|Language:||English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil|
|Currency:||Singapore dollar (SGD)|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='sg' />|
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Singaporean here! (jon) Welcome to the smallest country in Asia. Not even kidding. But also the richest country.
Most Singaporeans speak an almost perfect English, often as their first language. Don't be surprised when you walk in and you might find folks speaking better English than their western counterparts.
Singapore's in the divide between east and west, so folks aren't very concerned about race at all and both eastern and western traditions exist within the webbing of this society - you'll find Singapore the most multi-cultural city in the world, and the easiest to co-exist as well. That being said, if you're a westerner, you'll still be assumed to be a tourist.
Hitchhiking is very rare within Singapore, mainly because it is a city and public transport is very good. So most folks here would have only seen it in movies and books. You'll get surprised faces. Also, there's a law that's stricter than 99% of countries in the world - cars here can't be owned past 20 years. And every 10 years you pay 40,000 USD to renew your license. So every car is generally worth about upwards of 100,000 USD (even the cheapest toyotas) ... which leads to people being really careful with their vehicles. Not sure if this would affect hitchability because I've never tried. But yeah it's interesting because everyone who drives past you with anything above a Camry is likely a millionare in assets.
For those who are crossing borders to Malaysia, there is a checkpoint in the North called "Woodlands checkpoint" and another checkpoint in the West called "Tuas checkpoint".
If you arrive by flight to SIN, and plan to cross the border overland, check the "Airport" section!
in my travels folks say Singapore is expensive, but I disagree! Compared to Western countries, Singapore still gives you so many great prices which are otherwise inflated up north for a city with the best infrastructure and technology.
It's more expensive relative to the rest of Asia, no doubt. What could cost you 1USD for a bowl of noodles in Malaysia would cost you 3/4USD here.
But if you need to eat cheaply, supermarkets are still amazingly affordable - a packet of bread would go for around 2USD, ham for 2USD, cheese for 2 - you can get by. And hawker centres offer the cheapest and fastest selections of food ALL OVER the island - Singapore is famous for these stalls. People run these stalls for 30 years + and get to become experts in the art of making just one dish.
Public transport is cheap and I would recommend getting an Ez-Link card if you're planning to stay for more than 5 days. It's more worth it than the ticket.
I've only known of two people who've hitchhiked into Singapore - Yahn Adam and Artur Nitbritt. It's hard, and taking the bus is incredibly cheap (around $3 SGD or $2 USD) from the Johor Bahru side.
But if you've managed to hitchhike in good on you. Once you get into Singapore there are public toilets galore and malls for wifi just about everywhere.
You can either take public transportation to Malaysia, hitch from the border or hitch a boat to leave the city / country.
Bus or Metro
From the Airport, take the "JB Shuttle Bus" which takes you to JB = Johor Bahru in Malaysia, just over the border. Cost: $7 SGD (sept 2011)
Or take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transport = Metro) : Red Line to "Marsiling station" (Attention: the border checkpoint is called Woodlands, don't get out at Woodlands station but in Marsiling which is closer). From there take the bus 950 that takes you to JB. Then you can hitch out of customs just walking up the road. It is definitely illegal, but it is rare to be harassed by police for standing right on the freeway in Malaysia.
Take the MRT from the airport (Changi Airport) from the Green Line and transfer to the Red Line, to woodlands station. You can take multiple buses to JB, just type into google maps "JB Sentral Mall" and you'll see a number of buses come up, they're pretty reasonable.
It's more likely that you're to be questioned by police in Singapore for hitchhiking, and get lots of curious stares, than if you do it in Singapore. Singaporeans have only heard of the concept of hitchhiking through movies and books, because the country takes literally 30 minutes to traverse from one end to the other, and due to the dense road usage, it's generally not heard of.
Malaysians have seen more in their time, no doubt!
Hitchhiking from Singapore
From any point in the city, take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transport = Metro) : Red Line to "Marsiling station" (Attention: if the border checkpoint is called Woodlands, don't get out at Woodlands station but at Marsiling which is closer). The cost : around $3 SGD, don't forget to take the $1 refund when exiting the station.
You can try to hitch from the station on the road to the north (direction Johor / checkpoint), with a sign would help.
Or you can walk to customs, around 15 minutes, head towards the "checkpoint". Once past customs and you have your passport stamped, you come out in a bus station, you will need a ticket to board one, but you can also follow the "walking man" sign. It leads towards the bridge that makes the border. You may be stopped by several police officers stating that you can't walk to Malaysia. Say that you know what you are doing, that someone will pick you up there. Don't mention you are hitchhiking, they will just keep you longer telling you it's forbidden, and there's nowhere to pull over. Just stick to the pick-up story. Walk along the narrow side of the road, one minute, to the center of the bridge where there will be a large enough space for cars to stop. Hitch from there. There's a lot of traffic and you won't wait long.
