9 Don'ts for a Uniquely Singapore Experience

4:30:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 14 Comments

ALL-TIME FAVORITE POST FROM 2009 RE-BLOGGED: When people ask me how my Singapore trip was, i always say it was good while it lasted. Let me tell you that Singapore is a place where many Filipinos aspire to go to. One is to seek for greener pasture and two, because everybody here seems so disciplined. The government has a clean reputation for not being corrupt, and the system is well-organized. A lot of people i know, friends and acquaintances, call this country their new home and i will never argue with them why they chose Singapore in the first place. "To each his own". If you ask me, i would like to say that my time there was enough.

To keep things in a positive light, let me share with you my top experiences in Singapore. Instead of do's, here's a list of 9 Don't's so you can experience the real "Unique Singapore Experience" Know why you should not plan when you travel to Singapore because the best part of traveling to Singapore is to not expect anything at all.

1. Don't plan activities early in the morning.
...because chances are you'll not be able to make your appointment. Drinking at night in Singapore is fun, easy and laid-back. With safari tours, cultural shows and theater productions scheduled at night. Once you've started chatting up with people and wandering around Little India, Orchard Road, Clark Quay and Sentosa, you'll forget the time. But if ever you want to get drunk, head to 7-11 where the cheapest "not-so-cheap" beers are sold at $4-6. Singapore at night comes alive so do check out these hot spots to paint the town red. 

2. Don't be afraid to rough it up.
Well, this could be a rule to anywhere you're going. Be realistic! It's not everyday that you can afford to eat at expensive restaurants and stay at the finest hotels in the metropolis. Sometimes, you have to learn to live with the means you can afford. For a true taste of Singaporean living, that is to not take taxis where the price is always jacked up. Learn to use the bus and the train. Because at the end of the day, the more you rough it up, the more money saved. When this happens, you get to stay longer in Singapore. 

3. Don't expect to travel around Singapore alone.
Because after a night or two, you'll meet other backpackers/travelers who are also going solo. With relatively a good number of them ending or starting their journey in Singapore before heading to Australia, chances are the same faces will become your instant travel buddies. It was cool and a memorable experience for me because i did meet a lot of people, shared thoughts, and learned a few tips on how i should live and regard life. Those which i will never forget.

4. Don't go to the usual spots. 
Instead, do something out of the ordinary. With over 10 million tourists a year going to the very same spots and doing the usual touristy stuff, chances of finding something unique to do in Singapore is unlikely. For example, on my fourth day in Singapore, I've already wandered around and just want to chill out for the day. An English backpacker i met introduced the idea of going to the cinema and watching the latest Bond flick. Random, spur of the moment and definitely a good pick, i gladly said yes and walked from Little India to Handy road with her to catch nonetheless, James Bond: Quantum of Solace. Good movie and good seats!

5. Don't stay in a posh hotel.
Singapore is a progressive country and city. There are numerous five star luxury hotels like Mandarin Orchard, Marina Bay Sands, Ritz Carlton and of course the infamous Raffles hotel. But there are heaps of $6 Singapore hostels where it's comfortable to sleep in, you get to meet a lot of travelers and all the basic amenities are accessible. Plus, you don't have to shell out so much cash. The real Singapore adventure starts with not having a butler but a bunk bed buddy!

6. Don't budget your meal.
Apart from Malaysia, Singapore is a country where you should exercise your taste palette. From Indian to Chinese influences, oriental cooking is superb this side of the world. One day while cruising around Chinatown, i said what the heck, i will order the most delicious food they have. After downing chilli garlic butter squid, yang chow fried rice, spicy thick noodles in sesame, and a big bottle of Coke Lemon, i knew it was worth it!

7. Don't drink too much.
I know i said nightlife in Singapore is suppose to rock your world but remember to drink in moderation. Not because you'll get drunk ( you're old enough to know that), but because you'll lose all your money in an instant. Alcohol and cigarettes are very expensive in Singapore. And most of tourists who have been to Singapore would attest how ridiculously expensive the country is. In order to make a difference, travel cheap by spending not so much on stuff that are overpriced. And spending so much on vices will make you penniless in no time.

