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How to Plan a Trip to Singapore and Thailand

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Planning a trip to two of Southeast Asia’s most enchanting destinations, Singapore and Thailand, can be an exhilarating adventure. Both of these two countries offer diverse cultural experiences, stunning natural beauty, and budget-friendly travel options. In Singapore, you can explore a mix of cultures, enjoy cityscapes, and savor a variety of foods. In Thailand, you’ll find beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and historical sites like the Bridge over the River Kwai. Both countries have excellent transportation systems and a wide range of accommodation and dining choices to fit any budget. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, nature lover, or budget traveler, these destinations have something for everyone.

This article will guide you through the essential steps to ensure your journey is not only well-organized but also filled with unforgettable experiences.

How Many Days to Plan for a Singapore and Thailand Trip?

The length of your Singapore and Thailand trip depends on what you want to experience. To cover the main attractions in both countries, plan for at least 12 days. If you have more time, extending your stay to two weeks or more allows for a more relaxed pace and deeper exploration.

You can spend about 3-4 days in Singapore, exploring the multicultural city, enjoying the skyline views, indulging in a food tour, and experiencing the exciting night safari. In Thailand, allocate at least 10 days for visiting Bangkok, where you can explore the Grand Palace, iconic temples, the bustling railway market, take a scenic longtail boat ride, and savor a foodie tour. If you have extra time, consider venturing to other Thai destinations like Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge over the River Kwai, Erawan Falls, and stay overnight in a floating house, or head to the tropical islands of Phuket or Koh Samui for beach relaxation, water sports, vibrant nightlife, and cultural experiences.

Thailand Chao Phraya River
Boat Trip on Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand

Best Time to Visit Singapore and Thailand

The ideal time to go to Singapore and Thailand depends on what you like and when you prefer to travel because these two countries have different weather, events, and attractions during the year. Here are some general tips to help you plan your trip:

  • If you want to enjoy the nicest weather, it’s best to visit Singapore and Thailand from November to March when the weather is pleasant and dry. However, keep in mind that this is the busiest time for tourists, so prices may be higher, and there will be more people around. During this period, you can explore the beautiful landscapes and engage in various outdoor activities in both countries.
  • If you’re interested in experiencing cultural festivals, plan your visit to Singapore in November for the Lantern Festival and to Thailand in April for the Songkran Festival.
  • To save money and avoid crowds, consider going to Singapore and Thailand between May and September when it’s hot and rainy. This is the off-peak tourist season, so you can find better deals on accommodation, flights, and tours. However, be prepared for occasional afternoon showers, possible flooding, or haze from nearby Indonesia.

See also The Best Times to Visit Singapore, Best Time to Visit Thailand

Transportation Between Singapore and Thailand?

There are various ways to travel between Singapore and Thailand, and your choice will depend on your budget, schedule, and preferences. Here are some options to consider:

By Plane: 

This is the quickest and most convenient method. Several airlines offer direct flights to different Thai cities like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Hat Yai. Typically, the flight takes around 2 to 3 hours. You can check flight schedules and prices on search engines like Bing or other online platforms.

By Car:

While more adventurous and scenic, driving between Singapore and Thailand is time-consuming and expensive. The route involves passing through Malaysia, crossing the border at Padang Besar or Sadao. The total distance is roughly 1,243 miles, taking about 23 hours of driving time, excluding breaks and traffic delays. Expenses like tolls, fuel, parking, and insurance also add up.

By Bus:

This is a more economical and eco-friendly option, though less comfortable and predictable. Several bus companies offer direct or indirect services from Singapore to Bangkok or other Thai cities. The bus journey can vary from 24 to 40 hours, depending on the route, traffic, and border crossings.

By Train:

A more relaxed and culturally enriching choice, but also slower and less frequent. You’d need to take a train from Singapore to Johor Bahru in Malaysia, then switch to another train heading to Padang Besar or Butterworth in Malaysia. From there, you can catch a train to Bangkok or other Thai destinations. The train ride can range from 30 to 48 hours, depending on schedules and connections.

Train Between Singapore and Thailand
Train Between Singapore and Thailand

What to See and Do

Singapore

In Singapore, you can immerse yourself in the modern and diverse cityscape. You’ll find famous landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Merlion Park, and Singapore Flyer. The ethnic neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, and Joo Chiat, offer a taste of various cuisines, cultures, and attractions. If you’re up for excitement, explore world-class attractions like Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari, and Sentosa Island. And, of course, there’s plenty of shopping to do at malls, markets, and streets like Orchard Road, Bugis Street, Mustafa Centre, and VivoCity.

Thailand

In Thailand, you can delve into the country’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. Start in Bangkok, the capital, where you can visit the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Chatuchak Weekend Market, and the lively Khao San Road. If you’re seeking a more serene experience, venture to the northern city of Chiang Mai, known for its Lanna culture, Doi Suthep Temple, cooking classes, and elephant sanctuary tours. And for some relaxation and beach time, explore the southern islands and shores like Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lipe.

See also Top Things to Do in Singapore, Top 10 Things to Do in Thailand

Stay Safe and Healthy

Here are some tips to help you get ready for and enjoy your trip:

  • Health Precautions: Before you depart, consult with your doctor regarding any vaccinations or medications needed for your destination.
  • Travel Insurance: Purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes coverage for medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and repatriation in case of unforeseen emergencies.
  • Safe Drinking Water: While you’re in Singapore and Thailand, it’s best to avoid drinking tap water or using ice cubes in your beverages. Stick to bottled water or water that’s been boiled, and use this water for brushing your teeth as well. It’s also a good practice to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before eating or touching your face.
  • Food Safety: To minimize the risk of food-related illnesses, steer clear of consuming raw or undercooked food, particularly seafood, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Make sure to peel or wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.
  • Protection from Insects: Protect yourself from insect bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes. Diseases transmitted by insects, such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, and filariasis, are prevalent in Thailand and can have serious consequences.
  • Safe Driving: If you plan to drive or ride a motorbike in Singapore and Thailand, be cautious. Traffic rules and road conditions might differ from what you’re accustomed to. Always wear a helmet, adhere to local laws and regulations, and avoid driving at night or in adverse weather conditions.
  • Respect Local Culture: Show respect for the local culture and customs of Singapore and Thailand. Avoid making derogatory comments about the royal family, government, religion, or national symbols of either country. When visiting temples or religious sites, dress modestly, remove your shoes before entering, and refrain from touching or pointing at statues or images of Buddha or other religious figures. Additionally, avoid touching anyone’s head or feet, as these are considered sacred parts of the body.

Budget for a Singapore and Thailand Trip

The cost of a trip to Singapore and Thailand can vary depending on your travel style and preferences, but here are some rough estimates based on average prices for accommodation, dining, attractions, and transportation in these two countries.

Accommodation:

Singapore tends to be pricier than Thailand for lodging. On average, a night in a hotel for a couple in Singapore can set you back about SG$266 ($196), while in Thailand, you’d be looking at around THB2,555 ($73) per night. However, there are budget-friendly options like hostels, guesthouses, or capsule hotels in both places, as well as more luxurious hotels or resorts if you’re willing to splurge.

Singapore Raffles Hotel
Raffles Hotel in Singapore

Dining and Refreshments:

Both Singapore and Thailand offer a diverse range of culinary experiences, spanning from street food to upscale dining. In Singapore, you might spend approximately SG$37 ($27) per day on meals, whereas in Thailand, you could budget around THB605 ($17) per day for food. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages tend to be pricier in Singapore due to higher taxes. For instance, a pint of beer might cost you around SG$10 ($7) in Singapore, while in Thailand, you could expect to pay about THB60 ($2).

Attractions and Activities: 

There’s no shortage of attractions and activities to enjoy in both Singapore and Thailand, catering to various interests. In Singapore, popular attractions include Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Universal Studios, and the Singapore Zoo. On average, you might spend about SG$40 ($29) per day on such activities. Meanwhile, in Thailand, must-visit places include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Phi Phi Islands, and Chiang Mai. The average daily cost for attractions and activities in Thailand is approximately THB1,000 ($29).

Transportation:

In Singapore, the public transportation system is highly efficient and budget-friendly, covering most parts of the city. A single bus or train ride typically costs between $0.80 to $2.00 USD (approximately S$1.10 to S$2.80). If you opt for a taxi, fares usually range from $5 to $15 USD (around S$7 to S$20), depending on factors like traffic and additional charges. Ride-hailing apps like Grab or Gojek are also available and tend to be slightly cheaper than traditional taxis. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle or a scooter for approximately $10 to $15 USD (roughly S$14 to S$20) per day to explore the city at your own pace.

In Thailand, the public transportation network is more diverse and less advanced, with various options like buses, trains, tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis, and songthaews (shared pickup trucks) serving different regions. In Thailand, a single bus or train ride typically costs around $0.30 to $1.00 USD (approximately 10 to 30 THB). For short trips in tuk-tuks or on motorbike taxis, fares usually range from $1 to $3 USD (around 30 to 100 THB), depending on the distance and your bargaining skills. Ride-hailing apps like Grab or Bolt are also available and are similar in price to or slightly more expensive than tuk-tuks or motorbike taxis. Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike for approximately $5 to $10 USD (around 150 to 300 THB) per day to explore the country at your own pace.

Remember that these are just general estimates, and your actual expenses can vary based on your choices and preferences during your trip.

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