For the past six months, I’ve had friends visiting Singapore for fun and travel. I’ve become their unofficial chauffeur and have toured all o’them around. In short, I’ve also become their UNOFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE. You know who you guys are. If you’re reading this, give this post a hollah!
So what is this post all about? SIMPLE. A travel tip for soon-to- be-tourists of Singapore. Have fun reading-lah! And don’t forget to take down notes, can? 🙂
WHERE WILL I STAY?
If you’re on a tight budget, hostels and backpackers are almost everywhere. You can check HOSTEL WORLD.com for the list of available places in Singapore. Most of this low-cost accommodation, just like most hotels offers free breakfast, wi-fi and several amenities. What’s even better is that the cost of staying in these low-cost accommodations is 80% cheaper than normal hotel room rates.
I have two specific places to recommend.
THE MITRAA BACKPACKERS HOSTEL
427 Race Course Road Singapore 218673
THE HIVE BACKPACKERS HOSTEL
624 Serangoon Road Singapore 218223
Hotel rooms, however are also available everywhere. Rates start from at least S$80/room/night to the most expensive hotel for at least S$520/room/night. Choosing the location of where you’re staying is important for tourists. This way you will know which bus will go to and from your place, which MRT is nearest your place and the location is also an additional factor you must consider for the room prices.
HOW DO I GO AROUND?
YES. You’re thinking right. Singapore ain’t that big and you can tour the entire island using three major ways of public transportation:
Trains and buses usually start operating from as early as 5:30am to as late as 2am during public holidays. But during normal weekdays, trains are until 11:30pm and buses run until 12:30am.
Cabs (or taxi) however, are available round the clock. Flag down starts from S$2.80 to S$3.10 depending on what type of taxi you are riding. The tricky part is there are certain time schedule that you should take note of because there are additional payments when you take a cab during those times. Rush hour (7:00 to 9:30am and 5:00-8:00pm) will cost you an additional 35% on top of your fare. Midnight (12:01 am -5:59am) surcharge, an additional 50%. There are also other additional payments (CBD, ERP etc). But do not worry, taxi drivers are honest. They wont axe you with the fare.
You might ask, “how am I going to pay my fare?” The most common way to pay taxi cabs is by cash. But the most convenient way of paying bus and MRT is by using an EZ-Link Card.
This can be used for the train, for the bus, some cabs and would you believe even 7-11 stores and some food shops? That’s how convenient it’ll be for you to go around Singapore if you have your own EZ-Link Card. It will cost you S$12.00 to buy your own card (S$5.00 nonrefundable fee + S$7.00 worth of credits). If you opt not to buy your own card, you have other options. For the MRT, you can buy a one time MRT card which has an additional S$1.00 fee for card deposit that is refundable. However, using the temporary card takes time. You need to buy one every time you ride the train and then refund the deposit fee every time you get out of the station (unless of course you want to make it a souvenir, but this is not recommended). You have to do the same process every time you opt for a train ride. For buses though, again, you can use the EZ link card or you can pay by cash. However, unlike paying by EZ link, the minimum amount for cash bus payment is S$1.00. Though your fare is just, say S$0.75, you still need to pay the minimum. And oh, they don’t give any change. So make sure if you’re paying by cash, you have at least S$3.00 coins with you.
So now you have an idea on how to go around this awesome place. You’ll ask next, WHERE WILL I GO? I wont be listing everything but here are some must-visit places here in Singapore.
WHERE WILL I GO TO SHOP?
Cheap buys of souvenir items can be found on both
However, after multiple visits on these two places, I can say that stuffs are cheaper in Chinatown. You can buy Singapore shirts, keychain, magnets and other Singapore items.
Bugis (Bugis Street- cheap buys / Bugis Village- the mall), however, gives you good value for your money if you’re looking for fashionable items. They sell everything here. From shoes, to hats, accessories, and clothes, name it, they have it.
However, if you opt for high end shopping, malls are scattered around. Most MRT Stations has malls. On the city, or areas near the city, there is a mall after every 3-5 blocks. Or if these malls are still not enough, go to the famous ORCHARD ROAD. It’s a long boulevard of giant malls that sell mostly high-end stuffs.
WHERE DO I GO TO EAT?
As you may have already known, HAWKER CENTERS (or just HAWKER) are the most common dining place for tourists and locals as well. It is a large establishment that caters different cuisines: Chinese, Thai, Indian, Western, Sea Food, etc.
What I like about Hawker Centers is that there is no direct competition because Hawkers cater to one restaurant per cuisine so if you like dim sum, there’s a specific store selling it. You’re craving for chicken wings? It’s on another stall.
1. They don’t use the terms DINE-IN and TAKE-OUT, instead, use EAT HERE and TAKE AWAY respectively.
2. Hawker Slang: Coffee=Kopi / Tea- Teh / Iced tea is different from Iced LEMON tea
3. Most hawkers have people serving drinks on your table. Raise your hand, order and then CASH ON DELIVERY 🙂
If you have the money to spare, here are some of my recommended restaurants:
LONG JOHN SILVER
WHAT PLACES SHOULD I VISIT?
There are many places you can check out in Singapore. As small as it may seem, the country has a very interesting geography and architectural marvels are everywhere.
If you’re into nature, there are three main attractions you can visit here in Singapore.
(World’s Largest Rainforest Zoo)
(First hand adventure at night)
JURONG BIRD PARK
If you’re looking for adventure, these are the places I would recommend:
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE (USS)
This is not just a theme park. Though relatively small compared to other theme parks, USS is separated by different themes and adventure activities. Here are some of my recommended activities:
Here are also some must-visit spots:
YOU MUST REMEMBER:
*Do not be afraid to roam around. Free maps are given on tourist areas. MRT Maps are also given for free on the Customer Service areas on MRT stations. If you’re lost, YOU CAN ALWAYS ASK FOR DIRECTIONS.
*Do not convert. Do not convert. Do not convert.
SEE YOU SOON!
(I DO NOT OWN ANY PHOTOS. EVERYTHING IS BORROWED. THANKS)