But Singapore is a city of rules, fines, and discipline and can't be compared to its surrounding Southeast Asian neighbors. This is not to say that it's void of local culture or that it's never apparent. Just that it's slightly subtle and you have to know where to find it.
The Little India district is a copy of the country itself absent the pollution, disorganization and roaming cows. It has restaurants serving up the best of Indian cuisine, though not at typical Indian prices (it's still Singapore!). The food stalls at the hawker centres are where you can find great local foods almost equivalent to the street foods of many Southeast Asian countries. They're just setup in a more organized and controlled manner which assists in managing licensing and food hygiene.
We visited those areas and a few others, but really didn't do too much in order to prevent sizable dents in our wallets. It's too bad we couldn't CouchSurf in Singapore. Perhaps we would have found some cheaper tricks to seeing the city and saved a buck on accommodations!
Some things you can be fined for (heftily!) in Singapore:
- Drinking/eating on public transport
- Leaving standing water around ( because of mosquitoes)
- Not flushing a public toilet
- Feeding birds
- Stealing wifi
And while you can chew gum there, selling it is prohibited!