September 25th, 2017
Everyone wants to travel but not anyone has the luxury to do so. On the contrary, travelling can now be less expensive. One must only know how to to a extensive research on budget hotels, affordable food finds and anything that can save your bucks without of course limiting your experience can be much helpful. That's why I am writing this blog so I can help everyone achieve their dream to travel.
As we all know Singapore is a beautiful and expensive country. Cost of living in Singapore is 134% expensive than that of Manila, PH. But of course that should not stop everyone in visiting this beautiful country. Me and my partner are budget travellers, budget travellers by means of taking each expense one month at a time.
We booked our one-way ticket to Singapore January of 2017, a local carrier flying to Singapore was on a seat sale so we have to grab the opportunity. We are from Cebu, PH and not as frequent International traveller as the rest so we want to make sure that when we go out of the country we visit 2 countries in one go thus we only purchased a one way ticket as we were planning to go to Kuala Lumpur, MY as well.
So much for introductions as I am very much thrilled to share our Singapore journey on a budget. Singapore is a beautiful country with so many things to do and experience. We arrived in Singapore at 11:45PM, we lined up at the immigration counter for roughly an hour. There are embarkation card that were distrubuted at the airplane, I would suggest that you'd be thorough in filling out the boxes. In that way passing through immigration counter would be a breeze (not much questions asked). Trains in Singapore stop operating at midnight, so we took an Uber ride to our hotel. We paid SGD$19 for the fare. While in-transit going to our hotel, We can't help but be amazed of how clean, beautiful and organized this country is. We were also wishfully thinking that one day our country will just be like singapore ;) .
We stayed at Fragrance Hotel - Balestier. it's a 2-star hotel in Singapore. We paid around SGD$67 per night for the hotel. The location of our hotel is quite far from Singapore attractions like Marina Bay Sands, Merlion and Sentosa. However, it is near Whampoa Hawker Center, Food stalls alongside the road and just adjacent to our hotel is a bus station that would take you to the main tourist spots in Singpore. So, If you like to immerse in the Singapore culture, I would suggest stay in Balestier area.
If you are in a budget, Hawker center is the answer to your need. We ate at a hawker stall and paid SGD$5.25 for 2 people as compared to eating at Food courts which will cost you around SGD$10 - SGD$20 per person. Must eat in Singapore is Bak Kut Teh, for us we ate at a Michelin starred stall named Song Fa Bak Kut Teh near Clarke Quay and it was delicious. One serving can feed 2 persons. Singapore is a foodie haven as there are a lot of food choices, We ate salted egg crab and Cereal shrimp in Chinatown and it was heaven but pricey. A tip though, If you want to food binge might as well travel to KL, MY because the food is equally yummy but less expensive than that of Singapore.
As mentioned earlier, our hotel is a bit far from Singapore attractions BUT we didn't pay much on the transportation as they have tourist pass available. There are options for 1-Day Pass ($10) , 2-Day Pass ($16) and 3-Day Pass ($20). It covers unlimited travel on Public Buses, MRT and LRT and is subject for a rental fee of $10 which is refundable once card is returned. In our case we didn't get the chance to return the card so kept it as souvenir :). Not all train stations has an available tourist pass only selected train stations. We purchased ours at City Hall station as upon arrival MRT station in Changi airport is already closed. It's better to get a Train map as well to serve as your guide on the train tracks :). After walking all day and too lazy to walk to the nearest MRT station or Bus station, you can book Uber or Grab ;)
Since it's expensive to activate roaminn on our local providers, we opted to buy our SIM cards upon arrival in Singapore. We bought Singtel, Price was at $15 and it was good for 5 days with unli call and text on local providers, 5GB of data and 30-min calls to other countries. In our case, we only bought one sim card and have the mobile data tethered as that's what's important ;). There are other coices though which can be found on the link below :)
As we all know, Singapore offers a lot of attractions. Some have entrance fees while some doesn't.
Universal Studios Singapore - We booked our ticket online through Travinasia and paid PHP 2,400 each (around $68-$70). There are other online booking partner though but Travinasia offers the lowest price available ;) Universal Studios is in Sentosa Island.
Gardens By the Bay - This is a 3-in-1 go. As you can visit Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and watch the beautiful trees light up at night. Flower Gardens and Cloud Forest has entrance fees while you can marvel at the sight of a beautiful man-made trees lit up at night for free. We got our tickets to Flower Dome and Cload Forest for free. Thanks to a friend based in SG ;). If you are reading this, Thank You. Ticket price was around $20 for both attraction. Still would suggest to check on Travinasia as they offer the lowest price available.
MARINA BAY on ESPLANADE - I would suggest to visit this place late afternoon and stay there until 8:00PM as there is a Light and Water show, they call it Spectra - A light and water show. Be prepared to marvel at the sight of Marina Bay Sands Hotel light up at night.
MERLION - You have never been to Singapore if you do not have a picture of the Merlion. Don't worry it's just near the Esplanade so after watching the show you can just walk right over the Merlion and have your picture taken.
That sums up our stay in Singapore. Our budget allowance is SGD$200 per person and it was more than enough to cover our expenses in Singapore. Singapore is a Fine City as they call it, but one must not be afraid to visit Singapore so long as you know how to follow the countrys rules and regulation.
Watch our for my Kuala Lumpur, MY.. soon :)
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