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Old 16th August 2010, 02:30   #1
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Default Singapore family trip for a week

Dear all,

I am planning a trip to Singapore for a week from last week of August. A family of 4, we intend to see and do it all (strictly family stuff) since its our first trip to Singapore.

Looking forward to T-BHPians who can present their valuable advice and opinions on this trip. I have tried to do my homework but still following are few areas bout which am not too sure:

- 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). So, Is it a safe and good idea w.r.t. Singapore? Since service apartments are looming in range of >2k SGD, i have gotten in touch with a couple of brokers who have found me a few 2-BR apartments which are furnished and fully equipped fr around 1400. Any thoughts how this idea would be? Should i go ahead, or drop it altogether? Safe and hassle-free stay are my prime concerns. If anyone has an experience with this, pls advice.
- 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??
- 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?
- Apart from Visa, I guess I just need travel insurance (which should cover medical - since one of my family members is a senior). Any good advice which insurance shud i go for?
- Last bt not the least, any suggestions for good Indian restaurants serving veggie fare would be very helpful. Is little india the only option, or we get veggie Indian food elsewhere as well?

I have gone thru some related forums and am pretty sure that with the quality we have on T-BHP, I can be confident of getting some really good advice.

Thanks

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Last edited by Technocrat : 28th August 2010 at 02:21. Reason: Please read the note in your post carefully, thanks
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Old 16th August 2010, 02:35   #2
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You get Indian veg food in many places. All Kopitiams will have atleast one veg restaurant. Little india is the best place for veg restaurants. Don't go for service apartments. 2K is too much for a week. You can get hotels for less than half the price. Try to find a PG accomodation which would enable you share the kitchen too (there are many veg families there).
Best veggie food in singapore would be in Komala Vilas in Serangoon road, little India, followed by Komalas near Mustafa.

Also by the singapore tourist pass. For a fixed amount you get unlimited travel for 3 days. Available only for people on tourist visa. Every three days you can renew for three more days. You can get the cards in the airport itself!

Last edited by MX6 : 16th August 2010 at 02:37.
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Old 16th August 2010, 02:49   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
You get Indian veg food in many places. All Kopitiams will have atleast one veg restaurant. Little india is the best place for veg restaurants. Don't go for service apartments. 2K is too much for a week. You can get hotels for less than half the price. Try to find a PG accomodation which would enable you share the kitchen too (there are many veg families there).
Best veggie food in singapore would be in Komala Vilas in Serangoon road, little India, followed by Komalas near Mustafa.

Also by the singapore tourist pass. For a fixed amount you get unlimited travel for 3 days. Available only for people on tourist visa. Every three days you can renew for three more days. You can get the cards in the airport itself!
Hey MX6,

Thanks for a quick reply. Well, the problem with PG accommodation is that I am with family so would like to take the whole apartment (and not on sharing basis). Hence the dilemma. I was going thru some threads and i feel you have been in SG for good amount of time. What will you say about renting a complete apartment thru a broker (something like this - Clementi Park Condo 2 bdrms 1600sqft + 1 study FF AC Immediate - Singapore apartments, condos, units & houses for rent - Gumtree Singapore) ? Is it advisable?

Not considering hotels since we being 4 adults would require min 2 rooms and that takes away the cost-benefit. Plus we dont get a kitchen there for occasional cooking.

Last edited by maverickzCar : 16th August 2010 at 02:51.
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Old 16th August 2010, 02:58   #4
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4 adults. Sorry, I mistook for 2 adults and 2 children. Well, in such case go ahead for the whole apartment. The brokers would charge their commission. And since you'd be going as tourists, and staying for a week, get all terms and conditions (including any security deposit they'd charge upfront). And if you move away towards north, the rent would come down. Try finding in Sembawang, Yishun, Woodlands areas. No idea of the current rates, but I stayed in Singapore for a year in 2005. I paid 800 sgd per month for a 2 bedroom, hall, study, kitchen, 3 bathroom house in Yishun.

Try no broker places like this
http://singapore.gumtree.sg/c-Apartm...AdIdZ223428760

Last edited by MX6 : 16th August 2010 at 03:11.
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Old 16th August 2010, 03:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
4 adults. Sorry, I mistook for 2 adults and 2 children. Well, in such case go ahead for the whole apartment. The brokers would charge their commission. And since you'd be going as tourists, and staying for a week, get all terms and conditions (including any security deposit they'd charge upfront). And if you move away towards north, the rent would come down. Try finding in Sembawang, Yishun, Woodlands areas. No idea of the current rates, but I stayed in Singapore for a year in 2005. I paid 800 sgd per month for a 2 bedroom, hall, study, kitchen, 3 bathroom house in Yishun.
Hope am not keeping you awake buddy. Quick query - Is staying afar from Orchard is advisable? I mean we want to spend 4 days touring Singapore (and rest for Sentosa), so do you think that if we stay 7-8 kms from city centre (i.e from Orchard rd), we would still be okay, and it wont be too much of hassle seeing all the places? Thanks in advance for your knowledgeable responses.
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Old 16th August 2010, 03:27   #6
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Singapore is a small place. And when you take the MRT, you can reach Orchard in 40 - 45 mins from any end. So you is 45 mins extra travel worth the 400 - 500 sgd you may save?
And Orchard road is full of shopping malls. Nothing more. The highlighs of singapore are in the sentosa island, far west corner (mandai lake, jurong zoo, bird park and night safari), Changi is to the far east (both airport and prison).
Further since there are 4 of you, taking a cab would be the cheapest. I used to pay 12 sgd for a trip from Little India to Yishun by cab 5 years back. that's 4 times what mrt fares used to be. And by cab the time taken reduces too.
But I'd suggest you to try MRT as well!
Don't take the buses to cut across end to end. They stop every 500 meters taking an eternity!
4 days is too much for Orchard.
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Old 16th August 2010, 09:17   #7
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Travel in S'pore is safe and pretty cheap.
We were there, family of 5 with one child, in May, and though by law cabs can carry only four, we never had a refusal from a cab. From the Race-course to Orchard (about 7 km) we paid around 8 SGD. There's plenty of shopping and window-shopping at Orchard.
Little India was a bit of a disappointment and we found Mustafa's vastly over-rated for shopping. Prices were nothing to write home about, and the chaos is overwhelming. Much better shopping at Orchard.
Get a couple of local Sim cards to keep in touch whilst shopping! Sentosa is good for a half-day, Jurong Bird Park is really pretty. The Singapore quay is great for a stroll at night, pick up a frothy one at the 7-11 and walk around the pricey area!
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Old 16th August 2010, 10:52   #8
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Thanks. Any ideas on currency and Insurance as asked in my original post?
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Old 16th August 2010, 15:26   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
Thanks. Any ideas on currency and Insurance as asked in my original post?
I used a mix of currency and debit/credit cards.
BTW many of the money exchangers accept Indian rupees (though of course this does not mean I approve of this as it's forbidden by Indian law)....
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Old 16th August 2010, 15:31   #10
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Please try this website for serviced apartments in Singapore.

Value stay In Singapore - Affordable Service Apartments for rent in Singapore

I am an ex-resident of Singapore and after I moved to the US, I have rented from them in the past for a week or so when i used to visit Singapore. They are reliable from my experience with them.

The luxury apartments are called Condominiums in Singapore and not all of them are close to the MRT stations. However, there is regular bus frequency (5 to 15 mins) to the MRTs as well as to other areas. Hence accessibility should not be a problem. Moreover, you can also hail a cab to the nearest MRT from your apartment block. Should not be much costlier than the Bus fare since you are 4 adults and will be using the same cab. To answer your question about traffic jams, there are hardly any traffic jams in Singapore. The major express ways (PIE, ECP) might have slow moving traffic near the Central Business District (CBD) areas during the morning and evening peak hours on a weekday.

You can carry travelers checks or cash in US$ from here and exchange for local currency from time to time at the numerous Money Changer outlets all over Singapore. You will find them in every corner in central shopping areas. There should be no safety issues as Singapore is a safe country but as applicable everywhere, you have to be careful not to make it obvious to others that you are carrying excessive cash on you.

Regarding food, as MX6 mentioned, you will get veggie food in Indian restaurants at most places in the city central district though the choices or variety may be limited. Areas near Serangoon Road will have a good no of vegetarian outlets; both north and south indian food. You could plan and choose to reach this place after your day's sight seeing activity for a good dinner if you cant find your choice of food elsewhere.

If you are planning to cook at your apartment, then you can get a week's groceries from Mustafa center on Serangoon road. You might consider carrying the basic Roti making tools else you might have to buy them at Mustafa center. Then again, the time you spend on cooking and eating at the apartment can be utilized in going out and seeing more places if you are not very specific about any particular vegetarian food. You also get vegetarian choices in Malay, Thai, and continental food.

I wish you a good trip in advance.
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Old 17th August 2010, 00:24   #11
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Maibaa, you rock! Infact today only i had a talk with Michael, the guy running ValuestayinSingapore. He suggested me an apartment on 138 Mackenzie road for 1800 SGD. He told this is a central and nice place, with easy access to Orchard and Little india.
Do you think its a good deal? Are their apartments as good as advertised i.e. safe & clean? And if you have used their services before, can you pls comment if they are reliable, specially Michael. He picks up his phone quite rarely and this was causing me a concern - you know what if I dont find him on arriving there! Pls let me know your experience with him.

One nagging question - Why would you suggest that I carry USD and then exchange them for SGD there? This way first am purchasing USD, then exchanging them for SGD. Is there any issue with directly buying SGD in India and taking there?
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Old 17th August 2010, 06:14   #12
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@maverickzCar,

I remember Michael from Valuestay and his habit of not picking the phone regularly From my experience, there is no harm in going ahead with the deal. Prices have increased quite a bit in Singapore from the times I used to rent, sometime in 2005-06. I guess they have emailed you a letter of offer with the rates, terms and conditions, etc. See if you can pay only some booking amount in advance now and then pay the rest when you actually reach there and check-in to the apartment. People are generally honest and straight forward in Singapore and fear the law.

The apartments are generally good and clean with all basic necessities. The kitchen will have basic utensils and you should be able to manage without a problem. Regarding safety, you will be locking the apartment and going out all day, so i suggest you lock your valuables, if there is a Safe provided in the apartment or carry them with you since there are chances that housemaids may enter the apartment for cleaning and house keeping when you people are not around. Apart from this there should be nothing to worry.

You can definitely buy SGD from here and carry with you. I suggested carrying USD is because it is universal currency that is accepted everywhere. So if you dont spend all of it, you can convert it back to Indian Rupees when you are back in India and you will definitely get a better exchange rate than SGD . Also, more people will be willing to buy USD as compared to SGD.

As an alternative, you can exchange SGD for an estimated amount that you think you will be spending in Singapore for your shopping, conveyance, food, etc. The rest you can always carry as USD since you can easily convert to SGD in Singapore or exchange back to Indian Rupees when you are back.
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Old 17th August 2010, 07:54   #13
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Get USD, and it should be no issue. If you want to be more safe, get the TCs and less of currency. This should do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord View Post
I used a mix of currency and debit/credit cards.
BTW many of the money exchangers accept Indian rupees (though of course this does not mean I approve of this as it's forbidden by Indian law)....
Why is it illegal? Are you sure?
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Old 17th August 2010, 08:08   #14
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As per foreign exchange management act, people going to countries other than Bhutan and Nepal can carry up to 5000 rupees as Cash.

Tourists can take 10,000 USD as forex though to countries other than Nepal and Bhutan.
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Old 17th August 2010, 09:05   #15
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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!
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