My warning is for any tourist transiting through Singapore to Australia and concerns the carriage of Duty Free Alcohol purchased from any other country apart from Singapore.
If you are flying from Perth to Vietnam, you will find that there are no direct flights. We flew Singapore Airlines so we had to transit in Singapore. On our journey out from Australia, we encountered no problems with the Duty Free Alcohol that we purchased in the Departure Lounge at Perth International Airport. Neither were we informed by SIA of the problems that we would encounter, should we do a similar thing on our way back from Hanoi.
After checking-in our baggage at Hanoi Airport and being presented with both sets of boarding passes for the two SIA Flights, we bought Duty Free Alcohol in the Departure Lounge at Hanoi Airport. After carrying it onto the first SIA Flight to Singapore, it was not allowed onto our next SIA Flight to Perth although there was only a 1hr 15min transit period between flights. Our Duty Free Alcohol (3 bottles) was confiscated at the Boarding Gate in the Transit Lounge of Singapore Airport and "disposed of" (very carefully) in a rubbish bin. It did not matter that the Duty Free Alcohol was still in their secure tamper proof bags; the Security Guard ripped these open to place the bottles in the bin. All that mattered was that the Duty Free Alcohol was not purchased from Singapore.
Singapore Airlines stated that they were just following rules set down by the Australian Department of Infrastucture and Transport.
Should Transiting Passengers wish to buy any Duty Free Liquid 100ml or greater (Alcohol or fragrance) at the Airport of Origin, be warned that it must be put into Check-In Baggage and not carried onto the plane
Please beware and try not to go to Chinatown or People to purchase any pre-paid phone card or technology items. That place is a rip off and if they know you are from oversea the will raise the price higher and threaten you to purchase. Don't ever think you can get a good price there because they set the price as soon as they see you and talk to you.
I try to purchase a pre-paid mobile phone card, I have told them I only need it of 7 days. Firstly, he told me the price, i ok. But without going further he just took my phone and place the card in and want me to pay for it. But when I ask him how much I can call he told me $12. I pay $40 phone card and only allow $12 call, it very ridiculous. Than he said I have to join a member of $180 to have $5500. why would I need $5500 if only be there for 7 days. so I insist a refund. They don't want to refund and start to gather a group of guy around me try to threaten me to back off. As a girl by myself I can't do much, so I said ok than in front of them I start to dial 999 and try to speak to the officer that I want to report a fraud. that is when they back off and refund me. Chinatown is a great place to visit but try not to purchase the price is a really a rip off, if you go to the inner suburb you could get it much cheaper, sometime in the shopping centre or shop near MRT is quite cheap. Hope this information will help most of you when you are in Singapore. There are quite a few nice place to visit other than Chinatown.
Singapore is the safest place that I've visited around the world!!!
If you get in trouble in Singapore ... then you deserve to be caned or placed in jail. They are free here but have common sense & reasonable expectations of all citizens and visitors.
Don't expect to befriend too many locals. They're pretty busy group of people. They manage their personal social circle.
Common sense Acommon Travel rules as to where ever you go.
#1. Don't go where you shouldn't go.
#2. Follow the rule of law in the country that you reside.
#3. Adhere to the rule of law from your home country.
#4. Respect and "pre-" read up on the culture(s).
#5. Gain some familiarity with the country's national language prior to your trip.
#6. Practice the local language with the locals.
#7. If concerned with lodging then don't do what isn't familiar to you.
#8. Eat what has been cooked.
#9. Drink bottled water that has a seal. Open it yourself.
#10. Know your coordinates (esp. North & South). Memorize the major cross-roads prior to taking your trip.
#11. Have a copy or two of your Passport in a safe place (either on you personally or in an emergency place).
#12. Go electronic (with back up paperwork) when you can.
#13. Be reluctant to share your full plans with strangers.
#14. Be flexible.
#15. How you handle "it" determines whether it'll be a good event or day or not. Understand that something weird, funny, or bad might occur.
#16. Watch your travel companions as they might just as well cause trouble by accident / unknowingly or on purpose.
#17. International travel is not a time for pranks. (Stay away from pranksters that want to travel with you)
#18. Just try to remember that "nothing" is for "free". (This goes for women too! Crazy partying guys should know this.)
#17. Silently meditate as to rehearse (or re-play) plans.
#18. Always be prepared for a back-up exit plan (... where ever you are (and check for exits)).
#19. Travel with flex travel time on the front end but esp. back end of your visit. This'll reduce your frustrations if there happen to be delays.
#20. Pack light while being wise.
#21. Be nimble. (physical)
#22. If you have good judgment with befriending people (anywhere) then be social with out giving away too much information.
#23. Know your money. Where it is. How much is on you. Denominations in order. Minimize coins if possible (don't need to be heard walking around jiggling).
#24. When driving a rental car ... pay the extra for full coverage. (Take it from a guy that has had 2 separate flat tires and locked up engine all in the same trip. Can you guess where?)
#25. Walk like you know where you are going even when you get lost. The best way to not get lost again is to remember where you were when you were lost.
