Entering Singapore was one of the most annoying things that have ever happened to me while travelling; mainly because I entered Singapore by land, which is by no means a bad idea – if you keep some things in mind that I didn’t.
I travelled from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by bus because buses were a) super cheap and b) the most luxurious thing I’ve ever seen (that was even comfier than my couch!!). Till Checkpoint Woodgate everything was fine – and then everything went so damn wrong.
Advice number one: Of course you need an immigration card for entering Singapore – I got that told after queuing for an hour (as only two counters in the whole checkpoint were open and several groups of Chinese have just arrived). But heey, no worries, I just went back to fill in my immigration card to queue for another hour.
Advice number two: Never, ever bring selfmade alcohol to Singapore! My father is producing alcohol (full-time, and please, don’t laugh about that fact now) so of course I got a bottle (without a proper label but pictures of my parents and brother instead) as present for my travels. When I got asked at luggage control if I carry any alcohol with me I truly answered yes (even though it was just 100ml) and showed the bottle to the police officer. He looked at it for 15 minutes (three other police officers followed) as they didn’t see any official label, just my parents’ and brother’s head instead. Then they decided it can’t be that bad (and that I’m too cute to carry dangerous stuff with me) and allowed me to enter the country.
Advice number three: The buses you travel to Singapore with will wait for you, but they won’t wait two and a half hours for you.
Advice number four: As an alternative, there are public transport buses departing directly from Checkpoint Woodgate.
Advice number five: You need to pay for the ticket in cash though.
Advice number six: You won’t find any ATM or exchange office within the whole Checkpoint of Woodgate.
Advice number seven: Finding the exit of Woodgate is more than complicated. My new plan was to leave Woodgate, find an ATM and a train station somewhere in Singapore and get to the city centre but I couldn’t even find the entry (or the exit of Woodgate) into the country!! And then the probably most embarrassing thing ever happened: I found myself in the exit area of Woodgate!
Advice number eight: Try your best to never, ever get to the exit area accidentally. A friendly police officer realized that I was walking in the wrong direction and took me to the “collecting point for lost people in Woodgate” (true story). I was waiting here till some other unlucky people appeared that didn’t want to be in the exit but in the entry area. Then a police officer brought us back to the entry area and asked us why we got lost (hell yeah, of course I have a reason for getting lost and of course I did it on purpose uhh??). And then we were back in the entry hall and needed to get through luggage control…
Advice number nine: There are just very few non-Asian people at Woodgate, so when I arrived at luggage control again everyone still remembered me and my strange bottle of alcohol… so much fun! (Irony off)
Advice number ten: Yes, finally I found the exit. But even though there were signs for a subway… there was none. Later on I found out that the subway is 2km away from Checkpoint Woodgate. So this night my Singapore adventures ended in a taxi that brought me to the city centre.
Advice number eleven: Singapore was worth all the troubles!!!
After almost three weeks in Thailand it was like heaven to arrive in a clean and orderly city (and if there is such a thing as an “orderly city” surely Singapore is no. 1!). I was amazed by this super new and cool city. And I’m now at a point where I can laugh so much of the story of how I didn’t find the countries entry.