9 Don'ts for a Uniquely Singapore Experience
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, 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!