City of Singapore
English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil are spoken in the country.
GMT +8 (+4 hours to Moscow).
Singapore has a high level of service in hotels. Even in 2-3 star hotels, good service awaits you. All world chains of hotels are located here, including the Chinese Oriental and the southeastern Shangri La. See liuxers for Singapore customs and traditions.
When checking in, immediately specify which room you need: for smokers or not. Rooms in hotels are indicated by a double number: floor / room number. In Chinese hotels, there are often no unlucky numbers in the numbering, for example, 4 or 66.
Mains voltage 220-240V. An adapter for Russian devices can be obtained at the hotel free of charge.
The national currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD or S$). It is equal to 100 cents. You can pay for purchases with banknotes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000; or coins, the denomination of which is 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 dollar. Brunei dollars are equivalent to Singaporean dollars. International credit cards and travelers checks are also universally accepted.
Banks and exchange offices
You can exchange money at hotels, banks, exchange offices and at the airport. The exchange rate is about the same everywhere. Banks are open on weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 9.30 (or 10.00) to 15.00, as well as on Saturday from 09.30-11.00 to 13.00, some are open on Sunday until 15.00. You can exchange currency at exchange offices located in large shopping centers from 10.00 (11.00) to 17.00 (20.00-21.00).
Shopping and shops
Singapore ‘s 70 malls showcase goods from all over the world. The best time for shopping is from June to July. These days there are seasonal sales. Despite the low prices, the quality of the goods is quite high. Store hours are from 10.00 to 21.00 on weekdays and until 22.00 on weekends.
Good souvenirs from Singapore will be products made from Chinese silk, Malay batik, as well as silk snakes, medicinal herbs, shoes, bags and electronics.
VAT and tax-free
Most products in stores have an additional markup of 3%. If the amount of your purchase from one seller exceeded SGD 300, then the tax can be refunded before departure at the airport. To do this, it is enough to present a sales receipt and unpacked goods.
Useful phones and communication
You can contact the ambulance or fire brigade by calling 995, the police – 999. You can consult the tourist information center by calling 330-0432 or 330-0431.
Singapore has a developed communications system. You can make an international call from any telephone booth. To pay for the conversation, use cards for 2, 5 or 10 dollars. To access an international line, dial 001. All numbers beginning with 1800 are free.
Singapore has one of the largest airports in the world. For passenger service, it is equipped with two terminals. The seaport is a meeting place for ships from America, Hong Kong, Europe and India. With Malaysia, the country is united by railway lines. Direct flights here can be reached from Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.
Use a taxi to move around the city. It is very easy to catch him, often taxi drivers slow down near you and offer their services. To rent a car you will need about 100 Singapore dollars. But be careful on the roads – in Singapore you drive on the left.
The official service charge in restaurants, airports or hotels is 10-15% of the cost of the service (often it is already included in the bill). The maid will be happy with a tip of SGD 2 per day, the porter – 1 dollar per suitcase, and the doorman – 1 dollar per work.
The medical facilities in Singapore are excellent, but these services are very expensive. Emergency medical care will be provided to you free of charge if there is a real threat to life. For other cases, it is better to purchase international health insurance.
Before visiting the country, it is recommended to be vaccinated against hepatitis and rabies. The tap water is drinkable without boiling.
Singapore has a low crime rate. Therefore, if you left your wallet in the store, you can safely return and pick it up. While walking around the city, try to drink plenty of water. Do not neglect sunglasses and hats to protect against overheating.