Starting this Thursday, I will be taking a six day backpacking trip through Singapore from Tokyo, and also visiting Malaysia! I chose Singapore as my next destination because it is a highly condensed city with futuristic garden displays, beautiful man-made beaches, and unique food, so it’s been on my travel list for quite a while.
During my recent trip to Hokkaido, I met a traveling couple from central Singapore and they inspired me to come here myself. I think the people and culture of this country are extremely kind so I’m excited to learn more about them on my trip. The best thing about this country is you can see all of the major attractions on foot or via train due to its small size. It also is extremely English-friendly and has a low crime rate, as well as being welcoming to international tourists.
Another perk of visiting Singapore is that you can easily book a cheap bus to Malaysia, and flights between the two countries are as low as $48. The downside will be the extremely hot temperature, but I plan on wearing a light jacket and sunblock to protect my skin. I am most excited to see the Merlion Statue!
My planned itinerary (so far) is listed below:
Tokyo → Singapore & Sentosa Island → Mersing (Malaysia) → Rawa Island → Kuala Lumpur → Mirror Beach → Singapore → Tokyo
August 1st: Arriving to Singapore
I booked a $500 flight to Singapore in June departing a little after 5pm from Narita Airport through Delta Airlines. I plan on playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses during the long 6 hour flight. I will arrive to Singapore around midnight and be staying at the sci-fi themed Spacepod Capsule Hotel! I’m already excited for this next big adventure!
Aug 2nd: Exploring Temples, Galleries, and Clubs
As soon as I wake up and finish my daily run, I plan on heading straight to the Merlion Statue to get some pictures with it! People say it’s extremely small in person, but that doesn’t damper my enthusiasm for it. I still think it’s cute! From there I plan on walking to some of the nearby temples and landmarks including Thian Hock Keng Temple, the Abdul Gaffoor Mosque, and stopping at the Gudetama Cafe for dessert. If I have time to see both the National Gallery Singapore and Art Science Museum, I definitely will, as well as try some street food on the way! My aim for the first day is mostly walking around and getting acquainted with the atmosphere of this new country.
At night I definitely want to visit the Gardens at the Bay! The futuristic neon lights and expansive greenhouses look amazing! There’s also a ton of nightlife in this area. I plan on checking out the videogame-themed Nineteen80 bar first. According to the reviews, it’s awesome and I think I’ll very much enjoy the retro aspect of it it. There’s also a Korean bistro called Don’t Tell Mama that I’m excited to go to! Despite the name, I know my mother will eventually find out I’m there through social media… So I might as well enjoy it! I’m excited to try their shochu cocktails and also check out some nearby dance clubs! This should be an extremely exciting first night full of crazy memories.
Aug 3rd: Sentosa Island
Before I hit the beach, I plan on checking out both the Harry Potter Cafe and the Durian Cafe for my daily dose of aesthetic food. After I’m fully satisfied, I’ll ride the skyline from central Singapore to explore the exciting Sentosa island. Here I will sunbathe on Palawan Beach which resembles the Caribbean with its white sand and tropical trees! There’s a total of three beaches here and I hope to go swimming at them all since this island is also small and very walkable.
Sentosa also has Universal Studies, an aquarium, wildlife centers, and many bars and resorts so there’s a lot to do! I hope to enjoy the attractions here as much as I did in Thailand. Either way, I will definitely enjoy being on the beach again! The beaches in Japan just don’t compare.
Aug 4th: Rawa Island
Rawa Island is a beautiful private island in Malaysia which is an extremely popular day trip from Singapore, so I decided to go here!
From the Golden Mile Tower in Singapore, I booked a $28 bus through Easy Book that leaves at 6:30am (ouch), and arrives at the Mersing ferry port of Malaysia before noon. From there, I will purchase a ferry ticket directly to Rawa Island. According to what I’ve read online, ferries depart every 1-2 hours depending on the tide.
Once I arrive to the island, I plan to go swimming and also rent some snorkeling gear. I hear there are water slides here as well, so I really want to try them out! Essentially this will be my relaxation day. Hopefully the weather will cooperate too!
At 5:30, I booked a bus to Kuala Lumpur from Mersing for $15 where I will be staying for 2 nights of this trip. The bus trip will be long, but it takes about the same amount of time from Vegas to the Grand Canyon which I endured at the beginning of the summer (5 hours). I chose to stay at the Sky Society hostel because it has a beautiful infinity pool and is less than $30 per night. Infinity pools are usually found on top of high buildings and create the illusion that they’re connected to the sky. I’m more than enthralled to swim in one!
Aug 5th: Exploring Kuala Lumpur
Once I wake up, I plan on taking a taxi or bus to the famous Batu Caves for some hiking and sightseeing. I am looking forward to seeing the famous Lord Murugan Statue there as well! I then plan on seeing some famous landmarks in the city like the Petronas Towers and Merdaka Square. If I have time, I want to see the Museum of Illusions and the bird park too!
At night, I want to wander around Petaling Street and try some street food. This area of the city sounds like it’s always bustling, so it should be a great place to start the night. There’s a bar called Skulldaggery around which caught my attention as well. If I have enough energy, I plan on checking out some clubs too. I’m not sure how Malaysia’s night life compares to other countries, but I’m willing to check it out!
Aug 6th: Sky Mirror Beach
One of the most mesmerizing attractions in Malaysia is Sky Mirror Beach, which clearly reflects your reflection on the surface of its low tide during certain times of the day! Because it is a bit remote, I booked a tour through Veltra to go there from my accommodation in Kuala Lumpur. I will be doing some experimental photography there while enjoying the beautiful natural phenomenon. There is also some unique sea shells and marine life that you can see!
At night, I will be returning to Singapore via a cheap flight I booked through Jetstar airlines. Though this trip is only a few days, I know it will be extremely fulfilling! I also know I’ll be extremely exhausted from all of this traveling, so this time is sufficient.
Aug 7th: Returning to Tokyo
I will fly back to Tokyo via the very first flight of the morning at 5:05am! The time is a bit dreadful, but I am extremely fortunate that I was able to take a budget trip here.
Please look forward to my future posts! I’m extremely fortunate to be able to see two more gorgeous Asian countries and their beautiful beaches. I aim to share my backpacking experience so others may enjoy it and use it for reference. I’m excited for yet another aesthetic adventure filled with unforgettable memories. I love traveling alone because it gives me the chance to reflect on my life and prepare for the future!