Monday, December 24, 2012

Singapore Trip 2012 - A More Enlightening Trip

Happy holidays to everyone! 

Wanted to narrate my 7 day stay in Singapore - Stayed from Nov 28-Dec 5, 2012. Hope it helps you on your next trip.

Weather: Short rains and very hot weather
Tourist Density: Normal, just right.
Total Expense Budget (for 2 pax): PHP 80,000 - PHP 100,000

Managed to book a flight to singapore on a discount. Got 2 round trip tickets for me and my mom for about PHP 10,000.

Pre booked hotels in Singapore and Indonesia through Agoda and Booking. 
1. Fragance Hotel Joo Chiat - 219 Joo Chiat Road, East Coast / Katong/Singapore/Singapore - PHP 3,300/night/3 pax. Comments: Room is spacious and quite cozy. No free wi-fi though. Very convenient location since its near to 112 Katong Mall, several small restaurants, and massage parlour. Free shuttle bus from Katong Mall to MRT station. But you may also take buses and taxis. This hotel is also near to the Airport, just 15-20 minutes drive.
2. Pullman Jakarta Indonesia Hotel - 59, M.H. Thamrin Street, Thamrin/Jakarta/Indonesia - PHP 4,924.03/night. Comments: Lovely and comfortable hotel. Will definitely go back. Convenient location as it is near two big malls. Their front office also offers tours for a fee. They have a spa, pools and restaurant.
3.  Le Peranakan - 400 East Coast Road, East Coast, Singapore, 428994, Singapore - PHP 3,400/ night/2 pax. Comments: Very small room and uncomfortable beds. Small shower rooms. Free wi-fi.Very near to the bus station and several small restaurants. Need to take a bus or taxi to a MRT.

Total Hotel Expense =  PHP 21, 700 for 6 days

Day 1 -  Ate the lunch at the plane - Black Pepper Chicken (not yummy) @ PHP 400. Arrived in Singapore at 2 PM. Took a taxi to the hotel for only SGD 14. Walked around the vicinity, tried different snacks and shopped at 112 Katong Mall. Absolutely loved the 1.5SGD cold taho and the 1.8 SGD Char Siew Pao. Slept for the whole remainder of the day.

Joo Chiat
Houses along Joo Chiat Road
112 Katong Mall - Din Tai Fung
Yummy Cold Taho and Char Siew Pao
Char Siew Noodles

Nearby Hawker - the left stall is serving Filipino food
Day 2 -  Ate local congee and fruits for breakfast SGD 10.3. Went to a nearby bazaar and bought a coral necklace for 50 off the original price. 75 SGD. Went to the Orchard Road to shop and mall viewing. Shopped at H&M and Cotton On. Ate a lot of snacks along the way. Tried the infamous 1 dollar ice cream, it was yummy and perfect for the hot weather. It is basically an ice cream brick with wafer. Proceeded to Sentosa via train. Walked around but the whole day ended up being spent in iFly. Spent 109 SGD for the indoor skydiving activity. 30 SGD for the dvd and 79SGD for the 2 49sec flight time. I was only able to do the basic pose since it was really hard to move around the tunnel. The instructor said my body was to limp and tense. It was a surreal experience, I will definitely try it again until i can do flips and jumps. Went back and ate dinner at the Food Republic.

Orchard Road

Love Ion Mall
Having fun at Orchard
1 dollar ice cream - mint chocolate

with the 1 dollar ice cream 'truck'
Lunch at a nearby mall
Decided to try walking to Sentosa via the boardwalk - surprised that it was quite far. Suggest using the train next time.
Me = Flying
Healthy Noodles from Food Republic - Not tasty
Infamous Chicken Wings from Food Republic - Not sure why its so famous
Fish Congee from Food Republic - Quite bland
Day 3 - Ate at Din Tai Fung @ 53.75SGD - lots of dimsum: tried the truffle xiao long pao, nothing different. Took the free shuttle from 112 Katong Mall to the Green Lane MRT. Went down at the Red Lane and did my own city walking tour care of the maps provided at the airport. Ended up at the Gardens by the Bay. Bought the entrance for both the flower garden and the sky garden for 25.2 SGD per head. The garden is so big that you can spend the whole day just reading and loving the flowers and scenery. There is just too much "pretty" so make sure to bring lots of brain and camera memory. Ate an ice cream made from one of the flowers in the garden for 4.2 SGD. I highly suggest you visit here at least once. Walked around the city and ended up in Marina Bay Sands Shops. Walked around and ate dinner at the Raspura. Loved the Egg Custard Bun for 4.5 SGD. We also did the river cruise from Marina Bay Sands for 12SGD per head. We then went down to Clake Quay and enjoyed the scenaries/ malls.
Then took a taxi back home for 5.5 SGD. 

