Exploring Singapore Post COVID Lockdown with 300SGD

Post Updated Feb 24, 2023

It has been over a month since I went to Singapore with my friends. I actually wanted to share this sooner but work got in the way so here I am trying to catch up.

In this entry, I’ll be sharing our trip experience, how we explored Singapore post-COVID lockdown, our itinerary (sort of), and our daily expenses. So just keep on reading.

It’s not my first time visiting Singapore but some of my friends haven’t been so we’re visiting some mainstream tourist spots and a whole lot of hawker centers! Singapore, just like the Philippines, is known to be humid all year round and I was hoping that if we travel during the BER months it will be more bearable especially when we plan to walk more during our trip.

How Many Days Were You In Singapore?

We arrived in Singapore at 11 PM on November 11 and left for Cebu on November 16, at around 1 PM. That’s five (5) days and five (5) nights.

We were lucky to catch Singapore Air’s promo fares. We booked roundtrip tickets for approximately 12,000 Php or 200 USD. That’s already a steal for me, given that it’s Singapore Airlines and we’re flying direct to Singapore Changi Airport.

How Much Was Your Pocket Money?

I normally do the planning for our trips so I’m responsible for letting our group know how much to prepare for the trip. I initially told them to prepare ₱25,000 – ₱30,000 for pocket money and ₱10,000 for accommodations since Singapore is known to have expensive accommodations.

I always make sure the amount I give is bloated just to be on the safe side, and in case we will need to spend on some extras.

How Much Did You Spend?

When we arrived in Singapore, we went to an ATM and withdrew $400 (SGD) each. I was left with about 102.56 SGD after the entire trip. Do the math (nang-utos pa lol).

As usual, I won’t be sharing the exact itinerary but you can piece it together anyway. So here’s a summary of our trip:

5-Day Itinerary

DAY 0

Most flights from the Philippines to Singapore arrive at midnight. And for those who don’t know, Singapore’s MRT (trains) stops its operations at midnight. To get to the city, we have to book our private transfers, hail a taxi, or book a TNVS (Grab) but we will have to pay a surcharge fee since it’s after midnight. We can divide the fare and surcharge cost if we wanted to but we all agreed to spend the night at the airport.

We wanted to have time to explore Jewel Changi in the morning before checking in to our hostel. There are plenty of lounges in Singapore Changi Airport and lots of areas to rest if you’re not picky. My friends though were particular about having a private space to rest so we booked a night in Singapore YotelAir. It’s located in Singapore Changi’s Landside area, right across the famous Rain Vortex. Imagine the view in the morning!

I was hoping to catch the Jewel Vortex at night but it was too late when we arrived. This was the view in the morning.


DAY 1

We started the day by having Kaya Toast for breakfast (I have been craving it for God knows how long) then we explored Jewel Changi. After checking out at our airport hotel, we took the MRT to get to the city. We got to our hostel at around noon and they allowed us to check in earlier than usual. Most hostels/hotels’ check-in time is at 2 PM.

We had lunch at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre which is just 550 meters away from our hostel. Hong Lim Market & Food Centre is packed with mostly locals. You’ll hardly see tourists there. We had Char Kway Teow, Potato Curry (sorta empanada), and more! We were really full we wanted to walk to our next stop but it suddenly became gloomy and started drizzling so we decided to take the MRT instead.

We took a train from Chinatown to get to Fort Canning Park. We stopped at Dhoby Ghaut station but it was already pouring hard. We waited for the rain to stop but it took longer so we decided to chill for a bit in a Craft Brewery resto-bar called Tap. We had to drop some spots (Chjimes and Kurasu) from our itinerary since the weather did not cooperate that day.

It was still drizzling when we tried to check Fort Canning Park so we just went to the “famous” tunnel. After checking it out, we decided to move to Merlion Park. We strolled and stayed there for a bit before heading to Lau Pa Sat, one of Singapore’s famous hawker centers. After having dinner, we just walked back to our hostel and called it a night.

Places We Visited:

  • Jewel Changi
  • HSBC Rain Vortex
  • Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
  • Fort Canning Park
  • Merlion Park
  • Lau Pa Sat

Expenses:

  • Rain Vortex – Free Admission (unless you visit the canopy area or other parts)
  • Fort Canning Park – Free Admission
  • Merlion Park – Free Admission
  • MRT Load – $20

Food & Drinks:

  • Kaya Set –  $11.80 / 2 = $5.90
  • Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee – $11 / 2 = $5.50
  • Drinks – $4 / 2 = $2
  • Tap (Beer) – $27.76 / 2 = $13.88
  • Mini Kueh – $4
  • Satay Street – $35 / 2 = $17.5

Total: $68.78 Per Person or approximately ₱2,810.70 (Exchange rate as of Dec 25, 4:26 AM UTC)

Note:
I already have an EZ-Link Card so I just reloaded it. If you plan to get one, you need to add $10 for the card. Most of our food expenses are combined. We divide it equally by end of day.


DAY 2

It was a Sunday in Singapore and we decided to visit Universal Studios. Do know that USS is not open on Mondays. That’s the reason why we had to go there on a weekend. We could’ve gone on a Tuesday but I also don’t know why I ended up planning it on a Sunday.

Anywaaaaay, before heading to Sentosa, we went to Chinatown Complex for a heavy breakfast. We actually had a list of food we wanted to try in Singapore so that’s the reason why we had to go to Chinatown instead of somewhere more convenient.

Whenever I travel with this group we always make sure to try out hole-in-the-wall types of restaurants and not the random or touristy ones. After breakfast, we headed to Vivo City (Harbourfront Station). From there, we rode the Sentosa Express to get to Universal Studios.

When we got to Sentosa, the park was still closed so we had time to check the shops outside USS. To those planning to visit Universal Studios Singapore, make sure to check their official website to know which attractions are open and if it’s worth it to go. Honestly, I do not recommend visiting right now as there’s still a lot of ongoing construction and renovation.

If you’ve never been to any Universal Studios theme park, Singapore could be a great start. If you’ve been to other Universal theme parks such as Japan or Orlando, you would probably get disappointed and I’m not saying this to discourage you to visit, USS is really smaller compared to the other theme parks.

After a few hours exploring the park and trying its “limited” rides, we decided to move to Imbiah to try the Skyline Luge. When we arrived at Imbiah, it was already gloomy but it wasn’t raining just yet. When we went to get our tickets, they told us that operations were temporarily suspended because of lightning warnings.

The moment I’ve been waiting for is to finally do the Skyline Luge. I rode the luge years ago and I super had fun so I was really looking forward to doing it again. At first, I felt disappointed. We stayed at the cafe just right across the Skyline Luge. I told my friends if they wanted to wait it out or if they want, they can just go somewhere else.

We waited for an hour and a half, and the heavens were kind enough to let me play! Ah! Sigh of relief! We were able to ride the luge and let my friends experience the chair lift. I’m scared of heights but I enjoyed every bit of that experience.

From Sentosa, we went to Maxwell Food Centre to have dinner. It’s just a walking distance from our hostel. After dinner, we rested for a bit in our hostel and went to try a Speakeasy bar. Some of the staff and the bartender were Filipinos. The bartender heard us talking in our dialect so he gave us free shots. After a few drinks, we went to grab some munchies at McDonald’s and then called it a night.

Places We Visited:

  • Chinatown Complex
  • Universal Studios Singapore
  • Skyline Luge
  • Maxwell Food Centre
  • Speakeasy Bar / Brewery

Food & Drinks:

  • Fatty Ox HK – $34 / 4 = $8.50
  • Laksa – $2 / 2 = $1
  • Ice Cream USS – $8
  • Fanta Slush – $7 / 2 = $3.5
  • Arbora Cafe – $9.60
  • Water – $1.5 / 2 = $0.75
  • Tian Tian Chicken Rice – $12 / 2 = $6
  • Tutu Kueh – $5.50 / 3 = $3.67
  • Dragon Chamber (Speakeasy) – (Paid by Card)
  • McDonald’s – $15.70 / 3 = $5.23

Total: $46.25 Per Person or approximately ₱1,890.01 (Exchange rate as of Dec 25, 4:26 AM UTC)

Note: Most of our food expenses are combined. We divide it equally by end of day.


