6 Things To Love About Singapore

Things To Love About Singapore
Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

Singapore is really having a moment right now especially with its prominence as the drop dead gorgeous backdrop to the immensely popular Crazy Rich Asians movie.  The fascination makes sense as there is no place else like it. It’s a destination where the western world is merged with the Asian way of doing things, where English is spoken as the common language. It’s a city-state that will make your jaw drop the moment you step off the plane and feel that humidity tickle your skin. It’s modern, astounding, overwhelming in many ways, and yet so easy to navigate. It’s a place where community, food and are celebrated above everything else. It’s the gateway to Asia, not just metaphorically-speaking but literally because Singapore is nothing but perfectly placed for you to explore the paradises on that side of the world - Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Hong Kong and more.

That said, it is still a foreign country to most of us. So, to help make your first trip to this city as amazing and smooth as possible, here is a Survival Guide To Singapore, packed full of all the tips, tricks and bits of advice you should have on hand for the best Asian adventure imaginable.

1. Pack For Summertime, All the Time
Singapore has one of the most dreamy tropical climates, which means it’s basically always summer here, the temperatures dancing in the region of 78–93 degrees Fahrenheit / 25-34 Celsius. And that’s just part of the equation. It also boasts pretty high humidity (read: you’re gonna start sweating from every pore the second you step outdoors), so don’t just pack the right clothes to wear, pack lots of extra clothes too because you might be getting changed more often than Beyonce in concert. Of course, to perspire less, you should try planning your days better. If you’re exploring the outdoors, do it in the mornings, and hold off on those exciting city walks until the night closes in. Oh, and just because it’s hot doesn’t mean it won’t rain. It will. And when it does, it will rain hard, so make sure to bring or buy an umbrella.

2. This Place Isn’t Exactly Cheap… At All
Singapore is actually up there with the most expensive cities in the world, so if you’re hoping to stretch your dollar that little bit further, you’re better off exploring its south-east-Asian neighbours instead. That said, the extra expense is totally worth it in because this everything about this place is astonishing. First of all, you’ll want to check out the HDB rental price 2018 to see how long you can afford to stay and then plan your trip around that. Enjoy all the modern conveniences and infrastructure that sit right at the end of your fingertips, immerse yourself in all the amazing free and cheap things to do to make your travels that much more budget-friendly and use the usual travel hacks when it comes to doing more for less, such as skipping on fancy meals and opting for authentic cuisines from hawker centres - that sort of thing. Just, you know, don’t be shocked by the cost of living in Singapore. It’s expensive and there’s nothing you can do about it.

3. Swat Up An All The Rules And Laws
Singapore is absolutely infamous for its many rules, regulations and laws, in which there is pretty much zero-tolerance. That means no spitting in the street, no throwing your cigarette butts down a storm drain, and no popping your chewing gum under a park bench or you’ll be slapped with one heck of a hefty fine. It might sound harsh, but the system works. It’s not there to catch people and make money, it’s there to keep the city clean and beautiful and friendly. Take the chewing gum thing, if you want to buy some, you do so from a pharmacy after showing your ID. Yes, the punishments are harsh compared to what you are used to, but they clearly work there because Singapore is almost always ranked as the safest country in the world.

4. No Need To Tip
Nothing is worse than staring at the bill from an expensive meal and then doing the math to add an extra 10-20% for a tip. Thankfully, in Singapore, there isn’t a tipping culture. It’s not mandatory and it’s not expected by the staff. That doesn’t mean you can’t tip (if you recently won the lottery), it just means you don’t have to. However, this is because service charges are usually slipped into the cost. For small shops and hawker centres, the price charged includes a “net” fee, while cafes, restaurants, and bars add 10% on to the bill for service. Still, it’s nice getting a bill that’s complete rather than one that requires you to do some mental arithmetic and then fork out more for.

5. The Public Transport Is Perfect
The MRT (metro system) in Singapore is like nothing you have ever experienced before. It’s clean. Like pristinely clean, and shiny, and well organized. The seats are also colour-coded to ensure those who need a seat more than others can easily identify them, no hassle. And that’s just a part of the beauty. When you are onboard, the route-map is interactive, the lights and arrows lighting up so that you know where you are and where you’re going all the time to avoid any confusion. What’s really surprising, though, is just how cheap this system is compared to the rest of Singapore. You can use it as much as you like for five days and you won’t pay any more than $20. That’s amazing. Just pick up an EZ Link Card and start exploring.

6. The Food Is Out Of This World
Okay, so we touched on city’s hawker centres, but they really do deserve their own section of praise because they are delicious, nutritious and absolutely legendary. Sure, you could eat at any one of the over-expensive (proper) restaurants there, but why would you when you can enjoy a Michelin-starred meal for $2.50. Noodles, rice, meat, fish, vegetables, spicy, mild, sweet, sour, Pratas, curry - the options are practically limitless.

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Rebeca Muñoz López said...

Hello dear, Singapore is a wonderful destination, a modern and cosmopolitan city, I am glad that the transportation is first and super modern, I would love to try the cuisine of the place. Kisses.

Beauty Unearthly said...

Interesting post dear! thanks for sharing xx

Shireen L. Platt said...

Singapore is expensive and the dollar is similar to Canadian dollars! The food is definitely amazing and similar to Malaysian cuisine although I personally think Malaysia has a wider variety. Isn't it crazy to think Singapore was actually a part of Malaysia decades ago. LOL!

Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

little luxury list said...

This has been my second home for years and I definitely agree that it's hot and the transport system spoils you. It doesn't have to be super expensive though (like NYC). The museums and restaurants are now getting pretty good so that's something to check out too.

Blackswan said...

Oh, you were here! Hope you had a great time here! xoxo

camdandusler said...

I wondering Asia, culture, food😊 thanks for sharing post 😊😊😊