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Archive for the ‘Singapore’ Category

Accidental Trip to Singapore

Posted by Heliocentrism on October 30, 2017

Wednesday, July 19th – 21st, 2017

You are banished to Singapore because your visa to India has not been processed yet!

On this trip we decided to stick to countries that either don’t require us (US citizens) to get visas, or if we do need visas, it’s a quick and easy process. Mark wanted to see India next. He looked online and saw that there were 3 visa options. One, you could visit the nearest Indian Embassy and get a visa which would be pasted in your passport before you leave your country. Two, you could go online and get an e-visa, like what we did for Vietnam. And three, we could just show up and get our visa there in India at passport control.

Mark chose the last option. It came with the least amount of work. To me, it seemed like the best course of action. Or at least it did until we checked in at the airport in Hong Kong.

The airlines wanted to see our Indian visas. We didn’t have one yet. “Well, then we can’t let you go,” the agent told us. There was a moment of panic when we thought that we would miss our flight. Then Mark came up with a solution.

We were very early for this flight out of Hong Kong. We also had a ridiculously long layover in Singapore (like 5 hours) before we got on our actual flight to Jaipur. He could submit an e-visa right now and pay extra for a 2-hour speedy processing. We would have our visas before we got on our flight to India.

That would do. Airline agents don’t really care if you have your proper travel documents or not. They only care that they aren’t the ones who get in trouble when you don’t. If things worked out for us, great. If not, we were some poor bastard in Singapore’s problem.

Using the Hong Kong airport’s free wifi, Mark downloaded, filled out, and sent back 2 forms for 2-hour Indian e-visas. Everything was done just in time to get on our plane.

When we got to Singapore, we were stopped. We couldn’t go to the gate for the flight until our documents were straightened out. We went to the business center of the Singapore airport expecting to just check our email and print out our visas. But, the visas weren’t ready.

Our visa photos didn’t have a plain white background. The walls of the airport’s business center were white so, we took some photos there. We emailed them back and waited 2 hours. There was still plenty of time to get this done.

Two hours later and “Huzzah,” the visas were done. The visas came with a note to check to make sure everything was correct. We looked through the PDFs. First was Mark’s visa. His name was spelled correctly. The birthday was correct. Everything seemed in order. Then we looked at the next visa…

It was another copy of Mark’s visa.

“Where’s mine?” I asked.

We called the e-visa company not wanting to wait for an email. “We’re sorry,” the receptionist said, “our offices are closed for the day. Please contact us again tomorrow at 9:00AM local time.”

So we couldn’t go to India that day. Unlike India, as Americans we didn’t need a visa to enter Singapore. Air Asia was really cool and allowed us to change our flight from that day to the next Friday. I don’t even think they charged us anything more than a ticket processing fee which was less than 20USD for both tickets.

Conclusion…

When we finally got to Jaipur, 3 days later, we got off the plane and went to the passport control. There were 3 lines for non-Indians. One, was for people who went to their nearest Indian embassy and had a visa already pasted in their passports. The second was for tourists, like us, who had e-visas. And the third was for people who didn’t have a visa and needed to get one there.  (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

We spent 2 days in Singapore, which was just fine with me. I LOVE Singapore.

The last time we were in Singapore we saw just about everything we wanted to see. So this time around we focused on quirky things. I went to the website Atlas Obscura to find all the odd things to do in town. My favorite was the Haw Par Village because of the Hell theme. The other things were minor or related to statues and plaques.


Singapore
(Republic of Singapore)

How to get there:

You can enter Singapore by bus, train, plane or boat. Though, as of 2017 the train from Malaysia is a bit of a hassle requiring multiple transfers at the border.

Most can get 90-day visas to enter Singapore. Check with the ICA website for visa information.

Phone:

  • Emergency Numbers:
    • Police 999
    • Ambulance and Fire 995

Website:

Downloads:

Data:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not bring illegal drugs into Singapore!
  • Do not carry the luggage of someone who might have drugs into Singapore.
  • In most countries, it’s best to change money at a bank. For some reason, banks do not change money in Singapore. You must use a money changers.
  • Use a single-trip ticket to use the LRT.
    • Do not get the Adult Stored Value Card since the 5$ deposit is not refundable.
    • When you get the credit on the card returned (ie. You have $6.75 left on the card and now you are leaving Signapore.) you cannot keep the card.

Haw Par Village

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • Daily, 9am – 7pm
  • (last admission: 6pm)

Notes:

  • You wanna know what hell will be like?
  • Brought to you by the people who make Tiger Balm.
  • Apparently parents take their kids here to show them what happens to bad little boys and girls, but that just seems mean to me.

