Singapore is known for its hot and humid weather, with little variation throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 31 C (88 F), dropping to around 24 C (75 F) in the evenings.
The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (S$). Money changing
services can be found at the Singapore Changi Airport and most shopping centres and hotels around the island.
The four official languages in Singapore’s constitution are English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. English and Mandarin are the most commonly used languages in daily life. While English is the main language taught in schools, children also learn their mother tongues to ensure that they stay in touch with their traditional roots.
The presence of other languages, especially the varieties of Malay and
Chinese, has obviously had an influence on the type of English that is used in
Singapore. The influence is especially apparent in informal English, an Englishbased creole that is commonly known as Singlish. Not recognized in the
world as a formal language, Singlish is definitely essential when travelling around Singapore. It is a unique blend of English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil and local dialects.
Besides the typical “lah” which punctuates most sentences used by the locals, here is a quick guide of phrases that you may encounter and use most often:
- Oh, izzit?: “That’s interesting.” / “Oh, is that true?”
- Dohwan: “No, thanks.” / “I don’t want it.”
- So how?: “So what do we do now?”
- Alamak!: A general expression of dismay or incredulity.
- Can can!: “Yes, definitely.”
- Lai dat also can?: “Is that acceptable?”
Besides air-conditioned areas such as shopping centres, restaurants,
entertainment outlets and cinemas, smoking is also an offense on the SMRT
(Singapore Mass Rapid Transit system), public buses, taxis and in lifts. Recently, the smoking ban has also been imposed on public eateries and within a five-metre radius from most building entrances, except for allocated smoking areas that are clearly marked with bright yellow paint. A maximum fine of S$1,000 may be imposed on first-time offenders.
Here is a partial list of Singapore’s mustsee destinations:
- Singapore Flyer
- Marina Bays Sands Skypark
- Universal Studios Singapore
- Chinatown and Chinese Heritage Museum
- Raffles Hotel
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo
- Little India
For more information visitwww.mysingapore.com.
Located in the Central South district, Marina Bay is known for its breezy
promenade strolls, entertainment venues, wide open spaces and lofty
hotels, shopping and offices. Visitors can enjoy ease and comfort moving around Marina Bay at street level, above or underground. Sheltered sidewalks, covered walkways, underground and secondstory links ensure all-weather protection and seamless connectivity between developments and MRT stations.
Suntec City Mall
The largest shopping mall in Singapore, Suntec City is divided into four thematic zones — Galleria, Tropics, Entertainment Centre and Fountain Terrace — housing over 400 retail outlets, over 50 pushcarts and over 100 food and beverage establishments, including Singapore’s largest hypermarket, Carrefour of France.
Similar to London’s Oxford Street or Hong Kong’s Tshimshatsui, this bustling
boulevard got its name after the nutmeg and pepper plantations that once lined it in the 1800s. The mall is flanked on both sides by local and international department stores, tiny boutiques, offices, spas, beauty salons, hotels, entertainment spots, restaurants and cafes. There is always some kind of fair or activity taking place in the malls and centres so there is never a
Important information for travelers
Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. While you are traveling in Singapore, you are subject to its laws. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not.
In Singapore, it is advisable to carry your passport with you at all times. Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. You can be arrested for jaywalking, littering, or spitting.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) / Embassy Location: U.S. Citizens are advised to inform the U.S. Embassy of your trip. By enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, you will be kept up-to-date with important safety and security announcements. Enrolling will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.
Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.
The U.S. Embassy
27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508
Telephone: +65 6476 9100
Facsimile: +65 6476 9340
Emergency after-hours telephone: +65 6476-9100
Please take the time to familiarize yourself with further details of
Singapore’s laws at the U.S. Department of State’s website: