Singapore Country Guide

Stay Safe


Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world by any measure. Most people, including single female travellers, will not face any problems walking along the streets alone at night. But as the local police say, "low crime does not mean no crime" - beware of pickpockets in crowded areas and don't forget your common sense. Specifically, the areas around Clarke Quay and Arab Street are known to harbour gangs.

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Neighborhood police post by Anirudh Bhati

Singapore's squeaky cleanliness is achieved in part by strict rules against activities that are often tolerated in other countries. For example, jay-walking, spitting, littering, and drinking and eating on public transport are prohibited. Avoid littering, as offenders are not only subject to fines but also to a "Corrective Work Order", in which offenders are made to wear a bright yellow jacket and pick up rubbish in public places. Look around for sign boards detailing the "don't" and fines associated with these offenses. Enforcement is however sporadic at best and not uncommon to see people openly litter, spit, smoke in non-smoking zones, etc.

Drug Offenses
Singapore treats drug offenses extremely severely. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15 g of heroin, 30 g of morphine, 30 g of cocaine, 500 g of cannabis, 200 g of cannabis resin or 1.2 kg of opium. For unauthorised consumption, there is a maximum of 10 years' jail or fine of $20,000, or both. You can be charged for unauthorised consumption as long as traces of illicit drugs are found in your system, even if you can prove that they were consumed outside the country.

Politics, especially on Singapore's immigration policy, is a very sensitive subject. Although the police won't arrest you for discussing politics with the locals, it's easy to step on a slippery slope. Many Singaporeans may feel frustrated and displaced by the combination of mass immigration, liability for the two year long National Service (military draft), some institutionalized discrimination and soaring property prices. However, they may paradoxically take offense if you criticize any aspect of the country. Politics and social dynamics are a subject best avoided as a foreigner in Singapore.

Whilst jaywalking is illegal, it is still a common thing and occurs quite often around the city. Beware though that if a police officer catches you, you might end with a fine or in prison. Even more serious is if you get hit by a bicycle rider or car, it is considered the pedestrian's fault when it isn't their right of way and they might have to pay damage costs. Put simply, the roads are for the cars and the footpaths are for people.

Natural Disasters
Singapore is virtually immune to natural disasters. There are no fault lines nearby, although Indonesia's earthquakes can sometimes be barely felt. The landmasses of the neighbouring countries shield the island of Singapore from typhoons, tornadoes and tsunamis. Flooding in during the November-January monsoon season is an occasional hazard (especially in low-lying parts of the East Coast) but any water usually drains off within a day and life continues as normal.

Country Guide

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

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