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Climate and Clothing
Less than 100 miles north of the Equator, Singapore enjoys a tropical rainforest climate with warm and humid weather year around. Rain showers are common year around, but are usually brief and often refreshing. Temperatures vary from lows of 23-25°C (73-77°F) to highs of 32-33°C (89-90°F), usually cooling in the evening.
Country code +65
Chinese, Malay, Indian & English (widely spoken and understood)
Currency and bank
The major currency is Singapore dollars (SGD).
Generally, banks open six days a week from 10:00-15:00, with a few banks offering evening services.
In Singapore, the electric current is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second, and power plugs are three-pin, square-shaped. On request, most hotels will provide transformers to visitors with electrical appliances of a different voltage. However, it is advisable to bring an adaptor and transformer for your electrical or electronic equipment using different voltage.
In case of an emergency - dial (the call is free within Singapore):
Goods and Services Tax (GST) & Tax Free Shopping
A 7% GST is levied in Singapore. Foreign visitors may claim back the GST paid on purchases through the Global Refund scheme or the Premier Tax Free scheme. GST refunds are not applicable for land and cruise departures. You have to ask for the tax free cheque in the store. Visit www.globalrefund.com and www.premiertaxfree.com for more information.
In Singapore, a 10% service charge is generally already included in the bill, thus tipping is not necessary. While tipping is not expected, it is appreciated, when there is no service charge, or where excellent service is encountered.
Pharmacies are readily available at supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Prescription medicines can be purchased from registered pharmacists that generally work from 09:00 to 18:00. A 24-hour pharmacy service is provided on a rota basis. A surcharge is payable on medicine purchased outside normal opening hours (on-call pharmacies).
The situation in Singapore is calm and stable, and the island remains one of the safest in the world to visit. Enhanced security measures at key installations and other sensitive places ensure that Singapore continues to remain safe.
Smoking is not permitted in public service vehicles, museums, libraries, lifts, theatres, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants, non-air-conditioned eating houses, hawker centres, hair salons, supermarkets, department stores and government offices. In line with efforts to improve the nightlife experience for all, there are smoking restrictions on entertainment outlets unless within approved smoking rooms or smoking corners. Offenders can be fined up to SGD 1,000.
Spitting & Littering
Spitting and littering in public places are fineable offences up to SGD 2,000.
Chewing gum is not allowed to be brought into Singapore or to be consumed locally as it is banned unless the gum serves medical purposes (such as dental-health gums and nicotine gums which help people to quit smoking). Offenders who are caught bringing chewing gum will be fined SGD 500 – SGD 1,000.
In Singapore, taxis can be flagged down 24 hours a day on most roads or at taxi-stands. You can also pre-book a day in advance. All taxi services can be reached with just one convenient number of 6-3425-222 (6-DIAL-CAB) and you will be directed to all the taxi firms’ call centers, one at a time.
Singapore follows Singapore Standard Time (SST), a time zone eight hours in advance of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight savings is not followed in Singapore. (GMT + 7 hours)
A truly magical and exotic land, Singapore is just waiting to be explored by inquisitive visitors. For more information on the city’s attractions, please visit the Singapore On-Line Guide: http://www.yoursingapore.com/en.html