Ahhh Singapore, you are one humid, colorful city. It’s always an interesting experience when I travel somewhere for work instead of my own personal experience. I’m not at all complaining about a nearly free trip (though the audit nearly killed me), it’s actually kind of cool. You get to be a part of everyday life in a way you wouldn’t if you were there as the average tourist. Getting up early to head into the office, going to lunch with your coworkers in tiny restaurants you would never otherwise know about, it’s kind of neat.
As usual, I have a lot of information on this country to share with you that didn’t really fit in with my other posts. I hope it helps if you want to plan your own trip to this vibrant city.
Target Audience –
Compared to the rest of SE Asia, Singapore is clean, modern and expensive. Everyone speaks English and getting around is a breeze. If you’re looking for an easy introduction into Asia, Singapore is a great place to start. It’s not heavy on cultural sites or things to do, so if you’re looking for adventure, you might not find it here. There are also surprisingly few beaches. But even for the most seasoned traveler, Singapore has plenty to offer to keep you entertained, at least for a few days.
Cost Analysis –
This part is a bit convoluted since I actually didn’t pay for most of this trip. My flight was covered directly by my company (just between you and me, the tool they use is ridiculous. Whatever you find on regular booking sites, add $500 and that’s what my company pays for airfare. Terrible.) and I was reimbursed completely for my hotel and taxis. For food and incidentals, I received a per diem, plus several meals were covered by the company as team building events. All activities and souvenirs were on me. Keeping all that in mind, my numbers are a bit skewed compared to what you might pay if you were to do a similar trip on your own.
That number doesn’t even include airfare! My daily total for 7 days is $313.29 – my highest daily total ever. But clearly the majority of that is the hotel the company had us stay in. Normally I would stay in more budget-friendly accommodations – either a cheap hotel or a hostel. But since the company is paying, they can choose whatever hotel they want, and I’m certainly not complaining. I do however, feel like this makes Singapore seem more expensive than it is. Hotel costs aside, I only spent $304.68 over 7 days. If you are able to find lodging for ~$40, your daily total goes waaaaay down, ~$83.50/day. It’s not as cheap as other countries in SE Asia, but I don’t want these numbers to scare you into thinking Singapore is not affordable.
- Activities – $41.43
- Harbor boat cruise – $18.45
- Gardens by the Bay walkway ticket – $5.90
- Marina Bay Sands observation deck ticket – $17.08
- Miscellaneous – $16.60
- Tip for the hotel porter – $3.69
- Sunscreen (I was already sunburnt, but better late than never, right?) – $12.91
- Souvenirs – $17.01
- I bought my usual magnet, Christmas ornament and a few postcards to send home. I also bought a nice set of chopsticks and a Father’s Day present for my dad, all in Chinatown, the best place for souvenirs in Singapore.
General Information –
- Like I mentioned above, Singapore isn’t heavy on your typical tourist attractions. Everything there is to see and do here can be done in 3 or 4 days. This will also keep your costs down as accommodation is the most expensive thing you’ll pay for.
- Buy a metro card. The metro is a cheap, easy and effective way to get around this city. What takes forever to walk takes mere minutes on the metro. Plus, it’s air conditioned, a welcome relief to the humidity outside.
- Alcohol is incredibly expensive. If you’re trying to keep costs down, it’s probably best to avoid it altogether. Most beers will cost around $10, mixed drinks will run you anywhere from $17-20. Not worth it, in my opinion. Though I did buy one drink, more out of guilt than anything.
- Singapore is known as “The Fine City”, because yes, it is a fine city – but it also levy’s fines for almost everything. Littering, chewing gum, smoking, you name it, you can get fined for it. On the flip side, Singapore is incredibly clean and I personally really appreciated that.
Links to everything I’ve written about Singapore.