Are you planning for Malaysia and Singapore travel? Great! I’m going to show you on how to travel without hurting your pocket. So strap on a pair of good shoes, get those bags, ready your ootd’s and fasten your seatbelts as you take off your holiday to these best country in Southeast Asia.
PRE TRAVEL GUIDE (2022)
1. No VISA required – Philippine passport holders can enter Singapore and Malaysia visa-free and stay for a maximum of 30 days. Ensure that your passport has at least six (6) months of validity left.
2. Several airlines fly directly in Singapore and Malaysia – Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines. To score a cheap flight ticket, make sure to turn on your notification for SEAT SALE or promos.
3. Prepare all your travel documents: Roundtrip Flight Details, Hotel Bookings, Vaccination Certificate, COE, Company ID, Pay slip (if employed), Bank Statement, Online Banking, SG Arrival Card & My Sejahtera App (Digital Certificate).
4. Make a reservation for your accommodation ahead of time. Find the lowest price in Booking, Airbnb, Agoda.
6. Singapore uses Singapore Dollar (SGD) as currency. 1 SGD = 39.14 PHP, while Malaysia uses Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) as currency. 1 MYR = 12.34 PHP.
BEFORE GETTING STARTED
Before getting started, if you plan to travel a lot in Singapore, then I recommend you get a Singapore Tourist Pass.
There are 3 types of passes: 1-day pass (10 SGD), 2-day pass (16 SGD), and 3-day pass (20 SGD). There is a rental deposit which cost 10 SGD and is refundable when the card s returned within 5 days from the date of purchase. You’ll just need to proceed to any TransitLink Ticket Office for a refund. The Singapore Tourist Pass can be used for unlimited pass to travel on MRT, LRT trains, and basic bus services.
If you’re coming from Manila or Malaysia, you can purchase Singapore Tourist Pass on the following stations:
Malaysia has the same thing as Singapore which is called Touch n’ Go. It is a prepaid smartcard that utilizes contactless technology and can be used to travel on MRT, LRT, KTM, Monorail and busses.
TnG cards can be purchased at any Watson’s store for 20 RM and used right away after you reload them. It can be reloaded via Watsons, convenient stores, ATMs, and self-service kiosks
WHERE TO GET A SIM CARD?
You can purchase a sim card at Changi Airport or via Klook before your travel date. If you’re traveling by land (coming from Malaysia) you can buy your M1 sim card at convenience stores near Golden Mile Tower.
The easiest way to get a travel internet sim card is to purchase one at convenience stores located inside the airport or bus station (if traveling by land).We purchased our sim card at 7-ELEVEN.
The sim card costs 10 RM and you may reload it. Just ask the cashier to reload it with unlimited data. Usually, it’s 12 RM good for 7 days.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
1. By Train – the most convenient transportation system that offers hassle-free rides to the majority of tourist attractions in Singapore. The MRT system consists of five lines: Circle (orange) line, East-West (green) line, North-East (purple) line, North-South (red) line, and Downtown (blue) line.
Service Hours: 5:30 – 0:00 daily
2. Public Bus – At some point, you may end up taking a bus which is efficient as MRT trains but slightly cheaper to use especially for short trips. The fare is based on the distance, so remember to tap your card in the card reader when you get in and when you are about to get off.
Service Hours: 6:00 – 0:00 daily
3. Taxis – One of the fastest modes of transportation but expect to pay more. It operates 24 hours and all cabs are metered (flag-down rate is 4.10 SGD).
Service Hours: 24 hours
1. By Train – No doubt that the rail transport system of Malaysia is efficient as Singapore and the best way to get around the city. The rail transport consists of Rapid KL LRT, KTM Komuter trains, KL Monorail, and KLIA Ekspres (which connects two airport terminals).
2. By Bus – Taking intercity buses in Kuala Lumpur is incredibly cheap and recommended for first-time visitors. The fare is based on the distance, so you need to tap your card in the gate and tap again when you are about to get off.
3. By Grab – The fastest and most convenient mode of transportation. Quite surprising that Grab here in Malaysia is inexpensive compared to Manila.
HELPFUL APP TO DOWNLOAD
If you want a seamless journey, download Moovit app on iOS or Android to view real-time schedules (bus & trains) and routes. You can use this app in Malaysia and Singapore.
AIRPORT TO YOUR HOTEL OR CITY PROPER
The fastest way and more convenient to get into the city proper. From airport, you can reach the city within 30 minutes, and the fare will be based on distance.
MALAYSIA KLIA EKSPRES OR GRAB
Taking an express train or Grab are both convenient. From the airport to KL Sentral (city proper), it will cost you 50 RM and you need to book Grab to get into your hotel. Unlike Grab, it will cost you 65 RM plus the toll fees.
