Amazing Miniature Wonderland – Singapore. 200 years ago there was just a jungle here, and now it is one of the most developed countries in the world. Alice lives in this wonderland and shares her appearance / passwords and other useful travel information: where to go, what to see in Singapore on your own and how much it all costs.
– We already know Alice) Alice gave me an interview, where she shared her experience of life in Singapore) And who you don’t know yet, let’s get acquainted)
– Hello! My name is Alisa Sherstova, my family and I have been living in Singapore for the third year. Almost every day my daughter and I walk around the city, exploring new places, and I am happy to share my appearance / passwords and other useful information on my blog @ alisa.she on Instagram? For 2.5 years of blogging, I have already collected a lot of posts for tourists, you can just take and drive on them. I try to tell everything in as much detail as possible – my past as an event organizer makes itself felt))
Also, I talk a lot about our move and about ordinary life in Singapore – joys, surprises, pitfalls, etc. This can be useful for those who are going to move to Singapore, and just people interested in life abroad! For anyone interested, read about it in my interview about moving and living in Singapore.
– Tell us interesting facts about Singapore.
– Singapore is an amazing country! 200 years ago there was just a jungle here, and now it is one of the most developed cities in the world, which impresses with its achievements, pace of development, and scope in everything: architecture, technology, living standards.
For several years in a row, Singapore tops the world ratings in various categories: the cleanest, safest, most expensive, etc.
– What are the good times to travel to Singapore?
– Singapore is located almost at the equator, so there is no particular change of seasons here. All year, plus / minus the same weather: in the afternoon +30, in the evening +26, somewhere like that. It rains more frequently from November to January than during the dry season. But even in this very “dry season” it rains quite often, although they are not prolonged – half an hour / hour and again everything is dry.
– Do Russians need a visa to Singapore?
– For citizens of the CIS countries, there are two options for visiting Singapore:
- e-visa processing
- transit (Singapore transit visa)
Let’s take a closer look at the types of visas:
- Singapore e-Visa will allow you to stay in the country for up to 30 days on a tourist visa. Documents must be submitted through visa centers online, you can contact authorized agencies in your country, or in Singapore – it doesn’t matter. But the Singapore agency asked for fewer documents than for registration in Russia). It takes 3-10 business days for review.
Consular fee for a visa – 30 sgd (~ 1500 rubles), agency services are paid additionally.
- Visa-free transit is suitable for those who have a long connection in Singapore, or if they have been refused a visa. Recently, it has become more difficult for girls under 35 (especially unmarried) to obtain a visa to Singapore. Many are refused without explaining the reason. But NOT everyone?
To use visa-free transit, you must have tickets to a third country with a departure no later than 96 hours later. The popular route is Phuket – Singapore – Kuala Lumpur. In other words, a flight back to the same country from which you arrived in Singapore is not possible)
– Alice, tell me what to see in Singapore, where to go?
– Most must-see and simply beautiful tourist spots in Singapore are located in the center, within walking distance from each other. With all my guests, I definitely go to the “free places”.
And so, what to see in Singapore in 2 days on your own:
- Marina bay embankment: there is the “visiting card” of Singapore – the Marina bay Sands hotel, the Helix Bridge, the ArtScience Museum, a fountain-statue in the shape of Merlion (a mythical animal with a fish body and a lion’s head, another symbol of Singapore). Near Marina bay sands there is also a small pier with sun loungers and a gorgeous view of the city center, and skyscrapers – here you can take a break and take a picture.
- Downtown – Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, Raffles Place, Orchard road (a street full of shopping malls), North Bridge Road, Telok Ayer Street, etc.
- Ethnic Quarters – Chinatown, Little India, Arabic (Kampong Glam).
- Parks – Gardens by the Bay, Fort Canning park, East coast park, Botanical Garden.
Singapore is also very good from a height, I recommend taking a look at any of the city’s observation decks, the Singapore Flyer, or even a panoramic restaurant or bar on the rooftop, or on the upper floors of skyscrapers).
What to see in Singapore. Observation Decks:
- Sky park in Marina bay Sands (23 sgd adult / 17 sgd children) (~ 1109/820 rub.)
- Ion Sky (admission is free, but you need to buy something at the Ion Orchard shopping center for 20 sgd (~ 965 rubles), and show a receipt at the entrance. 1 receipt = 1 person)
- Sky Bridge at Pinnacle @ Duxton (6 sgd) (~ RUB 289)
Bars with a view:
- bar 1-Altitude
- bar Level 33
- Smoke & Mirrors Bar
- Ce la vi restaurant
- Lavo restaurant
- Restaurant Zafferrano and many others
What else to see in Singapore?
- I also often visit the most popular tourist places – the Gardens by the Bay – Flower Dome and Cloud Forest greenhouses, on the Sentosa island (there is just a lot of different entertainment in one place, neither children nor For adults: there is SEA Aquarium, Universal Studios, Adventure Cove Waterpark and much more!
