Singapore ICA Building Lobby Food Court

I had a pleasantly delicious meal in the Singapore ICA cafe. I was expecting it to suck since the cafe looked quite sterile and canteen-like.

However, the popiah was surprisingly delicious. The nasi lemak was slightly above average, and I also got to try a traditional peranakan savory kueh.

Driving a Rental Car in Singapore

On my recent trip to Singapore, I decided that I would try renting a car.

My Chevorlet rental car from Avis.

I am an American and used to left-hand-drive cars, but adjusting to a right-hand-drive car was not as difficult as I imagined. Anyway, here are some tips and lessons I learned from my week of driving in Singapore.

Cashcard & IU are crucial.
The rental car comes with an IU unit that is triggered at ERP gantries and electronic parking lots. You will need to buy a NETS cashcard from 7-11 to put in the IU. Make sure that you push the NETS card ALL THE WAY into the IU slot! You will know you have done it correctly if the IU beeps and displays your balance.

If you drive thru an ERP gantry without proper cashcard inserted, you will be fined S$10 + ERP fee.

Parking enforcement seems to be lax.
In HDB parking lots and public parking lots, you are supposed to buy punch out parking cards and display them on your dashboard. I kept forgetting to buy parking cards, but fortunately did not get any fines. I reckon that the Singapore government is so rich that they don’t need to nickel-and-dime their citizens over petty fines (unlike the US).

Parking in malls is cheaper after 7pm.
After 7pm, most malls on Orchard seem to charge a flat per-entry fee of around S$4 rather than a time-based fee. Parking during daytime can be really expensive. Always try to have S$10 in your NETS card so you don’t have to stress about not having enough money for parking etc.

Singaporean drivers are quite polite and traffic is very light
I didn’t have any near-accidents because Singaporeans drive relatively carefully. Traffic-levels were a dream, especially considering that Singapore is the most densely populated city in the world. The government’s strict control of car-ownership has a great effect of preventing traffic jams.

You’re not supposed to park in double yellow curbs, but a lot of people do anyway.
On a related note, absolutely no stopping or parking at double zigzag curbs.

Singapore roads are built like arteries.
In America, we are used to streets being built in a grid-like fashion, which makes it pretty intuitive to navigate without GPS. However, Singapore’s road design is more like an artery system which branches out from the CBD toward the edges of the island. This artery system makes it VERY un-intuitive to navigate without GPS. Make sure you have a smartphone with Google maps. It makes point-to-point driving MUCH easier.

Familiarize yourself with the expressways and their terminals.
I found myself using the PIE (Pan Island Expressway) and CTE often. If you are going to and from Changi Airport, you will probably find yourself using the ECP (East Coast Parkway).

Haji Kadir Sup Tulang – Golden Mile Hawker Centre

Went to Haji Kadir on my first visit to Singapore to try the Sup Tulang that Anthony Bourdain made so famous.

Hope you brought some napkins!

It was good, but wish they would take it easy on the red sauce. The red sauce was overpowering the natural flavors of the meet and marrow. A novelty that everyone should try on their first trip to Singapore, but I probably won’t be coming here regularly by myself.

Bangkok Thai Hawker Stall – 369 Tanjong Katong Road

This is my favorite Thai seafood place in Singapore. It is located in the hawker centre adjacent to the youth hostel on Tanjong Katong road. I’ve been here 4 times and each time is a delicious, sensory overloading experience.

Crunchy fish with exotic thai sauces

The show-stopper here is the Thai fried fish. They fry a fish and then smother it with exotic Thai sauces. It is out of this world!

Seafood salad, good but nothing special

Tom yum soup, nice and spicy

Shot of their stall.

Expect to pay roughly S$30 for a fantastic meal for 2! I literally visit this place every time I am in town.

XO Noodle at Newton Hawker Centre – Singapore

This is actually my 4th time eating the XO Noodle Set at this hawker stall.

XO Noodles, soup, and fried cheese-tofu and tempura

This place was actually where I got my first taste of Hawker fare when I first visited Singapore. I’ve gotten hooked on their XO noodle set since then. They no longer advertise the XO set, but if you ask for it, they will hook you up.

They’ve got pics of celebrities on their stall, so I reckon this place might be famous? Regardless, I will continue to eat the XO set here, it is consistently good!

Oasia Hotel Singapore – Novena

On my last trip to Singapore, I decided to try a new hotel, the Oasia next to Novena MRT.

It is a new hotel owned by Far East Organization, a large real-estate developer in Singapore. I think it is a great hotel. Really nice pool area, OK gym, and good location near the Novena MRT.

Singapore Airlines Lounge – Terminal 3, Changi Airport

On my flight from SIN -> KUL, I had booked a business class flight since economy was full. Total waste of money since the flight is only 30 minutes long, but on the bright side, I got to check out the Singapore Airlines lounge in Terminal 3.

Terrific buffet spread!

WOW, great buffet spread, trendy interior design, and very courteous staff.

Really enjoyed this Malaysian pineapple drink as well!