Singapore Travel Blog 2018 | Europe | Germany | France | Italy | Spain | Iceland

Things about Singapore We Appreciate after Staying Aboard


After we relocated to France for a year, we have always appreciate the goodness in Singapore system and now we appreciate Singapore even more.

Those issues or things that the often taken for granted.


Variety of food

In Singapore, we have very affordable eateries namely, Food Court, Coffeeshops or Hawker centres. With hawker centers providing usually more affordable food. And there are so many varieties to choose from.

Hawker Centre

From Asian to Western Cuisine. So many choices!

In France, there is also asian food, a Duck Drumstick rice cost €8 (SGD 12).

There is also nice Japenese Udon, but cost €18 (SGD 27). You can have varieties, just pay more only.

Convenience of eating

For sure! The eateries are usually open from morning to night. You can hardly go hungry with these eateries around. Most eatries are open at all hours.

In France, most restaurants have stipulated opening hours, 12pm - 2.30pm for lunch or 7.30 - 9.30pm for dinner.

Restaurants are usually closed on Sundays.

Only kebab stalls and fast food open all days.


That is why for our road trips, we usually eat fast food when on the go because it is difficult to estimate our time of arrival. For our munich road trip (round trip 2000+km) we had at least 5 - 6 McDonalds and KFC.

And during our trip to Colmar during Christmas, we were superbly shocked to find McDonald closed! It closed at 4pm during Christmas eve. In Singapore, fast food are open all day, 7 a days a week and some even 24 hours!

Mcdonald closed on Christmas Day

Cost of Living

Affordable Food

Eating out is damn damn expensive in Europe especially France. As we done a comparison (link) here. A Mcdonalds Big Mac Meal will cost €7, which is around SGD 11. A kebab meal will cost €6 (SGD 9) the minimum.

Kebab Menu

In Singapore, you can grab a plate of chicken rice at SGD2.50 + SGD 0.80 Drink from Hawker centers. Average meal will cost SGD 4 including a drink.

Mcdonalds cost as low as SGD6 for a Big Mac Meal.

And if you are sick of eating chicken rice every day, you can have mixed economic rice. 2 Vegetables and a choice of meat is as low as SGD 3 at some hawker centres.

And doing some mathematics,

Eating out a month for lunch and dinner in Singapore is S$ 4 x 30 = S$120

Eating out a month for lunch and dinner in France is SGD 9 x 30 = S$ 270

It is more than double. So start patronising our local hawkers before they disappear.

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Most groceries as compared to NTUC are almost on par with the supermarkets in France. The expensive stuffs are asians vegetables.

1 Kg of Kang Kong cost €10 (S$15). In Singapore, it is as cheap as S$3 / kg. It is even cheaper when you buy vegetables from wet market.

Kang Kong from Giant, Singapore

Crab is cheaper in France, maybe because nobody eats them, compared to Singapore at SGD 30 / Kg. France is just SGD 12 / Kg.

But of course, European groceries will be more expensive in Singapore.

I miss eating Kang Kong lah!

Public Transport

Buses / MRT

We often complain about the cost of our public transport.

Do you know that in France, minimum fare is €1.90) (SGD 2.80) ?

If you purchase the bundle of 10 tickets, you will be paying €1.45 per ticket. (SGD 2.20).

France Transport Tickets Cost

In Singapore, a starter fare will cost as low as SGD 0.77 using Ez-Link card. But a monthly bundle is € 70+ (SGD 110) where Singapore 1 Month Pass is SGD 120.


Taxi is just expensive in France.

For a 10km fare in France is estimated to be €18 (SGD 27) where else in Singapore it is SGD 9.

Singapore Taxi Fare

France Taxi Fare

It is 3 times more expensive!

And now you have Grab and Uber pushing the taxi price to be even lower.

But in France there is a car pool application, which is very affordable. A trip from Sens to the airport cost € 8 - € 12 . By taxi it will cost at least €180 (SGD 270) !!

€180 is SGD 270!!!


Crime rates

According to the statistics, France, mainly Paris has a higher crime rate in petty crimes like vandalism and theft. Pickpockets are tourist attractions are in fact very common.

We witness a snatch theft syndicate in operation before and was shocked that in broad daylight, they are so daring.

Scams are also very common too. We have many friends that had been picked or scammed.

In Paris, you really have to be vigilant.

Beware of the  Pickpockets

Especially when taking the Metro in Paris. You really have to be very vigilant. On board the MRTs in Singapore, you rarely have pickpockets.


Now the most interesting topic. Tax! In Singapore, we complain and fearful of GST increasing. But in France, GST (Value Added Tax, VAT) are up to 20%. Singapore 7% already buay tahan already.