- In Singapore, it gets dark early, at about 19-30. In the evenings, beautiful music and light shows are held every day. There are both paid (Wings of time in Sentosa) and free (Spectra show near Marina bay Sands, Garden Rhapsody show in Gardens by the Bay, Crane dance on Sentosa island).
– How to get around Singapore?
- The easiest and most affordable way to get around Singapore is public transport. Almost all sights can be reached by metro or bus.
But to the zoo, for example, we usually take a taxi, because There is no metro nearby, and the bus is a long way to go.
- Taxis in Singapore are relatively inexpensive, especially if you have a company.
Singapore Transportation Prices:
– 1 taxi ride around the city 10-17 sgd (~ 480-820 rubles), to / from the airport 20-30 sgd (~ 965-1447 rubles).
– 1 trip by bus or metro – 0.83-1.5 sgd (~ 40-72 rubles) (and after 23:30 – only a taxi)
The fare is calculated based on the distance you have traveled. To do this, you need to attach an EZ-link card (it is sold at the metro ticket offices) at the entrance and exit of the transport. The same card can be used to get to Sentosa Island on the Sentosa express monorail (4 sgd – (~ 193 rubles)), or to buy drinks / snacks in some street vending machines where there is payment by card)
- It is possible to rent a car, but it is not a cheap pleasure. An ordinary passenger car like Toyota will cost you 50-80 sgd / (~ 2412-3860 rubles) a day, or 230-260 sgd (~ 11098-12546 rubles) for the weekend (Fri-Mon). And this is just the cost of renting a car, plus paid parking, gasoline and roads (there are many of them in Singapore).
– Tell us about Singapore hotels and prices: the best budget hostels.
– During my 2 years in Singapore, I managed to visit only a couple of hotels, because we live in an apartment. Therefore, with hotels, the best assistant is Booking and similar services.
It is worth noting that short-term apartment rentals in Singapore are prohibited, the minimum rental period is 3 months, so AirBnb is illegal here. And nevertheless, some owners rent apartments for daily rent at their own peril and risk. As far as I understand, the consequences will be serious precisely for the landlords – a fine and up to imprisonment. I think that in such a situation the tenant will have a hard time. he will most likely be evicted, but the money will not be returned.
Singapore is not a cheap city, and living here can cost a pretty penny, so I recommend looking for options in advance if you are going to travel to Singapore.
My recommendation – look for a hotel on the metro line (mrt), so it will be more convenient, faster and cheaper to get around the city. The very center is Raffles place mrt, Bayfront mrt, Orchard mrt, Dhoby Ghaut mrt, City hall mrt, Promenade mrt, Esplanade mrt, etc. – they are all nearby, you can see it on the metro map. Of course, a more budget option is to live outside the center, here reviews on TripAdvisor will help you, etc.)
Monitored hotels in Singapore in booking (Booking):
This is a very approximate cost per night in hotels:
- Hostel from 50 sgd (2500 rub.)
- Hotel 3 * from 70 sgd (3500 rub.)
- Hotel 4 * from 90-100 sgd (5000 rub.), on average 120-160 sgd (6000 – 7500 rub.)
- Hotel 5 * from 200 sgd (10,000 rubles), and 5-star hotels in the very center with beautiful views – from 300 sgd (15,000 rubles).
- Serviced apartments from 200-250 sgd (from 10000-12500 rub.)
– Where to exchange currency in Singapore for local money?
– As far as I know, banks do not change their currency, there are a lot of authorized exchangers around the city with approximately the same rate, so, in principle, you can safely change money at any Money changer kiosk.
We usually change at the Mustafa shopping center or near the exit from the Raffles place metro – just because they are on the way)
Now the rate is approximately the following (March 2019):
1 sgd = 0.74 usd
1 sgd = 0.65 eur
1 sgd = 48 rub
– Alice, where are the best beaches located?
– The most easily accessible and popular beaches in Singapore are on Sentosa Island. There is white sand, and blue water, and a view of the ships standing in the port) On the beaches there are free toilets, showers and places to change clothes. There are also many beach clubs with sun loungers, food and other amenities.
But they say that due to the proximity of the port, the water in the sea is not very clean, sometimes even fuel oil floats. I myself have not seen this yet, tk. I visit the beach very rarely)
– Shopping. What to bring from Singapore as a gift?
– Singapore is good because here you can find souvenirs for any request and wallet! In addition to magnets and other similar little things, you can bring Tiger balm – it comes from Singapore (the smell resembles the “Star” balm). This is such a universal remedy for all kinds of pain – headache, etc.
