08 Jul SG on a Shoestring: Arrival + Things You Need to Know
#SGonaShoestring is a blog series on my 30-day staycation in Singapore. This trip does not include every tourist attraction since I’ve been to some of them before. I only write about my road-less-traveled experiences when I could. They may not necessarily be the best (or the smartest) but if you want a different perspective on the “Little Red Dot,” I invite you to follow this blogventure!
UBER to the Airport.
I used UBER to get to the airport, and for good reasons. They’re easier to hail and you don’t have to worry when you’re out of cash. Just connect your credit card to your UBER account and you’re good to go. The cars are of better quality than most taxis, and the drivers will never overcharge you for your rides. Sometimes, they’re even cheaper than GrabTaxi and regular abusive taxi drivers! The UBER driver who took me to the airport was quite a good talker so I barely noticed the time. Before I knew it, we have already arrived at Terminal 1. Kuya driver even helped me carry my stuff. Cool!
The New NAIA Terminal 1.
I’m pretty impressed the overhaul they did at Terminal 1. Dubbed as the “world’s worst airport,” I’m confident that the curse on NAIA T1 would be lifted this year. Last time I was here, there was no working AC, the lobby’s too crowded, and the ceiling looked like it was gonna fall anytime. Quite the opposite now where the departure area has become much much more spacious, lit up by a beautiful ceiling, and more quality restaurants available. I also liked the fact that I didn’t have to queue up on the check-in, thanks to JetStar’s dedicated Web Check-in counter. (Tip: always check-in online within 48 hours before your trip.) Immigration was a breeze too. I was asked only three basic questions. Interesting to say that when I said I’ll be there for 30 days, I wasn’t asked any further and the officer stamped my passport.
Arrival at Changi Airport.
Singapore’s Changi Airport does not disappoint! Everything was so fast and efficient all the way to the arrival meeting point, where the state-of-the-art Kinetic Rain is installed. This 1,216-piece polished copper raindrops depicts the joy of travelling and is Terminal 1’s can’t miss centrepiece.
Was greeted by my good friends, Emmie & Marc, who accompanied me to Burger King and took me to their amazing place where I’d be staying for a month.
If you’re planning to visit Singapore soon, here are some things you need to know:
When in Singapore, you should get an EZ-Link Card! I swear it will make your life more convenient. If you’re a tourist, you can get the Singapore Tourist Pass which gives you free unlimited rides for certain number of days (1 day – S$20, 2 days – S$26, 3 days – S$30). Although I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you could ride at least 20 rides per day. Alternatively, you can get the regular S$5 card and top up at least $10 which could last you a few days.
I don’t know about you but whenever I travel abroad, it’s a necessity for me to be always connected. It’s just more convenient (and secure) when you know you can check the internet or contact anybody anytime when you’re in a very unfamiliar place. Before leaving the airport, You could get a S$50 or S$38 hi! card from SingTel that comes with free 5GB and 1GB worth of data, respectively. Or you can get a lower value card at any 7-11 store in the city. Just so you know, Singapore’s LTE can take you to whooping speed of up to 50Mbps! Now that’s fast!
If you’re coming from a country like the Philippines, you’d be surprised with how expensive food can be in Singapore. A small bottled water alone costs almost S$2 (P67) on 7-11! But don’t worry. If you’re able to hold your hunger long enough, you can find a hawker area or a food center where a regular meal ranges from S$3 (P100) to S$10 (P330). If you plan to eat in a restaurant, expect to pay a lot more. It may seem too much for a regular Juan. After all, Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive city to live in.
*Cover photo (Marina Bay Sands) courtesy of Rodrei Dizon.