I have been to both countries last 2013 but I was not really able to make the most out of it back then. So my friends and I, together with my almost 2-year old daughter went back to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur last March 25-29, 2017. We spent two nights in Singapore and two nights in Kuala Lumpur but still, I believe that if you want to enjoy both cities, make it for about 7 days. I will be briefly sharing with you tips, itinerary, unbelievable experiences and cash expenses breakdown from airfare up to our individual pocket money.
We booked a flight ahead of time. I actually got a good deal at Cebu Pacific’s seat sale last year so I got my Clark-Singapore & Kuala Lumpur-Manila ticket for a fairly cheap price of about ~ Php 3342.44. I added my infant daughter and baggage allowance when our departure was already near since I was not really planning to take her with me (Hey, a single parent gotta have a ‘me-time’ too, you know? Ha ha!) Her ticket (lap-seat only) cost ~ Php 1424 and our baggage allowance cost ~ Php 2250 (20kg departure & 30kg going back to Manila) — this baggage expense was split between my cousin & his boyfriend.
We also pre-booked these ahead of time so we would not feel that much pressure in expenses.
~ SG Accommodation via AirBnB for 2 nights in Tanjong Katong area: Php 5197/4 persons (P1299.25 per person for 2 nights)
** if you still have no AirBnb account, you can click this link so you can get more or less P1,100 discount on your first booking! http://abnb.me/e/nY4Nq5Ks2C
~ KL Accommodation via AirBnB for 2 nights in Regalia Residences: Php 6600/entire home for 4 persons (P1650 per person for 2 nights)
~ Bus from SG to KL (Berjaya Times Square): Php 793/person
** you can check out http://www.busonlineticket.com for various bus companies & prices.
~ Sentosa 3/20 fun pass: Php 1600-1700/per person
~ Garden’s by the Bay OCBC via Klook: Php 216
Day 1: Clark-Singapore Departure (12:25PM – 16:00PM)
~ Phl Travel Tax: P1620
~ Terminal fee: P600
We landed at Changi Airport terminal 2 at 16:00h. This airport is very nice and clean. They even have an orchid garden inside the airport. We purchased a 2 day tourist pass for ~ SG$16 + $10 refundable deposit. By availing this, you now have access to their trains & public buses. Their public transportation is very efficient and accessible! Taxis can be quite expensive if you’re traveling alone. Taxi expense is tolerable if you travel in 3 or 4 to maximize savings.
Changi Airport Terminal 2 ft. Tula Ergonomic Carrier
Orchid Garden inside Changi T2
We went straight to the apartment in Tanjong Katong to leave our stuff and change clothes since it started raining. This area is 20-30 mins from the city center but since we cannot find a cheap room for 4, we ended up staying in a Malay area. No regrets on this since the apartment has a bus stop in front of it, and there are a lot of restaurants in the area.
Restaurants in front of the apartment
>> Unexpected luck Pt. 1 <<
We booked a small room with 1 queen bed and 2 rollaway beds prior to arrival but we surpisingly got an huge attic room that can fit 6-8 persoms with 2 queen beds with single floor beds!
18:00h: After changing clothes, we went straight to Garden’s by the Bay to use our OCBC ticket… but since it was raining that night, we were not able to climb into the Supertrees bridge. So that is P216 wasted since the ticket was non-refundable and non-rebookable. We just decided to stroll around and take photos at night.
Marina Bay Sands hotel at night
We got easily tired of all the walkings so we headed out in Marina Bay Sands mall to eat. A meal at the foodcourt would cost about SG$7-12. We really did not bother in exploring the mall since everything is expensive and we are tired! We went back in the appartment at 23:00h.
Day 2: Exploring the City
We started our day at 10:00h. Since we are in the hunt of KopiTiam (a brand of coffee), most people we asked the night before told us that we should go to Bugis. So we walked around Bugis looking for open stores early in the morning (most stores we’ve seen open at 11:00h). I asked a decent looking man cleaning a front of a shop if where will we able to find this brand of coffee. We were just asking for directions but he accompanied us into the nearest store he knew that is selling KopiTiam. Though my companions found the brand, it was not exactly what they were looking for. The man stood in front of the store waiting for us to finish, so I asked again if he still knows another shop selling KopiTiam. He told us to go to Mustafa and asked us if we know were that is, we said that we do not know where Mustafa is but we can look for it. We were about to leave but since we have a child with us, I think he pitied us because it is a hot day and he thought we are lost. (Lol, we are not lost but we would want to stroll around Bugis for a bit.)
