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Staying healthy in Singapore
I had my one and only fainting episode on a visit to Singapore. I of course had not drank enough fluids. Wandering around the Botanical Gardens, I was oblivious to the heat- and within an hour found myself lying on the footpath. I am now almost paranoid about this , and will never have another faint in Singapore.
The heat and humidity are dangerous and debilitating.
It is VERY important to drink as much fluids as possible. Water is best, bottled.Keep one with you at all times. Should you start feeling weak- go immediately to a pharmacy shop, and buy some hydrating solution.
Its also important to wear a sunhat, and use sunscreen. Even if the skies are cloudy, sunburn happens easily. A small folding umbrella is handy to have- for possible showers, or to provide shade from the sun.
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Raindrops keep falling on my head...
Tropical showers come and go quickly and often without any warning.
You may here a clap of thunder perhaps but mostly the skies just open up.
This heavy shower cleared the shops swifltly but it was business as usual as soon as the rain stopped.
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Soggy cameras are not good!
Singapore is situated just 2 degrees North of the Equator, so it is always very hot and humid. This is a given, but what I hadn't thought of was the effect it could have on my camera. The heat and humidity were fine once the camera had been given a bit of time to adjust, but I learnt that coming straight from the air conditioning of the hotel, when I first took the camera from its case the lens completely misted up and took a good five minutes or so to clear. So give your camera time to adjust before taking any shots, in fact do this before you plan to take any photos. That way you won't be cursing the misty lens because it made you miss a great photo opportunity!
Minimize outdoor activities if hazy
At certain years and a fews of the months, when forest fires occur in Sumatra, Indonesia, wind conditions may bring haze to Singapore as well neigbhoring countries.
Avoid heavy outdoor activities and keep alert of the any health hazard warnings in the local news. For those with respiratory problems, better to stay indoor. There are shopping centers, museums and cinemas to explore and be entertained.
Fortunately, this is not a common occurence.
Carry an umbrella when it rains
Even on Orchard Road, it is difficult to get around Singapore when it rain. There are not many rain covered taxi stands outside of Orchard Road area.
There are no complete protection from the rain. So it is important to bring along an umbrella when going out on raining days or when it looks like it going rain.
Many major department stores will provide plastic sheaths for your wet umbrellas before entering. Bring an umbrella and stay dry.
Indonesians causing the haze
Around September and October, there is haze due to Indonesians burning their forests. 2006 is particularly bad. The local news publishes the PSI as a measure of how bad it is. Over 100 is suppose to be bad. The PSI fluctuates every hour.
I was there in October, 2006 and it's bad. One night was the worst night that year, according to the news. I could tell it was bad because I could smell smoke. Usually, you can't smell smoke just can see far away buildings very clearly.
I was in Singapore in October, 2005 and it was fine. The sky was blue and not very hazy.
Yes, Singapore can get very sunny. Sunny, not in a good way, but in a very uncomfortable way. Imagine going out at lunch time and walking to and from the bus stop. The sun is up, it's shining brightly, it's making you feel like you're in an oven or something. Try waiting for a cab in the afternoon with your nice suit and/or blazer on. Man! Quite a challenge, I'm telling you. A dark coloured umbrella may come in handy. Sunblock, which you can apply before going out, is a must. When the temperature is 33 degrees Celsius, you would rather stay in an airconditioned area to beat the heat.
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HEAT EXHAUSTION, HEAT STROKE AND SUNBURN
Singapore is very near the Equator, is often humid and is very hot. Don’t be fooled by your surroundings. Singapore is an amazing cosmopolitan city that you would hate to collapse in from dehydration. Make sure you take some water with you if you are going on a long walk across Fort Canning and make sure you keep your fluids up. Many hotels and businesses are air-conditioned, so pop in from time to time to stay cool. It’s best to put sunscreen on first thing in the morning if you will be out all day. I would recommend a good sun hat for children. Definitely pack your sunglasses for this sunny destination.
Being a tropical country, Singapore has a very high humidity and it's not that easy to cope with it if you're not used to this kind of climate. Make sure you always have a bottle of water with you and take everything a bit slowlier than at home. After all you're on holiday and don't need to hurry ;-)
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A Little Forewarning 2
If you are a would-be traveller to Singapore, hold your horses. All that glitz, glamour and hullabaloo you expect to see in Singapore are just nondescript, kitsch setups to lure tourists and their travel dollar. Every country presents disappointments of its own and my purpose is to inform you of those belonging to Singapore. Take it from me, a native born and bred in this tiny, wretched land.
