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Singapore is a small country on a Southeast Asia island, with an landmass of just 715 km² and a population of over 5 million.
Located off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is the only island city-state in the world and is the world’s second most densely populated country.
Having a combination of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences, Singapore is now one of the world’s most prosperous countries, with skyscrapers, modern subways, high-end shops and a vibrant nightlife.
Singapore is one of the few remaining developed nations where sex between two males remains illegal. Same-sex marriages are not permitted. Overseas same-sex marriages are not recognised.
In practice, gay people are not prosecuted and gay venues are permitted to operate freely without too much interference. The exception to this is large scale gay dance parties. In 2007, the Prime Minister indicated that it is only a matter of time before gay sex is decriminalised. The annual LGBT rights “Pink Dot” festival has grown in strength in recent years.
Whilst coming out to one’s own family or work colleagues as being gay is still a difficult thing for many Asian gay men, Singapore’s wider population generally accept the gay community.
In the last few years, a thriving and confident gay scene has emerged, with Gay Bars and Gay Dance Clubs, Gay Saunas and Gay Massage Spas mostly concentrated in and around Chinatown (see in the foreground of the picture below).
Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s largest aviation hubs. The Changi Airport (SIN) is regarded as one of the best airports in the world. It is big and well-organised. Immigration and baggage distribution is very fast.
The airport has four terminals. Terminal 1, 2 and 3 are connected via a free Airport Skytrain. A free airport shuttle bus connects Terminal 4 to Terminal 2.
The airport is connected to the city by railway. Taxi and bus transfers are also available from all terminals.
Singapore has an extensive public transport system the MRT (an underground and elevated railway system) and buses, and taxis. Tourists can purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass that provides for unlimited 1, 2 or 3 days, with prices starting at S$10 per day (plus a $10 refundable deposit).
Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) rail network is usually the fastest and most most convenient way to get around Singapore. This modern rail network has 152km of track and 108 stations and operates between 05:30 and 01:30 seven days a week. Trains operate every 1-2 minutes at peak times.
You can purchase a one-time travel ticket, tourist concession pass or a stored value card (locally known as EZ-link cards) from the TransitLink Ticket Office located at stations. Download the route map here.
If you are heading to the main gay scene in Singapore, alight at Tanjong Pagar Station.
Taxis are readily available and all use a taxi meter. If you encounter a taxi driver asking for a fixed fee, get out and flag for another one. You can book a taxi by phone. Click here for a list of taxi phone contacts (booking charges apply).
Singapore has a comprehensive bus network and majority of the drivers speak English. Thanks to the hot and humid weather, all buses are air-conditioned so that you get to enjoy a comfortable journey.
You can use cash or EZ-link card to pay your fare. Fares range from SGD $0.80 to SGD $3.50. Drop the exact amount into the fare box (no change will be given) or tap your EZ-link card when you board. Remember to tap your card again when you disembark, else you will be charged the maximum fare for the bus journey.
Click here for bus routes in Singapore.
The cheapest option from the airport to the city is to take the Bus Service 36 from the basement bus bays in Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The MRT runs from Terminal 3 to the city.
Taxis are readily available from the taxi stands at the arrival level of each Terminal.
There are three ways to get to Sentosa from mainland Singapore (not including a taxi).
– Take the cable car ( from either Mount Faber or Harbourfront) and enjoy an aerial view of the island.
– Walk to the island via the Sentosa Broadwalk from VivoCity Shopping Mall’s waterfront.
– Take the Sentosa Express located at Level 3 of VivoCity Shopping Mall.
More information can be found in our free Downloadable Guide to Gay Singapore.
For our hotel recommendations for gay travellers, click here to go to our Gay Singapore Hotels page.
We have a separate page that lists the best tourist attractions in Singapore, click here to go to Singapore Attractions page.
Singapore has a tropical climate with no distinctive seasons. Temperatures can vary between 23°C to 32°C, and it rains on average around 13 to 19 days per month.
April and May tend to be the hottest months, and it’s usually wetter between November to January.
Most visitors from Western and Asian countries (excluding China) do not need to get a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
Technically, tourists should carry their passport with them at all times in Singapore. But in practise, it’s better to keep it locked in your hotel room safe and carry a photocopy of the details in your wallet.
The currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar. Banks are open from 9:30am to 3pm Monday – Saturday. Some Banks on Orchard Road are open on Sundays.
Official shop opening hours 9am to 10pm seven days a week. However, many shops do not open until around 11am. Shops are allowed to stay open to 11pm on Saturdays.
British style 3-pin plugs running at 220V/50 hertz. Adapters are widely available and loaned in most hotels.