Travelling in Singapore
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: vivalegreece-ga
List Price: $162.10
21 Oct 2006 06:44 PDT
Expires: 20 Nov 2006 05:44 PST
Question ID: 775574
I?m an American citizen, and I will be visiting Southeast Asia in this upcoming winter holidays. My questions are as follow: I will be stopping over at Singapore for 3 days as part of my flight itenary. I?d like to know whats the most cost-effective way of staying, getting around and visiting places of interest in Singapore in these 3 short days. Here?s the important bit: I?m on a shoestring budget so I?d also like to know if there are any cost-effective but reliable (trustworthy) means of staying in/near the city? (i.e. dependable backpackers? Cheap hotels?) How about getting around the city? Not too sure if this helps though but I will be traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Singapore (haven?t yet decided if I should travel there by air, rail or bus). Is there anything particular I should be aware of? Pretty much everything a traveler needs to know to make his 3-day holiday in the city a smooth and pleasant experience! I would prefer to have this question answered by someone who actually had a first hand experience of the city, but I?m not too picky about it! Thanks!
Re: Travelling in Singapore
Answered By: keystroke-ga on 21 Oct 2006 10:41 PDT
Hello vivalegreece, Thank you for your very interestng question. Best wishes on your upcoming travels! Singapore is fairly expensive compared to its surrounding coutries, but I've provided options for budget accommodations and recommendations for things to see, many of which aren't that expensive. As far as possible itineraries, here is an article on ways to spend three days in Singapore from WikiTravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Three_days_in_Singapore Remember that many things that are considered "normal" in other countries are strictly banned in Singapore and other things which result in relatively short prison sentences can mean the death penalty. Keep these warnings in mind: http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore#Stay_safe Don't think about trying to take any type of drugs in with this case in mind: "Australian executed in Singapore" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4487366.stm "According to Amnesty International, about 420 people have been hanged in Singapore since 1991, mostly for drugs offences." I'm not trying to put a damper on your holiday with those warnings, but it is something you should be aware of when traveling there. Now on to the more fun stuff. Where to stay: Here's a Google Groups thread on the issue: "Where to Stay in Singapore" http://groups.google.com/group/rec.travel.asia/browse_frm/thread/83db95f1e2f57125/aca3c1bab061c063?lnk=gst&q=singapore&rnum=5#aca3c1bab061c063 "Singapore: Cheap places to stay?" http://groups.google.com/group/rec.travel.asia/browse_frm/thread/b51859fe60aecb65/906246d154b35619?lnk=gst&q=singapore&rnum=9#906246d154b35619 The YMCA is a good place and in a good location: http://www.ymca.org.sg/ International House: http://www.ymcaih.com.sg/ Lee Travelers Club on Beach Road: http://www.blurrytravel.com/sea2003/journal/2000/sing03/sing03.html http://www.itisnet.com/english/e-hot/n-hot-chris.htm Inncrowd Hostel: http://www.the-inncrowd.com/ The city's best cluster of inexpensive hotels can be found in Bugis, Little India and Geylang. Bugis-- http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore/Bugis Geylang-- Budget accomodations will be easier to find on the East Coast of Singapore, which is not as touristy (but has some great food and great beaches!) http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore/East_Coast Geylang has a reproduction of a Malay village, beaches and great food. It's farther away, though, and since you'll be spending time in Malaysia, anyway, I'd stay in Balastier instead and see more of the city. Little India-- http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore/Little_India Getting around the city-- The best way is to walk. Singapore is relatively compact and pedestrian-friendly. Some of the best strolls are on the riverside or through Chinatown or Little India. http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore#On_foot There is also a bus system and a subway system. The subway is called the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). Both the bus and subway are affordable. The buses are operated by SBS Transit and the SMRT Corporation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SBS_Transit SBS also operates light rail services in additon to bus lines. http://www.sbstransit.com.sg/ SMRT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMRT_Corporation http://www.smrt.com.sg/indexn.html Things to do: Don't click on the pictures if you don't want a spoiler of what everything looks like! I've provided many options because I'm not sure of your exact interests. Here are the city's tourism sites: Uniquely Singapore http://www.visitsingapore.com/publish/stbportal/en/index.html Here is an overview of the city from WikiTravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore "Located a mere 1.5 degrees north of the Equator, the weather is usually sunny with no distinct seasons. However, most rainfall occurs during the northeast monsoon (November to January). Showers are usually sudden and heavy but also brief and refreshing, although humidity is uncomfortably high at this time of year." Tourism in Singapore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Singapore The Merlion statue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlion -- There are actually five Merlion statues sprinkled about, two in Merlion Park, the main one in front of the Fullerton Hotel, one at Mount Faber, and one on Tourism Court at Orchard Spring Lane. The Esplanade Bridge-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esplanade_Bridge Esplanade-- Theatres on the Bay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esplanade_-_Theatres_on_the_Bay Shenton Way-- great place to see skyscrapers if you're into that type of thing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenton_Way Raffles Place-- financial district http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raffles_Place Singapore River-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_River http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore/Riverside River Cruises: http://www.rivercruise.com.sg/home.htm Fullerton Hotel-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_Singapore Orchard Road district-- If you're into shopping, this could be a good diversion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchard_Road Orchard Road travel guide from WikiTravel http://wikitravel.org/en/Orchard_Road Botanic Gardens-- There is no admission fee! