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Old 17th June 2013, 11:09   #196
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Default Re: What to see in Malaysia and Singapore

I was staying in Singapore from 2000 till 2012. So, allow me to answer few things for you.

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No idea about Orchard Road.
Orchard Road is the "happening" place in Singapore. It is a road lined with upmarket fashion shops. It also has normal shops. But, I would not recommend buying anything from here. Depending upon what you want to buy, there are much better options.

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I would probably think that there is some sort of bus + metro pass available where we can have unlimited usage per day. Perhaps we need to buy these somewhere for a day or two.
I am not aware of unlimited pass. But, Singapore trains and buses use a prepaid card called EZ-Link card. You can buy it for S$15, which will give you a S$10 stored value. You can put more money in it and travel by taping the card at the machine. When you are at the end of your Singapore visit, return the card and get S$5 back.

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Songs of the Sea seems to be a light show with fireworks etc. Seen this kind of stuff before, so, we are not that keen.
But UnderWater World is on our list for the experience of being inside a glass tunnel with water all over and fishes inside. I hope SEA and UnderWater world both have this so that we can skip SEA.
I don't know about you, but I like Songs of the Sea. I think it is the best feature of Sentosa along with underwater world (especially so for kids). I don't enjoy anything else in Sentosa.

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Again, birds do not interest anyone of us, so we will skip that one.
Again, I differ. Of all the things in Singapore, I have enjoyed Jurong Bird Park the most. I even had a yearly unlimited pass for this for a few years. I like it better than Sentosa. However, I don't have high opinion about night safari.

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BTW: How does one handle foreign exchange? Have you guys used travel/ currency cards?
Does any card support HK$ and SG$ both?
Do most places accept card or do they prefer cash?
Most places accept both cash and cards. So, it is not a problem. In Singapore, you can even take Indian currency. You will find currency exchange shop in almost every street corner (Although, you get the best exchange rate in Mustafa).
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Old 17th June 2013, 11:36   #197
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Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
BTW: How does one handle foreign exchange? Have you guys used travel/ currency cards?
Does any card support HK$ and SG$ both?
Do most places accept card or do they prefer cash?
Your best bet would be to get USDs rather than HKD or SGD. Mustafa will get you the best exchange rate. Not sure about HK but I guess money exchange in Kowloon will be better. Given the rupee slide you'd want to lock down the rate. Most big places accept card but then you get bad exchange rate plus pay foreign ccy mark up fees to Indian banks.

Last edited by rtandon : 17th June 2013 at 11:48.
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Old 17th June 2013, 11:54   #198
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Default Re: What to see in Malaysia and Singapore

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Originally Posted by ashlil View Post
I am not aware of unlimited pass. But, Singapore trains and buses use a prepaid card called EZ-Link card. You can buy it for S$15, which will give you a S$10 stored value. You can put more money in it and travel by taping the card at the machine. When you are at the end of your Singapore visit, return the card and get S$5 back.
This is what I was looking for. Thanks.

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(Although, you get the best exchange rate in Mustafa).
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Originally Posted by rtandon View Post
Your best bet would be to get USDs rather than HKD or SGD. Mustafa will get you the best exchange rate. Not sure about HK but I guess money exchange in Kowloon will be better. Given the rupee slide you'd want to lock down the rate. Most big places accept card but then you get bad exchange rate plus pay foreign ccy mark up fees to Indian banks.
Thanks. Great tips. I have some Euros. Will it be good to exchange them as well (or best to covert to INR here in open market and then convert INR to HKD/ SGD at Kowloon/ Mustafa?

