If I were asked which is the most expensive Southeast Asian country, my immediate and only answer would be SINGAPORE! Unsurprisingly, different economic surveys and what have you will back that up as well. It is definitely ON TOP OF THE LIST of the cities you should probably stay away from if you hate spending a lot—unless you have the budget hacks.
It would cost you an arm and a leg to live in the world’s leading economic center in shipping and banking. This is why I strongly recommend that you do not set up permanent residence here (add the fact that the government enforces very strict rules before approving a resident visa) and instead, stay for a couple of days to get a taste of a first world lovin’!
One thing I am really glad about my recent trip to Singapore is that I got my my flight and accommodation for free! Nothing but VIP treatment, all thanks to Epson Philippines! I joined their #TakeMeToSG photo contest which then led me to this amazing trip which I happily shared with my sister! We still had to pay for our own personal expenses, so I was very careful in planning the trip ‘coz I didn’t want to spend too much. In everything that I do, I’d always prefer to spend less so I can travel more and you definitely should too! If you’re a novice traveler to Singapore, here are a few travel tips I hope you’d find helpful:
- BOOK IN ADVANCE. And if you do, try to book via Jetstar. No, this isn’t a paid advertisement. I did get my flight for free but every time I check for flights to Singapore, Jetstar offers the cheapest deals at 3,500php for a two-way ticket. If you are the persistent type, you can always wait for Cebu Pacific’s piso sale which would pretty much get you the same deal.
- BOOK YOUR ACCOMODATION VIA AGODA. This is my go-to site for accommodations! Their site lets you filter searches from the cheapest to the most expensive accommodation, ranging from hostels to hotels. You may want to stay in Chinatown, Little India, or Bugis area since these places offer cheap hostel accommodation for as low as 500php per night. Orchard road, Marina Bay, and Sentosa Island, on the other hand, are the homes of mid-range and luxury hotels and they are liveliest at night.
- BUY A LOCAL SIMCARD FOR INTERNET CONNECTION. A regular simcard with a 10gig data plan for 5 days is priced at around SGD15-18. I bought mine in the airport since I needed internet connection to get around the city as soon as I landed.
- EXCHANGE CURRENCY IN PH AIRPORT. There are several banks in NAIA that offer better exchange rates than those stalls in Changi Airport. Hey, you can save more if you go for the better rate!
- USE GOTHERE.SG TO GET AROUND QUICKLY AND CONVENIENTLY. I swear this website complete saved my ass. Just go to safari or your default phone web browser and type in gothere.sg. The site basically offers suggestions on how to get to a particular place from your current location. You can choose to take the bus, train, or taxi. It also takes into account the transportation fare, travel time, bus/train number, and map directions. SUCH A LIFESAVER!
- NEVER TAKE THE TAXI. That is, unless you are the “money is paper only” type. Otherwise is a total rip off! Always take the train or the bus. Either of them are cheap and are very convenient. You can purchase a one-time ticket or a train/bus card in all train stations. I highly recommend you get the CARD since you’ll be using it for the entire duration of your stay.
- EAT CHEAP. The best meals are not necessarily found in restaurants only. More often than not, they are out there on the streets! Fill yourselves up for SGD3-10 in Smith Street, Lau Pa Sat, Chinatowns’ Maxwell Hawker Center, and Tekka Center in Little India!
RECOMMENDED PLACES TO VISIT:
- MERLION PARK
Who would want to miss an opportunity to take a photo from the very iconic Merlion statue? It has been a long-standing tradition to commemorate one’s visit to Singapore! Haha! And yes, you don’t need to spend a dime to stroll around this. Enjoy the amazing view of the Singapore Skyline, Marina Bay Sands, and the Esplanade.
- MARINA BAY
Have a taste of Singapore’s incredible urbanscape by taking a free walking tour around Marina Bay. Visit the Helix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, Esplanade, and Marina Bay Sands. If you wish to get a bird’s eyeview of the city, you can avail of their day rates at SGD23. Being the cheapskate that I am, I decided to just spend my money on food haha!
- ART SCIENCE MUSEUM
Even if you are not a fan of art, you will still love it here! The Future World: Where Art Meets Science is one of the new exhibitions at ArtScience Museum featuring a 1500-square meter digital universe with amazing and interactive installations which are all worth the penny and definitely Instagram-worthy. Most of the installations respond to your behavior and they change into a various creative and entertaining ways.
- GARDENS BY THE BAY
While Singapore may look just all buildings and structures, this area will definitely give you a balance of nature and city! Prepare to be amazed by the 25 towering man-made supertrees which look extremely beautiful even at night.
- SENTOSA ISLAND
COST: SGD4 (for Sentosa Express monorail)
You can always walk but SGD4 is already a great deal for a train that would take you back and forth in the different main attractions in Sentosa Island. Below are the different stations and the attractions in it:
A. SENTOSA STATION
The main station where you can find Vivo City—a shopping mall which houses different local and international stores, food choices, and entertainment hubs.
B. WATERFRONT STATION
Monorail’s first stop which offers nothing but extreme fun for both adults and kids! Here you’ll find Resorts World Singapore—the home to different shops, casino, hotels, restaurants, and Trick Eye Museum!
Universal Studios Singapore – park operating hours: 9am-7pm, tickets at SGD74 for adults and SGD56 for kids. You may book online here.
Adventure Cove Waterpark – ticket price at SGD36 for adults and SGD28 for kids. Book online here!
SEA Aquarium – tickets at SGD34 for adults and SGD24 for kids. Book online here.
C. IMBIAH STATION
Who would have thought that there’s a giant version of the Merlion in this particular side of Sentosa! Things are bound to for even more excitement from different attractions including the Sentosa Luge and Skyride, Tiger Sky Tower, Butterfly Park and Singapore Cable Car.
D. BEACH STATION
Finally, beach at last! I am practically a beach (bitch would do as well though, JK! Haha) person and so you can just imagine how my face lit up when I arrived here. There are three beaches for you to laze around, namely the famous Siloso, Palawan, and Tanjong Beaches. The Siloso beach area is the busiest and it is where parties usually happen. It also where the sea sports, shops, cafes, and pubs are.
- LAU PA SAT
COST: starts at SGD3
Also known as the Telok Ayer Market and probably one of my favorite places for being the loveliest food court in Singapore filled with scrumptious local and international cuisines! Not only can you dine here but you can also enjoy some street style night life!
- ORCHARD ROAD
COST: UP TO YOU
Lo and behold, Singapore’s famous shopping street which extends up to 2.2km! Both my feet and my eyes grew tired from window shopping in this side of the country! Orchard road is flanked by different shopping malls, fancy hotels and restaurants, designer stores, ethnic wares, bars, art galleries, and other entertainment hubs that you should experience for yourself! Then probably ask afterwards how those people around you can just buy a Rolex in a whim while you try to massage your feet from extreme walking coz nothing can seem to fit your budget!
- ARAB STREET AND HAJI LANE
COST: UP TO YOU VERSION 2.0
“The hipster neighborhood” would be the best to describe these streets! Indulge in endless wall art pictorials, novelty and boutique shopping, and quirky café hopping/food tripping! These streets are the great recipe for your #instagramfeedgoals!
- BUGIS MARKET
COST: NOT AS MUCH AS WHAT YOU’LL SPEND IN ORCHARD ROAD
Yes sir! All the cheap finds from clothes, shoes, accessories, food, and souvenirs!
The formula for traveling more is simple… SPEND LESS! I gave it all out. Now go and explore Singapore!
love, light, and glittering ganernderlust,