While things like jaywalking and littering have become regular fines in the western world, Singapore has taken it to another level. With a clear focus on cleanliness these strange laws make Singapore a very uniquely structured city in an otherwise hectic corner of the world. Now don’t get us wrong… We’re probably the furthest thing from neat freaks. Yet, if the government wants to put laws in place to make a city cleaner and safer why would we be opposed? Well as you’ll see some of these Singapore laws will seem weird, or borderline absurd to most visitors. From chewing gum to hugging without permission, the laws of Singapore are something every tourist should know before their trip. So where do we draw the line folks? Let’s review!
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15 Strange Singapore Laws You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
1. Not Flushing the Toilet
Yes… Singapore literally has police walking around checking toilets. Is there anyone out there not in favor of this law? This should honestly be more than a fine! Please arrest anyone making public bathrooms more gross than they need to be.
Singapore Fine: $150
2. Singapore Chewing Gum
Outside of nicotine or medical reasons it’s illegal to buy and sell chewing gum in Singapore. Ill admit we’ve never been big gum people, and there’s really nothing more annoying than someone chomping on it loudly in your ear. So you’ll have to brush your teeth a little more because of the ban on Singapore chewing gum? Big deal.
We are kind of intrigued though. There must be some sort of black market, underground Singapore chewing gum world at work here right? Who’s the Juicy Fruit kingpin? The Doublemint Don of Singapore? We need answers!
Singapore Fine/Penalty: Up to $100,000 or 2 years in prison
3. Hugging Without Permission
If the Singapore chewing gum laws didn’t shock you then this next one might. Ever confused when bumping into someone you haven’t seen in awhile? Are you constantly caught between a hug and an awkward handshake? Well in Singapore you’re gonna need to ask our permission before you hug us!
Singapore Fine: Undisclosed Amount
4. Spitting in Public
You’ll start to notice that some of these requirements are things that all people should abide by, and are not just Singapore laws tourists should know. Specifically, many of these weird Singapore laws are geared towards keeping the city clean.
The more you walk around Singapore the more you may start to appreciate it. We can all agree spitting is just a nasty habit, and littering is terrible for the environment. This will definitely make you think twice before you toss a soda can, or hawk a loogie onto the ground!
Singapore Fine/Penalty: $300-1000
5. Feeding Birds
Maybe in your own country it’s okay to bring some bird feed to the many pigeons in the park. Yet, due to the weird Singapore laws you’ll have to let the birds fend for themselves here! Unfortunately, they can’t become dependent on your charity wonder bread. You’ll have to save the bird food for somewhere else.
Singapore Fine: $500
6. No Durians
Most public places ban eating, or the sale of durians in Singapore. Why do you ask? Well it’s literally the stinkiest fruit you’ll ever smell! The actual taste may be up for debate depending on who you talk to, but the smell is certainly not. With so many delicious fruits available in Singapore at least you will have plenty to choose from if durians aren’t allowed.
Singapore Fine: $500
7. Eating on Public Transportation
While we’re on the topic of eating out… This is one of those weird Singapore laws that every tourist should know. How many times have you gotten on transit to work with a coffee, bagel, or some other type of snack on the go?
Well with the weird laws of Singapore you better toss that out before you step on the train! Honestly, we weren’t loving this one until we saw how pristine the Singapore trains were. They seriously must have the cleanest public transportation in the world!
Singapore Fine: $500
8. No Fishing
Fishing is another activity that’s not allowed in Singapore. You’ll see signs around the rivers and canals of the city, and if you’re caught it’s punishable by a hefty fine. Still, if you’re dying to fish in Singapore there is designated lakes and reservoirs to cast your line out in.
Singapore Fine: Up to $3,000
9. Urinating in Elevators
Apparently all elevators in Singapore are stocked with UDD’s (Urine Detection Device). This means if any urine is detected in the elevator, the doors lock automatically, and the perpetrator is stuck till the police arrive. Well obviously we’re in favor of pee detection technology, but the real question is how many people were doing this for it to become an actual issue?
*This also applies to other public places besides actual bathrooms.
Singapore Fine: $1,000
10. Smoking Restrictions
It’s obvious that smoking in public places is coming under scrutiny around the world, but Singapore has taken it to the next level. As you’re walking around the city you’ll actually see yellow boxes painted on the ground that you’re allowed to smoke inside of. If you light up a cig outside of one of those areas be prepared to be hit with a fine!
Singapore Fine: Up to $1,000
11. Attempting Suicide
On a serious note, this is one of the strange Singapore laws that we weren’t expecting to see. From what we’ve seen the quality of life is so good in Singapore that we aren’t sure why anyone would want to take their own life. At the same time though everyone has issues and you never know. Hopefully this a deterrent to anyone who thinks about harming themselves.
Singapore Fine/Penalty: Undisclosed fine amount and 1 year in jail
12. Public Gatherings after 10pm
Gatherings of three people or more after 10pm in Singapore is considered an offense. We’re a fan of the concept, but not necessarily the time… That’s a little early to have to ask you and your friends to pack it in. Now if we change that to 2am we’re 1000% in favor… Because we all know absolutely nothing good happens after 2am!
Singapore Fine: $1,000
13. Drug Consumption Prior to Entering the Country
Singapore has some of the strictest drug laws in the world. While this clearly increases safety and the general well being of the public, it still seems like a little much. People are expected to abide by these laws during there time in Singapore, but to drug test them before even enter it? That’s wild! Direct flights from Amsterdam must get some serious attention.
Singapore Fine/Penalty: $20,000 and 10 years in prison
14. Connecting to Unsecured Wifi
Here’s another one of those essential Singapore laws that tourists should know. Connecting to an unsecured wifi network is considered hacking in the city. We’ve never heard of this anywhere, and with so many open wifi’s in every big metropolis you could be looking for trouble. So don’t go connecting to those networks with no passwords thinking it’s all good!
Singapore Fine/Penalty: $10,000 fine and 3 years in prison
15. Walking Around Naked Inside Your House
You may be thinking my house, my rules. Simple as that! Yet in Singapore you need to be careful even inside your own home or hotel. If you’re strutting your stuff and someone catches a peak at you could actually be reported. The nudity law also applies to outside your house in case you were wondering.
Singapore Fine: $1,000
As you can see, we do actually love most of these strange Singapore laws. Everyday things like smoking and Singapore chewing game may seem over the top, but after spending time in the city you will learn to appreciate the clean environment and low crime rates.
Is there any other strange Singapore laws tourists should know about, or ones you don’t agree with? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Singapore
Ultra Luxury – Marina Bay Sands – If you’re looking for the ultimate in Luxury then welcome to one of the best hotels in the world. We stayed at the Marina Bay Sands on our most recent visit to Singapore, and it blew away our expectations. Not to mention swimming in the infinity pool will be the top highlight from your whole time here.
Fun Vacation – Parkroyal on Pickering– It doesn’t get much more green and lush then Parkroyal on Pickering! This fun vacation hotel is literally one of the greenest hotels in the world. Plant life covers the hotel to make it a unique experience in Singapore.
Hostel Life – hipstercity hostel – Fun hostel in the heart of downtown Singapore. Enjoy both private and dorm rooms, and a comfortable common area.
For more places to stay in Singapore you can explore the latest prices here!
Singapore Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Singapore. You can book everything from a Singapore Highlights Bike Tour to a Gardens by the Bay E-Ticket, and even a private food tour with 10 tastings!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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