Hot and humid. Practically on the equator, Singapore's temperature never drops below 20°C, usually climbing to 30°C during the day. Rainfall and humidity are steady year-round. Rain arrives in torrential downpours, but is soon replaced by sunshine. It may rain every day during the wet season. The wettest months are November to January, the driest May to July.
2.Money Money & Cost
The major banks line their coffers in the CBD and along Orchard Rd. Opening hours are 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday, and 9.30am to noon on Saturday.
ATMs accept MasterCard, Visa and cards with Plus or Cirrus. ATMs are everywhere, including shopping centres and MRT stations. Larger department stores accept foreign cash and travellers cheques at lower rates than you’ll get from moneychangers.
Major credit cards are widely accepted. The tourism authorities suggest that if shops insist on adding a credit card surcharge (which they shouldn’t do), contact the relevant credit company in Singapore. For 24-hour card cancellations or assistance:
American Express (6538 4833)
Diners Club (6294 4222)
MasterCard (6533 2888)
Visa (6437 5800)
Taxes & refunds
A 5% goods and services tax (GST) is applied to all goods and services. Visitors purchasing goods worth S$300 or more through a shop participating in the GST Tourist Refund Scheme (look for the ‘Tax-free Shopping’ logo) can apply for a GST refund. When you purchase an item fill in a claim form and show your passport. You’ll receive a global refund cheque – present it with your passport and goods at the Customs GST Inspection counter in the departure hall at Changi before you check in. Customs stamps your cheque, which you then cash at counters inside the airport, or have credited to your credit card or bank account. Pick up a How to Shop Tax-free in Singapore brochure at the airport or visitors centres for more information.
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