6 Things To Do In Singapore When It Rains

Rain, and the wave of cool air it brings, is always welcome in Singapore. However, if it starts to rain as often as it has these past few weeks, people can start to get a little frustrated and bored of the indoors. If you’re one of them, don’t fret – we’ve compiled a list of six things you can do when it begins to pour in Singapore. So bring your brollies out, embrace the rain and explore a side of Singapore you never knew.

1. Check Out A Museum

Singapore has some of the region’s finest museums, so why not spend a day in the rain feeding your cultural soul? If you’re feeling artsy, explore the art museum (Singapore Art Museum), where you will be wowed by modern contemporary art by some of Asia’s finest artists. The museum is housed in one of the city’s oldest buildings; a former school built in the 1800s by the British. Right across the street is the National Museum of Singapore, which delves into the country’s history culture and often has special exhibitions. It recently displayed works from the House of Liechtenstein, in an exhibition aptly titled ‘Princely Treasures’.

2. Shopping At Orchard Road

Orchard Road, Singapore’s answer to Paris’ Champ Elysees is any shopaholic’s paradise. The best part about it is its maze of underground tunnels, which means you can hop from mall to mall, store to store, without ever having to step out in the rain.

3. Ice Skate

It might be raining outside, but in some parts of Singapore, it snows inside. Why not head to J Cube Mall in Jurong to try your hand at ice-skating? A 15-minute introductory lesson costs $27, while a two hour skating session starts at $22.

4. Catch An Arthouse Film

The rain sounds like a perfect setting for an indie, arthouse (preferably foreign) film to indulge your inner hipster and make you question the meaning of life. The Picturehouse, by Cathay Films, is perfect for this and offers international and regional films. Check out its website for a list of films on display.

5. Go Under The Sea

The last thing you might want to be in the rain is wet, but a trip to Resort World Sentosa’s S.E.A Aquarium, home to at least 800 different marine creatures. Come face to face with stingrays, sharks, eels and sea anemone, and be treated to a hands-on experience, literally, at the Discovery Touch Pool. Tickets begin at $38 for adults to visit this world’s largest aquarium.

6. Have A Cup Of Tea

Perhaps the nicest thing to do on a cold, rainy day is to have a warm cup of tea with a book or a great friend. There’s no place better to do this than Jones the Grocer at ION Orchard. Pick a table that faces the balcony, and be calmed by the pitter-patter of raindrops while drinking its signature Japanese Genmaicha green tea.

Another gorgeous place to have a high tea is The Tiffin Room at the Raffles Hotel. If you’re alone, the thoughtful staff will graciously place a magazine at your table. High tea is served at two sittings, one just after 1pm and the other at 3pm. The spread, served in a buffet style, is a delightful of Western classics (think scones, cakes, tarts and pastries) and Asian specialities such as dim sum. There are few varieties of tea here, but a glass of champagne might make you forget all that. Prices begin at $50 (exclusive of champagne), and be sure to dress appropriately (smart casual will do).

Tipping in Foreign Countries

Tipping is a common practice of leaving money for services. Each country has its own tipping etiquette. In some countries it is expected, while in others it is considered an insult or impolite act. Sometimes wrong tipping etiquette can potentially spoil a good vacation. So always keep some idea about the tipping techniques of various countries before planning an international travel.

In US, tipping is usually considered as a common practice. The act of giving ten to fifteen percentages above the bill before leaving is considered a good etiquette for the traveler.

Tipping is customary in Europe. It is welcomed and highly expected in countries like Mexico, Canada and Russia. The guest must leave something to hotel staffs and drivers, above the service tax added on the bill.

Tipping is not a common practice in most of the Asian countries. But it is highly appreciated to get things done faster and better. In these countries a service tax of 10-15% will be usually added on the bill. One can offer some kind of tip for better service in India, Pakistan, Egypt and Middle East Countries. But tipping is unlawful in some Asian countries like Japan and Singapore.

In African countries tipping is not a mandatory service but it is always acceptable. Service charges will be usually added in their bills. Tipping is not a common practice in Australia too.

Sometimes your tipping gesture can be misunderstood as an insulting act. So if you are in a foreign country and don’t know their tipping rules, better to observe what the locals do and follow the same.