Don’t be so nervous about the additional fees for Grab. The toll fees here in Malaysia are extremely cheap just like 2.90 RM.
WHERE TO STAY
M1 City Center Hotel & Suites (MALAYSIA)
M1 Hotel is near the Putra World Trade Centre. You can get this for as low as 121 RM as Booking.com always have a discount.
ITINERARIES FOR 8 DAYS & 7 NIGHTS
Now, I’m going to share with you our itinerary for 8 days. You can follow this itinerary or add additional attractions to visit, it all depends on you and your time.
DAY 1 & 2 : Visiting Cameron Higlands Flora Park (optional)
Planning to spend more time in Malaysia? Brilliant! You can’t miss this new spot in Cameron Highland!
Flora Park is a dreamy space featuring all kinds of beautiful and blooming flowers. There are a lot of interesting spots just like the famous stairway painted in white which is similar to the signature white stairway in Greece. They also offer a private picnic setting with tons of pink flowers as your backdrop. Truly, heaven on earth!
Our Cameron Highland trip is optional. You can spend 2D1N if you have more time or do a day trip tour. Will create a separate post for Cameron Highland because this place deserves a spot!
DAY 3 : Traveling to Singapore via Land and Exploring Orchard Road at Night
Singapore is just four hours away from Malaysia. But it may take longer as you need to drop by in immigration office.
We arrived in Singapore around 12 noon and buy our sim card in 7 Eleven. They will give you the instructions on how to register the sim card to activate the 100 GB of internet. You may connect your phone to Hotel Travelers wi-fi to complete the registration.
You may book your bus ticket via Easybook.com and choose the best route, Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (BTS) to Golden Mile Tower Singapore. For your reference, check the bus schedules and fare below.
And If you haven’t converted your money to SGD, that’s fine because there are plenty of money changers nearby Golden Mile Tower.
Flash forward, at night we went to Orchard Road to taste the iconic Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich! Must-try! And of course, our short trip is not finished without some chocolate shopping at Lucky Plaza Mall which is located also on Orchard Road.
DAY 4 : Universal Studios and Gardens By the Bay
A day before our USS trip, we tried to purchase a ticket via Klook online and later realize that USS was closed on Monday and Tuesday. The park will open on Wednesday from 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm (half-day only). So better to plan and study your itinerary.
Good thing that the signature globe of Universal Studio Singapore is outside the park and we are still able to take photos. For those who want to visit Sea Aquarium, take note that the attraction will open at 9:00 am and close at 5:00 pm.
To set your expectation, almost half of the food stores were closed, and please be guided that most transactions inside Resorts World are cashless.
GARDENS BY THE BAY
Located in the Marina Bay Waterfront is one of the assets of Singapore, Gardens by the Bay. It is a nature park with over 101 hectares (250 acres) in the Central Region of Singapore. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay Central Garden.
The Bay South Garden was said to be the largest bay and here’s you will find Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, and Super Tree Grove.
You probably need one day to explore Garden by the bay because it’s pretty big and never miss the show at night in Super Tree Grove.
Location: Get off to Bayfront Station and follow the signs.
DAY 5 : Merlion Park, Sultan Mosque, Haji Lane, Fort Canning Tunnel, Library at Orchard
Undoubtedly, Merlion is the landmark of Singapore. Looking closer, the Merlion statue is half lion and half fish. The lion’s head represents Singapura or best described as the “Lion City.” There are two legendary statues in the area, one is located near Marina Bay Shop and the other is near One Fullerton Hotel.
We went here around 7:00 am and enjoy our 30-minute walk from Marina Bay Shop to Merlion Park. Perfect for a leisurely walk! The park is pretty busy and always packed with people so if you want to take lots of selfies, make sure to go early and don’t leave without a photo of you drinking from the Merlion.
Location: Get off to Bayfront Station and walk to Marina Bay Shop.
The bustling Arab Street in the multinational state of Singapore is called Kampong Gram District. From here, you can find the oldest Islamic temple, Sultan Mosque.
In addition to pubs, chic restaurants, and cafes, some shops sell Muslim clothes, colorful plates, souvenirs, and many more.
Location: Get off at Bugis Station and walk about 10 minutes.
Haji Lane is one of the coolest places to hang out in Singapore and it is a 5-minute walk from Arab Street. The artistic, multicolored walls and the vibes make the street famous to tourists.
Location: Get off at Bugis Station and walk about 10 minutes.
FORT CANNING TUNNEL
Fort Canning park is very huge to explore and we are not aware of this. Our mistake was we get off at Fort Canning Station and afterward discover that Dhoby Ghaut Station is the most accessible MRT station if you only want to visit this trendy Fort Canning Tunnel. Don’t make the same mistake to maximize your time.
Location: Get off at Dhoby Ghaut Station and walk about 10 minutes.
