For backpackers in Singapore looking for a check list of things to do that is unique to the Singapore culture.
- Call a local Singaporean “Uncle” or “Auntie”
As a form of respect, young Singaporeans (below 30 years old) address more senior people (above 50 years old) as “Uncle” and “Auntie”, whether or not they are actually related to each other. Warning: do not try if unsure of the person’s age as some people might get offended at you implying that they are old.
- Ride on the MRT during peak hours
The local subway is always jam packed with people during the morning and evening peak hours. Squeeze with the Singaporeans for a first hand experience of exactly how small the island is.
- Shop at Orchard Road
- Speak Singlish
Singaporeans speak English as the national lingua franca, but it is so peppered with phrases from Mandarin, Malay and the local dialects that foreigners find it difficult to understand. Try inserting “lah”, “lor” and “leh” at random places in your speech and see if you can pass off as a Singaporean.
- Visit the casino at Marina Bay Sands
Free entry for non-Singaporeans, $100/head otherwise. At $8 billion, it is the most expensive standalone casino property in the world.
- Mambo at Zouk Singapore
Zouk is one of the most popular and longest standing nightclubs in Singapore. Every Wednesday is Mambo Night, when clubbers mass dance to familiar oldies. Watch and imitate. You will pick up the moves in no time.
- Drink by the Singapore River at Clarke Quay
- Join a queue
Queueing is one if the favourite hobbies of people in Singapore Singaporeans love to queue, even if they don’t know what they are queueing for. Find a long queue anywhere and ask a random person in the queue what the queue is for. Don’t be surprised if the answer is “I don’t know”.
- Buy TOTO or 4D at Singapore Pools
TOTO and 4D are legalized forms of lottery in Singapore, run by the gambling monopoly organization, Singapore Pools. There are 300 Singapore Pools outlets across Singapore, so tourists should be able to find one pretty easily.
- Tailor an ethnic costume at Chinatown, Kampong Glam, or Little India
Tailor a traditional costume of one of the cultural races in Singapore to bring home. Your unique outfit will be a favourite topic for small talk at cocktail parties.
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Universal Studios Singapore
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+ Sentosa Cable Car
Your Singapore Guide