Top 5 things to do while visiting Singapore

Some Singaporeans says that besides dining, shopping and the movies, there’s not a lot you can do here. Ignore all these talks. The must-see list for the one-day visitor to Singapore, especially the first-timer, is very long. There is very little chance that you’ll get bored while your visit to Singapore.

We’re here to guide you to the top 5 places where tourists don’t normally go; in short, the places where Singaporeans in the know live and play.

1. Singapore Botanic Gardens- If you have arrived in Singapore and it’s early morning and nothing really opens for business until around 11 a.m., so how are you going to kill time? The most exciting idea will be to head out to the Botanic Gardens which opens at 5 a.m. to midnight. Wander through the swaths of virgin rainforest (the main boardwalk through it is entered from Upper Palm Valley Road) and then take in the National Orchid Garden’s many-colored collection of 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids. When you’re done and you are hungry you can dive into the food court near Tanglin Gate for a traditional local breakfast of soft-boiled eggs, coffee and toast slathered with coconut jam.

2. Artwork at the Ritz-Carlton- Ritz-Carlton is not an ordinary hotel it is considered as one of the Southeast Asia’s finest (and under the radar) collections of modern and contemporary art. There is a massive three-ton Frank Stella installation at the entrance and the pair of Dale Chihuly crystal glass sculptures that holds both wings of the building. The majority of the pieces were specially commissioned for the public spaces and guest suites. All the great sculptures present over here are free to view, and you even get an iPod-guided tour.

3. Chinatown Heritage Centre- If you do only one cultural thing during your 24-hour Singapore layover, it must be a tour of the unheralded Chinatown Heritage Centre, where entire sets of bedrooms, kitchens and street scenes from the late-19th century and early-20th century have been faithfully recreated. It’s an authentic slice of Singapore’s history that’s made all the more fascinating by the gleaming skyscrapers just a few blocks away. And if you must, pick up a kitschy souvenir from the gift shop on your way out.

4. Electronics for Cheap- Tokyo may have the latest in electronic gadgets, but Singapore has the widest range, and luckily for the time-pressed shopper, they’re all clustered in two massive multistory emporia. Handicams, portable DVD players, mobile phones, hi-tech cameras, MP3 players and laptops in just about every imaginable configuration are up for grabs at Funan Digitalife Mall and Sim Lim Square. The prices are usually about 10% to 20% cheaper than at other commercial outlets.

5. The Singapore Flyer- The 165-meter-high Flyer is Singapore’s answer to the London Eye. For the moment, it is the world’s largest observation wheel. Despite much fanfare and hype, the locals have never really taken to the Flyer, grousing that it’s too far from anywhere and S$29.50 is a lot of money to pay for a 30-minute ride. The best time to hitch a ride is at dusk when the entire row of downtown skyscrapers is softly lit. Back on the ground, head for a dinner of chili crabs at Seafood Paradise.

Singapore Travel – Dos and Dont’s

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

  • Chewing gum
  • 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.

  • Drug laws
  • 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.

  • Avoid bribing
  • 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