And by card, I was referring to travel card (like Thomas Cook Borderless card, not my Indian credit card (which has 3.5% FCC markup).
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Old 17th June 2013, 13:24   #199
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Thanks. Great tips. I have some Euros. Will it be good to exchange them as well (or best to covert to INR here in open market and then convert INR to HKD/ SGD at Kowloon/ Mustafa?
It's best to convert € to local$. €-₹ and ₹-local$ entails 2 conversions. You pay for each.
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Old 17th June 2013, 13:57   #200
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Default Re: What to see in Malaysia and Singapore

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Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
This is what I was looking for. Thanks.
EzLink card also has a tourist pass for unlimited rides across the MRT and Buses valid for 1/2/3 days.

http://www.thesingaporetouristpass.com.sg/

As for hotels, do check out some of the hotels near Bencoolen St (Near Bras Basah MRT) as there is heavy construction going on for a new MRT line and these hotels might give good discounts on room rates.

Last edited by pulsar56 : 17th June 2013 at 13:58.
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Old 17th June 2013, 21:51   #201
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Default Re: What to see in Malaysia and Singapore

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Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
BTW: How does one handle foreign exchange? Have you guys used travel/ currency cards?
Does any card support HK$ and SG$ both?
Do most places accept card or do they prefer cash?
I was just planning to carry INR and exchange in Singapore on need basis but at the last moment decided against it, a card seemed more painless experience. I went with a Centrum branded Travel Card (it's an ICICI card with the Centrum front end) with SGD currency on it by paying in INR here. This is a Visa network card so it seemed fine from an acceptability perpective. The conversion rate here was quite good so no issues.

Once in Singapore I realised that some establishments, especially eateries serving indian food either do not accept cards at all or they only accept cards that work on their local NETS network. So I had to exchange some small INR currency for use in few places and found that the exchange rates in Mustafa and other money changers were almost the same, very negligible difference if any (in the second or third decimal places!). So overall a mixed experience with the card from the buying and usage perpective. But the sad part was that on closing the account, the exchange rate they offered on SGD to INR conversion was almost a rupee less than buying rate.

In short, would recommend these travel cards only if you're absolutely paranoid of handling cash.

Last edited by NPV : 17th June 2013 at 21:54.
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Old 10th July 2013, 17:50   #202
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Default Re: What to see in Malaysia and Singapore

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Thanks!
We're not flying Singapore Airlines.
Hi NPV, Which airlines did you fly. How many days/months in advance did you book. How is the pricing. If I look at MMT and Yatra, the tickets are sky rocketing for Oct-Dec 13 season.

Hotels - did you book online. Which are the best sites to book hotels

We will be 6 of us travelling. Would you suggest to book a taxi for the entire trip to commute
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Old 10th July 2013, 19:03   #203
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Originally Posted by daisyb View Post
Hi NPV, Which airlines did you fly. How many days/months in advance did you book. How is the pricing. If I look at MMT and Yatra, the tickets are sky rocketing for Oct-Dec 13 season.

Hotels - did you book online. Which are the best sites to book hotels

We will be 6 of us travelling. Would you suggest to book a taxi for the entire trip to commute
For the Hotel bookings just get onto booking.com. They are the best.
Tickets, I would always book direct with the airline as that way is the most economical in my experience.

If you're landing in Singapore, go on SQ. if you're landing in KL, use MH. Usually Malaysian Airlines are cheaper than Singapore.

Even if you pay a little extra, try and fly direct from Bangalore and land back in Bangalore because it is just so much more convenient and comfortable. If y absolutely have to, then use Chennai or at a pinch, Hyderabad, only because these two Airports are nearby and of good quality, comparable to Bangalore in some measure. Flying out of Bombay and returning to India through Bombay is just about the worst, most poisonous experience you can inflict on yourself so I would not advise it unless of course you have absolutely no choice. Delhi is too far though T3 is brilliant in all respects.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 10th July 2013 at 19:06.
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Old 10th July 2013, 19:03   #204
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Would you suggest to book a taxi for the entire trip to commute
Book a taxi as we do in india?
I doubt you'd get a taxi like that in singapore. Better option is to take them as and when you need. It's easy to get a taxi on the road or even call for one. Driving in singapore is a pain. Expensive parking, ERP, heavy fines.
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Old 10th July 2013, 19:10   #205
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Book a taxi as we do in india?
I doubt you'd get a taxi like that in singapore. Better option is to take them as and when you need. It's easy to get a taxi on the road or even call for one. Driving in singapore is a pain. Expensive parking, ERP, heavy fines.
Singapore has a most efficient public transport system and taxis are very easy to flag down and use. No point renting a car for exclusive use.
KL as far as the city centre goes is also well provided with public transport and cabs are also easy to get.
If you're going further afield in Malaysia, check for good cab rates with your hotel.
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Old 10th July 2013, 22:05   #206
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Default Re: What to see in Malaysia and Singapore

