After a 7 hour flight with Emirates we arrived in Singapore. We were through customs in 15 minutes and at our hotel by midnight. We stayed two nights at the Santa Grand Bugis Hotel. Our room was in a basement windowless room. It was clean with a separate bathroom and brilliant shower. Breakfast was excellent with the exception of the coffee it tasted awful. Having a pool on the top was a bonus. Would definitely stay again. We were only really back at the hotel at night to sleep so having no windows did not bother us. During our time in Singapore we explored the Botanic Gardens which were lovely and visited a cat cafe as well as eating at different food courts. We also managed an evening visit to the Water Gardens near Marina Sands.
If you visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens do make sure to pick up a map of the 53 acres of gardens. I liked the rainforest walk the most as it showed what Singapore may have once looked like with a few giant trees left. The garden has different areas including orchids, ginger garden and even some bonsai trees. Great place to come and escape the hustle and bustle of Singapore. One innovative trail was the reflexology path which you have to do barefoot. Near our hotel was a cat cafe which we decided to visit. It cost S$15 entry with a complimentary soft drink. Great to play with the cats and see them so well looked after. If your interested in any of the places mentioned you can always visit tripadvisor and just look up kiwiinbrigton where I do reviews of the places we stay and visit.
After leaving Singapore we arrived at Johan Bahru for a few days to acclimatize to the humidity and heat. I am glad we took the taxi from Singapore to Johan Bahru direct to the hotel for a cost of S$55. It took two hours and it was quick to go through immigration and customs. I pushed the budget out for our first stay at a Doubletree Hilton Hotel. It was well worth it especially to have a comfortable room and the pool. We also found out that several Sultans were staying at the hotel for the coronation of the Sultan of Johor Bahru. The city is decorated with flags, signs and lots of people in anticipation of the crowning which we were lucky to see on the Monday as well as the parade.
It was a lazy few days of eating lots of lovely food, going to the cinema for 3 quid each and watching Insurgents and having a massage. We also made good use of the swimming pool at the hotel.
Our next stop by train was Kuala Lumpur. The first class train tickets for two people cost £24 or US$35. The train took 6 and a half hours and stopped at a lot of stations. We had the first class carriage to ourselves and we even got a free banana bread snack with a bottle of water. On arrival at the KL train central station I went to the taxi booth and paid for a coupon of 14 Ringet and 15 minutes later we were at our next stop the Hotel Invito.
What did our week cost?
We did scrimp on anything this week as we wanted to have a nice start to our four months in Asia and we were only US$4 over budget per day for our daily spend.
Singapore accommodation cost £118 or US$177 two nights at the Hotel Santa Grand Bugis
Singapore food, transport cost £79 or US$118
Doubletree Hilton Johor Bahru £243 or US$364 four nights
Hotel Invito Kuala Lumpur £45 or US$68 one night
Malaysia spending £238 or US$356 or 1300 Ringgets
Total Spend for one week: £723 or US$1083 which works out at US$154 per day for two people.