Tuan Tuan, puan puan, encik encik and cik cik:
Fasten your seat belts and get ready for my super long rantings!!

After a nice and relaxing holiday in Genting ( even after losing RM 100+ to those one sen slot machine despite of winning the minor jackpot of RM 34 + from the Zorro machine where you see the coins keep dropping from the slot machine at 1.00 am ), as planned earlier off we went to Singapore for 3 days and 2 nits.

Before the trip I did lots of research to find the cheapest and most convenient in terms of MRT and also the bus from Genting that can bring us to the nearest MRT stop to our prepaid hotel of RM 160 per night. All these are to save costs since Sing $$ is 2.5X bigger than RM.

When we reached Genting , the first thing is to buy the bus ticket to Singapore and the only bus that stops at Lavender bus station from Genting is Transtar bus. We bought the bus ticket at RM 50 per pax and the earliest bus that leaves Genting is 11am.

On 12/12/08 at 11.15 am, we happily board the Transtar bus, with 10 other passengers, expecting to arrive Singapore at 6 pm the latest. After driving for an hour or so, without the consent of the passengers , the bus just stopped at one of the local products shop out of nowhere expecting us to spend $$ to buy ( maybe they get commission out of our spending), the driver left us there for 45 minutes!!. That is still alright because we can choose to buy or not to buy what we see.

Passing Batu Caves on the way

Then trouble started at the Yong Peng rest point.
@ Yong Peng

After we have a super late lunch at 3 pm there, on boarding the bus , we saw the driver taking pails and pails of water to fill up the bus water tank and then the driver just disappear for 45 minutes or so. we thought that he has went for his prayer at the surau. when he came back after 45 minutes only then we saw green liquid ( must be the coolant) coming out from the bus radiator. There are only 3 families on the bus. The first family that saw the green liquid was fast to react by telling the driver that they will broad the Grassland bus to Singapore. We are still in the dark of what had happened till we asked the driver what arrangement he was going to made for the 2 of us. He asked us whether we wanted to stop at Boon Lay bus station or not instead of Lavender Bus station. If we want, then we need to board the Five Star bus that will bring us down to Singapore. After much thought , we boarded the Five Star bus that was supposed to bring us to Boon Lay Bus station. Thus we very doubtfully sat in the bus not knowing where Boon Lay bus station is !! thinking who cares asal got $$ to call a cab to our hotel cos if we waited for that Transtar bus to bring us to S'pore ....don't know when it would arrive in S'pore pun!!

When we passed the Malaysian immigration at Woodland it was a breeze. We just need to show our passport and the custom officers there just waved us through. But hell broke loose at S'pore custom immigration. There was a super long queue that nearly reached the escalator and out of 16 counters for Malaysian and foreign passports only 4 are manned. ( no problems for S'poreans themselves though, since so many counters are opened for them and they can just tapped their passports on those machines too). Guess what?? we waited for 3 hours at the S'pore immigration just to get our passport stamped!!The officers in charge with walkie talkie treated us all like transparent and as if nothing happens and even the angmoh waiting with us are very very "tulan " with the immigration...imagine 3 hours at the checkpoint, barely moving 0.01 mm an hour!!!. The worst thing is.. when it is your turn , the custom officer took his sweet sweet time to chit chat with you , seeing the last stamped destination on the passport, like Manchester and Bali on our passport!!

Later I learned from my S'pore relative that while the officer was talking to you at the counter, they are actually scanning you from head to toes and from toes to head. True or not ..I also don't know?? What I know is pity the crowd that had to wait for a solid 3 hours just to get the passport stamped.

Okay , the story has not finished yet, on coming out from the S'pore custom, to our horror and dismay that Five Star Bus which should be called zero star bus #@*^%$# has left us w/o informing us at all and expecting us to look for our own transport to S'pore!!. I really pity those first comers to S'pore!!. We went to look for public transport on our own as we were fuming angrily!! We managed to find a causeway link bus that can bring us to Bugis that is the nearest to Lavender ( our original destination)

Hold on... the worst is still to come......... From Bugis bus station we walked to Bugis MRT and use MRT to go to Aljunied and walked to our prepaid booked hotel at Fragrance Ruby hotel in Geyland. Never mind about the red light district cos what we were going to experience is much worst than that red light district.