>> Unexpected luck Pt. 2 <<
He told us that he will take us to Mustafa but we declined his offer since we are determined to find our way there by ourselves but then he told us that he insist and his car is ‘no good’, since we are traveling on budget, and we live in the Philippines, we were expecting an old car and we were fine with that! Why would we even be ungrateful at that moment? There is a very kind man who is willing to take us to Mustafa for KopiTiam! We told him that we’ll take pictures in Haji Lane since we went to Bugis for those beautiful grafitti walls. He told us that he will meet us at the end of Haji Lane in 5 minutes, so we did. We were looking for a ‘no good’ car when we saw him driving a Mercedes-benz E250!!! Who wouldn’t be in shock?! This is so much better that a cab, and it is free! So he drove us to Mustafa, dropped us in a grocery store and told us that he will come back after an hour to pick us up and he will just eat his lunch (we were actually planning to treat him lunch but he declined). We were not expecting this, we were beyond grateful that he took us to Mustafa, but for him to pick us back? Damn, we are blessed!
So he took his word and went back after an hour, we told him that he can drop us into the nearest MRT station but he told us that he was free until 15:00h because he will take his wife shopping. In the span of three hours he took us to the following:
> 30 mins in Chinatown for photo op – Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown Street Market, Sri Mariamman Temple
> 30-45 mins in Mount Faber Park & the Bell of Happiness
He wanted to take us to Lucky Bazaar since he told us there are a lot of Filipinos but we already declined since we still have to go to Sentosa. He dropped us off to Vivo City where we can ride a bus going to Sentosa Island.
Just imagine if we did not find this very kind man, we will not be able to see all these places he tooked us for 3 hours. We would be exhausted from all the walkings, train and bus ridings even before we reach Sentosa.
** So thank you Mr. Yeo! We will never forget your kindness, and we will forever be grateful for your hospitality. We hope to see you again in Singapore. **
Since we already purchased the Sentosa 3 out of 20 attractions Fun-day pass, we just spent ~ $1 for bus fare going to Sentosa (I do not know why we paid, but my friend told me that it’s just free. I’m not sure though, it’s only a dollar so no big fuss) and $12 ($3 each for 3 persons) for the small locker. We spent our passes in:
> S.E.A Aquarium
> Sentosa Cable Car and
We were exhausted at this moment so we decided to head back to the apartment since we have to wake up early the next day for Kuala Lumpur. We returned our Tourist Pass in Harbourfront Station in Vivo City so we can refund the ~ $10. We decided to take a cab going to Tanjong Katong and only spent ~ $14 (appx $5 each). What you will love about Singapore is that people here are honest! They value their guests’ money, they value their passenger’s money… unlike here in the Philippines! Scams, scams everywhere!
ADDITIONAL SUGGESTED ITINERARIES
Bugis – Bugis Village, Arab St., Bugis Junction
Little India – Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, House of Tan Teng Niah, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Chinatown – Thian Hok Keng, Red Dot Museum, Maxwell Food Center
** There are still a lot of places in Singapore but with a little amount of time, we were not able to go to some places.
Singapore is humid. Wear light & breathable clothing. Bring umbrella. Use sunscreen.
Visit foodcourts for cheaper food with different varieties
Buy a big bottle of water
Tourist pass is useful if you opt to take public transportation. In our case, it was a waste of money.
Visit Klook for discounted tickets/admissions.
If bringing child, stroller and babycarriers are okay. But I prefer traveling light and hassle free, so I use a babycarrier.
If you want to travel light, bring few clothes. Do mix and match. You can check on your lodging if they have laundry machine.
Php to SGD is okay but still bring USD just in case.
Install an offline Mrt app and offline Map. I find Ulmon offline map helpful.