#26. You are not a "stick" in the mud if you choose to stay away from the "loud" crowd.
#27. Avoid traveling during the host country's elections.
#28. Be aware of political and labor union protest. Don't accidently get caught up.
#29. Never walk away from your open beverages and/or food. Once you've stepped away then pass on further consumption as to be cautious.
#30. Ladies and guys, know that you will meet lots of wonderful people plus some not so. Don't be fooled by "beauty" or a "handsome" face. Danger lurks. If you have a bad judgment of character domestically then it is not going to get any better outside of the country.
#31. If you're not considered "HOT" back home then don't be fooled when you are abroad. Money matters. It isn't really your looks.
#32. The money train gets you access but it can also generate trouble.
#33. Make certain Taxis / Limos drivers happen to be locked into the price and directions prior to departure.
#34. Know the weather conditions prior and during your trip.
#35. Read the local newspapers / journals prior to arrival. (seek to understand cultural, social, economic, etc topics of the day)
I read a few post regarding taxis scam, these are so not true. Of course some of them don't speak perfect english and may not be the friendliest guys around. It might be helpful to show the drivers the address in writing if u have it to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding.
If you happen to flag a limousine taxi (white/silver mercedes) on the road, they will charge at the normal rate as other blue/green/red/yellow/silver cabs.
At the airport, go to the taxi Q instead of approaching the limousine counter if you want to be on the economical side.
All Singapore taxis charge by meter and standardised charges across the few companies. If there's additional charges, these are due to peak hours/ERP/etc. For the details, please refer to the following website.
What in the world is a Durian and how much trouble will I get for possessing one? The authorities in Singapore love to fine people for minor infraction, especially on the MRT train system. Eating or drinking? That will be S$500 please. Smoking? S$1000 please. Flammable liquids? A hefty S$5000 please. What is the fine for Durians and what is a Durian? No fine is listed, but I would not try and take one onto the MRT!
Durians are a local fruit that smells really really bad! They are a large thorny green fruit that locals prize highly. It is even called The King of Fruits. I smelled a Durian cake and that was pretty rotten. Tastes good though. So enjoy a Durian, in an outdoor area downwind from other people!
This is specially for my friend IFAM.
2 ounces Tequila
4 ounces Orange Juice
Build in a highball glass and add ice cubes. Pour in grenadine slowly and allow to settle before drinking.
.Rum and Coke
1 ounces Rum
5 ounces Cola
Mix ingredients in a highball glass two-thirds full of ice. Stir briskly and serve
Drinking is Really BAD for health, but i think people really do very few GOOD things in day to keep them self healthy,.So letz drink but in REAL and LIVING way.
-Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week (and no more than four units in any one day).
-Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (and no more than three units in any one day).
-Pregnant women. If you have one or two drinks of alcohol (one or two units), once or twice a week, it is unlikely to harm your unborn baby. However, the exact amount that is safe is not known. Therefore, many women have little or no alcohol when they are pregnant.
Note: One unit of alcohol is 10 ml (1 cl) by volume, or 8 g by weight, of pure alcohol.
Tips to keep you in REAL, even after drinking
-Space your drinks. Your body needs time to process alcohol. You may want to alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
-Drink water while drinking alcohol. Use the water to quench your thirst, not the alcohol—when you are thirsty, you drink faster, and alcohol only contributes to dehydration.
-Eat sufficiently before and while drinking. Food slows down alcohol absorption and keeps your drink from hitting you too fast.
-Count your drinks. Know the size of a standard drink. Be aware of how fast you are drinking. Stop drinking when you have reached your limit
-Unwanted and unprotected sex often occurs under the influence of alcohol and alwayz do Remember, alcohol doesn’t improve sex. Often the opposite is true.
Have a safe Travelling and Safe Drinking...
Note: Always do remember its not necesaary to drink the milk to know its taste.
The nanny state takes a tough line on anti-social issues. Smoking in all public places with NO SMOKING sign (eg. bus stops, MRT stations, food stalls and etc) earns a SGD500 fine.
You can smoke at food stalls but at designated tables only. You can also smoke on the streets as long as you dispose off your cigarette butt in a bin.
Jaywalk by crossing the road within 50 metres of a designated crossing could cost you SGD50! Watch out for enforcement officers before you jaywalk even though there are some who choose to ignore and regret after being caught.
If you are caught littering, you could be looking at a fine up to SGD1000 and performing corrective works (eg. sweeping, picking up rubbish and etc) by wearing a luminous vest at public places. Not surprisingly, Singapore is amazingly clean with so many cleaners on the roads!
The following items are not allowed to be brought into Singapore:
1) Drugs, hard or soft. It's the DEATH PENALTY, like it or not, if you are caught. No "Buts" about it.
