Sure, you can make fun of Singapore for its laws on chewing gum (and if you don’t know what they are, then you’ve been away from the internet for entirely too long), but they don’t call it the Switzerland of Asia for nothing. The country is like a miniature representative of Asia and all the goodies that continent has to offer but without the poverty, rural environment and cultural divide.
It’s South-East Asia’s favorite summer getaway, and if you happen to be around in June or July, a long three day weekend to the city would perk you right up with many things to do in Singapore! You will never get bored when you are in Singapore city.
Still, it’s summer, and there are some non-negotiable basics you HAVE to cover.
The first thing you ought to know is that Singapore is hot and humid – make that VERY hot and VERY humid. Cotton will be your favorite friend here. Plan to wear comfortable short and light tees. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you get to barge into the city’s many places of worship dressed conservatively – but make sure your trousers and full sleeves are still the loose and airy kind.
Next, carry an umbrella – the weather is flighty. Remember that this is a tropical island nation, meaning the sky’s faucets turn on or off very unexpectedly. It usually doesn’t rain for very long, but long enough to dampen your mood if you’re not carrying an umbrella.
Singapore Summer Travel Tips
Now, really, make all the fun you want about Singaporean laws back home – in Singapore, they take it seriously. Local Singapore T-shirts that claim “It’s A Fine City” are NOT kidding. To quickly rattle off a list of Do Not’s:
- Do NOT litter or be caught with non-medicinal chewing gum – you’ll be heavily fined
- Do NOT vandalize public or even private property – you’ll be canned
- Do NOT be caught with illegal drugs in your possession – you could face the death penalty – it’s MANDATORY for possession beyond certain amounts.
- Do NOT leave a public washroom messy or un-flushed – yep, it’s checked, and you’ll be fined
- Do NOT spit in public places – you’ll be heavily fined
- Do NOT bring in unopened packs of duty-free cigarettes into the country – you’ll be fined
- Do NOT smoke in closed or open public spaces – you’ll be fined
- Do NOT jaywalk (cross the road when the red-robot is on) – you’ll be fined
- Do NOT drink and drive – not sure what the punishment is, but pretty sure it involves the F-word.
Safety isn’t usually an issue in Singapore. The government is so harsh on any behavior that might scare away tourists that outsiders tend to have a wonderfully welcoming time of it here. That said, there’s no reason to be careless about your time in the country – pickpockets abound, and women ought not to be too scantily dressed if visiting the red-light district in Geylang in the night otherwise they could be mistaken for a sex worker – which, while not illegal, does attract unwanted attention.
Dire warnings aside, remember that Singapore’s uber-strictness actually makes the country a very pleasant place to be in for the people who abide by its laws. Keep your nose clean and freak out!
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