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Old 17th August 2010, 09:50   #16
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Quote:
- The most important one! I am planning to rent an apartment for a week (since we being veggies, would prefer a kitchen, and apartment gives space for a family).
Methinks a hotel would work cheaper. Also food is really cheap in Singapore and hence saves you the headache of cooking at home.

Quote:
- Again, the above apartments are not near MRT, but bus stands. Shud this be a deal-breaker? Are buses there as efficient and useful as MRT, or would I be stuck in traffic jams??
Not necessarily a deal breaker. Just that the buses are real slow here and they tend to stop at bus stops for a min or 2 even if there are no people. I remember having taken route 97 or so from SunTec City mall. By the time I reached Jurong East I was fast asleep .

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- How shud I carry the currency? Heard that Pre-loaded debit cards have a hefty transaction fee; and cash is riskier to carry. What might be other viable options?
I carried cash and never had a debit card as such. Wasnt too much of a hassle for me though. Landed and went straight to Mustafa , exchanged for SGD.

I did a trip to Singapore about 2 months back. You can read it here , in case you are interested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord View Post
It is illegal to carry more than Rs 5000/- in INR abroad.
However, I have seen in Dubai, HKong and Singapore, money exchange offices accepting INR to any amount, provided it is in 500 or 1000 denomination.
This is just for information, don't encourage you to break the law!
filcord I don't think there should be a problem as such carrying currency. In-fact during my recent trip I was carrying almost 10 times of what you mentioned in INR and never had any issues. Apparently the 500 and 1000 denominations are preferred over the 100's just in case you wanna exchange them for SGD.
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Old 17th August 2010, 09:55   #17
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Do these service apartments coming with people who clean the place as well?
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Old 17th August 2010, 10:04   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Methinks a hotel would work cheaper.
I carried cash and never had a debit card as such. Wasnt too much of a hassle for me though. Landed and went straight to Mustafa , exchanged for SGD.
@rj,
thanks for typing my words!!
I was thinking to post the content you mentioned but.....typing karne ka mood nahi tha.


1] I am still not clear why TO is insisting on apartments rather than hotel.
There are many options available for every budget.

singapore me ghumo, phiro, khao piyo, aish karo,
kaha khana pakate baithate ho!!
[ humor, humor]

I had seen the boards at cafe near little India mentioning about Jain food.

2] For safer side, take currency card for some amount and remaining cash to be converted at mustafa the best place for best rates.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 17th August 2010 at 10:07.
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Old 17th August 2010, 10:27   #19
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Carry cash more than INR 5000 per person (above 18 years old) at your own risk. FEMA laws are strict. Just that our customs officials don't bother doesn't mean that one is not breaking the law. If it's your bad day, you'll be caused immense hassles at the indian customs side, if they catch you in a random check while going out of the country.
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Old 17th August 2010, 23:41   #20
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Thats a nice travelogue rj. The reason for apartment is not getting it for cheap. Infact the ones am looking for are costing around 1800 SGD fr a week...aint cheap i guess! The reason for going for them, beside a veggie diet, is that am with parents, so its always better to home made meal once in while to take care of health concerns. Hotel diet day in and day out might exhaust one.

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Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post

1] I am still not clear why TO is insisting on apartments rather than hotel.
There are many options available for every budget.
Maybe its clear now.

Quote:
singapore me ghumo, phiro, khao piyo, aish karo,
kaha khana pakate baithate ho!!
[ humor, humor]

AP bhaiyyya, ghumenge phirenge aish bhi karenge, lekin subah aloo ke 2 paushtik paranthe kha ke...dil, aur stomach, hai hindustani

Last edited by maverickzCar : 17th August 2010 at 23:47.
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Old 17th August 2010, 23:47   #21
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With all the T-BHPians giving such wonderful advices, am pretty confident on most of the things. Only one remains - Am thinking of carrying a few thousand SGD to take care of my expenses there. No USD. No INR (only my Indian Credit card to use in case of exigency). Plan is to sell back remaining SGD once back in India. It shouldn't be tough, is it? Anyone sees a drawback with this approach?

And by the way, Credit cards issues in India should work there i guess. They have worked for me in US, so hopefully SG shouldnt be too different...pls someone comment if any surprises wait in this regard.

A currency dealer told me to get a "bill" definitely while buying SGD in India to take there. Without it, one can face hassles either in India or SG immigration. Just plain gossip, or there is some truth in this one?

