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Singapore

The Merlion of SingaporeSingapore
Renowned worldwide as a thriving, dynamic centre for commerce and industry, Singapore's central location, excellent facilities, cleanliness, fascinating cultural contrasts and tourist attractions draw an ever increasing number of visitors. It is a place of many interesting sights, from historic ethnic areas like Little India and Chinatown to tourist attractions like Sentosa, the Zoological Gardens, Jurong Bird Park, Haw Par Villa (Chinese mythological theme park), the Empress Place and Raffles Hotel.

 

TRAVELLERS' ESSENTIALS
Things You Need To Know

Airport information || Money changing || Custom formalities || Drinking water || Entry formalities ||
Exit formalities || Littering || Medical facilities || Post office & telephone || Smoking ||Tipping ||
Weather & climate || Singapore Places of Interest
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Airport Tax
For your convenience you can buy $15 airport tax coupons in advance at most hotels, travel agencies and airline offices. The coupon must be attached to your airline ticket.

ASEAN Visa-free facility
Citizens of the ASEAN countries holding valid passports can visit Malaysia and Thailand for 14 days without a visa. The Philippines only requires a visa for a stay exceeding 21 days. Indonesia offers two months visa-free entry for bona fide tourists, provided they have an onward ticket and use designated ports of entry and exit.

Changing Money
Banks and hotels can change money and most shopping complexes have a licensed money changer. Visitors are advised not to change money with an unlicensed operator. Most banks open from 9.30am to 3pm on weekdays and 9.30am to 11.30am on Saturdays.

Credit/Charge Cards
Credit cards are widely accepted in Singapore. Hotels, retailers, restaurants, travel agents and even a taxi company readily accept international credit cards.

  1. American Express
    Tel: 2998133
  2. Diners Card
    Tel: 2944222
  3. Master Card
    Tel: 5332888
  4. Visa Card
    Tel: 1-800-3451345 (Service Centre)

Customs Formalities
There is no limit on the amount of currency you may bring into Singapore.If you are 18 years old or above and are arriving from a country other than Malaysia, you may use the following duty-free concessions for personal consumption:

Spirits : 1 litre
Wine or port : 1 litre
Beer,stout or ale : 1 litre
There are no concessions on cigarettes and other tobacco products. This is in line with the Singapore government's campaign to discourage smoking. If you are carrying excess dutiable items, you may leave these in Customs Bond until your departure, provided this is from the same point of entry. Storage costs are chargeable.

Dutiable items include garments and clothing accessories, leather bags, wallets, imitation jewellery, chocolate and sugar confectionery, pastries, biscuits and cakes. Restricted amounts of these items may be brought in duty-free, provided they are meant for personal consumption.

In line with most other countries, Singapore prohibits the entry of some items, while others are subject to controls and restrictions.
Prohibited items include:

  • Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Firecrackers
  • Cigarette lighters of pistol/revolver shape
  • Toy coins and toy currency notes
  • Reproductions of copyright publications, video tapes or disks, records or cassettes
  • Endangered species of wildlife and their by- products
  • Obscene articles and publications
  • Seditious and treasonable materials

If you have any of the articles listed, entry will only be allowed when you produce the import permit or authorisation from the relevant authorities.
A traveller who has medicines which may only be obtained through prescription under Singapore law, especially sleeping pills, depressants, stimulants, etc, must possess a prescription from a physician confirming that the medicines are used for the traveller's physical wellbeing while travelling.

The above lists of dutiable, non-dutiable, prohibited, controlled and restricted goods are not exhaustive. If you need clarification or further information, please contact:
Head, Terminal Section Airports Branch Customs & Excise Department
Singapore Changi Airport Changi Airport P.O. Box 5 Singapore 9181 Tel: 5459122 or 5427058

The Customs Officer Singapore Changi Airport Tel: 5412572 or your nearest Singapore Overseas Mission.

Drinking Water
Singapore water is clean and safe to drink from the tap, and need not be boiled.

Drug Abuse
The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15g of heroin, 30g of morphine, 30g of cocaine, 500g of cannabis, 200g of cannabis resin and 1.2kg of opium. Possession of such quantities is deemed as prima facie evidence of trafficking. For unauthorised consumption, there is a maximum of 10 years imprisonment or fine of $20,000, or both.

