Backpacking Singapore Need to Know
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Most nationalities don’t normally need a visa to enter Singapore. The duration period depends on nationality and entry point, but is usually between 30 and 90 days.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Singapore, including if you are in transit to neighbouring countries.
Yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Penalties for overstaying your visa include fines, imprisonment, corporal punishment (the rattan cane) and deportation depending on the length of overstay.
For official information visit ica.gov.sg or your home government travel bureau.
The MRT and LRT train lines are the main transit system in Singapore, and without doubt the best way to get around. The trains are efficient and cheap, with single trips being as little as SG$0.80. There are also great unlimited transport discount cards for tourists.
Taxis are reasonably priced and honest. It will always be cheaper to use the trains, and usually quicker as well, with the exception of from the airport to the city centre, which takes less than 20 minutes by taxi, but over half an hour by MRT; a taxi from the airport to the city will cost between SG$20-40 (£10-20) depending on the time of day.
Read here for general advice regarding Getting Around When You Get There
Singapore has a wide variety of hostels and you should never have any problem finding one.
The average price of a hostel is SG$23-33 (£11-£16) a night.
All hostels in Singapore will provide linen and bathroom facilities. Usually there will be internet facilities as well as a common area and laundry services.
Read more about Accommodation When You Get There and Living in Hostels
Recommended For Further Information
If you are heading to multiple destinations in South East Asia I highly recommend picking up a copy of Lonely Planet’s; Southeast Asia On A Shoestring. It provides the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, where to stay, and how to optimise your budget for an extended continental trip…
Food And Health
Restaurants are cheap and cooking facilities in hostels are rare.
The standard of food safety and hygiene is good.
Water is generally safe to drink from all kitchen taps in Singapore, unless stated.
Healthcare in Singapore is of a high quality and expensive. Not all prescribed drugs are available in Singapore, and some over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen need a prescription, so take enough medication to cover your stay. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Dengue fever is present in Singapore. Always contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Visit here for Recommended Vaccinations and read here for more about Travelling Health In General
Weather & Time To Go
Singapore is situated very close to the equator, so there are no distinct seasons, it is hot, humid and wet throughout the year. Be aware that from June to September Singapore can experience high levels of pollution and haze from fires in Indonesia.
Internet and wifi is widespread and accessible in most hostels and hotels. International calling cards are also cheaply available.
Dangers And Considerations
Crime levels are low, but be aware of the risk of street crime, particularly bag snatching.
Singapore has very strict laws and there is zero tolerance for bribery.
Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment, corporal punishment or the death penalty.
A wide range of offences, including ‘outrage of modesty’ (inappropriate behaviour by men towards women) and vandalism carry corporal punishment in the form of the rattan cane.
A police permit is required for any outdoor public assembly or procession. You should avoid street gatherings and public demonstrations as they might be illegal.
Approval from the Ministry of Manpower is required for a foreign national to give a talk on ‘racial, communal, religious, caused-related or political topics’.
The public display of national flags or national emblems is illegal except where a specific exemption has been granted.
Male homosexual acts are illegal in Singapore.
Jehovah’s Witness and the Unification Church meetings and publication are illegal in Singapore.
On-the-spot fines are common; you will be fined for smoking in any public place or indoor restaurant, littering, and for chewing gum on public transport.
Dangers constantly change. Always check with your foreign office (British Foreign Office webpage) or travel advice bureau for the latest information regarding your destinations safety.
Read more about Safety And Security here
Singapore has a mixture of different cultures, so most behaviour within reason will not offend. However it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a home.