Passports & Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Singaporean Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. You will have to pay an airport tax of US$25. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
The Singaporean currency is the Singapore dollar, abbreviated SGD, S$ or just $ (as used throughout this guide), divided into 100 cents. There are coins of $0.01 (bronze), $0.05 (gold), $0.10 (silver), $0.20 (silver), $0.50 (silver) and $1 (gold), plus notes of $2 (purple), $5 (green), $10 (red), $50 (blue), $100 (orange), $1000 (purple) and $10000 (gold). The Brunei dollar is pegged at par with the Singapore dollar and the two currencies can be used interchangeably in both countries, so don't be too surprised if you get a Brunei note as change. You can safely assume that the '$' sign used in the island-nation refers to SGD unless it includes other initials (e.g. US$ to stand for US Dollar).
Singapore uses the British BS1363 three-pin rectangular socket (230V/50Hz). Plug adaptors are available at any hardware store.
Internet cafes charging around $2/hr. are scattered about the island, but are not particularly common since almost all locals have Internet access at home, work, and/or school. Head to Chinatown or Little India if you need get online, or check out the top floors of many suburban malls, which feature Internet cafes doubling as online gaming parlors. Alternatively, all public libraries offer cheap Internet access ($0.03/min or $1.80/hr.), but you need to jump through registration hoops to get access. Mobile internet access is also available from the different telecoms which offer hundreds of megabytes good for several days. However do try using the free WiFi access if possible; not only will it save you money but also precious battery life.
To make an international call from Singapore, dial the access code 001 (for SingTel), 002 (for M1), and 008 (for StarHub), followed by the country code, area code and party's number. Recently the providers have started offering cheaper rates for calls using Internet telephony routes. The access codes for this cheaper service are 019 and 013 for SingTel and 018 for StarHub, make sure you input these codes instead of the "+" sign at the beginning of the number if you wish to use these services.
Shopping is second only to eating as a national pastime, which means that Singapore has an abundance of shopping malls, and low taxes and tariffs on imports coupled with huge volume mean that prices are usually very competitive. While you won't find any bazaars with dirt-cheap local handicrafts (in fact, virtually everything sold in Singapore is made elsewhere), goods are generally of reasonably good quality and shopkeepers are generally quite honest due to strong consumer protection laws. Most shops are open 7 days a week from 10AM-10PM, although smaller operations (particularly those outside shopping malls) close earlier — 7PM is common — and perhaps on Sundays as well. Mustafa in Little India is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Keep an eye out for the Great Singapore Sale, usually held in June-July, when shopping centers pull out all stops to attract punters. Many shops along Orchard Road and Scotts Road now offer late night shopping on the last Friday of every month with over 250 retailers staying open till midnight.
When you eat at a restaurant- check the bottom of the bill for taxes and service fees. It is standard to tip 10%. Some restaurants add a service or gratuity to the final bill and some do not but this does not equate to a tip for the service staff. Be aware that your waitperson receives none of the service charge. It is simply additional profit for the restaurants, which keep the entire amount. Many restaurants also keep any cash tips left on the table. Even at many fine dining establishments, most servers make SGD $6 (about USD $4.80) per hour in Singapore. If you wish to leave a tip specifically for them, it is best to hand cash directly to them while thanking them for their service.
Getting around Singapore is easy: the public transportation system is extremely easy to use and taxis are reasonably priced when you can get one.
• Sun Glasses - Singapore is usually bright and sunny.
• Umbrella - there is some precipitation throughout the year. However, the rain does not last long (usually).
• Shorts/Half Trousers - Singapore is hot and humid. Although air-conditioning is available in all public transport (except a few public buses) and almost all internal areas, it is advisable to carry some light clothing. Do note that some places of worship may require visitors to dress conservatively.
• Sweater - the malls and museums' air conditioning can get cold - though usually this is a welcome relief from the heat.
• Mosquito repellent - In more remote areas there are mosquitos, otherwise they have been mostly eradicated from Singapore. Dengue fever is a particular problem in this part of the world, so be aware.