Solo Trip to Johor Bahru and Singapore (Part 1) – Cheap Hotel in Geylang

Remember in my last post I wrote that I went to Tioman because there was a gap (read the post here) before I switched to my new job. Well, after I have started working at the new place, I did not go anywhere to travel. Since I just moved to this new company and I was stabilizing my finance, I put a halt on my travel activities until one day, an opportunity came knocking at my door. I was asked to go for a meeting in Johor Bahru. Since the meeting was fixed on Monday, I decided to leave earlier i.e. on Saturday and hence this solo trip of mine to Johor Bahru (JB) and Singapore.

Inside klia2 heading towards the departure gate. It was empty since it was 5.00 am.

The trip would be my third visit to Singapore; the first was my backpacking trip with my best friend and the second visit was to accompany my sister for a job interview. Despite its small size, there are a lot of things that can be done and a lot of places that can be visited in Singapore. Continue on to read my travelogue on my solo trip to Johor Bahru and Singapore.

Gate Q. Early morning exercise!
Gate Q. Early morning exercise!

10 January 2015 – Day 1

 “Ijat, bangun Ijat! Jom tolong hantar abang pergi airport (Ijat, wake up! Please help to send me to the airport)”, I woke my brother who must have been in deep sleep since it was 3.30 am. My flight would depart klia2 at 6.15 am, so I wanted to be early. Missing flights is a nightmare to all travelers. Not only it would cost unnecessary stress, it would also burn a hole in the pocket if last minute flight tickets need to be bought. Anyway, after several attempts, finally he woke up and off we went to the airport.

Bye-bye Malaysia.
Bye-bye Malaysia.

I arrived at klia2 around 4.30 am. klia2 was newly built, I was really impressed with its design, its facilities and its modernity as compared to the LCCT. I did not waste much time after dropping my luggage. Since there are prayer rooms, eateries and toilets at the departure hall, I straightaway went to the immigration to get myself cleared before walking to the departure gate. Since the flight to Singapore was at gate Q, well… imagine how far I had to walk from the first gate!

Sunrise.
Sunrise.
I was IN the screen!
I was IN the screen!

It took me an hour to reach Changi International Airport from klia2. I was glad that I have been to Singapore before. At least I know my way around. So, as soon as I have reached Changi Terminal 1, I took the Skytrain to get to Terminal 2 so that I can take the MRT to get to the city centre.

Skytrain to Terminal 2
Skytrain to Terminal 3

I have booked the most decent and cheapest hotel that I could get in Singapore. For RM 172.76 (USD 39), I got to stay in a superior room at the Four Chain View Hotel in Geylang. Cheap, isn’t it? Of course because it is situated at the red light district of Singapore!

Geylang, the red light district of Singapore.
Geylang, the red light district of Singapore.

At Changi MRT station, I bought a 2-day Singapore Tourist Pass (SGD 16 + SGD 10 refundable deposit) which entitles me to unlimited rides within the bus, MRT and LRT system. This pass is so beneficial if we plan to travel a lot within Singapore using the public transportation system. After all, if the card is not returned (hence the deposit forfeited), it can be used like a normal ez-link card and can be topped up at the ticket vending machines in any MRT stations.

Very rare in Singapore but felt like home.
Very rare in Singapore but felt like home.

From Changi MRT station, I travelled to Geylang MRT station and looked for the hotel. The hotel is conveniently located along the main street and although it is located at the red light district, the hotel and the surrounding areas did not seem dodgy at all. In fact, the back lanes of Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur seemed dodgier than this! It was still early and I could not checked-in yet. Therefore, I left my luggage at the reception area and went out to find breakfast.

Breakfast at a local mamak. Biryani rice.
Breakfast at a local mamak. Biryani rice.

I walked aimlessly along the road until I found a mamak restaurant. I ordered a plate of nasi biryani for SGD 5 (RM 15.45 / USD 3.50), a glass of  teh tarik and a glass of plain water. I was shocked to see the mamak pour tap water into a glass when I asked for plain water. Is it a norm in Singapore? Well, I have no answer to that.

My hotel.
My hotel.

To Be Continued in Part 2

+++++

I used my old Xiaomi Redmi Note phone camera for the photos, hence the lower quality. All information are accurate as of November 2016.

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13 thoughts on “Solo Trip to Johor Bahru and Singapore (Part 1) – Cheap Hotel in Geylang

  1. The water from the tap in sg is generally drinkable. Usually when u request for plain water, it would be from the tap unless you request for mineral water.

  2. Ternyata sama ya di Indonesia dan Malaysia, kita masih pakai air yang direbus untuk ‘air putih’ biasa dan akan merasa sedikit shock ketika melihat di Singapore mereka mengambilnya dari air keran (tap water). Btw, hasil foto dengan Xiaomi nya bagus Khai. Terutama foto di Red Light District Geylang. O iya, red light district di Singapore terlihat rapi ya, beda dengan di Indonesia, yang agak seram. Kalau yang di Malaysia aku belum pernah lihat sih :-)

    1. Haha. Memang aku terkejut lihat air paip digunakan kerana di Malaysia memang gak bisa minum direct. Harus dijerang dulu.

      Oh, haha mkasih Bart. Aku rasa fotonya macam kurang bagus. Anyway jangaaan sesekali coba ke red light district Malaysia. Aku bisa confirm kamu akan kaget dan terus takut. ahaha. Agak agresif lagi pula suasanya emang dodgy amat.

  3. Kota Tinggi is right opposite Singapore, you know that right?
    You can actually take a ferry from Changi Airport to Pengerang, a little kampung in Kota Tinggi.
    I used to go to Singapore so often when I was little, back then the exchange rate was only S$1:RM1.30.
    Then when I studied in Singapore, the exchange rate went up to RM2.20.
    Now, RM3++!!

    Yes, the water is safe to drink in Singapore. The water actually comes from Kota Tinggi!
    You wouldn’t believe that, right. Singapore also sells back some water back to Johor after water is being treated.

    1. Yeah I went to Changi Village once to go to Ubin Island and saw that there are ferry services to Pengerang.

      Yeah now the exchange rate is unacceptable! haha.

      Oh I thought that the tap water comes from Singapore’s own water plant. But just curious, why are we buying back water that we sold to Singapore?

  4. Very well written blog.Since I have been to Johor Bahru & Sinagpore both so I could very well relate to your write up. However when I visited Singapore last year with family ,though experience at Singapore itself was wonderful but as a tourist , I faced one major issue there which I have shared in my blog below so that no other tourist has to face the same and once can enjoy Singapore to the fullest !
    ……………

    One thing Definitely “NOT” to do while Planning for Singapore & Malaysia Vacations ! ( a 5 min must read)

    The major blunder that we committed but you must avoid while planning a Singapore vacation – After all Smartness is learning from someone else’s mistakes !!

    https://the-passport-souls.travel.blog/2017/05/13/one-thing-definitely-not-to-do-while-planning-for-singapore-malaysia-vacations/?preview_id=2868&preview_nonce=54a33d1be7

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