Monday, February 20, 2012

Budget travel to Singapore

I've been procrastinating a lot lately, especially after getting over with my thesis.

So, yeah, you're right, I am free... in fact, too free and nothing much to do while waiting for my result. I thought about part time job but it'd be a hassle especially since I have yet to submit my hard copy of my thesis. Full time job, nah... not planning to stay long in this place so... that's why I am blogging now!

I thought about writing this entry for quite some time already but I kept telling myself, "This can wait, this can wait."

I am a superb procrastinator, am I not? Hahaha.

Anyway, I'm going to share with you on how to minimize your spending and maximize your travelling experience to Singapore if you're thinking to plan a visit to our neighbouring country any time soon.

I bet ya'll know the currency exchange rate is RM2.42 to SGD$1, right now, on the date this entry is posted. So, if you're thinking a plate of chicken rice that costs SGD$2 is cheap, re-think again. It costs around RM4.80 to RM5. Basically, the price is the same in Malaysia but if you're earning Singaporean dollar, then it'd be a different story.

Anyway... budget, budget, budget!

Where to stay?

I think this is the MAIN problem for a lot of Malaysians who are going to Singapore because most of the better hotels cost around SGD$80 to SGD$100 per night. That would approximately be RM200 to RM250. Hella expensive, right? Well, traveling alone sucks sometimes.

If you're a frequent traveler, I bet you have heard about travelers' lodges, right?

Correct me if I am wrong - lodges are like hostels but they're for backpackers and such people.
Since my trip was a budget trip, I figured out that I didn't need to waste a lot of moo-lah in accommodation since I just needed a place to sleep and shower. For most of the times, I'd be out of the room, so... my budget was about RM50 per night.

There are a lot of lodges or hostels available throughout Singapore that cost around RM50 to RM70 per night - best of all, they come with breakfast!

You just need to google some information and that's it.

How to contact your friends or relatives?

Now, now, now... please don't quote me just yet. I am a budget traveler and I am not a rich, spoilt kid, hence, if there are chances for me to minimize my spending, I guess... why not, right?

True, Maxis, DiGi or Celcom offer roaming but trust me when I tell you to NOT TO ROAM!!! You will thank me later if you're someone who's on budget trip there.

If you're on Maxis prepaid, it will cost you RM1 to send ONE, yes, just one SMS, I kid you not!

So, head out to 7/11, any outlet, get a prepaid phone card!

Yeah, it's stated on the SIM card, it's SGD$15, that's approximately RM36. You'll have SGD$18 credit in the SIM card.

Believe me... SGD$15 can last you like, OMG... endless phone calls and SMS-es. I even called stupid sister and we talked and talked and talked for hours over the phone. Then, I even SMS-ed friends like mad!

I was left with SGD$2 in the SIM card before I left Singapore!

Hey, DiGi, Maxis and Celcom, you shouldn't torture us with international phone bills!


Best of all, if you're gonna reload your SIM card, look at the offers below!

Free credit for top ups!

I went like, "OMG, OMG, OMG!" when Mimi told me you'll get free SGD$20 if I were going to reload my SIM card. It'd last me forever... since I was leaving, I didn't top up. So, basically, SGD$18 lasted 5 days for me.

So, get a SIM card if you're gonna call your parents at home or even your friends and relatives at Singapore - it's more worth it than roaming!

How to travel?

I am not gonna brag but travelling using MRT in Singapore is way better than travelling in KL using LRT, monorail or KTM.

For easy travels, go to any of the counter at any MRT station, request to purchase EZ Link. It will cost you around SGD$12. SGD$5 is non-refundable so that means you have SGD$7 in your card to travel around Singapore.

It is basically like our version of Touch n' Go.

Don't worry... SGD$7 will last a while because traveling from one place to another costs approximately less than SGD$1, depending on your destinations.

At least for me, it lasted for 1.5 days before I topped up another SGD$10.

If you were asking about taxi rate in Singapore, if I am not mistaken, the starting price once you board a cab is SGD$2 or SGD$3. So, you do the calculation on your own. Well, there are exceptions actually... if you have a traveling partner, well... you can consider cabbing. LOLX!

I did try! Hahaha... well... again, if I am not mistaken, you can use your EZ Link for cabs too!

Now, how convenient can the transportation in Singapore gets?

What and where to eat?

When it comes to food, I have to admit, this situation forever happens if you're a Malaysian going to Singapore. You tend to convert, convert, convert!

