This is my third blog about my Singapore trip. The first one is all about itinerary and budget while the second one is about the Singapore City Pass. So this time, I’m going to tell you about some travel tips when arriving to Singapore: Travel Tax, Terminal Fees, Immigration, Travel Maps, Airport Wifi, Pocket Wifi for Rent, EZ Link and Airport Shuttles.
The Departure (Manila-Clark-Singapore)
Trying to avoid delays and traffic, I and my friend Lena travelled from Manila to Clark a night before our trip. We booked Clark to Singapore because it is the cheapest airfare we can book. And I must say being thrifty is not always beneficial. Why? Because we experienced so much hassle riding a cab from Makati to Cubao and then a bus from Cubao to Clark…carrying all our luggages. PLUS paying unnecesary charges such as taxi, bus ride and hotel. *sigh* Nonetheless, we learned from our mistakes! So just a piece of advice, always take into consideration your CONVENIENCE when travelling.
We stayed at Tune Hotels Clark and paid a thousand for a night. Since our flight to Singapore is at 12:30pm, we left the hotel at around 9:00am. (Tip: When travelling abroad, be sure to be at the airport atleast 3 hours before your estimated time of departure.)
We arrived so early that the airport is not yet opened. A bit weird, right? So we waited outside for almost an hour. Good thing we already checked-in online 3 days before our travel so we did not worry about lining up . ( Tip: It is actually advantageous checking online. Aside from the fact that you will cut the line, it will also save your time.)
When the doors opened, we looked for the travel tax counter and paid Php1,650. Note that you need to have your plane tickets and passports ready before paying the travel tax. Next we lined up and paid for the terminal tax (Php 600) then we proceeded to the Immigration counter to have our passports stamped. (Tip: When answering the Immigration Officer, keep calm and be honest. Don’t forget to be angelic to get their approval and allow you to depart the country. *wink*)
Clark International Airport is not that big hence expect lesser food selection. We munch some food there and waited for our flight in the boarding area.
We arrived at Changi International Airport at 4:00pm. Since we have no checked-in baggage, we directly went to the Immigration counter. Signs are so visible that you can actually go on your own. The Immigration officer who interviewed me was a bit serious. Common questions being asked are:
- Where do you come from?
- How many days are you staying in Singapore?
- What is the purpose your travel?
My answers are straightforward and answered him politely; so I got his approval. Yehey! 🙂
While looking our way outside, we found a stand of Singapore maps and travel handouts. We got one of each. It is FREE so don’t worry hoarding! Haha.
WiFi is available at the airport. All you need to do is to find an information kiosk and asked them for a password. Usually they ask your passport before giving the password. I must commend their wifi connections are indeed strong and fast.
Pocket Wifi for Rent
We have searched online and noted that there are pocket wifis available for rent at the airport. So we looked for that stall. It is located in the ground floor.
It costs us S$10.00 per day. We rented it for 5 days. So a total of S$50.00. Upon payment, the lady did not accept it because payment should be made upon the return of the device. However, a deposit of S$500.00 is required. Don’t worry because you will not pay the deposit in cash but your credit card will be scanned. In case of any damages or failure to return the device, the S$500.00 will be charged to your credit card. So make sure to take care of the device and return it on time or else you will pay approximately Php 20,000.
For travellers, it is very important to be connected always. Not just for posting your photos real time but for GOOGLE MAPS. I tell you GOOGLE MAPS will be your best friend when travelling. We have used our pocket wifi mostly for getting directions.
EZ Link is a contactless card used for payment in public transportaton. It is very important to buy this reloadable card when you arrived at Singapore as this will be your payment for all your bus and MRT rides.
While buses accept cash, they will not give you any change at all. Because you will drop your cash payment in a transparent box; hence no one will give you any change.
We bought our EZ link at the airport before heading to our hotel for S$12.00. The card is worth S$5.00 and is loaded with S$7.00. As mentioned, it is reloadable. We reloaded our EZ Link at the MRT station for S$10.00. The load was enough for 5 days. You can actually buy or reload in any MRT stations or any Seven Eleven Stores.
Remember to always tap your EZ link to the machine before and after riding the Bus or MRT. The balance will appear everytime you tap.
Here’s how our EZ Link looks like:
Here’s how you tap it (Bus):
We planned to take MRT going to our hotel. However, we see an ad about Airport Shuttle. An airport shuttle will take you right infront the doorsteps of your hotel. It costs us S$9.00 per person. It is a fixed rate, hence regardless of your hotel location, you will pay the same amount. By the way, we stayed at Fragrance Hotel Geylang. It is the cheapest we can get which is decent and safe. If you travel in group, I suggest you stay in a dormitory type room.
Singapore Diary Day 3 (S.E.A. Aquarium and Universal Studios Singapore)
Singapore-Indonesia Diary 4 (Kota Batam, Indonesia)