We took the more pricy air conditioned bus from Kuala Lumpur and were not disappointed, infact for just 88 RM (approx £17/US$27) I would choose to travel this way whenever possible. The leg room is as good as a first class flight and you get your own TV, games console and massage chair, making the 5 hour journey absolute luxury.
I was just 12 years old last time I was in Singapore, but I distinctly remember the almost clinical cleanliness of the island. Not much has changed, it remains very clean, due to the continuing laws regarding littering, chewing gum and eating/drinking on the MRT, but it's certainly not as clinical as I recall. The joy of no open drains (well, not many), lack of 'not so nice' smells and everything you need being within walking distance, is something to be savoured. Consequently, it is expensive to stay here, but there are a few areas catering for budget backpackers starting at around S$50/night for a private room.
Singapore really does have a great deal to see and do. This little island reminds me of a mini London, with it's MRT network (much like the London underground), diverse community's, park areas and extensive shopping malls. It's all here and, with limited time, would most likely overwhelm the average traveller. The Lonely Planet suggested itineraries try to cram in as much as possible each day. I took a different, more laid back approach, because I have the time. So slowly worked my way through it all, one area at a time, and probably outstayed my welcome.
I could live here, although probably only for a short while. It is too much of a city for me to ever become a permanent home… but it is really lovely.
Many of the residential areas are out of the city centre, often found on the edges of the well spread MRT network, or a local bus route. Even 'out of town' there are the multi storey shopping centres and many places to eat. What I like most is the extent of the 'green' areas, including numerous parks, gardens and nature reserves. A lot of these are man made, but they make a real difference to how living here would feel compared to other cities.
The MRT system is totally reliable and with an Ezlink pass, costing just $12, you get a $7 credit which discounts the cost of travel compared to a standard fare. There's no need for a car – fortunately, as they start at around S$50k.
The use of the MRT is encouraged extensively with offers such as free travel if you arrive at your destination before 7.45am.
As a tourist, you may want to consider a tourist pass ranging from $10 per day to $20 for 3 days allows unlimited travel on the trains and buses. Note: despite staying out of the city and travelling an hour or more each day, we never spent more than S$10 on the MRT so it's worth weighing up the cost of the tourist pass.
Tip: Download a map of the MRT onto your phone for ease of commuting.
For ideas on what to do and see in Singapore check out my blog.