I just got back yesterday from my mileage run vacation to Singapore and I’m still currently recuperating from jet-lag. It was a short four days in Singapore, but in that time span, I got to experience what Singapore is all about and met some amazing people along the way. Four days was not enough and in reality, I needed to spend a week to see everything I wanted to see in Singapore. Here are 10 things I learned from my recent trip to Singapore:
1. Taxi surcharges are not fun. My flight arrived at 12:30am and I wanted to get to my hotel after a long flight in coach. The MRT (subway) stopped running which was the cheapest and fastest way to get to the hotel ($3.00 SGD). I took a taxi from Changi airport and made it to my hotel in 18 minutes. The total cost was $23.25 SGD which wasn’t too bad, but I saw the itemized receipt and there were two surcharges. The first surcharge was $3.00 because the pick-up originated from Changi’s Singapore Airport. There is also a 50% late night metered fare surcharge for pick-ups between midnight and 5:59am. If you’re headed to Singapore, be sure to check out this site for a complete list of taxi surcharges.
2. You can find a 24 hour restaurant just about anywhere in Singapore. I hung out around the Geylang neighborhood at around 3am and found out that most restaurants were open and surprisingly still packed with people.
3. Buy an EZ-Link RFID card from the MRT station. The EZ-Link is a stored value card ($5 non-fundable fee) that provides discounted MRT and bus travel. Load your EZ-Link with money and just tap in and out from any MRT station and bus. If you’re planning to take the MRT or bus for a few days in Singapore, I highly recommend getting the EZ-Link card because you won’t have to fiddle with coins (exact change for buses) and mess with buying one-way tickets all the time from the machines.
4. iHome audio devices at the Westin Singapore come with the iPhone 5 adapter. Hallelujah! This is the first hotel I’ve ever seen with the iPhone 5 compatible iHome audio device. Ever since the iPhone 5 debuted in 2012, I haven’t stayed in a hotel that has adopted the iPhone 5 lightning adapter in the iHome audio devices.
5. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice is overrated. First of all, the lines are ridiculous and filled with tourists at the Maxwell Road Hawker Center. Although the chicken rice is $2.50 SGD, the chicken was served cold. I’m not a fan of cold chicken and the roasted chicken rice I had the day before in Geylang was 10x better than Tian Tian’s.
6. Hawker Center food is simply the best in Singapore. I think I visited about 10 different Hawker Centers throughout my four days in Singapore (I was on a mission). I really like it because you can find a large amount of local Singaporean food in one place. The food is inexpensive and has a great local feel.
7. The AWAY Room private plunge pool at the W Singapore Sentosa Cove is legit. When I booked this hotel, I saw some amazing pictures of the various rooms at the W Singapore. My dream room was the AWAY Room and the AWAY Suite which featured a private pool. I was ecstatic to find out that I was upgraded to one of the coveted rooms. It felt amazing having my own private pool in the comfort of my room.
8. Double decker public buses exist in Singapore. It was definitely a rare sight for me to see (outside of London) and it was great taking pictures while sitting in the front row of the upper deck.
9. Massage Parlors in Singapore infringe the Lufthansa logo. When I went inside to inquire about Lufthansa, I was offered a special Lufthansa massage menu.
10. The laksa at 328 Katong Laksa is legit. There’s just something about having a nice hot bowl of laksa in Singapore. It’s one of the must eats in Singapore that’s bursting in flavor.