#ISSAGOesPlaces: 7 Travel Tips When In Singapore
It's been a month since my week-long trip to Singapore and yes, I'm feeling a bit sad about it. There's something about traveling to different countries that makes you feel like you're home (ironic, isn't it?).
However, it's quite expensive, especially in a place like Singapore! Don't get me wrong, I am in love with Singapore, commending their organized public transportation and friendly locals. But once you do the math, the prices leave you a bit flabbergasted. Either that or PH is just really cheap! :P
Anyway, I've been receiving a lot of messages from friends on how my trip was and what tips I can give. So I compiled seven essential travel tips that have been on my mind!
1. Purchase a sim
It's going to take you back SG$15, but I can say that it was worth it. I only purchased one for my sister and I since we needed the Internet most. The sim we bought included 100GB worth of data (!) with 100 minutes of local calls, 100 local texts, and 20 minutes of international calls! Pretty sulit and extremely helpful. I can't tell you how many times we had to use Google Maps or search for our next destinations while we were out.
You can purchase it from the airport or any 7/11. Don't purchase it from other stalls, which ask for over SG$30 for one sim! Or if you're just after the Internet, there are a ton of good companies that offer wifi devices for rent (not sure about the prices, though!). Believe me, you're going to need the Internet. Especially if you love posting IG stories like me. (FOLLOW ME!)
2. Hawker Centers Are Life
Maxwell Food Center: Home of delicious Hainanese-style chicken and kaya toast!
While I love the high-life and eat in extravagant places, nothing beats the hawker centers in Singapore. Not only are they affordable, but you get a taste of all cuisines in such huge portions!
From Newton Circus: Kuay Teow (apparently the small size but good for two) costs only SG$3!
Costing only between SG$3 to SG$8, you get a huge plate. Believe me when I say it's huge, good for one ravenous person or two hungry people (aka Inna and I!).
From Albert Hawker Center: Their chicken curry and biryani rice (with vegetables) is HUGE and only cost SG$5! I warn you, it's SPICY!
While you can head on to Lau Pa Sat or Newton Circus for your share of delicious food, I also urge you to explore! Inna and I discovered Albert Hawker Center near Bugis Street, which was filled with good Indian food. SG$10-15 a day can get you a ton of food if you choose right! Instead of fast food, explore. ;)
P.S. You can find ice cream stalls around Singapore (well, I know Orchard and Clark Quay) that sell ice cream sandwiches. They're only SG$1.20 and a yummy refresher during a hot day of walking!
You have to try Hainanese-style chicken, kaya toast, stingray, kuay teow, carrot cake, and a TON more. You'll never run out of ideas on what to eat. It can actually be quite overwhelming, so ready your stomach!
Couldn't finish this with my sister and it cost only less than SG$15 for all this!
3. Where to Buy Souvenirs?
Of course, one of the best places you can buy your souvenirs would be from Lucky Plaza, which is filled with a ton of affordable bags, shirts, keychains, you name it! But it's the chocolates that amazed me, coming at such affordable prices. It was difficult not getting packs of ten Toblerones for myself, really.
I also recommend stalls in Bugis Street and Chinatown for souvenirs and shopping. Don't settle for just one stall, though! You might find that other stalls sell the similar items at lower prices.
4. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS LIFE
I've lived in Metro Manila my whole life (which is something that surprises EVERYONE I meet, weirdly!). So yes, I know the struggle of commuting, having done it quite a few times back when I was in PUP San Juan or going to BGC. One time, I braced the rush hour to go from Ayala to North Avenue. Never again. I salute all of you for doing so!
However, in Singapore, you have almost NO problem with commuting. In fact, I was always excited to take the bus or MRT. Rarely did we take Grab/Uber, everything was so accessible and organized. My friends know this because I was gushing the whole time I was in Singapore.
ANYWAY, enough about the wonders of commuting (sorry, naaliw ako). To be a successful commuter, you need to bring change. A lot of it. Mind you, they do not give change when you're in the bus, and it's more convenient giving out the exact change when purchasing tickets in the MRT. Coins are life, so keep a coin purse with you!
If you don't want to bear with the heaviness of coins (like me, who already deals with a heavy heart char), you can also opt to purchase the Singapore Tourist Pass (SG$20 for three days, unlimited LRT/MRT/bus rides) or get an EZ-Link card (similar to Beep cards, costing SG$10 with $5 store value).
I also suggest that you install SG-based commuting apps, which don't only show you how to commute to specific destinations but also show the train/bus schedules. VERY helpful and always on time, which I love (I gotta stop gushing!). MyTransport SG and CityMapper are amazing apps to check out.
5. BRING WATER
That wasn't a photo of water, LOL. But I cannot exaggerate this enough: BRING YOUR OWN WATER JUG. You will be saving SG$1-3 doing so. It's hot, you're walking, and if you're anything like me, you will feel that inevitable quench.
Also, there are some restaurants that charge SG$1 for a glass of tap water (no name-dropping!), so it's really best to save that money you can use for other things, like a huge cup of soursop juice (I lived on this since I am in love with guyabano) or lime juice (which my sister lived on).
Also, quick tip since we're talking about drinks: Bars are too expensive for a broke college gal like me, you can drink by Clarke Quay and just buy good beer with whatever takeout you want. Good view, windy at night, perfect for late night talks (but take note: there's a curfew at 10:00PM, stop drinking after that unless you wanna be fined).
6. Get ready to walk. A lot.
Public transportation is amazing but for sure you'll be walking all around parks and attractions. Don't be a hothead (ahem, sister) and be prepared.
Prepare good walking/running shoes, brave the heat with mini-fans and caps, apply sunscreen to save the skin, and please, control that temper! Yes, it's hot, but you're in a different country with a lot of sights to see! Take quick breaks along the way and don't tire yourself out. Just don't snap at me and beat me up for the long walks, LOL.
My sister probably didn't snap as often because we waited for almost six hours waiting for the love of her life- The main reason why we went to Singapore this year!
7. Free attractions!
Last but not the least: If you want to save up, take advantage of the free tourist attractions! Here are seven (I'm digging number seven right now) ideas:
- Have your infamous "I'm drinking water lol" shot from Merlion Park
- Stroll around the Botanic Gardens in Marina Bay
- Exercise and test your endurance walking around Fort Canning Park
- Attend free performances and concerts at The Esplanade
- It's SG$4, but a visit to Sentosa is a must for their beaches!
- View Singapore from the 55th floor of ION Orchard
- Visit the temples and trails of Little India and Chinatown
Also, one last tip: If you're taking off from Changi T4, head on to the airport around two hours before your flight. You may just get a free tour around the terminal and learn about how the place was made.
You even get freebies after the short tour! Super fun when you've got time to spare. (Fun fact: One chair from the airport costs $10,000 alone. Yeeks! Amazing place, though, I was in awe the whole time)
Am I Going Back?
HELL YES! From the food down to transportation, Singapore is such a refreshing country to be in. I already want to go back. Or to visit even more countries. I'm on a travel high even if it's been an entire month!
Can't wait to share more of my stories and reviews with you soon. For sure there will be a ton more after this. ;)