Singapore Flyer

Singapore Trip Summary & Travel Guide

by April@MyFoodTrail on July 19, 2012

in Singapore, Travel

I thought it would be useful to share some of the other non-food things we did on our trip to Singapore and other tips in a travel guide. It’s by no means meant to be comprehensive, but I hope it might help someone who is visiting Singapore.

Weather

Singapore only has two types of weather – hot, or hot and raining! Add to that the very high humidity, and it doesn’t make it very pleasant to spend too much time outdoors. We had a mix of extremely hot weather and somewhat milder weather (low 30C) in the short week we there. We even got treated to a massive thunder storm that kept us awake one night!

Singapore - Skyline

Singapore skyline

Local SIM card & 3G Data

Tourists can purchase a Starhub Preferred Tourist SIM card, costing SGD$15, for SGD$18 worth of credit. You can use that credit towards purchasing a data pack for 3G data. I got a micro sim card for my iPhone without any hassle, and if you purchase a data pack, the sim card also works in the iPad. Starhub allows tethering through the iPhone.

You can pick up a Starhub Preferred Tourist SIM card from the UOB Foreign Exchange counter in the baggage claim area, just before you exit out the gates through Customs. All they require is your passport.

Getting to and from the Airport

There is a MRT (train) at Changi Airport which easily connects to the rest of the network, however the trains can get very crowded and unless your hotel is close by to a MRT station, you don’t want to be stuck walking outside in the heat carrying your luggage. Taxis are cheap and convenient and the taxi drivers speak English.

Transport

Singapore has a very convenient public transport system called the MRT. You never have to wait longer than 10 minutes for the next MRT. The network is easy to navigate and there are clear announcements in English before you arrive at every station.

The MRT fares are based on individual trips. There is a $10 unlimited day pass for tourists, but I personally don’t think that it’s worth it unless you will moving around a lot. You can purchase individual trip tickets at the station. Depending on how long you will be in Singapore, you might find it more worthwhile and convenient to get an Ez-Link card. An Ez-Link card stores value so you can touch on and off at your departing and arriving station.

The Ez-Link card costs SGD$12, with a $5 non-refundable card fee and $7 stored value. The fares are slightly cheaper using the Ez-Link card compared to purchasing individual trip tickets.

Accommodation

We stayed with friends so I can’t offer any help here. I would stay somewhere not too far from a MRT station, but as mentioned earlier, you can always catch a taxi.

Things to Do

We’ve been to Singapore quite a few times so we have already done most of the tourist stuff like go to Sentosa, the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari. They are definitely worth checking out if you are a first time visitor to Singapore.

Singapore - Night Safari

Singapore Night Safari – seeing animals in their element at night

If you fly into Singapore via Singapore Airlines, you can go on the SIA Hop on Hop off bus for only SGD $6 per person (as opposed to $12 – just show your boarding pass). This bus will take you past most of the attractions around the city and give you a nice air conditioned city tour. As the name suggests, you can hop off at any of the 22 stops and hop back on again as you please for the day. The bus comes every 30 minutes and the full loop takes around 2 hours. We spent a day seeing the sights on the SIA Hop on Bus.

Singapore - SIA Hop on bus

Singapore Airlines SIA Hop on Bus

Singapore’s Chinatown is worth visiting. The streets still maintain the old style Singaporean shophouses. Make sure you time your visit to Chinatown so you can stop by for a meal at Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.

Singapore - Chinatown Temple

Temple in Chinatown

If you have a Singapore Airlines boarding pass, you can get a 20% discount off a ride on the Singapore Flyer. It gives a great view of Singapore from above. Just don’t be losers like hubby and I and not realise there is a commentary you can listen to!

Singapore - Singapore Flyer

Singapore Flyer

If gambling is your thing, drop by the casino Marina Bay Sands and if you win lots of money, a whole host of designer stores are waiting for you just outside. Singapore tries to bring a touch of Venice to Marina Bay Sands with gondola rides through the complex.