2) Intoxicating liquors and cigarettes marked with the words "SINGAPORE DUTY NOT PAID" on the labels, cartons or packets
3) Cigarettes with the prefix "E" printed on the packets
4) Chewing gum
5) Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products
6) Cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape
7) Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
8) Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
10) Obscene articles, publications, video tapes/discs and software ie pornographic materials
11) Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
12) Seditious and treasonable materials (e.g. materials promoting communism and anarchy)
* Certain goods are allowed entry into Singapore only when you produce the import permit or authorisation from the relevant authorities. If you do not have the import permit or authorisation, the item will be detained and referred it to the relevant authority for approval.
These goods include:
- Animals, birds and their by-products
- Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
- Meat and meat products
- Fish and seafood products
- Fruits and vegetables
- Arms and explosives Bullet-proof clothing
- Toy guns, pistols and revolvers
- Weapons, kris,
- Spears and swords
- Films, video and video games
- Publications and audio records
- Medicines Poisons
- Telecommunication and Radio communication equipment
Just to set the record straight, you cannot be arrested just for chewing a piece of gum in Singapore. In fact, it is ok to have a small of amount of gum for your personal consumption. The actual law that bans chewing gum applies to the importation (smuggling), manufacture, or selling of chewing gum in Singapore. But you will be heavily fined if found spitting your gum out on any public space.
Importing and selling all variations of chewing gum has been banned in Singapore since 1992, and anyone caught smuggling gum into the country faces a year in jail and a S$10,000 (US$5500) fine.
So don't worry about being arrested and caned because of that pack of Wrigleys that you forgot you had in your carry on bag. Just don't bring in a whole suitcase full of the stuff.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Thanks to pressure from the US during Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Singapore now imports and sells certain brands of medical gum, like nicotine gum and tooth whitening gum. But they will still fine you if you spit it on the sidewalk.
Last year, the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak had a devasting effect on Singapore, both in terms of human casualties and economic harm. Despite the fact that Singapore has been officially SARS free for around a year now, the government is remaining quite vigilant in its efforts to prevent another outbreak.
As a tourist, the most obvious aspect of this effort that you will likely encounter is the SARS screening stations setup in the airport at the bottom of the escalotors that lead to immigration. Each station has a thermal scanning device that can immediately tell if a person has a high fever. The theory is that anyone carrying SARS will have a high fever that can be detected by this device, thus allowing medical staff to take that person aside for further testing to determine if they are carrying SARS.
So be warned, if you have a high fever and try to enter Singapore, you may get stopped.
08-Oct-04 Update: The above mentioned thermal screenings at the airport have ceased. SARS has now taken a backseat to the ongoing Avian Influenza outbreak in Thailand and Malaysia. So don't try to smuggle any chickens or eggs into Singapore!
Singapore is one of the safest major cities in the world by virtually any measure. It's squeaky cleanliness is achieved in part by strict rules against activities that are tolerated in other countries. For example, jay-walking, spitting, littering, and drinking and eating on public transport are prohibited (even forgetting to flush the toilet will subject you to a great fine). Locals joke about Singapore being a "fine city" because heavy fines are levied if one is caught committing an offence. Look around for sign boards detailing the Don'ts and the fines associated with these offenses, and heed them. Avoid littering, as offenders are not only subject to fines, but also to a "Corrective Work Order", in which offenders are made to wear a bright yellow jacket and pick up rubbish in public places. Enforcement is however sporadic at best, and it is not uncommon to see people openly litter, spit, smoke in non-smoking zones, etc. Chewing gum, famously long banned, is now available at pharmacies for medical purposes (e.g. nicotine gum) if you ask for it directly, show your ID and sign the register. (Importing it is, theoretically, still an offense though.)
Watch out for the shop #02-11 at Sim Lim Square. I was there with a friend to buy iPhone batteries, and after asking at the shop, the salesman quoted $120 for 2 batteries. I was still shopping around, so I said we would look around first (I had a bad experience buying a highly-quoted handphone at Sim Lim before, so I make sure I shop around to compare prices first). The salesman then started to become threatening, saying he'd already quoted me $120, so I should buy it from him. I kept saying 'relax, relax' but in the end we decided to walk out instead of buy from him. On the way out, he was insulting us.
BTW we found same batteries at $58 for two on the 5th floor.
My advice - avoid shops with rude salesmen like #02-11, and compare prices first. Don't buy just because of their pressure tactics.
Despite many appearances to the contrary, Singapore is not a western democracy nor does it offer its people or its visitors any of the rights that come with liberal government. The press is not free, there is only one token opposition member in parliament and the government can pretty much track you wherever you are. All cars carry a transponder which enables them to automatically pay tolls from their bank accounts when you drive into certain parts of the city and you can automatically pay for parking in every lot in the city-state. In fact, there are signs everywhere telling you how many vacant spaces there are in each public parking facility -- something they can calculate by keeping track of he ins and outs! This is extremely convenient -- parking is a breeze -- but the trade off is that the government can find your car practically any time it wants to. And, if you carry a cell phone, the government-owned phone company can find that, too. This creates a very orderly safe society out of a polyglot population, many of whom arrived here from more chaotic places, but it would be a significant hurdle to overcome if you decided to openly oppose government policies for some reason. not much of a worry as a tourist, but something to think about as you watch life go by in this interesting place