CIGARETTES AND TOBACCO: English cigarettes (Players) are about 40 cents a pack. Most United States brands are available at 25 cents a pack.
CLIMATE: Singapore has a fairly even temperature. It is very warm, and the humidity is very high; but the evenings are usually cool. There is no marked dry or wet season. May to October is the best time to visit.
CLUBS: The Tanglin Club, the Royal Singapore Golf Club, the Island Golf Club, the Singapore Swimming Club, the Royal Singapore Yacht Club, the American Club and the Flying Club. Pan American Airways’ representative will be glad to. arrange guest cards to the American Club, Singapore Swimming Club. Rotary’s here too. COMMON COURTESIES AND LOCAL CUSTOMS: The
Malay is a stickler for etiquette. He serves and handles food only with his right hand (unless eating with a knife and fork). He is a modest person too. In greeting a Malay, do not shake hands or slap him on the shoulder. Aristocratic Malays never laugh and seldom even smile because they do not feel it is in good taste to show their emotions. Be conservative on sports clothes. Stick to solid colors and whites. Hawaiian sports shirts are not popular with the British and immediately identify the wearer as a tourist. This causes prices to spiral upward!
COMMUNICATIONS: Government telephone service in the Colony and Federation. One can telephone the United States and practically everywhere else. Airmail postage to the United States is Straits dollars 1.10.
CURRENCY: The Straits dollar is the monetary unit. It is worth about 32.75 cents in United States currency. Money can be changed at any of the banks or hotels. Illegal money-changers will approach travelers on the streets in the business district. However, take note that in order for a foreigner to get an export permit for surface or unaccompanied shipments of purchases of Malayan products, he must obtain a receipt from the official money-changer or bank to prove to the export department that the goods exported were paid for by foreign currency changed legally. Contact the Pan American representative for assistance in arranging for export permits and foreign exchange clearance. It is illegal to take from the Colony any U.S. dollar notes in excess of what you brought in. note: if you bring into the Colony U.S. currency in excess of $33, have the Customs officer make a note of the amount in your passport. This will allow you to take out your U.S. currency when you leave, as it is the only way to prove you brought it in. Traveler’s checks and letters of credit are exempt from regulations governing foreign exchange.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS AND DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR UNITED STATES CITIZENS : Passport and health certificate (International type only) for smallpox required. Also yellow fever and cholera if coming from infected areas. You may bring in 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 8 oz. tobacco duty free. You may also bring in 1 quart each of malt liquor wine and spirits duty free. Processed (developed) movie films must be left in Customs Bond or pass the film censor.
DRUG STORES : There are chemist shops with most United States toilet articles available. The downtown district has many such shops catering to drug needs.
ELECTRIC CURRENT : This is a real problem to the traveler, as both alternating and direct current are available at 230 volts, depending on the specific area of the city. There are no fewer than 18 standard types of electrical plugs in current use also depending on location and the whims of the Chinese contractors.
FAUNA : In Singapore one finds quantities of tropical birds, fish and wild animals. Most notable are the talking Mynah bird and many species of monkeys.
FLORA : Orchids and gladiolus grow profusely in Singapore and usually bloom three or four times a year.
FOOD : Excellent Chinese foods are served in modem restaurants and certain native restaurants. Malay and Tndian curries are tops. Favorite Malay dish is satay barbecued kabob over charcoal. Milk is available and safe to drink. The water is excellent and safe. Coffee is poor by American standards (most Americans request Nescafe or other instant-type brands). The European restaurants, of which there are many, serve the best in all kinds of Western food ail moderately priced.