Sunday, January 1, 2012

Exploring Singapore

Full guide in exploring Singapore in 5 days. 

-Orchard Road
-The Merlion
-Marina Bay
-Little India
-Sentosa Island
-Universal Studios

We had to skip Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. You can replace these 3 locations on Day 4 and Combine Sentosa & Universal Studios on Day 5 (suggested if you travel on off peak dates or have Express pass, else you won't have sufficient time). OR if you use taxi or travel by car, visit Orchard, Esplande, Merlion, Marina Bay, Little India and Chinatown all on the same day.

This is only a guide, by me and you are welcomed to modify it in any way to suit your needs. 
This is perhaps a more appropriate guide if you are **travelling with elder parent(s) who either walks slowly, gets tired easily, dislikes shopping, not so fond of taking pictures, money saver and prefers not to travel unless forced by his or her children wtf. So instead of usual 2 to 3 nights mostly tourists spent in Singapore, we stayed for 5 nights wtf. Not so money saving after all, just needed extra time out on the benches road side or additional time for walking way behind the children.

So as mentioned, this is a full guide including where to go, how to get there and what most people want to know, basically how much S$ is needed at that certain location. Mind you but my family vacation to Singapore this time was surprisingly cheap, 3 times cheaper than we expected wtf. Another reason was probably because we traveled through Johor (because we stayed at Johore for 2 nights to explore Johore as well, but ended up it was a total waste of time). Day 1 can be a guide for those who are travelling from Sabah/ Sarawak and would like to travel on budget and doesn't mind the hassle or walking extra miles.

Day 1:

- Departed from Kuching International Airport around 10.30am. 
Flight fare for peak season, return Kuching-Johore RM305 per person.

-Arrived in Johore around 12noon.
Ride on white bus (by Causeway Link) to Kotaraya II bus terminal, RM8. We only noticed one bus at the airport so it shouldn't be that difficult to spot the bus. Unlike LCCT with so many different buses going to the same location.

-Take lunch at Kotaraya Terminal. There is a food centre which variety of Malay, Indian and Chinese food to choose from. Absolutely love the "Cincau susu" and "Bancau" here.

-Ride any bus you saw at Kotaraya Terminal which is heading to Kranji MRT/Woodlands MRT/Marsiling MRT/Queenstreet or whichever location in Singapore which is near your accommodation. The SMRT and SBS buses are Singapore city buses (comes frequently but always full house) while Causeway Link is a coach bus (which follows timing) the website may help. 

- We took SMRT bus bound for Woodlands SMRT because it was departing when we finished our lunch, just the right timing. RM1.70 per person. Bus will head for Malaysia (Johore) custom. Settle immigration.

-For all the buses departing for Singapore (either city buses or coaches), keep your tickets till the end of your journey (until you reach Singapore). Do not loose it else you need to pay again. This is because when the bus drops you at the custom, it will leave and after stamping your passport, you will need to catch the SAME bus you rode before to Singapore custom. At first when I read about the previous bus leaving and we need to catch another after settling immigration, I was paranoid because I feared it will be like LCCT, the buses waiting at the road side and you need to hysterically find them before they leave. But no, everything was sooo organized, I was amazed wtf.

- After riding the bus again (if you used SMRT, ride SMRT again), you will stop at Singapore (Woodlands) custom. Repeat the same steps but this time stamping into Singapore. Again, ride the bus and the bus will stop at Woodlands MRT (at least for SMRT) or your chosen destination (of different bus companies). Yes this whole journey was short but waiting for the bus 3 times was a bit tiring, but everything was only RM1.70. 

- We stayed at Backpackers @SG booked from Located walking distance from Lavender MRT. Thus it was very convenient, we just took MRT from Woodlands MRT (where the bus stopped us) to Jurong East MRT and from direct to Lavender MRT. You can download and print the MRT map here. I hardly remember the prices for MRT rides because we took countless of them and always buy in pax of 5 but all are approximately S$2 to S$4.

