Singapore Sequel

Use this Singapore Sequel travel guide for free transport tips, where to sleep and great cheap places to eat, which will save you money, when travelling to this bustling multicultural metropolis.

If you missed last week’s post on what you must see on a four-day fabulous trip to Singapore, click this link for Returning to Singapore?

Spectra Light and Water Show, Singapore, SE Asia
Free Spectra Light and Water Show, Marina Bay

Getting to Singapore

From the Brisbane International Airport Terminal 1, the direct Qantas flight to Singapore takes around eight hours, so in Australian terms, this is not really a long-haul flight. The flight left around 45 minutes late although a reason wasn’t provided.

Pleasantly surprised at the service and food during the Qantas flight, as heard that post-COVID conditions have diminished across many airlines.

Map of #Brisbane to #Singapore, #Oceania, SE Asia, #Australia, Queensland

Arriving at Changi Airport around 45 minutes late, customs and immigration were a breeze maybe as it was evening and officers are ready to go home.

Transport at Changi Airport

Use the frequent and free unmanned airport train shuttle to move between terminals and also to find the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2.


Just before you enter the MRT gates at Changi’s Terminal 2, there is a small booth with a guy that will only sell you a ticket for S$10 to get through the gates to the trains. He was very unhelpful and not interested, so not sure whether this was a day pass or other.

train from Changi Airport to Geylang district, #Singapore, #Asia

If your hotel is in the Geylang district (cheaper accommodation and food), take the Green East-West line and change at Tanna Merah, just across the platform.

Payment is using contactless Mastercard/Visa/NETS bank cards, mobile wallets, stored-value EZ-Link/NETS FlashPay cards, and Singapore Tourist Pass.

The train journey takes just under an hour before you stop at Aljunied for the walk of one kilometre to Hotel 81-Princess in Geylang.

If you prefer to take a public bus from Changi, then head to Terminals 1, 2 and 3 for buses 24, 27, 34, 36, 53, 110 and 858 to all 3 Terminals. Or, at Terminal 4: buses 24, 34, 36 and 110 will also bring you to Terminal 4. A taxi is a little pricey if you’re on a budget.

Travelling around Singapore

Singapore’s MRT makes it super easy to get around the island and trains are always on time, frequent, and not expensive. If you’re planning on hopping on and off public buses and trains during your Singapore stay, then definitely use one of the cards below.

Singapore Tourist Pass comparison, MRT, SE Asia
Screenshot: Singapore Tourist Pass

The 3-day Singapore Tourist Pass worked best and as long as you return the card at a designated train station, then you receive the S$10 refund. Time on all passes starts ticking when you first tap the card at the gate.

Singapore Tourist Pass, MRT, SE Asia
Screenshot: Singapore Tourist Pass

Of course, the cheapest way is always on foot but sometimes, you need to rest your weary feet or the distance is just too far. You do see much more on foot providing you have time, but trains are your next best option in Singapore, especially as payment is by tapping a credit card if you don’t have a tourist pass – fast and easy.

Singapore and food

Rustic portable stoves and mobile hawkers selling traditional street food were Singapore’s reputation until the 1960s when hawkers moved into fixed permanent dwellings, creating unique hawker centres. Featuring a wonderful plethora of delicious street food, the government of the 1990s decided to establish centres with a licensing policy whilst also enforcing hygienic practices.

Today, over 6,000 hawkers operate in Singapore, so scrumptious cheap street food is never too far and always just around the corner. Irresistible lingering spicy aromas fused by centuries of nomadic migration from nearby countries, beckon any famished traveller.

Where to eat

Singapore offers an abundant variety of delicious and exotic food, which you can relish on the cheap without breaking your purse and sticking to a daily budget – especially important for long-term travellers. The Geylang District offers the best value I’ve found so far and the diversity of food is amazing as this area boasts many hawker centres.

ABC Bistro Restaurant

Your go-to for excellent and inexpensive Indian food (and surrounding regions) is the ABC Bistro restaurant in Geylang. Western food is also available. Enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the ABC on most mornings while in Singapore. Credit cards accepted.

