Last January, me and Ralph had a chance of visiting Singapore and Malaysia for the first time. We were quite lucky it was off peak season so we got our flight tickets from Dubai to Singapore quite cheap. We paid 1700dhs each for our roundtrip tickets from Emirates. We planned our whole itinerary since December last year. You may download our 9 days 8 nights itinerary here. On a sad note, i don’t know what i was thinking but i’ve brutally deleted 50% of my travel photos on my memory card thinking that i’ve already backed it up and the photos here are what i’ve just recovered using my recovery software. *cries* Anyway, it’s the experience and the memories that counts (said Ralph). 🙂
Now we are lucky enough that I have a cousin who lives in Singapore so we saved tons of money in accommodation (which we eventually spent at Marina Bay Sands lol) although the only downside was my cousin’s house in Tampines was quite a bit far from the major attractions in Singapore (super near to the airport though) but no fuss since Singapore’s MTR (Train System) is super convenient or you can just use UBER.
After dropping our luggages at my cousin’s place and resting for a bit, even though we were still lacking some sleep, we didnt want to waste anytime so we immediately grabbed some breakfast at a nearby “hawker” place. Hawker or Hawker Centres are Singapore’s own version of mini food courts. It houses a variety of food stalls that sell loads of super affordable food and even if they’re super cheap, they’re really really good. How I wish we have Hawkers in Dubai.
I immediately tried the soft cooked watery eggs put in a bowl paired with kaya toast since I’ve heard that this is a Singaporean’s favorite breakfast. During my whole stay in Singapore, i forced myself to try it thrice but unfortunately it always seemed so weird to me. I love all sorts of exotic food but this is just way different for my tongue to accept.
I highly suggest trying out Singapore’s famous Laksa. It’s a spicy curry soup with seafood and some noodles. You may or may not like it. I like it, Ralph hates it.
After our quick breakfast, off we go to explore the streets of Singapore. Starting with Bugis Street. We took our first train ride and dropped off at Bugis Station. While walking, we saw the Bugis Market.
This is me pretending I don’t know somebody’s taking a photo of me. I know. lame.
Then just a few minutes walk from Bugis Street, we eventually found ourselves wandering off the infamous Haji Lane. This place is one of the most insta-worthy spots in Singapore. We saw lots of cool street art and murals here. What can I say, it’s very hipster-ish. Me and Ralph stayed here for hours. We love the vibes going around so we grabbed some drinks and just chill.
After Haji Lane, we took the MRT again and went to find where the super famous Singapore’s Merlion is. It was the perfect timing when we went there as the sun is about to set.
Then we had dinner at Mookata in ORTO. We had a sumptuous BBQ pork feast and a couple of beers and we called it a night.
It was our Marina Bay Sands Day but first breakfast. We had Nasi Lemak for Breakfast in a nearby Hawker Centre. Me and Ralph love Nasi Lemak. We keep on ordering it wherever we go.
Then we headed straight to Marina Bay Sands to check in. We’ve decided to stay for 1 night at MBS just for the experience. Even though me and Ralph are like “kuripot” or spendthrifts most of the time (because we know the value of money and we really work hard for it) but we also like to treat ourselves to a bit of luxury sometimes plus we wanted to know how it feels like to stay in a five star hotel.
But are we coming back to stay here again? Hmmm probably not. We really don’t feel like it’s worth it. We were so disappointed with their in room dining and costed us around 200dhs for some croissants, omelet and fruits. Staying here made us realise more that we’re really not into the luxurious lifestyle. We’d rather spend our money to a really good airbnb than staying in a hotel but that’s just us. I still think it’s a worth a stay though but just for 1 night to experience their famous infinity pool overlooking the Singapore skyline.
We spent the rest of the day at MBS, watched the Lights and Water Show then we went to Gluttons by the bay to have some chili crabs. Yum!
Then we finished off the night the night at 1-Altitude. Singapore’s highest bar with the best 360 view of Singapore skyline. We made sure we ordered Singapore Sling! 😛
We had our breakfast at Marina Bay Sands. It was bloody expensive but what do you expect, it’s a five star hotel. I just can’t believe I bought an omelet, a croissant and a fruit bowl for 200dhs. Anywho, it still filled up my stomach. We went to the infinity pool at 6 am just to make the most out of it and so only few people will be there.
After checking out, we left our luggages at Marina Bay Sand’s storage so we can just pick it up later. Then we headed off to explore Gardens by the Bay.
Then after Gardens by the Bay, we went straight to Chinatown.
My first impressiongto Chinatown: Why is it so clean??? I was truly impressed. The surroundings are bright and it seemed organised. Not the Chinatown that i’m used to. Well done Singapore.
If you’re looking for souvenirs then Chinatown is the place to be. They actually have everything here. From spices to food like preserved pork like bakwa, dimsums, singapore keychains, trinkets, lucky charms, mugs, fridge magnets and so on.. and the best part is they’re all cheap and you can haggle. Also did you know that the world’s first Michelin-starred food stall can be found here in Singapore? Unfortunately, when we went to the said food stall, the queue was super long so we didn’t bother but we would love to try it next time!