Tips For Travel to Singapore

Singapore is a small country in size but an economic giant especially in South East Asia. Singapore is situated at the south tip of Malaysia, just one degree north of the equator.

The city is a blend with the culture and religions of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European. The four main religions are celebrated by the different ethnicity and the auspicious day like Muslim celebrating the end of Ramadan, Vesak day for the Buddhist, the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Christmas and Easter for the Christians, New Year Day and the Lunar New Year celebrated by the Chinese are officially public holiday for all. Food is a passion to many and a very much talk about topic amongst the locals due to the wide selections of multi ethnic food and European cuisines.

Though it is relatively easy to travel in Singapore, it is always good to find out some useful travel information before you begin your trip. Here are some useful travel tips for Singapore:

Visas for Singapore All travellers to Singapore are required to go through immigration clearance upon their arrival into the country. The granting of social visit passes to visitors is determined by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the point of entry. Visitors must satisfy the following basic entry requirements before they are allowed to enter Singapore:

  • A passport with at least 6 months validity
  • Valid Singapore visa, if applicable
  • Sufficient funds to last for the intended period of stay in Singapore
  • Confirmed onward/return tickets (where applicable)
  • Entry facilities to their onward destinations, e.g. visas.
  • Completed Disembarkation/Embarkation Card
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate, if applicable

Electricity connection

Visitors to Singapore must check if their electrical appliances can handle the voltage of 220-240 volts AC, 50Hz. The power plugs used in Singapore are of the three-pin, square-shaped type. If your electrical device does not accept the voltage and the appliance plug shape is different, you will need a voltage converter and a plug adapter. However, most hotels in Singapore will provide transformers to visitors with electrical appliances of a different voltage when requested.

Sales tax refunds in Singapore The Goods and Service tax in Singapore is 5%. To qualify for sales tax refunds, you need to have a minimum purchase amount ranging between SGD$300 to SGD$500. To claim your GST refunds, pack the items in hand luggage, and present the item(s) and the receipt at the Global Refund Services after immigration and security when leaving Singapore. Also allow an extra 15 minutes before departure. The refund payment can be made by cash, credit card payment or cheque. A small handling fee will be deducted from the refund amount.

Myanmar Travel – Tips for Getting Around

If you are visiting Myanmar, there are many excellent and exciting sites you will want to see. However, if you do not have the proper tips for getting around, you will never get to the different places you have in mind. The first tip to know for successful Myanmar travel is that the main international airport is located in Yangon. It is called Yangon International Airport and has direct flights to Bangkok, Taipei, Singapore, Calcutta, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Chiang Mai, and Guangzhou. Look into updated flight schedules well in advance before booking your flight.

As a foreigner hoping to enter Myanmar, you are required to possess a valid passport and a Myanmar visa. You can obtain your needed visa with three photos and your valid passport at any Myanmar Embassy or Consulate. As of May 1, 2010, foreigners to Myanmar can apply for their visa when arriving at Yangon or Mandalay international airports. No prior arrangements with travel agencies are necessary anymore. There are different kinds of visas you can purchase at varying prices. For example, one is a 28-day tourist visa available for $30 USD per person. A 70-day business visa can be purchased for $40 USD and is extendable. Children under the age of seven do not require a visa for Myanmar travel.

Money is an important topic to discuss when you are planning a trip to Myanmar. The currency used there is called the Kyat, pronounced “chat.” The exchange rate is six Kyats for one US dollar. Authorized money changers in Yangon will help you obtain the official currency of the country during your Myanmar travel. Meanwhile, restaurants and hotels also accept Euros and the exchange rate is 1440 Kyats for one Euro. Exchanging back into US dollars at the airport is not advisable. The exchangers there will only give you one US dollar for every 450 Kyats. Keep in mind that banks in Myanmar are closed on Sundays.

The cost of your hotel and dining experiences during your Myanmar travel will depend very much upon what part of the country you are in. Prices can double if you are in certain areas. For example, a hotel stay can cost $30 USD per person in one place while the same service can be obtained in a different location for $15 USD. When it comes to tipping, local restaurants expect about 200 Kyats per person.