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Things To Watch Out For While Visiting Singapore

Smoking while in Singapore:


In Singapore, smoking is prohibited in enclosed public areas such as shopping centres and food courts. Even in open air coffee shops, cafes and hawker centres, smoking is prohibited within its premises. However, in some of the above mentioned areas, there are designated smoking areas which are clearly marked out according to the National Environmental Agency’s regulations, in which one can smoke in. These areas are commonly marked out by signage and presence of a smoking area logo on the table or wall. If you are unsure about whether you can smoke in a certain outdoor area, do check for the smoking area markings or ask someone as there is a fine for smoking in smoking in prohibited areas.

Sitting on reserved seats:


When taking public transport in Singapore, it is important to note this signs in the bus and MRT. It means that you may take that seat, but should a mother with child, handicapped, pregnant or elderly person board the bus/MRT, it is essential you give up the seats marked with this sign to them, no matter how tired you are or how heavy the things you are carrying are. Singaporeans tend to be very picky about such behaviour, and the occasional person might even “confront” you for the seat. Such incidents have happened more than just a few times so it is best to adhere to the “reserved seat rights” so as to prevent any unhappy incident.

Watch what you say:


Singaporeans are known to not be the most courteous people in the world, and while can be termed as friendly, we may also be rather sensitive to others’ remarks, especially the nasty and snide ones. If for example, you bump into someone, instead of scolding or putting the blame on them, it is better to just either apologise or walk away, for a small remark like “watch where you are going” could easily evolve into an argument that could be the next hot topic on Stomp*.

Places to avoid venturing into:


While Singapore is known to have a low crime rate, there are places in Singapore where crimes are more apparent, and it is best to either avoid these places or take precautions like travelling in a group. Back alleys found in locations like Geylang and Little India are well known to have cases of robbery and outrage of modesty, especially at night, and should be avoided. When going to crowded areas like Pearl Centre, Orchard Road and Chinatown, it is best to keep your valuables in you front pocket or a secure bag that is not easily forced open or snatched, as cases of pick pocketing and theft have been known to occur in these places.

How to avoid being cheated of your money:


Sometimes, there are dishonest retailers who do not charged fixed prices and may overcharge an unsuspecting tourist, or there are those who sell you inferior or damaged goods at a high price, and there are also those who offer you mind-bogglingly good deals which seems too good to be true, but are in fact trying to take advantage of you. Here is my guide to avoid being scammed:

  1. Only buy from retailers that have a listed price/Well-acclaimed shops
  2. Check your goods before leaving
  3. If a deal seems too good to be true, check its sources and leave no doubts
  4. Compare prices of similar goods with other shops
  5. Know the product you want to buy well before patronising a shop

Common offences to take note of


In Singapore, certain minor deeds of inconsideration are treated as offences. One who is visiting Singapore should take note of these minor offences which are punishable by law with a fine, corrective work order and other forms of punishment. The following is a list of such offences:

  • Littering
  • Spitting at inappropriate public places like streets and shopping mall floors
  • Smoking at prohibited areas
  • Eating/Drinking at train stations/bus interchanges etc…
  • Urinating in public
  • Feeding wild animals in places like parks and nature reserves
  • Possession and consumption of chewing gum and bubble gum


MRT*–> Mass Rapid Transport, train system for getting around Singapore

Stomp**–> Online Website where pictures/videos of unruly behaviour in Singapore is shown and discussed