Let’s hop on a plane and visit one of the safest cities in the world, Singapore!
Singapore is the smallest country in Asia, almost just as big as Philippines’ capital. Going for a trip to the place would only spare you 3 to 4 days. A lot of people would say that status of living is a bit high in the country, but hey, they offer the best services anyway so it’s still worth it. But it doesn’t always mean that you can’t visit Singapore on a budget, because we did!
Instead of searching for pricey hotels, Singapore City offers a number of guest houses and hostels that are a lot cheaper. Remember, it’s about accessibility, comfort and safety, and not about the name.
5Footway Inn is Bugis district offers a cheap and accessible convenience. It is a 20-30 minutes drive to the airport, 5 minutes walk to Nicoll Highway train station and 10 minutes walk to the Bugis Shopping district.
The rooms are fully air conditioned, there are reservations for private or shared bathrooms, and they offer breakfast for all the guest. From $40 per night per room, you’ll have all of these in an instant.
Not feeling on staying on Bugis? 5Footway Inn has other branches in Chinatown, Ann Siang and Boat Quay.
Trains are your best friend on Singapore. They have a re-loadable MRT card that you can use for your whole stay and it would literally bring you anywhere.
Since we stayed on Bugis, Nicoll Highway station is our main point and from here, we roamed a number of Singapore’s famous spots for three days.
Sentosa Island is probably one of the most famous spots in Singapore. You cannot not be here when you visit the country.It offers a number of attractions including Universal Studios Singapore,
Singapore Night Safari Zoo and Underwater World.
Getting to Sentosa via the cable car would give you an awesome aerial overview of the place. Harbour Front MRT is the closest stop to be able to access the Cable Car. When buying tickets, make sure to ask the cashier if they have promos for the day. We got tickets for unlimited Cable car ride, Universal Studios all-in pass and Underwater World ticket only for the price of two attractions so we get to save more. Don’t worry, everyone is friendly and speaks English.
When you reach Sentosa Island, they offer free bus rides to destinations like Resorts World, USS and Underwater World. Check in with friendly staffs which bus would pass by the nearest bus stop and make sure to hop on to your intended place.
Underwater World stands at the opposite side of Universal Studios. It is an indoor aquarium that offers a great deal of marine animals and shows for the young and old alike.
You could go around the place for half a day before you hit out for lunch. They offer various underwater shows that would run from 5 to 10 minutes. You can also drop by their souvenir shop after.
For lunch, you can always drop by he Malaysian Food Street just at the side of Universal Studios in Resorts World.
Singapore is quite famous for a number of food areas that would satisfy any cravings you have. For our first lunch in SG, we tried Malaysian food. Satay sticks could be bought for $5 to $10 per stick. They could be matched with hot steamed rice and fish soup.
When you’re full and ready for your next adventure, so straight to Universal Studios and have fun!
If you have been to Universal Studious Hollywood, Universal Studios Singapore or USS is not far different from it. You’ll see familiar rides like Transformers and The Mummy. You’ll see Bumblebee walking around the park and Shrek and Fiona chasing for your camera lenses. Though smaller, it is no less fun than any other Universal Park. One thing missing though, Wizarding World! 🙂
An afternoon would be enough to roam the place and try on the rides. Remember, it’s always safe to visit USS during weekdays just like any other theme parks.
Go have fun, roam the Park for the rest of the day. Try on their snacks and just, enjoy! It’s nice to be a kid again once in a while.
For our second day, we decided to go on mall-hopping. Singapore has a number of shopping malls around the city. You could always go to high-end shopping areas like IKEA and Orchard Road but you could always go around places like Chinatown and Bugis Street.
IKEA in Alexandra is one of the famous shopping areas. We took the taxi going he4re and it cost us around $7 to $8 for a 25 minute drive. Don’t worry, your MRT cards could still be used for taxi fare payments.
If you’re on for some home shopping, this is the perfect place for you. From canisters, to pillows to kitchen knives and beds and curtains, all your home-decorating needs is available in the store.
