The squad booked the promo fare, you reserved a room in a hipster hotel, and your vacation leave is miraculously approved; but a month before your actual trip, your friends cancelled on you.
Sounds familiar? Stay calm. Doing it solo is not so bad! Perhaps combining Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in one leg is a popular route, but extending it to Bangkok can add spices to your sabbatical getaway. So pack your backpack and go even if it means doing it alone.
Here’s a quick itinerary to help you conquer 3 cities in 13 days with one backpack.
13 Days, 3 Cities, 1 Backpack: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok
Taking a sleeper bus from city to city may be a cheaper alternative; but if you only have 13 days to spare and you’re traveling alone, I highly suggest flying instead. It is the fastest and most convenient method of transportation, especially if you need to work online in-between. Schedule your flights early in the morning so you still have time to spend in the next city you visit.
Manila to Singapore: Php1,800 via Cebu Pacific
Singapore to Kuala Lumpur: Php1,000 via Jetstar
Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok: Php1,500 via Air Asia
Bangkok to Manila: Php2,000 via Cebu Pacific
Without coupons and discounts, accommodations can go sky-high. However, if you book and plan ahead, you’ll have a better chance of slicing the price in half. I was able to get a 60% hotel discount from my debit and credit card provider. For Kuala Lumpur, I also received an extra discount coupon because I booked my room during the SEA games 2017.
Singapore (Kallang Area): Php1,535.93 (4 nights)
Kuala Lumpur (Bukit Bintang Area) Php1,069.17 (4 nights)
Bangkok (Bangrak Area): Php1,407.96 (4 nights)
TOTAL: Php4,103.06 for 13D/12N
If you are juggling a day job and some freelance projects, reliable Internet is a must. I bought my local SIM cards in advance and picked them up upon arrival in the airport. Aside from unlimited local calls, I also got consumable IDD, which comes in handy if you want to call home. Since I booked online, I also availed of promos and discounts amounting to almost Php500.
Singapore (Singtel Tourist Sim): Php565
Kuala Lumpur (Tune Talk): Php273
Bangkok (DTAC Tourist Sim): Php372
COST: Php1,210 minus a discount of Php 498
TOTAL COST: Php712 13 days of unli Internet and local calls and text with consumable IDD calls.
Day 1: Coffeeshop hopping in Haji Lane, shopping at Bugis Junction
Day 2: Workshops, Gardens by the Bay (Php578), Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade
Although Gardens by The Bay is quite expensive, it is worth it. The entrance fee for both conservatories is usually Php878, but I got mine for only Php578 after my postpaid provider gave me a discount for being a loyal customer.
Day 3: Little India, Chinatown, Buddha Tooth Relic, Universal Studios Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa (Php2,520)
Day 4: Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, Tiong Bahru, National Museum (Php530)
Day 5: Changi Airport before flying to Kuala Lumpur
SINGAPORE TRAVEL TIPS:
- Buy a tourist pass and don’t reload it once it expires so you can still claim your deposit when you return the card at the airport.
- Book your tickets online for discounts.
- Eat where the locals eat. Some hawkers that you might want to visit include:
- Maxwell Food Center: Near Chinatown, 1 Kudayanallur
- Tiong Bahru Market: Tiong Bahru, 30 Seng Poh Road
- Satay by the Bay: Near Gardens by the Bay
Kuala Lumpur Attractions
Day 5: Berjaya Times Square and Bukit Bintang (SALE ALERT!)
Day 6: Petronas Tower, Suria KLCC, Aquaria KLCC or KL Bird Park, check out the coffee scene of KL, watch the dancing light fountain show at 7PM at Petronas Towers
Day 7: Batu Caves, Royal Selangor Pewter Factory, Batik Factory Showroom, KL City Gallery, Merdeka Square, National Textile Museum, Masjid Jamek Building, Petaling Street
Day 8: Fraser Hill, Colmar Tropicale (or Putrajaya Mosque)
KUALA LUMPUR TRAVEL TIPS:
- From KLIA 2 airport, there are 2 ways to go to KL SENTRAL. You can take the KLIA Express for RM55 (Php676.62) and get there in 40 minutes. If you are not in a rush, though, there is also a bus operating from the airport to KL Sentral for RM10 (Php123.02). You can buy the ticket at the ticketing office located before the airport exit. Estimated time of travel is 1 hour.
- If you are in Petronas Tower and you don’t have any idea where to go, look for the “Go KL” bus for a free ride. Download the map online for the complete list of drop off and pick up points.
- Use Grab or Uber instead of getting a taxi for cheaper rates.
Day 9: Get a foot massage and check out the nearby night market
Day 10: Get an unli Chao Praya Tourist Hop On-Hop Off pass to visit Wat Arun (Php50), Wat Pho (Php160), The Grand Palace and Wat PhraKaew (Php803), shop at Yaowarat (Chinatown) and the Pakklong Taladd Flower Market, experience the lively nightlife of Khaosan Road
Day 11: Jim Thompson House (Php241), more temple hopping, Wat Saket (Php32), Wat Suthat (Php160) and Wat Benchamabophit (Php32), watch a stage play (Siam Niramit), and shop at Chatuchack Weekend Market
Day 12: Ayutthaya
From Mo Chit Bus Terminal, buy a ticket to Ayutthaya for Bt60. 5-hour long tours are available for groups at Bt300 per head.
Day 13: Prepare to go back home
BANGKOK TRAVEL TIPS:
- You can avail of a 1-day Chao Praya Tourist Boat Pass at Central Sathorn Central Pier for Bt180 (Php276.55). This river ticket will allow you to go to 13 stations where most tourist spots are located.
- Upon purchasing your pass, prioritize going to Wat Arun Pier to check the Temple of Dawn and to Tha Maharaj Pier to check out the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. These are very touristy places, so go early.
- Chatuchack Weekend Market is the best place to shop. You can haggle and can even get free items if you’re a wholesale buyer. The weekend market is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
- Haggle! Haggle! Haggle!
Traveling solo can be intimidating; but with proper research and courage, it can also be an adventure of a lifetime. How about you? Have you got any additional tips on how to conquer 3 cities in 13 days? Share your tips and hacks with us!