Watching the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix on a budget
Last year I have witnessed the first ever night race in the history of Formula 1 Grand Prix in Singapore and I went there to be a spectator on a really really tight budget. I was able to squeeze in a PHP 20,000 (around USD 444) for everything:
Airfare PHP 10,000 (USD 222) *estimated including terminal fee and tax
Lodging PHP 2,536.43 (USD 56.37) *actual
Singapore GP Sunday Ticket PHP 3,569.70 (USD 80) *actual
TOTAL PHP 16,100
*USD amounts may be overstated or understated but at that time, I could buy 1 USD at 45 PHP.
Anyway, the remaining money was spent on transportation and food XD.Â Food is expensive btw.Â So we brought with us some cup noodles for our breakfast 🙂
I booked a flight at Philippine Airlines on an online promo (booking online at a cheaper rate). The F1 Singapore Grand Prix was held on September but I booked my ticket as early as June! Regular tickets without the promo and if purchased near the event is around PHP 15,000 (USD 333) at that time. So then and there I had a savings of 5k just for the ticket!
Actual fare: USD 216 (this flight included meals yaye)
Plus terminal fee and taxes: 200 + 1,600 (not sure bout exact tax payment because I was so excited to even note this lol)
I booked at a hostel and not a hotel! Hotels are really expensive and I think Singapore Law requires them to put up additional mark-up during Singapore GP season. I don’t know though if this extra mark-up goes to the hotel company or to the Singapore government. Anyway I booked online through hostels.com even in June most of the hostels with “en-suite” (private) rooms are booked already! @_@
I was aiming to book for a room for two so that at least I could have a peace of mind. I stayed at Gas 81 hostel. It was a nice experience here and I gave a decent review for it. It is really cheap around PHP 600 (USD 13) a night for a private room and since it is so cheap you should not expect much. I never did! But when I came there at least it had a clean room, although no windows but it is air-conditioned as well.
I had a TV on my room and they provided a universal plug so that I could charge my gears. The best part in the room is that they had unlimited wifi access! Which is a must for a blogger and an online-dependent person like me! In the morning you would spend your time roaming around Singapore. You wouldn’t want to waste your time sleeping even in the expensive comfy hotel room you booked, right? At the end of the day, you just need a comfy bed to sleep with. The bathroom in this hostel, although it’s not designed to please your eyes and it really had no interior design quality to it, is pretty much clean and NOT smelly! Which is good enough for me to just freshen up and take a bath.
Still don’t expect too much on this USD 13 room a night. But still it was good enough for me.
The location of this hostel by the way is far from the heart of the city. I thought this would be a disadvantage but it gave me a nicer experience in Singapore.
The hostel is located at the Residential Area of Singapore. I had the chance to walk around the neighborhood and noticed that it was indeed a pretty safe, peaceful, clean and pleasant place to live in! The houses were humble but nice, people would use bicycles to roam around the area. There’s even a bike shop near our place! I hope we could use bicycles as a normal mode of transportation here in the Philippines as well. It is very environment-friendly.
Along the hostel are a line of restaurants as well. There is also a 7/11 shop at its side.
Another favorite of mine is the sweet and sour (and spicy) pork of this budget restaurant (karinderya) just a minute walk outside the hostel.
Transportation from here is not such a hard thing even if we were away from the center of the city! I had two options:
- have a 10-minute walk to the nearest MRT station (Kembangan). I tried this when we initially tried to commute around and it should be fine walking but the heat was just a killer! It is so hot to walk around Singapore at that time! So, I suggest that you opt for this only if you would walk at night.
- or, to ride a bus just a minute away from the hostel that would take you to the Kembangan station
Click here to know more about the MRT and Bus schedules and fares and more.
Singapore Grand Prix Ticket
I only purchased the Sunday walk-about tickets. Â To me, I just needed the day pass to the race itself and that’s what I bought indeed. Â The neck strap of the non-walk about tickets though were much nicer XD Â The most expensive ticket though (the Pitstop Grandstand) costs around PHP 45,000 to PHP 50,000 (USD 1,100). XD and that does not include access to the Padock Club Area.
I was happy with the ticket I bought! I really got a nice glimpse of the Formula race as I was sitting at a corner along the Singapore Flyer Zone. The price of my ticket is the minimum price for the Sunday race itself yet I get to be at a very nice location! The ticket was all worth it! The Flyer zone also had many events and entertainment along as we wait for the final championship! There were dancing and music and lots of food everywhere!
We also witnessed a car crash on the porsche competition which was a “side race” and it was just amazingly mad!
On this 2009 season though… I am not so happy about the new ticket sales. The walkabout area was wide and you could access up to the Singapore Flyer. I just received a mail yesterday about the new Singapore ticketing information and I was dissapointed because the walkabout tickets does not include the Flyer zone anymore… Boleh! >.<
I will post about it more on my next entry. I will also try (hope I have the time) to make a post about tips if you are planning to watch the Singapore Grand Prix on September 2009.
If you have been to the Singapore Grand Prix before and you think you can contribute by giving additional tips, kindly do so by commenting below.
Strategically Position yourselves.Â Know where to sit or stay at the Formula1 Grand Prix.
1. Â Click here to go to the best F1 Fansite I ever know in the world!
