Kempinski Blog Article
The city-state of Singapore, also known as The ‘Lion City’, is full of charm and dazzles visitors with its towering skyscrapers, amazing attractions and captivating culture. This all makes it the perfect location for a Kempinski hotel and The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, which has just officially opened to the public.
For those looking to visit this vibrant place, we have created a handy guide detailing the top things you need to know before going, allowing all those who travel to really appreciate the wonders of Singapore.
Singapore has a well-deserved reputation for cleanliness and there are a number of rules, both official and unwritten, which help maintain these standards.
One of the most famous laws of this type concerns chewing gum, which has been banned in the city-state since 1992. While certain kinds, especially those used for medicinal purposes, are allowed, chewing regular gum can land people with considerable fines. Spitting it out onto the floor or leaving it somewhere in public is particularly scorned, while selling gum can be punished with fines of up to $100,000. Note to self-prior to landing? “Throw away gum!”
Another topic that is frowned upon by the authorities is littering. First time litter-offenders face fines of $300 and potentially even a court case. Consequently, the streets are largely immaculate, while the public transport system is sparkling, thanks to laws forbidding people of eating while using it. You will find yourself walking through one of the cleanest cities you might have ever seen – making this journey a very unforgettable one – with a clear sight of everything that lies ahead, literally and metaphorically.
Cigarettes and Alcohol
The city’s insistence on cleanliness extends to public health too, with a smoking ban brought into Singapore in 1970. The city-state is continually increasing the number of areas where cigarettes are banned, but as a general rule, it’s best to avoid smoking in all public areas. Certain designated smoking areas can be found around the city, so make sure you head to one of these in order to avoid the fines. For all the non-smokers and those that want to quit smoking – this might just be THE ideal place for you: Singapore, the smoke-free paradise.
It is infamously expensive to both smoke and drink in Singapore, but if you want to do the latter, it’s important to be aware of strict alcohol consumption regulations. Between the hours of 10:30pm and 7am, drinking alcohol is illegal in public places, while some areas, such as Geylang and Little India, have even tighter controls. To make sure you are complying, it is best to just stick to licensed bars and restaurants if you want to drink: this being a great opportunity to meet likeminded people as everyone is mingling at the same times in the same places!
Food and drink
Unlike alcohol, water is very cheap to drink in Singapore as tap water is perfectly safe and clean – which comes as no surprise with the city’s general cleanliness, right? Save yourself some dollars by filling up your own bottle in your hotel, rather than continually buying new ones from shops – going green at the same time.
When eating out at restaurants, there is no need to leave a tip for the serving employees, as prices usually include this in the total.
One particularly fascinating curiosity is the practice of leaving packets of tissues on restaurant seats. You are more likely to witness this behaviour at one of the hawker centres (food courts serving local delicacies) as it signals that the table has been reserved, so make sure you don’t sit down.
Another important point to acknowledge is the law about flushing. People can be fined $150 for going to the toilet and not flushing it away, with random spot checks on the lookout for offenders, so take a look back before stepping out!
Singapore is an incredibly safe city with a range of exciting experiences awaiting international visitors. Our team at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore would be delighted to help plan your trip as well as to assist in getting to know the city, it’s magic and the workarounds you need for clean travels!