Singapore, a tiny nation-state at the southern tip of Malaysia, is really on the rise these days. A haven for big banking and other big money businesses it is quickly, along with Hong Kong, turning into the economic powerhouse of Southeast Asia. Shit is happening there, skyscrapers are going up all over the place and people are immigrating from all over the region (and the world) to get in on the party.
With that in mind, I went to Singapore for an extended period this summer and I have a lot to say about it. There’s great party there and an enormous number of hot chicks, but despite those advantages Singapore is absolutely not a recommended single dude travel destination.
The first reason is the cost. Singapore is a super expensive place. The first night I was there I went to the bar and ordered a pint of local brew on draft, Tiger Beer. My cost? $18 SGD ($15 USD). That was at a somewhat fancy place and prices at super high end places can be as high as $25 SGD ($21 USD). Add this to the club entrance fees which can often be $30 SGD and up and you can easily spend a couple hundred bucks going out on a weekend night and not even get drunk.
I personally prefer cheaper places where you don’t have to call your broker to sell your investments in order to go out and party, places where you can go out freely without worrying that you’re going to spend your whole paycheck on mediocre Southeast Asian beer. To party well and survive financially in Singapore you have be smart about it. My Singapore nightlife survival strategy includes several tricks to take the edge off the high drink prices:
1. Duty Free – Every time you come into Singapore from abroad (except from Malaysia, nothing is allowed) you must bring booze from Duty Free. This will save you lots of money over the store price and enormous amounts over the bar price. Unfortunately the duty-free allowance is only 1 bottle of booze (1 liter), 1 bottle of wine (750 ml), 3 bottles of beer (330 ml each), and no cigarettes. If you bring a second bottle of anything you must pay a tax of $70 SGD ($55 USD) or risk a big fine if you’re caught. They will also fine you a shitload if you are seen with even one pack of foreign cigarettes without the import sticker (even if it’s only a partial pack and you opened it before you arrived), so just quit smoking already or get ready to pay $12 a pack for your cancer sticks.
2. Predrinking – Never go out sober. Have a little predrinking party at your place with your duty free booze or at least cheap beer from 7-11 before you go out and make sure you are pretty drunk when you arrive at the club.
3. Networking – Singapore is full of cool rich trust fund kids and other door openers, if you’re a cool single dude one might take you under his wing, get you into clubs and start letting you drink his bottle service. Be cool, let him offer a drink first, don’t ask for it. Buying a cheap happy hour drink for one of those guys can often pay off in spades.
4. Flasking – Singapore is usually a safe place, so they won’t pat you down when you get to the club. That’s good, because I always bring a flask or water bottle filled with vodka or some other high proof spirit with me to the club and then add that to ice or my rare $15 purchased drink.
5. Happy Hours – Singapore has some pretty good deals (by Singapore standards) for happy hour, like buy one get one drinks, cheap jugs of beer, etc. When possible do your drinking there and then have a chick over for the real party at your place in lieu of going out.
6. Chinatown, Food courts, and Hawker Stalls – For food, this is the way to go. Why pay a shitload for bad service at a real restaurant when you can get cheap delicious food at the mall food court or hawker stall and pick up chicks while you’re there? That’s what the non-millionaire locals do for food in Singapore and it’s a much better option.
Everything is expensive in Singapore, especially housing. Since it’s such a small country, apartments and hotels are quite expensive. Taxis are OK, although it seems like there’s a surcharge pretty much for everything – rush hour surcharge, night surcharge, city center surcharge, airport, etc. You’re better off taking the MRT (Metro) and buses which are everywhere and cheap. Get a $7 SGD ($5.50 USD) rechargeable card for $12 SGD ($10 SGD) and refill as necessary with the pocketfuls of change you will accumulate everywhere.
The second major problem with Singapore are the local chicks. I have been around much of the world and so far the Singaporean girls are the worst gold diggers I’ve ever met. They say there that all the Singaporean chicks are looking for the “5 Cs” in a man- cash, credit cards (which are apparently hard to get there), fancy car, condo, and career. Missing one of the aforementioned Cs is grounds for immediate disqualification by these gold diggers. The normal way that I like to meet chicks – “Hi! (smile)” does not seem to work on a Singaporean chick like it works on a Dutch chick – she’ll often give you a weird forced-half smile and then just turn her back to you. Bitch! The only technique that we’ve found that seems to work is to find a mixed group of Singaporeans and talk to the guys in the group while ignoring the chicks until the chicks start to take an interest in you. Then you can meet the girls. Overall I say it’s not worth the trouble. If she doesn’t like you right away she probably won’t really work that great as a partner anyway.
But don’t lose heart, there’s plenty of other chicks in town. Just like Kuala Lumpur, as a center of business there are chicks from all over the region in town trying to make it, and if they haven’t been infected with the goldiggerism like the Latina girls in Miami are after a couple months you have a good chance to make it work with the foreign chicks.
Another problem with Singapore is that it’s a sausagefest. All the upscale clubs are just filled with douchey Western business-banker types on expense accounts wearing long sleeve striped shirts, if you are making progress with a chick at a club and you leave her alone for a couple minutes, be ready to find her just absolutely surrounded by DAFF English guys when you get back. This is another good reason to focus on meeting girls during the day in Singapore.
The Singaporean guys, oh my. Nice dudes, but there are so many fagbagsters there. For those unfamiliar, here’s the Single dude Travel definition:
Fagbagster – A relatively new species currently very common in Asia, the fagbagster combines the douchebag quality of self-primping with the pussyness of hipsters, all sewed up in a handy effeminate Asian package. Complete with man-purse, eyliner, frosted tips and Zoolander face pout, the fagbagster is populous and growing in number, especially in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China and God knows where else in Asia. Foreign correspondents, please report back about the other Asian countries.
Our buddy Art Pfister, who has lived there for years detailed for us one of the most common techniques of the Singaporean fagbagster when he picks up a girl. He walks up to a Singaporean girl and shyly asks for her phone number. Then, after she gives it to him, because he’s Singaporean and nonthreatening, he walks away to a different part of the bar and flirts with her via text messages. What a faggot move! But apparently it works, because we see a lot of hot chicks with fagbagsters around town.
One last problem with Singapore is the retardation of the locals. Maybe it’s the heat, but the Singaporean brains just don’t work in the same way that yours and mine work. Expect very bad, slow service, and a complete lack of ability by the locals to make decisions independently or to engage in abstract thought. Blank stares and incomprehensible “Singlish” are the norm and you must be prepared to wait forever for your change at bars. Singaporean society has a very top-down command structure so the rank-and-file people are not asked to think for themselves. Even the simplest request that is not by-the-book will be met with stupefaction and a “can not lah” by the locals. Need something at a restaurant or bar? Just get it for yourself and you’ll save 15 minutes. Have a different idea that will be mutually beneficial? Just keep it to yourself unless you’re talking the president of the company.
So that’s a lot of badmouthing of Singapore for one article. I could go on for another 1500 words on the topic, but I think those are the major points. My next article will be on the pros of the place, of which there are several, and where to go if you do find yourself there. Not all hope is lost for the single dude in Singapore, but it’s definitely a high-difficulty location for experts only.
Unless someone is paying you to be there, there is absolutely no reason to go!