Since it’s almost chinese new year when we went, we saw a lot of preparations going on when we were there.
But our main reason of visiting Chinatown is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.
It is actually one of the main attractions in Chinatown. The five-storey Buddhist temple is home to what is reputedly the left canine tooth of the Buddha. It was really beautiful outside but I was stunned when I entered the temple. It was even more amusing seeing all the buddha relics inside.
Also a must visit when you’re Chinatown is the Hindu Temple called the Sri Mariamman. This well designed and colorful temple will just leave you in awe.
The diversity of cultures in Singapore is really amazing. We walked for quite some more and saw these cool artists on the street.
As art enthusiasts, me and Ralph were very fortunate that during our visit in Singapore, The Singapore Art Week was happening so we’ve included it on our itinerary. We originally planned going to the Singapore Art Museum but we skipped since the Art festival only happens once a year. So after Chinatown, we went to Aliwal to check out the Urban Art Festival.
Ralph got a chance to paint too so he was totally happy while I’ve spent my time visiting all the galleries and some workshops.
Day 4 -6
Malaysia – Read more about our Malaysia trip here.
We only planned spending 2 nights in Malaysia but ended up staying for 4 nights. 😛 We fell in love with the country. Want to know why? Read it here.
We’re back to Singapore via bus. How we wish we’ve used the bus also when we arrived at Malaysia since it’s more convenient and way comfortable than travelling by plane! We arrived at around 4:30am but instead of going back to my cousin’s place. Since it’s still super early in the morning, we don’t want to wake up my cousin so we’ve decided to visit Singapore’s Little India. We read somewhere on the internet that there is a 24 hours open mall there called Mustafa Centre where you can buy souvenirs.We just walked from Lavender MRT Station since all the trains weren’t operating yet. It was actually quite a walk but we actually enjoyed it.
Good thing Mustafa Centre has a storage space where they let you leave your luggages for free.
Then we went home, slept for a bit, took a bath then went straight to Orchard Road for a quick stroll then ION Orchard Mall to to buy some souvenirs like Kaya Spread and Uniqlo shirts since we don’t have Uniqlo in Dubai. While at ION Mall, you can also try and go see ION SKY.
Then after shopping, since we still have enough time to kill. We’ve decided to try the Singapore Flyer. Ralph was a bit hesitant at first since he’s quite afraid of heights but I’ve managed to convince him and it was actually worth it! It was a bit raining that day but it was romantic. I highly suggest trying it. The view above is just awesome.
We spent our last day in Singapore at Sentosa Island. Sentosa Island is Singapore’s most favourite attraction. It is essentially an island resort which is home to theme parks, spa retreats, golden sandy beaches, golf courses, a marina and fancy hotels. We spent hours of strolling around Sentosa by bike (yes you can rent a bike for a fee once you’re inside). It was very relaxing and we really enjoyed it.
We also saved tons by using KLOOK. If you don’t have a clue what KLOOK is, you better download it now to save tons of money when travelling. We bought our cable car vouchers here and it’s actually 50% off the original price.
You can also find the Merlion here. While at Sentosa Island, you may checkout Madame Tussauds or Universal Studios.
While strolling around, we saw these wishing bells being sold in one of the shops at Mount Faber. The seller in the shop told us that passersby tie a bell on the bell bridge upon writing their hopes and wishes. Also don’t forget to ring the bell as it will bring positive energy.
After Sentosa Island, since we still have some time left before our flight we thought we could quickly visit Tiong Bahru to grab some coffee and sweets. We just love the ambiance at Plain Vanilla. Super worth the visit! If you’re looking for a quiet coffee shop away from the hustle and bustle, this is the place to be.
We also quickly visited Books Actually which is just near Plain Vanilla Bakery in Tiong Bahru. Me and Ralph always love bookstores so we couldnt leave this place when we entered inside. I mean they have an effin Mystery Book Vending Machine. How cool is that?!
In terms of lifestyle, Singapore and Dubai is almost the same. Like Dubai, I can say that Singapore has its fair share of luxury. One thing’s for sure – I will definitely be missing all the Hawker Centres and all the Nasi Lemak! Me and Ralph had so much fun! Til we meet again Singapore!
Here’s a breakdown of our Expenses:
1700dhs each for a roundtrip ticket (Emirates) DXB-SG SG-DXB
200 dhs for the two of us budget a day for food (this is too much already)
300 dhs worth of MRT credits and UBER rides for the both of us
600 dhs (food, souvenirs + uniqlo shirts)
100 dhs each Singapore Flyer
I didnt include how much we’ve spent for our stay at Marina Bay Sands because it’s giving me a headache. :))
Make sure to also read our Malaysia Travel Diary here.