14 – 18 February 2008
Ata (my best friend in work)
14/Feb/2008 Jakarta – Batam – Harbourfront (Singapore) – Orchard Road (Singapore)
15/Feb/2008 Singapore: Bugis Village – Chinatown – Kampung Gelam – Suntec City – Merlion
16/Feb/2008 Singapore: Vivo City – Sentosa Island
17/Feb/2008 Singapore: City Hall – Raffles City – Clarke Quay
18/Feb/2008 Singapore: Harbourfront (Singapore) – Batam - Jakarta
Yup Singapore, was first place for my overseas leisure trip as budget traveller.
Excited! I still could recall my feeling clearly toward our trip :)
Come from Jakarta, a crowded city, city of hustle bustle complete with its endless traffic jam during workdays (sometimes also in weekend), Singapore is like the opposite:)
|(where am I? Guess please ^_^ )|
Things that I remember about Singapore:
Singapore has a very good centralized public transportation (really envy that!). Using MRT (Mass Rapid Transportation) or known as the subway was quite a big moment for me. We don’t have that here in Jakarta (capital city of Indonesia). Just remember to buy the pass, you will use the same pass for the MRT and the bus.
Still related with the transportation, don’t worry to get lost in Singapore, since you could find MRT route in each MRT station; Bus schedule in each bus stop. Even you would be able to know how long the next MRT/bus will coming! I wonder when Jakarta will have that kind of public transportation management ^_^
Related with the good management of their public transportation, you will rarely find a traffic jam in Singapore; no matter what time you are getting up and starting your city-sightseeing.
Singapore is a heaven for pedestrian. Because Singapore road always (at least most of them) has a wide sidewalk. You could easily find lot of bench in the sidewalk, thus you could rest your feet there if you are tired walking. If you are crossing the road, the driver will slow their car and stop, like they honour and appreciate you as the pedestrian (barely find this kind of attitude in Jakarta ^_^ ).
|(pose directed by Ata)|
Singapore is known safe with criminal rate below 1% (at that time), so you will find people play with their most updated gadget in the bus, girls with their mini-skirt or cute dress in bus or street without being tease by guys. Do not do that in Jakarta ^_^
Singapore is a city of shopping malls. You will find shopping malls everywhere, above the MRT station, along the road..pheeeewww. But if you have visited malls in Jakarta, you will notice that malls in Jakarta are better in design and concept:) Singapore malls are only a place for shopping; you will not see any interesting building ornaments.
Singapore is a very modern city with a very well maintained of their history. You will see their historical building are clean. You should visit the Singapore History Museum in Sentosa Island, you will be taken to watch the merlion legends (Singapore icon – combination of mermaid and lion), then you will enter a long hallway which you will experience Singapore from its beginning until now. It is very interesting and I think we-as Indonesian-should do about our history: Be creative in communicating those historical facts to the citizen and tourist! Envy them again, since I know that my beloved country Indonesia has more stories about our histories and cultures but somehow until now we do not have a good media to communicate it to the tourist even to its citizen.
Unforgetable memories from Singapore was its elevator.
If you are from Jakarta like me, you will find that in Singapore, people live in a very fast-pace. You will see them-the Singaporean-walks really fast; including their elevator. It took quite a moment for me to adjust the pace. It is like, I should count..1..2..3..jump! Because it is very fast. It would not funny if I stumbling in front of lot of people in foreign country ^_^ Unique experience! Another thing about their elevator, it is like on the road while you are driving, stand or keep on the left side of the elevator if you do not want to walk on the elevator. The right-side of the elevator is for they who need to walk or run.
And when I get back to Jakarta, I really feel that our elevator are really slow :)
Low Budget, under than USD 200 include our airline & ferry tickets and my personal shopping bags
Airline (using AirAsia) was more or less USD 40. Now should be cheaper since direct flight Jakarta - Singapore is available.
Ferry was more or less USD 10
Bus/MRT pass was more or less USD 7
Accomodation was free; crashed on my friend’s place. Thanks Tere! :)
Meal was more or less USD 4 per meal (quite expensive compare in Jakarta)
Most of the attraction are free; except for Sentosa Island, you should prepare a budget for that.
|(with Tere and Ata in Sentosa Island)|
It is THE place if you are looking for a cheap Charles & Keith long-high heel boots and bags! I bought 1 very comfortable boots with price under USD 25 and of course several bags. Stock for years a head :)
And if you are a fans of baleno t-shirt, you will find them very cheap in Singapore..buy more!
Spend 4 days in Singapore really make me miss Indonesian food. Singaporean food is not as spicy as Indonesian food and less of variety. The most delicious meal in Singapore for me was Indomie (instant noodle from Indonesia) and Padang food (Indonesian food also) in Kampung Gelam. Pack a lot of Indomie with you if you are from Jakarta, since you will find Indomie is expensive in Singapore :) .
Part of journey:
If you are considering to take ferry from Batam to Singapore (vice versa), beware of the bumpy road. Mine was ended with puke on the ferry's wastafel ^_^
Ata and I arrive on 14 Feb 2008, yes it was Valentine Day! We are heading right away to the Orchard Road and I think it is a quite romantic place to spend your Valentine Day. You will find a lot of unique street musician playing romantic song, several of flower seller and of course the lights along the road. Thanks God we have each other!
Anyway, Singapore is good place to start your backpacker or independent traveller experience in my personal opinion.
So pack your bag people!