If you’re planning on visiting Singapore for the first time, you’re probably excited to see everything the city-state has to offer. But before you go off to marvel at the Lion City’s great architectural and natural wonders, you should read up on what to expect when you’re in the Lion City. Not sure where to start? Read on for a few interesting tidbits you probably didn’t know about Singapore:
Singapore Has a Convenient and Efficient Public Transportation System
The Lion City is well-known for its incredibly efficient public transportation system. In fact, even local car owners sometimes prefer riding the Mass Rapid Transit system or buses instead of driving to work.
Fortunately, these advanced transportation systems aren’t reserved only for Singaporean residents. If you’d rather not spend all your money on expensive taxi rides, travelling by train or bus may be more up your alley. Indeed, these affordable public transportation options make it much easier for tourists to get to their hotels near Changi Airport or other places on their itinerary.
You Can Be Fined for Some Unusual Things in Singapore
As in many other countries, it’s illegal to litter, jaywalk, feed pigeons, or spit in public places. You can also get fined for publicly singing any songs containing offensive lyrics; the same goes for annoying someone by playing a musical instrument in public. However, you may be surprised to learn about some of the other activities that can get you fined in the Lion City.
For example, if you’re trying to find a way to use the internet for free while in Singapore, don’t ever connect to anyone else’s Wi-Fi connection without permission. Otherwise, you may have to pay a hefty fine or even spend some time in jail. And when using a public toilet, don’t forget to flush it properly before leaving. While it’s generally considered common courtesy to do so, this will also ensure that you don’t end up getting fined.
Singaporeans Have Their Own Colloquial Form of English
If you don’t know how to speak Malay, don’t worry. As long as you speak English, you should be able to communicate with the locals in Singapore. However, it may not be the kind of English you’re used to where you’re from. That’s because many Singaporeans talk in Singlish, an informal form of English that incorporates elements of the city-state's various state languages. That’s why you hear the locals add words such as ‘lah’ and ‘leh’ to the end of their sentences.
Also, don’t be surprised if you hear a Singaporean refer to someone they aren’t related to as ‘auntie’ or ‘uncle.’ These are polite terms of endearment often used to address older people. That said, don’t assume that everyone’s okay with being called these terms. Some people take offence when they’re mistaken to be older than they really are!
You Can Save a Lot of Money as a Tourist (If You Know Where to Go)
The cost of living in Singapore is notoriously high. Because of this, food, accommodations, transportation, and other things can be quite expensive for tourists. But don’t let this discourage you from visiting the Lion City, as there are many attractions you can visit for free or on a budget.
You also don’t have to rely on expensive restaurants to satiate your hunger. For inexpensive local cuisine, you can try dining at any of the many hawker centres all over Singapore. You can, for instance, taste the country’s famous Hainanese chicken rice for as low as SGD 3.50. You can also eat Michelin-starred meals—like the pork noodles of Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle—for only SGD 6.00.
Singapore Has Dry and Wet Seasons
Knowing what the weather is like—and when it’s like that—in Singapore can help you plan your itinerary more efficiently.
November to January, dubbed the wet months, is the country’s monsoon season. During these months, rains can come in spurts and last for a while. If you’re someone who isn’t used to the heat of the tropics, this may be a good time to visit, as the weather is typically cooler during these months.
June to August is Singapore’s dry season. During this time, the weather is hot and humid, with temperatures averaging between 26℃ to 27℃ and humidity levels always above 80℃. This is the perfect time to visit if you prefer to explore what the city has to offer without worrying about getting drenched in the rain.
Make sure to keep all of the above facts in mind before you head off to Singapore. Doing so can help you make the most of your stay as well as avoid getting into trouble during your trip. That being said, there’s a lot more to the city-state than what has been stated here. So, do as much research as you can before you visit the Lion City!