I went to Singapore a few weeks ago and just spent a little less than P15,000 for the entire trip. P5,500 for the roundfare Cebu Pacific tickets (Promo Fare) from Manila to Singapore and vice versa. P1,620 for the travel tax, P550 for the terminal fee, P3,000 for hotel accommodation (3nights), P2700 food for 3days, P720 for pasalubong, P900 for fare.
That amount might increase if you want to try the rides in Universal Studios or do a side-trip to Indonesia or Malaysia.
But hey, Immigration Officer at times may not let you leave the country even if you already have a boarding pass or have traveled other Asian Countries in the past. I'm not scaring you but I'm just giving you a warning. There were people who were denied and were banned from going in because they didn't pass the small talk. Some were crying and others were even mad and begging. Immigration officer might ask for some documents to make sure you are travelling for the right purpose (Hotel Confirmation, size of the bed that you reserved, credit cards, Company ID's or even itineraries).
Singapore is stricter now in allowing Filipinos to get in to their beautiful Garden City. Some of those who went to Singapore took advantage of the tourist pass when they were actually there to look for work. Once the 30-day pass is almost over, they would exit to neighboring countries for a day like Indonesia or Malaysia then come back again to have another 30-day pass.
Now let say you are already in Singapore. Here are some tips that I have for you.
1. Take the Public Transport.
Singapore is very organized and their train system is the fastest way for you to get around the city. It is also one of the cleanest in the world and has access to every part of Singapore. You have the option to buy the EZ Link Card for $12 and use $7 of its value or get a Tourist Pass pass for $20 for 3 days of unlimited rides. In my case, I just paid per trip since I only have few places to visit.
2. Check in at a Budget Hotel.
You don't really need to be in an expensive hotel since most of the time you are out and exploring the country. I stayed at Hotel 81 in Geylang with a friend. We only paid around P3k each for 3 nights. They have clean rooms with wifi and have complimentary drinks (bottled water and coffee). It is also strategically located near the train station, bus stop and other tourist spots.
You can also try couch surfing where you get to sleep for free. It is a community of travellers that offer free accommodation to member surfers.
3. Eat in a hawker centre.
If you are a fan of chinese or indian food then you have to go where the locals eat. Lau Pa Sat is a good choice. They have delicious noodles, chowfan, barbeques and rice meals for just around $5. If you decide to splurge some more, then you can try authentic Arabian Food at the Arab Street.
4. Money Changer at the Airport.
Since I only have few pesos to spend, I decided to just have it changed at Changi Airport. 1 Singaporean Dollar is equivalent to more or less P36.
5. Walk and Take it easy.
You'll enjoy Singapore more if you walk and walk. They have impeccably clean and safe streets. Tourist Spots are near each other (Merlion Park, Esplanade, Helix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Fullerton Place). If you want to see the whole of Singapore, you can ride the Singapore Flyer for $25 or pay $23 to have a tour in Marina Bay Sands Skypark. I didn't pay when I was there. All I did was go to KUDETA Club atop Marina Bay Sands and ordered a glass of beer and there I am.
6. Bar Hop
We literally dance the night away from one bar to another in Clarke Quay. I enjoyed wiggling with the foreingers and shaking our butts together. We hopped from one bar to another and left our things at The Pump Room. I just find it amazing that even after 2 hours, they were still there, untouched. Such a good feeling knowing you are in place where people don't steal.
7. Don't spend too much on buying Souvenirs.
Go to Chinatown or Bugis for cheap and good souvenirs.
8. Feel like a kid in Universal Studios (additional $55)
There some online shops that offer the Universal Studios Ticket lesser than its actual price. Take advantage of that instead of buying it on the spot. It was raining when I arrived in Sentosa that's why we never really got the chance to try their rides. So after having a photo opp near the Universal Globe, we just spent our money buying some chocolates at the Hersheys Store.
9. Side Trip to Indonesia (additional $50 for a Roundtrip Fare)
For only 50 Singaporean Dollars, you can go to Batam Island in Indonesia. Take the ferry from Harbour City. Travel time is 55 minutes. Visit some mosques, parks and enjoy some water sports activities. Once you come back to Singapore, don't be nervous when it's taking time for Immigration Officer to stamp your passport with another 30-day entry pass. They just wanna sure you're not back to look for work.
10. Side Trip to Malaysia.
It will take 6 hours bus ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and will cost you P800. You can also go the southern part of Malaysia, the Johor Bahru, in a matter of 45 minutes. From the Woodlands Train Station, Take the bus and pay around P100. Then check out the Royal Abu Bakar Museum and the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque.
Some reminders though:
1. As much as possible travel lite.
2. Bring your passport with you all the time.
3. Have en extra Cash or Credit Card for emergencies.
4. Buy a prepaid sim and register for a 1 week data plan.
In my case, I just registered to Smart's all day roaming for only P500 to avoid the hassle of finding a good network provider in Singapore. They now have coverage in 10 Asian Countries; Singapore (Starhub), Indonesia (Indosat), Malaysia (DiGi and CelCom), Hong Kong (via Hutchison), Japan (NTT DoCoMo), Macau (Hutchison), South Korea (KT), Thailand (True), Taiwan (FarEastOne) and Vietnam (Vinaphone). When I checked my bill, there were no unwanted data charges. This is also available to prepaid subscribers.
1. Text ROAM ON then send to 333 before leaving the country.
2. For prepaid subcribers, load P500 for a one day subscription of ALL-DAY SURF ABROAD.
3. Check your mobile network settings and Make sure you are connected to SMART’s Conexus Roaming Partner
4. Dial *133# to access the USSD Menu. Press ANSWER then enter 5 to choose DATA ROAMING.
4. Choose your location from the list of countries and roaming partner.
5. Select the All-DAY SURF ABROAD 500. You will receive a confirmation upon successful availment.
For more information, check out #SmartAllDaySurfAbroad
Budget Travel to Singapore
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