Hot and humid beyond comprehension. Don't be fooled by the year-round 33 degrees celcius forecasts; it actually feels more like 40C. Factor in the humidity and it's as good as walking in one big sauna--for the entire day. I've been to China in summer and although it's rather hot, the heat is more appropriately described as 'dry'. You don't pespire that easily over there. In Singapore, be prepared for one wet experience (not the rain) but your own sweat draining your energy away. For those from temperate Europe, this can be an extremely uncomfortable experience. You can feel angered and agitated from the unforgiving heat.
If you're a caucasian (white), you're probably in luck. Heard of the 'friendly' locals in Singapore? They're friendly because of your skin colour. Sales staff will fawn over you as if you're a descendant of the sun god (though not necessarily to the point of licking your toes, but almost). As soon as you step into a store, be prepared to be greeted by staff who speak in affected English. They contort their already terrible Singapore accent into what they perceive as American or British. Now cringe.
The attitude immediately changes when a local enters the store; he's pretty much left to his own devices. SOME singapore women are also in favour of caucasians who in their perception, are wealthier and classier. Take a walk down Orchard Road (the famed shopping belt of Singapore) and you're likely to see women proudly sporting their caucasian catch. Of course, I could be generalising but the gist of this section is: if you're white, you will generally receive better treatment.
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Let there be rain!
One day when we were wandering the streets in our shorts and t-shirts, looking for a restaurant, the heavens opened and let rip for at least 20 mins, after a seamingly bright day!!
Not very nice when your hungry, so maybe keep a small umbrella with you...especially as Singapore is practically a tropical rainforest!!
Air-Con No Help!
The weather is very HOT! and HUMID! Even if you find an air conditioned place to step into, the coolness you feel will only last a few minutes and then you may wilt quicker than a rose! I spent the first four days complaining about the heat and humidity. I just couldn't believe that anyone could actually live in such humid heat.
After the first four days I became acclimated to the heat and humidity and was able to notice things differently. The most impressive thing I noticed was how calm and patient people seemed to be all the time. While sitting by the pool at the hotel I also noticed that the flies were flying exceptionally slow too. Also, this hot and humid weather is wonderful for Orchids! They thrive here.
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Watch out for the monsoon rain!
Being used to the swedish rainfalls (there comes one drop, then another one, then two, three and after a while it slowly starts raining quite much) it was quite of a shock to suddently stay in the middle of a monsoon rainfall in Singapore.
It comes from nowhere, and starts with billions of drops falling down at you at the same time.
In a country where it's as hot and humid as in Singapore it can actually be quite nice with some rain everynow and then, but just make sure it it won't catch you in a bad place.
On one of my first trips in Singapore I remember I was laying at the hotel pool, reading a book, when suddently the whole sky fell down on me. Not even one drop I got as a warning...
Fortunately then of course I could just ran ten steps and I was inside the safe hotel again, but netherless I was soaked from top to toe in just seconds.
Quite funny I have to admit.
Monsoon season goes on from about October until February. Just remember that when it rains, it really rains. But quite soon it stops and it's time for sunshine again.
The two pictures are taken from inside my hotel room, the same angle, no fixed photos. The first one is from when it's nice weather outside, and you clearly can see the skyscraper in the background.
The second one is of the same thing, during the monsoon rainfall. And you can see the skyscraper... eh... less good.
It's not always Sunny Singapore
Actually the weather in Singapore is not always hot. It's a tropical island, meaning there're just as much rain as there is sun.
The monsoon seasons happen twice a year. The first is the Northeast Monsoon which occurs from December to early March. The second , the Southeast Monsoon season, which occurs from June to September. The rest of the time -- Sunny. :D
Hope that helps!
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It's hot in Singapore but the weather can be very nasty. It can be unpredictable like warm in the morning and rainy in the afternoon. It's always good to have an umbrella to protect yourself from the scorching heat of the sun or from heaven's showers. And when it's rainy, it's quite tough to get a cab or to book one for that matter.
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