Last edited by maverickzCar : 17th August 2010 at 23:48.
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Old 18th August 2010, 00:55   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
The reason for going for them, beside a veggie diet, is that am with parents, so its always better to home made meal once in while to take care of health concerns. Hotel diet day in and day out might exhaust one.
Spent nine days at Albert Court Hotel in February and ate in the hotel restaurant ...twice!

Every day we crossed the road to the South Indian restaurant for our breakfast. My wife felt at home, ordering Tamil food in Tamil, and I felt at home because I cannot be happy if I do not start the day with a good amount of properly-made chai. Being regulars we got to know the people there after a couple of days: one can soon feel at home in a place like that! There were never any health concerns, and my wife did not feel any need for the swabs-and-microscope tests that she gives hotels here in her native Chennai (just joking. Almost ).

Due to my serious chai addiction, we even got the restaurant to fill flasks for us. Hardly even drank tea from the hotel.

In fact, by the end of a week, the amazing cleanliness of Singapore was beginning to get on my nerves!

On the Tourism topic: both the zoo and the bird park are quite long distances from the centre by public transport. It is worth splashing out on a cab. Keep cab phone numbers with you, and book your return cab an hour or so. It is hell trying to get one when you are tired and have walked your feet off already. One of the cheaper, and less resort-like, attractions is the Botanical Gardens. There is a small charge (worth it) to see the Orchid gardens, the rest is free. The restaurant near the orchid gardens is quite expensive but quite good. Can't remember if veg or not.

On the Money topic: exchanged 200 UK pounds to SGD here (no bill ). My travel budget is my small UK pension, so used UK Debit and Credit cards mostly, but our Indian Axis "international" Visa bank card worked too.

.

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 18th August 2010 at 01:00.
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Old 18th August 2010, 06:52   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
Only one remains - Am thinking of carrying a few thousand SGD to take care of my expenses there. No USD. No INR (only my Indian Credit card to use in case of exigency). Plan is to sell back remaining SGD once back in India. It shouldn't be tough, is it? Anyone sees a drawback with this approach?
Instead of carrying a few thousand SGD in cash, you may consider carrying travel currency card issued by many banks in India. It works like a password-protected debit card, but without mark-up charges. Usage of credit card also involves mark-up charges. The travel currency card is safer, more economical and better option, IMO.
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Old 18th August 2010, 09:38   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
The reason for going for them, beside a veggie diet, is that am with parents, so its always better to home made meal once in while to take care of health concerns. Hotel diet day in and day out might exhaust one.
Maybe its clear now.
AP bhaiyyya, ghumenge phirenge aish bhi karenge, lekin subah aloo ke 2 paushtik paranthe kha ke...dil, aur stomach, hai hindustani
I got it.
your concerns about food is justified as your parents are with you.

some of us are uncomfortable with veg food served in non-veg restaurant.
If you are ok with this situation, then i suggest stay near little india. It will solve your food problem.
There are many veg restaurant serving north indian food including alloo parantha.
I had cutting chai at serangoon road at indian chai thela.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
Am thinking of carrying a few thousand SGD to take care of my expenses there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Instead of carrying a few thousand SGD in cash, you may consider carrying travel currency card issued by many banks in India.
For currency, i had done what J ravi suggested.
We had Axis bank currency card loaded with SGD.
We withdraw currency from SBI ATM at changi airport.
The SBI ATM is located at terminal two near escalators leading to MRT station.
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Old 18th August 2010, 10:10   #25
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The travel card seems to be a good idea. Though as i called Axis bank, and they told me bout plethora of charges - for reloading, cash withdrawl, etc. (Have used USD cards on official trips earlier, but they being official, never worried bout charges ). Seems a workable idea to me though. And AP, good to know we have an apna SBI ATM at Changi

I really appreciate the way you guys are engaging here. So, at the risk of sounding "Query-fied" , i would like to get an opinion on the itinerary i plan to follow:

For Singapore (not Sentosa), i have following places in mind:

Botanical garden
Zoo
Night safari
Bird park
Flyer
Duck tour
River cruise
Clarke quay
Boat quay
Marina Bay Sands
East coast park beach

Based on your experiences, can someone take pains to divide this list into 3 full days,so that touring remains comfortable and not hectic. A friend was telling that its mostly hot n humid out there, so probably i wont be doing any worthwhile touring between 2-5 PM. That time may be used for shopping? Thus was wondering which of above attractions should I cover in the morning (10-1), and which i should leave for afternoon/evening. Night safari is an evening thing, so am sure bout it atleast . Also, pl drop me a hint if am missing something good in this list.

