Click here for more details.

On foot

Feasible with some areas are sheltered. Pedestrians walkways are clearly visible and safe.

On Taxi/Uber/Grab

Taxi is cheap and easy to find, a typical cost from the Airport to Orchard would costs you around SGD$20. Basic flag-fall rate (inclusive of 1st km or less) is SGD$3-3.5. Every 400m thereafter is SGD$0.22. There is 50% additional metered rate if you hail a cab from midnight up to 6AM.

Alternatively, you can hail an Uber or Grab – reliable and cheaper than taxi especially after midnight. Get a free Uber ride with my code if you never used the app before – “ranin8”.

WEATHER

Dry: June – August
Wet: November – January

Singapore is tropical and humid year-round. School holidays fall in June and July, the hottest (and haziest) time, so try to avoid travelling in these months if possible.

CURRENCY

Singapore Dollar. 1 USD = 1.4 SGD
USD to SGD

CULTURAL STUFFS TO NOTE

Language: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil may be the four official languages of the city-state, but Singlish is the one most frequently heard on the streets. The quirky dialect, which began to take root when Singapore gained its independence in 1965, combines English with a hodgepodge of words and phrases from Chinese dialects including Hokkien and Cantonese as well as Malay and Tamil.

Law: Singapore is known for its impeccable cleanliness and low crime rate. It is also sometimes called “The Fine City,” with strict laws around jaywalking, spitting, carrying durian, chewing gum, bringing drugs, vandalism, etc. So, behave!

‘Choping’ seats: the immutable laws of Singapore’s food hawker centers, it is the technique of securing seats at those feeding frenzy hours.The first thing ‘chope’ master artists do is to hone in on an empty table and mark their turf — by putting the cheapest or most useless personal item they have on them, usually a half used tissue pack.

Solo female travel: Super safe

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[…] recommend you to read Singapore 101 page to familiarize yourself with the country, transport info, and other cultural things to note […]