After all those traumas, on reaching the Fragrance Ruby hotel at 11.50 pm, 10 more minutes to midnight, the man in charge, Mr Anthony Pan, told us that my booking had been cancelled!! I said WHAT???. I asked why is it cancelled , he said it is the fault of my travel agency that I have paid up with. I never believe what he said cos I have always trusted Yana, my buddy at Borneo Exploration who has booked all my hotels and even my cruise for me and not only this year but also previous years!!I really don't believe all those shits from that Ah Pan!!The worst thing was that ah pan asked us to go and look for our own hotel since his hotel has been fully booked for the night and then ask me to ring Borneo Exploration tomorrow on my own to ask them why my hotel booking was cancelled!! Luckily I had brought my S'pore relative with me who told Ah Pan that we are going to launch a complaint to Singapore Tourism Board. On hearing that, he softened down and say he can spare us a room first but we need to pay him the walk in rate for the room first,then he will check for us what has happened to our prepayment booking the next morning and if it is the Fragrance Ruby hotel fault he will refund us the $$.

We paid up Sing$75+ and moved into this room at 12 midnight.

Next morning , on checking back with the reception, I found out that it was not the fault of Borneo Exploration at all , but Fragrance hotel's fault. I suspected that on seeing that we didn't check in so late , they have just cancelled my prepayment booking and let the room to other customers!! How can they do that ...don't they know what is prepayment booking...even if I checked in at 12.01 past midnight..they had no right to cancel my booking.

This whole experience really really give me a super super bad experiences on S'poreans!!Those real kiasu and kiasi people!!!!!

I have emailed Fragrance Hotel Group to ask for an official explanation and launched an official complaint about that Mr Pan..let's see what happen.They replied and said that Fragrance Hotel will give me an explanation as soon as possible.

As for Transtar bus , I have been to their S'pore office 2X, emailed them 2x but still no reply from them. Next course of action ...launch an official complaint to the S'pore Transport Department to tell them Malaysians are not to be bullied like that!!

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    Aleckii said...

    Hello Mdm Christina! It's been so long since I last heard from you! Forgot to wish you and Mr Sim Merry Christmas!

    Sounds like you had a bad trip to Singapore though. Hrm...

  1. ... on 5:41 PM  
  2. X'tina said...

    Merry X'mas and a very happy new year to u too.

    Yeah, indeed it was a terrible experience for us, if we have not prepaid for the hotel, we would have turned back to KL after that super long 3 hours wait at the S'pore Immigration checkpoint.

    We will definitely not return to S'pore in the next 10 years after that terrible experience!!

  3. ... on 8:14 PM  
  4. littlecartnoodles said...

    Indeed ! Such kiasu and kiasi behaviour !

    Hope that you'll have a marginally better time in 2018 !

  5. ... on 9:15 PM  
  6. X'tina said...

    Thanks littelecartnoodles,
    I really hope and pray that S'poreans attitude will improve if I do decide to return to S'pore in 2018. Those Kiasi and Kiasu atitudes really let tourists like us down....very down.

  7. ... on 9:36 PM  
  8. Anonymous said...

    (suggestion) why don't you use direct flight from KCH to Singapore? It's approx. 1 5/12 hours only and it is 'much' easier!! No fuss!! Not only MH that you can fly to get there but Air Asia too! I think Silk Air can get you there too.


  9. ... on 11:06 PM  
  10. kate said...

    Which part where is kiasu and which part where is kiasi ?

    Cya in 2018!

  11. ... on 11:48 PM  
  12. Norman Goh said...

    hi teacher! I went to Singapore alone at the end of November. Stayed at the backpacker's hotel tho, only S$18 per night.

    Don't get Fragrance Hotel. I do have some other hotels that you can try. Yet, reliable.

    Oh yes, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Never miss any posts from your blog. Interesting! Loved the pictures you took.

  13. ... on 11:54 PM  
  14. X'tina said...

    Usually I prefer to book KCH- KL -KCH since there can be more flexibility in my planning and for your info our air ticket was booked way back in Feb. The going to S'pore trip was thrown in at the last moment because we have 3 more days to spare just before going for that wonderful cruise.

  15. ... on 7:10 AM  
  16. X'tina said...

    Hi kate,

    So u want me to explain which part is kiasi...innocent tourists lining up for 3 hours just to have their passports stamped...is that not Kiasi??

    Cancelling people prepayment reservation booking and kicking the bucket back to me by blaming on my travel agency hence literally kicking me out of my paid room ...is that not Kiasu??

  17. ... on 7:16 AM  
  18. X'tina said...

    Thanks for your suggestions. At first I did plan to stay in the backpacker's hotel @ $18 per pax but I am not travelling along so I thought it is better to book room instead of backpacker, moreover RM 160 per nit is reasonable too. The hotel room is good ,just the PR is bad.

  19. ... on 7:20 AM  
  20. Choonie, the Guru said...

    My hubby never like Singapore. One can really smell the kiasu and kiasi attitude there. When you are there, automatically you will be one of them too... very kiasu. If not, they will definitely take advantage on you. I had a bad experience with the SIA and after some 'loud' complaint at the changi's counter just to embarrass SIA in front of their ang moh's customers, we got a fair deal from them.

  21. ... on 12:18 PM  
  22. Eric said...

    Okay.. I never knew Singapore is THAT terrible..

    I had never been there, and now I'm lagi more kiasi liao.. Hahaha..

  23. ... on 3:58 PM  
  24. Anonymous said...

    I am sorry you had a bad experience. The Immigation guys still believe that after leaving Singapore Mas Selamat the terrorist will try to get back in.
    And you msy have a bad experience at Fragrance. But in future (2009) you might want to stay at any of the 3 hotel 81s in Joo Chiat. They are banning them from transit 2 hours bookings so ur chances of meeting a horny Bangla with a demure Indon maid in tow or even a Vietnamese hooker will be minimal.
    Bad experiences can be had everywhere- I took Air India once and when I opened my bags in a Punjab village the clothes were soaked. Somebody had left them unattended on a tarmac during a rinstorm.

  25. ... on 7:14 PM  
  26. X'tina said...

    I like the Kiasi part of you. Now to think about going to Singapore again, I am as Kiasi as you.

    I personally feel that many ( Not All!!) S'poreans think too highly of themselves and look down on ordinary Malaysians like us unless we drive newest model Mercedes or Lamborghini. Mind you if you drive the old model even it is Mercedes or Lamborghini, they will still see you no one.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and about Hotel 81, but I don't think I want to go back to S'pore again for many many years to come. Better spend those $$ in other countries that are more hospitable towards tourists. I love Bali especially Tegal Sari Hotel. They really really treat tourists very very well. No wonder they are so successful in tourism. Love them.

  27. ... on 8:05 AM  
  28. Anonymous said...

    Sorry to hear your experience. I am a Singaporean and even I don't like to return to Singapore.

    What you had encountered is very typical in Singapore, while not all Singaporeans are like that, most are.

    Part of the fault is probably due to the fact that Singaporeans grew up in an environment where those who are in a position to screw you, will screw you. Can't really blame those little people though, they are just learning from the government who had been screwing them day in day out their whole life.

    Morality and basic decency is fast becoming extinct in Singapore, and that is why I left with my wife to stay in Malaysia about half a decade ago. I prefer the people in Malaysia, doesn't matter what races they are. The warmth and friendliness that are naturally radiated is something that is rarely experienced in Singapore anymore.

    Anyway, the next time you visit Singapore and looking for budget hotels, consider those at Lavender. They are mostly within 5 mins walk from the Lavender MRT.

    Cheers and happy 2009!

  29. ... on 2:49 AM  
  30. X'tina said...

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Yeah, when I was at Lavender coach station I saw a nice quiet Fragrance Hotel and also Hotel 81 there and those 2 hotels are far away from the red light districts, but I cannot stay there since I have already paid up my Geyland hotel. When I first booked my Geyland hotel, people did tell me that it is a super red light district, but my impression and perception about S'pore is S'pore government are damn efficient and even if red light district it should not be too bad.
    But when I was in Geyland, what I saw and witnessed myself, it is real real red light and I really don't feel safe walking to my hotel along Geyland. Luckily my husband is with me. Ask me to stay alone there, I will say no way.
    Too many immigrants and there are all sorts of people there, real scarry but it is a good experience and eye opening too.
    Hence, sights like this change completely my pre-impression and pre-perception about S'pore efficiency.

  31. ... on 7:44 AM  
  32. Anonymous said...

    Finally blog with useful informations.

  33. ... on 5:11 AM