Singapore Day 1: Our arrival and checking in at the YMCA International House

We made our son's 13th birthday special by booking a trip to Singapore. Thanks to Cebu Pacific's Piso Fare promo last October 2012, I was able to secure cheap airline tickets. For our three round trip tickets, I only paid Php 10, 400. We left for Changi International Airport Terminal 2 last May 19. Our 5:40 am flight left on time and we arrived on schedule.

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I prepared an itinerary for our entire 3-day stay and had everything planned. Still, I was so happy that there were Singapore road maps available for free that were displayed on one rack before we went through immigration. At least, I had a bigger road map aside from the ones I included in our itinerary.

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Before leaving NAIA 3, we were able to exchange Php 3,500 worth of Singaporean dollars (100 SGD). The money changer gave us the money in tens and twenties but I needed coins for our bus ride to the hotel so we grabbed a quick morning snack at Mc Donald's.

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After eating, we headed down to the basement to the bus terminal and waited for Bus 36 which took us to Orchard Road. Since we didn't have EZ Link cards yet, we dropped our fare into the cash box. The bus captain doesn't give change that's why I needed coins for our exact fare. From the Changi International Airport bus terminal to the YMCA Orchard Road bus stop, our fare costed $1.73 each (roughly around Php 60). The bus ride took 40 minutes and we arrived at the YMCA International House by noon time.

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Technically, check-in time at the YMCA was 2:00 PM but the keys were handed over to us immediately after I paid our second night's stay. We were lucky that the room was already available. We were scheduled to have lunch with my husband's brother, cousin, and their families so we just left our luggage in the room and walked to the Kopitiam along Bras Basah which was just a block away.

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Kopitiam is like a food court with different concessionaires offering local Singaporean fare as well as Japanese, Indian, and Chinese dishes. No food photos here, though. I'm reserving those for my food blog so better visit to read about our Kopitiam experience. :)

After lunch, we walked to Dhoby Ghaut Station (just across our hotel) to go to the Transit Link ticket office in City Hall Station to buy our 3-day Singapore Tourist Pass. This type off EZ Link card will allow us to have unlimited MRT and bus rides for 3 days for only $30 each. Of the said amount, $10 will be refunded once we return our cards. After buying our tickets, we did a quick stroll inside the Funan Digitalife mall then went back to the hotel.

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We were booked in a Family Room for $161.25/night (around Php 5,600). Our room, Room 601, was spacious and had a good view of Orchard Road.

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Rap's bed was placed separately on one side of the room away from our double bed.

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We had a hair dryer, ref, water kettle, and even coffee mugs. Also, inside the closet was an extra pillow which I got to use.

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The bathroom only had a shower (with a heater) but it was clean and decent enough for our taste. I loved it that the toiletries were placed in separate plastic pouches that I intend to reuse. There was even a laundry basket neatly kept under the sink.

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I was very satisfied with our room at the YMCA International House in Singapore. You can't get a hotel room for 3 persons with that price anywhere along Orchard Road! The price also includes daily buffet breakfast so it was really cheap considering its location.

After a quick afternoon nap, we then headed to our next activity in our itinerary - an evening walk around the Merlion Park.

This post is the first of my Singapore vacation series. You can access the rest of my posts HERE

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