The staff are fast and efficient. The food is scrumptiously mouthwatering. The fried rice and Mertabak are exceptionally good. Don’t expect a romantic quiet ambience as this restaurant is open to street noise and very busy inside, so noise from inside and outside.

Anna Lim Thai Cafe

The Anna Lim Thai Cafe husband and wife team serve up wonderful traditional Thai dishes at hawker prices in an undercover outdoor no-frills seating area. No bells and whistles but excellent authentic food.

Hi Banh Mi!

Another go-to small cafe-style space with undercover outdoor seating, the Hi Banh Mi! is great for Vietnamese Banh Mi (yummy stuffed bread rolls), providing good service and delectable food. The spring rolls are wonderful.

Geylang Drip City

By far, the best coffee in Singapore I’ve ever tried is from the Geylang Drip City. A favourite for its lovingly and fastidiously prepared excellent coffee (S$5+). If you’re in a hurry, go to McDonald’s or Starbucks for a fast sub-standard takeaway.

The amazing staff are really passionate about making coffee and take time – almost like a ritual, which says it all. The ambience is groovy and the modern decor is funky. A pleasure to relax while sipping excellent coffee. Definitely the continual haunt during the four days in Singapore.

Ice Cream Bar @ 313

For a “boozy handcrafted ice cream”, visit the Ice Cream Bar @ 313 across the road from the Somerset MRT station. Great staff and wonderful unusual flavoured ice cream.

Ice Cream Bar @ 313, Somerset, Singapore, SE Asia
For flavoursome unusual icecream

Where to stay

Singapore is bursting with accommodations to fit any budget, but a fancy Ritz Hotel is not in the two-year plan so booked a hotel in the favourite Geylang District, which has now also become a Chinatown.

Geylang is renowned as Singapore’s red-light district but also for its cheap food and accommodation. It’s raw with some areas a little seedy, but after staying here on several occasions, I’ve never had any problems.

Hotel 81 – Princess

From the Aljaneed or Kallang MRT stations, walk the easy 1.5-kilometres to Hotel 81 – Princess.

Very impressed with this hotel as the room is a good size for Singapore (15m2) with a private bathroom, very clean, and great service from the staff.

Arriving at the hotel around 8pm, it’s a great time as any for a walk to find a bite to eat. Geylang’s streets are alive, noisy, and busy with restaurants overflowing with locals on this cool, rainy evening.

Leaving Singapore bound for Japan

The next awesome destination on this two-year sojourn is visiting Japan for a stay of seven weeks. As travel through Japan is in March and April, hopefully, the countryside will be graced with a few iconic stunning cherry blossoms.

Getting to Changi Airport

Depending on the train station, Singapore’s trains start operating between 5:30am, to 6am, so take a taxi to Changi Airport as there is not enough tough for a train.

Staff at the Princess 81- Hotel phoned a taxi for the airport, which arrived almost immediately at 5:30 am. Taking around 25 minutes to drive from the Geylang District to Changi Airport Terminal 1 for the low-cost Scoot flight to Osaka, Singapore’s roads are quiet at this time of the morning and the S$28.

Incredibly, check-in is finished by 06:30 am for the 8:30 am flight. Although the flight is late by 20 minutes, so indulge in a Kopi (Indonesian coffee) at the terminal, but the hot liquid is more like a 3-in-1 not-so-great instant coffee – a little caffeine nonetheless.

Singapore, SE Asia
Until we meet again, Singapore… (Photo: Neil Lintern)

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

Note: All photos by Nilla’s Photography unless otherwise mentioned. No part of this post was composed with the help of ChatGPT or AI.

Singapore travel tips, SE Asia

21 responses to “Singapore Sequel”

  1. Theresa [Hey, Traveler] Avatar

    I love Singapore! This reminds me I need to plan a trip back!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you, Theresa!
      There’s so much to see and do in Singapore, it’s amazing for such a small island country. I have another wrap-up post this Sunday about free things to do in Singapore, so check back.
      Have you read the first post from a couple of weeks ago: Returning to Singapore?