Electricity
Singapore's voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. Most hotels can provide visitors with a transformer which can convert the voltage to 110-120 volts, 60 cycles per second.

Entry Formalities
Visas are not generally required for social visits of under 14 days, and visitors arriving as tourists are given a 14-day social visit pass on arrival. If you want to stay longer, you may apply to the Immigration Department after your arrival.

You should have an onward/return ticket and sufficient funds for your stay. Entry visas are required for visitors from the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, India, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. Visa- free entry is available to citizens of Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Visa- free entry is permitted to citizens of other countries for stays ranging from 14-90 days. As regulations may change from time to time, check with your nearest Singapore Embassy or Singapore Tourist Promotion Board office before departure.

Exit Formalities
Customs
There is no export duty. Export permits are required for firearms, ammunition, explosives, animals, gold in form, platinum, precious stones and jewellery (except reasonable personal effects), poisons and drugs. Any goods in excess of reasonable personal effects should be declared at exit points and an Outward Declaration form prepared, if need be. For inquiries, call the Airport Customs Department at 5427058.

Littering
Singapore's clean and green image is the result of more than two decades of public education campaigns and strict laws against littering. Littering of any kind is subject up to S$1,000 fine for first offenders, and up to S$2,000 fine and a stint of corrective work order cleaning a public place for repeat offenders. As an extension of the law against littering, the import, sale and possession of chewing gum is prohibited. The high costs and difficulty in removing indiscriminately discarded chewing gum were the reasons for the prohibition.

Medical Facilities
Singapore's medical facilities are among the finest in the world, with well qualified doctors and dentists, many trained overseas. Pharmaceuticals are available from numerous outlets including supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Registered pharmacists work from 9am till 6pm, with some shops open until 10pm. Most hotels have their own doctor on 24-hour call. Contact the Front Office or Room Service for assistance. For an ambulance, dial 995.

Post Office/Telecoms
Most hotels provide postal services at the front desk. The Changi Airport Post Office is open from 8am to 8pm daily from Monday to Saturday. Basic postal services are available round the clock at the General Post Office and the Comcentre branch.

International Direct Dialling is available at the General Post Office and Comcentre. IDD calls can also be made from the numerous phonecard and credit card phones located at post offices and round the city area. Phonecards come in five denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20 and $50 and are sold at Singapore Telecom service outlets, post offices, convenience stores and some retail shops. A 20% levy is normally imposed on IDD calls made from hotels.

Smoking
Smoking in public buses, taxis, lifts, theatres, cinemas, government offices and air-conditioned restaurants and shopping centres is against the law. First offenders may be fined up to a maximum of S$1,000. While it is an offence to smoke in air-conditioned eating places, smoking is not prohibited in air-conditioned pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots.

Tipping
Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore. It is prohibited at the airport and discouraged in hotels and restaurants where there is a 10% service charge.

Weather and Climate
Located just 2 north of the equator, Singapore enjoys a warm tropical weather that is relatively calm and consistent throughout the year. The average daily temperature is 26.7'C with a mean temperature of 30.8C occurring in the afternoons and a minimum of 23.8C just before dawn.

Relative humidity often exceeds 90 percent at night and in the early hours of the morning shortly before sunrise. On dry afternoons it is usually between 60 and 70 percent.
Rainfall is most abundant during the Northeast Monsoon season from November to January. Much of the rain falls in sudden showers. February is usually the sunniest month while December is often the wettest. However, July and August are the hottest months when average temperatures are at their peak.

What to Wear
Singapore's tropical weather makes light summer clothing (preferably of natural fabrics) most practical, especially for outdoor activities like sightseeing. Most restaurants and nightspots are not restrictive on the dress code - polo shirts, t-shirts, jeans, slacks, blouses and skirts, sun dresses and sneakers are acceptable at most places. Although some establishments require formal wear for the evening, suits and evening dresses will never be out of place in Singapore's trendy night-spots. It is always advisable to ring up beforehand to check on dress regulations, if any.

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Last updated : 03/07/01