close Guide for Foreign Media Daily Living Climate Singapore experiences a relatively uniform temperature, high humidity and abundant rainfall. The average daily temperature is 26.7° C, with an average maximum of 30.8° C and a minimum of 23.8° C. November to January generally see more rain while June to September tend to be drier. What to wear Light summer clothing (preferably of natural fabrics) is suitable for the climate. Banking Singapore's financial centre is home to the world's major banks. Normal bank opening hours are from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm from Mondays to Fridays. Local banks are also open on Saturdays from 9.30 a.m. to 11.30 am. The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. Notes come in denominations of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$20, S$50, S$100, S$500, S$1,000 and S$10,000. Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and S$1. Most banks handle travellers' cheques and change foreign currencies. However, some banks do not have foreign exchange dealings on Saturday. Passports are required when encashing travellers' cheques. A nominal commission may be charged. Credit/Charge Cards Major credit and charge cards like American Express, Visa, Diners and Master are widely accepted by establishments in Singapore. Time Singapore time is 8 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time. Electricity Singapore voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. Drinking Water It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers always have ample stocks. Education Education is universally available in Singapore. Holders of a valid Dependant's Pass are exempted from having to apply to Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for permission to attend academic courses in government, government-aided, independent or foreign system schools. Otherwise, a Student's Pass is required. Foreign Schools There are many well-equipped foreign schools in Singapore. These include the American College, Australian International School, Canadian International School, Deutsche Schule Singapur, Finnish Supplementary School, Hollandse School, Italian Supplementary School, Japanese School, Lycee Francais De Singapour, Norwegian Supplementary School, Sekolah Indonesia, Singapore American School, Singapore Korean School, Swedish Supplementary Education School, Swiss School and United World College of Southeast Asia. More information on foreign schools is available at the Ministry of Education website. Housing Furnished and unfurnished houses and apartments may be rented from private landlords or management companies. Rentals vary with the location of the property and amenities offered. Rentals are higher in the business and urban areas. However, most parts of Singapore are highly accessible because of the extensive road network and public transportation system. Real estate agents and property consultants are able to provide up-to-date information on properties to let, office space and rentals. The local newspapers also advertise residential and office accommodation in their advertisement columns. Domestic Help You can engage a licensed employment agency to help you employ a foreign domestic helper. The Foreign Domestic Worker Scheme allows the employment of foreign domestic workers from Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. More information on the employment of foreign domestic workers is available at the Ministry of Manpower website. Health Singapore has a wide range of specialist medical services, available at government and private hospitals. There are also 24-hour accident and emergency services in all government hospitals and some private ones. The emergency ambulance service is 995. For a full listing of the government and private hospitals, please visit the Ministry of Health website. Pharmaceuticals are available from numerous outlets, including supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Registered pharmacists work from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm. Safety Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is responsible for the maintenance of law and order and the preservation of public peace. SPF has a vast network of Neighbourhood Police Posts to enhance the police presence and keep the housing estates safe. Gambling Charity draws, Toto and Singapore Sweep lotteries, on-course betting at the Singapore Turf Club on horse races, and gaming at casinos in Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts are the only authorised forms of gambling in Singapore. All other gambling activities are illegal in Singapore. Smoking Smoking is banned in most buildings and indoor areas, including shopping centres, restaurants, entertainment outlets, cinemas, public service vehicles, taxis and in lifts. The smoking ban has also been imposed on public eateries, children's playgrounds, multi-storey carparks, bus interchanges and shelteres, and within a five-metre radius of most building entrances, except for allocated smoking areas. A maximum fine of S$1,000 may be imposed on first-time offenders. Tipping Tipping is not encouraged as most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on customers' bills. Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore.