Tips for A Great Trip to Singapore
Learn from my experience! Here’s a few tips I can share for your next vacation in the (mer)lion city:
- Wear comfortable shoes or sandals. If you’re bound to have a lot of walking involved, wear these to keep foot blisters away.
- Have loose change in hand. You’re gonna need it for the bus fare, even when you’re going to use the trolleys at the airport or supermarket.
- To call back home, buy IDD phone cards. These calling cards (VoIP based,in my opinion) are such a blessing. They’re cheap, readily available (try your local 7-11), and delivers clear conversation. I bought a SGD 10 Phoenix calling card and it lasted for about 3 hours of call to Jakarta.
- Bring a comfortable backpack with you. Keep your both hands free to hold maps, drinks, tickets, etc.
- Stay at a budget hotel, preferably the ones close to an eatery. Such hotels provide quality stay at a price that won’t put a hole on your wallet. Pick a hotel that’s close to eateries and, better yet, to an MRT station. I recommend Hotel81 at Bencoolen for this purpose.
- Bring a plentiful supply of Kleenex/tissue paper. Contrary to Indonesian eateries where plentiful supply of tissue paper are always available, Singaporean eateries (well, at least those hawker stalls) don’t provide such luxury.
- For moslems, eat at fastfood joints or Banquet foodcourts. Those fastfood chains offer halal food (according to Singapore Tourism Board’s guide). In some shopping centers, there are also Banquet foodcourts which feature all-halal food stalls.
- If you’re travelling with two or three companions, take a cab to your destinations. Trust me, it’s totally worth it. It’s much faster and its more economical (not to mention efficient) this way.
- Keep your shopping invoices. You’ll never know what those guys at the customs office (especially Indonesian ones) are up to. Be prepared.
- Keep the other end of the Indonesian immigration coupon. You do want a hassle-free trip, right?
- Buy your Singapore souvenirs at Mustafa Centre. I learnt this the hard (and expensive) way. Don’t trust those 3 for $10 stores. They’re a rip-off! Try the local street vendors if you’re a good bargainer, but if you’re not, stick with Mustafa Centre’s souvenirs section.
- Don’t buy electronics unless it’s something you can’t find here. Prices are roughly the same here. Buy it in Jakarta and you’ll avoid all the lugging and possible scrutiny at the customs office.
- Remember these:
- Most Orchard Road plazas & malls open around 11am.
- Those silver luxury cab (usually a Mercedes) have the same fare as the usual taxi.
- If you need to ask, ask the younger Singaporeans as the older ones generally don’t speak english or speak a cryptic one.
- If you’re travelling to S’pore by ferry, arrive at the port at least an hour before the scheduled departure.