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Q: Travelling in Singapore ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Travelling in Singapore
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: vivalegreece-ga
List Price: $162.10
Posted: 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!
Subject: 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: 

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:

Don't think about trying to take any type of drugs in with this case in mind:

"Australian executed in Singapore"

"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"

"Singapore: Cheap places to stay?"

The YMCA is a good place and in a good location:
International House:

Lee Travelers Club on Beach Road:

Inncrowd Hostel:

The city's best cluster of inexpensive hotels can be found in Bugis,
Little India and 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

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

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.  

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.
SBS also operates light rail services in additon to bus lines.


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

Here is an overview of the city from WikiTravel:

"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:

The Merlion statue.
  -- 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--

Esplanade-- Theatres on the Bay

Shenton Way--
great place to see skyscrapers if you're into that type of thing

Raffles Place-- financial district

Singapore River--
River Cruises:

Fullerton Hotel--

Orchard Road district--
If you're into shopping, this could be a good diversion.

Orchard Road travel guide from WikiTravel

Botanic Gardens--
There is no admission fee!

President of Singapore's residence, the Istana

"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

Bugis and Kampong Glam--
These are interesting neighborhoods to walk around with temples and
other interesting sights.

Sentosa island

Singapore Zoo--

To and From Malaysia--

The two countries are linked by a bridge and a railway line operated
by KTMB of Malaysia


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:

"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

Tips for getting to and from Malaysia can be seen in this thread from Google Groups:

"Singapore to Malaysia and back"

"Trip Report - Singapore / Malaysia"


Wikipedia entry-- Transport in Singapore
"What to do in Singapore for a month?"

Search terms:
singapore (on Google Groups and in
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.


Request for Answer Clarification by vivalegreece-ga on 22 Oct 2006 07:31 PDT
I *must* say I?m extremely disappointed with the answer. It seems to
me that the answer has been composed in such a hurry and does not
justify the $160 price tag. I have in fact done some homework myself
and I could have just answered these questions myself without having
to pay such exorbitant price for such simple answer.

I was actually looking a more comprehensive answer, especially for a
first-time traveler to a foreign country. As previously mentioned I?d
rather have an answer from someone who had actually had a first hand
experience of the city, and hence the premium price.

I have checked out the links but I could only find a couple of
reliable budget accommodations, when I clearly wanted more than that
as to further evaluate my options! I would appreciate if more
information could be provided, especially for a first-time traveler
like me to Singapore. Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by keystroke-ga on 22 Oct 2006 13:31 PDT
Hello vivalegreece,

I'm very sorry that you're disappointed in my answer. If it seems
rushed, that is a misleading appearance because it was not a rushed
answer. I highlighted all the things to do and neighborhoods that I
could find and linked to articles on them.  I told you how to get
around, how to get to Malaysia, the weather, and what to do in a
three-day itinerary, which are all things that I thought you had asked
in your question.  If that's not the type of answer you desire and you
wish to have more of an "insider's perspective" then I'll ask the
editors to remove my answer and let another researcher have a try.
However, without resorting to that, I'm perfectly willing to do myself
what it takes for you to be satisfied with the answer. I know quite a
bit about Singapore after reading all those links and I imagined that
you would as well.

When you say "information for a first-time traveler in Singapore,"
that leads me to believe that you would like information on what to
see and do, and I believe I did provide that. If you would like
information on something else, please let me know what it is that you
exactly wish to know.  How many choices of lodgings would you like to
have? I'll warn in advance, there aren't that many inexpensive places
to stay in Singapore (it's an expensive city) and I believe I already
listed the best and highest-recommended options. I'm willing to look
again, however. (This all depends on how you look at it, however-- for
an American, inexpensive has a different meaning. The most expensive
hotels are about $200 USD which is what a moderately nice hotel in a
city in America would cost.)

So just let me know what specifics you'd like to know more about, what
you're interested in, or what you'd like to know about more in depth,
and we'll go from there.

Subject: 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.
Subject: 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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your trip.

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