Singapore | Myanmar | Malaysia

Singapore

General

There's hardly a cleaner and safer city in the world. But this small city state on an island on the shore of Malaysia offers a lot more: a lot of green spaces, tropical temperatures and yummy food from all Asian regions. Unfortunately a lot of the historical building have been demolished during the rapid economy boom during the last 30 years. True Asian stuff except the food can hardly be found as Singapore has turned into a standardized western city. Some people compare Singapore with Disneyland: very clean and safe, but expensive and boring. However Singapore is a good starting point for a trip to Southeast Asia, especially if you are going there for the first time.

Skyline von Singapur

Transportation

MRT Currently there are three Underground lines, a fourth one is being constructed and further lines are planned. Like nearly every other place in Singapore the MRT is very clean and fully air-conditioned. Trains are running between six o'clock and midnight all few minutes. Fares are depending on the distance but are in general very cheap compared to other cities. Before you start your journey purchase an ez-Link card at one of the stations. You can top up the card with any amount of money. When leaving the station simply tap the card on a reader and the fare is automatically deducted from the card. The ez-Link card is also valid in all busses.
Bus As most of the Singaporeans do not own a car there is a very dense system of bus lines. However it can be quite challenging to find the appropriate bus among the more than 1000 different bus lines. If you are planning intense use of buses it will be best to get a a small book which contains the time tables for all busses and MRT lines in one of the stations. There are no fixed departure times at bus stops, only the frequency of the busses is stated. The fare is paid using the ez-Link card (see MRT).
Taxi There are a lot of cabs in Singapore. Travelling by cab is quite cheap compared to other cities of that size. A drive from the airport to dowtown will cost between 15 and 20 S$ (8-10 Euro). All cabs have a taxameter and cab drivers are not allowed to bargain. Outside the central business district (CBD) in downtown you can stop a cab at any street. In the CBD cabs are only allowed to stop at designated places. During the rush-hour and shortly before the closure of the big malls prepare for long queues and waiting times.

Money

Cash Cash is convenient to pay small amounts e.g. in Food Courts or to top up your ez-Link card. Everywhere else credit cards are widely accepted.
Credit cards Credit cards are widely accepted. Only at Food Courts credit cards are not accepted.
ATMs ATMs can be found at nearly every corner. Check additional fees for withdrawing abroad with your bank.
Money Changer You can find licensed money changers in shopping malls or at the airport. Most of the time the exchange rate will be better than in your home country.

My Favourites

Lau Pa Sat In former times this Victorian style steel construction contained the fish market. Today it is a Food Court which offers a huge variety of food stalls. Unfortunately the food stalls were recently upgraded but you still get good food for cheap prices. After sunset the street along Lau Pa Sat is closed for traffic and mobile food stalls offer yummy Sateh. Lau Pa Sat is very crowded during lunch break as a lot of the employees from the surrounding office towers come here for lunch.
Address: Ecke Robinson Road/Cross Street
Next MRT-Station: Raffles Place
Tea Chapter The Tea Chapter is an old Chinese Tea House where you can experience the traditional Chinese tea ceremony. You can find the tea house in the first floor, at the basement there is a shop where you can purchase tea.
Address: 9 Neil Road
Next MRT-Station: Tanjong Pagar
Bukit Timah With a height of 162 metres Bukit Timah is the highest elevation in Singapore. Around the hill there is still some primary rain forest remaining. Take some of the trails to explore the nature.
Address: Hindhede Drive
Next MRT-Station: Newton, von dort weiter mit Bus entlang der Upper Bukit Timah Road
Pulau Ubin In the past this island between Singapore and Malaysia hosted several quarries and rubber plantations. Today they are all abandoned. You can hire a bike to explore the island.
Next MRT-Station: Tanah Mera, von dort weiter mit Bus bis zur Ablegestelle der Fähre
Budget Hotels in Chinatown Some old shop houses in Chinatown have been transferred to nice and quite affordable hotels. Room start at 30 Euro per night.
Address: z.B. Keong Saik Road
Next MRT-Station: Outram Park
 
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