Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons, uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Temperatures usually range from 22 to 35 °C (72 to 95 °F). Relative humidity averages around 79% in the morning and 73% in the afternoon. April and May are the hottest months, with the wetter monsoon season from November to January. From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia. Although Singapore does not observe daylight saving time (DST), it follows the GMT+8 time zone, one hour ahead of the typical zone for its geographical location.
English, Malay, Standard Mandarin & Tamil
Religion in Singapore
The religious culture in Singapore is just as diverse as the population. Singaporeans learn about the religious customs and traditions of other population groups early on. On the list of public holidays in Singapore are Christian, Muslim, and Indian holidays, among others. The state is home to ten major religions, including Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. Some people even accept more than one faith. However, discrimination in Singapore is still a problem at times.
While exploring the culture in Singapore, you will soon find, that many of the most beautiful and fascinating buildings in the state are religious. While some of them are open to the public, it is important that you abide by certain rules before entering a place of worship: Take off your shoes before you enter a mosque or a temple. Wash your feet and hands before entering a Hindu temple. Dress appropriately! Women are expected to cover their hair or parts of their body before entering a mosque or a temple. Make sure that taking pictures is allowed before getting out your camera. A religious building is no place for a picnic! Don’t eat or drink there. Bring along food or flowers to Hindu and Buddhist temples as an offering for the gods.
Face & Respect
Having face indicates personal dignity. Singaporeans are very sensitive to retaining face in all aspects of their lives. Face is a prized commodity that can be given, lost, taken away or earned. It is a mark of personal qualities such as a good name, good character, and being held in esteem by one’s peers. It can also be greater than the person and extend to family, school, company, and even the nation itself. Face is what makes Singaporeans strive for harmonious relationships.
Singaporeans are group dependent and rely on facial expression, tone of voice and posture to tell them what someone feels. They often trust non-verbal messages more than the spoken word. They tend to be subtle, indirect and implicit in their communications. They hint at a point rather than making a direct statement, since that might cause the other person to lose face. Rather than say ‘no’, they might say, ‘I will try’, or ‘I’ll see what I can do’. This allows the person making the request and the person turning it down to save face and maintain harmony in their relationship.
Silence is an important element of Singaporean communication. Pausing before responding to a question indicates that they have given the question appropriate thought and considered their response carefully.They do not understand western cultures ability to respond to a question hastily and think this indicates thoughtlessness and rude behaviour.
Etiquette and Customs in Singapore Meeting and Greeting
Greetings will follow a strict protocol often based on both the ethnic origin and age of the person. Younger people or those who work in multi-national companies may have adopted the western concept of shaking hands with everyone, but this is not the case with older or more reserved Singaporeans. Ethnic Chinese shake hands. Their grasp is rather light although the handshake itself can be rather prolonged. Men and women may shake hands, although the woman must extend her hand first. Introductions are always done in order of age or status.
Between men, ethnic Malays shake hands. Men and women do not traditionally shake hands, since Muslim men do not touch women in public. Younger Malays may shake hands with foreign women, but it is more appropriate to use the ‘salaam’ (bowing the head) greeting. This is also the greeting to be used when two women meet. Ethnic Indians shake hands with members of the same sex. When being introduced to someone of the opposite sex, nodding the head and smiling is usually sufficient. As with the other groups, the elderly or the person with the most status is introduced first.
Gift Giving Etiquette
Bring along food or flowers to Hindu and Buddhist temples as an offering for the gods.Do not give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate that you want to sever the relationship. Do not give clocks, handkerchiefs or straw sandals as they are associated with funerals and death. Do not wrap gifts in white, blue or black paper as these are mourning colours. Wrap gifts in red, pink, or yellow since these are happy colours. Elaborate gift wrapping is imperative.
Never wrap a gift for a baby or decorate the gift in any way with a stork as birds are the harbinger of death. Do not give odd numbers as they are unlucky. Do not bring food if invited to a formal dinner party as it insinuates you do not think the host will provide sufficient hospitality. Bring a small gift of fruit, sweets, or cakes, saying that it is for the children. Gifts are not opened when received. lowers do not make good gifts as they are given to the sick and are used at funerals.
