Singapore is a global center for education, culture, entertainment, tourism and business. It has the most diversity in terms of religion and culture. The country has been declared the best city in the world several times in a row. When you are visiting Singapore, make sure that you do not cross a border and as a result, do not offend the locals. The city has created many rules and regulations that it expects everyone to follow. As alert as the officials are to maintain peace and order, the local people are also equally alert. With this in mind, we’ve shortlisted 15 What not to do in Singapore?,
15 things not to do in Singapore
To make sure you don’t get into trouble while visiting this wonderful city, we’ve put together a list of 15 things not to do in Singapore that you should keep in mind:
- don’t litter
- You can get fined for chewing gum
- Avoid taking public transport during peak hours
- Now show the bottom of your legs
- Avoid discussing extreme political or religious views in public
- it is not customary to tip
- Fines may be imposed for eating and drinking on public transport
- Do not connect to unsecured networks
- Be careful when giving gifts
- Do not smoke in public place
- You can be sued for pointing a finger at someone
- taking drugs is a crime
- remember to flush
- Avoid walking around without clothes or watching adult movies
- Avoid using taxis
1. Don’t litter
As simple as it sounds, you won’t want to overlook it in Singapore. Singapore is one of the cleanest cities in the world and plans to remain that way. The rules are taken very seriously regarding even the smallest crimes. If caught littering, you can be fined Rs 21,000 or you can be punished by having to do community work in Singapore to compensate for your offence. This is definitely not something you want to spend your holidays with.
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2. Chewing gum can get you fined
As much as Singapore is dedicated to its cleanliness, its opinion about people who chew gum is equally strict. Even shops in Singapore do not sell gum because sometimes its disposal method does not conform to the city’s sanitary standards. You are not allowed to chew gum unless you have a prescription. This may seem a bit absurd to some people but let’s face it; This is what is needed to make a city like Singapore clean.
3. Avoid taking public transport during peak hours
If you are traveling in groups and intend to keep your pack intact during your holidays in Singapore, you should avoid taking trains or buses during peak hours, i.e. 8 am – 9 am and 6 pm. PM – 7 PM. This advice is also given if you do not know your city, which is more likely. Public transport is extremely crowded during these hours and as a tourist you do not want to be a part of this crowd.
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4. Now show off the bottom of your legs
Although no legal action will be taken against you, someone may be offended if you show your feet, point with your toes, or somehow touch the bottom of your foot with a shoe. Singapore is a mix of people from all over Asia and in the eyes of many Asians, bare feet are considered dirty and showing them to anyone can be seen as disrespect. Similarly, you would not want to pat anyone on the head, even children’s heads, as the head is considered sacred and you do not want to interfere with it.
5. Avoid discussing extreme political or religious views in public
Being a confluence of 15% Malaysian, 6% Indian and 76% Chinese cultures, Singapore does not want any resident to be offended on the basis of politics or religion. Religion and politics are sensitive strings you don’t want to pull. Religious harmony and tolerance is already at its best here and the last thing you want to do is create an imbalance here. Respectful conversation is harmless, but don’t initiate it until you know you can remain calm. Singapore is made up of multicultural societies and you are expected to be sensitive to this fact.
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6. It is not customary to tip
No matter how good your mood is or how happy Singaporean cuisine makes you, do not tip at a restaurant or café or wherever you are eating. Goods and Services Tax will be added to your bill along with service charge, which seems to be synonymous with “tip”, so you won’t have to pay anything extra. You don’t want to disrespect those who have served you well!
7. Fines can be imposed for eating and drinking on public transport
Singapore has one of the most advanced transportation systems in the world. Singapore’s public transport has been a “no eating or drinking” zone for decades. You can be charged up to $500 if caught eating breakfast on a public train or bus. However, if you’re claustrophobic, drinking water or popping a mint is fine, but that’s it. When we talk about public transport it includes station premises and waiting areas.
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8. Do not connect to unsecured networks
You would not want to commit any crime like hacking by going to Singapore. This is not an empty warning but is actually true under the Computer Misuse Act. So when you’re in Singapore, make sure you turn off the “Auto-Discovery” setting so that even unknowingly, you don’t commit any crimes in a foreign country.