- We stayed in a 8 mixed dorm. Great room, nice staffs and good bathroom. Only 1 roommate who came the last 2 nights of our stay was a little noisy. First night was with 3 Philippines, a lady with her Mum and niece. Other nights were some cute Asian guys, then a Caucasian lady. Recommended for those who likes knowing new people or traveling on budget. S$20 per person per night. Breakfast included.

-When we arrived, it was already almost dinner time so we walked around the area (of King George's Avenue) and found decent places to dine. Food wasn't expensive as expected. All below $S5 for a fulfilling dish. Singapore's famous Hokkien mee at Kopitiam foodcourt near Lavender MRT exit is recommended!

Day 2:

-Lavender MRT to City Hall MRT and from City Hall to Orchard MRT.

-It was Christmas Eve so we decided to check out the Christmas decorations at the ever famous Orchard road in Singapore!

-But I made a mistake in plans here. After Orchard, we went to Esplanade, Merlion and Marina Bay Sands. Take MRT from Orchard station to City Hall station. Confusing much??? 

- Here is a better plan (if you stay near Lavender MRT). Lavender MRT-City Hall MRT-visit Esplanade- walk to Marina Bay Sands Shopping Mall through DNA bridge- walk to Singapore Flyer (optional, which we didn't)- walk back to Marina Bay (skip if you didn't go for Singapore Flyer) - take a river ferry to The Merlion-walk back to Esplanade-take City Hall MRT to Orchard MRT. If you follow my after plan, you would see Orchard beautiful Christmas decorations at night, which I believe would be much better.

Anyways, here are the pictures from Day 2

Here's Tang's....

And here's Lucky Plaza..


But it was Christmas Eve so many shops are close..

Took a break and just spend some time looking at the street decorations

And another break at McCafe to decide where will be our next stop

ION mall Orchard

Arrived at Esplanade

This was one candid picture. And it was raining when we arrived

And you can start posing with Marina Bay or Merlion from Esplanade because they are now both visible

While walking to The Merlion, you can rest at the park and feed some birds, which seemed to eat leaves wtf

Here is the river ferry that I mentioned, it travels to a few locations. They have a stop at Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade and The Merlion. But the last time we ask, both ferries from Marina Bay Sands and Esplanade heads for The Merlion. So if you want a better river view, try it. Between S$4 to S$12 depending on the distance.

This is the DNA bridge

You can throw your coins like it's a wishing well

But please don't throw your whole wallet/purse like this person wtf

And there was water show. Some 6 thousand gallon of water I think

Day 3:

- Lavender MRT to City Hall MRT. City Hall to Dhoby Ghaut MRT and lastly to Little India MRT.

-Once you come out of the MRT station, you will see India street. Day 3 is very relaxing because plan for Day 3 was only Little India and Chinatown. 

-After Little India, go to Chinatown directly from Little India MRT to Chinatown MRT. In both these locations, you can enjoy the food and visit the temples (of both Hindu and Buddha temple). Visiting these temples are free of charge but those wearing shorts (like me) or skirts need to wear additional clothe if you want to enter the praying area as a respect.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. It was closed when we were there because it was Christmas Day. Too bad..

After Little India we visited Capital Malls Asia before heading to Chinatown. Had our pre lunch at Carl's Junior. Try some of the stalls. The Korean food was not bad.

We ate Ice Kacang almost everyday. All at different places. But Malaysia's still taste better. However I just loved how much desserts they have like in West Malaysia, unlike in Sarawak we can hardly find them. You only have Green bean or Bubu Cha Cha wtf. 

Try the Char Kuey Tiaw, Hokkien Mee, Carrot Cake and Duck Noodle at Chinatown. Yummy! A lil salty for my liking but I guess that's usual for Chinese food.

Day 4:

-Day 4 was a day meant for Sentosa. Yes our trip is this relaxing, one day one area wtf. Plus it was raining every afternoon so we had no choice but to slow down our pace. 