But if you’re just on for their famous food menus, you’re also free to go! Remember to just watch out for the queuing here, their lines are loooong!
Chinatown is reachable via train, it would always be easy to spot since the station is labelled as, well, Chinatown.
Here, you’ll find a number of street bazaars and food stalls. You’ll also find a number of temples around the place. Just a quick tip, avoid the place during noon if you don’t wanna get sunburned. Visiting this place, just like any other Chinatown you’ve been to, though, is worth it, especially if you wanna buy cheap but pretty souvenirs for your folks back home.
Lau Pa Sat is a 9-minute car ride from Bugis and this food area would offer you one of the best Soy Chicken Rice you’ll ever taste.
There are a number of stores in the food court so you could always choose from Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, Western, Filipino, Chinese and even Japanese food. A meal set would cost around $25 to $35 dollars consisting of rice, chicken, vegetables and soup. Fresh mango shake or sugar cane are perfect partners for this meal.
At night, go around Orchard Road and check out some of the malls in the area. There are more than 10 shopping malls that you could choose from in this place.
For our last day, we decided to shop at the nearest district on our hostel, Bugis Street. This is like Chinatown but with mixed bazaars and malls around.
There are cheap hauls on street vendors and also branded materials on malls nearby.
You could buy native Malaysian and Indonesian goodies and Singaporean chocolates and trinkets in here. I prefer Bugis street for the usual shopping because they have a huge variety. You could spend your early morning shop here until lunch.
In the afternoon, we rode the MRT going to Marina Bay to have the finale of our tour.
The Marina Bay Sands is connected to the MRT station and would directly lead you to the mall. High-end shops are present in Marina Bay. Outside, you could have a view of the harbour.
Sunsets in Singapore happen at 7.30pm to 8pm so if you’re waiting for that awesome sunset view up the Marina Bay Sands Observatory, you can cross the Helix bridge at the end of the harbour and visit the Singapore flyer. The Singapore Flyer is he country’s version of the Millennium Wheel of London and it offers a great view of the city in the morning and at night.
Unfortunately, during our visit, the Flyer was not running so we decided to grab a snack at the Singapore Flyer Food Trail just below the wheel. The hawkers at the food trail were super yummy and they have variations of seafood skewers.
Here, you can also have the ice cream sandwiched on wafers.
Walk around the harbour when you still have time. But if you’re ready for it, climb up the Marina Bay Sands hotel and get an awesome view of the country in their Observation Deck. Entrance fee costs around $16 and could be bought at the Sky Park lobby in the Hotel.
Here are some of my favourite shots from the view deck:
You can always stay in the view deck as long as you would want. There are no chairs around but you can always sit on the deck, as if you’re sitting on a boat. Well, literally, you’re on a boat, atop three buildings.
The Marina bay Sands hotel has a light show that occurs every night at 8pm and 8.30pm. You may want to catch this on the other side of the bay and visit the most famous Merlion of Singapore.
Since we had a whole day, we decided to take a taxi going to the Merlion Statue. It would only cost around $3 to $4 from Marina Bay Sands to Merlion Statue park.
I would suggest watching the light show after you have gotten to the Observatory deck. You’ll have that “Hey, I was up there” feeling when the show starts.
After the show, and after visiting Merlion, we had our final dinner in Singapore at Makansutra Gluttons Bay. The place is another 9-minute walk from One Fullerton so if you feel like it and you want to enjoy the night lights of the bay, just follow that path at the side of the Merlion Park and you’ll reach Raffles.
Makansutra is an outdoor food market that offers various sea food specialties including the infamous chili crabs of Singapore. It opens at 5pm and closes at 2am so you have all the time to try the food.
Despite the tropical climate, Singapore is one country you shouldn’t miss. It probably has more immigrants than locals but it doesn’t mean that the country isn’t unique. In fact, it is too diverse, you could have a lot of stuff done and food eaten.
If you’re looking for a warm climate but a perfect urban adventure, then this place is just right for you.
Trust me, you’ll never get lost in Singapore.Till next time! 🙂
Note: Prices mentioned are converted in US Dollars.