Business Meeting Etiquette
Appointments are necessary and should be made at least 2 weeks in advance, whenever possible. The most formal way to schedule a meeting is to write to the person concerned, although most Singaporeans will schedule an appointment by telephone, fax, or e-mail. Do not try to schedule meetings during Chinese New Year (late January/early February), since many businesses close for the entire week. You should arrive at meetings on time. Punctuality is a virtue. There will be period of small talk before getting down to business discussions. Since questioning authority is a taboo, it is important to encourage questions when after making a presentation and then smile when a question is eventually asked. Presentations should be accompanied by backup material, including charts and figures. Never disagree or criticize someone who is senior to you in rank as it will cause both of you to lose face and may destroy the business relationship. Pay attention to non-verbal communication.
|FAMOUS FOOD OF SINGAPORE||FAMOUS INDIAN CUISINE|
|Chicken Rice||Table By Rang Mahal|
|Level 3 Pan Pacific Singapore 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595|
|Punjab Grill By Jiggs Kalra|
|Kaya Toast||B1-01A, the Shoppes at Marine Bay Sands, South Podium, 2 Bay front Avenue, Singapore 018972|
|Fish Head Curry||The Song Of India|
|33 Scotts Road, Singapore 228226|
|Zi Char||Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre 11 Cavenagh Road, Singapore 229616|
|1-Jan||Thursday||New Year’s Day|
|19-Feb||Thursday||Chinese New Year|
|24-Sep||Thursday||Hari Raya Haji|
|Alexandra Hospital Tel: 6472 2000|
|Changi General Hospital Tel : 6788 8833|
|Tan Tock Seng Hospital Tel: 6256 6011|
|3 STAR||4 STAR|
|Lloyd’s Inn||Siloso Beach Resort, Sentosa|
|2 Lloyd road, Orchard, 239091, Singapore||51 Imbiah Walk Sentosa, Sentosa Island, 099538, Singapore|
|J8 Hotel||Peninsula Excelsior Hotel|
|No. 8 Townshend Road, #01-01, Little India, 207606, Singapore||5 Coleman Street, Riverside, 179805, Singapore|
|Strand Hotel||Orchid Country Club|
|25 Bencoolen Street, Bugis, 189619, Singapore||1 Orchid Club Road, 769162, Singapore|
Marina Bay Sands Skypark
This large wooden decked area on top of iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel at the edge of the city’s harbour offers a 360-degree panorama, with nothing but a sheet of glass and a few wires between you and the view.
Chinatown, with its colourful Peranakan shop-houses and handful of historical attractions, makes for a pleasant stroll.Chinatown offers a lot more than just the restored shops and ethnic places of worship, such as the old Hokkien temple Thian Hock Keng, Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple and James Mosque, it’s a haven for hawker food lovers.
Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore has seven themed sections with countless rides and shows, all related to major hit movies. The park is part of the US$4.5 billion Resorts World Sentosa Development.Start off in Hollywood. Strolling down Hollywood Boulevard will make you think that you’re in the States, not in a tropical Asian country.
Gardens By The Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a huge, colourful, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore. The famous Supertree structures offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens, over-sized seashell-shaped greenhouses recreate chilly mountain climates and there are hundreds of trees and plants to discover, making this destination great fun for both kids and adults.
The Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest observation wheel.. Passengers will get to see such city sights as the Singapore River, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Empress Place and the Padang. Each of Singapore Flyer 28 city-bus-sized air-conditioned capsules can carry up to 28 passengers and a complete rotation of the wheel takes approximately 30 minutes.
The Merlion is more than just a statue. It’s a mythical symbol of Singapore, a place to take in some incredible views, and of course, is the city’s most sought after photo-op. The term ‘must see’ will forever be used to describe the Merlion, with the iconic statue attracting over a million visitors per year. Although the 70-tonne, water-spouting Merlion is the main focal point, you can also relax on the terraced seating area, which boasts some great views across the water to Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore is 2 hours and 30 minutes ahead of India
Official Currency “Singapore Dollar “
True to its location in Southeast Asia, Singapore generally remains hot and humid all year round.
July-September:While tourists visit throughout the year, the festive season is a great time to explore the many facets of Singapore, especially around July when the Great Singapore Sale and the Singapore Food Festival take place.
Feb-April: The months between the summers and winters are quite pleasant. Plenty of outdoor activities become available then.
November-January: The wettest months are between November and January, when showers can last for long periods of time, while the hottest months are May and June.
Avoid Investing In Guidebooks –Investing in expensive guidebooks for touring Singapore would be an imprudent step, as these guidebooks are really not worth your money. It is relatively easy to tour Singapore as compared to other Asian countries, because the natives of Singapore are good at speaking and understanding English. You can hence, ask for directions from any of the locals at Singapore. The documents and maps supplied by the Tourist Office, along with useful information from Internet would be sufficient to tour Singapore.
Party Early –For those of you who find it expensive to enjoy booze parties, it is advisable to party early. Most pubs at Singapore offer attractive discounts in the form of Happy-Hours for booze-lovers. So you can go ahead and party like you never did, for significantly less costs.
Be Experimental With Food -Singaporean cuisine is a complete delight for every foodie. You would surely savor every bit of the cuisine and definitely not regret picking up practically anything from the shelves. In case you wish to seek some cost-effective alternatives, go for the affordable food courts or small restaurants, which can be a cheap but sumptuous treat for your taste-buds.