Trying to be a modern bookworm? Don’t skip to visit Library at Orchard! The entrance is free and there is a great collection of books to read. Although the library has spacious, expect that tables and seats are occupied most of the time.
Located: Orchard Getaway, 3rd floor and easily accessible by MRT (alight at Somerset MRT)
DAY 6 : Little India and Jewel Changi Airport
If you are interested in Indian culture like me, well this is a nice place to go. One of the heritage trails to visit is the former House of Tan Teng Niah. It was built in 1900 and was said to be the last surviving Chinese villa in Little India.
It was fun to stroll around, see the street art painted on the wall, and tried authentic Indian food. If only I have more time, would definitely explore Mustafa Centre!
Location: Get off at Little India Station and walk about 5 minutes.
JEWEL CHANGI AIRPORT
Jewel Changi is located in the heart of Singapore Changi Airport. This is our last destination before going back to Malaysia. Jewel is next to Changi Airport Terminal 1 and it is open to the public (24 hours daily) and has no admission fee. So all people are welcome to visit Jewel even those who aren’t traveling.
The Rain Vortex Waterfall is the star of the Jewel complex and is known as the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. The water is falling from the roof to the basement and it’s really stunning!
Location: Get off at Changi Airport Station
DAY 7 : Genting Highlands, Chin Swee Temple & Shopping
Genting Highland is refreshing for us after an exhausting Singapore trip. It was 2 hours bus ride from Kuala Lumpur city center.
Just like Singapore, Resorts World Genting is Malaysia’s leisure and entertainment destination for locals and tourists. In addition to casinos, amusement, restaurants, and entertainment facilities, it also features Southeast Asia’s Anticipated Theme Park Genting SkyWorlds.
The bus fare going to Genting Highland is 10 RM (one-way) only plus the 10 RM (one-way) for a cable car.
The stores in Genting Highland Premier Outlets are always on sale so if you are looking for steals this is the best place for you. Expect long queues during weekends, especially at Nike, Adidas, Coach, MK, Charles and Keith, and other popular brands.
And also, don’t forget to see Chin Swee Cave Temple. It is a Taoist temple situated on the rocky slope of Genting Highlands. There are notable structures to explore inside the temple, such as the iconic nine-storey lamp-lit pagoda, Sky Terrace, Ten Chambers of Hell, a giant 15-meter high Buddha statue, and 18 Immortals.
ALSO READ: What To Expect In Chin Swee Cave Temple?
DAY 8 : Petronas Twin Towers, Thean Hou Temple & Batu Caves Temple
PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS
Your trip is not complete without visiting the prominent landmark in Malaysia, Petronas Twin Towers. The 88 stories skyscrapers will give you a breathtaking view from any angle.
It was my third time seeing Petronas Twin Tower but I’m still impressed at how it was constructed. Never got the opportunity to take photos here before as there are tons of tourists and locals. As always, go early as possible before the crowd gets there.
THEAN HOU TEMPLE
Thean Hou Temple is one of the largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. It is also the most visited Buddhist complex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The place is stunning, less crowded, and an excellent spot for taking photos. There is no dress code; however, visitors are expected to dress decently. There is no admission fee. No appointment fee is required, just walk-in.
BATU CAVES TEMPLE
Batu Caves has three attractions: Temple Cave, Ramayana Cave, and Cave Villa. Visiting the main temple begins with 272 leg-burning steps, and there is no admission fee. Next to the stairs is the gold-painted statue that represents Lord Murugan.
The way leading up is steep, and expect a tribe of monkeys that might entertain you. So be careful with your belongings, as much as possible, do not bring foods as you may catch their attention, and don’t be too close to monkeys, as some are aggressive. The stairs are also repainted, which makes them more stunning and attractive.
ALSO READ: Exploring the Popular Batu Caves in Malaysia
SAMPLE ITINERARY AND BUDGET (JUNE 2022)
Entry and exit points are in Malaysia just to be clear. Our Cameron Highland trip is optional. You can spend 2D1N if you have more time or do a day trip tour.
Most tourist attractions are free of charge and open in public. In Singapore, much better to purchase Singapore Tourist Pass for an unlimited pass to trains and buses. While in Malaysia, it’s very cheap to book a Grab but trains and buses are efficient also.
MALAYSIA – SINGAPORE – MALAYSIA
GOING BACK TO PHILIPPINES
As of June 1, for those travelers who are fully vaccinated with a booster shot, an antigen test is no longer required. You’ll just need to register in One Health Pass and that would be all. However, if you are fully vaccinated only, then you need to perform an antigen test and register for One Health Pass.
Do you have any questions? Please comment down or share your experience in traveling during this pandemic. We’d love to hear that! Safe travels everyone!
WATCH OUR TRAVEL VLOG IN SINGAPORE (PART 1)