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Travel Tips

Visitors to Singapore should have valid passports and visas to enter Singapore. Applications for such visas can be made at the respective countries' high commissions or overseas missions. However, visas are not required for Commonwealth citizens, British passport holders, and Republic of Ireland citizens for a stay of up to 14 days. All onward visitors should have passports valid for at least three months from the time of arrival. They should also have return tickets, and sufficient funds for the length of their stay in Singapore.

The currency is the Singapore dollar (S$). Singapore uses 1c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, and S$1 coins. Notes are in denominations of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$50, S$100, S$500, and S$1,000. The islands also has a S$10,000 note.

Money changing services are available at Changi Airport and at most banks, hotels, and shopping complexes.

Singapore's country code is 65. There is no city code for Singapore.

Generally, business hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Shopping hours are usually from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

IDD calls can be made from the numerous card and credit card phones, which are located in post offices and around the city area. Phone cards come in denominations of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$20, and S$50.

Loose and light summer clothing is recommended, especially for outdoor activities like sightseeing. "Smart casual" is usually acceptable everywhere except for formal business dining or when specified in an invitation. Smart casual usually means shirts (long or short-sleeves but not T-shirts) or blouses, and trousers or skirts.

As the cleanest of all cities, it is safe to drink water straight from the tap.

As English is widely understood, it seldom acts as a barrier when conducting business in Singapore. Singapore business people expect the people whom they are dealing with to be punctual for meetings and appointments. They give and receive business cards with both hands after the handshake upon first meeting. It is best to admire the card for a few moments before putting it away. Meetings can take place anywhere, be it in boardrooms or restaurants. Most business people rarely wear suits due to the island's tropical heat. However, the men do usually wear ties.

Singapore's voltage is 220-240AC, 50 Hertz. Most hotels can provide a transformer to convert it to 110-120 AC, 60 Hertz.

With well-qualified doctors and dentists, Singapore's medical facilities are among the finest in the world. Registered pharmacists work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with some open until 10 p.m. Most hotels have their own doctor on 24-hour call.

Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore. It is prohibited at the airport and discouraged at hotels and restaurants where a 10% service charge is included in the bill. A tip should only be exercised when the bill does not include a service charge.

A S$15 Passenger Service Charge should have been incorporated into your air ticket. If this is not the case, you are required to pay during check-in at the airport.

Singapore's laws may be severe enough to surprise most visitors. Trafficking in narcotics is punishable by death. The sale and importation of chewing gun is banned although possession is not necessarily an offense. Smoking in air-conditioned areas is illegal. Littering and jaywalking are also considered an offense. Speeding is also frowned upon with several speed-trap cameras installed around the island.

Singapore has earned the distinction of being one of the most crime-free countries in the world. The streets are usually quite safe at all times, even at nights. However, there are occasional pickpockets and purse snatchers who prey on unsuspecting victims. There are no specific areas, which are crime prone but it is better to avoid dark and secluded streets, especially if you are alone.

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