Singapore is a country, a city and an island at the same time, but a location south of Malaysia. If you go to the country, you will see a side of this continent that you did not think was possible. Whether it’s because most people associate Southeast Asia with unclean streets, street food, temples and idyllic atmosphere, perhaps. Singapore also has this to offer. The country is one of the cleanest in the world and one of the fastest on the technological front in Southeast Asia. Read here and get inspiration for your trip to Singapore.
Singapore – a busy, beautiful and old country
Singapore is one of Asia’s many and beautiful gems that we can certainly only recommend you to travel past on your trip. For us, Singapore is something very special compared to the other countries. The country is something very special because it is not comparable to the rest of Southeast Asia. Singapore is a country, a city and an island at the same time, but a location south of Malaysia.
The country’s original name until the 15th century was Singapura, which means “Lion City”. In the early history of the country, there were many monks who were on the island at that time, and for them the lion was a symbol of strength, courage and reps. You will therefore be able to find statues and monuments in several places in the cityscape where the lion is included. Later, the country changed its name to Singapore as we know it today. Singapore has one of the largest ports in all of Southeast Asia. Despite the size of the country, their port is one of the busiest ports in the world, receiving and sending goods to and from all over the world.
- Singapore – a busy, beautiful and old country
- Do you need equipment for your trip?
- Transport information when traveling in Singapore
- Singapore complies with the rules and takes care of the environment
- Currency and gratuity
- Information on insurance, vaccinations and visas
- Our top 5 things to see in Singapore
Transport information when traveling in Singapore
The easiest way to get back and forth when traveling in Singapore is by jumping on the train. The country has one of Southeast Asia’s most modern infrastructures. This means train routes where you can get from one end of the island to the other, in about 22 minutes. The train routes stretch over 200km and have over three million daily departures. There will therefore be plenty of opportunity for you to get around the country by train.
If you know that one day you have a lot to do at the other end of the island, you can buy a Singapore Tourist Pass (STP ) at many of the local train stations. This applies in the same way as your bus card at home. You can buy the following passes, all depending on how long you have to commute back and forth.
- Unlimited travel for one day. Price: 10 SGD approx. 50 Danish kroner.
- Unlimited travel for two days. Price: 16 SGD approx. 75 kr.
- Unlimited travel for three days. Price: 20 SGD approx. 100 DKK.
Of course there is also the possibility to hop on the local bus . Whether it is bus or train that is easiest, we will leave it up to you as a traveler – but we recommend you to use the local public transport, both for the wallet but also because for us it is part of the overall experience of traveling in that country.
If you want a more authentic mode of transport if you do not have to travel very far, you can also hop on the local trishaws. A trishaw is a bicycle with room for two people, where you sit next to the driver along the way, guide and tell about the things you drive past. This is a bit more expensive than with regular public transport, but in the price you also pay for a guide along the way. It costs approx. DKK 170, corresponding to 40 SRD. If you want to read more about what you can experience on such a trip, you can read more about them at Trishaw Uncle , which is the company that manages both bicycles and routes.
Singapore complies with the rules and takes care of the environment
There is one big thing that sets Singapore apart from the rest of Southeast Asia, but also from the rest of the world. The country is one of the first countries to place high focus on environmental friendliness. This has become a landmark for the country as a whole, and is also one of the things that Singapore is particularly known and remembered for: cleanliness.
If you travel by train in Singapore, most of the country’s train network is powered by electricity. Replacing most trains with electricity was one of the things that started by placing Singapore on the map as a country that dared to make a difference to the environment. The country began to focus on the environment as early as the 1990s, but it is only during the last ten years that it is really something the outside world has heard about.
Have you tried walking on the streets here in Denmark, and either stepping on a chewing gum on the street or even noticing how many escaped chewing gums are often on the streets and alleys? We have that. You will never be able to experience this sight in Singapore. Spitting chewing gum out on the street is illegal and can result in large fines. Some areas are even “chewing gum free zone”. It will be possible for you to buy it in stores, but not all. You can not quickly pick up a pack of Stimorol on the road at the checkout, as you can do at home.
Everything that is about waste is sorted and thrown out, and yes, thrown out. This means that there is no rubbish and leftover food lying in the streets of Singapore, as you would otherwise be able to see in the other Asian countries. Although the cleanliness is higher in Singapore, rubbing alcohol is still a good idea.