Total expenses in SG:
Php 1299 – 2 nights accommodation
Php 1642.5 ($45 x 36.5) – Sentosa Fun Pass
Php 216 – Klook. Garden’s by the Bay OCBC
Php 584 ($16 x 36.5) – Tourist Pass
Php 182.5 ($5 x 36.5) – Taxi
Php 1460 ($40 x 36.5) – Food
Php 803 ($22 x 36.5) – Souvenirs & KopiTiam
= Php 6187
Day 3: Kuala Lumpur
Regalia Residences Infinity pool with a KL skyline view
We departed from Tanjong Katong Complex to Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur at 7:45h on our third day. The trip took us for about 5-6 hours. We chose KKKL bus going to Kuala Lumpur because their pick-up point is near from the apartment we have stayed in. It is also relatively cheap and cost us ~ $22/person. The seats are comfortable and reclinable, though how I wish they offer a free wifi service. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 14:00h and we went straight to Regalia Residences. We chose Regalia for it’s fair price, and it’s pool view on the 37th floor. Sunway Mall is also 5-minutes walk in the area. We chose to ride a 6-seater taxi going to Reglia for ~ RM40 for 5 persons (RM8/person)
Honestly, if I were to go back to Kuala Lumpur (which I did), I will just relax. My daughter and I stayed in the apartment while my companions went to Petronas Tower, Bukit Bintang and Jalan Alor for dinner. I was lazy to get out because of Kuala Lumpur’s bipolar weather and my daughter was fussy the whole night.
Day 4: Exploring Kuala Lumpur City Centre
We started our day in Batu Caves. We took a cab near the area which cost ~ RM 25 for 3 persons (RM8/person). Our trip to Batu Caves lasted for an hour since we went up to the cave. The rain started pouring so we decided to go to KLCC already. We took a 6-seater cab which was supposed to take us to KLCC but the driver is so sketchy and his taxi meter was running faster than Usain Bolt. He even took us to a chocolate factory still far away from KLCC, our fare was ~ RM35 already so we decided to leave the cab and hail another one after this chocolate factory trip he got us into. C’apple, the brand, is expensive so I suggest that you stick to Beryl’s! We spend ~ RM110 for 3 packs of 250g each. They were xpensive, but they taste good.
C’apple Chocolate Factory
We did not buy a sim card so we asked a stranger if she could book a GrabCar for us, luckily she did find a GrabCar for only ~ RM28 for 5 persons (RM5.50/person). The weather is starting to get worse, clouds are turning darker so we took quick photos in Petronas Twin Towers before we rode the free bus they offer in KL.
** You can visit http://www.gokl.com.my for more info.
We spend the rest of the day in..
> Starbucks Bukit Bintang
> Chinatown (Shopping)
It started raining heavily so hailing a cab is quite impossible unless you agree to what drivers offer. We were dead tired at that point and we just wanted to go back to the apartment so we agreed with the ~ RM 30 fare (RM6/person). We ended our last night having a dip in the pool and glance at beautiful but shitty weather KL one last time.
Our flight going back to Manila was still at 18:00h. Luckily, the host allowed us to have a late check-out until 13:00h. We left our luggages inside the apartment then went to Sunway Putra Mall to eat lunch. We went back to get our stuff at 15:00h and departed going to KLIA2 at 16:00h. We decided to rent a car for ~ RM130 for 5 persons (RM28/person) since we were already somehow late for proper check-in. But our first plan was to take a bus in KL Sentral going to KLIA 2 for ~ RM10-11/person which is the cheaper alternative.
We arrived in NAIA T3 at 23:00h. We stayed in our home in Quezon City for the night and went back to Pampanga the following day.
ADDITIONAL SUGGESTED ITINERARY
Tean Hou Temple
Kuala Lumpur Tower
KL Bird Park
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
Kuala Lumpur is humid. It also rains in the afternoon most of the time.
Kuala Kumpur is also a home of traffic jams!
Exchange your excess SGDs to Malaysian Ringgit
Buy a sim card
Use GrabCar/Uber instead of taxi. Report taxi scams. Ask for a receipt.
Ride the free bus, they can take you around KL.
Haggle for prices when going shopping.
Total expenses in KL:
Php 1500 for 2 nights accommodation in Regalia Residences
Php 660 (RM55 x 12) – Transportation
Php 960 (RM80 x 12) – Food
Php 3000 (RM250 x 12) – Souvenirs, Chocolates
= Php 6120
TOTAL EXPENSES FOR 5D/4N:
Php 3342 – Airfare
Php 1424 – Infant
Php 1150 – Baggage Allowance
Php 1620 – Travel Tax
Php 600 – Terminal Fee
Php 793 – Sg to Kl transportation
Php 6187 – SG Expenses
Php 6120 – KL Expenses
= PHP 21, 236
** THIS CAN STILL BE MINIMIZE ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE A SOLO BACKPACKING TRAVELER. AS FOR MY EXPERIENCE, I HAVE A DAUGHTER WITH ME SO I NEED TO MAKE OUR STAY AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE FOR HER.