Overview: Singapore’s Airport free amenities, hostels, food and sightseeing in Chinatown
Exchange rate when we traveled Singapore: ($1 USA=S $1.20)
What Changi Airport has to Offer
Before hoping on a plane to jetset to Singapore I did my research of what Singapore had to offer. I was most excited about the Singapore Changi Airport that offered an assortment of FREE things: feet massage, wifi, movie theater, an art center, a science museum, world’s largest slide (with a small charge) and a sight-seeing tour of the Singapore city. Somehow in the midst of my excitement I miss read that Changi has FREE sleeping arrangements. They DON’T; you do have to pay. Denny and I had done a red-eye flight in the night from Hong Kong to Singapore. I slept about an hour on the plane because I was expecting a free nice bed to sleep in, well….that wasn’t the case. We ended up finding used blankets scattered about a rest area at 6am. We were zonked so we crashed with scavenged blankets, and a cozy cove with four chairs circling us and our luggage while we slept on the Changi Airporrt’s floor for four hours.
I woke to thinking; I’ve never done that before. Sleeping in the airport must be apart of the backpacking experience, right? Well, we felt jet-lagged nasty. Anytime I fly a plane I get this icky invisible airplane blanket that encompasses me until I freshen up. We splurged and paid to get a shower in the airport. Yes, it was my first time to pay for a shower but it was worth it.
Want to feel like you went to a spa? Walk for hours with a traveling backpack on your back, do a red-eye flight, and sleep on the floor of an airport floor. It was the best shower of my life.$8.50 Per a Person for a Shower (includes a towel)
The cheapest restaurant in the Changi airport that we found is at “1983: A taste of Nanyang”. It serves local Singaporean dishes.
We spent $10.60 for two meals. This was Denny’s brunch. I got the Long Tong dish (dish on the right), which I recommend ordering.
We checked out the FREE foot massages. They were okay. This is what they look like.
After a nap, shower, coffee, and brunch we utilized the FREE Wifi. Note- bring an adapter or you can buy one at a store inside the airport. At the airport the adapter cost $37.67.
While using the internet we learned that our couchsurfing arrangments for the night fell through. I was really looking forward to exchanging cultural aspects by couchsurfing, but the Chinese New Year made the idea next to impossible. Maybe our next backpacking adventure.
The Cleanest ChinaTown I have Ever Seen
We ended up staying at our first hostel, Service World Hostel in Singapore’s Chinatown for the night. It’s about $22 per a person per a night.
I would grade this hostel a “C’. There were 8 beds (4 bunk beds) per a room and one bathroom in the other room. It was clean, livable and had no bed bugs. The owner is a sweetheart. He loves to talk to the travelers. (Below is a picture of my hubby, Denny sitting on my bed while we map out our to-do-plans.)
ChinaTown from a bird’s eye view!
A traveler quickly learns that is a huge price discrepancy in Singapore. Items are either really cheap or expensive. If you are looking to live on the cheap side than eat and shop in Singapore’s Chinatown or Little India.
On average Denny and I each spent about $5 per a meal.
Some Healthy Prices
Watermelon juice= $1.50
Mixed Veggi Juice= $2 (Whole Food’s you have a competitor!)
A fresh coconut= $2
The best part of our travels were the people we met.
Note to readers, if you want to bless a backpacker, offer to let them store their luggage at your work!
Keith, the young man below was a sweetheart and took us weary travelers in. He treated us to (Chai Tow Kway) Black Carrot Cake, which isn’t cake at all, but a fried radish cake dish. Keith let us store our heavy backpacks at his work. This was an incredible blessing.
My favorite part of Singapore, besides the awesome people we met, was the fresh coconuts I had everyday for only $2. (Behind me is another traveler, Tanner, we met at our hostel that we hung out with while exploring Singapore.)
Sightseeing: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
I would give the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple 15 minutes of your time and no more.
Personally after seeing a few temples in Southeast Asia I felt like I had seen them all. When a person travels Southeast Asia all the temples start to blend and become overwhelming dark places to visit if you are a Christian. Every person worships something or someone. I respect Buddhists, but with my convictions I think Buddhists are worshiping false empty idols.“The object of your worship will determine our future and define our life.” Kyle Idleman
If you are Christian, traveling to these temples you will quickly recognize that these people are searching for truth and sadly in my belief are deceived. The act of seeing a Buddhist offer material objects (money, incense, food, other objects) to these statues for good fortune breaks my heart. The interesting correlation of a Buddhist and Christian is that Christians too worship false gods whenever they put something over God: money, profession, food, pleasure and relationships (but that’s another conversation). Like a non-believer, Muslim or Buddhist visiting a historical Christian church I took my sightseeing as an educational and artistically appreciative moment.Temple Hours: Mon to Sun 7:00am – 7:00pm Address: 288, South Bridge Road. Singapore 058840
10,000 miniature Buddhas (located on the roof of the temple)
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple offers:
- Free admission
- Great opportunities for photography
- First-hand educational moment on Buddism (You can ask the Buddhists worshipping inside questions on their faith.)
The Matchbox: A 6 Star Hostel
For the rest of our stay in Singapore we stayed at the “Matchbox- The Concept Hostel”. The “Matchbox is located within heritage district of the world-famous, Chinatown, in the heart of Singapore.” I would give this a grade A.39 Ann Siang Road Singapore 069716 T: +65 6423-0237 Virtual tour: www.matchbox.sg (Facebook): matchboxtheconcepthostel Complimentary: All day breakfast (which is cereal, and toast), High Speed WIFI, Shampoo/ Shower Gel, Local phone calls Features:Library, in-house movie selection, luggage storage, back/foot massager, ironing facilities
The map below shows all the travelers who have stayed at the Matchbox.
Our comfy digs! This hostel made our Southeast Asia backpacking adventure fruitful. Hostels are an easy way to connect with world travelers.
The Night Life of Chinatown
Singapore’s Chinatown feels similar to the real streets of China but just super clean. If you would like to experience and learn more about the real China town than read here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
I highly recommend visiting Singapore’s Chinatown. It’s cheap, clean and offers an abundant amount of fresh coconuts. Did I mention I love fresh coconuts?
If you have visited Singapore’s Chinatown or airport
what would you recommend to future travelers?