Singapore is the most expensive city in the world, SO says the STATS! The problem with statistics is that you can warp the truth, and the truth is – the stats are obviously WRONG! And this can seriously impact the decision of many ‘Newbie’s’ to Singapore.
If you are going to state Statistical Data you really need to visit the place before doing so, which I did. I wanted to see just how a ‘newbie’ on a shoestring budget can enjoy Singapore to its fullest.
However, before I create this Q&A List I should state this: Singapore acquired its ‘title’ because it has such a wide range of choice when it comes to accommodation and shopping malls. When you only take the cream of the top for stats – you are going to mislead anyone to believe it is expensive, which I will write about in another article! (hint: if you love shopping and awesome accommodation – follow this blog)
Everyone asks this question when visiting a new country – Is it safe?
If there is one thing Singapore tops the lists it is this area. They take CRIME seriously and handle any situation quickly. Of course, this does not stop the opportunist – so like any country you should take care to keep your belongings safe and be aware of your surroundings. However, I found this country to be one of the safest I have visited for a long time.
I have to give Singapore 5 stars for the diverse options in accommodation. For many westerners, a backpackers is a dormitory! For Singaporeans – backpackers is cheap accommodation that I could compare to Motel 6 rather than a backpackers. We opted for a room that sleeps four which meant that we paid $25.00 per person per night! Comparing this to Perth – this is very cheap. In fact Perth should be the most expensive city in the world!
Will they understand me? I was blown away to find that every Singaporean I met was able to talk to me in English. And these were people in the poorer areas of Singapore!
Singapore is THE MOST friendliest city in the world. Talk about a “Welcome to Our Country” on arrival. Unlike Perth, Singaporeans are extremely courteous, friendly and helpful. Definitely 5 stars for this country.
If you are on a shoestring budget – get ready to be wowed. Currently Singapore has a tourist pass which means you pay $10.00 to unlimited travel on the train and bus for the day. Of course this does not mean you have access to the premium service, however it does mean you can travel around Singapore without breaking the bank! And, with a selection of trains and buses means there is transport options within meters of you anywhere in Singapore.
If you want to learn how to offer exceptional service – go to Singapore. As we were only there for a short period of time I only took one pair of jeans and two pairs of shorts. The rest were T-Shirts! I looked pretty average however – even the most elitist of shops welcomed me into their store and was happy to serve or do business. Singapore does NOT judge a book by its cover unless it is GOOGLE! (and that is a whole new story entirely)
As we were on a shoestring budget we opted to purchase a range of foods from a grocery store. (once again will be writing about where to find these stores) As a family of four we managed to spend about $15 per person on food. This excluded our little luxuries of coffee at coffee shops like Starbucks! It helped that our backpackers offered breakfast which assisted with the budget option. However, overall the food prices are restaurants was comparative to restaurant prices in Perth, with Hard Rock Cafe charging $26.50 for a chicken burger and Starbucks charging $6.00 for a latte!
I don’t really enjoy shopping, however my girls love it. There are a huge range of malls with floors of shops for you to explore. If you find it just a little too pricey you can always visit Chinatown which has an array of gifts and goodies you can buy. Remember you will be trading quality for price – so don’t expect to buy gold for a grain for rice! 😉
We decided that instead of making a list (and checking it twice), we would take each day as it came. Most major tourist destination are free (such as the Gardens by the Bay) however if you want to experience something a little more you will find yourself paying for those attractions. We invested over 50% of our budget on attractions mostly because this was one of our first ‘overseas’ vacations as a family for over 10 years. And, when it comes to kids – we opted for things kids love to do – like Universal Studio. There are always specials being offered, so make sure you look out for these options. With our special we were able to see the S.E.A. Aquarium for free! Well, it is not free because we purchased a bulk option but if we calculated the prices in that – we save a LOT of money!
We visited Singapore during March. We checked the weather reports on the temperature so we could pack “light”. I took one jumper, which I never used! The rest of the days were t-shirts and shorts. It was VERY humid which made it even hotter and we found that it rained 2 afternoons out of the 4 we were there. However, overall the weather was pleasant and tolerable!
I asked this question mostly because I was planning to do some work. Most backpackers offer wifi which you can use. There are hotspots around malls with some cafes offering free wifi. But with full days I hardly used wifi and spent my days enjoying time with the family.
If you would like to know anything else that I did not cover, please leave a comment below. Of course, I may, or may not, have an answer but will steer you in a direction if I don’t! 😉