Nov 7, 2010

Backpacking in Singapore for Dummies

I just had a quick and hectic holiday in Singapore from last Friday to last Monday.. and it's the first time for me to travel abroad with friends and staying in a backpacker hostel.. well, going to Singapore for Indonesian people is like the most common holiday option available :) since, it's not too far and lately there were so many cheap flights available for us wanting to go there.. I was lucky to get a flight from Air Asia for Rp702.200 each (there were two of us) for the a returned flight (Jakarta-Singapore-Jakarta) along with a shared 20kg baggage.. now, once you have your cheap flight, it's time to pick your place to stay.. if, you prefer something cheap, you can take a look at trip advisor and find a place to stay that fits your budget and your preferences.. 

my friend and I decided to pick the footprints hostel, located in the middle of Bugis and Little India MRT.. it's rated quite good in trip advisor.. we booked a private twin room with window for SGD80 per night, means SGD40 per night per person.. okay, so there are a few things you need to know, if you're like me, never stayed in a backpacker hotel but want to give it a try..

  1. most backpacker hostels only provided shared room, more of a dorm.. although, some also provided  private rooms, in a limited amount.. if you choose the shared room, you are not allowed to bring your luggage with you.. instead, the hostel provided a locker room, where you can put all your stuffs.. I think, they assume those picking up the shared room is a true backpacker who brings backpack only.. a shared room usually consisted of 6 to 12 beds per room.. it's cheaper if you picked the shared room.. I think the range is below SGD20 per bed per night.. suitable for you who are willing to go budget-travelling and don't have many stuffs brought.. on the other hand, if you choose the private room, it'll of course give you more privacy.. you can take all your belongings to your room and feel like home.. it's more comfortable for me to pick the private room, cause it's kinda not comforting if I'm sleeping with someone I don't know..
  2. when we wanted to check in to our room, we were given a pair of bed sheets and pillow case.. I was kinda shocked.. we were told to cover our bed with the given bed sheets and pillow case.. and I have to put some deposit (SGD20) for the keys.. the deposit will be returned once we checked out after we returned the keys along with the bed sheets and pillow case.. I really don't know about this before.. well, that's why I write this post.. to let you know :)
  3. almost all backpacker hostel I've known only provided shared bathroom, men bathroom and women bathroom.. they sometimes provided a towel rental, but I prefer to bring my own towel and bathroom equipments, including soap, shampoo, toothbrush etc. the good thing about footprints hostel is that they provided 3 shared hair dryers, it's free for usage then they also provided hot and cold water for shower.. 
  4. one of the value added thing in backpacker hostel is that they provided a quick breakfast, usually includes cereal, milk, coffee, tea, bread and jam.. it's enough to fill you tummy in the morning before going for a culinary experience throughout the city.. here's one important fact I learned during my stay.. you have to wash your own plates and spoons and glasses after you finished eating.. well, you have to make a few sacrifices.. I was not complaining, it's just kinda surprising..
  5. last but not least.. in a backpacker hostel, you have to treat yourself at home.. means, you have to tidy up your bed, you have to pick you luggage all by yourself (even if your room is in 3rd floor, means you have to carry your luggage on you own foot by climbing the stairs).. they provided a washing machine rental if you want to wash your clothes.. one other thing, most of the hostel in Singapore is located quite far from the city, it's okay though, since you can take the MRT.. one thing that should be your consideration is how many minutes walk from the MRT station to the hostel.. the footprints hostel is located at 8 minute walk from Little India MRT Station adn 10 minutes walk from Bugis MRT Station.. which is fine for me to walk in the morning but becomes a little bit hard for me to walk at night, after a full day of walking here and there.. 
overall, staying in a backpacker hostel is cheap, but there are a few sacrifices to be made.. if you're in a tight budget and willing to make those sacrifice, I would recommend to stay in the hostels.. as for myself, I would prefer hotel, though.. you can say that I'm being spoiled here.. but it's a holiday and I would prefer something comfortable :) after all, it's all coming back to your preferences, budget and travel mate.. 

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