    Enjoy your trip! Thank you for letting us use this Singapore Sequel travel guide for free transport tips, where to sleep and great cheap places to eat, which will save us money, when travelling to this bustling multicultural metropolis. The photos you posted are all inspiring and worth viewing. They’re all lovely photos. Just keep going and enjoy. Have a great day.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Anita
      Thank you for the great feedback and for stopping by my post. How did you come across my site?

      1. TRAILBLAZER Avatar

        You’re welcome. You can visit my blog if you have extra time. I hope you will like and follow it.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks Anita – visited and wish you all the best with your fairly new blog! 🙂

      3. TRAILBLAZER Avatar

        You’re welcome. You can visit my blog too if you have extra time. I hope you will like and follow it.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Sure, no problem.

      5. TRAILBLAZER Avatar

        Thank you for following my blog.

  3. wetanddustyroads Avatar

    Oh, I’m glad to read that the light and water show is free 😁. ABC Bistro’s menu is wild – how on earth did you decide what to order? Coffee at a McDonald’s? Never – not when there is a place like Geylang Drip City! Wow, sounds like you have a jam packed two year travel plan! Looking forward to read about your adventures!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Always great (and helps the purse) to find free sights in Singapore.
      I had loads of trouble trying to decide but the waitstaff was very patient with me and probably thought, silly tourist.
      A sketchy plan for this year but nothing planned for next year yet…it’s too far away and I really don’t like planning to far ahead. 😉

  4. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Great post. I do miss Singapore…
    Now Changi airport? My favourite airport ever… All airports should strive to be like Changi… 👏🏻

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      So efficient. I guess Changi has to make sure people enjoy the airport as it’s such a transit hub in Asia – need to keep people entertained. 😉

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Very much so. I just wonder why other airports don’t try to learn form other experiences. The NIH (Not Invented Here) thinking I guess.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Dollars I guess, but then if you’re spending hours in an airport, especially during transit, you need things to occupy yourself with and travellers do spend money at airports. 😉

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        They do. But again it was quality of check-in and check-out plus the overall feel of the airport that i liked very much.
        R U in Finland already?

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        After 13 hours, finally arrived in Rovaniemi, Finland at 9pm last night!
        Sweden was having a national train strike (unheard of in Sweden) at 3pm yesterday but our train left at 8am, so we weren’t affected. However, the train was late to Haparanda so missed the shuttle bus to the border by 5 mins (it didn’t wait for the late train!). The next shuttle wasn’t until 2+ hours later and no taxis. Really badly organised, with no signs, nothing for an international border between countries. So we walked the 3kms with 25kg packs across the Sweden/Finland border to the bus stop (no information at the bus stop, just a pic of a bus – really helpful!) to catch the bus to Kemi. By this time, we missed the booked and paid train to Rovaniemi. No one was at the train station so had to buy new tickets online and then wait almost 3 hours for the 1.15-hour train trip to Rovaniemi with all the snot goblins – thought I was going to catch COVID.
        You did ask! 🤣

      5. equinoxio21 Avatar

        I did. Ever so sorry. It’s like a domino thing, when one domino falls, the whole line goes down. At least I hope you’re settled in a nice hotel/Airbnb and you can put your feet up!

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        It certainly is and definitely was yesterday, but the #singapore apartment is comfy so all’s well with the world. 😉

  5. Yetismith Avatar

    Amazing that such a tiny country attracts so many tourists. I suppose it has a lot to do with location, but also Singapore is such an example of efficiency and cleanliness. It does help to have motivated Immigration and Customs officials! Those do not change much anywhere! Where to after Japan?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It really is for such a small space. I always thought that Singapore was the cleanest destination I’ve visited but that’s been surpassed by Japan.
      I’ve been in Sweden since the 27th of April and leave on Monday for Santa’s land. In Finland until 28th of May then fly to the UK.

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