Banking and money changers
Banking hours are Mondays to Fridays from 1000 to 1500. Most banks handle travellers' cheques and change foreign currencies. Some do not have foreign exchange dealings on Saturdays. Passports are required when cashing in travellers' cheques. Apart from banks, money can be changed at licensed money changers.
The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. The US and Australian dollar, Japanese yen and British pound are accepted in some of the major shopping centres and departmental stores.
It is safe to drink straight from the tap in Singapore.
Singapore's voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles a second. Power plugs are three-pin and square-shaped (i.e British Standards BS 1363 or Type G).
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
A 7% GST (effective July 2007) is levied in Singapore, but foreign visitors may reclaim the GST paid on purchases if they spend a minimum of $100.00 at any store where the "Tax Free Shopping" logo is displayed and they present their passports to obtain a completed Global Refund Cheque. GST refunds can then be claimed upon departure at Singapore Changi Airport with the presentation of the goods purchased, the receipts and Global Refund Cheques.
Tipping is not a common practice in Singapore and is prohibited at the airport. Most hotels and restaurants already levy a 10% service charge on customers' bills.
Laws and restrictions
Chewing gum is banned in Singapore. Smoking is not allowed in most public places and serious action is brought against drug offenders.
Payphone and telecommunication services
Public payphones are operated by credit card and/or stored value phonecards and can be used to make both local and international calls. International Calling Cards are available at all post offices, 7-11 convenience stores and many other retail outlets.
Singapore has a comprehensive public transport system, comprising a well-linked bus and train (MRT) network. Commuters use a common stored-value card for trips on both networks (EZ-link card). EZ-link cards can be purchased and topped up at any bus interchange or MRT station. Cabs in Singapore are extremely common and reliable, and charge fixed rates from the meter.