It’s certainly not my first visit to Singapore, but this is definitely my first post about it from my recent travel to this amazing country. It is a very small, cosmopolitan, and insanely expensive country—remarkably notable when compared to her Southeast Asian neighbors. While $50 USD is sufficient for travelers to spend on a good hotel and great food for one day in nearby Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, the same amount is barely enough to sleep one night in a Singapore hotel. In fact many people from my country portray Singapore as a fast ticking dollar bomb, meaning from the moment you step into Singapore, your wallet soon starts running out of dollar bills.
I chose Singapore as a layover while my actual destination was Kuala Lumpur and couldn’t find any low airfares during the period I traveled out of Malé. I have been to Singapore twice before on trips that I focused more, and always felt it as a great place to visit in its own right.
Those who intend to spend their hard-earned money wisely will wonder why many people complain Singapore is expensive when it actually has got so much to offer cheap on the bright side. There are discounts and good deals which are not too hard to find if you try. Yes! You can have a great time in Singapore on budget travel as much as the locals do. Here’s how I spent my 15 hours layover in Singapore.
I had my flight from Malé to Singapore on 13th January morning at 1155hrs with Tigerair, the flying time was 4 hours 30 minutes and arrived at 7.50pm local time. I bought my plane ticket for $141 USD for one-way and considered it a good deal. I didn’t sleep well the previous night since I stayed up late writing “Around the Maldives in 23 Days” and interviewing Gabbe, this made me very tiring and sleepy. I took a taxi from the airport for S$22 SGD and arrived at Mercury Backpackers Hostel located at Lavender Street, Kallang.
I stayed in the 4 bed dorm-room which was $14 USD for the night which included a basic breakfast. I chose this place to stay because it was close to where I had to take the bus the next morning to depart to Kuala Lumpur. The hostel was clean, the reception was 24hours – the only downside was the 4 bed dorm-room was a little cramped. The neighborhood and the area near Lavender MRT was very nice and safe, and the hostel was just 3-4 minutes walk from it. I had a sandwich for dinner and quickly went to sleep and got up at about 6am and had breakfast with my dorm room buddy Arif from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I had about 3 hours to kill before my bus ride, so we had enough time for a good chat. He was also traveling to Kuala Lumpur, but he was taking a flight and was arriving a little late the same day, but we planned to meet-up in Kuala Lumpur before he leaves to Yogyakarta.
I decided not buy a SIM card from Singapore and thought the need for it was useless when I had good wifi at the hostel, the receptionist at the hostel was very nice and friendly, he explained me in detail where I should walk to and even gave me a print out of the map to get my bus to Kuala Lumpur. I had the area downloaded and viewable on offline mode on my Google maps app, so it guided me a ten minute walk to where I waited for my bus ride.
The impeccably safe streets, tasty hawker street food and the wonderful transportation system and English as the common language makes Singapore a fantastic place for a holiday, especially with family. There are so much attractions to visit and many things to do – Universal Studios Singapore and Singapore Flyer are must see attractions, it is also possible to keep this to a minimum as there are some free attractions like the Gardens by the Bay Children’s Garden and some great areas to explore.
There is no reason to give this city a miss!
Here are my expenses:
Airfare ~ USD 140.74/- (Malé to Singapore one-way with Tigerair)
Airport taxi ~ USD 15.27/-
Accommodation ~ USD 12.84/- (One night stay at hostel with breakfast)
Dinner and coffee ~ USD 9.25/-
Bus-fare ~ USD 13.31/- (Singapore to Kuala Lumpur one-way)
Total ~ USD 191.41/-
Any questions? How do you like Singapore?