Destinations Lifestyle Travel

Visiting Singapore for first timers 

Colorful Peranakan houses lining Koon Seng Road near Joo Chiat in Singapore. | CDN Digital Photo by Morexette Marie Erram

SINGAPORE –  There’s more to Singapore than its legendary Merlion statue and world-class attractions.

Don’t let its small land area fool you. The Lion City is packed with a lot of activities – be it sightseeing, adventure, the beaches, and marveling at the modern architecture at Marina Bay.

From spending a whole day at Sentosa Island to strolling around the culturally rich neighborhoods of Joo Chiat, Little India, Chinatown, and Kampong Glam, you can expect a jam-packed and fun-filled time there. 

Kampong Glam with the towering Sultan Mosque | CDN Digital Morexette Marie Erram

If you’re planning to visit Singapore soon, here are some things you might want to keep in mind to make your trip there not only worthwhile but definitely unforgettable. 

Learn about its public transport network

Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, according to the 2022 Worldwide Cost of Living survey from the Economic Intelligence Unit, the research arm of London-based The Economist Group. It shared the spot with New York City. But this did not stop people from around the globe from visiting Singapore. For budget-conscious travelers, relying on its extensive and well-planned public transport may save you – literally and financially. 

The city-nation has buses, trains, monorails, and taxis. However, riding taxis and cars from hailing services may take a significant portion of your budget. From Changi Airport, you can take a train that transports you downtown in more or less 40 minutes. 

Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the ArtScience Museum, two of Singapore's iconic architectural and engineering marvels at the Marina Bay. | CDN Digital Photo Morexette Marie Erram

A map of Singapore’s major train routes is available for download from its government websites. The country also has multiple transportation and mobility apps on the App Store and Play Store that provide you with real-time updates on trains, buses, and even the most viable route to get you from Point A to Point B. 

If you’re planning to commute around Singapore using its public transportation network, it is advisable to book your stay near a bus station or a mass rapid transit (MRT) station.

Wear comfortable shoes

When exploring Singapore, it requires A LOT of walking – emphasis intended. But don’t worry, the country is a safe destination not only in terms of peace and order but also when it comes to traffic. Wide sidewalks make Singapore a pedestrian-friendly place. 

Shops and stalls in Singapore’s Chinatown. | CDN Digital Photo Morexette Marie Erram

As mentioned in the earlier part, touring around Singapore involves a lot of walking. In turn, it’s recommended that you wear comfortable shoes. 

Do not chew gums, do not litter, and do not jaywalk

Singapore is considered one of the cleanest cities worldwide and they intend to keep this title by implementing policies that prohibit littering, eating and drinking inside public transportation, and even chewing gums in public areas. So if you’re planning to bring a stick of gum on your journey in Singapore, you better ditch that in the meantime. 

Jaywalking is also a big no-no. You need to find the nearest pedestrian lane – or crossing – to reach the other side of the road. 

Dine-In at any Hawker Centers

A trip to Singapore would not be complete without dining in any of its hawker centers. Think of the open-air dining spots here in Cebu but twice, thrice, or 10 times the size! Once you enter a hawker center, like the Chinatown Complex, it’s going to be a sensory overload experience. 

Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao, a hawker stall selling handmade dumplings at Chinatown Complex. The stall was featured in the 2018 Singapore Michelin Guide.

You get to choose your food from dozens, if not hundreds, of stalls. Food in hawker centers is cheaper compared to the average restaurants in Singapore so they’re absolutely a bang for the buck. If you’re fortunate enough, you might even have the opportunity to taste Michelin-starred items like Singapore’s famous Hainanese chicken rice. 

If you want to dine at Singapore’s hawker centers, don’t forget the clean-as-you-go policy otherwise you might face a fine for leaving your used dishes and utensils at the table.

Cebu has direct flights to Singapore daily

Did you know you can fly directly from Cebu to Singapore? You heard that right. Local and overseas carriers offer direct flights connecting Cebu to the Lion City on a daily basis, making it easier for residents in Cebu as well as in nearby provinces and regions to go there. Travel time between Cebu and Singapore is approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes. 

Once you land at Changi Airport, you can spend another two to three hours exploring the award-winning airport, particularly the Jewel and its iconic indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex. 

The Jewel Changi Airport’s iconic Rain Vortex. | CDN Digital Photo Morexette Marie Erram

The Jewel is located between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Even if your aircraft’s assignment is in a different terminal, going to the Jewel will only take at least seven minutes. 

All four terminals in Changi are connected by its Skytrains, and they’re for free. For a scenic and remarkable experience of the Jewel, we recommend taking the Skytrain that passes by the waterfall up close. 

Leisure travel is back, and if you’re in the mood for a ‘revenge travel’, Singapore would not disappoint you. 


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TAGS: abroad, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, leisure travel, Singapore, tourism, tourist, Travel
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