A vibrant travel destination that attracts millions a year, Singapore is known as a clean city with efficient traffic control and criminal laws binding both locals and tourists. Home to a diverse ethnic population, there is a strict guideline for foreigners and employment pass holders. As travelers, new to the city, you should know about the restrictions, dos and dont’s while you are in Singapore.
What not to do in Singapore
You will have to abide by certain rules and regulations while traveling to Singapore.
Do not Litter
There is strict law against littering in Singapore. It is of world’s cleanest cities with high level of public hygiene concerns. Throwing of plastics, waste paper and cigarette is an offense resulting to fine
No smoking in public places
Smoking in public is prohibited in Singapore and the law is well enforced. Cigarette are sold with a SDPC stamp and smokers using unstamped cigarette packs will be fined up to $500 for each pack. In customs, 1 half opened cigarette pack is allowed to be brought in Singapore
Import of chewing gum is illegal and there is a custom checking at the airport and ports. Pack of chewing gums from Malaysia and Indonesia can get you arrested.
There is strict laws against drug trafficking, consumption and abuse. Possession of drugs can lead to capital punishment even without an exception to foreigners. Also note that drug metabolites in the person’s system is also a criminal offense even if consumed outside Singapore.
Do not bring firearms
Possession of unlicensed arms, firearms, crackers and any kind of mild explosive is punishment, if brought without the necessary permit . According to trafficking laws, import and export of more than 30 g or morphine and 30 g of cocaine and other drugs such as cannabis and heroin has compulsory death penalty. An for unauthorized consumption of drugs, there is a jail term of up to 10 years.
The Singaporean authorities discourage bribing at any public place, to government officials, for any special favors receive in return. Both the parties are considered as offenders.
Do not use pirated goods
Religious symbols and publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Unification Church cannot be imported, by either land or sea, to Singapore. Pirated CDs or movies and pornographic videos has a fine of up to $1000
Avoid tipping and giving money to beggars
It is not customary to tip waiters in restaurants and bars. Begging is also not a legal activity
Do not carry food in MRT trains
Bringing food to MRT trains is a public offense with fine of around $200.
Do not gift white flowers
For the locals, white flowers are a symbol of mourning and grief and usually bought only at funerals. Avoid gifting anyone.
Avoid public display of affection
Due to cultural barriers, public display of affection is unacceptable in Singapore unlike many western countries. Homosexual activity remains illegal.
Do not feed animals
At parks and road, do not stop by to feed birds or monkeys. This activity is strictly prohibited and on notice can cause harassment
Illegal entry and stay is punishable
Entry without proper visa and permit and staying beyond 90 days after visa expiry has caning as punishment.
Do not be in touch with bookies and touts
In exchange for money, bookies often lead foreign tourists to traps. It is advisable to make all your bookings in advance to avoid paying extra
Do not mingle with strangers
It is nice to be polite and courteous but avoid mingling with strangers. You can end up in a tourist trap!
What to do in Singapore
Here are few things to do in Singapore
- Be vigilant and aware while boarding taxis
- There is duty free alcohol sold in Singapore, enjoy the nightlife
- Keep all important numbers such as ambulance, fire and police for immediate help
- Use public restrooms/toilets especially built at all MRT stations, shopping complexes and also bus terminals
- Maintain dress codes in bars and pubs, wherever required
- Be courteous to local people, bow to the Chinese, you can shake hands as well
- Carry prescriptions for all regular medicines that you take, drugs are sold only when prescribed
- Open your shoes before entering a home or temple
- Enjoy the tropical climate that may get hot sometimes, make sure to keep yourself enough hydrated
- Do not depend on credit cards, carry some cash with you