Our stay in Singapore was short but intense!
Singapore is a sovereign city-state and island country, off the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia in Southeast Asia. It isn’t a big city at all, the main island is about 26 miles wide and stretches around 14 miles from north to south, but there are so many businesses, apartment buildings and malls concentrated in this very tight space and since they have covered all the available land now they are building in height and underground!
Once we arrived we felt a bit overwhelmed by everything, specially coming from New Zealand where there is such a low population for a much bigger country! Here in Singapore the population is of 5.612 million in a limited space!
Mass was here 14 years ago and he admitted it was pretty shocking to see how much it has grown since then. He remembered there being only 2 metro lines at the time, now they are running out of colors!
After taking a taxi to our Airbnb, since it was pouring outside, we tried to figure out which was going to be the most cost-effective and time effective form of transportation to get us around this busy city.
This is what we figured out:
Take the Mass Rapid Transit to get around
The next morning we headed for the MRT (train) station, bought a ticket (well 5, so they were about $1 each) and headed towards downtown. It was the best choice! It was fast, well-organized and we never waited more than 4 minutes to catch a train.
The downfall? If you get it on rush hour, it will be super tight inside since everyone uses this form of transportation to get around. We also realized that many people aren’t very tolerant with our very energetic and a bit loud kids. Some are simply very apprehensive. So if you can take it a bit later you won’t have to deal with everyone staring at you!
Purchase the Singapore Tourist Pass instead of single tickets
The train isn’t very expensive and initially we bought the ticket every time we got on, but then we realized that the Tourist Pass gave us more freedom. The Singapore Tourist Pass is a special ez-link card that offers tourist unlimited travel on Singapore’s basic bus services, MRT and LRT trains for the duration that it is valid. All you have to do is to buy the Pass, pick the number of day passes you need, you can use it for unlimited rides on buses and trains. Once you return the card you also get a $10 refund for it! Pretty convenient, right?
Check out here prices.
In case you are having doubts about this, let me tell you about the one moment when I was really grateful for this purchase. We were approaching the station to go back home after one of the night-light shows, as were all the other tourists. At the automatic ticket machine we saw the longest line of tourist trying to figure out how it worked and taking forever to get their tickets. Luckily we walked past them, in the station and down to our train! Our kids were exhausted so can you imagine how unbearable it would have been to have to wait in line for a while before we could take them home?! This is why I highly recommend this purchase if you are traveling with kids!
Taking a tour?
You might be planning to take a tour to see as much of Singapore as you can in just a few days, great idea! That was our original plan but we got sidetracked along the way and ended up saving up on the cost of a tour (since we are 5) to simply go with the train to the places that we thought could be more interesting to see. Think about it, the Pass might also help you save some money!I know it might seem strange to do a blog post simply about this topic, but sometimes the most practical piece of information can really make a difference on how you start your vacation in a new place. Isn’t it better to find out about something useful when you can take advantage of it and not when it is too late?