Singapore

SINGAPORE: Sure, Singapore has much to offer, but how do you see a city that is one of—if not THE—most expensive in the world without breaking your budget? Is that even possible?

The answer is a resounding yes!

Now let’s take a look at where you can stay, what you can eat, the attractions you can see, and what you can even take home at the end of your trip.

Where to stay

If you’re a Wes Anderson fan who’s really into Art Deco, try The Great Madras in Little India, which is just a stone’s throw away from Mustafa Centre.

If you want to stay close to Orchard Road to be closer to Singapore’s shopping scene, check out Lloyd’s Inn off Killiney Road. The boutique-type hotel is in a residential area, so it will be quite quiet.

However, if you want a place that’s both artsy and authentic at the same time, try Hotel Mono at the heart of Chinatown.

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Where to eat?

Singapore is a paradise for foodies; ’nuff said!

And while high-end diners may find themselves out of a pretty penny at Michelin-starred restaurants, it’s arguable that you’ll get meals that are just as good at famed hawker centres.

Our favourites include Old Airport Rd Food Centre and Tiong Bahru Food Centre, where you can get some excellent Jian Bo Shui Kueh and fried Kway Teow.

You will be spoilt for choice.

Pro tip: Look for long queues with lots of locals and just have what they’re having.

What to do in the Little Red Dot?

While “budget-friendly” isn’t a common descriptor for Singapore, there are things you can do in the city that are not too pricey, or even, *gasp* for free, such as a visit to Singapore Botanic Gardens or taking a street art tour at Tiong BahruHaji LaneTelok Ayer, and Joo Chiat.

But we hope to convince you to spend a little and fork out S$8—the starting price at Gardens by the Bay. Orchid lovers only need to spend S$7 at the National Orchid Garden.

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On a rainy day, you can always go mall hopping on Orchard Road and end up at Kinokuniya at Ngee Ann City shopping centre—a true haven for book lovers.

What to buy?

Here’s another pro tip: Head to Singapore during the Great Singapore Sale, usually sometime in June or July, and you won’t regret it.

Just brave the crowds for outstanding bargains on designer clothes, electronics, and other must-haves; the savings will be worth it.

PS: About Goods and Services Tax (GST), did you know you can get your money back as a tourist?

Oh yeah!

Even if prices have risen and the GST went up from eight to nine per cent in Singapore, there are still ways to fully enjoy yourself economically on the Little Red Dot, including what we’ve guided you with earlier above.

Visitors who spend over S$100 (including GST) at participating shops can claim a refund on the nine per cent tax they paid. Just visit the Electronic Tourist Refund (eTRS) self-help kiosks at the airport before you go…

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Have fun! /TISG

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