We decided on such a short stay in Singapore solely because of our budget. In Thailand you can live like a king and still have change from £20… In Singapore if you try to pay for breakfast with that, they will laugh at you. And no, for you sarcastic people, not because its british pounds but because even in their currency that’s not a lot considering the cost of living here! To put this into comparison to the rest of our trip so far, the price for a private room in a hostel for Cassie and I in Thailand, won’t get you a single bed in 16 people dorm room here!
Nonetheless we are determined to see Singapore on a budget but still see it!! We start by making sure the hostels that we are using, and for the price we are paying, include a free breakfast! This means that if we eat a big enough breakfast, of basic bread, butter, cereal and coffee we can probably tide ourselves over till late afternoon/early evening time! Let’s get on to how we saw Singapore in 3 days.
We arrive at the airport just a bit after 1 and from online research we know that the cheapest way to get around Singapore is on their underground (MRT as they call it). We head to the ticket counter and. Are offered two choices, either pay 30 Singapore Dollars and have unlimited travel or pay 17 and try not to go over that’s or you have to top it up. We are only here for three days how much underground travelling can we do? We opt in for the 17 dollar card and we’re one our way. We arrive at the hostel and the heat and humidity of the city forces us to take a shower before stepping out. We only have a few hours of sunlight left and head towards the Singapore flyer, the worlds tallest “Ferris wheel” that overlooks the city to catch a few of the setting sun and dusk from the top!
We purchase our tickets directly from the hostel as they provide it at a cheaper price than online or at the venue. Hop on the MRT there which is very easy to navigate and to use. The queue to get on is practically non existent, we step into the capsule and make our way to the top. The complete journey is 30 mins long so you have plenty of time to have a look around and admire.
The Singapore Grand Prix is a few weeks away so you can see them relaying the home straight as well as starting to block off and barricade some of the roads.
The view from the top is everything you can imagine with the towering Singapore skyline one side and the view out towards the sea with dozens of docked ships the other side.
A Short time in Singapore means early mornings and late nights!! So we are up, washed, dressed and having breakfast by 8… Out the door by 8.30. Another place people mention is Singapore zoo and we quickly find out why. They have a complete range of animals from a giant rabbits and ponies to white tigers and elephants!
The easiest way to get to the zoo is to hail a taxi down and pay from 25-30 dollars. The cheapest way is to get the MRT half the way then to hop on a bus. It’s an easy journey and costs you 3 dollars each way.
The zoo is enormous but has a tram that runs around the whole park. You can either pay for this there but we were fortunate enough to have it included in the ticket we purchased from the hostel.
A few Tips for Singapore Zoo…
1. TAKE WATER, and lots of it! In the heat of the day the last thing you want is to be charges twice as much as you should for some water. We took in two big bottles of water and it was fine.
2. GET A MAP! This might seem like an obvious one but surprisingly some people were just wandering around completely confused as to why they kept seeing the same enclosures! You ask the staff as soon as you come in through the turnstiles! The zoo is too big to navigate without help and the crowds of people at the map boards around the park make having a map more important!
3. FEEDING! Because of the weather and that the animals probably get bored of looking at ugly humans all day, they are very reluctant to move from one spot in their enclosure. Instead every enclosure seems to come alive at feeding times which are conveniently laid out. For example they started the feeding at one end of the African animal section and timed it so you could watch one and walk on to the next in no rush! They have a morning feeding section, an afternoon feeding section and a few token feeding times. All the times are printed on the back of the map so you easily plan where and when you have to be at an enclosure.
4. SHOWTIME! Included in the price of the ticket are all the shows with various animals. We made it to the elephant show (well worth getting there a bit early for) and to the splash show. Both were just as equally entertaining but due to poor planning we missed the polar bear, bird and rainforest show! You will also like this as you get to sit down for 20 minutes after all that walking around!
Another bonus is that they let you feed some of the animals for only 5 dollars. Having fed elephants in Chiang Mai I decided to have a go at feeding giraffes.
P.s. Very greedy animals!
The evening draws in and we head back to the hostel. We read about the national botanical gardens and how the park itself is open till midnight. We hop on the MRT and head over there. Although you can’t see all the flowers and the foliage, the dimly lit paths and various benches actually make it a very peaceful and romantic walk.
The initial plan for the day was to be out of the hostel by 9 am… It was fir to say that when we woke up at 11.47am that the plan was out of the window. We wanted to see the rest of the city so we bought our tickets for a hop on, hop off bus with an aim to see what else there was for us in the city.
The rain pours down as we drive through the city but we manage to spot a few places worth having a look at. After doing both the lines available we hop off the bus at a hotel, This may seems strange but his hotel has three towers, each with 57 floors and a ship shaped restaurant and view point at the top.
Now this next bit I am not condoning anyone doing this but we are on a budget and we know there is going to be a fee to reach the top. The main entrance to reach the top is through tower three, and if you ask any of the staff about getting to the top, they will point you to the ticket stand at tower three. Now, we don’t want to pay because it is expensive, $23 each, to ride an elevator for 30 secs and to look over a balcony. Instead we head to tower one, the main entrance for Marina Bay Sands Hotel, and we walk straight past the concierge and reception as if we know where we are going. We walk straight to the lifts, most lifts in expensive hotels now will not operate without a room key card being inserted so we wait for the crowd of people to enter the lift and as one guest inserted his card, I pressed floor 57. He then had to re insert his card and reselect the floor he wanted. The lift went up and everyone got off at their floors and we were the only people left till the top. At the top you walk out with the restaurant to your right and the pool to the left, both guests only with staff cheating room keys. Straight ahead you have a glass ledge balcony with views across the marina bay gardens. Same view but without the $46 price tag!!
Its cassias birthday today so we are going to go out for a nice meal a to explore chinatown at night. We head to Clarke quay for our dinner but first we decide to head to chinatown for the night markets!
As soon as reach the top of chinatown station escalators you can see people in every direction, as well as shop after shop selling anything you need! There is a whole road dedicated to food… from fancy restaurants to street stalls but because we were heading to another area to eat we skip this section. What I liked even more about the area were the lights, lanterns and illuminated flowers hanging over head, now before I’m at risk of sounding like a moth about lights ill show you below what I mean. On the walking street it was just lanterns but on the main road they had illuminated flowers all the way along…
We then shoot across to the Clarke Quay area. This part of Singapore is dedicated to restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs… all set along a river and nicely illuminated. The area is set out in to blocks with the further run you head, the louder it gets and the further out, towards the river you head the quieter it gets. This due to all the clubs and bars being in the middle and the restaurants slog the river front. This seems to be the night life section of Singapore, for tourists at least because ben on a sunday the area was busy!
So that concludes our time in Singapore, we are off to Bali tomorrow afternoon. So I think the morning will be spent trying to get a view more pictures of the wonderful skyline in.
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