Singapore is known for being on the cutting edge of many industries, so it can be strange for foreigners to group the city-state with developing Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam. But the multicultural hub represents diverse nationalities and religions, and knowing as much as possible before visiting Singapore can help you prevent any faux pas. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do when visiting Singapore.
Avoid hawker centers and stick to restaurants. Singapore’s street food scene centers around what are known as hawker centers, heavily regulated vendors who serve up everything from Chinese to Malay to Indian dishes, all with a bit of Singaporean flair tossed in. Those who are wary about street food and contamination need not worry as hawker centers must meet the city’s sanitary standards.
Pack only warm-weather clothes. Yes, Singapore is located close to the equator, but Singaporeans mastered the art of air conditioning and you’re likely to find it nearly everywhere. Pack layer items like cardigans, sweaters and multipurpose scarves.
Don’t brush up on the local laws. There is a long list of fines in Singapore, and some may not be so obvious. They include chewing gum, purchasing gum and even bringing gum into the country; littering; smoking outside of designated areas; jaywalking; eating or drinking on public transit; and forgetting to flush a public toilet.
Travel by taxi cab only. Singapore’s highly efficient Mass Rapid Transit system and buses are just as effective as cabs for getting around the city. Not only are they cheaper and faster than cabs, but they’re among the cleanest public transit services in the world.
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