Surviving Singapore with SGD97

By Elie - 7:30 AM

Days since my last post: 13

And I'm back! Well technically I haven't been anywhere but I can't seem to find the right balance between doing everything...and nothing. This post however has simply been floating around and I kept thinking about the perfect way to summarize my surprise weekend trip to Singapore until I realized...why not milk the fact that I traveled with just SGD97 in my pocket?


On the itinerary of the day: Meeting 2 of my friends for the first time. 

I arrived Singapore slightly after 3 PM after a whole lot of waiting at the Singapore immigration, and it was already about 4-ish when I got to Central 65 Hostel. I wouldn't say it was a bad thing though, cause it meant I didn't have to spend too much on the first day. I got to quickly rest up and even showered before I left the hostel before feasting on... 

Dimsum from Swee Choon.

Because it was the first time I was meeting them, I naturally felt a bit nervous and we picked to only do dinner so even if things were a little awry...well it was just dinner. What was great however was that we weren't one bit awkward, and all of us got to be who we really were. It almost felt like we've known each other forever and were just old friends reuniting.

Muchos gracias, ZL and YJ. 

Total damage: SGD10, because YJ insisted on footing the rest of the bill.
Side damage: SGD10 as a deposit at Central 65 Hostel. To be returned when I check out.
Travel fare: SGD1.40 from Buona Vista to Bugis MRT station.
Balance: SGD75.60


On the itinerary of the day: Making my way to the Pokémon Cafe, roaming Singapore, meeting my old school mates.

While my initial plan was to be all "rise and shine to the perfect sunshine", I'm ashamed to say that I was nothing like that. I woke up at about 10 AM, shuffling myself to slowly take a shower before leaving at 11 AM to walk to Bugis Junction. It was also on this day that I realized that having no data in a foreign country was torturous so I did tons of research on the best temporary data fix, before settling on the M1 prepaid sim.

Damage: SGD5. It came pre-loaded with SGD6 which you could immediately use for calls or to convert it into data...which I obviously did.

Finally stepping into the Pokémon Cafe!

Undeniably however, my excitement was all for the Pokémon Cafe because it was truly what I was in Singapore for. Yes, I traveled all the way for this pop-up cafe at EWF on the 4th floor of Bugis Junction just before they closed it for good a few days ago! 

The adorable Pikachu latte. 

I'd like to first say that this drink was not mine, but in fact ZL's who decided to hop onto my madness for the day. This set her back about SGD9, and according to her tasted just mediocre. The Pokéball mug however was my very own souvenir, because I had ordered...

The Pikachu pancake set.

The Pikachu latte is simply for photography purposes (Much thanks to ZL!) though. My pancake "set" was simply just pancakes with cocoa powder, topped with maple syrup and served with cream and fruits, before an end of a butter biscuit. My verdict really isn't great, and I think the food was better seen than eaten. BUT...I was there and I had tried it with my own tongue. Probably worth it now. 

Purchase damage: SGD5.60 because a friend of mine got me to buy her something from the souvenir store.
Damage: SGD21 plus tax. With a free Pokéball mug! 

Eeyore meets Bugis Street!

ZL then decided to take me to Bugis Street where we simply immersed into an entire sea of people, but with limited cash on me, I guess it wasn't the best of visits. I mean, I did fall in love with some of the clothing and this amazing transformable RC toy, but I was already down to very minimal cash. It was then that ZL decided we should make it to ION Orchard instead because I would probably see a whole lot more of Singapore as a whole.

Travel fare: SGD0.88 from Bugis to Orchard MRT station. Seriously, why is traveling on public transport so affordable in Singapore?!

Eeyore meets ION Sky! 

Our visit to ION Orchard obviously had its reason, and it was to have a view of Singapore from about 56 floors up. Indeed, this was the famed ION Sky on ION Orchard.

From 56 floors up.

And looking at Marina Bay Sands.

The view above was breathtaking, and I loved every moment of how quaint the visit felt. It was very touristy obviously, but I'm glad everyone were civilized enough not to be screaming around as the space could create quite a lot of echo through every word we spoke. 

To commemorate coming up to ION Sky. 

Damage: ZERO. Can you believe it? It was absolutely free to come up here for a breathtaking sight of Singapore and you could stay for however long you wanted! They also feature sky dining (At a price, of course) and is usually open between 3 PM till about 5 PM. You can find the entrance from the 4th floor of ION Orchard, and through the art gallery. 

Eeyore meets Scape!

ZL then took me to this place called Scape, a place where hipsters converge. I remember once catching an episode by QiuQiu from BudgetBarbie about Scape, and I was actually quite excited to make my way there as well. In a bid to save money, ZL also suggested that we walked instead of taking the MRT which I thought was really sweet of her. I felt a bit guilty making her walk that much, but she kept saying it was alright. 

Ping Pong Piang! 

I also tried Pong for the first time this trip, and it was a treat from ZL. This would have otherwise set me back about SGD5.50 and was essentially 2 scoops of ridiculously delicious and creamy ice cream with 3 toppings of my choice, and served with coconut water to finish. It was heavenly because it did get quite humid outside and I was pretty thirsty at this point. Brownie points to my amazing tour guide! 
We also took to walking to the nearest NTUC (Which wasn't that near in the end) because I wanted to purchase some MAGGI products that we couldn't find in Malaysia to bring home. We must have walked for what felt like forever and then back, because we were both just dead tired in the end. I then bid ZL goodbye for this trip and then made my way back to the hostel for a quick shower. I did also stop by the Mustafa Centre along the way to grab a little something extra for my other half and his family, because good things were meant to be shared.
Purchase damage: SGD7.30 for four tubs of MAGGI instant pasta.
Purchase damage 2: SGD9.85 for a bottle of Ovomaltine and a pack of PrimaTaste Laksa.
Travel fare: SGD0.98 from the Orchard to Farrer Park MRT station. 
And hello Clarke Quay.

My final itinerary of Day 2 was to simply meet several friends up for dinner, and then I was really prepared to call it a night. We dined at a Japanese restaurant called Ramen Keisuke Lobster King, which true to its named served ramen in lobster bisque. While the meal could have easily set me back SGD20, I was glad my friend offered to foot the bill so I could retain my sanity and also enough money to still travel back and forth. 
From KL to Singapore.

We did however end the night with some drinks, and I opted to a half pint house lager at SGD 7. Sometimes you just got to give, right? 

Damage: SGD8 plus tax.
Travel fare: SGD1.86 from Farrer Park to Clarke Quay and back.
Total damage for the day: SGD60.47 from eating, traveling, and souvenir purchasing. 
Balance: SGD15.13

Eeyore takes a trip!
I went home. I believe this is the most anti-climatic end of all but I really did have to leave smack early in the morning of my third day because I had to be back at work the next day and also because it was the only bus that had a better timing. I did get my SGD10 back from my hostel deposit and so I wasn't all that broke in the end. Before boarding the bus however, I stopped by the 7-Eleven nearby in hopes of actually maximizing the money I had and purchased Frutips for my brother because we couldn't find it in Malaysia.
Purchase damage: SGD4.
Travel fare: SGD1.40 from the Bugis to Buona Vista MRT station. 
Balance: SGD19.73

Running around Singapore with less than SGD100? Check. 

And so you see, budget traveling isn't really as difficult as it seems. Sure you're taking lots of cuts here and there and you probably can't splurge or shop as much, but what matters is the experience that you were there right? I probably didn't exactly come home with SGD19.73 because I'm sure I've left some expenditure somewhere, but all is still well so long I didn't have to beg for money after. It was as an overall a fun trip being alone and the company was all well too. 

Singapore. Check.

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