Singapore never held much allure to me. Big corporate city, hot humid climate and lots of shopping. So, when I got there I was mildly surprised to find, just that! But, I made the most of it
Some memorable places I have been
Singapore City: A city built of corporate towers, shopping malls, designer high streets and some special little cites
The Malls - They are everywhere. And they are designed to help you spend you money. Many are clones of each other, but there are several that specialize.
Raffles - A famous hotel with rows of designer stores surrounding it.
Cameras & Electronics - Peninsular Plaza, and Sim Lin Square several floors of electronics, cameras, and gadgets. Try for some second hand camera stores along Coleman street too!
Luxury Designer Shopping - Try the Marina Sands Shopping Complex, it's filled with all the top names at all the top prices.
Orchard Road - One of the longest, and most famous high streets in the world. Filled with department stores, designers shops and the odd "adult store".
Little India - If you've not been to India, give little India in Singapore a try. Filled with some nice Indian buildings and places to eat it's worth the visit.
Marina Bay -a boulevard, a world famous skyline, a theatre & shopping
The boardwalk -Popular with Singaporean's for an early morning or evening jog, it's about an hour to walk around and filled with Skyscrapers, modern architecture, and mesmerizing corporate headquarters.
Night Skyline - Perhaps Singapore's most photographed landscape. Get there early to see some interesting buildings during the late after noon. Then stay for the sparkling lights in the sky at night.
Marina Bay Sands - Casinos, shopping, and giant boat on top to the hotel view of Singapore, be prepared to bring some cash!
Helix Bridge - A relatively new feature, the helix bridge represents human DNA. Lit up at night, it's makes for a modern day piece of modern art.
Theatre - Nightly shows literally light up the sky. From modern shows, to musicals and classics. Catching one of these shows is an experience.
Sentosa: Singapore's version of Disneyland on an island
An island with beaches, a casino and Universal Studios rides, it's a very different type of resort to visit. Very much made A case of either you will love it with the family, or run from it like a nightmare.
Western Singapore: Rarely visited, this region has some surprises.
From Japanese gardens, to nature reserves, Western Singapore has a wealth of ecological treats to enjoy. The problem is, getting there. The rail will not take you directly to anywhere, and the bus is a maze to follow efficiently. A taxi or car seem to be the only way to get around. A shame, but then, maybe it's built this way for a reason.
By Air: Singapore is accessible by many international carriers. And, many regional low cost airlines.
By Sea: a ferry operates to from Singapore to Malaysia from the Harbour Front Ferry Terminal located next to the Harbour Front MRT station. Regular services depart to Tanjung Belungkor in Malaysia. There is another crossing at Changi Point Ferry Terminal for Pengerang which is less frequented, and does not offer a fixed schedule.
By Land: Singapore is easily crossed by car, or bus. Many bus services offer routes directly from Singapore city to Kuala Lumpur (5 hours) Malacca (4 hours).
There is also a pleasant train route which now arrives and departs from Woodlands just outside of Singapore City. Check out my article on the full details, prices and time table of the train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.
|Try my custom flight search for the lowest priced flights to and from Singapore!
A rich country, Singapore has some of the cheapest eats - more in the food section.
Coffee Shops - More than just serving coffee, Singaporean coffee store offer great food in an traditional way. Kopi is a popular drink in Singapore, and passing a few hours in Kopi Shop is not a bad afternoon.
Hawker Stalls - It's not street food, it's hawker food! Actually for those not acquainted with Singaporean food, this is a collection of indoor stalls serving up great food. It's where most people eat in Singapore. The food is great, very cheap compared to tourist restaurants, and a great place to meet people.
I was expecting cold corporate type people here when I arrived. And, to a certain extent many people here are corporate workers. But, contrary to other "big cities" I found Singaporean's to be very friendly. Once you talk to them!
I never had a problem getting directions, nor starting up conversations in Singapore. But you could also go a day without anyone talking to you either!
The key to conversation in Singapore is to make the first move, say hello, or better yet ask about the food you are trying.
Beneath the service I found Singaporean's to be good conversationalists, and not afraid to speak out about their views. So long as they are amongst trusted friends.
Many people Singapore speak English. It's not hard to get around and all the signs are in English too.
Do not bring drugs into Singapore, there penalties are very harsh and serious.
You can bring chewing gum into Singapore, but only for personal use, and don't spit it out!
Do try to eat in the hawker stalls, they are very good.
Where I stayed
Singapore - I found accommodation here expensive. A private room is costly, and the standard at a budget level is quite low. I would prefer a hostel dorm than a budget private hotel room. Mid range was again expensive but, you do get more for what you pay for.
- Pillows & Toast Very clean, friendly and conveniently located hostel that also has private rooms. WIFI free. 40 Mosque Street, Singapore 059518
- Travellers Inn Run by the lovely Jenny & Daniel it's very secure, clean, quiet, and right opposite a great hawker stall. WIFI free. 127 Tyrwhitt Road Singapore
Tel: +65 62912382
Try my custom search for the lowest priced hotels in Singapore!
Prefer local accommodation? Try Airbnb (get up to USD $40 discount)
I am also slightly conflicted on Singaporean society. On the one hand it runs very smoothly and corruption is dealt with harshly. On the other hand there's a very big brother type feeling about the place. You can read more on my article about Singaporean society.
How much is a daily budget for traveling Singapore?
Dorm beds start at USD$25. Private with en suite start at around $40.
A local meal can be as little as $2.50. $8 for western.
Public transport is about $.50 for a single bus ride. $40-$45 will get you through the day. The above is based on a low budget, you can spend a lot more per day depending on your needs.
How to save money in Singapore?
EZ-link cards: These cards give you a 15% discount on all MRT and bus routes. Available at 7-11 stores and select MRT stations.
Tourist card: Available fort S$8 these cards give you a day of free access on MRT and buses around Singapore. Personally, I'd go for an EZ-link card.
Train: Going to Singapore from Malaysia? Buy your return ticket in Malaysia, it's a lot cheap. More information on my article Singapore to Malaysia by train.
Bargain: Room bargaining doesn't really work here, though off peak might. It does for long stays. In markets and electronic stores, it's bargain all the way!
Eating: Food is cheap in Singapore, make the most of it.
What are the Banks/ATM's like in Singapore?
Singapore is full of ATM's and banks. You should have no problems here.
Is Singapore dangerous to travel alone?
Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world. Like any big city there will be a bad element. But, in general, crime is very low here.
Surviving the humidity in Singapore!
Singapore is humid all year round. If you are not used to humidity, then be prepared and don't rush too much. Carry water with you, and make use of the multiple shopping malls for a quite blast of air conditioning to cool you down!
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