Singapore is one of the most frequented destinations in South East Asia. Known for its cleanliness and touristic sites and attractions, people from all over the world tend to spend 3 to 6 days with their loved ones and families in the country.
Singaporeans commonly speak Mandarin. Next to it is the Hokien language in which some of us Filipinos can speak. But need not worry as there are those, especially the young generations, who can speak English fluently.
Visa is granted to all nationalities. But only few ASEAN member countries are privileged to enjoy a visa on arrival status.
The very first thing we noticed about Singapore is the trend on escalators. Singaporeans seems to be busy people and fast walkers. So they had this silent rule that if you are on escalators and not in a hurry, one should stay at the static lane. That means the right side. Otherwise use the left lane to run!
4. Tissue paper
There are no free tissues nor table napkins in restaurants and hawker centres. You have to get it for a price. So we suggest that you bring your own as most are doing. Also, Singaporeans love to use small pockets of tissue papers when saving a seat. So be careful not to sit in areas where you see one on top of the table.
5. Hawker centre
Cheaper food is found in Hawker Centres. These are normally located in the street corners, outside the malls nor hotels. It was noticeable that old folks are the ones running these food chains. Budget meals cost us between SGD 4.50 to SGD 6.00 per person.
6. Take away
When you want to take out food and bring it home with you, use the term “take away” rather than “take out”. Everybody comes in agreement with it so use it for easy communication with the locals.
7. Chewing gum
Chewing gum is banned in Singapore. So better not chew one than pay a tremendous fine!
Singapore is known to be one of the cleanest countries in the world. They may not be that modern compared to Dubai, but one thing is very certain. No littering! Again, fines are imposed to anyone caught. And take note, cameras are everywhere.
We are very glad that most areas in Singapore are non-smoking. But there are those designated for this.
10. Yellow line
We were once told by a local not to step beyond the yellow lanes nor designated lines whilst waiting for trains. When caught, again fines are imposed.
It is much easier to get taxis in Singapore. Most of the time and based on personal experiences, taxis arrived in less than 2 minutes when called! And taxi drivers honor their words. They are polite and honest. And since most of them are old people, they are quiet careful on the road which made it a safer place to travel.
12. Uncle and auntie
Elderly people are addressed as uncle for male and auntie for female. It is their culture and tradition to call them this as a sign of respect.
It is not practical to always go by taxi. Some of Singapore’s destinations can be reached by mrt. It is easy. So get your ez link and save. They offer passess for tourists. You may inquire from the mrt stations. There is also one from Changi airport.
Since we don’t want to spend too much on hotels, we booked from booking.com a budget one located in Geylang. It cost us SGD 55 a night for a private twin room with bath. There are also other options which are cheaper than what we got – the shared rooms on a dormitory style which will also cater the needs of backpackers.
From the airport one can already get a travel guide from the reception desk. Depending on your choice of interest, you may visit places on your own via mrt (Harbourfront station) such as Universal Studios Singapore and Sentosa. You may also opt to get the duck tours or the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus ride from Suntec Mall.