Income Tax

According to this site, the France income tax starts at 14% up to 45%. This is very high as compared to Singapore up to 22%

France Income Tax

Singapore Tax

Chargeable IncomeIncome Tax Rate (%)Gross Tax Payable ($)
First $20,000
Next $10,000


First $30,000
Next $10,000
First $40,000
Next $40,000
First $80,000
Next $40,000
First $120,000
Next $40,000
First $160,000
Next $40,000
First $200,000
Next $40,000
First $240,000
Next $40,000
First $280,000
Next $40,000
First $320,000
In excess of $320,000
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At the same tax bracket with France - €151000 (SGD 230,000), Singapore is less than 20% compared to France 45%.

Corporate Tax

France corporate tax is 33% as compared to Singapore at 17% ! So imagine, for every dollar a company charge you. 33 cents goes to the government. Your net profit is instantly 66%.

So for example, an iPhone 7.

Iphone France Cost €769

Iphone Singapore @ SGD 1048




Cost of Iphone

€769 (SGD 1,153)

SGD 1048

Deduct VAT (20%) / GST (7%)


SGD 979

Profit Margin (38%)


SGD 372

Net Profit After Tax (33% vs 17%)


SGD 308

Net Profit Margin %



​This is just an example of illustrations of how corporate tax, GST/VAT works with profit margin. Numbers are just an example on why the cost is so high in France compared to Singapore.

And also tourist can get tax refund up to 20% when buying LV, Prada, Chanel . That is why so many tourist buy the brandeds here.

Now you know why scammers and pickpockets are thriving in France? Because no need pay tax what?

Singapore Tax at a Glance + Suka Suka Tax & Levy

So in general, according to Iras report in FY 2015/2016 Singapore main source of income from taxes is 

  • Corporate Tax (33%)
  • GST (23%)
  • Income Tax (21%)

Taken from iras

In order to maintain positive growth, if you do not want Ah Gong to increase your income tax and GST percentage, they can only get more from Corporate Tax and increase the population.

To generate corporate tax, companies in Singapore has to be profitable. To be profitable, they have to keep cost low especially for blue collar workers. And if there is barriers to hiring blue collars example foreigners which cost is lower, companies will eventually close shop.

Corporate Tax decrease. Tax revenue decrease. Then some where has to increase right? That is where your COE, ERP, Licence Fees, Levy comes in right?

On Increasing Population

Increase population, income tax revenue increases, GST revenue increases, corporate tax revenue = more benefits for Singapore (hopefully)

So end day, ah Gong will increase population. But, of course you want population to increase, they have to cater more infrastructure and public services.

To better illustrate,

Last time, 1 Bedroom sleep 3 People. Then my landlord bring in another 3 people, to squeeze in. And toilet bowl always faulty. All 6 people will be pissed off what. Plus peak hours got to compete for toilet. And Only provide 1 toilet roll..
You say they will get upset anot?

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Then we move on to benefits. We keep envy about the kind of benefits Europe is receiving from the government.

To get all these benefits = cost to companies or the country. And if cost is high to companies, in order to be profitable, prices has to be set higher.

So do you want prices to be high and have such benefits ? Or you prefer to the prices to be affordable, and you can choose to purchase whatever benefits you want?

Car Ownership

All right, this 2 are the most expensive stuff in Singapore.

Car and the COE.

Even you have not buy the car, your COE can buy a Audi A3 in France. Certainly the most expensive country to own a car.

SGD60,000 for COE in Singapore

But driving in Singapore is less expensive than driving in France. Public Parking is €6 - €8 (SGD 9 - 12) an hour compared to Singapore SGD 1.20 an hour. That is already enough to kill.

But there is no ERP in Paris itself, and the traffic in the capital is horrible!

My Take

  • End day, France is good for kids up to 5 years old, because there is a lot of family time
  • And retirement, because it is certainly a nice country to live in, with all the incredible benefits.
  • Singapore is definitely good from teenage years till you retire. It depends which phase of life you are in.
  • For me, it is an eye opener to experience this culture and the way of living in Singapore. So start appreciate the goodness in Singapore.
  • Hiring blue collar foreign workers helps company to stay profitable and in turn helps the economy.
  • Eat more at hawker centres, keep their business going.
  • When you envy the benefits other countries are having, please check out how much tax are they paying.
  • 10 million population is inevitable, just wait for it. But Ah Gong have to build more infrastructure and amenities.

"Well, do share the article if you agree on some of reasons. Let us not take Singapore for granted."

Note: All these are my opinions, it is subjective. Free feel to discuss more too. If you still want to complain about Singapore, just be contented you can stroll back home safely at night. 
I just wanna say my part on appreciating Singapore. #appreciateSG

What Say You?

You Okay with Singapore anot?

About the Author Donovan

Don is a Kiasu Singaporean that blogs his journey while exploring Europe. A Singapore Travel Blog that provides travel guides and tips on how to travel free and easy in Europe.

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