Edit: there was so much traffic that walking was literally faster, I got to car check point but had to get up to bus terminal to get stamped and then inside Malaysia I hitchhiked in. Not easy to get a ride from the mall area of JB sentral... More advice is appreciated.
Once through Malaysian immigration you can just walk east out of the downstairs Bus Station and find the road that leads to the freeway towards KL. I have hitched here three times in recent years and each time i got a lift quite fast. Check the map for exact location.
Edit 2: I had absolutely no success trying the bridge spot, there was a lot of scooters parked there and because of that, little place for cars to stop (November 2017). IMO the best place would be the rightmost channel at the border checkpoint on the Malaysian side. You can either walk there all the way from the SG side of the border, or take a bus and find the stairs heading down to the checkpoint. There's plenty of space there to stop and cars are moving slow, eventually you will get someone to pick you up. (Mojo)
There is one ferry to an Indonesian island. Forget about entering the Singaporean port, I think the only way might be to get a ride on a yacht from a marina. There is one marina that might let you also enter without being member right next to Tuas checkpoint.
|Some parts of this article unrelated to hitchhiking should be moved to Nomadwiki.org instead. edit this article!|
Singapore has a very good public transport system, with a metro (MRT) doing the very long distances as well as many buses. Prices are usually relative to the distance for buses, but the MRT seems to be around $3 even for very long distances. I would not try to jump the gates of the MRT as there are cameras EVERYWHERE in Singapore. I don't know what the fine might be, but considering that you can be imprisoned for 7 years if you steal an apple in a shop or sentenced to death if you smoke a joint, I would not try... (toortoth)
If you arrive by flight to SIN, and plan to cross the border overland, make sure you made a fake return e-ticket from SIN (to anywhere). There is a high chance that they ask you for your return itinerary at the check-in counter of the departure airport. It's a new regulation in Singapore Customs. While in some cases if you explain you go overland they may let you in, they also can be annoying. While leaving CDG to SIN with Singapore Airlines they accepted my explanations, but when I left MEL to SIN with Jetstar they just didn't accept any explanation and I had to buy a ticket I would never use departing from SIN, at last minute leaving me no choice (toortoth). So make a fake, with a frame from another airline (in case they want to check in their own system, but they never do, it would be too long to check itineraries of all passengers, especially calling other companies). Cheapest ticket out of the country is most likely the Singapore-Batam ferry, can be booked online on batamfast.com for SGD15. Officially suggested by Jetstar.
The Gardens by the Bay is a huge park close to the Marina Bay Sands hotel. At night there are not many people and you can find a somewhat hidden place to sleep. You'll usually see some local crashing somewhere in the grass as well. At the south end, there is a building with a meadow on the roof. Downstairs, there are very clean public toilets with showers and drinking water fountains, open 24 hours.
Wildcamping here requires a permit if you want to stay by the sea, and the police are known to be quite stringent in this. At night the mosquitos are relentless as well, and it can be sweltering to camp out in Singapore. Many many many places such as Macdonalds and countless other chains are open 24hours to cater to the Singaporean lifestyle, so you can just find an airconditioned seat and nap there. Folks aren't adverse to it.
If you reaaaally want to wildcamp ... you can try lower pierce resevoir or upper pierce resevoir, two of the more deserted resevoirs at night. There isn't usually crime in Singapore so ... you'll be mostly safe.
Singapore Buddhist Lodge. The Kim Yan Road temple serves free vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am to 7pm. All are welcome regardless of their race or religion. In the queue one can find all sorts of people, from the homeless, unemployed, foreign students, foreign construction workers and of course some freeloaders who work nearby.
The Central Sikh Temple. The temple in Jalan Bukit Merah provides free vegetarian Indian lunches every day.
Nativity Church. This Catholic church at the end of Upper Serangoon Road provides free breakfast and lunch every day.
The Lutheran King of Glory Church in Norris Road, serves free meals every Sunday to ndian workers dring its Taml service.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This Buddhist temple at South Bridge Road provides free meal from 12.30pm to 6.30pm every day.
Tian Tao Temple at Sengkang invites foreign workes to its Sunday breakfast buffet.
Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society. They have meal centres in Toa Payoh (Blk 31 #01-663 Lor 5), Telok Blangah (Blk 3, #01-504, Telok Blangah Crescent) and MacPherson (Blk 90, #01-103, Pipit Road).
Sri Krisna Mandir. The Hindu religious group at No 9, Lor 29, Geylang. serves free vegetarian food from 11am to 10 pm daily. All are welcome.
