OWL Magazine Korea

Singapore Travel: Basic Information

Singapore is considered one of the four Asian Tigers, indicating its status as a prosperous nation in Asia. It’s known for its well-developed financial, shipping, and tourism industries. Despite being a city-state, Singapore offers a comfortable and leisurely lifestyle.

From South Korea, it takes approximately 7 hours by plane to reach Singapore. The local climate is consistently hot and humid. The lowest temperature averages around 24°C, while the highest reaches about 34°C. The ideal times to visit are typically from June to July or January to February. The voltage used is 220-240V, similar to the UK.

For South Korean visitors, a visa is not required for stays up to 90 days. Before embarking on a trip to Singapore, let’s gather some useful information that may come in handy.

“Singapore Basic Information”

  • Official Name: Republic of Singapore
  • Area: 710 km²
  • Ethnic Composition: Chinese 74%, Malay 13%, Indian 9.1%, Others 3.3%
  • Capital: Singapore
  • Political System: Parliamentary Republic
  • Official Languages: English, Malay, Mandarin (Chinese), Tamil
  • State Religion: Islam
  • Religious Distribution: Buddhism 60%, Christianity 10.4%, Islam 5%, Taoism 10.9%, Hinduism 5%
  • Currency: Singapore Dollar (S$)
  • Time Difference: +7 hours (1 hour behind South Korea)
  • Climate: Tropical Monsoon / Visa: Visa-free for up to 90 days, but if staying over 30 days, an extension must be obtained from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
  • Voltage: 220-240V, 50Hz (Same as South Korea, but with UK-style 3-pin plugs)

“Singapore’s Hot and Humid Weather”

Singapore’s weather is notably hot and humid. Throughout the year, it maintains a similar temperature and climate. It closely resembles the hot and humid summer weather in South Korea.

However, there’s no need to worry too much. In Singapore, due to this weather, the use of air conditioning is encouraged to enhance work efficiency. Many buildings have air conditioning running so cold that it often feels quite chilly inside. Even in Singapore, it’s easy to find businesses that keep their doors open while blasting the air conditioning, which is a stark contrast to South Korea.

“Is English the Official Language in Singapore? What about Singlish?”

Singapore has four official languages, one of which is English. However, when you hear English in Singapore, you may notice a unique pronunciation. English is used, but due to their distinct accent, it’s called “Singlish” (Singaporean English).

If you encounter Singlish for the first time, you might be taken aback by the unexpected version of English. Nevertheless, people do have a reasonable command of English, so with some attention, effective communication is very much possible. However, it’s relatively harder to find proficient English speakers as you move away from the city center.

“The Fine City: Singapore’s Strict Laws”

Singapore is known as the “Fine City,” and it’s a country with stringent law enforcement. It’s a multicultural society, and in the past, Singapore gained a reputation for being a lawless place, which led to the implementation of strict law enforcement and fine systems to restore order.

So, when visiting Singapore for the first time, you might feel apprehensive about potentially receiving fines. However, if you observe public etiquette, you’re unlikely to face situations that warrant fines. Below are some of the well-known strict laws in Singapore:

  • Jaywalking: A fine of S$50 for jaywalking within 50 meters of a pedestrian crossing.
  • Littering: First offense results in a fine of S$1,000. Subsequent offenses carry a fine of S$2,000 plus public cleaning.
  • Spitting: First offense results in a fine of S$1,000. Second offense carries a fine of S$2,000.
  • Toilet Flushing: Failure to flush the toilet after use can result in a first-time fine of S$150. Subsequent offenses can result in fines of S$1,000.
  • Smoking: Violating smoking bans on first offense results in a fine of S$1,000.

“Emergency Contacts in Singapore”

In case of any issues during your trip to Singapore, here is a list of emergency contacts you can reach out to:

  • Korean Embassy: (65) 6256-1188 (Singapore’s country code is 65, while South Korea’s is 82)
  • Korean Embassy Address: 47 Scotts Road Goldbell Tower Singapore 228233
  • Fire Department / Emergency Ambulance: 995
  • General Ambulance: 1777
  • Police: 999
  • Singapore Korean Association: (65) 6296-3271
  • Singapore Tourist Information Center: 1800-736-2000 (Toll-free within Singapore)

We’ve covered some basic information about Singapore. I hope this helps with your travel preparations, and may you have an enjoyable trip!