DAY 3

It is one of the relaxed days. We were walking 20,000 steps a day, we deserve to chill. We started our day at Redhill Food Centre for breakfast. This hawker center is not a walking distance from our hostel, we had to take the MRT to Redhill.

After breakfast, we went to Central Singapore. We strolled for a bit and went to visit Central Perk (Central Coffee). It has a lot of commemorative items from the very famous TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. If you’re a fan, you’d probably enjoy the place. It’s just a normal cafe, you can order food and drinks there.

We then went to ION Orchard to check some shops there. Some of my friends had other plans for the day so we separated. We transferred to Gardens by the Bay and explored the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. We waited for one of our friends to catch up with us there. We also watched the light show at the Supertree Grove, then called it a night.

Places We Visited:

  • Redhill Food Centre
  • Central Perk Cafe (FRIENDS Cafe)
  • Gardens By The Bay
  • Flower Dome
  • Cloud Forest
  • Marina Bay Sands

Expenses:

  • Central Perk Cafe – Free Admission (it’s always best and respectful to place your orders first before taking photos/videos)
  • Gardens By The Bay – Free Admission
  • Supertree Grove – Free Admission
  • Marina Bay Sands – Free Admission (unless you go up their Skydeck)
  • Cloud Forest, Flower Dome – Booked via Klook

Food & Drinks:

  • Satay Bee Hoon – $4.50
  • Hong Heng Curry Rice – $5.90
  • Sprite – $1.40
  • Central Perk – $19.68
  • Bacha Coffee – $23.54 ($35.31 / 3 * 2)
  • Nasi Lemak – $9.80
  • Coke – $2.80
  • Hawker Chan – $8.80
  • 7Eleven – $26.85

Total: $103.27 / 2 = $51.63 Per Person or approximately ₱2,109.86 (Exchange rate as of Dec 25, 4:26 AM UTC)

Note: Most of our food expenses are combined. We divide it equally by end of day.


DAY 4

We started our day visiting one of Singapore’s newest sky gardens, CapitaSpring. I initially wanted to have breakfast first, but my friends said they were okay to visit the garden before having breakfast and so we did…

I wrote a separate entry about CapitaSpring. You can read the specifics there but I’ll be sharing my booboo here. We were strolling around the Green Oasis, which is on the 17th floor. My friend was sitting on one of the benches and I intentionally left my camera beside her. I totally forgot about it because I sat on the other side of the bench and since it was just beside my friend, I was hoping she’d also see it. Aguy!

We were already out of the Sky Garden for more than 15 minutes as we were going to have our breakfast. I initially told my friends how I felt lighter, it felt like something is lacking — then I remembered my camera! My partner asked me if I got nervous, and honestly no. I didn’t feel nervous at all. I have tried leaving my personal belongings in the middle of a busy area in Singapore before, and everything was still intact when I came back. And so we went back to the Sky Garden and lo and behold my camera is sitting on the bench the same way as how I left it.

We finally grabbed our breakfast at Ya Kun Kaya, then went to Arab Street, Haj Lane, and Little India. Felt it was too hot to walk around so we ended up chilling in Arabica. Waited for our friends to catch up then we transferred to Alchemist, a third-wave coffee shop in Tai Seng. I also wrote a separate entry about this.

It was a really hot day in Singapore and all of us were not in the best mood to walk under the scorching sun. We decided to visit just one more spot — the Peranakan houses, the traditional Singaporean houses in Joo Chiat. It took us more than 15 minutes from the MRT station to get to the Peranakan houses. We were already drained from the heat, I even offered to pay for our grab ride if nobody wants to. It was seriously really HOT.

We were supposed to go to a Hokkein Mee restaurant in Geylang but we ended up not going because of the heat. We decided to go back to ION Orchard to chill and cool off. We had dinner at Five Guys, the only non-Singaporean dinner we had (except for McDonald’s midnight munchies). We checked more shops, shopped for some stuff, and processed our PH E-arrival card while killing time.

