You can say that Singapore hits the geographical jackpot, with so many ways to get in and out of the country without spending a fortune. Unlike an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or a landlocked country in Europe, you don’t have to limit yourself to one way of travel to take a holiday from this garden city.
If you’re new to Singapore or want a new kind of adventure, here are different modes of travelling you can explore to satisfy your wanderlust. Prefer to stick to good ol’ flying? We’ve got some great deals from Singapore Airlines at the bottom of this page, just for you, for the fastest way to your next destination.
Ride a Ferry Across to Indonesia
Let’s start off with one of the most common ways out of Singapore: taking a 45-minute ferry to Batam or Bintan. Unless you have a fear of the ocean or being on a boat, these nearby Indonesian islands are ideal for an affordable weekend getaway.
Cheap seafood dinners, inexpensive massages, and affordable jet ski packages. That’s the Batam we’ve come to love. Bintan, on the other hand, is the simplest and quickest way from Singapore to get a beach break. And because you’re just a short ferry ride away, you can make a day trip to either destination without staying a night.
Catch a ferry from HarbourFront Centre Regional Ferry Terminal or Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, but be sure you know which port you’ll end up at. There are plenty of ferries departing daily, but some stop at Batam Center, others at Sekupang, Waterfront or Tanjung Pinang.
Ticket prices start from S$34 for an adult return fare to Batam, and S$44 return to Bintan.
Take a Coach to Mersing then Hop on a Ferry to Tioman or Rawa Island
You can get to plenty of Malaysian islands if you’re willing to drive a couple of hours, but why drive when you can take a coach? It’s a holiday, after all.
The closest gateway to island paradise from Singapore is the Mersing Jetty, which is about a three to four hours’ drive away. From here, you can either hop on a ferry to the popular Tioman – known for its diving spots – or the quieter Rawa Island.
To get to Tioman, catch a two-hour ferry from the jetty, and pay a RM5 island fee and RM20 marine park fee when you arrive. Rawa Island, on the other hand, is about an hour away from Mersing, but if you catch a speedboat out, it’ll cut your travel time by half.
Here’s a tip: if you’re going to Tioman or Rawa Island, it’s good to get your return tickets in advance as the ferry or coach gets fully booked fast.
Get on a Cruise to Penang, Langkawi or Phuket
If you hate planning but absolutely need a break from Singapore, why not take a cruise out to a neighbouring island? Accommodation, food and entertainment are included in the package, so you can even take a holiday from holiday planning.
Because you’re in Singapore, you get a wide selection of cruises to choose from. The more luxurious ones are Princess Cruises, which even has a wedding chapel; Celebrity Cruises, which includes Broadway shows and gourmet food in its packages; and Azamara Quest, which allows you to choose your stopover destinations.
But if you’re a mere human being with a budget like us, you might want to look at more affordable cruise packages to Malaysia and Thailand from Royal Caribbean International and StarCruises. The trick is to book your tickets way in advance or when there’s a huge sale. Sometimes you can find tickets at 50% off, you’ll just have to keep an eye out for these deals.
Royal Caribbean’s off-peak season packages start from S$345 per person for a three-night cruise to Penang and S$503 per person for a four-night cruise to Phuket. You’ll find that StarCruises packages are priced similarly.
Take a Train Out to Bangkok… Or London
There’s a train that goes out to Bangkok from Singapore. Just hop on board the Eastern and Oriental Express…but only if you have US$2,690 to spare.
If that’s not within your budget (don’t worry, it’s not within ours either), another option is to take a series of train rides to Bangkok.
First, take a train up to Kuala Lumpur. Find and hop on the train that goes out to Butterworth (which is also the closest station to Penang) and catch another train to Hat Yai before heading up to Bangkok. This means you’ll have to purchase separate tickets for each leg of the trip. But who doesn’t love an adventure, right? Especially when you can’t—ahem—fly.
This is a great option if you want to explore both Malaysia and Thailand in one trip. The entire duration of the journey is dependent on how you plan your travels, so if you hate being cooped up for long hours, give yourself more time to rest and relax in between train rides.
If you’re expecting trains like in the Harry Potter series, you might be a little disappointed. The trains up to Bangkok are comfortable enough to get you to your destinations, but they’re not exactly the Shangri-La. To make the best of any trip, simply go with an open mind.
Feeling adventurous? You can even travel overland all the way to London! It’s not an impossible task to pull off, but it will take a lot of planning and street-smarts.
After the Singapore to Bangkok leg, get on a train to Phnom Penh through Battambang, and hop on a bus to Saigon. From here, you’ll have to take a train up to Hanoi, then switch trains up to Beijing. Catch the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow, after which you’ll get on another train straight to London. Voila! Just three and a half weeks and S$2,726 in total to visit 8 countries. Sounds like a fabulous deal.
A good source of information for train rides around the world is seat61.com.
Fly Around Asia, to Australia or Europe
Want the fastest way outta here? Singapore Airlines flies to over 60 destinations around the world, most of which are in Asia, Australia and Europe. If you’re looking to go further, Singapore Airlines also flies to São Paulo, Brazil and Cape Town.
You don’t have to pay big bucks to fly. Singapore Airlines regularly has promotions throughout the year–the most popular being its two-to-go fares that get snapped up fast! Since SilkAir and Tigerair are subsidiaries of Singapore Airlines, you can expect the same safe flights for a fraction of the price.
So book your next Singapore Airlines flight with Traveloka and enjoy even better deals with discount coupon codes. Plus, what you see is what you pay, which means no shocking credit card charges at the end of the month.
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