unexpected tips: backpacking in singapore

When one says “Singapore,” you may think “luxury.” While Singapore is known for extravagant hotels with boats and infinity pools at the top, rooftop restaurants and bars, and malls with rivers inside them, there’s an underground backpacking scene here, and it’s well worth checking out!

Singapore is worth spending a couple days in en route to another destination, whether that be Australia, our backyard of all of Southeast Asia, or elsewhere.

It’s the perfect way to begin or end a trip, with Changi Airport (rated world’s best!!) and loads of bus routes to Malaysia at your fingertips.


B A S I C   I N F O

Singapore is an island, also referred to as the Little Red Dot, as that’s all it appears as on world maps.

Size: 719.1 km^2

Population: 5.535 million (2015, World Bank)

National Language: English, although Tamil, Mandarin, and Malayu are also widely used and official languages!

Currency: Singapore Dollar, SGD.

Weather: HOT. Also it will probably rain for about 10 minutes sometime during the day. Although it’s always about 29 to 35 degrees (about 85-95 Fahrenheit), it’s incredibly well airconditioned inside and you might get chilly!

Water is safe to drink from the tap.


A C C O M M O D A T I O N

This is where you’ll spend the most money, but accommodation in Singapore is generally incredibly safe and clean.

Hostels range from about SGD$20-40.

The best areas to stay in are Little India, Chinatown, and Kampong Glam. These areas are centrally located and very rich in culture and vibrancy.

There are many good hostels in the Kallang/Geylang area, although these can be a little out of the way. The public transportation system in Singapore is wonderful, however, it only runs until about midnight, so if you’re planning on dancing the night away at Clarke Quay, you’ll have to take a taxi back.


F O O D

There’s a wide variety of food in Singapore, with a very wide range in price. Unless you have extra cash to spend, shy away from Western food. A good burger will cost you at least $20!

Luckily, Singaporean food is generally cheap food! Head over to a hawker center and try out loads of local food. You can get chicken rice for about $3. Here’s a post explaining my favourite foods!


F R E E   T H I N G S   T O   D O

Gardens by the Bay: Although you won’t be able to get into the Cloud Forest or Flower Dome for free, walking around the gardens and seeing the supertrees is free!


Marina Bay: Walk around Marina Bay and check out the beautiful hotels, Marina Bay Sands Mall, and the iconic Merlion!


Walk through Orchard Road: Singapore’s main shopping street. You can buy anything from cheap goods to high street brands to luxury goods here! Count the designer stores! Although a shopping street, it’s worth a visit, as it’s a pretty insane street.

Little India: beautiful culture, shophouses, and wonderful fruit stands!

Chinatown: Check out food street and see the craziness of Chinatown! It’s also a great place to buy cheap souvenirs.

Kampong Glam: Such a beautiful and vibrant part of Singapore. One of my favourite places in Singapore!


Botanic Gardens: HUGE beautiful gardens, perfect for a picnic or just a stroll through the park!


Singapore may not seem like the place to backpack, but the Little Red Dot has so much to offer, and I highly recommend checking it out! Conveniently located in the midst of Southeast Asia, and close to Australia, it’s a great place to stop by.

 

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