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9. Be careful when giving gifts
In a place like Singapore, it’s quite possible that you’ve met wonderful hosts or befriended some local citizens during a long stay, and it’s also quite possible that you’ll want to give these people some gifts before saying goodbye. In Singapore it is advisable to be very careful about who you give what to. You would not want to give handkerchiefs, flowers or watches to a Chinese, or leather and pigskin items to an Indian, or a Malay to a Muslim. Also, it is ill-advised to use your left hand while giving a gift to someone. And when accepting one, do not take the gift enthusiastically, but politely reject it three times, without finally accepting it.
10. Don’t smoke in public places
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you since food is not allowed on public transportation. And even though Singapore is not the only place with a non-smoking protocol, Singapore is quite intolerant about it. You may be fined a minimum of $200. In Singapore, there are areas that are designated for smoking and you can smoke comfortably there. But even there, make sure you don’t drop a litter or two otherwise you may be fined for littering.
11. You can be sued if you point a finger at someone
Although this is one of the most common courtesies of all mankind, be careful not to point fingers at anyone here. This is considered rude and should be avoided. Even if you can’t keep your spirits up, make sure you politely apologize to the person who feels like you pointed the finger at them.
12. Taking drugs is a crime
Even before reaching here, it is advisable to keep your system clean. Singapore is proud of its strict stance and if traces of any kind of illegal drugs are found in your body, one of the best trips of your life can turn into your worst nightmare. As outrageous as this sounds to you, it doesn’t matter because there is a reason why Singapore has one of the lowest rates of drug abuse.
13. Remember to flush
This is one of those things you should not do in Singapore. Although pressing the flush after finishing your business is generally a civic duty and humane behavior, Singapore has taken this practice to legal extremes. Singapore has dedicated officers to conduct random visits and check urinalyses. If a person is found guilty of not flushing, he or she will be fined $150 for this offense. This may seem barbaric to some people, but imagine being welcomed into a clean and hygienic public toilet to get the job done with your doody!
14. Avoid walking around without clothes or watching adult movies
Nudity is a big no-no in Singapore, whether in public or private! This may seem like unfair enforcement, but that’s just the way Singapore is and one of the things you are not allowed to do in Singapore. If someone catches a glimpse of your room through your window, you will face a fine of $2000 or up to 3 months in jail. It is better to keep all the curtains closed tightly. As far as adult films are concerned, it is advisable to avoid watching them even alone. The MDA in Singapore is primarily concerned about the promoters and distributors of these adult films, but consumers should also behave with caution.
15. Avoid using taxis
Singapore is home to the fastest railway network, taking a taxi to the Mass Rapid Transit system would be an insult to it anyway. The cost of taxis in Singapore is quite high and can be avoided by using other popular public transport. Not only is the MRT a comfortable means of traveling around the city, but most of Singapore’s main sites are also in the vicinity of the station. Apart from this, the public also has access to buses which are well-air-conditioned double-deckers and offer some of the most beautiful views of the country under budget.
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It is advisable to follow all the rules of a country, no matter how minor they are. You don’t want to disrespect the local citizens or embarrass yourself when booking your trip to Singapore. Singapore will be one of the best experiences of your life, provided you don’t interfere with its code of conduct. Most of the rules mentioned here fall under the category of general civil conduct and if you rolled your eyes after reading even one of these, it’s time you checked for yourself.
FAQs about Things Not to Do in Singapore
Can you wear shorts in Singapore?
Yes, wearing shorts is not a problem in Singapore. However, there are some exceptions where wearing shorts is prohibited such as places of worship, fine dining, clubs and other formal settings.
What should I buy in Singapore?
There are a lot of souvenirs in Singapore that one can buy such as miniature paintings of Merlion, gold plated orchids, orchid perfume, coconut jam and many more. One can buy apparel, electronics and other such items from Singapore.
Can I use my debit card in Singapore?
Yes, anyone can use a debit card in Singapore. The most commonly used debit cards are Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay.
Are phones cheap in Singapore?
If we compare the prices in Singapore and other countries, phones are cheaper by a few percent in the country. For example, the iPhone XS will be 10 percent more expensive in Malaysia than in the US but it will be much cheaper in Singapore.
Where can I buy cheap things in Singapore?
There are many places in Singapore that offer items at affordable rates such as Bugis Street, Mustafa Centre, Far East Plaza, Lucky Plaza, Scape Underground and many more.
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