Take for example, a plate of chicken rice at SGD$2.50 only, right? After conversion, it is RM6 approximately, right? Hahaha... So, more or less, it's the same or in another word, budget food!

I admit, I did fest on ramen that costs SGD$13.80 or something like that but yeah, thank you so much to BFFs, Mimi and Christine, for the treat!

Believe me, you pay only RM13.80 to get exactly the same food in Malaysia... so... if you're a budget traveler, like me again, try to avoid ramen restaurants. LOLX! Unless ramens are sold at SGD$2 to SGD$3, then, I will consider going there.

Well... not to worry... try hawker stalls at Chinatown or some where similar. Geylang, perhaps? Heard there is a stall selling the infamous frog porridge.

Anyway, I went to Chinatown with BBF and friends. Well... food there was decently priced if you're gonna convert. LOLX! Hahahaha... Well... variety of food can be found there!

Take for example, Mango Ais Kacang!

We paid SGD$2.50 for it. Quite decently priced, I'd say since if you're gonna buy yourself a similar treat in Pavilion, KL, you have to pay around the same price.

Furthermore, if you're missing Malaysian food, there are a lot of stalls in Chinatown that sell similar dishes!

Dinner was courtesy of Steven and BBF, Vince. Well... I always get free food from friends, that's my life for you. LOLX!

Okay, sorry, I crapped, so... friends, please don't kill me! Hahaha.

Alright... conclusion is... Malaysia is still the best place to go to if you're on food hunt! At least I know our gastronomical delights are one of the best in the world - decently priced, not to forget!

Where to shop?

I am not fan of high class or branded shopping centers. Even if I do go there, the most I'd do is just to walk around. Unless there are sales or promotions going on at 70% to 80% discount, then, I will consider to shop there.

Yeah, cheapskate, so?

I don't born with a golden or silver spoon!

Best place to my interest - Bugis!

Hahahaha... I wouldn't say everything is cheap there but yeah, considering the fact that if you're going to shop at Ion Orchard, Bugis is far cheaper!

Forgive me for the yellow plastic bag. Hahaha... I was at Forever 21 when I found a dress I like! Hehe... I got it for SGD$39. After conversion, it is still cheaper than what we have here in Malaysia, RM129.

Okay, Bugis!

Bugis is something like Sg. Wang and Times Square but well... even though I don't really fancy those places, still, Bugis is better than those malls. At least there are less lala mui-s or Ah Bengs at Bugis.

Alrighty, if you're already at Ion Orchard, walk further down and you'll find Far East Plaza - another decently priced old shopping mall.

Vivo City is another mall you can go to if you feel like traveling further.

Another place is yeah, Chinatown!

My intention wasn't to shop, thus... I didn't end up going to a lot of shopping centers.

Places of interests

I know, I know - Merlion Park!

The signature park in Singapore!

So, if you ever go to Singapore, be sure to take a picture there, like me!

~ Acting touristy ~

There is the Singapore Parliament Building that was built with inspiration from durian, so... remember to take a picture there!

I don't know such fact but yeah, I heard it from Mimi.

Again, remember to take another picture of the Ship Museum or something like that. I don't know what the heck the building is called but... whatever...

Since it was too far away, I couldn't act touristy with the building. LOLX!

Those places are all nearby each other so... do go there!

Oh, right... if you're already there, take a walk across the bridge to Fullerton Hotel. You'll be amazed at the sight!

At night, you can visit Marina Bay Sands for a magnificent view and also a story told by water that is absolutely something new!

~ BBF and I after the show at Marina Bay Sands ~

So, afterwards, you can tour the casino if you are interested.

Did I hear you guys ask about the infamous Sentosa?

Entry is SGD$2 per person and you'll see Sentosa from outside. If you're considering to go inside, you need to pay another amount of moo-lah.

Oh... Universal Studio Singapore? It is at Sentosa but you've gotta pay a different rate to get into the place.

SGD$64 on normal working and no holiday days whereas SGD$72 for holidays and weekends. Price is per person.

Since I was on budget trip and did not want to make a hole in my pocket, I've decided to camwhore outside USS. Hahahaha...

Camwhoring is FREE, by the way.

Well... I know there are still a lot of places I didn't go to but rest assured I will do so in time to come - end of story!

Anyway... that's it about my budget trip.

If you have any other suggestions or questions, do lemme know.

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