Quote:
Originally Posted by daisyb View Post
Hi NPV, Which airlines did you fly. How many days/months in advance did you book. How is the pricing. If I look at MMT and Yatra, the tickets are sky rocketing for Oct-Dec 13 season.

Hotels - did you book online. Which are the best sites to book hotels

We will be 6 of us travelling. Would you suggest to book a taxi for the entire trip to commute
-We wanted to avoid a package/conducted tour so ruled out makemytrip, etc.
Traveled in May 2013 by Tiger airways, booked online on Tiger's website around second week of April. Total return fare (Bangalore-Singapore-Bangalore) worked out to about Rs.48K for 3 of us (this includes Tiger's extra charges for seat selection(!), 20kg baggage limit)
-Since we wanted to be closer to Indian vegetarian eateries, we preferred to stay close to Little India area so decided on Hotel ParkRoyal, Kitchener Road which is just behind Mustafa (Serangoon Road).
Booked the room online on the hotel's website and got some discount on regular rates. It worked out to Rs.45K for 6 nights.
-I don't think 6 of you would be able to travel by a single taxi. Taxi's during peak hours will cost more due to tolls. Also keep the option of MRT (mass rapid transit trains) and you can buy the EZ link cards for this, cards can be used for buses as well.

Last edited by NPV : 10th July 2013 at 22:10.
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Old 11th July 2013, 11:28   #207
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-Traveled in May 2013 by Tiger airways, booked online on Tiger's website around second week of April. Total return fare (Bangalore-Singapore-Bangalore) worked out to about Rs.48K for 3 of us (this includes Tiger's extra charges for seat selection(!), 20kg baggage limit)
What is the total journey time from Bangalore-Singapore. Is it a non-stop flight. Considering tiger airways, but the reviews online are scaring me. How is the experience flying with them.
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Old 11th July 2013, 11:47   #208
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What is the total journey time from Bangalore-Singapore. Is it a non-stop flight. Considering tiger airways, but the reviews online are scaring me. How is the experience flying with them.
Total journey time from Bangalore-Singapore is about 4 to 4.5 hours flight time and 5 hours overall (taxiing/circling the runway,etc. considered). We planned our custom made travel to Singapore in Feb2013. The flights are good and the airline literally is "to the cost". Everything is paid (luggage, seat selection, priority boarding, etc.) but it really doesn't matter if you can plan for all these things. Of-course, if you are a frequent traveler in an airline like Emirates, you're going to be utterly disappointed. Keep your expectations low and you will be OK!
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Old 11th July 2013, 11:58   #209
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There is a new 2 lac seat sale announced recently by Air Asia. Unfortunately the rates are higher for Feb '14 (checked today) that they were for Oct '13 (when I checked last month).
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Old 12th July 2013, 09:34   #210
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What is the total journey time from Bangalore-Singapore. Is it a non-stop flight. Considering tiger airways, but the reviews online are scaring me. How is the experience flying with them.
Journey time is about 4.5 hours, in fact both ways the Tiger flights landed 5-10 minutes ahead of schedule
We took Bangalore-Singapore and Singapore-Bangalore both non-stop flights. It was fine actually, (starting early morning 1:15 am and reaching Singapore at local time 8:15 am, return flight was 10:10 pm local time and reached Bangalore at 00:05 am).
Apart from the fact that there is no service (food, etc) being a low-cost airline, the seating was very much like the economy class of most airlines.

Last edited by NPV : 12th July 2013 at 09:36.
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