10 Things You Should Not Do In Singapore

Like other countries, Singapore has laws and customs that every visitor should follow. So, before traveling to Singapore, you should keep in mind what you are not allowed to do in this country. Here is a list of things you should not do in Singapore.

Do not litter

Singapore is known as the cleanest country in the world. Through movies or in the media, you can see that the streets of Singapore are really clean, and there’s no sign of garbage.

Bad habits such as littering or spitting in public places can make you pay a high price in Singapore. Therefore, such actions are regarded by the host country as serious offenses.

In Singapore, you can get littering fines ranging from $300 to $1,000 for first-time offenders. It can rise to $5,000 for third-time offenders with the possibility of facing jail time.

Do not smoke in public places

Smoking is prohibited in public places such as elevators and cinemas, even on most public transportation or office.

If you violate, you will be immediately fined 500 Singapore dollars. So, if you’d like to smoke,  look for a smoking area.

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Do not eat or drink in public trains (MRT)

Eating on public transport, such as buses, trams, and subways, is typical in some countries.

However, if you travel by public trains in Singapore, avoid eating or drinking as those caught flouting this strict rule could face a $500 fine.

Also, durian is forbidden on trains due to its unpleasant aroma.

No chewing gum

One of the noteworthy bans in Singapore is chewing gum.

Unless for medical purposes, chewing gum is strictly prohibited in Singapore.

So if you’re preparing your luggage for Singapore travel, make sure you don’t have chewing gum in your pocket. You can be fined S$ 1,000 and have to do public service for 10 hours (if you object, you’ll be canned). The penalty for an illegal gum trader is one year in prison and S$ 10,000.

However, of course, there are some exceptions. For example, if you are a foreigner and accidentally bring 1-2 chewing gum, there will be no problem. Or, if you have a doctor’s prescription and chewing gum is part of the treatment, you can still use them.

Do not be naked in your hotel room

In Singapore, appearing naked in public view is illegal. For example, in 2009, a man was fined $2,600 for being naked in his flat while in a clear view of his neighbors.

The law, which came into force in 1996, says that anyone naked in public or private but be seen by others will be considered illegal. Penalties can be up to $ 2,000 and travel stone houses for three months.

Don’t tip

Tipping is not customary in Singapore.

Similar to Japan, it’s not compulsory to tip in Singapore. However, in many cases, your tipping will be counted in your total cost. 

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Avoid destructive actions

Stealing and destroying public assets such as writing your name on buildings or drawing graffiti are violations in many countries worldwide, but Singapore is even stricter. 

Destructive actions are subject to one of the highest penalties imposed on visitors by the Singapore government.

For example, in 2005, two German tourists were punished with canning for spraying paint on public subway cars.

Do not talk about religion or politics

Singapore is a multicultural nation, with many different religions coexisting. Therefore, religion can be a very sensitive topic to discuss.

It is best not to mention them when you travel to Singapore to avoid unnecessary disagreements and arguments.

Don’t point at others

Another taboo about Singapore’s culture is pointing your finger at others, as that behavior is synonymous with a rude attitude.

Therefore, do not be surprised if you receive a discriminatory look if you accidentally do it.

Don’t use your left-hand

Singapore is an immigrant country with a majority Indian and Muslim population.

Indians and Muslims often use their left hands for toilets, so they are forbidden to use their left hands in activities such as giving gifts, shaking hands, eating, etc.

Therefore, you should use their right hand to suit the host country’s culture.

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