Map:

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Travel Tips for Singapore

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 25, 2017

2017

You have to bring:

  • Prescription medication.

Everything else can be bought in Singapore.

Do not bring illegal drugs into Singapore!

90% of Singaporean space is made up of shopping malls.

Things you can buy here or bring with you:

  1. Luggage:
    • You can use a suitcase or a backpack. A Backpack gives you a little more mobility, but it’s not a must-have here.
  2. Clothes:
    • Singapore is mainly a series of interconnected malls. There’s really no need to ever go outdoors.
    • You can buy any and everything here.
    • The prices of stuff might be better back home, though.
  3. Towel:
    • Bring your towel if you are staying in a hostel.
  4. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash:
    • All hotels provided guests with shampoo and body wash.
    • You are never given conditioner.
    • You should bring your own toiletries if you are staying at a hostel.
      • You can buy shampoo, conditioner, and body wash at any convenience store.
      • You can find many popular brands like Dove, Pantene, Finesse, and Lux.
  5. Deodorant/ Antiperspirant:
    • You can find this here, but the brand selection is limited.
      • It’s mostly Dove, Nivea, and other brands I’ve never heard of.
  6. Sunscreen:
    • It’s mostly Banana Boat and Nivea.
    • Many (not he Banana Boat brand) come with “skin whitening” (whatever that means).
    • You can buy shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, and suncreen at a convenience store, but they will be cheaper at grocery stores. Grocery stores will have more variety, too.
  7. Over the counter medicine:
    • There are lots of pharmacies where you can buy cold medicine and pain killers like aspirin.
    • It’s best if you know the generic or chemical name of the drugs you need.
      • Instead of asking for Bufferine, ask for ibuprofen.
    • I would still bring some medications for basic illnesses like diarrhea, fever, and constipation.
      • Don’t run out of these.
      • It’s always tough to look for medication when you’re already sick.
      • It’s easy to find what you want if you have a label of the drug you are looking for.
  8. Other things you should bring:
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Flip-flips
    • Smartphone

Free art gallery at a mall.

General Tips:

Food:

  • Singaporean food is delicious, but expensive. To save money:
    • Go to Malaysia and try the food there before or after going to Singapore.
      • It’s essentially the same thing at a fraction of the cost.
  • While in Singapore, here is how to eat cheaply:
    • Go to a mall. Not a super fancy mall, just a regular mall that would have a Uniqlo or a Gap.
    • Go to the lowest floor. B1, B3, whatever the lowest floor is.
    • This is where they keep the more affordable food courts.
      • You can find a good meal for about 5-6 SGD.
    • Look for hawker stalls around Little India.
      • Some, not all are quite affordable.

Transportation:

  • Completely unlike Malaysia, taxis are no problem in Singapore, though taking the subway might be cheaper.
  • Use a single-trip ticket to use the LRT.
    • Do not get the Adult Stored Value Card since the 5$ deposit is not refundable.
    • When you get the credit on the card returned (ie. You have $6.75 left on the card and now you are leaving Singapore) you cannot keep the card.

Money:

  • Banks do not change money in Singapore.
  • You have to go to a money changers.
  • Or, get cash from ATMs.
    • HSBC has no ATM fees.

Scams:

  • Not many scams to look out for, just use common sense.

Singapore
(Republic of Singapore)

How to get there:

You can enter Singapore by bus, train, plane or boat. Though, as of 2017 the train from Malaysia is a bit of a hassle requiring multiple transfers at the border.

Most can get 90-day visas to enter Singapore. Check with the ICA website for visa information.

Phone:

  • Emergency Numbers:
    • Police 999
    • Ambulance and Fire 995

Website:

Downloads:

Data:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not bring illegal drugs into Singapore!
  • Do not carry the luggage of someone who might have drugs into Singapore.
  • In most countries, it’s best to change money at a bank. For some reason, banks do not change money in Singapore. You must use a money changer’s.
  • Use a single-trip ticket to use the LRT.
    • Do not get the Adult Stored Value Card since the 5$ deposit is not refundable.
    • When you get the credit on the card returned (ie. You have $6.75 left on the card and now you are leaving Singapore) you cannot keep the card.

 

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The Malls of Singapore

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 20, 2017

Thursday, June 8th – 12th, 2017

Singapore is known for being quite expensive, but Mark and I managed to not spend a lot of money by planning ahead of time. We packing everything we wanted to do in just four days. Everyday we got up early and did lots of things before heading back to our hostel at night. We would rest in a more economical country.