Tips on rules to keep in mind for your trip to Singapore
There may well be a lot to keep in mind when choosing to travel to Singapore. They have strict rules. To make it a little easier for you, we have listed the most important ones below:
- As a tourist, you may only bring two packets of chewing gum into the country. Otherwise, it can be considered as chewing gum smuggling.
- Do not spit in the street! Spitting on the street can result in a fine of up to 1000 SRD corresponding to DKK 4,500. This also applies to chewing gum
- Do not throw rubbish on the streets. It can cost you between 1000 – 4000 kr.
- You must not eat or drink in the city’s public transport. We recommend taking a water bottle with you when you walk around Singapore, because the temperature can get high. Just do not drink it in public transport.
- Purchase of alcohol is illegal between kl. 22.00 – 07.00. Bars, discos and restaurants with alcohol license are not valid
- Be sure to use the pedestrian crossings . Do not cross the road unless there is a pedestrian crossing. It can cost you up to DKK 4,000.
Currency and gratuity
Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in Asia. A meal can quickly cost DKK 150, where in large parts of Asia you have to pay less than half. You must therefore accept that the standard of living is higher in this country, which often requires a slightly larger budget.
In Singapore, the currency is the Singapore dollar, SGD. 1 SGD corresponds to approx. 5 Danish kroner. Their currency is often referred to as “singdollar”. In the country, you can easily pay by credit card compared to large parts of Asia, where cash is the primary form of payment. However, it is a good idea to have some cash on you as in the local markets you can not pay with anything else. If you do not have cash withdrawn from home, there are plenty of ATMs in town.
It can be a good idea to keep an eye on the current course, especially before you leave.
Many countries have it as standard to tip at restaurants, bars, cafes etc. This is not something to worry about in Singapore. At the airport, it is even forbidden to tip. Many eateries have a service charge of 10%. which is included in the total bill.
However, tips of around 25 SGD are expected at the hotels of higher standards.
Information on insurance, vaccinations and visas
There are some things you need to be aware of regarding insurance, vaccines and visas before your trip to Singapore. We recommend that you check up on these three things well in advance. If you are in doubt about whether you have overlooked something and other things you need to be aware of, you can always stay updated on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Website.
Visas and insurances
On your trip to Singapore, you are not covered by your yellow health insurance card, or the blue one. You need to take it with you on your trip anyway, but should you get injured, the health insurance certificate is not of much help. It is therefore a good idea to take out travel insurance if you do not already have one. Many travel agencies work with insurance companies so that you can get insurance that is valid for the number of days you travel.
It is not necessary for you to apply for a visa when traveling to Singapore if you are staying for less than 90 days. You do not need to do any preparatory work before you arrive. You will often receive a fill- in form on the airline you need to fill out. You will be asked to hand this in at the passport control at the airport, you will receive a stamp in your passport and you are ready to go exploring.
- You must ensure that your passport has a shelf life of at least 6 months upon entry before you can enter the country.
It is for your own good to get the vaccines the State Serum Institute recommends when you go to Singapore. If you are planning to travel to Singapore after a visit to other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, then new vaccines should not be necessary. Most vaccines in Southeast Asia are valid in most countries. To be on the safe side, grab the following vaccines * before traveling to Singapore:
|Vaccines + number
|Diphtheria + tetanus, 1
Hepatitis A, 2
|1 – 4 weeks
|Diphtheria + tetanus, 1
Hepatitis A, 2
|2 – 6 months
|Diphtheria + tetanus, 1
Hepatitis A, 2
Hepatitis B, 3
* NOTE: some vaccines you must have several times before departure and some also after you return home.
When you receive your vaccines, they will be listed on a yellow vaccination card. This is a good idea to bring on your trip if you should be injured and the hospital needs to check if you have the necessary vaccinations.
Our top 5 things to see in Singapore
There are many things to indulge in when visiting Singapore. A good mix of ancient culture, history, modern technology, shopping, plant and animal life and wonderful dining experiences. To help you along the way, we have made a top-5 list of the things we think you should see on your trip in Singapore. We have also made a packing list if you need tips and inspiration for what to bring in your backpack.