Arriving in Singapore
From LCCT in Malaysia, it took only an hour before our plane touched down in Singapore Changi Airport. It was 10:30 PM when we arrived and my first impression was that Singapore looked so pretty at night. My impression even got better as we entered the airport and I saw carpeted floors, walkalators and numerous shops. Despite it’s huge size, the airport was very clean and well-lighted. It was such a relaxing welcome for us who were tired from walking around in Malaysia.
We filled out another immigration card when we got to the immigration counter and my passport got another stamp without any questions asked. We wanted to explore the airport more but the guesthouse where we will be staying only accepts check-ins until 11:30 PM so we hurriedly went out of the airport to find a cab. Note for tourists: Taxi rates in Singapore is more expensive during nighttime.
I found it amazing that the cabs in Singapore had their own GPS. The driver wasn’t familiar with our guesthouse so he used the GPS and his IPhone (sosyal!) to navigate. There was absolutely no traffic on the way and we arrived at the guesthouse just before 11:30 PM. I think we paid the driver around 35 SGD and he gave us change (kahit na barya lang sukli namin) which was another “wow” moment.
Our Accommodation: River City Inn
River City Inn is located in Hong Kong St. near Clarke Quay. We chose to stay here because of its rate (26 SGD per head in the mixed dormitory) and because it is near the MRT. I reserved our beds through their online booking system and paid only around Php 150. We paid the remaining balance upon checking in. The owner gave us a short tour of the place before we settled in: the bathrooms were shared and equipped with hot and cold shower, the kitchen where we can use the utensils as long as we clean up after ourselves, the living room with several books, DVDs and board games where guests can hang out and finally our dorm room. River City Inn also has private room for 4 but it was already booked when I made our reservations. Since I didn’t bring any towels, I rented one for 3 SGD.
Sleeping in a mixed dorm room was a new experience for me. We had to be always mindful to not disturb the other guests when we go in or out of the room. Sleeping across someone who is a total stranger can feel weird too, luckily the bunk beds had curtains to give guests a little privacy.
I love almost everything about River City Inn. I say almost because there is one detail about the hostel we found challenging whenever we returned dead tired from touring the city. I’ll start with the things I love. Breakfast is available at the hostel: bread, banana, coffee, chocolate drink, tea, butter, peanut butter and jelly spread. The staff replenishes these items whenever needed. The other guests were very nice and respected each others’ privacy. Everything looked well maintained and was kept clean despite the numerous guests staying at the hostel.
The one thing that kept me from completely loving the place? It is located on the 4th floor with no elevators. Imagine going back here tired from all the walking and you have 4 flights of stairs to navigate before you get to your rooms. Not fun. But I would stay here again anyway 🙂