If visiting Singapore has always been at the top of your bucket list, it’s about time you finally made it happen! Here are five useful things you should be familiar with when planning a long-term trip to this mind-blowing place, so check them out and get properly prepared in advance!
The Singaporean subway system is reliable – well, most of the time
Even though the Singaporean subway system, also known as MRT, has been said to be one of the best public transportations in the world, we should say that it’s no longer the case due to several high-profile breakdowns in recent years.
However, you must know that is still one of the most efficient and affordable ways to get around the island, loved by both the locals and the tourists. Of course, staying here for a couple of weeks or months usually means that people want to save as much money as possible on public transportation, and you know what? Subway will surely do it for you! It’s also good to know that there are five available lines that offer transportation to 106 stations distributed around the city.
It’s possible to reach the airport by using the metro, too, which is a fantastic option if you want to save more money and have a comfortable ride without having to call a taxi.
Singlish is a real thing
Yes, we know that it sounds ridiculous, especially because Singaporeans are being heavily stereotyped by the tourists, but the fact is that Singlish is a huge thing here! Of course, we must state that the majority of locals speak quite decent English, but you should definitely brush up on your Singlish – especially if you plan to spend a lot of time chatting with the locals.
First of all, you’ll notice that most Singaporeans tend to speak English much faster than their western counterparts. Besides that, the less fluent ones also tend to clip pronunciations and use their local intonations and colloquiums, which can be really hard to understand at first.
What’s particularly interesting about Singlish is the fact that its speakers love to include onomatopoeic words like ‘lah’ and ‘loh’ at the end of a sentence for the purpose of emphasis, as well as to use ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ instead of ‘yes’ and ‘no’. It definitely sounds strange, but you’ll get used to it faster than you think!
Even though Singapore is urban, it can sometimes be a real jungle
Singapore is undoubtedly one of the most modern cities in the world at the moment, and even though it’s generally quite safe, it can sometimes be a real jungle.
Its busy highways, breathtaking malls
Some of these are wild pigs at a local golf course, pythons in the sewer system, Estuarine crocodiles in the mangrove swamps, and malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquitoes that are basically the most dangerous of them all.
So, if you’re planning a long-term trip, getting life insurance is probably a good idea. You can always opt for a digital life insurance provider that saves you time, money, and hassle, as you can buy and update your life insurance online. You can also log in anytime to check on your policies, which is an absolute must when you’re staying in a foreign country for a few weeks or months. Just don’t skip this step and you’ll feel much safer and more secure!
Bear in mind that Airbnb is illegal here
Even though accommodation-sharing sites like Airbnb are extremely popular all across the world, in 34,000 cities across 90 different countries to be more exact – that actually isn’t the case with Singapore.
In fact, Airbnb rentals are illegal for most Singaporean properties, and that’s regulated by the local laws. You should know that more than 80% of Singaporeans live in leased public housing aka HDB estates, and therefore aren’t permitted to rent out their properties to tourists. Bear in mind that this is permitted only for the visitors who hold student passes. Besides that, private property owners are also prohibited from renting out their properties for less than three months, which can only be done with permission from the government.
This can actually do the trick for you if you plan to stay in Singapore longer than those three months, so bear that option in mind if that’s the case with you. On the other hand, you can always go for hostels in areas like Little India or Chinatown, as these are decently operated and don’t cost too much per night.
Remember that food is a national pastime
When you start exploring this amazing place, you’ll quickly realize that food is a national pastime in Singapore. Their cuisine is a wonderful fusion of Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Malay, and Western flavors, which basically means that literally everyone will be able to find a dish according to their taste and personal preferences
. Apart from that, it also means that you’ll be able to find different interpretations of the same dish created by the food stalls that have their own versions of Singapore’s signature dishes like fish head curry and Singapore crab. When in Singapore, be sure not to skip a bowl of laksa – a fabulous noodle and curry feast with spicy coconut broth. This dish will awaken all your senses, and the good thing is that you’ll be able to find it in both Malay and Chinese establishments. As for the Singaporean version, there is Katong laksa made with thick vermicelli noodles that are cut into pieces and sprinkled with prawns and fishcake. It sounds really yummy, right?
As you can see, there are a lot of important things you must take into consideration when planning a long-term trip to Singapore. Needless to say, these five are absolutely unavoidable, so pay extra attention to them and you’ll successfully plan your trip to the tiniest detail!