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Botanic_Gardens http://www.visitsingapore.com/publish/stbportal/en/home/what_to_see/parks___nature_reserves/singapore_botanic.html President of Singapore's residence, the Istana http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istana_Singapore "On the first Sunday of the month, there is a Changing of the Guards parade, which is a popular public event." Malay Heritage Centre-- to celebrate the culture of Malay Singaporeans http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_Heritage_Centre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istana_Kampong_Glam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_Heritage_Centre Bugis and Kampong Glam-- These are interesting neighborhoods to walk around with temples and other interesting sights. http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore/Bugis Sentosa island http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore/Sentosa Singapore Zoo-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Zoo To and From Malaysia-- The two countries are linked by a bridge and a railway line operated by KTMB of Malaysia KTMB: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keretapi_Tanah_Melayu_Berhad http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore#By_train There is one sleeper train per day. One pricing peculiarity to note is that the ticket is charged in Singapore dollars if you buy it in Singapore, and in Malaysian ringgit (which is much less than a Singapore dollar) in Malaysia, at the same rate. Therefore, a ticket from Malaysia will cost 10 ringgit and the same ticket from Singapore will be 10 Singapore dollars. This is quite a difference. According to the above Wikitravel page, you can avoid this by booking your tickets as starting in Malaysia, Malaysia-Singapore-Malaysia, and then using them backwards, or by booking the least expensive ticket you can in Singapore, then debarking in Malaysia and booking a ticket to your intended destination. There are also many bus lines which can be seen in detail here: http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore#By_bus "In general, the more you pay, the faster your trip. More expensive buses leave on time, use the Second Link, and don't stop along the way; while the cheapest buses leave late if at all, use the perpetually jammed Causeway and make more stops. Book early for popular departure times like Friday and Sunday evening, Chinese New Year, etc, and factor in some extra time for congestion at the border." Tips for getting to and from Malaysia can be seen in this rec.travel.asia thread from Google Groups: "Singapore to Malaysia and back" http://groups.google.com/group/rec.travel.asia/browse_frm/thread/e7da21bb0cb92f44/e81e83a7628c8ed8?lnk=gst&q=singapore&rnum=1#e81e83a7628c8ed8 "Trip Report - Singapore / Malaysia" http://groups.google.com/group/rec.travel.air/browse_frm/thread/a172741f07c87582/821c4f742b7835e5?lnk=gst&q=singapore&rnum=10#821c4f742b7835e5 Sources: Wikipedia entry-- Transport in Singapore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_Singapore rec.travel.asia "What to do in Singapore for a month?" http://groups.google.com/group/rec.travel.asia/browse_frm/thread/ae5843de26e4ac26/1a869f81e5b9e1f0?lnk=st&q=singapore&rnum=9&hl=en#1a869f81e5b9e1f0 Search terms: singapore (on Google Groups and in rec.travel.asia) mrt wikipedia australian singapore hanging ymca singapore lee travelers club beach road singapore If you need any additional clarification, let me know and I'll be happy to assist you. --keystroke-ga
Re: Travelling in Singapore
From: theboufin-ga on 23 Oct 2006 01:20 PDT
If I where you i would book an online hotel but make sure you find out the location of the hotel because our friends booked one in a red light district. Also the sites to see are the Sentsa island and the zoo and the night zoo.
Re: Travelling in Singapore
From: frde-ga on 23 Oct 2006 02:30 PDT
Singapore is not very big. The MRT (Mass Rail Transport) or underground railway is great for getting around. The first thing I would get is a decent street map and plan around the MRT. It is best get a SVT (stored value ticket). The Botanic Gardens are IMHO really great, the port is fascinating and there is a funny little museum devoted to historic Singaporese culture (of which there is very little). Out by Changi airport there is a place called East Coast, which has loads of really good and inexpensive sea food restaurants. The locals drool over it. If it is your first time in the Far East, then be prepared for a surprize, Singapore is very, very modern. I've not been there since 1993, my first visit was in 1987 - and in that period I saw them 'clean up' a heck of a lot of the place. The Bum boats (a quaint aquatic slum) got cleaned up and ramshackle buildings were replaced with sky scrapers. I don't know whether they are still there, but they used to have rickshaw drivers outside Raffles Hotel. Riding around in a rickshaw is not that interesting to me, but the driver showed me a lot of interesting areas that I would not have found on my own (Hindu temple, Gold market etc). He also offered me illicit substances and every form of vice - and was a real pest when it came to payment. Having said that it was a good way of spending an early evening. One of the things I would really like to do is to take the train from Singapore to KL (which I also visited on business). Incidentally, if you get a chance, then try Durian, it stinks like cat p/ss, but after the first taste, which is extraordinary, the smell is a real lure. It looks like a giant unpeeled chessnut - the locals go crazy over it. My favourite restaurant is at KL's airport, Subang Jaya, some way from KL. It is a huge, hectic, Chinese restaurant with a thatched roof and water sprayed on it for cooling. Normally stop overs in Singapore come with accommodation, the airlines get cheap rates, the hotels I stayed in and visited were not very interesting. Another thing to remember is that it is hot, very, very, hot and humid. In the business district the locals get around through subways and tend to try to stick to air conditioning. I thought that Keystroke-ga's answer was rather interesting, there were some good tips in there, the rail one was neat, I would stop off for a night in Johore to see what it is like (there should be quite a contrast). When it comes to accommodation I would check out whether you can get hotels included. I don't fancy sleeping in a dorm, and while I always turn the aircon down, sleeping without it would require some heavy medication. Take a small bottle of antiseptic mouthwash (I use Listerine) and gargle like crazy if you get a hint of a sore throat. There is something about air travel and the Far East that gets me - best to be prepared. Avoid synthetic clothing, it is not pleasant when you sweat, also be careful of the local beer, it is very strong and hits you like a hammer when dehydrated. Also check out whether salt tastes delicious, if so use it plentifully, dehydration and salt deficiency are not pleasant. Enjoy your trip.
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