Country: Singapore
Currency: Dollar (SGD)
Peak Season: December-June
Shoulder Season: January-May
Median Temperature: 27.70 C / 81.86 F
Main Languages: English, Mandarin
Primary Modes of Transportation: Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), bus, taxi, private
Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $200.00/day
Tourist Passes: The Singapore Tourist Pass
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A city-state with all the trappings of a seismic metropolis, Singapore is the envy of many countries not just in Southeast Asia, but the whole world as well. Boasting a high GDP, advanced technologies, an upbeat hospitality industry, laws that are actually followed, harmonious racial divergence, cultural intactness and it being a favorite offshore companion of top-tier countries due to its eclectic location and established profile—Singapore is just awesome in all regards and has fostered the British colonial influence very well. A widely-acclaimed tourist destination, Singapore has a lot to offer beyond its relatively minuscule size on the map (roughly 700 sq. km). Foreigners (skilled laborers, mostly) comprise 42% of its population; there too is a considerable amount of western expats. Many westerners prefer it to be their primary itinerary on their first visit to Asia to avoid culture shock, evidenced by the confluence of Oriental and Western cultures.

You’ll find Singapore to suit your needs as a transient traveler: not too outdoorsy, but not too bland. Three days are enough to relish a clean and safe cityscape experience with little inconvenience evoked by most deplorable Southeast Asian cities. Yet all the order here comes at a price: compared to Jakarta and Bangkok, the feeling is quite stiff with all the high-rise buildings and strict ordinances imposed. The people are kind and well-mannered, but not as frivolous as one would hope so. The city has effectively blurred the line between work and play, much to its unwavering growth. Due to these economic and social standards, English has become a primary language.

Packing List

  • Shorts, flip-flops, light clothing—nothing too classy unless you’re on a business trip; the locals don’t mind sexy apparel, as long as they are not overly revealing and don’t feature subversive print
  • An umbrella, cap, sunblock, sunglasses to protect you from the elements—rainfall is frequent, even during non-monsoon season; catching the weather forecast helps a lot before departing for Singapore
  • Beachwear, suntan, sarong if you intend to hit the beaches; converted currency is helpful, since the stores and kiosks in the outlying areas of the city do not honor credit cards and foreign currency
  • Essential medication (with accompanying documentation, just to be safe) and toiletries; pharmacies and groceries sell most commodities, but brand varieties are tightly regulated by the government
  • A decent camera, plenty of film/memory and batteries; remember that Singapore is a technology hub and newer electronics are sold here, so do research if you’re better off buying your camera and gadgets here

Things to Do

  • Visiting Singapore Zoo, inhabited by 300+ species across 28 hectares; the zoo is acclaimed for its open habitats and diverse wildlife, as well as guest interaction with resident mammals and birds
  • Visiting Sentosa Island, one of the most sought-after island resorts in the world, being home to Universal Studios Singapore, a casino complex, a concourse of five-star hotels and three sandy beaches
  • Boarding the Singapore Flyer, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world at 541 feet of elevation; its ridership is more than half a million annually, with tourists accounting for a sizeable chunk
  • Socializing in Marina Bay Sands, a massive integrated resort boasting 2,560 rooms, 500 game tables and also home to the world’s longest elevated swimming pool
  • Revisiting Singapore’s colonial past inside the Arts House at the Old Parliament, home to many exhibits and permanent artifacts from other countries

DON'T

  • A decent camera, plenty of film/memory and batteries; remember that Singapore is a technology hub and newer electronics are sold here, so do research if you’re better off buying your camera and gadgets here
  • Even attempt to smuggle illegal drugs or associate yourself with suspected drug dealers; Singapore imposes the harsh death penalty or lifetime imprisonment against drug users and traffickers
  • Spend all your money shopping expensive items; there are better bargains in outlying countries; however, the city is a great place to shop for cheap-yet-authentic items, particularly electronics
  • Spend all your money shopping expensive items; there are better bargains in outlying countries; however, the city is a great place to shop for cheap-yet-authentic items, particularly electronics
  • Be afraid to venture out late at night—Singapore is really a safe place, and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, although instances of pickpocketing are common in crowded areas