Culture Shock: 30 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Singapore

Laws:

  1. Don’t spit or loiter, Singapore is extremely clean because hefty fines are faced by loiterers.
  2. Don’t chew gum or even posses large amounts, they are banned to keep the country clean.
  3. Don’t do or bring drugs, Singapore can use capital punishment for drug use or possession. Five hundred grams of cannabis can be met with death penalty.
  4. Don’t carry around open alcohol containers.
  5. Don’t graffiti.
  6. Don’t feed wild birds or monkeys, it makes them more aggressive to humans and they spend less time foraging and more time breeding causing their population to sky rocket.
  7. Don’t j-walk.
  8. Don’t drink and drive.
  9. Don’t use the bathroom outside, even in nature.
  10. Don’t forget to flush the toilet and don’t make a mess, both are finable.
  11. Don’t smoke cigarettes in public places, it is banned in the majority of establishments unless there is a designated smoking area.
  12. Do know residents cannot own the same car for more than seven years, hence why only two out of every ten Singaporeans own vehicles.
  13. Do realize prostitution is legal in Singapore; Geylang is the Red Light District and Orchard Towers is a semi-discrete hotel that houses prostitutes.
  14. Don’t forget that the legal drinking age is eighteen.
  15. Do unfortunately acknowledge that homosexuality is still frowned upon to a fair amount of Singaporean residents. Gay men are required by law to stay “in-the-closet” or face a prison sentence of two years.
  16. Nudity is forbidden in public and even in private place exposed to public view.

Manners:

  1. Do walk on the left side in hallways, stairs, or on escalators so people in a rush can pass you on your right.
  2. Do bring tissue paper everywhere, they are used as disposable handkerchiefs. Napkins are uncommon and not available at many eateries.
  3. Do bring an adapter to charge your electronics.
  4. Do remember the currency rate is in the favor of the U.S. but the daily cost of living in Singapore is expensive just like New York or Miami is.
  5. Do remember when driving roads are flipped when compared to the U.S., left is right and right is left, left turn on red is permitted, etc.
  6. Do acknowledge alcohol prices: At a bar $10-$15 is typical for any pint like Heineken and $15-$20 for a common liquor like an ounce of Jack Daniels whiskey.
  7. Do not pack long sleeves, Singapore is infamously hot and humid year-round.
  8. Do use the metric system: kilos, kilometers, milliliters, etc.
  9. Do know that maids and nannies are common in Singapore. They are typically paid and treated poorly and generally come from poor Asian countries. Most only receive one day off every two weeks but live with their employers.
  10. Do learn the MRT & bus routes, public transportation is extremely common as Singapore can be traveled across in less than an hour.
  11. Do understand everything is imported in Singapore, they have no natural resources, their attractions are their selling point.
  12. Do place your chopsticks together across your plate when finished with your meal.
  13. Don’t tip, they are included in the majority of bills and are not expected.
  14. Don’t stare.

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