Travel Advice for Singapore

Skyline of Singapore.Singapore is considered as one of the safest major cities in the world, largely due to its very steep fines on even the lightest of offenses.  No wonder the locals joke around that Singapore is a "fine city." 

Although enforcement of these strict disciplinarian laws is sporadic, it is better to be safe than sorry.  Here are some of the activities that may cause you great trouble and you should avoid when visiting Singapore.

Maintain common sense for light offenses

Minor offenses such as jay-walking, spitting on the street, and littering are not tolerated in Singapore.  Even activities that may seem innocent such as eating in public transport or bringing the foul-smelling durian fruit into the MRT are prohibited.

Read the signs

To avoid offending the strict Singaporean laws, look around for sign boards that feature what not to do and the corresponding fine that goes with it.  Those fines are unusually high, even in light offenses such as smoking in public transport that is meted with S$1000 fine (about US$660).

Do not chew gum

Chewing gum is banned in Singapore, except those that are of medical use such as nicotine gum.  If you cannot fight the urge of chewing on a gum, ask the nearby pharmacy for nicotine gum.  Then, show your ID for proof of age and sign the register.  Avoid also bringing in chewing gum on your flight to Singapore.

Never give alms to beggars

Even if a monk begs you for food or money, do not feel sorry, as most of the time they are bogus.  Besides, begging is completely illegal in this city-state.

Never plan on doing anything silly

You may have heard about the case of Michael P. Fay, who received the brunt of Singaporean law by being whipped by a rattan cane as punishment for vandalism.  Although enforcement of these laws is sporadic, expect the police to be especially watchful towards younger people, particularly among foreigners.

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