I’ve been meaning to finish this post while my memory is still fresh – considering that it has been three months since this happened. Good thing I found the time and inspiration to do so. So here it goes…
Going through the immigration is probably one of the most nerve-wracking parts of every trip I’ve experienced so far. I actually have no idea how it started. Maybe because of watching too much shows on NatGeo like To Catch A Smuggler and Locked Up Abroad. Those scenes where the airport guards or immigration officers will ask you to open your bags and scan all your things; when they will ask you to strip down to check for smuggled goods or just deport you because of lack of travel documents. I also read real stories from two of my favorite bloggers when they were accused as smugglers and were almost denied of entry to another country. I mean, everything is set and then all of a sudden the trip won’t push through just because of a trouble at the immigration, here or in another country.
My own share of immigration misfortunes:
On some of my trips, I was asked by the immigration officers at NAIA to show my company ID and return ticket. Melvin, on our last trip to Singapore was even asked to show our hotel booking. Different requirements asked by different immigration officers. Depende yata sa mood nila. Haha!
On my first visit to Malaysia (and was also the first time I experienced going through a foreign immigration), all Filipinos were called by the airport officer. She looked at all of us then called the OFWs – maybe to check special documents. I was so scared because they might take all of us to their office for interrogation. We sighed deeply after we were all cleared. After this experience, we went through the Malaysian Immigration swiftly.
Shiela and Melvin – Crossing Singapore and Malaysia
Here’s my 5D4N Singapore (with 1 day Malaysia) Itinerary. I hope this helps!
Singaporean Dollar: SGD384.30 = PHP12,835.62 (August Conversion Rate – SGD1:PHP33.40)
Total Expenses in Peso (excluding pasalubong/souvenirs): =PHP15,560.62
*Please note that we visited 2 Theme Parks (which are expensive) that’s why the budget was a little higher than the usual. 😀
5D4N Singapore Itinerary
Backpacking Malaysia and Singapore
Day 1: Kuala Lumpur/Petronas Towers
July 28, 2012
On our second day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I woke up at 6AM not knowing when the sun would shine. By the time it was 6:30AM, I was already prepared and ready to start my day. I went downstairs to join Rhan while she was watching the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. I was surprised to see that it was still very dark outside. Here in the Philippines, the sun is already up that time but in Malaysia, it is still dark.
Since most of the people in the guesthouse were still asleep and we can’t obviously roam around because most, if not all, shops were still closed. We just enjoyed the sofa, the Olympics and Chot’s company.
We were all ready for our breakfast by 9AM. We went to a nearby grocery store to buy some milk and juice. It was a very pleasant feeling to see a fellow Filipino buying at the store. We can even hear her speaking to her family back here. Then we decided to buy Roti, a flat bread that looks like crepe. We brought the roti with honey and bananas back to our guesthouse and we had breakfast, al fresco.
Anjung KL Guesthouse facade
July 27, 2012
Group shot at the Petronas Towers.
The first time you set foot in another land, it will change you forever. This generally summed up what happened to me the first time I visited a foreign country. Little did I know that I will be bitten by the travel bug that early and that much.
I know I started late when it comes to traveling internationally. But I am so proud that I worked hard for my own pocket money. My first travel was with my college friends and all of us were first timers. I could not explain how much freedom, responsibility and maturity I felt taking care of myself away from everything familiar to me.
Excited first timers.