I’m a complete newbie at traveling. Believe it or not, I have never been anywhere else outside the Philippines… until last weekend. Thus, when finally I got the opportunity to dip my toes into the alluring waters of wanderlust, I took the plunge.
This coming week, I shall attempt to document my first trip to Singapore while imparting some newbie knowledge to others who might be interested. For the experts out there, please share your knowledge with us by commenting on the posts.
The journey, of course, started at Ninoy Aquino Internal Airport Terminal 3 because we availed of one of Cebu Pacific’s promo fares. As soon as we arrived, we were flummoxed by the demand to pay a travel tax amounting to PHP1600 per person, in addition to the usual terminal fee of PHP750. Even my aunt, who travels quite extensively, did not know that such a thing exists. Nevertheless, we paid for the fines whilst grumbling about the hidden charges attached to promo fares.
Fast forward to Singapore. Here, there are several ways to get to places. I find commuting around town such a joy since the transport system runs with clockwork efficiency.
For example, several train lines connect different parts of town. An EZ-link (stored value) card is being dispensed for the convenience of commuters who use the service often. Since I wasn’t going to be in town for long, I just got one way cards for the places I had to go. There were times when the trains got a bit crowded but never uncomfortably so.
In the absence of nearby train stations, there are a number of bus stops to save the day. Different bus numbers signify particular routes, which are listed on announcement boards (see the glass boards behind us). One just has to memorize the number of stops it will take to get to one’s destination as these are not listed inside the buses.
Then, there’s City Link. This, as my friend Trish informed me, is a sort of “tunnel” connecting the different malls and establishments around town. The goal is to have people walk from one place to another without ever needing to see to light of day.
For me, walking the best way to go about town is by walking. This way, there’s an opportunity to soak in the gorgeous sights of the city and the cacophony of sounds from vehicles, nature, and people alike. I did quite a lot of walking in Singapore, actually. Mostly in heels so my shoes are quite worn and sad after all the walking I did.
Don’t worry, when one’s feet are sore from walking, there’s always the option to indulge in a cab ride. Yes, the fares may be a bit expensive, but it’s a small price to pay to travel in comfort.
Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peak of some of the sights I’ve seen while commuting.
There’s more to see, however, so stay tuned for the next posts. 🙂