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Going to Singapore in September (1st time in Asia!)

Travel Forums Asia Going to Singapore in September (1st time in Asia!)

1. Posted by Mineores (Budding Member, 3 posts) 31 Mar '14 07:27

Hello all,

I'm an 18 year old student who would love to visit Singapore before starting university in Late September. Haven looked at flight costs (From the UK) it seems to be considerably cheaper to fly on the 1st September compared to the 31st of August so I think I'll probably go then. I will be flying there solo, but I will be in Singapore with a friend who will get a free flight (has relatives who work for British Airways so his flight will be free, can't get me a free flight) Of course I have many questions, since I haven't left Europe yet, and the furthest I've travelled is Western Russia. I'm on a very tight budget, but I'm certain I'll raise the funds by September - this being another reason why I won't be travelling until then. I've looked at flights on Skyscanner, the prices seem to change regularly, averaging around £500 return from the 1st September - 15th September with one stop in Dubai. Can get cheaper for around £450 return with 2 stops but that doesn't seem worth the extra hassle. I can't stay any longer than the 15th due to having to be back in the UK to start university.

-How would you recommend travelling to & around Singapore on a budget?
-What are hostels like? (I've seen some as cheap as $9/night PP and they look fine)
-What is the best way to eat & drink, I like to say I'm quite adventurous, and am up for anything
-What are the best tourist attractions? I love museums, parks, theme parks, anything really!
-How is photography "viewed"? I'm a keen photographer so I need to know what to plan for
-What is the nightlife generally like?

I don't know why, but I've always been "interested" in Singapore due to my keen interest in Geography, so I'd love to go there sooner or later, or I may regret it when I can't go due to being laden with university debts! I've done some rather vague research into things, a recurring view is to use the "Hawker centres" for food due to decent quality and cost, so this is a viable option.

cheers for any help provided, I know this is rather vague but I'm hoping somebody could help me refine my ideas.

2. Posted by deon loka (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 1 Apr '14 21:01

Singapore is expensive no doubt. there are good budget accomadation in bugis & and little India.
Go to basement of Sim Lim square food Court ,You can have a good meal for S$ 03* Avoid rush hours
Transportation in Singapore is really good. Bus & MRT fares are not expensive. Try Bunc bed or Green kiwi
Hostels for better stay. You can goto Malaysia By train or bus if you stay longer. from singapore Queen
street bus terminal (near bugis) take a bus to Johor bahru Malaysia is cheaper. Than buying a ticket straight
to KL from singapore. From Johor Larkin bus terminal you can get direct coach to melaka or KL less than 30 malaysian ringgit.
Have a good trip......

deon loka..

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru, 1296 posts) 4 Apr '14 18:51

Singapore is just about the most expensive place in that part of Asia. Singapore is not that big either. Very clean and very "organized" with lots of rules and regulations. Most Singaporeans speak English very well. My opinion is that without a lot of money 3 or 4 days might be enough and 7 days pushing it. (Just an opinion.)
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26412821

Nearby Malaysia is a little cheaper. Thailand is cheaper than Singapore too. Many tourists from Singapore go to Thailand for their "cheaper" holidays. There is cheap rail service from Singapore, through Malaysia, on to Bangkok all the way to Chiang Mai. (More cheap places in Malaysia and Thailand than Singapore.) Get more out of your expensive plane tickets and broaden your geographic area.

Simple Google checks will give you lots of info on "see and do" type things. Also how to get from one place to another. You do have some time figure things out. Other options are round trip flight to Kuala Lumpur and go from there to Singapore. (Cheap bus ride or train ride to Singapore from KL.)

http://www.seat61.com/Malaysia.htm

4. Posted by Mineores (Budding Member, 3 posts) 5 Apr '14 03:49

Thanks for your reply.

I was thinking about taking a trip into Malaysia & possibly Kuala Lumpur. After a bit of research it seems extremely feasible, as I thought the rail ticket would be a lot more expensive. I think I may take a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur, and take the train back to Singapore. I checked the plane ticket prices, it would be a lot more expensive to take a single from London - Singapore & Kuala Lumpur - London than taking a return to Singapore (for some reason) so this isn't really an option. I'll have to do some more research but it does seem relatively easy to get into Malaysia so I think I may do it, thanks for the advice!

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru, 1296 posts) 5 Apr '14 05:22

Round trip from the UK to Singapore or round trip to KL should be cheaper than buying one way flights to and from Asia. Going between KL and Singapore or Singapore back to KL is not that expensive. Depending on the day of the week and available seats flying RT to KL might be cheaper than RT to Singapore. Worth comparing prices. Same thing just approaching from different direction.

When you search out your prices for plane rides vary your departure dates day by day for at least a week in either direction. Sometimes holiday and weekend departures cost a little more. One thing I do is check often! I may find seats at one price and 8 hours later the price is much cheaper. Sometimes a whole block of seats will cancel out (maybe a tour group who gets scared when a flight has problem,) and those seats suddenly become cheap for a short time. Even checking late at night or early in the morning might give you some price difference.

My preference is to arrive in a new country during the day hours. Or at least early evening. Not too hot on arriving anywhere new in the middle of the night. Arrival in the middle of the night means fewer cheap transportation choices. Also you still pay for a full night in a hotel but only use it for half the time. You book hotel rooms from the afternoon before to around noon the next day. Arrive at midnight you still are paying for a full day.

Young travelers kind of like the Penang area too. Cheaper than KL (which is cheaper than Singapore) and with a little more choice for cheap accommodation. More people closer to your own age bracket too in a smaller area.

Up to you.

6. Posted by Mineores (Budding Member, 3 posts) 5 Apr '14 05:41

Yep, I check Skyscanner on a weekly basis for flights, and they do seem to differ slightly with airline and stop overs. Cheapest currently is a return from Heathrow - Changi for £505 leaving on Sept 1st and returning Sept 15th, with one stop in Zurich for both ways - flying with Swiss Air. I can get it cheaper by about £30 if I have 2 stops on one way (either outbound/inbound) with Emirates, but it just isn't worth the extra 8 hours of stop over time in both Dubai & Colombo. This is also why I've chosen to visit in September

On the other hand, if I fly RT to Kuala Lumpur from London it is around £450 with one stop in Istanbul which is pretty good, but I wouldn't be able to meet my friend in Kuala Lumpur as he can only get a direct flight to Singapore (he has to fly with British Airways to get a free ticket)

I agree with arriving in the middle of the night - I will avoid this as much as possible but I doubt I will have an issue with this, as most of the flights arrive in Singapore in early evening.

I will check out the Penang area, that may be a good option.