Friday, April 19, 2019

An Expat’s Guide to One Day in Singapore

ne of the most difficult part of my experience being an expat was processing or renewing the work visa. International schools in Indonesia only trust agencies in Singapore so that means going on a two-hour flight. During my stay in Jakarta as an expat teacher, I flew to Singapore about ten times for varied reasons. The first time of course was the most challenging one. 

Singapore is a first world country in Asia. Through the years, it has maintained its reputation as the best airport in the world. It was a bit intimidating the first time I stepped on the airport because it’s so huge. The title of being the best in the world is not without merit though, I remember an employee approaching me and guiding me everywhere that I wanted to go. She explained that there were instances when passengers missed their flights because they could not find their way so there are employees like her to offer help. 

So, what can you do in one day in Singapore? In most of my travels in Singapore just for the sole purpose of processing visa, I was there for one day only. Thankfully, the transportation service in the country is top in the world so you have enough time to go to different places in just one day. Generally speaking, taxi services are way better in Singapore than other countries but it’s too expensive. The first time I rode a taxi, I paid almost 26 dollars from the airport to the location of the agency! I did not know that you could pay 10 dollars for an EZ link tourist pass for one day. The best way to get around in Singapore is via its MRT subway system. It is very efficient, clean and affordable. The underground network has lines that stretch across the entire city. MRT also operates bus routes that can get you just about anywhere on the island.

Just a reminder though, Singapore is considered to be one of the most expensive city in the world to live in. Things are not cheap but it’s all worth it. It is bursting to the seams with impressive attractions (as seen in the movie- Crazy Rich Asians). Here are the top places that you can visit in just one day:

1. The Merlion at Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Flyer- This is the city’s symbol and gives you such a beautiful panoramic view of everything beautiful in Singapore including the 5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands complex. It is the focal point of the bay and it is definitely not a cheap place to stay gauging from its worth. Even if you won’t be able to watch its spectacular light show at 8:00 P.M., it is still worth visiting.

2. Chinatown- this place is known for gastronomic delights but I used to go there not to indulge in Chinese cuisines but to shop. They have varied selection of clothes and shoes. In fact, I still have a pair that I was able to bring here in the U.S. and I still wear up to this day.

3. Gardens by the Bay- This is a huge, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore. Again, the movie Crazy Rich Asians showed this in many scenes. There are hundreds of trees and plants and the place also offers an impressive skywalk over the gardens.

4. Orchard Road- If you love shopping, this is the place to go. It is the epicenter of shopping and similar to Oxford Street or Hong Kong’s Nathan Road. If you are a Filipino, this is where you will find the best mall for authentic Filipino products- Lucky Plaza. Jollibee- known to be the best of the Philippines is located in this mall and draws both foreigners and Filipinos.

5. Changi Airport- If you are scared of missing your flight, staying in the airport is a treat in itself. Being the best in the world, it offers various activities that would keep you occupied the whole day. It has world class shopping, free computer used, pools, garden, and other amazing features that no other airports offer. 

Singapore is a prime location for tourist activities. One day is not enough to experience its beauty. 

“Don’t listen to what they say. Go see.” 

Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population. The city is bursting in seams with different attractions and boosts the best airport in the world.


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