Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The port of Singapore is beautiful and nestled in the middle of many miles of cranes, buildings and trees. The great thing about the port is that it is connected to the subway train. Once you exit the ship, you will go down a long hallway and then through Immigration. PLEASE know that you can NOT carry anything off of the ship that is even remotely suspicious (such as prescription pills without the bottle or Dr's note). Don't get me wrong, they are very, very nice in Singapore and Singapore is very safe. However, the laws there are quite strict. In fact, if you get caught with illegal drugs, it's the death penalty. They are not playing around. Don't litter, spit on the ground, damage or vandalize anything. I wouldn't suggest wearing tube tops, short-shorts or shirts with inappropriate language on them. There is a large Muslim and Indian population in Singapore, so there is some cultural diversity in belief systems.
That being said, I always felt comfortable there. People were friendly and helpful and the city is immaculately clean. The train station from the port takes about 25-35 minutes to get into town. You have to buy a card from the machines. It's a little confusing, but you put in money and they give you a hard plastic card that you refill (generally). The train into the city was about $6 or so (if I remember correctly). You buy your train card amount by the section that you will be traveling in. There will be a map showing you the different zones.
Some times, the cards will not refill and you will have to refund them at the ticket booth and get another one. I have no idea why. It is important to have a map with you and realize that distances on the map can be skewed once you get outside of the city center. I went to the Bird Sanctuary and it took a while to get there, in addition to a bus ride. It wasn't difficult, but it does take time.
The trains can be crowded and it's best to go the the city center first. Keep in mind that Singapore is a big city and the day will go by fast. Leave yourself a good hour or so to get back to the port, because you will have to go through customs/immigration again.