Tourists Explore S’pore On S$50 Budget, Enjoy Hawker Food & Sightseeing At HDB Estate

Tourists Prove Singapore Is Affordable If You Dine At Hawker Centres & Avoid Attractions

Recently, a TikToker’s hot take on Singapore being expensive and lacking substance caused quite a stir online. Since then, many locals and even other tourists have tried to put her assumptions to the test, by visiting non-touristy places like hawker centres and the heartlands.

Among them are travel vlogger Jayesh Chhaya and his girlfriend Karolina, who explored our sunny shores early this month.

They recorded and uploaded several videos of their time here, with one titled “How EXPENSIVE is Singapore? ON A BUDGET”.

In that post, the pair challenged themselves to spend no more than S$50 in a day as they wandered around the city.

Catch bird’s eye view of Singapore under S$10

The go-to place for most tourists hoping to see Singapore from above tends to be Marina Bay Sands (MBS), either from the infinity pool or SkyPark Observation Deck.

But instead of making a beeline there, Jayesh and Karolina headed to Pinnacle@Duxton along Cantonment Road in Tanjong Pagar.

Source: Jayesh Chhaya on YouTube

They showed the process of getting to the highest floor, first having to locate the management office to purchase EZ-Link cards at S$6 per person to gain access.

Once they reached the top, the couple was quite mesmerised by the unobstructed views, which included the sea and port nearby.

Source: Jayesh Chhaya on YouTube

They noted that there’s no time limit for visitors to enjoy the space, which is rather “peaceful” with few to no people around.

More importantly, it costs just about a fifth of what one would have to pay to access the MBS SkyPark Observation Deck. According to the MBS website, tickets are S$24 for adult residents and S$32 for non-residents.

Sure, you can’t quite liken the views from both places, but Jayesh highly recommends Pinnacle@Duxton because “you get to see Singapore from a completely different perspective than what you might see from Marina Bay Sands”.

Enjoy char siew rice at Tiong Bahru hawker centre

With S$38 left in their budget, Jayesh and Karolina went to Tiong Bahru Food Centre next.

There, they shared a plate of rice with roasted duck, pork, and char siew, which set them back about S$6. They completed the meal with a refreshing sugarcane drink for S$2.50.

Source: Jayesh Chhaya on YouTube

The pair seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meal and proceeded to walk around the hawker centre more as rain poured.

They purchased some chwee kueh at S$3.30 for five pieces, which they described to be very soft and “melts in your mouth”.

Source: Jayesh Chhaya on YouTube

Jayesh later approached the stall owner to exclaim that the food was tasty and to ask what ingredients were used.

They had a wholesome interaction, in which he expressed his hopes to return to Singapore and visit the stall again.

Karolina also bought a cup of kopi O, which cost her about S$0.80.

Clothing not as affordable as food

The couple’s next stop was Bugis Street, which they travelled to via public bus.

They decided to attempt to find a T-shirt for S$10 there but realised it was impossible after making several rounds.

Source: Jayesh Chhaya on YouTube

Among the cheaper options they found was S$15 but Jayesh noted that clothes at Bugis Street tend to cost around S$18 on average.

Somewhat defeated but persisting with their budget challenge, the couple went in search of snacks and ended up at an ang ku kueh shop.

They got two packets of peanut and yam ang ku kuehs which amounted to S$6.40. They sat outside Bugis Junction to try the sweet treats, which they found strange initially but ended up liking.

Source: Jayesh Chhaya on YouTube

The duo later dropped by Golden Mile Food Centre, where they ordered an iced Milo kosong and iced teh O kosong for S$3.

They also patronised a wanton mee stall, where the vendor kindly offered them extra food and even some to take away.

At the end of the video, they estimated their total expenditure for the day to be around S$38, well under their S$50 budget.

Singapore can be fun even on a budget

While Jayesh and Karolina didn’t outrightly dispel claims that Singapore is expensive, their mini adventure certainly proves that you can accomplish a lot here even on a budget.

They got to experience Singapore the way locals do and try some yummy food too.

We hope the couple had a wonderful time here and will come back to explore the city again.

If you’d like to follow more of their adventures, you can follow Jayesh on YouTube and Instagram.

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Featured image adapted from @jayeshchhaya on Instagram and Instagram.

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