Places We Visited:

  • Sky Garden and Green Oasis at CapitaSpring
  • Arab Street
  • Haj Lane
  • Little India
  • Alchemist Khong Guan Biscuit
  • Peranakan Houses
  • ION Orchard

Expenses:

  • Sky Garden and Green Oasis at CapitaSpring – Free Admission
  • Arab Street – Free Admission
  • Haj Lane – Free Admission
  • Little India – Free Admission
  • Peranakan Houses – Free Admission

Food:

  • Ya Kun Kaya Toast – $5.60
  • Arabica – $9
  • Alchemist – $6
  • Five Guys – $24

Other Expenses:

  • Grab – $6.8 ($17 / 5)

Total: $51.40 Per Person or approximately ₱2,100.46 (Exchange rate as of Dec 25, 4:26 AM UTC)

Note: Most of our food expenses are combined. We divide it equally by end of day.


DAY 5

Last day in Singapore! Our flight back to the Philippines was at 1 PM but we decided to go to the airport earlier. We had to process our tax refund and we also wanted to roam around the airport some more.

If you plan to buy pasalubong for your family, I suggest getting it at the airport. The notion that buying stuff at the airport is more expensive is not entirely true. Airport shops are tax-free, which means cheaper prices — and that’s a hack for you!

Singapore Changi Airport has a lot to offer, after all, it’s one of the best airports in the world.

Expenses:

  • Airport Purchases (Meals and Snacks) – $26.36

Total: $26.36 or approximately ₱1,077.20 (Exchange rate as of Dec 25, 4:26 AM UTC)


Summary of Expenses

  • Daily Expenses Taken From Pocket Money
    Day 1 – $68.78 or ₱2,810.70
    Day 2 – $46.25 or ₱1,890.01
    Day 3 – $51.63 or ₱2,109.86
    Day 4 – $51.40 or ₱2,100.46
    Day 5 – $26.36 or ₱1,077.20

Total Daily Expenses: $244.42 (SGD) or ₱9,988.23

Pre or Post Trip Expenses: Booked via Klook, Booking.Com, and Paid by Card

  • Accommodations:
    Airport Hotel – ₱19,792.85 / 6 = ₱3,298.81 
    Hostel – ₱37,049.19 / 6 = ₱6,174.87
    Total Accommodations: ₱9,473.68 Per Person

  • Booked via Klook:
    Sim Card – ₱395 / 3 = ₱131.67 Per Person
    Universal Studios – ₱19,236 / 6 = ₱3,206 Per Person
    Flower Dome, Cloud Forest + Floral Fantasy – ₱5,628 / 3 = ₱1,876 Per Person

  • Paid by Card:
    Dragon Chamber (Speakeasy) – ₱1,942.36 Per Person
    Skyline Luge – ₱3,517.62 / 3 = ₱1,132.89 Per Person (Booked by card, cheaper than Klook)

Pre or Post-Trip Expenses: ₱17,762.6
Total Trip Cost: ₱27,750.83

As I mentioned, I told my friends to prepare ₱25,000 – ₱30,000 for pocket money and ₱10,000 for accommodations. We were within budget and had some moolah to spare for other things. I did not include our airfare since we already paid for it months before our trip. Also, I normally don’t include shopping expenses in my breakdown because it’s more personal and it will really depend if you like to spend more on shopping or on other things like *experience*.

pic or it didn’t happen

Do they have strict COVID Protocols?

The only COVID protocol you need to follow in Singapore is to wear your masks inside public transportation vehicles. Honestly, I still don’t want to be lax about not wearing masks because we all know COVID is still present. They just don’t broadcast it the same as before and the symptoms are not that scary now but it’s still there. And it’s always best to be safe especially when you’re in a foreign country.

As for the travel requirements and protocols, I wrote a separate entry about it and you can check it here: Updated Singapore Travel Guide for Filipino Travelers.


I hope this entry will help you plan your visit to Singapore. I’ve been waiting for this trip to happen since we’ve been stuck at home for far too long. This trip was somehow a breather for me. I can’t wait for my next trip, hopefully to a colder country.

If you have any questions about this trip, or if you want some tips, feel free to leave a comment or message via e-mail. If you like this article and want to see or know more about my other trips and tips, follow me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

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