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TRAVEL GUIDE TO SINGAPORE

 

We’ve gathered the following information for  you in preparation for your trips which we thought were appropriate.  If you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-785-1233.

Airport

Singapore airport departure taxes are already included in your international air ticket.

Baggage

Passengers are allowed two pieces of checked luggage. Excess luggage fees will be charged if you check more than the stated allowances, and these charges are your responsibility.  At most major airports, baggage carts are available for your luggage, usually for a small additional fee.  All on board luggage is limited at 23 pounds.

Climate and Clothing

Climate in Singapore is tropical, with average temperature between 73°F – 86°F. November to January receives more rain than usual. The climate of Singapore demands light weight clothing and linens throughout the year. An umbrella, a light raincoat and a good sun-protection is recommended.

Communications

Telephone: Full IDD is available. Country code: 65. Outgoing international code: 001. International calls can be made from public pay phones using a credit card or a phone card (S$2-50) available from Telecom centers and retail outlets. IDD calls made from hotels are free of surcharge.  Mobile phone usage in Singapore is widespread.

Internet: Internet cafes charring around $2 per hour throughout Singapore, providing public access to Internet and e-mail services. The national free Wireless@SG system is now operating and visitors are provided a free usage of the system, whereas a registration and password via email or mobile phone is necessary.

Post: Airmail to Europe takes up to 1 week. There are limited postal facilities at many hotels. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1700, Sat 0830-1300. The airport and Orchard Point branches are open daily 0700-1900. The General Post Office on Fullerton Road (near the river) and the Comcentre near Orchard Road are open 24 hours.

Currency

The local currency is Singapore dollar and cents. The currency unit is the Singapore dollar (S$). Approximately S$1.3 = US$1 (April 2016). Notes are in denominations of: $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 and $10,000.

Banking hours are: Monday to Friday, 9:30A.M.-3P.M.; Saturday, 9:30A.M.-1P.M.; Sunday, 9:30A.M.-3P.M. (some banks in Orchard Road). Travelers’ checks/cheques and foreign currencies may be changed at most banks and licensed money changers. Most automated teller machines (ATM) offer the PLUS, STAR or CIRRUS network systems.

American Express, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.

Customs Regulations

According to related laws and regulations, the luggage of inbound and outbound passengers must come under customs supervision and control. Passengers should make accurate declarations to customs officials regarding the luggage they carry into or out of the territory. Warning: Drug Trafficking is punishable by death.

Electricity

Voltage in Singapore is 220 volts, so a transformer will be needed to operate 100-volt appliances. Electrical appliances will require an adapter that can change the shape of the plug prongs, as well as an electrical voltage converter that will allow a normal 110-volt American appliance to take 220 Volt current.  Most major hotels provide hair dryers and other amenities.

Food & Water

Dining in Singapore is a gastronomic experience. Choices are bewildering, ranging widely from inexpensive local dishes (Chinese, Malay, Indian and Nonya) found at food courts/hawker centers to sophisticated restaurants serving international cuisine. Tap water is clean but drinking from it directly should be avoided. Bottled water is recommended.

Health Matters

There are no vaccinations required for entering Singapore from anywhere around the world. However, a yellow fever certificate of vaccination is required from persons over 1 year of age who have been in or passed through any country classified either partly or wholly as a yellow fever endemic zone within the previous 6 days. You can also contact the Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) 404-639-3534 for updated information. Health care in Singapore is exceptionally good.

Holidays

New Year’s Day – Jan 1st
Chinese New Year – January/ February
Good Friday – April
Labour Day – May 1st
Vesak (Birth of Buddha) – Jun 2nd
National Day – Aug 9th
Diwali – Nov 12th
Hari Raya Puasa (End of Ramadan) – Nov 14-16th
Christmas Day – Dec 25th

Passports & Visas

Tourist visas are NOT REQUIRED for American and Canadian citizens for visits of up to 90 days. However, all visitors are required to have a passport validity of at least 6 months, onward/return tickets, onward facilities (e.g. visa, entry permit, etc.) to their next destination and sufficient funds for their stay in Singapore.

Time Difference

Singapore Standard Time is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Tippling

A 3 percent sales tax is added to all goods and services in Singapore. In most hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs, an additional 4 percent government entertainment tax and, occasionally, a 10 percent service charge are also tacked on to the bill.  Taxis drivers normally do not get tipped.

On tour tipping of $10-$12 per person per day is customary.

Transportation

Airport transfers and sightseeing transportation are included in our tours. Airport transfers are provided via private car and sightseeing will be provided via air-conditioned motor coach. While on your own,  you are free to explore on your own through a variety of efficient transportation.

The Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) – Known as one of the most efficient and the  cleanest systems of the world, the MRT  is a modern, air-conditioned passenger train service with stations spread through the city.

Buses – The bus service is also very regular and another inexpensive means for getting around Singapore. The Singapore Bus Service (SBS) and the Trans Island Bus Service (TIBS) are the main bus operators. Singapore Explorer tickets (for 01 day or 03 days) can be bought at leading hotels. These tickets are fully equipped with a map featuring the major tourist attractions and directions to reach them. Some routes are air-conditioned.

Taxis are available 24 hours for hassle-free and reasonably priced in and around the city. Singapore has more than 15,000 taxis which can be flagged down or picked up from designated taxi stands which are well located throughout the city. All taxis are metered but certain surcharges apply depending on time of travel, place of hire, mode of hire, type of cab and the place where the taxi passes through an Electronic Pricing Gantry.

Rental Cars by the day or the week can be hired from a number of local operators. These are air-conditioned and can be hired for self drive or with the services of a chauffeur. A valid international driving license is preferred for those wishing to self-drive.

What to Pack

Bring light clothing that is easy to wash and iron. Sandals and light shoes are adequate. A sweater is handy for cool season nights and drastically air-conditioned buildings. Top hotel restaurants usually require a tie, sometimes a jacket.

Other essential items include: Valid Passport. Travelers Checks. Copy of Your Airline Ticket. Your Medicines. Departure documents. Travel alarm clock. Camera(s), batteries & films. Sunscreen/Tan lotion.  Pocket size Kleenex. Extra luggage locks/keys. First Aid kit. Soft, foldable slippers. Extra set of eyeglasses. Folding Umbrella.  Comfortable walking shoes.