Being a first world country, I must say Singapore is an expensive country to travel to. It is said that it is less likely country to be traveled by backpackers and budgeted travelers in Southeast Asia because of its pricey accommodations, food, beers and some other stuff.
However, don’t let those things hinder you to experience Singapore. Behind those 5 star hotels scattered around the city there are actually a lot of affordable accommodations that you could choose from. Compare prices and find cheap hotels, the first step on number of ways on how to spend less on this expensive city.
After spending our 3 days in the interesting land of Phuket, we flew to Singapore so to revisit the fine city. We only have 40 hours or less to spend on this country so I ensure that our return to this country will be jam-packed with meet up with friends, activities and attractions that we had never visited the last time we’ve been here.
We arrived at Changi Airport at around 12:45 PM (SGT). The airport is still impressive at it is. This is an example of an airport that I think I would never fret when flight delays occur. Because of its lavishing environment and notable facilities, I can stay here for hours.
Compared to our first immigration check experience here, that day we were able to pass by the immigration counter without any troubles.
Before leaving the airport we had our lunch first at our favorite stop in Singapore, Burger King.
Afterwards, we took the MRT to get to our accommodation which is located at Bugis Junction.
Backpacker Cozy Corner Guesthouse
I must say staying in a hotel in Singapore is one of the costly things that one has to endure when traveling to this country. But if you can give up luxury, there are still a lot of options to choose from in terms of accommodations in Singapore. You can go couch surfing, home stay, stay at dormitories, guesthouses and inns which I think could fit the budget.
Since we were really on a tight budget for this trip, we’ve decided to give up staying at a costly hotel and stay in a backpackers’ guesthouse. It turned out to be a good idea after all as I wasn’t able to try staying in a backpackers’ guesthouses or dormitories yet. It’s actually one of my travel dream to stay in a dormitory which I shared the room with other travelers. Sadly, that time we’re a group of four and we had occupied the entirety of one of the dorm rooms.
The whole room costs SGD 85.00 per night. We paid SGD 21.25 each for our stay.
Located at the North Bridge Road, the Backpacker Cozy Corner Guesthouse is an easy find. After getting out of the MRT station of Bugis Junction, you can actually cross the Bugis Junction Mall and get to the road where the guesthouse is.
See? An affordable accommodation just a few walks away from shopping area and train station.
Not only that they also have free wi-fi, in fact they also have computers that you can use to. But the great thing about the guesthouse is they do also provide free breakfast which consists of bread, spread and coffee. Not bad, after all. 😀
Meeting up with friends
Singapore is one of the countries where there are a lot of Filipinos. In fact, I know a lot of friends that actually work here. So when visiting Singapore, meeting up with friends is a must thing to do; a two or three hours catching up over a beer or coffee is a perfect example.
Singapore Night Safari
After having few talks with our friends, at around 6:00 PM (SGT) we headed to Singapore Night Safari which is located at 80 Mandai Lake Road. We initially planned to take the shuttle bus going to the zoo but since we were already behind our schedule we took a cab instead to get to the zoo. It took us about 30 minutes to get to our destination. We paid around SGD 35.00 for the ride.
Admission Fee which includes entry to Night Safari and 1 round of tram ride costs SGD 32.00 each. We had purchased our ticket online prior to our trip. The Night Safari is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore. It is said to be the world’s first nocturnal zoo. The zoo houses 1,040 animals representing 120 species, of which 29% are threatened species.
We opted to ride the tram to get around the zoo. We, as well, got off on some areas and walked through the paths to discover each places. I ain’t a fan of zoos but I was really amazed on how this place looks like. Those animals that we’ve seen were like they are on their own habitats. It feels like we’re on a jungle, there are no cages or wiring that shuts these animals in. They can walk freely. It somehow resembles the movie ‘Jurassic Park’. Because flash photography is prohibited during the tour, I wasn’t able to take any decent shots. At the end of the tram ride we went to an animal show, ‘Creatures of the Night’. A visit to the night safari wouldn’t be complete without catching this show. The acting and scenes of this show feels true. I don’t want to reveal how it happened in details but if you don’t want to be shocked with their surprises then don’t sit in front but if you’re up for some actions, then go.
It was around 10:00 PM when the show ended. We left the Night Safari afterwards. We rode two buses going back to Bugis Junction.
But before going back to our guesthouse, we had our late dinner first at the nearby fast food in Bugis Junction. There we met one of our friends, Earl and had a talk about our itinerary the next day. After one hour, we went back to our guesthouse and called it a day.
Two of my companions left Singapore earlier than us (me and my friend). They headed to Hong Kong and spent few more days there to travel while me and my other friend, Jessa spent our remaining hours in Singapore by getting to different places. But before getting out of the guesthouse, we packed our things and bags. We checked out early but we left our bags in the guesthouse and just take it later before we head to the airport. We had our friend Earl with us for the day to accompany us to get to different places in Singapore. We met him at the City Hall MRT station at around 8:00 AM. Singapore Flyer Earl was so generous enough and treated us at Singapore Flyer for a ride. One reason why I didn’t try this ride before because of the hefty amount needs to be paid by person for the ride. Also because of its slow movement, I feel it’s boring.
Well it was actually true when I finally had my first hand experience on this ride. It gets boring at times but I can’t say anything about the view during the ride aside from it’s so fascinating.
The Singapore Flyer is said to be the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. This Ferris wheel was constructed in 2005 to 2008. It is described by its operators as an observation wheel which reaches 42 stories high and with a total height of 165 m (541 ft).
Hop On Hop Off Singapore After the moving experience at Singapore Flyer we took the Hop on Hop Off bus ride owned by the HiPPO tours to get to our next destination, Orchard Road.
We were able to pass by on some important landmarks in Singapore during the ride.
“Marina Bay Sands Hotel – I wish I could stay here for a night or two next time”
“Singapore Old Market (Telok Ayer)”
“Funan Digitalife Mall”
“Singapore Botanic Garden”
I’m not a fan of packaged tours and some sort but I must admit I was able to enjoy the Hop on Hop off ride. We were able to see and had a glimpse on some important landmarks without any hassle. It was a stress free tour, I must say. Orchard Road When we reached the Orchard Road, we hopped off from the bus and walked going to The Lucky Plaza. Our friend told us that this mall is famous because the shops are dominated with Filipino products and services.
Because me and Jessa were already craving for Filipino dishes just after few days of not tasting it, we had our lunch in one of the food stalls in the food court that sells Filipino food. Here’s what we had for our lunch.
Absolutely, we missed eating our local dishes. Thanks Earl for the treat! 😀 After lunch, we went out of the mall and strolled around the nearby malls. Because Orchard Road is known as retail and entertainment hub of Singapore, we went on some quick shopping. I was able to buy some stuff to bring home. 😀
The road is a major tourist attraction in Singapore. If you’re looking for brands and high-end products, then this road is a perfect place for that interest. We left the famous road afterwards. We rode a train bound to Marina Bay area to discover something magical (next post).
It feels great going back to this country. Nothing changed the first time I’ve been here but just developments. Yes the country has so much in terms of developments now which why most of its visitors like going to this place.