11 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING SINGAPORE
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Travelling is always fun, but it be always made better when you have some insider knowledge before you go. Here are 11 tips to know before visiting Singapore
1. ENTRY INTO SINGAPORE
Singapore has visa free agreements with many countries. If you’re Australian, you can actually visit Singapore visa free if your stay isn’t longer than 90 day!
Here’s a link that shows you visa requirements depending on what passport you are travelling with.
Singapore is a multi-cultural city state, with the largest ethnic groups comprising Chinese, Malay and Indian.
However, the majority of all Singaporeans speak perfect English.
You won’t have any problems for the most part using English to get around.
3. GETTING A SIM card
I prebooked my SIM card before my arrival. I bought a tourist SIM card from Singtel.
$18 100GB of data for a 7 day validity period with a bunch of discounts to attractions and restaurants.
However the great thing about the SIM card was that the SIM card is also an EZlink card. An EZlink card is Singapore’s local transport card you can use to simply tap on and off without needing to buy tickets wherever you go.
It comes with $3 of stored value and the airport has a convenient kiosk to pick your SIM card up before you even reach the city.
4. LEAVING THE AIRPORT/ MRT
Singapore is extensively linked up by their convenient MRT system, a network of train and underground lines.
Most, if not all of Singapore attractions can be reached by using the MRT system. And for a small city like Singapore, there’s so many stations. Almost everything is within walking distance from one.
All you have to do is pay attention to the MRT signs dotted around on street level, which will point you to the nearest station.
Changi Airport is also linked to the MRT system, which was the easiest and cheapest way to get from the airport and into the city.
5. GETTING MONEY
Cash is still needed in Singapore, especially if you plan to eat at local places like hawker stalls and such.
The easiest way to get your hands on Singaporean dollars was to use the ATMs located around the city.
Now, Australians have some great credit card options with no exchange rates fees or added foreign ATM fees, so this might not be very useful to non-Australians.
However if you do have a great credit card, then ATMs are the easiest option to get cash.
Tipping isn’t customary in Singapore. However a 10% goods and services tax is applied to many restaurants and cafes, but at hawker stalls and food courts; tipping isn’t required or expected.
7. BEST WAY TO EAT
The many hawker centres is the best way to eat local, authentic Singaporean food that the locals themselves eat.
Eating out culture is rampant in Singapore, where many locals go to their nearby hawker centre for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Skip the air-conditioned mall cafes and restaurants. Hawker stalls are the way to go!
8. TISSUE PACKETS!
Speaking of hawker centres.
I need to mention tissue packets.
Hawker centres are generally very busy during meal times and each stall doesn’t have designated seating, which means you need to find a seat before or after getting your food.
In Singapore, they save spots by placing a packet of tissue.
I didn’t know this and had to learn the hard way when a confused lady came back to find me sitting in her spot eating lunch.
9. JEWEL CHANGI
The world’s best airport is a must visit.
However, don’t repeat my mistake.
Jewel Changi isn’t actually a part of the airport. It’s on the side.
DON’T go through immigration if you want to explore the world’s best airport and the world’s highest indoor waterfall.
In fact, you can visit Jewel Changi anytime you want while in Singapore because it’s a massive mall open to the public!
Watch me make the mistake below: (don’t worry I redeemed myself in my next visit to Singapore)
Singapore doesn’t really have four distinct season being located near the equator. It’s a sub-tropical place with it being mostly hot and humid throughout the year.
But another distinction to their subtropical weather is sudden-out-of-nowhere rainfall.
It can be slight sprinkles of rain to sudden torrential rain!
Bring an umbrella where ever you go. Or at least dress to dry off easily…
11. SICK IN SINGAPORE
I unfortunately got really sick while in Singapore. (I think it was getting wet from sudden rain and then the air-con blasting once you go indoors)
I had to make a visit to the hospital because it was a Sunday and most clinics weren’t open on a Sunday. I got to the hospital by taxi which was very easy to do.
Once I got to the hospital I went through the usual procedures and paid my visitor rate. Be sure to bring your passport as you need a piece of identification to be admitted.
If you’re one of those who never buy travel insurance, then me paying $172 SGD should be a warning for you, because I was able to claim it all back from insurance.