In general, Singapore is just a shopping paradise)) In the city center there is Orchard road street (metro stations Dhoby ghaut mrt, Orchard road mrt, Somerset mrt) – there are many large shopping centers, where you can find almost all the world’s brands, and in the season of discounts it becomes especially crowded here))
Also, you can bring something interesting from Singapore) True, these souvenirs will not turn out very budgetary, it’s not for nothing that Singapore is considered one of the most expensive countries in the world))
What to bring from Singapore:
- T.W.G. Tea Is a famous Singaporean tea brand. Luxury class. These teas are really delicious! Price: 15-40 sgd per 100 gr. (~ 724–1930 rubles)
One of the many teas of this brand contains 24-carat gold. It looks magical: you open a box of tea and it sparkles?
Price for this sort: 100 gr – 930 sgd (~ 45,000 rubles).
- Purple gold. It is a unique purple (purple) gold.
- Orchid is one of the symbols of Singapore. As a gift, you can bring jewelry made of real orchids and flower leaves covered with 24 carat gold.
All this can be bought in gift-shops, for example, in Botsada and Gardens by the bay)
Price: 50 -250 sgd (~ RUB 2412-12060).
– Alice, what dishes of Singaporean cuisine would you recommend to try?
– There is a whole mix of different cuisines in Singapore, and I have a wish-list that I am slowly mastering.
- Chili crab is a dish any travel guide will recommend, as it is on CNN Go’s 2011 World’s 35 Most Delicious Foods)
Based on Tripadvisor reviews and recommendations from my husband’s peers, enjoy You can taste the best crab in town at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. We tried in one of the restaurants on Boat quay, delicious but expensive. They say that you can also find delicious crab at the food court in the East cost park, but much cheaper.
- Chicken rice is also in the top recommendations. It is served everywhere – from food courts to restaurants) There is a Boon Tong Kee restaurant near our house, there are always queues, are we going to go there too somehow?
- Dim Sum – Chinese dumplings with various fillings, I recommend Din Tai Fung (1 * Michelin) – pretty tasty and inexpensive for a “star” restaurant?
- Laksa is a shrimp noodle soup with coconut milk.
- Satay – grilled mini-kebabs – from chicken, lamb, pork, or beef. Well, absolutely mini)) This dish is not for everybody’s taste – they have an unusual sweetish marinade.
- Bak kut teh – boiled pork ribs in broth. It looks a little strange, but this dish is very popular with the locals!
- Kaya Coconut Paste – Toast with this paste Singaporeans eat for breakfast.
- Kopi is a local brewed coffee with milk.
- The Singapore sling cocktail is one of the symbols of Singapore. Mandatory for tasting. It was invented at the Raffles hotel in 1915, and it is there that it is still made according to the true recipe in the Long bar.
There is also a cocktail in any of the bars in Singapore. For example, a bar on the roof of one of the skyscrapers in the city center (1-Altitude) – this is how you can save money on the observation deck, and the views are amazing)
– Tell us about the nightlife in Singapore)
– I still know a little about the nightlife of Singapore – we have a small child, and it’s not often possible to get out somewhere in the evening together with my husband)
The most popular hangout spots are located on the Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay, and on the Marina bay promenade (including the Marina bay sands hotel itself). There are rooftop bars and restaurants in the center, the view of the city from them is simply amazing!
In general, I noticed that in the center and in the streets not far from the center, almost at every step there are some cafes and bars. Many of them open only closer to 18.00.
– Alice, your wishes for tourists who are going on a trip to Singapore on their own)
– I wish everyone a great holiday and new, vivid impressions of the miniature wonderland! Let your expectations and reality coincide, or better – so that everything turns out to be even cooler and more interesting?
Here are my 5 travel tips to help you plan your trip to Singapore:
- Insurance is the first thing to take out after purchasing your tickets. Medicine in Singapore is very expensive and the range of over-the-counter medicines is very limited. Better not to risk it)
- Download the Singapore navigation apps (I use GoThere.sg), the metro map (I have SG MRT), and the taxi call app (I have Grab) – it’s convenient, and you can pay by card.
Plus will come in handy metro Wifi app – Wireless SG and nearby Wifi map app (WiFi Map).
- If you are in Singapore on a transit visa, prepare the route in advance, and try to stick to it, otherwise your eyes will run wild)) According to the experience of my friends, three days, in principle, is enough to see the main attractions. But will it be more of a run than a city walk, especially if you are traveling with children?
- Bring comfortable shoes, a hat (preferably), and always sunscreen. My advice – for long walks in the sun, it is better to choose clothes without thin straps, or better with long sleeves – I have already seen a lot of burnt girls with a curly tan from straps or cutouts on the back)) The sun sticks instantly!
- In Singapore, you can pay by card almost everywhere (except for food courts and very small shops) Therefore, just in case, warn your bank that you have a trip planned and you will use the card – to avoid blocking the card due to “suspicious activity” .
Interviewed by Olga Avrakh