Save Taxes By Shopping Smart -No vacation is perfect without a shopping escapade, especially when you are holidaying at Singapore. The best time to make a shopping trip to Singapore would be during the ‘Great Shopping Sale’ which begins mid-year and lasts for about a month. Shopping at Orchard Road, Bugis Street, Centrepoint or the Heeren can be a fulfilling experience for most shopaholics. With such irresistible options for shopping, you can always go overboard with the budget for your shopping. You can get a reimbursement of up to 3% on the Goods and Services Tax, if you shop for above $300 from outlets with ’Tax-Free Shopping’. You can easily avail this reimbursement by showing your cheques at the airport.
Use Public Transport -There’s no need to hire taxis because of Singapore’s efficient and cost effective public transport system. You can enjoy touring Singapore and go for unlimited rides with the SIA Hop-On AC Bus Services for just $5 per day. If at all, you still need to hire taxi services, sharing them with fellow passengers can be a good way to curtail unnecessary expenses.
Don’t Invest On Mineral Water –Tap water at Singapore is as good and safe as the mineral water, so you need not buy mineral water bottles and waste money unnecessarily.
Choose The Right Tourist Spots -Singapore is brimming with some of the most attractive and exotic locations. Plan your sightseeing in accordance with the location of different tourist sites. It would make sense to combine a visit to the zoo along with a night safari, while you manage to save $4.15, as the combined ticket would costs less than the individual tickets. A lot of money can be easily saved, if you follow these ideas and research well before setting out for sight-seeing.
Avoid Surfing Internet -Most travelers to Singapore possessing the Singapore Holiday Pass also like visiting Malaysia. You can get the visa for Malaysia on-arrival only if you have a valid Singapore Visa (and not the Sea-Man visa). If you are one such traveler longing to visit Singapore and Malaysia together, consider using the Internet services at Malaysia. This is because the Internet services for Singapore are quite expensive and it is better to use the cheap and better Internet services in Malaysia instead.
Do Not Get Into Trouble -Singapore is a beautiful and a friendly country, but there are some strict rules for the society. Make it a point to be aware of these regulations and comply with them. Violating any law can burn a hole in your pocket, as you would have to pay huge fines. It is best to stay away from trouble, and avoid shelling out extra money from your pocket.
Settle For Budget Hotels Or Apartments -You must choose a budget friendly hotel for staying while visiting Singapore. If you plan to stay in Singapore for long, it is better to stay in furnished apartments. Renting an apartment would be a good choice if you intend to stay for a week or more.
Singapore Travel Dont’s
Do not chew gums, which are banned in Singapore and may get you arrested. Leave it home before you travel.
Do not litter while in Singapore. Laws are strictly enforced relating to littering.
Do not smoke in public. Smoking is illegal in enclosed public places (including restaurants). Dropping a cigarette end in the street or smoking illegally can lead to an immediate fine.
Do not get involved in any drugs. Singapore carries a mandatory death penalty for drug-trafficking and harsh penalties for possession and use within the country.
Do not discuss religion or politics. Do not make jokes either.
Do not touch someone’s head. The head is considered sacred.
Do not show the bottoms of your feet or use your feet to point. Feet are considered dirty.
Do not bring in food into MRT (Mass Rapid Transport). Offenders will be fined up to S$200
Do not point at someone with your index finger, which is considered very rude.
Do not take cabs which are very expensive in Singapore. The Singapore transportation system is exceptionally well planned.
Do not eat or offer anything with your left hand when with Muslims and do not use your left hand when shaking hands with a Muslim.
Do not tip. Tipping is not customary in Singapore and it’s even frowned down upon by the government.
Do not open a gift immediately in front of the giver.
Do not wrap gifts in white, which is a mourning color.
Do not, for a Chinese descent, give clocks, handkerchiefs or flowers to as they are associated with death and funerals. Do not accept a gift immediately; refuse a gift two to three times before accepting to show that you’re not greedy.
Do not, for an Indian descent, give alcohol or something made of leather. Use your right hand to give or receive presents and not your left. If it’s large, you may use both hands.
Do not, for a Malay descent, give alcohol, or anything made of pigskin, as Malays are Muslim. Give the gift upon departing, not arriving, and use your right hand or both hands to give or receive presents. Never use only left hand.
Singapore Travel Do’s
Do address someone using the title of Mr., Mrs. or Miss with the surname. Do not use first names unless you are invited to.
Do shake hands for a warm greeting, but be aware that Malays will not always shake hands. Muslims will not shake hands with the opposite sex. Do give a slight bow for older Chinese people.
Do remove your shoes while entering a private home, a temple or a mosque.
Do leave a little on the plate when you have finished eating.
Do be conservative in your behavior. Dress conservatively for business functions and dress casual in other situations.
Do have coins with you when you need to use the public toilet.
Do stay on the left side of the escalator. The right lane is for all those people in a rush. Do drive on the left hand side too.
Do have some handy cash ready to use. Do not rely on your credit cards.