Riverside (East Bank/Raggles Landing Side) TOUTS
If your out on the east bank of the Singapore River around Raffles Landing / Asian Civilization Museum area, where the boat tours depart from, then beware of "friendly" people wanting to talk to you, they will try to solicit money from you, usually claiming to be from some charitable or religious organisation, showing you photos of children they are helping etc.
Fortune telling touts also operate here.
Unique Suggestions: Just be polite but firm, or avoid conversation with suspiciously friendly strangers.
Fun Alternatives: There are many other nice places for a walk in the city, if you want a river walk then have a wander along the opposite bank (Boat Quay) where the view is nicer looking back across to the colonial district rather than tower blocks. This is more popular with Singaporeans than the other side, and there are more F&B outlets for the thirsty
SIM LIM SQUARE IS FULL OF DECEITFUL SALESMAN
I went to a shop in SIM LIM, almost got cheated by a sales man who tried to sell me IPAD wifi without 3g while he pretends that the IPAD has wifi and 3g. He was asking for the price of IPAD with wifi + 3g. Then to another shop in SIM LIM again almost got cheated when the sales man tried to sell IPAD at lesser price but once he has your money, he will not release the product nor give you your money back unless you pay him another 200$ just to register the thing. Then I got to another store in Sim LIM Finally, got cheated by a store who sold to me the IPAD at their posted price but then later, the price was inceased by 7% for tax.
Unique Suggestions: Tell them you have to ask your sister abroad, and when they give you the phone, tell them your sister said no!
Tell them you will sue the tenant and the mall owner for damages.
Fun Alternatives: Go to refutable store and buy there, the price is guaranteed the same plus you'll get authertic, original, high quality, good service and waranty.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Adventure Travel
Sim Lim Square - Digital still and video cameras
Most tourists come here thinking they can get the cheapest electronic items like digital still and video cameras, yet end up paying more than actual retail prices.
A typical tactic used by most of the shops here is to quote a slightly lesser retail price to entice the shoppers in but will insist on extra accessories like batteries or lenses. Either that or just quote you high marked-up prices. Any request to just buy the item without all the accessories will be met with unruly behaviour, to the point of them passing rude remarks and simply refuse to sell the item to you.
Avoid Sim Lim Square like a plague if you're looking for such items. They're better places you can get the same for much lesser prices.
Unique Suggestions: Head straight to Orient Photo at the 6th floor. The only one that seem to still charge reasonable prices. Not the cheapest prices you can get in Singapore, but definitely not cut-throat ones.
Fun Alternatives: MS Color - Ang Mo Kio
Places to avoid when you buy a camera
Let me give an alternative answer. Here are places you must NEVER ever go to get a camera :
(a) Lucky Plaza
(b) Sim Lim Square
(c) Peninsula Plaza
(a) and (c) are blatant rip offs and the staff there have unethical business tactics
Every shop in (b) is staffed by gangsters/ruffians/hooligans, and even the government agencies cannot handle them
I'll stick to Funan if I were you.
THE TAXI TRICK
Just to make sure you understand how things work, there are 2 things you must know about Taxi Drivers. 1) They are thieving, lying bastards who can NEVER be trusted. 2). Re-read point number 1. In Singapore the taxis are heavily regulated, somewhat economical and can even produce a printed receipt instantly. In general they are more trustworthy than in other countries. However it is against their sworn duty to rip you off and many still try.
What do they do? They take somewhere between 2-3 hours to locate coins to give you change. In fact, they have never had to give change as all customers have had exact change for the last 20 years. Nope – you are the first and you are causing them problems. They have never made change before and must look all over the taxi for coins.
Wait. Coins? The smallest currency note is a $2 Singapore Dollar note. Why are they looking for coins? They are hoping that you will get frustrated and just say “keep the change”. I had a slothful, retard of a driver who was too lazy to even look at me. He had no interest in the 5 bags. He managed to get a 20% tip out of me on a small fare.
Ask yourself this question? Did he actually help you and your bags get in the car? Well, why should he be worthy of a tip and not the MRT? Wait it out and be handed all your change. Count it, your rings and fingers. Once you are certain all is accounted for decide if a tip is needed. It’s actually not really done here. Put you change in your pocket. Unless they were good, then 5% at most.
Take the MRT. Cheapest way to AND from the airport.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
TANG DYNASTY CITY
This theme park, which is at the corner of Yuan Ching Road and Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim, recreates ancient Chang'an, or Xian, the capital of the Tang dynasty. This elaborate theme park, which is surrounded by 10-m high stone walls, provides an admirable attention to detail. There's a main street with shops, restaurants, temples, a court house and a geisha house, all done in the style of the Tang period.
Unique Suggestions: You can go for a Silk Road camel ride, or go for a buffet lunch where Chinese acrobats will perform. Alternatively, attend craft demonstrations or historical displays which feature such items as a reproduction of the famous terracota army in Xian, China. There's also a wax museum which features a talking statue of Mao and other figures from Chinese history.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Theme Park Trips
- Budget Travel
CHINESE & JAPANESE GARDEN
Chinese Garden, is a park in Jurong East, Singapore. The Chinese Garden’s concept is based on Chinese gardening art. The main characteristic is the integration of splendid architectural features with the natural environment. The Chinese Garden is modelled along the northern Chinese imperial style of architecture and landscaping.
Chinese Garden MRT Station.
Fun Alternatives: go to Haw Par VillaRelated to:
- Historical Travel
- National/State Park
The Berlian/WaveMaster Ferry
This is for anyone who intend to cross singapore-indonesia through Batam island.
