Singapore Country Guide

Respect

 
 

Singaporeans care little about formal politeness. What would be decent behavior at home (wherever home might be) is unlikely to offend anyone in Singapore. In Singapore, unlike much of southeast Asia, women wearing revealing clothing or men wearing shorts and slippers are perfectly acceptable. That said, upmarket bars and restaurants may enforce dress codes.

 
 
 
 
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Orchard Road, Singapore

Passing through Orchard Road

However, Singaporeans tend to be more socially conservative than Westerners, meaning that public display of affection is still frowned upon and topless clothings for women is not acceptable anywhere, even on the beach. People are generally friendlier in the heartlands and not uncommon to see shopkeepers and customers of multiple races bantering. However, Singaporeans, while not hostile towards foreigners, are generally not overly receptive to any overbearing friendliness from them.

Changi Road, Singapore

Crossing Changi Road, Singapore

Singlish, the local pidgin English with its heavy Chinese influence may appear brusque or even rude. For example, saying "You want beer or not?" is in fact more polite in Chinese than asking if you want beer. After all, the person asking you the question is offering you a choice, not making a demand.

At rush hour, be prepared for a lot of pushing on the MRT trains (even just to get off). Everyone seems to be racing for the empty seat, though in a somewhat orderly manner. This is normal, despite signs asking people to be a little more courteous. Just go with the flow and accept the situation.

 
Singapore
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Boat Quay
Chinatown
City Hall
Clarke Quay
Marina Bay
Mustafa Centre
North Bridge Road
Orchard Road
Sentosa Island
Suntec City

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