My experiences in Singapore

Discussion in 'T&AA - Travel and Anything Automotive' started by JD666, Oct 19, 2012.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    As you know, I was curious about Singapore since I was to travel to the country a few weeks back.

    Well I was there a few days before the race weekend. Here I am compiling some of my experiences of the country for others to read and maybe get some information about the place as well.

    Flying into SIN airport, our flight landed at their Terminal 3. And to get to the main arrival hall we had to take a Sky train that crosses from one terminal to the other terminal. You do have the provision of walking the 1.2-1.5 kms, however better if you take the Skytrain. This was a novel experience for me, since I was confused about how to get to the arrival area. Asked around and followed the crowd to the Skytrain waiting area. In about 5 minutes the train arrived ( size of a long Airport bus ).

    Scooted across to the arrival terminal, which if only I had been allowed to photograph, was Huge!

    Immigration was a quiet affair, no questions asked nothing. However make sure you are not carrying any chewing gum or cigarettes. There is a major ban in SIN for that. And they can fine you upto 500 SGD for carrying em.

    Collected my luggage and went to the Metro station underneath the Airport. Before I took my flight, I checked online, the best way to get to my hotel. Apparently it was right above a Metro station, so that seemed the easiest way for me. Also landing at 7.30 am would have pushed me into morning traffic as well.

    Before the station there were a number of outlets for Mobile connections and cash exchange. I converted some cash to SGD, and bought a Local SIN number. Cost me 15$, with 3G , reduced call rates to India, and free incoming with a recharge of some 60$, getting the same in talk time. The 3G speeds were amazing,so much so that I could easily make VOIP calls using the data package and connectivity was good throughout the country.

    Traveling locally by metro is possibly the easiest way to go around SIN, since most of the country is connected and its half the size of Delhi!

    But be prepared to find no one at the counters other than a person managing the entry. There are ATM like machines that allow you to book your travel and issue you a card for travel. Same has to be returned upon exit if you wish to retrieve your security deposit. Make sure you have change and some lower denomination notes with you.

    The ambiance/people -

    Singapore to me was an example of enjoying first world living, so close to home. Its one of the safest countries in the world, with a really low crime rate, since there are such high penalties for anything. I remember walking into a general store below my hotel, and the person at the counter was busy in his cabin. I loitered around for 5 mins or so looking at everything, but he dint bother even once to look at me or check out what was I upto. The sign on the door caught my eye, 10 months jail for shop lifting!

    Trashing in public etc also brings up such high penalties/fines etc. However the place is relaxed enough to allow you to drink and smoke in public, although in certain areas only. If unsure, better to ask around before popping out that bottle or cigarette.

    Many would have read, and many would know that Singapore is a multi cultural country, with people of all races residing. There are the local languages, but nearly everyone is well versed in English, so communication is not an issue, The accent might take some getting used to, but its not that much of an issue. And in places like Little India and other shops, you will find Hindi speaking people as well.

    The people are courteous, helpful, wait for you to cross the road ( :p ) , and do have a sense of pride in their living. You won't find many maniacs on the road or on the streets.

    It is absolutely safe for people to venture out beyond night hours without any worries. I spotted on several occasions guys and girls walking the streets at 3 am!

    The place is nice, clean, organized and well maintained, which is extremely impressive and efficient. Simply walking the streets was a pleasant experience without any disturbances, noise pollution, nothing.

    Taxis -

    Taxis are readily available, some can be called for ( numbers are easily available ) or even flagged down. They have a separate rate for flag down and booked ( I think the difference is around 3$, with flag downs being more expensive ). Nearly all the drivers that I met in the 8-9 cabs that I took were really chatty, and can actually tell you a bit about the place, places to see, visit etc. One such cabby took me around to the flyer, and then to Sentosa Island.

    Places to see/visit -

    I dint really have much time on my hands, had only one afternoon and evening to roam the place. I headed out in a cab in the hope of seeing Marina bay, Sands, the Merlion, Singapore flyer etc. However due to the F1 race, the track had been laid out and all the roads were blocked to the other side. As an alternate then headed out to Sentosa island to check out Universal studios etc.

    Universal studios was a great place to visit, best visited in a group or atleast a couple. No point going there alone, since you will get bored really soon. :)

    The rides were amazing, and in order of preference I would rate the Transformers the best, and then the Mummy returns ride. A must must experience.

    There are a lot of other activities going on on Sentosa Island, so if you are visiting on a holiday, do keep one whole day for the place.

    Another place that is a must see is the Singapore zoo, unfortunately I did not have much time to see it.

    I then visited orchard road/street , which was a nice place to be, loads of malls, and shopping centers abound. With the F1 happening, there were a lot of events going on, which was fun.

    Walked till Little India, I wanted to check out a bike spare part shop ( Yes, in Singapore! ). After that it was a cab to the Airport and back home. Loads of shopping options at the airport, so plan accordingly.

    Some pics -

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  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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  4. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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  5. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    Great photolog dude.
     
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  6. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Having lived there for 3 years, this was a good read. Slight correction, it isn't Metro, it is MRT (Mass Rapid Transport).

    As far as safety is concerned, it is amazingly safe, I remember going out for walks/jogs alone at 3-4 in the night, when I was 15, without having to fear anything. Besides there a lot of 24-hour shops (Gas stations/McDonalds) so the city never sleeps.
     
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  7. dbg

    dbg RAID Staff Staff Member

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    :notbad:
     
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  8. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Ahem, I knew it is MRT, i used Metro intentionally to keep it simple for everyone. :)
     
  9. RajaPraveen

    RajaPraveen Black Jeebus Staff Member

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    Amazing work JD, Singapore is indeed an amazing place and my favorite country next to India. :)
     
  10. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Thanks Raja, Its at the top of my list as well. Was looking at a job opportunity there, but missed it by a couple of days. :(
     
  11. RajaPraveen

    RajaPraveen Black Jeebus Staff Member

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    I am sure you will find a job there if you keep trying :), i plan on investing on a vacation home in Singapore :D
     
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  12. harryneopotter

    harryneopotter NEO is my middle name ! Staff Member

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    great writeup .... tempting :p :D
     
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  13. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Told you. Plan a visit soon!!

    Sent from my XT910 using Tapatalk 2
     
  14. harryneopotter

    harryneopotter NEO is my middle name ! Staff Member

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    my friend is asking me to visit since long now...
     
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  15. Nicko

    Nicko RAID Rookie

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    superb photography dude..:)
     
  16. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Thank you. The trusty N8!
     
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  17. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Just thought of adding this information. Before anyone planning to buy a TV or something, please check with your airline how much is their oversized baggage handling charges. Airlines have started charging extra from locations such as Singapore and Bangkok, since many travelers like to buy TVs from there.

    IIRC, the charges are mentioned at the counter where you get your boarding pass, so you really do not have an option at that time but to cough up the money. It can be around 145$ - 200$ ( SGD ) for TVs greater than 40 inches, and 200$ for 55 inch and above.
     
  18. MohitGamer

    MohitGamer ActiveRAIDer

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    Likey Likey !! Very Tempting :p
     

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