Each year more than 200,000 people travel from neighboring countries to Singapore for top-notch medical care. First-rate doctors and well-equipped hospitals, all English-speaking, abound in Singapore.
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if you're entering from an infected area (e.g., Africa or South America).
Food & Drink
Tap water is safe to drink, but opt for bottled water just to be safe. Every eating establishment—from the most elegant hotel dining room to the smallest sidewalk stall—is regularly inspected by the strict health authorities. If your stomach is delicate, watch out for the powerful local chilli sambal (chili paste) and be prepared for some minor upsets because your body may not be used to local herbs. MSG is still used in some food stalls or cheaper restaurants to enhance flavoring; you should ask for it to be omitted as it can lead to a headache or upset stomach. It may be wise to pack a remedy for mild stomach upsets.
Quality medicines are freely available over the counter from supermarkets and pharmacies. There isn't much you can't get.
Pests & Other Hazards
With the relentless heat in Singapore it's important to beware of dehydration and sunstroke. Pace yourself when planning outdoor activities; avoid long periods of time in direct sunlight and drink at least 50% more water than you would at home. Should you begin to develop dry mouth, headaches, lethargy, nausea, or a fever you'll need to increase your fluid intake (avoid sodas and caffeine). When swimming in the waters of Singapore's offshore islands, be aware not only of the water quality but also of the strong undercurrents. Although there's virtually no malaria risk in Singapore, there are occasional flare-ups of dengue, so protect yourself at all times from mosquitoes. If you plan to visit Bintan Island, Indonesia, you'll need to take precautions against malaria. Check with your doctor about medication before you leave home and pack plenty of bug spray. Note, however, that resorts on the island will have netting, insect repellent, and mosquito coils.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe