Travel Budget: Singapore and Malacca Birthday Trip

I honestly wasn’t looking forward to tallying up my expenses for my last trip, yet at the same time, I was eager to see just how much damage I did. And if I really spent enough to buy the 50mm f1.4 lens I wanted. I didn’t, but a couple more thousands and I could’ve bought the 35mm f1.8. I’m just consoling myself that at least I’ve finished my Christmas shopping in one go and bought some things I really wanted for myself.

Also, I realized how relatively cheap Malacca is for a daytrip from Singapore. The drive from the island to the heritage town is more than double the time it takes to drive down from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca, but it’s a better alternative to Johor Bahru, where most Filipinos go for a visa run. For about Php 2,000, you can do this day trip from Singapore. That already include the bus (public bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru, domestic bus from Larkin Terminal to Malacca), admission fees, meals and transport within Malacca. Melaka is compact enough that you can just walk to see the main attractions. I’m definitely heading back there when I go to Singapore.

Oh, I’ve omitted my personal shopping expenses from this travel budget. It’s certainly not for public consumption.

Birthday Trip
November 24 – December 2
S$1 = PHP33 MYR1 = PHP13.48
In local currency In Peso
Air Transfers
Philippine Airlines
Manila – Singapore – Manila PHP 7,216.00 PHP 7,216.00 1

Terminal Fee (NAIA) PHP 750.00 PHP 750.00
Taxi to and from Airport PHP 720.00 PHP 720.00

Land Transfers
Singapore to Malacca SGD 22.00 PHP 796.91 2
Malacca to Singapore MYR 22.00 PHP 296.56 3

Twenty Guesthouse
2 nights, double room MYR 200.00 PHP 2,696.00 4

Food Expense
Singapore SGD 114.05 PHP 3,763.65 5
Malaysia MYR 77.44 PHP 1,043.89 6

Transport Expense
Singapore SGD 36.00 PHP 1,188.00 7
Malaysia MYR 30.00 PHP 404.40 8

Travel Insurance PHP 420.00 PHP 420.00
Roaming PHP 856.75 PHP 856.75
Singapore Mobile Credit SGD 15.00 PHP 495.00
Admission Fees MYR 25.00 PHP 337.00 9
Miscellaneous SGD 29.80 PHP 983.40 10
Total PHP 21,967.56
1 This was one of PAL’s promo, which in hindsight, is now their current Econolight. You get the (relatively) cheap fare, no-seat restrictions, full meals, but allowed only 15kl check-in baggage.
2 Citi Express bus from the Kovan Hub. Ticket was purchased online, and amount in peso is based on my credit card bill.
3 Same bus line, but I bought the ticket at Malacca Sentral. Good thing I did, because it’s more than 50% cheaper than the fare from Singapore.
4 The guesthouse is right in the middle of Jonker Street. Pretty pricey, specially considering that it doesn’t have ensuite toilet and bath, but since it’s my birthday I decided to splurge.
5 I didn’t eat out as much in Singapore, but the couple of times I was out, I decided to try out some restaurants. Pricey~~~~
6 This could definitely be cheaper, but I just had to do the touristy thing and try out those chicken rice restaurants.
7 This includes two taxi rides and a $10 top up on my brother’s EZ-link card. I definitely used more than SG$10 on that card. About $5.00 of the total amount I used on his EZ-link card was the ride on SBS bus 170 from Johor to Sengkang.
8 This was just two taxi rides: to and from Melaka Sentral.
9 Malacca river cruise, Tortura 2 exhibit, and photography pass for the exhibit. You’re allowed to take photos of the exhibit using your camera phone, but take out a DSLR and you have to pay a fee.
10 These are items which are neither food, transport or shopping/souvenir item. These are the things I used, like the travel adaptor I had to buy since I forgot to bring my adaptor.
Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 10 Comments
  1. Babsy says:

    Oh, how I love to travel like you do.

  2. chyng says:

    Funny, SG-Malacca is SGD 22, while Malacca-SG is MYR 22 only. Super expensive nga sa SG!

  3. nina says:

    Babsy: Try it, it’s fun :)

    Chyng: It’s the same with the train, it’s the exact same figure, but in ringgit instead of dollars. I think that’s how it goes for public transport from MY to SG. My friend told me that I shouldn’t have used my EZ-link card on the public bus to SG and paid in ringgit instead because the exchange rate (on the buses at least) is SG$1 = MYR 1. So it’s really cheaper to travel from Malaysia to Singapore than the other way round :) Your money goes a lot further in Malaysia.

  4. tia says:

    hi! i’m planning a trip to singapore/kuala lumpur this march. i came across your blog while i was searching for hotel deals. can you recommend a decent hotel in singapore, malacca and malaysia that can be booked online? i actually don’t know what to do when i get there regarding the transportation to the places, etc. i will be backpacking so please help me! :) thanks so much!!

  5. ming says:

    we’re planning to go to singapore next week., do u have any idea how my mom can send me money while am in singapore if in case i’ll be short.

  6. charade says:

    hi nina ;) thanks for sharing your expenses for us to have an idea how much we will be spending too ;P anyways, is there a fee imposed my malysian govt for crossing from Singapore to Malacca?

  7. lei says:

    im really a fan of ur blog.. it gives me info on wat to do on new locations i will be.
    i wnt to ask u nina in traveling to singapore do u need a visa? and how can i acquire it if ever and it ol its requirements..
    really aprereciate it for the rep =)

    • nina says:

      Hi Lei, if you’re holding a Philippine passport, you do not need to apply for a tourist visa. You just need your valid passport when you go there. I’ve been hearing from friends that immigration officials have been asking them to present their company IDs, so best to bring that too, just in case.

  8. lei says:

    thanks for the heads up =)

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