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Take the train and sit back
Life size Chinese sailing junk, which would have plied between Guangzhou and Oman. Maritime Experiential Museum. Picture: Stephen Scourfield/The West Australian

Not everyone has transfers included in their flight package. I didn't.

Guide to Singapore:
RAPIDLY CHANGING
BOLD AND FUN
CALM AND COLONIAL
THE HUMAN SPIRIT OF ART

I didn't worry about it. Rather than getting a taxi from Singapore's Changi International Airport to my hotel in the city, I thought I'd just use the MRT. With luggage in tow, it'd be a good test of it.

So after collecting my bag, I just followed the English signs to the left: "MRT to city". I had already decided to buy a three-day Singapore Tourist Pass for $S30 ($22.87), but you have to walk over the walkway bridge and down to the far side of the platform to do this.

The pass is available for one ($S20), two ($S26) or three days and gives tourists unlimited rides on Singapore's public transport system, which includes the MRT, LRT and basic bus services. Since March, passes can be bought online for delivery overseas.

I easily followed the signs and took the East-West line to Tanah Merah, which changes seamlessly on to the main section of the line heading towards Joo Koon in the west, got off at Outram Park and changed on to the North-East Line, again easily. The MRT train system in Singapore is easy to use. And the sooner you get used to using it, the more Singapore opens up for you.

As I approached an escalator, an elderly man stepped back and signalled me to go ahead, with my bags. I shook my head at first, but he insisted - and I knew I was in Singapore.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES


• Take the MRT to Raffles Place then walk along Singapore River and enjoy the grand British colonial architecture of the Asian Civilisation Museum, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, The Arts House at the Old Parliament, the Old Supreme Court and The Fullerton Hotel.
• For lunch, go to Asia Grand at nearby Odeon Towers (City Hall MRT Station for Peking duck and other Chinese dishes or dine at the food courts at Raffles City or Suntec Convention Centre (via underground City Link Mall).
• For shopping, go between City Link Mall to Raffles City. Then take a train from City Hall MRT Station to Orchard Road for more popular stores.
• Visit the Night Safari wildlife park (Choa Chu Kang MRT Station, NS4; change to bus no. 927). Or head down to iconic dance club Zouk. (Orchard MRT Station, NS22; change to Bus No. 16 or 123 from Orchard Boulevard). thesingaporetouristpass.com