8. Don't have a massage.
Not because Singaporeans aren't good at it but because again, it's more expensive. Head to Thailand, for your Thai massage fix at 250 baht instead. Everybody walks in Singapore, that's the way of living of Singaporeans. In order to experience how the locals live, walk all the time, and not drop by the foot reflexology clinic after.

9. Don't do anything i wouldn't do
Singapore is a very conservative country. And anything illegal is tantamount to death penalty when caught. A fun night out could ruin your life forever. Watch Banged up Abroad!

If you have some more Don't's for Singapore, kindly share them with me so everyone reading this post may be informed of what not do in order to fully experience the REAL Singapore! Cheers, la!


Debora said...

Hi dear, thank you for your lovely comment in my TokyoBlondes :) !

Omg these pictures are great !!!! I was in Singapore just 2 moths ago :), I left my heart in that city ! I'm going to live there sooner or later.
great blog, well done !


thanks debora! Cheers!!! been reading your blog more frequent now, i love your posts too. i bet girls all over the world drool over your stuff! Saw some of your accessories are bought in singapore. cool! by the way, the icing in the cake is your blog name. Its a really really great name! Tokyo blondes! Yey!

Anonymous said...

hahahah this is funny.
here is what me n my frens do to encounter problem on point no.7: buy lots of drinks at da duty free!
we always drink first at da hotel before we headed to the club ihihihiih...

@Nilcha good advice! hmmm, i think that's a good plan. you stock up on drinks from stores that sell cheap. drinks from bars are always ridiculously expensive eh!

Anonymous said...

very nice entry!

really? there are $6 hostels? what hostels are they?

@Anon yes, you have to take time to look around Little India. It is where i stayed the last time i was in Singapore. It's an exciting place that offers cheap accommodations. I highly suggest you stay there if you're tight on the budget. I found $6 hostels, but i stayed at the $10 like Inn Crowd hostel! I haven't been back in a while, though.

Eric said...

You are right, my first travel to Singapore was unplanned and it was rushed as well. I slept in the train station entrance with the rest of the Bombays who spent NEw year in the city. Wandering the city in the middle of wee hours not knowing where to go and where to sleep. No bathe, no brushing of my teeth, no changing of clothes and everything it was kindda hard but I find it so fun...
Just want to know what's the name of the hostel's you stayed..looks like a dormitory style....pls let me know.

@Eric why what happened in Singapore? How did you end up homeless in Singa town? I have to agree totally that's what an experience you had. I stayed at this hostel called Inn Crowd. did a little bit of research and decided to stay there. i've met so many friends from all nations. it's my first time staying at a hostel so it's pretty memorable. up until now, we still chat and exchange messages on Facebook. Cool Trip!

Anonymous said...

where is the singapore hostel that only cost $6? i am gathering some info & tips for our june2011 travel to SG... :)

@Anonymous I actually stayed at Inn Crowd hostel in Little India it's about $12 but i learned that a few blocks away, there's dorm beds at $6. If you're looking for cheap places, Little India is where you should be.

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really love the article. It proved to be very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also engaged! I’m sure you had joy writing this article.

Believe it or not, i kinda miss Singapore more and more. :)

Hi there,

I know this comment seems late since the post was written in 2010. But you do have some interesting information there. You put a twist to the usual information for tourists visiting Singapore by doing it the "Don't" way. Nice.

But I would disagree with 8th Don't. There are cheap massages in Singapore if you know where to find it. But definitely not comparable to those found in Thailand of course.

You can go to the old shopping centers like People's Park Complex and People's Park Center in Chinatown area. There are a lot of foot reflexology shops there. Due to competition, they offer like less than US$20 for a session. So now you know where to look for cheap foot massages in Singapore.

Danny from www.budgethotels.sg (a hotel search guide specifically on budget accommodation in Singapore)

@Danny - Budget Hotels in Singapore Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to trying a massage in Singapore sometime soon. Cheers!