11 August 2011

What I have learned on my tour to Singapore:

  1. VISA cards are one of the greatest inventions of all time! With my visa card, I was able to buy my plane ticket online. Also, when I thought I was running out of funds while on Singapore, I was able to withdraw money from my bank account in Guam and have my US dollars automatically converted to Singaporean dollars. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
  2. Talk to your mother seriously before buying your ticket. You’ll never know. She might be thinking that you are not serious enough about traveling and take your supposedly serious inquiry as a joke. Also, she might tell you that you never asked for permission and get angry at you before, during, and weeks after your trip.
  3. Make sure you have a very, very good relationship with your siblings, that is, if you have any. Why? Because once you realize your parents are not too excited about your trip and would not want to drop you to the airport, your good siblings will.
  4. The blue American passport really is a blessing. You only have to pay for terminal fee if you have one. It will save you a thousand Philippine pesos from the travel tax. Whew! Those thousand pesos could buy you a souvenir.
  5. Philippines and Singapore share the same time zones, which means you do not have to change the time and date settings on your watch, phone, and digital camera.
  6. Singaporean money is not made from 100% paper. If I remember it right, a few parts of Singaporean dollars are made from a special kind of plastic, which makes it a little difficult to get it crumpled.
  7. In Singapore, the driver’s seat on cars is at the right side.
  8. In Singapore, there is a card called the EZ-Link card. I shamelessly call it the “tap-tap card.” Why? Because when you use their public transportation such as the SMRT and LRT, and buses, you have to remember to tap in then tap out. Otherwise, you will not be able to save a lot of money from riding taxis.
  9. Obtain a map of Singapore when traveling especially if you are using the SMRT and LRT (trains) because it is very, very easy to get lost. Ever heard of the “circle line?” Do you know where the purple line will lead you? No? I thought so. (:
  10. Make sure you have really good, comfortable footwear. You will do a hell lot of walking while in Singapore so make sure your shoes don’t break or give you calluses. By the way, Havaianas slippers, especially when new, are not advisable. They made my feet hurt after so much walking.
  11. Use a small, lightweight bag and bring only what you really need such as your wallet, blotting papers, tissue, makeup kit (if you wear makeup), camera, cellular phone, and your tap-tap card. My shoulders hurt really badly because I brought a big shoulder bag. The bag by itself, by the way, is already pretty heavy.
  12. Shop if you have the money, but if you don’t shop only when necessary. The stuff from Singapore is quite expensive.
  13. Be mindful of the “fines” in Singapore. There are signs everywhere so pay attention! You might lose half of the money you brought if you get “fined.” Believe me, they have fines for almost every violation you could possibly think of.
  14. Enjoy your stay. You’ll never know when you can go back to this very clean and nice country for another tour.
  15. If people get mad at you for whatever reason related to your tour, just let them be. Enjoy your life while you can and try to see as much of the world as possible. After all, you only live once. (:
TIP: If you are planning a trip to Singapore, try to go there a week before or on the ninth of August. The stores at malls have sales, and the fireworks and laser light show at the Marina bay is a very pretty sight.

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