1 Day in Singapore, Country of Malls

Singapore Travel Blog

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Looking for a hostel in Little India


Today we got up on the train and had our passports looked at by Malaysian officials on the train.  Then at 7, everyone had to get off the train and go through Singapore immigration, which was not a problem.  Once everyone was done, we got back on the train for the last hour into the center of Singapore.  When we arrived at the train station, we decided to just start walking instead of taking a taxi.  We figured out where we were and went to Chinatown to look for accomodations.  The hotels were too expensive and the hostel we found there was already full.  We decided to look in the other neighborhood that had budget accomodations, Little India.

Chinese food for lunch (cuttlefish ball soup, watermelon shake, and Arum's dish)
  Since Arum didn't want to walk too far with our bags, we had to find someone to exchange money so we could take the subway.  After walking around and finding a closed exchange place, I ended up changing money at some sketchy convenience store that I was told would do it.

Once we got to Little India, the first backpacker hostel we went to again was full.  We sat there for awhile eating some longans (fruit) and tyring to figure out what to do since we were running low on good sleeping options.  The night before I came up with the idea of sleeping at the airport instead of a hotel in the city and waking up super early to take a taxi to the airport.  We agreed that if we could find a place to store our bags and freshen up before the flight, we would sleep at the airport.
Largest Mosque in Singapore
  Using our guidebook, we went to one more hostel and asked them if they could provide what we want without paying full price for a bed we wouldn't use.  They had a traveller's option for S$6 (US$4) per person that offered bathroom, common room, and internet access with baggage storage.  We took that and left our bags there.

Finally, we were ready to have lunch so we walked to a big market in Little India where they had a couple rows of hawker food stalls.  About half were Indian and half were Chinese food.  We both had some Chinese food, and Arum had a watermelon smoothie.  Now it was time to actually start seeing stuff in Singapore.  The only attraction in Little India that we wanted to see was the largest mosque in Singapore.  It was big with a gold roof and the typical mosque look with the towers.

Singapore River with Merlion and Downtown in back
  I went in and saw the big empty room without any chairs or anything just a couple bookshelfs.

Next, we walked South towards the main part of the city.  We walked past the National Library and went in.  They had a water fountain, which significantly elevated how much I like the country.  After leaving the library, we walked across the street and walked past our first mall.  We were looking for some really old hotel with a museum we could walk through.  We went past the hotel but didn't bother going in since Arum was not properly dressed (sandals).  We kept walking South and went past a war memorial and ended up walking by some big mall.  To cool off and rest, we went in the mall and wandered around.  We saw what was supposed to be the world's largest water fountain as of a decade ago or something but it wasn't running so it was not as exciting.

Merlion, Symbol of Singapore
  We exited that mall and while trying to walk back, there was a mall right next door that we went through.  Next, we went to some big theater that had a mall wing on the side.  It was adjacent to the Singapore River and we could see the big buildings on the other side along with the Mermlion (half-mermaid, half-lion) that spits water.

After resting in the theater for a little bit, we walked across the river twice.  We went down a little walkway/park on the side of the river and had ice cream sold by a vendor for 66 cents.  After walking down the river, we came to a big outside mall that had a Hooters.  Then, we walked across the river and went to some mall that looked ok on the outside but when we went in there was almost nobody inside at all.

Ice cream at the park on the river
  After cutting through that 'mall', we went across the river again and went into yet another mall that wasn't too big but had a huge electronics store.  We saw another mall across the street before but we couldn't see it again and didn't bother going.

We were done with seeing everything in the downtown part of the city and walked to Orchard Road, which is the main road with endless shopping on it.  We went to our first mall, which had a big grocery store on the bottom level (with only a couple of free samples) and about 6 stories of shops.  Then, we walked to another mall across the street, which was almost empty and had a bunch of stores with expensive home furnishings.

Arum at the sushi conveyor belt
  We got another ice cream from a vendor on the street.  It was wrapped in some colorful sweet bread and was some weird fruit we didn't know but Arum didn't like it.  We walked past several more malls of varying sizes and went in a few.  In two different ones, we went upstairs wandering around and then couldn't figure out how to get down without going all the way back to where we came up.  In one, we figured out how to go downstairs and ended up entering in the back of some fancy restaurant where they stared at us and we quickly went for the exit.

Arum had a desire to go to a sushi restaurant with a conveyor belt.  After checking the sushi restaurant in one mall, we decided to try the next mall down the road and decided to eat sushi there.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on little tiny sushi so I didn't have anything but Arum had several plates.  She was a little disappointed with the conveyor belt since the few items she actually eats never came around on the belt.  When we went to pay with our credit card, they said our charge of S$11=US$7 was below the minimum.  After saying we had no cash to pay the bill and complaining that we asked beforehand about the credit card, they let us charge it.  On the way back, I went to another mall and looked around the food court but didn't like anything.  I stopped at a hawker stand to have some rice porridge with king crab for US$2, which was exactly the amount of money we had left.

We walked back to our hostel and got there around 9.  We repacked our bags, took showers, brushed our teeth, etc and used the internet quickly to write some posts.  At 11, we left the hostel and walked to the subway.  We took the subway for about half an hour.  When we got off, we knew our subway tickets did not have enough money to get out of the turnstyle.  The single ride tickets have mandatory $1 deposit on them and we didn't want to get our $2 deposit back when we get to the airport and are leaving the country.  Earlier in the day, we asked if we could do something to use the $2 earlier in the day instead of be stuck with it when we leave but they said we had no options.  We came up with the idea of only putting 90 cents on the card, which is the minimum to get in the subway, instead of the $1.60 required to go to the airport.  So when we got to the airport we had to tell them our story and they took the extra fare we needed out of the deposit so it all worked out as planned.

 

-Steve

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Looking for a hostel in Little Ind…
Looking for a hostel in Little In…
Chinese food for lunch (cuttlefish…
Chinese food for lunch (cuttlefis…
Largest Mosque in Singapore
Largest Mosque in Singapore
Singapore River with Merlion and D…
Singapore River with Merlion and …
Merlion, Symbol of Singapore
Merlion, Symbol of Singapore
Ice cream at the park on the river
Ice cream at the park on the river
Arum at the sushi conveyor belt
Arum at the sushi conveyor belt
Singapore
photo by: easyjobrob