Care Corner Seniors Activities Centre. The Centre at Toa Payoh, Lor 7 Blk 5 #01-131 serves free breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea for senior citizens. (http://www.carecorner.org.sg)
Free Hawker Meal Program. If you are a needy resident living in Tanglin-Cairnhill area, you can apply for help at the Tanjong Pagar GRC. The GRC, under the free Hawker meal Program provides $36 worth of meal vouchers every month to needy recipients for a year. You can exchange the $3 voucher for a free meal at selected food staff at some of the coffee shops in Bukit Merah View and Henderson Road.
Sutha Restaurant. This restaurant at Cuff Road provides free breakfast (from 7am to 9am) and dinner on weekdays only and lunch on Sundays. This is for stranded Indian workers in Singapore whose beds are the concrete walkways along Cuff Road. These distressed migrants are abandoned by their employees after their work injury or they are duped by the agents. To qualify for the free food, participants are asked to show a Special Pass (a govt-issued document, which means they do not have a work permit) or evidence that they are injured / have a case pending (a letter from a doctor/lawyer plus a work permit). It is funded by the Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) together with One Singapore.
Lamea Restaurant. The TWC2 provides free dinner for Bangladeshi at Lamea restaurant at Desker Road. (http://www.twc2.org.sg)
ACMI. A Catholic humanitarian group called the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People or ACMI, feeds migrant workers three times a week at its premise in No 2, Highland Road. The site is beside the Church of the Immaculate heart of Mary (http://www.catholic.org.sg/acmi/soupkitchen.htm).
The Migrant Workers Centre in Rangoon road provides free lunches once a month in parntership wth neigbouring restaurants. The center is a joint effort betweeen the NUTC and the Singapore national Employers Federation.
YWCA. Their meals-on-wheels for Elderly distributes free lunches to needy, frail and homebound senior citizens in Banda Street, Bukit Merah View, Cantonment Road, Holland Road, Lengkok Bahru, and Mei Ling Street.
Their Meals-on-wheels for Children program provides free dinner for children from Low-income families who are schooling in Zhangde Primary School, New Town Primary School, Queenstown Primary School, Gan Eng Seng Primary School and Beyong Social Services. For more information on the meals-on-wheels program, please contact Ms Celest Ling at 6223 1227.
The Willing Hearts, a secular group, distributes free food in 10 areas, among them Ang o Kio, Bukit merah and Hougang. Call 9690-2086 for more information.
The Terminator ($58) is a towering burger of 6 Wagyu Beef patties, layered with cheese, pieces of bacon and caramelised onions; with coleslaw and fries. Wolf it down in less than 20 minutes and the burger will be on the house. Address: 13 Dempsey Road Singapore 249674
The Beast Burger Challenge is wolfing down a whopping 7-pound burger consisting of slaw, pork, and fried chicken atop a generous, juicy beef patty, in between two buttery hot buns and sweet potato fries. Address: 17 Jalan Klapa Singapore 199329
TODAI Spicy Roll Eating Contest in the month of July and August. Address: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands #B2-01
Little Hiro burger challenge. The $25 meal of 8 patties and 500g fries will be on the house if you win the Superhiro Challenge by beating the fastest timing. Which makes this pretty hard to beat since the timing keeps improving. Address: 559 Bukit Timah Road, #01-01 King's Arcade, S269695
Sunset Grill and Pub (along Jalan Kayu shophouses) Level 35 Spicy Wings Address: 259 Jalan Kayu Singapore 799488
Southwest Tavern - complete Suicide Wings Challenge in 15 minutes. Address: 8 Boon Lay West Singapore 609964
The BWB Knockout Challenge is where you conquer either the wings or burgers faster than your opponent. You don't eat for free but you get 50% of your bill. Address: 181 Orchard Road #11-03/04 Orchard Central
Lau Pa Sat Stall 8 Satay Challenge. Beat the highest number of Satay sticks eaten within 20 minutes and your satay feast will be free. Address: 18 Raffles Quay Singapore 048582
Lagnaa Barefoot Dining Lagnaa Spicy Challenge. Qualify for Level 6 before proceeding through the Gates of Spices. Complete Level 7 and beyond, and your meal will be on the house. Address: 6 Upper Dickson Road Singapore 207466
The Chupitos Bar's What Dozen Kill You Makes You Stronger Challenge will satisfy the alcoholic in you. Finish 12 shooters in 30 minutes. Address: 3B River Valley Road #01-05 Singapore 179021
The Marina Bay Sands Casino offers unlimited free drinks. Coffee, soda, juice, etc. Also if you sign up for the free rewards program you get a complimentary 5 dollars to use anywhere in the mall. There is no minimum purchase to use the 5 dollars which means one can treat themselves to a free meal or very cheap meal depending on how hard you look around.
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