Singapore - Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands by night

Lastly, if you get sick of the heat, you can always go shopping in the air conditioned shopping centres. There are shopping malls galore in Singapore and there is normally a shopping mall connected to the major MRT stations. If you visit Singapore at the end of May, you can grab yourself a bargain at the Great Singapore Sale.

All Things Food

Local food is cheap in Singapore and there is food everywhere. You will never go hungry in Singapore! Around every corner is a tasty snack waiting for you. You must try eating at a hawker centre while you are in Singapore. You can check out my visits to hawker centres here and here.

Singapore - Bee Cheng Hiang bak kwa

One of my favourite snacks is bak kwa, a thin sheet of dried & grilled pork, sort of like pork jerky

Singapore Chilli Crab is another local dish all seafood lovers should try. Don’t forget to order a side of deep fried mantou to mop up all the delicious sauce.

If you like your sweets, you have to try out some of the Nonya kuehs (cakes). One well known brand of shops is Bengawan Solo.

If you don’t have a Din Tai Fung where you live and having a craving for dumplings, specifically xiao long baos, there are 12 branches in Singapore!

Over & Out, April xx

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie July 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm

This is a great post! Very handy indeed :)
Haven’t had bak kwa in sooo long. Love it even though it makes my skin oily as hell!

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April@MyFoodTrail August 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm

They don’t do it as good here in Melbourne. Maybe the oily skin is due to the hot weather?! Haha :P

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Michelle July 20, 2012 at 1:02 am

I can’t wait for Hong Kong!

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Jackie July 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

Very nice post, lots of great info!

We’re heading off to Singapore in 4 days, so also very timely!

Thanks heaps

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Tina @ bitemeshowme July 20, 2012 at 9:25 am

Great post and thanks for sharing all your awesome tips. Bookmarking this :)

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Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm

WOW great post :) I love the simplicity of it! AND I’m going to Singapore at the end of the year with my parents i’m so excited now with your guide I’ll know exactly what to do and where to eat hehe :)

Last time i went ~ I remember going on the ferris wheel then the week later it broke down! Gosh i was so scared :P

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Adrian Briones (@food_rehab) July 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Good tips about getting a local SIM. I made the mistake of getting a global one for the US which ate into all the MB on the first day because of twitter! LOL

What an adventure. Love love love jerky – honey beef, honey pork, chilli pork, chilli beef hehe INSANE!

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April@MyFoodTrail August 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I’ve learnt my lesson too and now only get a local SIM or make sure all data is turned off!

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Kelly Siew July 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

This is a great post! Missing Singapore for the food and shopping… shall go again soon! :)

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April@MyFoodTrail August 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Thanks! I want to go to Singapore again too! :)

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Julie July 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I really missed the bak kwa there! I would buy bee cheng hiang everday when i was over :) so lucky because our hotel was a few minutes walk. I was a little noob about getting a sim but will remember your tip for next time :) .

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April@MyFoodTrail August 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Bak kwa is just not the same here. I’m sure since they don’t have as high turnover, it’s not going to be as fresh either. The SIM is a good deal if you want to stay connected and don’t have any other internet access.

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Ames July 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Planning to head out to Singapore at the end of the year after exams so will definitely have to refer back to this post when I’m preparing for the trip! Great post – bookmarking this for sure :)

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April@MyFoodTrail August 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Nice one! Hope you post about your adventures too! :)

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Thanh August 1, 2012 at 11:15 am

Excellent guide for any tourists. I love the shot of the ferris wheel too.

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April@MyFoodTrail August 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thanks! It’s one of my favourite shots too cos it’s got a different perspective than just taking the view from the window.

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cheap singapore trip blog April 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Ive been to singapore..very nice place..i love the food..specially the so called chicken rice. I also did a strolling at marina bay…very nice place..i didnt about the Hop-in-hop bus in SG..but i have tried that in KL. Sg is a small country..things are moving fast..when it comes to transportation, Fast Train is the best thing to ride with..very cheap and convenient for me to travel on major locations.

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Habib August 12, 2013 at 4:53 am

Nice post. Especially the picture of marina bay sand

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