A few hours in Singapore
After our long day of travel Chris and I just wanted to get some sleep. We had booked a room at Hotel 81 and grabbed a cab at the airport. Apparently, there are two types of cabs waiting at the airport – we must have gotten in a nicer one because our ride was about $30 to the hotel, about twice as much as the other cab. We jump in and say we want to go to Hotel 81, Geylang. What learned a couple things very quickly from the cab driver.
1. There is a Hotel 81 on just about every street in Singapore, sometimes more.
2. Hotel 81 is a “love hotel”.
3. Don’t stay in Geylang, apparently it’s the red light district.
Looks like we’re going to be in for an exciting night in the red light district of Singapore. We had read some reviews confirming it was in the red light district but most people still seemed to have a pleasant enough stay. We were literally going to sleep about 8 hours and explore Singapore in the morning. We finally found the correct hotel but had to wait a while before checking in because there was some random guy asking the clerk how much the rooms are for every night of the week and explaining that they were cheaper the last time he was there, which was probably a few years ago. The clerk explained that they had gone up in price for the weekend but the guy still asked over and over again. It’s about 2am, Chris and I just want to get some sleep and here is this guy arguing that the price of the room is more expensive on Friday’s than Wednesday’s. Overall, the room wasn’t bad but I sure was glad not to be spending multiple nights there. At 2am there were still tons of people out and about, but I didn’t feel unsafe, scared or nervous. Kind of reminded me of downtown Freemont street area in Vegas. Not the best area but not the worst. It was also relatively cheap. Singapore is more comparable to American prices than Philippine prices.
Day 30 Singapore explore
We had most of the day to explore Singapore before flying out that evening to Bali.
First stop was Clarke Quay. It was Saturday so nothing was open that early in the morning. We wandered around until we found a Starbucks that was open and had a light breakfast. After that we wandered some more, checked out the Art at the Ritz Carlton and then went to the top of the Marina Bay Sands building which was actually really cool. Amazing infinity pool, restaurant, very cool view of the city. It was worth the $20 to check it out.
After that we headed to the marina near Sentosa and saw that island from far away. It was time to head back to the hotel to grab our bags and head to the airport. On our ride back to the hotel we were told we shouldn’t have stayed where we did and that it wasn’t a good part of town. After we grabbed our bags we got in a different cab and asked to go to the airport but were unsure of which terminal. After our 20 min commute in Manila to change terminals we had learned our lesson to know which terminal we were flying out of but never got a chance to get on line before having to head to Singapore’s giant airport. We had plenty of time so weren’t worried about it and assured the cabbie we would be fine. He continued to remind us we needed to know what terminal. Fortunately we got dropped off at the right one, and even if it was the wrong one we would have been fine. Lesson learned – we’ll know our terminal. We arrived 3 hours early so had plenty of time to check out the airport – which was one of the coolest I have been in.
It had an orchid garden, statues, art, butterflies, free wi-fi, grocery stores, shopping, giant slides, gym, movie theaters. It was really cool, definitely a hightlight of our layover in Singapore.
Landing in Bali we had to buy our visas and they accept just about every currency for a $25US Visa and there are ATMs if you don’t have any cash. Got our bags and then got a cab that cost 200,000rupia, later we figured that we probably got WAY overcharged. We got dropped off at The 101 near Kuta, which was much nicer than Hotel 81. Found some dinner and called it a night
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