Singapore was stop number 2 on my journey through South East Asia. It’s just a short flight from Bali (where I lived for almost a month) to Singapore, so I figured I should visit at least a few days just to see the place. When am I otherwise going to see it, right? Nobody travels to Asia just to see Singapore. The place is expensive and there isn’t much to do either.
Getting to Singapore was a struggle. Everything went perfectly fine up untill I got to the immigration desk at the Bali airport. Systems had shut down. Nothing was working. All of us, the travelers and crew alike, were stuck. The planes waited for their passengers of course, but we left a little over 2 hours late. So yeah. Not great.
In Singapore though, everything went smoothly. I didn’t expect it any other way. Singapore is such a modern and advanced city. They also have the best airport in the world, which they are very proud of. So no troubles here!
Since Singapore is such a modern city, they have this completely awesome MRT system in place, which takes you anywhere you need to go. And I mean anywhere.
I had never been to Singapore before, but I did use the subway in London and in Japan so I was familiar with the concept. Moreover, the check in system is pretty much the same as with Dutch public transportation, so that’s easy.
What you need
In order to be able to ride the metro, you need to buy a card that you can put money on when the balance runs low. Maybe you can also buy just a ticket for one ride, I’m not sure because I didn’t do that.
A friend of mine gave me his card, so all I had to do was put some more money on it. What’s great, is that each time you check in or out, the system will tell you the balance left on the card and it will also tell you when you need to top up. When you only have about 3 Singapore dollars left on the card, that’s when you have to top up. The minimum amount to put on the card is 10 Singapore dollars.
How it works
The easiest thing to do is to download the Singapore MRT app. It will show you the map and will tell you what route to take (if you know the name of the station you’re going to that is). I used it all the time and it worked perfectly.
Each line has a different colour, which makes it really easy to navigate through the stations. There are so many signs on each station to tell you where to go too. Like honestly, if you manage to get lost in the Singapore MRT stations, you’re not the smartest bulb in the lightshop. Signs everywhere.
There at signs that tell you where to go for which line. Signs to show which side of the platform you need to take the train. Above the entrance to the metro itself there is also a sign with the destination. Inside the metro right above the door there is a sign that shows the entire route, the direction it is going, the next stop, which sides the doors will open and where you can change to a different colour line. There is also a voice that tells you the station you’re at and whether or not you can change to a different line there. All in all, lots of information.
The only thing that might take a little bit more time, is figuring out which of the 3-5 different exits to take. I mean, the station might be called ‘bay front’ for example, but you still need to figure out which exit is closest to where you actually wanted to go. There are maps of the station and surrounding streets though, so you’ll be fine.
What it costs
The metro in Singapore is so incredibly cheap, no wonder many locals use it instead of driving a car. – also because cars here are ridiculously expensive -. I think the cheapest ride I took was around 0.90 cents and the most expensive one like 2.50 dollar. Singapore dollar that is of course. So you can get to the complete other end of the city for the price of a coffee. – Although, I think coffee is more expensive –
How long it takes
For me, the longest ride was the one from the capsule hotel to the airport. It included 3 transfers – even though I could have done it with just 1 –but all in all it still didn’t take too long. Maybe like 30 minutes? You know why? Metros leave every 5 minutes. At least. Where ever you are going! Isn’t that amazing?
Like any other major city in the world, you can also get around Singapore using the taxi. They seem to be reasonably priced. Some times of the day they are obviously cheaper because of less customers. What’s great, is that the gojek app works in Singapore. I think gojek even originated from Singapore actually. Even though it’s definitely not as cheap as in Bali and they only offer cars in Singapore, no bikes, I still thought it the prices weren’t ridiculous. A ride in the morning from my capsule hotel to the airport would have cost me 31 Singapore dollar with gojek. This would have been a 30 minute ride, which I obviously chose not to do. – and I’m glad I didn’t, because I needed the money to pay for my extra heavy luggage, lol –
There are also a lot of bus stops in Singapore. They take you to places the metro doesn’t quite reach as closely I feel. I never used a bus thouh, so I am not able to give you my experience.