We are all set and ready to go! Pinoy Secret Files goes to Singapore! Part 1 of 4 – First timers, how to.
Since travelling abroad is new to us, we decided that our first destination would be Singapore.
Why Singapore? It is a good starting point for first time travellers since Singapore is a small country which means navigation won’t be that complicated compared to other countries such as Hong Kong. Aside from that, travelling from Manila to Singapore is just a 3-hour plane ride.
Singapore having an area of 718.3 km2, while the Philippines have an area of 300,000 km2.
This small yet progressive country proved that a small nation could top those who are larger in scale. Size doesn’t matter for Singapore.
Our two-way plane ticket (Manila to Singapore, vice versa) cost around 15,000 pesos (via Cebu Pacific Airlines)
Despite our flight being delayed for an hour, we were able to arrive at Singapore with a steady flight. Kudos the Pilot and flight attendant during our flight!
This is it! 6:30pm, touch down Singapore! Our first day at Singapore is late afternoon so we need to rush to our hotel and drop our luggage. Before everything else, the first thing we did was to change our USD to SGD. There are several money changer in Changi Airport so it won’t be a problem. And since it is getting dark, we hurried our way to the MRT to buy our tickets.
We plan to purchase the 3-Day Singapore Tourist Pass. Good thing that the ticketing officer is a Filipina. She was very accomodating that she even guided us about the MRT ticketing system. And since we opted to stay in Singapore for 4 days, she suggested that we purchase a standard ticket for our day 1 and use the 3-day tourist pass the succeeding days.
Why the Singapore Tourist Pass (STP), you say? For first timers like us, if you want to familiarize yourself with how the MRT and bus system works, it would be better to have this ticket as the STP offers unlimited rides within Singapore’s public transportation network. Yes, UNLIMITED travel passes for buses and trains.
Do take note that the unlimited travel is for public bus and train services only. That excludes rides on premium bus services such as the Fast Forward, Night Rider and Night Owl buses.
Singapore Tourist Pass
We’re really glad that we purchased the STP as we had several trial and errors getting on to different destinations. It looks complicated at first but once you familiarize yourself with the routes, it will be easy. If we bought the standard ticket, I bet we already spend a lot of money on the MRT alone.
Below is the type and rate of each STP.
Since we purchased the 3-day STP, we paid $30 for it. The $10 is the refundable rental deposit which will be given to you if you return the ticket within 5 days after the day of purchase. With that, the ticket will just cost $20.
Okay, now that we have our tickets, our next destination is Hotel Bencoolen.
Hotel Bencoolen is located at 47 Bencoolen St, Singapore 189626 which we booked via Expedia. Our booking for 4 days and 3 nights cost around 320 SGD.
To go to Hotel Bencoolen:
1. Walk to Changi Airport Station.
2. East-West Line – Board the train towards Tanah Merah Station in about 4 min and alight at Tanah Merah Station, 2 stops later.
3. East-West Line – Board the train towards Joo Koon Station in about 4 min and alight at Paya Lebar Station, 4 stops later.
4. Circle Line – Board the train towards Dhoby Ghaut Station in about 4 min and alight at Bras Basah Station, 7 stops later.
5. Take Exit E and walk to Hotel Bencoolen.
Click the image for full view
Upon our arrival at Bras Basah station, we saw a Starbucks store and opted to purchase our Starbucks tumbler which cost 20.50 SGD each!
We arrive around 10pm at our hotel. Feeling tired and hungry, we decided to look for the nearest food store we can find. It took us around 20mins to find a food store since most of the stores are close by 10pm. KFC was our savior!! We are just in the nick of time! They are about to close in about 10mins!
So we ordered this meal that I forgot what they’re called. The rice bowl on the left has an Indian taste in it. While the chicken and burger meal on the right taste like the usual KFC chicken. (Watch for scale)
Our meal cost 13.3 SGD
We hurried back to the hotel and ate our dinner.
Here’s the picture of our hotel room.
– Two (2) single beds
– Bathroom for each room
– 15 inch television
– Mini bar
Not bad for backpackers as you won’t be staying at the hotel room for long. Enough for a place to sleep and to drop your luggages.
Why did we booked Hotel Bencoolen? One big factor is that they offer free breakfast which can save a lot of time and energy before your day starts.
Since we booked late afternoon and arrived at Singapore late night already, we opted to take our sleep as the real adventure begins the next day!
That’s it for our Day 1 of 4 at Singapore! Stay tuned for the next series of our Singapore travelogue!