I have been to Singapore twice. First was the year 2011 and the second was the year 2015. My first visit was with an aim of landing a job in the country. Unfortunately, my luck did not push thru. Aside from that, all of my money (as in all of my Singaporean dollars) was stolen by a mall washroom cleaner. To cut the long story short, I was so unfortunate that year.
My second visit was last year with an aim of acting like a real Filipino tourist, which I, by the way, had not experienced in my first visit in the country. I was with a friend and it was her first out-of-the-country trip, so, I did my very best just to be an all-knowing tour guide in Singapore to her. It was only a 3-day short but a very sweet trip.
SO, WHY VISIT SINGAPORE?
- Singapore is the perfect Asian country to host your first out-of-the-country trip.
- Singapore is only 3 hours and 40 minutes away from Manila via air travel.
- Singapore’s airline ticket is always on sale.
- Singapore has major tourist spots like Universal Studios, Sentosa, Madame Tussauds, and Garden by the Bay to name a few.
- Singapore has the infamous Merlion and you want to take an obligatory selfie with it.
- Singapore has been publicized as a small country that can be explored in a day via MRT and LRT.
- Singapore has cheap souvenir items like perfume, chocolates, shoes, and gadgets.
- Singapore has your friend or relatives working, so, you are in relief.
I get it.
If it is your first time to visit Singapore, then this blog post is advantageous to you. But, before entering the country, there are a few things you need to consider and remember:
- The weather in Singapore is dry to extremely hot with occasional rainfall, so pack accordingly.
- Exchange your currency in Changi International Airport, or in money exchange points in Singapore because they have high exchange rate compare to the Philippines.
- Do not exchange all your money, you will be fine. Remember, you are in a tight budget.
- Do not consider taking a cab from Changi International Airport to your destination in Singapore. A single journey may charge you 20SGD, do the math it can cost 600 pesos.
- Learn Singapore’s MRT and LRT map before leaving for Singapore so you know where to go and how to go in your destination.
- Singapore is a very clean and disciplined country, so act and behave accordingly.
THINGS YOU NEED TO HAVE IN SINGAPORE:
- PASSPORT- Bring it wherever you go just in case an officer ask for it.
- SINGAPOREAN DOLLAR– Obviously, you need money to spend.
- MRT CARD– So you can access trains, buses, and other facilities. 10SGD is the minimum top-up.
- MRT MAP – Get this in any train station or at the airport.
- SINGAPORE TOURIST BROCHURE – Get this at the airport.
- BACKPACK/PURSE – For carrying your stuff.
- FOOD/ BOTTLED WATER – So you won’t get hungry and thirsty.
- SUNGLASSES – To clearly see the awesomeness of Singapore.
WHERE TO GET CHEAP FLIGHTS TO SINGAPORE?
WHERE TO GET CHEAP TICKETS TO SENTOSA, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE (USS) AND MADAME TASSAUD?
There is this application/website called “Carousell” like “OLX” of the Philippines, where you can search for people selling cheap tickets to major tourist spots in Singapore including Universal Studios Singapore. The downside is, you have to meet the person you dealt with to claim the tickets. So, it’s either you pick up the tickets when you are already in Singapore, or, you can ask your friend or relative living in Singapore to pick it up for you to avoid any hassle in your trip.
Try it, it really works!
WHERE TO SHOP CHEAP AND BRANDED ITEMS IN SINGAPORE?
The safest way for me to say where to shop, if you are a Filipino, is at Orchard. It is very accessible, just get your train map, locate Orchard Station, and you’re good to go. Once you are there, find your way out the national road, then, branded boutiques will welcome you. Not only that, walk further and you will see Lucky Plaza. Feel at home in Lucky Plaza because most of the tenants there are Filipinos. You can find cheap perfumes, branded shoes, cosmetics, beauty products, money remittance services, salons, computer shop, McDonald’s, and Jollibee inside.
If you are looking for cheap chocolates, household products and assortments of goodies, go to Toa Payoh Station (just because it’s near Orchard Station), and look for Value Dollar store beside the exit. There’s a lot of Value Dollar store around Singapore so find the nearest store in you.
I will not include Bugis and Mustafa here because I haven’t been there. But, my friend told me that Bugis is more like “Divisoria” of the Philippines, while, Mustafa is where you can buy cheap clothes, watches, gadgets, chocolates, etc.
