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Gardens By The Bay, Little India, Chinatown and Cross-border Trip to Malaysia

Gardens By The Bay, Little India, Chinatown and Cross-border Trip to Malaysia
We wanted to visit Gardens by the Bay at night specially on the night of our second day. However, we were pretty tired and decided to drop by here first thing in the morning. Chie and I agreed that we will strictly follow our schedule since it is our last day here and we wanted to make the most of our stay. At promptly six am, the alarm I set using my mobile phone buzzed. Not minding the other sleeping guests (the others were actually snoring), we started preparing for the big day ahead.

On my way to the shower room, I saw Koji charging his gadgets in the corner sofa. We chatted a bit and he expressed his desire to tag along with us since he wanted to visit China town too. Grateful for his company, we discussed 7 AM as our agreed departure time.

We took the Bugis-Bayfront route and arrived at the gardens before 8 am, a time when the place was almost deserted. We could hear the birds softly singing and we quietly observed the plants lazily basking under the morning sun.

Gardens by the Bay early in the morning

Seeing the Gardens at night is surely a magnificent view. However, a visit in the morning is also a good idea, at time when there are almost no tourists. Some of the shots I have looked like they were actually taken during sunset.

Access to the Outdoor Gardens in Bay South is free. Other parts of the gardens have admission fees. You may check their website for updated rate information. We only spent about thirty minutes here then we were off to Little India.

Chie and Koji posing for me

Little India
From Bayfront we alighted at Little India station at SGD 1.60 per person. Koji served as our tour guide on this part of out trip since he has been here the day before. Colorful buildings will greet once you start your walk along Serangoon road. European architecture blended well with Indian heritage. A photo walk will be a great idea.  

I was really interested in seeing an Indian mosque so I often asked Koji how many more minutes before we reach the nearest one. He would constantly say ‘five more minutes. However, I would jokingly confront him since it took more than that.  I think the walk took about 30 minutes.  

After some time, we saw many tourists milling around the entrance of one. What attracted me to this one are the designs on the roof. Intricate and plentiful. I had a fun time capturing with my camera. A little tip to those who want to go straight to the mosques. Farrer Park station is nearer. However, if you want a walking tour, best to start from Little India station.

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Chinatown still appears to be as quaint as the time it has been established in the early days. I was kind of curious if it will have any resemblance to our very own China town in Binondo. After we got off from Chinatown station, stalls with different wares greeted us. We skipped on the free breakfast at the hotel so we headed towards the second level of the Food Center (we asked directions from one Filipino vendor). Rice meal here are really cheap which start at SGD 2.50.

I love the red details

I knew if I was not really hungry, I will be unable to finish this lot.

Sri Mariammam Temple

Check-out time at Cozy Corner Guesthouse is at exactly 11 am. We arrived back at the hostel at thirty minutes past this time. We were greeted by the mister who assisted us during our arrival and promptly instructed us to take down our bags. He said that he already retrieved the bed sheets. Upon arrival here, guests will be provided with clean sheets and is supposed to be dropped off at the laundry bin at the reception area upon departure.

It was a good thing that we have packed our bags earlier before we left. We were surprised that Koji was waiting outside our dorm room. He said that he will come along with us again and he will come back to China town once more.

Our friend sadly bid farewell to us during our transit from Bugis to Kranji station. We spent a short time together but we really had a nice time with his company. We exchanged contact information and has been in touch ever since.

As soon as Koji left for his solo trip to China town, Chie and I breathed a sigh of relief. Our trip to Singapore is now nearing its end. Though we could have spent a few more days here, we are now concentrated on the next country which is Malaysia.

Woodlands Checkpoint @ Kranji MRT Station
Look for bus no. 170
From Kranji station, cross this bridge and wait in this waiting shed.

The train ride from Bugis to Kranji station took about 46 minutes. From Kranji, we followed the signs, crossed the bridged and waited for bus no. 170 bound for Woodlands, fare at SGD 1.30.

All travelers will be shortly dropped off at Woodlands Immigration center. We proceeded to the departure area (Singapore) then had our passports quickly stamped at the Malaysia immigration (Arrival). We waited for the same bus number which need not be the same exact bus. It is important to keep your bus ticket for there is no need to pay again once you are off to Larkin terminal. The bus crossed the Causeway bridge and after about thirty minutes, we arrived at Larkin terminal in Johor Bahru. 

Booths at Larkin terminal
Exterior of Melaka Sentral
The first cat I met on the road 🙂

Exhausted from these several transfers, we immediately bought our bus ticket to Melaka at the first counter selling one. I know that MYR 19 per person is expensive but we no longer cared about the price once we have seated comfortably inside the cool red bus. The journey took about three hours. We used this time to catch up on our sleep since we had barely slept the night before. I knew it was so hot outside but the bus’s very fine air-conditioning system kept the humidity at bay.

At past four in the afternoon, we alighted at Melaka Sentral. We are to have another bus ride to downtown Melaka aboard bus no. 17. There were number signs on the parking lot so we assumed we are to wait near sign no. 17.

If we were not so keen in observing our surroundings, we will miss the bus no. 17 which was parked on another numbered slot. Good thing a kind conductor told us. Paying MYR 1, we were dropped off at the Clock Tower, we saw Discovery Guest house as our bus passed by it. We walked to our hostel and was able to check-in at exactly 5 PM. 

Discovery Cafe Guesthouse

It turns out that a Filipina was working at the hostel. She told us to come down at nine in the evening since there will be live performances at the restaurant at the ground floor. Bands will be singing ‘Pinoy‘ songs until midnight. After having dinner in China town, we were pretty beat and decided to call it a day. 

Day 3 Itinerary and Expenses
Gardens by the Bay | Little India | Chinatown
SGD 1.60 – Bugis station to Bayfront station
SGD 1.60 – Bayfront station to Little India
SGD 1.50 – Farrer Park to Chinatown
SGD 2.50 – Lunch at Food Center Chinatown
SGD 1.60 – Chinatown to Bugis
SGD 2.60 – Bugis to Kranji station
Cross-border to Malaysia via Johor Bahru
SGD 1.30 – Bus to Johor Bahru (Larkin terminal)
Sub-total: SGD 12.70 or Php 428.197
Larkin terminal to Melaka Sentral
MYR 19 – Bus to Melaka
MYR 1.00 – Melaka Sentral to downtown
Check-in at hostel
MYR 25.00 – per person, Discovery guesthouse
                    (1 night, double bed, aircon shared bathroom)
MYR 8.00 – Dinner
Sub-total: MYR 53 or Php 714.791
Total:  Php 1142.988

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