Singapore Tour: FAQ for First Timers

by Joy
(USA)

Hi! My family of 3 would be in Singapore August 2 till August 5. We arrive there around 1655, Sunday.

I want to visit Sentosa Island, go on a Cable Car Ride, ride the Singapore Flyer, visit Jurong Bird Park, take a River Cruise, see orchids, and go shopping.

1. Any suggestions for our itinerary?

2. Is the Singapore Tourist Pass good for us or should we just take taxis all the time?

3. Is renting a car more economical than public transportation? How's parking in Singapore?

4. Is the Holiday Inn Atrium Hotel bus/train accessible?

5. Where could we find money changers?

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

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Singapore Tour: FAQ for First Timers

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Jul 07, 2009
Singapore Tour: Transport and Money Exchange Tips
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Joy

Here goes...

1. Any suggestions for our itinerary?

I've put a suggested 4D3N Singapore tour itinerary in a separate thread.


2. Is the Singapore Tourist Pass good for us or should we just take taxis all the time?

At $8 a day, the Singapore Tourist Pass is useful if you are visiting many places in a day. For example, if you plan on hopping from one mall to another and then visiting one or two heritage areas in a day, the Tourist Pass may be a good choice.

If you plan on spending an entire day at one place, e.g. a day on Sentosa Island, you won't use up the value of the Pass at all.

Taxis cruise on the streets in Singapore. They all run on meters and are reasonably priced, so there's no hassle with bargaining.

They may be in shortage during peak hours, but that can be solved by a phone booking, which adds an additional $3-5 dollars to your final fare.

Or you may get your hotel to help you with calling for a taxi.

Most of the major tourist spots in the city are also easily reached using the MRT trains. So consider this option too.


3. Is renting a car more economical than public transportation. How's parking in Singapore?

For the spots you are visiting, I feel that there's no need for you to rent a car. I recommend a combination of taxi and MRT rides.

The only reason to rent a car is if you are visiting a few of the outlying attractions, such as the Jurong Bird Park. You'll have some flexibility with time and you can also explore a few spots on a car trip. Provided you aren't overawed by the map reading and navigation.

Even as a local, I find driving in the city a real pain. If you miss the entrance of a car park, you may have to go in a circle before you get back to the same spot again. And at $3 or more an hour, car parking rates are ridiculously expensive in the city area.

Do note that we drive on the left side of the road -quite differently from the US. I advise that you choose an auto-transmission car if you really decide to rent one. Coping with the gear shift with 'the other hand' and driving on 'the wrong side' of the road is something you don't want to do on holiday.


4. Is the Holiday Inn Atrium Hotel bus/train accessible?

There are many buses around the Holiday Inn Atrium. But the MRT stations may be too far away to walk to.


5. Where could we find money changers?

You'll find money changers at Singapore Airport. These ones are run by the banks.

But the money changers with better rates are in town. You'll find many in the shopping malls. The best rates are supposedly offered by the money changers at Change Alley on Collyer Quay. But I don't think it's worthwhile to make a trip there just to change money.

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