I love travelling multi-city. Last August 2019, on my way home to the Philippines from Japan, I dropped by Taiwan for 2 days and 1 night. This time on my way back to Japan, I decided to drop by real quick to Singapore and Thailand.
Singapore is also one of those countries that I consider for quickstops. Main reason is that, it is a small city-state, thus it only takes a short time to tour around it. I took the liberty of dropping by Singapore for 1 day and 1 night. What to do in Singapore for that short period of time? Well, read ahead!
16:30 : Arrival at Changi Airport
This flight was the cheapest flight of the day, so I booked it. If I had other options, I would’ve booked an earlier flight. The more time to enjoy the place, the better, right? But if you really intend to stay in Singapore for only 1 night and 1 day, this arrival time is great, since you can directly go to your hotel and rest without feeling guilty of not going out for sightseeing in the daylight.
- 4G Sim Card
Take note: There are no pocket wifis available, like those pocket wifis for rent in Taiwan. Here, there are only Sim Cards, so make sure your phone is sim-free.
Mind you, these sim cards are very expensive to buy from the airport stalls. I will never recommend buying them from there. Again, these are available for lower prices in Klook, here. I actually didn’t get a sim card for this trip because I figured that I don’t need it. I’ll only be staying for such a short time anyway.
- Take them Travel Maps
If you are like me, who didn’t avail the 4G Sim Card, you need these Travel Maps. They are well-detailed and has all the guides that you need starting from the tourist spots to the Railway Network. They’re really useful. You can live with only them the whole trip.
- Money Exchange, please
Yes, airport money exchange centers usually have the lowest exchange rates but, exchanging your money there will save you a lot of hassle. Plus, what would you pay for your transpo out of the airport? I always plan ahead how much I would need for the whole trip and I exchange all of it at the airport when I arrive.
- Did you book your hotel yet?
This is a basic thing you should’ve done a month before the travel, but in case you haven’t done so yet, let me recommend this cheap bedspace below I booked using Agoda. I love Agoda because I always compare prices across apps and they usually offer the cheapest prices.
Serangoon Road, Singapore
Cost: JPY 1,242 (SGD 16)
Perks: Free Indian Bread Breakfast, Bedspacing. Go meet instant friends!
17:00 : Settle and rest in the Hostel
I love picking out very accessible hotels. With 60s Hotel, I just conveniently travelled by train to reach it.
Route: Changi Airport Station – Bendemeer MRT Station (GMaps)
Cost: SGD 2.40
About 60s Hotel:
- It is located inside an Indian community, so expect a lot of Indian culture and restaurants visible around.
- They speak fluent English, so you don’t have to worry.
- The place is comfortable and really nice.
- Bathrooms are not that great, but it’s workable.
- They have laundry services.
- Breakfast is only bread and tea. If you don’t like that, sorry they don’t offer other options.
After reaching the place, I settled down and rested because you know, in order for you to really enjoy the travel, you need to be well-rested. I am a huge advocate of that.
But if unlike me you wanna go sightseeing right away, I suggest you visit Little India or Chinatown. I really wanted to see these beautiful places, but I preferred sleep over them. Tita mode.
19:00 : Find Dinner and go to the iconic Merlion statue
As stated above, there are many Indian restaurants around the area of the hotel, but I am not into food experiments. I’m not that type of person. I only eat those that I know that I would like for sure. So, I went to the nearest McDonald’s I could find, and luckily, there’s one around the area. But I suggest that you experience the culture. You should go eat those Indian foods!
I’ve always wanted to see the Merlion and the Marina Bay Sands at night because I personally think that they look prettier with their lights on. And yes, I was right.
In terms of the crowd, I was worried at first because this area tends to be very crowded, but when I got there, I realized that there are fewer people at night. So this is a great timing.
I initially planned riding the SBS 130 bus to get to the Merlion park from the hotel, but I waited for the bus, and it didn’t stop at the bus stop where I waited. I was so confused why because the Bus Stop has the bus number on it. It was a weird moment. So, I do not recommend riding the bus. Travelling by train for me has been the most reliable transport, by far. Since the bus failed me, I hurried to the MRT station.
Route: Bendemeer MRT Station – Downtown Station (GMaps)
Cost: SGD 1.70
I stayed a little bit at the park. I also strolled around the area because it has these luxurious buildings around it. Countless expensive restaurants are there. If I had money, I would probably lounge there. It makes for a great stroll as well, especially at night where all the lights are pretty and bright.