Outside the garden grounds
Ticket to the folder dome and cloud forest
Flower Dome is really huge
Christmas decorations
Enjoying some flower ice cream

Gardens by the Bay
Sky Walk at the Cloud Forest
Top of Cloud Forest
Rock formations
Wishing for some luck?
Conquered the sky walk - I was shaking a bit
My mom and aunt enjoying the numerous plants
Day 4 - 1:45 min Flight to Jakarta Indonesia by Air Asia @ 212 SGD. Went to airport by taxi. Upon arrival to Jakarta, took a big cab to the Hotel. Settled down and washed up. Went to Plaza Indonesia and the other big mall for shopping. Spent whole day in these 2 malls. Day ended. Comment: Shopping in Indonesia is great, branded goods are cheaper as compared to here in the Philippines.

Pullman Room
Indonesian Lunch
Kafe Betawi seats
Day 5 - Woke up and spent whole day in 2 nearby malls again. Since flight was at 6 PM, had to leave the hotel at 3 PM to avoid the rush hour. Upon arriving at the airport, had to pay 25 SGD per person. ( I suggest to pay in indonesian money if you still have some. its only 150,000 as compared to the 25SGD.) Ate in flight meals for 5-7SGD per meal. Arrived at the SG Around 9 PM, since Jakarta is 1 hour behind singapore. Rode Taxi to Le Peranakan - 18SGD. Ate late dinner at Mad Thai Restaurant which is a nearby thai restaurant. The food was quite bland and i did not really enjoy it - 8.9 SGD. Slept at the very small hotel room.

Indonesian Lunch before going back to Singapore
Indonesia Airport

Pretty Mall Interiors
Day 6 - Ate some bread for 4 SGD. Rode the green lane MRT and then went down to the red lane at Ang Mo Kio to take a 2 (or more) hour bus to the singapore zoo. Spent 25SGD per person for the entrance and panda viewing at the zoo. The zoo is really big and it was raining. Did not have much time or energy to really roam around and read all the animal descriptions. Food at the park costs 9.7 SGD per meal. Arrived at the zoo at about 10 AM and left at around 5 PM. Took the same bus and train + taxi back to the hotel. Had some ramen @ 16.5 SGD for dinner at a nearby restaurant at the hotel. It was interesting since it claims to be an authentic japanese ramen - japanese man established his own ramen joint.

Singapore Zoo

Red Panda spotted
Know more about panda's
Roaming monkeys inside the zoo

My first time to touch a snake + photo with cast of Nature Fights Back

The female panda was adorable unlike the sleepy male panda
Day 7 - My birthday. Woke up and prepared to do the final hurrah at Singapore. Went to the 3 big stores here: Giants + Ikea + Electronic Store. Took the green lane train and rode the complimentary bus to Ikea. Shopped at Giants first for some souvenirs and great groceries. Spent about 60.57 SGD for all nice goodies to bring home. Next stop went to Ikea for lunch (meatballs! salmon!) and enjoyed visualizing my dream home. Next was the electronic store but forgot what it was, checked out the phones and cameras but had to rush back to orchard since i was meeting someone. Bought some Lim chee  guan jerky for 20.4 SGD each and some floss for 12 SGD each. Lastly bought some chocolates at Choc Spot Lucky Plaza. Went home and fixed stuff, ate dinner at a nearby hawker place. Took a cab to the airport for 18 SGD. At the airport managed to get my GST refund. The lesson i want to stress here is the importance of WEB CHECK IN. If you want to not be stressed and manage to do your refund, make sure to check in early. I learned this the hard way. T_T

More or less, that was my whole trip. Arrived at the manila 5 AM Dec 5. It was really an enlightening trip since i learned a lot about navigating by myself + a party around singapore. Budgeting. Talking to locals. And just taking in all the financial and emotional issues I had to deal with. I am looking forward to go back to singapore and hopefully by myself next time. 

2 comments:

Vrinda said...

Were you able to get gst refund on your hotel reservation made through agoda? I asked agodo for an eTRS ticket and they refused to issue one. Thanks in advance

Jeatte Go said...

Vrinda,

No. I did not ask for a GST refund. I know hotel services are not refundable.