The good thing about Singapore is that there is a cheaper version of almost everything you want to do. You could visit the Gardens by the Bay and pay to see everything, pay to see somethings, or you could just stay in the free areas. A majority of the Gardens by the Bay is free. The same is true for Sentosa Island. You could pay to enter Universal Studios or any of the many other attractions. But you could also just walk around then head to the areas with free activities. You’ll still have a great day.

Ritz Art

Mark and I packed our schedule with as many free things as we could. We were going to pick a few non-free things to do, but we didn’t feel the need or have the time. If you love art, Singapore is for you! There were a few free displays of artwork at hotels and malls. Some of them, like at the Ritz-Carlton, came with a pamphlet with explanations. Others came with art experts just dying to talk about the works.

There are many malls in Singapore. You can go from subway station to mall to another mall and back to a new subway station all without going outdoors. At times it seemed that Singapore was just a bunch of interconnected malls that came together and declared itself to be a country. It’s so easy to just spend all your time, and your money, in the really nice malls of Singapore.

Try hard to resist the shopping urge and go outside.


Singapore
(Republic of Singapore)

How to get there:

You can enter Singapore by bus, train, plane or boat. Though, as of 2017 the train from Malaysia is a bit of a hassle requiring multiple transfers at the boarder.

Most can get 90-day visas to enter Singapore. Check with the ICA website for visa information.

Phone:

  • Emergency Numbers:
    • Police 999
    • Ambulance and Fire 995

Website:

Downloads:

Data:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not bring illegal drugs into Singapore!
  • Do not carry the luggage of someone who might have drugs into Singapore.
  • In most countries, it’s best to change money at a bank. For some reason, banks do not change money in Singapore. You must use a money changer’s.
  • Use a single-trip ticket to use the LRT.
    • Do not get the Adult Stored Value Card since the 5$ deposit is not refundable.
    • When you get the credit on the card returned (ie. You have $6.75 left on the card and now you are leaving Singapore.) you cannot keep the card.

The 5 Merlions of Singapore

How to get there:

  • Coordinates:
    • The Merlion on Sentosa – 1.253475, 103.818908
    • The Merlion on Mt. Faber – 1.273339, 103.817764
    • The Merlion at Merlion Park – 1.286797, 103.854504
    • The Mercub at Merlion Park – 1.286814, 103.854143
    • The Merlion at Tourism Court –  1.303755, 103.824061

Address:

  • 2 at Merlion Park
  • 1 on Sentosa Island
  • 1 up Mt. Paber
  • 1 at Tourism Court

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • Some are always available, some are not

Videos:

Notes:

  • Technically there are 7 Merlions, but 2 shall never be spoken of. They know what they did.
  • One merlion has survived a lighting strike.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 1.281400, 103.844291

Address:

  • 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840

Phone:

  • +65 6220 0220

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free
  • Donations are welcomed.

Hours:

  • 7:00 – 19:00

Notes:

  • No shorts or sleeveless shirts.
  • If you are wearing shorts or a sleeveless shirts you can borrow a scarf and skirt.

Gardens by the Bay

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 1.281702, 103.863678

Address:

  • 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

Phone:

  • +65 6420 6848

Websites:

Downloads:

e-mail: 

Cost:

Hours:

  • 5:00AM – 2:00AM

Videos:

Notes:

  • Watch Garden Rhapsody, a light and music show.
    • Free
    • everyday at 19:45 & 20:45

ION Art Gallery

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 1.304003, 103.831540

Address:

  • 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801

Phone:

  • +65 6238 8228.

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • 10am – 10pm

Notes:

  • Some of the pieces are for sale.

Artwork at the Ritz-Carlton

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 1.290441, 103.860147

Address:

  • 7 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039799

Phone:

  • +65 6337 8888

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free

Notes:

  • Ask for a pamphlet on the art. It’s helpful and free.

Sentosa Island

How to get there:

Address:

Phone:

  • 1800-SENTOSA (7368672)
  • +65 6736 8672

Websites:

Notes:


Botanic Gardens

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 1.314097, 103.815871

Address:

  • 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569

Phone:

  • +65 6471 7138

Websites:

Cost:

  • free

Hours:

  • 5:00 – 0:00

Mt. Faber

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 1.273831, 103.817513

Address:

  • Mount Faber Rd, Singapore

Phone:

  • +65 6377 9688

Websites:

Cost:

  • free

Hours:

  • 24h

Notes:

Map:

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