We were not in hurry when we register at the counter desk of Berlian Ferry. We are still thinking about browsing around for some food in the Harbour Front center. When we approached the desk, the clock show 1.15pm. The next ferry will depart at 1.30. The lady at the counter give us the ticket for the 1.30pm departure to Batam. I asked her two times whether she gaves us the right ticket, because the departure is less than 15 minutes. She convinced us that we will be able to make it. At a second thought, we decide then follow her direction and buy food in Batam.
Then we queque. Then another officer check our passport and said that the departure gate is already closed and asks for us to report to the Ferry counter. So we did. But, the lady in the counter said that even another person who came after us had already cross the immigration ~~which is quite impossible, and totally not a significant reason~~ She insist that we had to pay for another 5 SGD for schedule change.
We asked to talk to the manager, and she ~~and another ladies there~~ said that there is no manager.
We did insist but then the lady refuse to negotiate nor help nor do anything to solve the problem and even says that we are crazy of such inquiry. At last we pay another 5SGD and go with the next schedule ferry.
While share the experience with some people in the Ferry and some other people we met in Batam, we learnt that many people experienced the same as we, from time to time. Sound like this is a common practice to trap customer to pay more.
There are several Ferry services connecting Singapore-Batam, but definitely I will not recommend this company's service to anyone, nor to use it myself in the future.
Unique Suggestions: Should you have to use the Berlian/wavemaster Ferry.
Be very very careful of time ahead should the counter-person give you a very-short-to-depart ticket.
Fun Alternatives: Use another Company's service.Related to:
- Road Trip
This is shopping heaven
If you like shopping this is it, there are shopping malls dedicated to what ever your heart desires. You want clothes you got it an entire building with clothing shops, electronics the same, jewelry you name it its here and very reasonable prices.
Unique Suggestions: It may be a tourist trap but man its a great trap...
Lost in the Tunnel
We got lost in this tunnel from the building right across NSS/Bugis Junction. I thought it was going to the MRT station! It turned out to be an unused underpassed - i didn't see anybody down there except us, and most of the people were crossign the street on pedestrian lanes instead of using the tunnel.
Fun Alternatives: Cross on road and make sure you use the pedestrian lane!Related to:
- Family Travel
SENTOSA - MERLION VISIT
On Sentosa Island you may be impressed by the giant appearance of a concrete lion / fish creature. This is called the Merlion and considered reflecting Singapore's identity (an invention of the Tourism Board).
Have your picture taken in the nicely gardened environment surrounding it, but don't waste your time and money (SGD 8 / USD 5,20) on this so called attraction.
What can you expect here:
* A short animated movie about the fable of the Merlion and the origin of the name Singapura;
* A complimentary coin of fortune that you can exchange for a little throw away souvenir;
* An elevator ride to 37 meter to look around in 360 degrees.
* Descend to the mouth of the Merlion for photo taking.
Obviously, people tried very hard to make it all look attractive and interesting but the contents and entertainment factor is totally zero.
It's hard to imagine anyone will be excited by this attraction and I therefore don't recommend it although the views are commendable.
My rating / value for money: 3 out of 10
SENTOSA 4D MAGIX
Sentosa proudly presents its 4D cinema that is the first, the largest, the most expensive and the most mindblowing of its kind in all SE Asia.
Chairs in this cinema cost about USD 6500 each and have features such as seat vibration, leg tickling (to increase the level of scariness in the spiders and bat scenes), wind blowing, water release (so that you have to dry your 3D glasses) and sound effects. For months now they have a show on about pirates looking for a treasure on an island who encounter a surviver from an earlier attack.
All interesting, but who's gonna like it?
Adults? likely only very few will enjoy. The story and execution is childish and despite lasting less than 15 minutes, you soon find out that there are actually only about 5 or 6 chair effects that start repeating, and the surprises are over. Especially the chair shaking become soon terribly annoying and keeps you reminding of watching movies in a plane with heavy turbulence.
For teenagers this is really not cool enough.
Children then? Well when I attended the show, children were actually crying all over, scared to death, had probably nightmares for days. It's too much a mix of trying to make it interesting for the whole family, but this pirate show fails terribly for all categories.
Wait for the next screening. This 15 minutes were certainaly not worth the steep SGD 16 (USD 10) / children SGD 9,50 of admission fees.
My rating / value for money: 2 out of 10
Beware the Touters
Beware especially around the Plaza's, Lucky Plaza especially, for guys selling copy watches. Touting is illegal in Singapore but these guys operate out of back rooms of tailors etc. They walk quietly past you and say ‘copy watch?’. If you are interested, then don’t make a scene and acknowledge interest. I found the touters all very safe and I took many visitors to Singapore there. I have copy watches which are still running perfectly. You can also get copy bags, t’shirts and goodness knows what by now.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Bogus monks and nuns
Beware when you are approached by any one who dressed like a monk or nun and asked you for donations. Do not give them any money. They are fake!! Real monks and nuns in Singapore do not go around "begging" for $. Call the police (tel: 999) if they pester you (this clearly show that they are fake)Related to:
- Religious Travel
dishonest taxi driver
Fret not if you are ripped off by a dishonest taxi driver. You can report them at the Land Transport Authority website at www.lta.gov.sg. Remember to record down the date/time of the incident, taxi number and the name of the driver (shown on the dashboard). Normally, LTA will acknowledge your complain within 3 working days and inform you of their investigation within a month or so. Taxi driver who overcharge their customer face the possibility of having their vocation licence revoked.
Unique Suggestions: Take MRT (train service) / bus instead. Singapore has a comprehensive public transport network that never go on strike. Get a free local map from any major shopping centres or airport, then buy a transport guide (only a few bucks), and you can explore the island state. You can also ask the locals for directions.Related to:
- Road Trip
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