April 12, 2011

My One Week Trip to Singapore

Got to travel to Singapore! What is great about Singapore is that most locals speak either chinese or english. Which is great for me because I know chinese and english. The country is very clean and you can see greens like trees and plants everywhere. Singaporeans are very nice and I don't feel any discrimination. They have wide variety of food, shopping areas and entertainment. They have convenient public transportation. So it's very easy to be a tourist in Singapore. The following below are some of the sights and experiences I encountered while staying at Singapore for a week.

Choosing our Hotel
There are many hotels in Singapore and you should know that they are all expensive. So if you're on a budget you can check-in at Hotel Grand Central like we did. It's a 3-star hotel and we enjoyed staying there. They have nice and clean rooms, friendly reception and free breakfast buffet. The best thing about Hotel Grand Central is that it's conveniently located Cavenagh Road which is near Orchard Road. There are lots of malls and shops in the area which is a must when choosing a hotel. It's also very near to Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, that has access to all MRT lines. Overall, it's clean, affordable and the location is great for tourists. That's good enough for me.

Food in Singapore
Food Republic at Vivo City
All I can say about the food in Singapore is that its a bit expensive. The cheapest dish I ate was in a Food Court, costing around S$4. Maybe it's not expensive to others but comparing to Philippine currency, it's a bit expensive for food court food. But they do have quality food in Food Courts compare to ours. the good thing about their food court is that wherever food court you go, whether in a high end place like Ion Orchard or low end place like Mustafa, the prices seems to have a steady range of S$4-7. So I suggest if you want to eat low cost like me and have a clean and quality place to eat, have your meals in the food courts of malls. 

Didn't had a chance to eat in a hawker center but I did eat a lot in Food Republic. Love the food there. And I love Chicken Rice! Very addicting and not to mention cheap. 
Chicken Rice at ION's Food Opera
Chicken Rice and Noodles at Sim Lim Square
Getting around Singapore
MRT Dhoby Ghaut Station
Public Transportation in Singapore is very convenient. For me you need only to use two public transportations to go around Singapore. Either the MRT/LRT subways or taxi. Choose the between the two depending on how far and how many you are. 

If you prefer to take the taxi, make sure to be in groups of 4. Because taxis in Singapore only carry a maximum of 4 passengers per car. Starting rate of a Taxi in Singapore is about S$2.5 - S$4 depending on how big and what kind of taxi it is. The old toyota taxis are the cheapest. They also charge you extra for certain hours of the day and for extra baggage. 

Singapore MRT and LRT Map
MRT and LRT on the other hand is the cheapest and easiest way for tourists like myself. The stations are usually located under malls. Tickets costs around S$1-2. Remember that if you purchased a single journey ticket, you can refund S$1 for the ticket you used after you get to your destination. On the left side is the map of MRT and LRT stations. If you prefer to take the bus or know more about transportations in Singapore visit this link. 

ION Shopping Mall
Singapore is known for its shopping malls. The whole stretch of Orchard Road for example is full of Malls, the latest mall to be added there is Ion Orchard. If you want bargains should go to Mustafa. If you want electronics you have to go to Sim Lim Square. Aside from that they have Chinatown, Vivo City, Suntec City, Raffles City and Marina Square. Notice the word "City" used, its because their malls are big. Know more about Shopping Malls I Like in Singapore.  

If you plan to shop in Singapore, don't forget to read about the Tourist Tax Refund Program of Singapore Customs. Where you can get Tax refunds of items you purchased in Singapore. 

Universal Studios Singapore
Be sure to visit Universal Studios Singapore within Resorts World Sentosa. Although not all the attractions are open yet it is still a sure hit with any family or couples. I don't know when their soft opening will end  but I'll sure to come back when it finally officially opens. Click here for my experience and snapshots of Universal Studios Singapore

Resorts World Singapore Casino Entrance
After Universal Studios, we walked around Resorts World. There are lot of attractions in the resort and most of them are free. Click here for my experience and snapshots of Resorts World Sentosa

Sentosa and Merlion
Love the beaches in Sentosa. Be sure to bring your swimming outfits when you visit sentosa. Aside from beautiful beaches the island also offers lots of entertainment for the family. We tried several attractions like the Ciniblast, Megazip and segway. Click here for my experience and snapshots of Sentosa Island

Singapore Zoo Main Entrance
I love animals so this is one of the places I really liked. Singapore zoo is huge and offers lots of exotic animals for your viewing. Click here for my experience and snapshots of Singapore Zoo

View of Marina Bay Sands from Helix Bridge
Marina Bay Sands is one of my favorite architecture in Singapore. It has a great view and an awesome light show during night. Click here for my experience and snapshots of Marina Bay Sands

Cebu Pacific Airplane at Singapore Budget Terminal
I hated this they call Budget Terminal. I heard so many good things about Singapore's huge airport so I expected to see it. But I didn't know that if you flew Cebu Pacific you would land and depart in Singapore's Budget Terminal. Didn't even know that there's such a terminal in Singapore. Click here for my experience and snapshots Singapore's Budget Terminal

Check out my actual Singapore Itinerary I prepared before going to this trip. 


Anonymous said...

Dear sir,
I thank you for your recommendations for the trip. It is was very usefull, especially the itenerary!
However, I must caution people from taking the Grand Central Hotel...The hotel is very old, smelly, noisy and dirty. the breakfast was served in an old smelly lounge and was very crowded and the food was terrible. most rooms are above a fussy road, which make them completely unusable, and the other rooms does not have an AC remote, which makes them practically freezing and inhabitable!
In conclusion, even though this hotel is relatively cheap and at a good location, there are better alternatives by far!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comment. Sad that you had a bad experience there. Although I can't say I experienced all the things you said. Did we get the same room? Ours were 2 interconnecting family rooms. When we were there the rooms were clean and quiet. The lounge was not smelly and was not that crowded.

Although the AC is really a problem since it can't be adjusted. I remember waking up because of the freezing cold.

Grand central still has one of the best locations in terms of access to Singapore's main tourist destinations. But yes there are other alternatives. I'll try a different hotel next time I go to SG..:)

lonely backpacker said...

hi i agree and commend you for sharing your sg experience. For those planning to go please avoid hotel 81 dickson. Poor service and room lacks amenities like ref and sidetable. Poor housekeeping.