Growing up in Hong Kong, Singapore was always like the younger sibling trying to catch up. Cut to years later; I’m surprised by how modern, eclectic and laid back it is. I love talking to the locals to find out what makes a place tick. Here are my thoughts on the city and some fun facts about Singapore things to know before you go.
- The Local currency of Singapore is Dollars (SGD)
- Locals have a keen sense of humor and Singlish is the local urban language; being a hybrid of English & Singaporean. Hosay! is a fun app to get your Singlish down pat.
- Anyone can apply for a work permit to live & work in locally.
- An urban jungle, more than half of Singapore is covered in green, though it is questionable whether this is all human-made.
- With great seasonal weather rooftop, bars are a thing, and a must to experience sunset overlooking the Marina Bay.
- I went to the infamous Raffles hotel which coined the cocktail Singapore Sling but found it to be overly touristy. Save yourself the time, and get a Sing Sling at any other bar in town. Trust me on this.
- For the boutique artist, The Hermes store has an art gallery on the 3rd floor, and the Louis Vuitton flagship store at the Marina Bay Sands shopping galleria showcases a display of all things vintage Louis Vuitton with a gallery/bookstore on its upper level. The idea of gallery meets store is a brilliant idea.
- Gardens by the Bay is pure magic. Make sure to get there in plenty of time, to take in all the shows and exhibits.
- Some of the fanciest steak Houses and restaurants can be found in a mall, don’t be put off by that, as shopping and shopping malls are somewhat social and are the norm.
- Uber is everywhere, but if using taxis get a local app that will pick up at the taxi stand at any mall or local destination. Favorite taxi booking apps include GoCatch, ComfortDelGro Taxi Booking, Singapore SMRT.
- Singapore has the highest number of millionaires per capita. A lot of people from other parts of Asia need to “park” their money somewhere, so they invest in property and local businesses.
- Minimum wage doesn’t exist here. People pay an employee what they want.
- Free WiFi in most places.
- With over 60 shopping malls, even a 24-hour one, there is only three you need to go to. Marina Bay Sands, ION Orchard, Paragon.
- Lee Kwan, Founding Minister of Singapore, is a big believer in Feng Shui. One aspect he displayed was having the $1 coin made in gold color so every person would have prosperity in their homes.
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