Singapore is derived from the malay word Singapura meaning Singa = “lion” and Pura = “City”. Hence, it is often referred to as the “Lion City”.
Singapore is the world’s only island city-state. Aside from being the “Lion City”, it is also referred to as Garden City and the Red Dot.
More About Singapore
• Land Area: 718.3 square km
• Language: English is the spoken language, however, Singlish, which is a mixture of English and Malay, Tamil, Mandarin, and some Chinese dialects; is usually used.
• Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)
• Tipping: It is not usual to tip. But most of the hotels and restaurants quote with “++” (10% service charge and 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST))
• Connectivity: There are usually free wifi in most of the establishments/malls.
• Weather: Summer-like
• Drives on the left
I associate Singapore (SG) to Merlion (its emblem), cleanliness and discipline, urban jungle and I.T.; because a lot of my IT friends now reside/work in the city.
Every visit in the city is a unique experience. First time I went to Singapore was October 2008 with my good friend, Joanna. Then July 2015 with Nelle and Manny F. Cris, my husband, was supposedly with us during that trip but he had an issue with his passport’s validity. Lesson Learned: Check your passport expiry date. Should be at least 6 months valid when you go on a trip.
My third visit was last April 2016, now with Cris. Also with Nelle and F, and my mother. It was just a quick weekend in the city. Here’s a run-down of what we did 🙂
Book a flight:
Jetstar – It was the cheapest fight that I could find! The attendants are professional and accommodating. 🙂
Tip: Do online check-in for easy, time-saving and hassle-free check-in.
Where to stay:
This is probably the next thing that you think about after booking a flight. Hotels are expensive, that is why some opt for a hostel or if you have friends or relatives living in the city, why not bond with your family/friends and stay with them 😉
From our last visit, I booked our hotel using Agoda. There’s an app and website for it. It is easy to navigate and they have suggested places for you depending on the location that you like or your budget.
We booked Copthrone Kings Hotel. It is located at Clarke Quay so it near the must-see-places in the city. The staff are accommodating and friendly. The room is okay for two and we are not cramped 🙂 bathroom is okay. Breakfast is complimentary but the choices of food is limited.
For backpackers or with super limited budget for their accommodation, you can try booking a hostel. You can also book that with Agoda. We have tried Hotel Lulu in ChinaTown when we visited last 2015. You have shared bathroom in the floor and the shower area inside the room can only fit a person in standing position 😛 It was a huge upgrade when you book a hotel 😉
Where to go:
• Sentosa Island
o Universal Studios
o Trick Eye Museum
• Merlion Park – Take a picture with the Merlion to complete your SG visit!
• Cable Car at Mount Faber – From our walk at Henderson Wave, we rode the Cable Car at Mt Faber going to Sentosa Island.
What/Where to eat:
• Lau Pa Sat – Check out this Hawker Centre (Food Court).
• Bak Kut Teh at Song Fa
• Chilli Crab and Crab in Salted Egg at Mellben
• Ice cream sandwich – You can find it almost anywhere!
Transport in SG is wayyyyy better than here in Manila. Just read the map, and you’re good to go!
• MRT – Opens from 5:30 AM to 12 MN.
• Taxi – Fares starts from $3. They also have Grab and Uber.
• Bus – Fares starts from 79 cents. It was the first time that I rode a double-decker bus! You should also look for the bus routes and schedule. Lesson Learned: The bus will not halt at every bus-stop, so if you need to get off, make sure to press one of the buttons at the isle to prompt the driver that you will be off to the next stop 😛
Malls are everywhere! You may check out my friend’s entry on shopping in the city!
• Choc Spot – Pasalubong ba? Why not chocolates? You’ll find imported chocolates here with discounted price. Just make sure to check the expiry dates before buying/consuming them 😉 Choc Spot is located at Lucky Plaza Orchard.
• Challenger – I bought my laptop here, in their Bugis branch. Check out their discounted prices and promos.
• Bugis and China Town – If want ‘I love Singapore’ shirts, pork jerky or bulk ref magnets or keychains; go here 🙂
Who wouldn’t enjoy shopping if you have refund? Ensure to inquire/get a GST Refund when you depart the city.
Aside from touring around the city, if you have friends or relatives there; make time and meet with them 😉 on our last visit, we were able to attend this little one’s first birthday 🙂
You may want to check out her cute photo shoot before her big day!
• Get city map from airport.
• Wear comfortable shoes, you will be doing a lot of walking.
• Where to exchange money? They say go to Lucky Plaza or Mustafa for best rates. But what we did from our last SG visit, we exchanged our PHP to UOB branch in Changi Airport.
• Buy EZ link card or Singapore Tourist Pass. Your EZ Link card will work on (based on FAQS page):
o All public buses, MRT and LRT trains run by both SBST & SMRT
o SMRT and TransCab taxis
o Food & Beverage outlets
o Shopping & Retail outlets
o Leisure & Entertainment outlets
o Government Services
o Community Clubs
o Transport services: taxis and private buses
o In Dual-Mode In-Vehicle Unit (2GIU) for Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) and Electronic Parking System (EPS) payments.
o Self Services like Vending Machines, photo copying and photo printing services.
• If you do not want to be “disconnected” buy a Singapore prepaid SIM with Data.
You’ll not run out of things to do and visit in Singapore. There are still a lot to explore! It’s my third visit and I still haven’t seen Garden’s by the Bay. *sigh*
Have you been in Singapore? Share the things that you did or some tips perhaps if we are to go back 😉
Photos are from 2015 and 2016 visit