backpacking in the lion city

The backpacking culture is peculiar to a small global community of people with common understanding and perception of traveling. I experienced the true blue backpacking niche first hand when Monette and I flew to Singapore. We booked a separate flight so she arrived 18 hours earlier. She got to explore the city more than I did but it’s alright since it wasn’t my first time to be there.

It was a bit difficult that time since Monette doesn’t have any mode of communication that will connect her to me. Her mobile phone flew out the window days before the trip. So we relied on an agreement that “we’ll see each other in Singapore around 12ish” (which happened two days before my flight schedule) So it’s a punch-in-the-dark appointment to meet-up in a 710.2 sq km city, populated with 4.8 million inhabitants.

Where should I go upon touch down?  So I followed my instinct and went directly to the Hostel. When I arrived, as expected, she was in the veranda yakking with a young lady. I thought, she could’ve been a co-traveler staying in the hostel. Apparently she’s also a Filipina, working as the branch manager of the home stay. So I immediately felt at home.

fernloft double room

We barely slept, we only had less than 24 hours to roam around the lion city, so we were always at the tip of our toes, running around trying to enjoy Singapore while figuring-out how to get to KL before the break of dawn.

Looking for a good place to stay is easy, although the rate is the priciest as compared to neighboring cities in this part of Asia, getting a good one isn’t really a problem. We stayed in a home stay popular to backpackers. We booked three hostels and since it was the peak season, the only one that got an available room for us was Fernloft in the heart of Chinatown.

planning the day

Other than Ate Maria (the Pinay Manager) the only Asians who were checked-in would be us. The rest are European wanderlusts, staying there for the leg of their Asian adventure. Everyone was nice and friendly and would instantly give a nod and/or a smile at least, in most cases, they would start a conversation that would last for hours sharing stories of our (mis)adventures.

leave your shoes out

morning fix

After sleeping for less than three hours, we prepped-up, ate our free self served breakfast (toast, jam, peanut butter and a cup of coffee). What is really amazing in this backpacking culture, at least based on our experience, is that you can trust everyone; you can simply leave your backpack in the common room unattended and it will be just fine. I personally proved this first hand when I left my brown envelope with all my pocket money on top of the computer desk, I came back after an hour with two French ladies on the desk, and my brown envelope—untouched.

Views from Fernloft Hostel’s veranda

view from the veranda 1

view from the veranda 3

view from the veranda 2


Dorm – SG$20/person
Private – SG$30/room (can accommodate 2)
Blk 5 Banda Street #02-92, located on second floor
Singapore 050005
Tel: +65 9838 6718 / +65 6323 3221
Fax: +65 6323 3221

Dorm – SG$20/person
Private – SG$45-60/room (can accommodate 2)
624 Serangoon Rd.
Singapore 218223
Tel: +65 6341 5041

Dorm – SG$20/person
Private – SG$60/room (can accommodate 2)
200 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427471
Telephone: (65) 6247 7340



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  • Mr Whattaworld

    August 28, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    There backpacker haven in Little India, it is a very vibrant community…

    Hope you enjoyed the place I am calling home for the time being! 🙂

  • flipntravels

    August 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks! We have a review of the place coming right up within this week. Singapore is a lovely place we will definitely go back to! 😀

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