Last edited by maverickzCar : 18th August 2010 at 10:13.
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Old 18th August 2010, 10:45   #26
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1] For currency card, prefer axis bank.
Axis bank has a branch in Singapore.
you can reduce currency withdrawal charges by using Axis bank ATM in Singapore.

2] For Singapore flyer, check their site.
they have some promotions for Indian passport holder in terms of concession.
some times, they offer free river cruise if you book the tickets from their agent/desk at Clarke quay.

River cruise
Clarke quay
Boat quay
Marina Bay Sands
Flyer

These all are in line near to each other and are best in the evening.

Regarding all other items, i think MX6 is in better position to explain.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 18th August 2010 at 10:49.
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Old 18th August 2010, 10:51   #27
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@maverickzcar
You could plan an outing this way

Day 1 AM - Duck Tour & Shop and lunch @ Suntec City
PM - Zoo & Night Safari. You have shuttle buses from City Centre. Night safari has a Indian restaurant/ other food opitons

Day 2 Sentosa - Key attractions - Universal Studios, Underwater world & Show. After this shop & Dine @ Vivo City.

Day 3 AM - Bird Park.
PM - Orchard Road shopping and head to Marina bay sands, sky tower during sunset. With this you can skip Flyer, Since the view is the same and 30 $ cheaper. 20 mins walk to Clark Quay. this will cover Esplanade, Merlion Park, pandang and SG parliment. Or do a river cruise from Merlion park to Clark quay.

Other places of intrest
China Town, Shop some souvenirs and Annalakshmi is close by you can have dinner.

You can plan & group the outings based on what I have mentioned. This way you can cover most of the places and not do a criss cross.
You can give others a skip as there is nothing much with the other places. You can have a relaxed vacation.

Food is not a problem, You get Veg options is almost all the cuisines and places(Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese & Indian). There are pure veg opitons aswell @ little India and CBD. Also have subways across the island and veggie paty sub is a good and only option.

If you need any help I will PM my number, Call me when you are here. I can try to help you out.

Last edited by evo8 : 18th August 2010 at 11:09.
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Old 18th August 2010, 11:18   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Carry cash more than INR 5000 per person (above 18 years old) at your own risk. FEMA laws are strict. Just that our customs officials don't bother doesn't mean that one is not breaking the law. If it's your bad day, you'll be caused immense hassles at the indian customs side, if they catch you in a random check while going out of the country.

This is incorrect. Even for our company trips they provide up to $2000 as cash for business trips. As per RBI rules the actual cash limit for foreign trips per person is an equivalent of $3000. The annual limit for private trips is $10,000. Anything below that is perfectly acceptable. See the link below.

RBI increases cash limit for foreign travel - Hindustan Times

Last edited by vasoo : 18th August 2010 at 11:21.
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Old 18th August 2010, 14:47   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasoo View Post
This is incorrect. Even for our company trips they provide up to $2000 as cash for business trips. As per RBI rules the actual cash limit for foreign trips per person is an equivalent of $3000. The annual limit for private trips is $10,000. Anything below that is perfectly acceptable. See the link below.

RBI increases cash limit for foreign travel - Hindustan Times

Vasoo, please request you to read the thread completely. Maverickzcar was asking about carrying INR (indian currency). The limit for Indian currency is 5000 INR, outside the country for tourist purposes.
I didn't speak about the limits when you take cash as USD. Further to this, if you take them as travellers cheques, then the limits are further enhanced, for both USD traveller cheques and INR travellers cheques.

The article which you have posted has applicable limits only when you carry them as forex in foreign currency. You can't take 10,000 dollar worth INR outside India. You need to purchase the Forex in India and then take them as dollars.
Hope this clarifies.

Last edited by MX6 : 18th August 2010 at 14:48.
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Old 18th August 2010, 18:36   #30
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Pedants' Department...

Actually, the limit for taking INR either in or out of India is nil, zero, zilch.

However, an exception is made for those resident in India: that is the Rs.5,000 spoken of.
Quote:
Import of Indian Currency is prohibited. However, in the case of passengers normally resident in India who are returning from a visit abroad, import of Indian Currency upto Rs. 5000 is allowed.
Quote:
Export of Indian Currency is strictly prohibited. However Indian residents when they go abroad are allowed to take with them Indian currency not exceeding Rs. 5000 .
The source is here. Other information pertinent to travellers, including foreign currency, is also given on that Customs page.

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 18th August 2010 at 18:37.
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