- Early morning we headed to Harbourfront MRT after interchange at Outram Park MRT. Arrived at VivoCity mall and ride Sentosa Express at Level 3 of Vivocity. Cost S$3 per person (only cost to enter Sentosa, return is free of charge). And because it was peak season, queue was super long.

-The Sentosa Express is not a bus or a boat but a tram, like a mini train. It will stop at 3 stations, namely Sentosa Station (Resort World and Universal Studios), Imbiah Station and Beach Station.

- I managed to grab discount vouchers from Milkadeal for Bird Park and Underwater World. Cost S$32 per person. I am not sure about the actual price but if I am not mistaken, Underwater World itself cost about S$25. Other attractions we went were The Merlion for S$8, Extreme Log Ride S$18 and Songs of the Sea S$10. Strongly suggest Underwater World and Songs of the Sea (only at night, 2 shows, 7.40PM and 8.40PM). Extreme Log Ride was fun but would suggest the Cowboy shooting 4D thingy, forgotten the name wtf. Saw many people queuing for it, which was why we gave up.

- Get the Play-pass to enjoy all 15 attractions, but not all are suitable for kids or older adults. It is advisable to purchase all tickets earlier during peak season because tickets, especially for shows like Songs of the Sea, were sold out hours before the show began.

- The reason we spent a day just doing there few things was because we went at a super peak season and queue was super long. Even waiting for the bus took us 2 to 3 rounds. Waited 2 hours for the dolphins show to start. Our lunch was at KFC, even that we had to squeeze in a f*cking table. Entered an hour earlier for Songs of the Sea to grab good seats but even an hour earlier was late, sat no where near the middle wtf.

Arrived at Imbiah Station (second stop, first stop is Sentosa Station)

-Took a bus from Imbiah station to Siloso point where Underwater World is located. There are Red Line and Blue Line buses travelling to different locations in Sentosa. Free of charge but long queue during peak season. There are also Yellow and Purple trams for East coast and West coast of Sentosa beach.

Day 5:

- Day 5 was dedicated to Universal Studios Singapore wtf. And I thought 2 days after Christmas there will be less people, I was soooooo wrong. Same route like Day 4, we went to VivoCity through Harbourfront MRT. But this time we were asked to take the bus to Resorts World Sentosa because the queue for Sentosa Express will be 3 hours long. Wanted to take Cable car but also lots of waiting and cost S$26 per person. Took bus from the bus station just outside VivoCity Mall, cost S$2 only, but bit squeezy.

- Fee for Adult 1-day pass (off season S$68, peak season S$74). And after what we experienced, I totally would suggest getting an Express pass for additional S$50 (what more if you are in a hurry) or if you live in Sentosa, just take a 2-day pass at S$118. This is because you seriously cannot finish everything with the scary long queues. The Sherk 4D took us 1 hour. Transformer 3D took us 3, THREE f*cking hours...and the ride was what, less than 10 minutes?? Cylon roller coaster (blue line, hanging) took us almost an hour, which was why we gave up on Human roller coaster (red line, seated) because the queue was longer wtf. Lights, Camera, Action by Steven Spielberg was also great, queue was long maybe half an hour or so but moving fast because the show was like, 5 minutes??

-And that was the sad case cause these were all that we went. It was so crowded and I almost fainted because at first it was burning hot, then it was raining. Also got so hungry while waiting but no where to get out of line once you are half way through.

- So pleaseee do not torture yourself. Get an Express pass or 2-day pass if you HAVE to or NEED to or MUST go on super peak seasons. All information can be obtained from Resorts World Sentosa website. Check on the calender for peak and off peak dates. It is also advisable to purchase your tickets online to avoid the queues.

The other 3 days 2 nights we spent in Johore was mostly eating shopping eating shopping. We went to City Square THREE times because it was the only walking distance mall. Glad that at least it is one of the best mall in JB and it was only 5 minutes on foot. Public transport in JB is so bad and tourism was also so bad, when I asked my friends on where to go in JB, they said the only attraction is Singapore and malls wtf.

anyways..........before it's too late (or maybe already late but better late than never wtf)


No comments: