Wednesday, 29 February 2012

An International Day Trip To A World Class Theme Park on a shoestring…

OK, here’s the predicament, you live in South East Asia (I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and promised your child an experience at Universal Studios for his/her birthday….time is a problem as you are all out of annual leave so you can’t take more than a couple of days off, budget is tight…. It was also a challenge for me to do this with the least effort and spend only for the essential…so what do you do???

Easy…do what we did!!!


Scene 1:
Drive to the airport yourself. Park at the cheapest day parking rate you can find.

I drove my trusty old Proton Juara..yes the one that looks like a washing machine on its side and dropped my wife and daughter at the departure lounge, noticed that parking fees for a full day it would be quite a bomb so I followed the cars in front of me. They looked like airport staff with their uniforms and all…Ahaa!!! They all parked past the public parking area right across the POS building at the far edge of the airport by the roadside. Its very early in the morning and there were plenty of space and as I parked the car next among them, I asked about the security…they said ‘So Far So Good’….

Result: Just fuel to and from the airport…I saved on the full-day parking fee (read : Cheapskate)

Scene 2:
The Flight
We checked through the internet for the cheapest flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore return for 2 adults and a child…..It HAD to be on a Friday because we knew its gonna be very tiring for all of us, so Saturday and Sunday we can rest at home. We also chose Friday because on weekends, Universal Studios will surely be packed to the brim with  people and from our experiences in all the Disneylands we’ve been to, Universal Studios and even SeaWorld…the Q’s during weekends would take up most of the day!! And in the Singapore heat….suicide!!

We got the Air Asia first flight out at 0745hrs and arrived Changi at 0840hrs….and the return was the same day that evening departing Singapore at 2120hrs arriving at Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Terminal at 2230hrs. So we had to be at Changi by 1930hrs in order not to miss our return flight…Since the flight takes about 45 minutes…no meals were bought in advance..

Result: We paid less than RM400 for all 3 of us..basically all that was for tax here and tax that and tax this….the flight cost was only about RM12 each can be frustrating with these LCC’s I know but like they say…If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee..or whatever…

Scene 3:
Local transport in Singapore
The best way to move around Singapore is definitely the ever efficient and super clean MRT….We had just a small backpack so travelling was super light for my wife and daughter..(guess who had to carry the bag!!).

Infact looking out of the window I realised it’s a Friday and its rush-hour in Singapore…I’ve always wondered why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?..Go figure…

For full infor on the MRT system follow this link:

On the Green Line from Changi Airport we had to change at Outram Park for the Purple Line to our destination Harbour Front.

Fares from Changi Airport to HarbourFront    
The fare (in Singapore Dollars) for your chosen trip is:      
Type of Fare

Standard Ticket
Senior citizen concession
At Harbour Front there is this superb mall called Vivo City…to get to Universal Studios which is actually on Sentosa Island just a hop away, u can either get the bus or a monorail, we opted for the bus…

Bus Number               RWS 8
Board/Alight   Outside VivoCity and HarbourFront Station bus stops                          
Availability                 Daily
Fare                            S$2.00(round trip)
Departing RWS         6am to 11:30pm 

Scene 4:
Get your tickets to Universal Studios through the Internet….its slightly cheaper and believe me, if you are unlucky, the tickets may be sold out for the day!! Just to be safe and secure, do what I say…

Here’s the link for it:

Spent the whole day there…A special note for Muslim visitors, full Solat facilities are provided at the front entrance of the park, and Halal food is served in the designated Halal Restaurants and Cafe's can find the legend for Halal outlets on the maps provided.

A 'must' photo op

Scene 5:

On the way back, have your meal at the Food Republic at Vivo, from Sentosa Island get on the Monorail….

From here just hop on the MRT from Harbour Front to Changi Airport

Spend some time at one of the best Airport Shopping destination of the world…

As you reach Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Airport, jump into your car and drive home …..Boy was I tired. On the way home, I felt something touching my heels. It was my arse! …tired but satisfied…

Advantages of this type of trip:

You SAVE on hotel accomodation…Singapore has one of the highest hotel rates in the world…

Cost of flight is slightly more expensive if I were to drive from Kuala Lumpur

Not at all as tiring as I thought it would be….the travel is better than driving or by express bus, whole day at the theme park would be as stressful as any but I have 2 days (Sat & Sun) to recuperate and at least I would come home to my own comfy bed ...

Other transportation options from KL: Express Bus or Premium Luxury Bus (Overnight 5-6 hours)…that’s 2 nights on the bus!! Or the train service between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore….which takes longer!!!

So since I can do it…..Let’s Jom !!!


  1. another good article. kudos & keep it up!

  2. Good one abg wan! Cam best. Keep it up!

  3. Thanks!!! Spread the