FOR A 3-DAY SINGAPORE TRIP, WHERE YOU WOULD GO?
On your first day, you may visit Marina Bay Sands and walk ahead to the infamous Merlion statue/fountain. It’s always the Merlion on the first day, isn’t it?
ATTRACTIONS AT MARINA BAY SANDS:
- Merlion Park (where Merlion statue’s situated)
- Marina Bay Sands Hotel
- Sands SkyPark
- Infinity Pool of Marina Bay Sands Hotel
- ArtScience Museum
- Expo & Convention Centre
You can find anything luxurious at Marina Bay Sands including shopping boutiques, restaurants, night life bars, and many more. It is said that the place is livelier at night, so, you may consider going back at night. The place has also perfect scenery because of the Merlion, the river, the buildings ,and hotels in the background.
ESPLANADE MALL & MAKANSUTRA GLUTTONS BAY
From the Merlion, walk your way to Esplanade- Theaters on the Bay (Durian shaped) thru Jubilee Bridge. Beside the theater is the Esplanade Mall where you can shop, and, the Makansutra Gluttons Bay where you could eat and dine. Makansutra Gluttons Bay is a perfect spot to feast if you are in a group, nevertheless, don’t if you’re alone or in a budget.
0.04km north of Esplanade Mall is the Esplanade MRT Station.
On your second, hop in the fun and go to Sentosa Island!
ATTRACTIONS IN SENTOSA ISLAND:
- Resorts World at Sentosa
- Universal Studios Singapore
- Palawan and Siloso Beachwalk
- Serapong and Tanjong Golf course
To go in Sentosa Island, ride MRT going to Harbourfront MRT Station and enter Vivo City. There are two ways to reach to Sentosa Island: 1) Sentosa Express 2) Sentosa Boardwalk. Choose Sentosa Express located at Vivo City Level 3, pay the fare using your E-link and reach the island via train. Choose Sentosa Boardwalk located outside Vivo City Level 2, you will not pay any fare, but, reach the island by foot. You choose.
RESORTS WORLD ATTRACTIONS:
Resorts World Sentosa Singapore is located at Imbiah Station. There are varieties of attractions in Resorts World Sentosa including Trick Eye Museum and Madame Tussauds. You can visit there website for ticket prizes –Resorts World Sentosa.
Tip: There are some travel agencies offering cheap tickets to any RWS attractions.
If you are out of budget, you can walk around the place and check out the following spots:
- The Merlion
- The Merlion Shop
- Images of Singapore (see the outside view)
- Madame Tussauds (see the outside view)
I would recommend visiting Madame Tussauds to see wax figures of famous Hollywood celebrities, Asian celebrities, known athletes, President Barrack Obama and many more. Take a selfie or submerge yourself in between the wax figures as if they are real and you are with them for real! Trust me, payment is worth it!
After that, ride in the cable car to go to Imbiah Lookout. Eat hotdogs , ice creams and pizzas all you want while walking around the place. Part of the attractions in Imbiah Lookout are Sentosa Nature Discovery, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, Sentosa CineBlast, Sentosa 4D Adventureland, and Luge & Skyride. Each attractions have entrance fee, but, you can still walk around and take photos.
In case you still have the energy, visit Palawan and Siloso Beachwalk located at Sentosa Station (last train station). Settle down and relax with its fine sand and calming beach. Expect crowd swimming and enjoying the beach in these areas. Catch up “Songs of the Sea” , a lights and sounds show in Sentosa Island, if you are planning to stay up late in the island. Good news, these are all free!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE
There is no better way to cap up your Singapore trip other than going to Universal Studios Singapore! It is also located in Sentosa Island.
Buy tickets online, or on-site at a Universal Studios ticket booth (subject to availability). But, if you want to score cheap tickets to USS, go to Carousell and search for great deals.
- You cannot bring food nor water inside USS. You can buy bottled water inside and there are refilling stations everywhere.
- Please do not bring large bags to avoid renting one of the lockers.
- Food and drinks are expensive, so, prepare your dollars.
- In case of bad weather condition, USS does not closed. Tickets are non-refundable.
- Have fun! Take as many photos as you like!
Happy trip guys! Ask me questions if you like. 🙂