Topics include Dining Scene, Singapore: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Singapore is an extremely safe and clean city. You can travel to any parts of Singapore alone anytime of the year, regardless of gender. However, do keep a lookout for foreigners in Singapore, the locals are safe. It used to be known as a Garden City and is on the verge to become a city in a garden. Practically all Singaporeans speak English except for a very small number of very senior citizens who are illiterate. You can ask road directions from any local anywhere in the city. Toilets, food restaurants and shops are everywhere and are clean to a very high standard. Smoking within 15 metres of any covered walkway is illegal. Justice in Singapore can be swift and harsh. This is especially important to note, because even relatively minor violations (such as spitting on the sidewalk) are considered offenses. And there are fines issued for just about any offense including smoking in public places, jaywalking, littering and even chewing gum on the MRT. It cannot be help because it is a very small country with 5 million people. To give you an idea of how big Singapore is, it is about 45 mins drive from East to West.
Taxis are inexpensive and cab drivers are honest as there are no hidden fares; what you see on the meter is what you pay, and you have every right to refuse to pay more than the displayed amount in the highly unlikely event the cab driver asks for more. The law is very harsh on them if there is a complaint against them. All speak English and their own ethnic language ie. Chinese, Malay or Tamil. You can get onto a taxi and sleep and be assured you will always reach your destination safely.
So when visiting Singapore it is important to note the laws. Penalties for drug offenses include the death penalty. Even shoplifting is considered a rather serious offense in Singapore, with penalties that include a few months prison time. Other punishment may also be imposed for other lesser offenses. However, the beauty is there is hardly any policeman or soldiers on the road and you must be very lucky to see a policeman or a soldier. It is not because there are many plainclothes police. There are almost none. This place is unlike Moscow where you feel intimidated by the presence of police and soldiers who look at your with great suspicions.
It should be noted that homosexual acts are illegal in Singapore and penalties can also include imprisonment. It is noticeable that not all prostitutes are ladies but may include transsexuals or transvestites. As an Asian country, homosexuality is still being frowned upon.
These sometimes harsh punishments make Singapore one of the safest large cities in the world to visit. Even when visiting alone a woman can generally feel comfortable, but as with any dark street at night caution should be observed. This is because the crimes, if any, are committed by foreigners who come to Singapore on social visit passes. They are usually caught and sent to prison to serve their time.
The Singapore government has also stepped up security measures following the terrorist attacks in Bali, and remain very committed to maintaining Singapore’s reputation as a safe destination for travelers.
Although Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world, please exercise caution and protection against your personal belongings. There are cases where people left their belongings (bags etc) and went for a swim (Sentosa) and later found their belongings missing. There have also been incidents of foreign pickpocket syndicates being caught in Singapore. They pickpocket in busy town areas and then go back to their countries.
Have someone to look after the belongings while you are away. Use lockers if they are available. Or ask friendly people to look after your belongings (at your own risk! they might be foreigners or dishonest Singaporeans too). Zip your handbag etc. Do not expose wallets or make belongings 'pickpocket-friendly'. These crimes are rather insignificant but its always good to be on your alert.
Overall, Singapore is very safe compared to other parts of the world. This is especially so because there is the death penalty for murder cases and drug (heroine etc) trafficking/consumption.
In spite of all of this enforcement remember: a Low Crime Rate does not mean No Crime. Even in Switzerland, there are crimes.