22:00 : Travel back to the Hostel
After arriving back to the hostel, I rested because I know it will be a heavy day the next day. That’s all for Day 1!
7:00 : Breakfast and Checkout
I prepared to leave, had my delicious Indian bread breakfast, then I checked out from the hotel.
8:00 : Set out for Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is an iconic symbol of Singapore. I didn’t dare miss it. I’ve always wanted to visit this place at broad daylight because I know there’s a lot of pretty things to see. But first . . . .
- The Bus Ride
This time, I really risked for the bus because riding SBS 133 would be the most efficient trip. You know what, it was dreadful! For one, I don’t know the price because I can’t find it online and it’s not written in the Travel Maps. And to my dismay, the bus driver doesn’t speak English, so I needed to ask the price from the passengers themselves. That bus was not that high-end. It didn’t have those flashing screens with the Bus Stop names, so I didn’t know when to stop. I helplessly checked out the names of the Bus Stops we arrived into. It was just crazy, but anyways, I arrived safely and on time.
Route: Opp Arc 380 Bus Station – Bayfront Stn. Exit B (GMaps)
Cost: SGD 1.40
- The Luggage Counter
Singapore Train Stations do not have lockers. None that I am aware of. It was a struggle because I don’t wanna bring my luggage during the whole sightseeing. Gardens by the Bay also do not have lockers. It was so problematic for me. I walked around The Shoppers (a mall beside Gardens by the Bay) looking for a luggage counter, because malls usually have luggage counters in my country. Luckily, I found a luggage counter for the Marina Bay Sands Casino and another counter for the Hotel itself. These luggage counters are exclusive for those who are going inside the Casino and those that are hotel guests. So, this girl pretended to be a hotel guest just to have my luggage inside the hotel luggage counter. I succeeded to fool them by the way. *wink wink*
Tickets Tickets and Tickets
Here’s the link for the tickets sales from the official website of Gardens by the Bay. You’re welcome!
For other options, here are also more convenient and cheaper packages from Klook:
– Gardens by the Bay (1-Day Direct Entry)
– Gardens by the Bay + OCBC Skyway (recommended!)
All of those ticket packages are great. Find the package that suits your wants best.
For me, I am a great advocate of FREE STUFF. Haha! Basically, there are areas inside Gardens by the Bay that are open for everybody. So instead of paying at least SGD 20, which for me is impractical, I resorted to just enjoying the free stuff. I stayed there for 2 hours and my whole experience was still great. I was able to take great pictures, relax, and enjoy the view. Sometimes, you don’t really have to pay to enjoy.
11:00 : Head back to Changi Airport
Yes, unfortunately, my flight leaves early at 14:40. So I went back to the airport to have lunch and wait for my flight to Thailand.
Basically, my whole trip itinerary is Philippines-Singapore-Thailand-Japan. I looked a thousand times for trips that are only Philippines-Singapore-Japan, because I wanted to stay in Singapore for 2 days and 1 night, just like what I did in my Taiwan trip. Unfortunately, those trips are quite expensive already so I just continued with this itinerary.
If unlike me you still have more time, I suggest you visit Little India and Chinatown. I really wanted to see these beautiful places, but I no longer had time.
So that’s a wrap for my 1 day and 1 night quickstop in the culturally-diverse Singapore. It was a great trip.
To be honest, Singapore is an expensive country to visit for me. So, ready your pockets if you plan to visit it any time soon.
Below is my Summary of Expenses for your reference.
- SGD 16 : Hostel
- SGD 9.6 : Local Transport
- SGD 18 : Food
SGD 43.6 (PHP 1622) in total
Some Tips and Tricks
- Some itinerary adjustments
If you happen to layover for 2 days and 1 night, I suggest including Universal Studios Singapore in your list. Universal Studios takes up 1 day of the itinerary, so I couldn’t insert it in my schedule. It is also great to visit Little India and Chinatown if you have some spare time.
- Don’t get a 4G Sim Card. You can live without that.
- Just stay in the free areas inside Gardens by the Bay. You don’t have to pay to enjoy the place.
- You can compute your train fare in advance using this website.
- There are also great Singapore City Tours available in Klook. You can try them out. Having packaged tours are more convenient and cheaper. If I had more time, I would’ve availed of these tours.
That ends my Singapore travel guide.
This country is beautiful, well-organized, and progressive. I especially admire how they celebrate their diversity. If I will be given another chance to drop by this country, I wouldn’t hesitate. First stop would be Universal Studios. Haha!