2. My gallery of the 2008 Singapore Night Race! (Warning, pictures are copyrighted.Â You may however ask permission if you would need to use the picture or just credit my site flaircandy.com)
3.Â Buy Singapore GP Tickets! Tickets are available for purchase for the earlybirds at a discount on April 9, 2009.Â However, randomly selected persons who are beta testers to the new Ticketing system may now purchase the tickets. NOW! asÂ I type this lol
4.Â List of Hostels in Singapore and the availability of rooms for the F1 Season on September 2009.Â Hostels in Singapore are generaly decent and safe 😀
5. List of Hotels in Singapore. Click the link if you want to have an idea at how much the Hotels in Singapore cost. There are some cheap hotels as well and you still might want to consider booking in a hotel if hostels just don’t work for you.
ito ang hinihintay kong post. wahhhh thanks for posting this. mag bobook na ko. kita tayo dun 😉
Great post. I am going to be there also….can’t wait. I was lukcy like you and found a decent choice of accommodation on hostels.com. Book for 3 nights. Man I can’t wait
thanks for all your information. By the way, I want to see F1 race in singapore this year and I want to go there with my friend. Do you have any suggestion for us? I’m in jakarta (indonesia) now, and I want to stay at a hotel in singapore, see all (three days) race. May be I will stay at re hotel. I want to make a beautiful memories with my friend.
You’re welcom derek! and whoah! the Gas 81 hostel is already booked for the GP season @_@ probably try other hostels. Mail me or comment some more if you have questions. I’d be glad to help. ^_^ Most people think watching the Formula 1 is impossible for us here in Philippines but I would want to spread the word that it could happen XD
hey Brion! You are lucky indeed! and what a smart move to book way way ahead because I checked the availability of rooms in Gas 81 they are fully booked for the F1 season already. Some might want to try other hostels.. I booked at another hostel for this year. are you from the Philippines as well? May I ask where you booked? we might have booked in the same location lol oh well see you there then!!!
Hi Kathia! thank you for your visit in my blog… Well I could not help you with the airfare and cheap way to commute going to Singapore but I bet if you are just resourceful enough you could get a decent package 🙂 If hostels are not for you then I suggest that you consider Hotels. Hotels are decent in Singapore as well.. I was considering Orchard hotel (which is along Marina square – the F1 track) this year, but since I will be staying for 7 nights, that would rob my wallet enough lol. Also click here for list of Hotels that you might want to consider staying in Singapore for the grand prix season. Book early so that it’s cheaper and so that you have the flexibility to choose hotels and their availability 🙂
600 for a decent room? that’s so cheap. Even cheaper than accommodations here in the Philippines..hmmm..
napapaisip ako ah. hehehe
yah ler… 600 for the two of us na pala yon.. right now it’s 400++ for a single person na may private room sa gas81.. but kaya lang fully booked na yon for f1. but if you want to go sing on a non-f1 date then book there!! super mura as in XD
medyo sinuwerte ako kasi may free accommodation na ko courtesy of my cousin hehehe. I’ll link this post to my blogs.
BTW, what plugin are you using for your comment?
hmm the threaded bookmark was courtesy of the host of my blog. I think it’s ajax comments hmm
just looking on the web and found your blog, I am looking at buying a ticket for the singapore race but unsure if i should buy a bay grandstand seat or a walkaround ticket…. advice if possible 😉
flying from the UK to thailand and getting a Tiger air flight on the sunday for the race and then fly back to thailand on monday morning.
I am not quite sure if you can still get nice seats to the grandstand… my online friend Dave Khaira said:
He’s Singaporean and he has been featured in their local newspaper already regarding F1 and he gave me some little bit of advise were to be… If you can still get good tickets for the bay grandstand then I suggest you get one.. If you get a crappy seat then you might as well buy the walk-abouts… It’s your choice your decision. You can check my post here for more information and guide on the walk-about tickets and bay grandstand vantage points.
Thank you for the infomation.
Do you know if you can buy the walk a round tickets on the day please.
Takes all of the hassle out in trying to pay for them on line
yes you may… last year, they were still selling walk abouts on the day itself. I will not be so sure about the availability of the walkabouts though. BTW, if you are just going to watch the race on the day itself, your grandstand tickets would not be so worth it as it includes access for 3 days. you may opt to purchase the walkabout instead.
Last year I had to pay mine online and just picked up the tickets on Saturday at the Suntec City mall. 🙂
Bought my walkabout ticket for the sunday, so the last part of my jigsaw is !!!! how to get back to the airport with the race ending at 10pm and a mad rush to get public transport!!! any help please. I need to be at the Airport by 4am….
uh-oh… I just hope there would still be trains by that time going to Thailand… will get back to yah.. you can google out transportation services to and fro Thailand… yikes! or you could adjust your flight!
Thank you Hannah for your informative site. It helped me a lot to plan my SG F1 trip. I was able to book the 3 day walkabout ticket for 206 SG$ (includes courier fees to the Phils). Only regret is I missed the early bird discount, should have done it earlier. Anyway I was able to book (the flight, 3 day hotel, and ticket) for 500+ US$. Still a bit expensive but at least way cheaper than the packaged tours offered here around (1,000 + US$ per head). Can’t wait to watch my first live F1 race! I’m happy I stumbled on your blog = )
Hi Eric! Sorry for the late reply but I was too caught up with work ^_^… That’s quite good still! Congratulations! and see you soon to the Sing Grand Prix.. give a wave and say hi! if we do see each other! 😀 ayt? cheers!
Hi hannah, thanx a lot for the information on 2008 race. I have booked the 3 day walkabout ticket for this year. could you suggest d best spots to be in that area. any tips/advise is welcome..Btw are going to be there this year?
Hi ^_^ That’s great! since you have 3 days, there would be no problem walking around and exploring the area… You can walk around on Friday’s practice.. get good seats on Saturday’s qualifying and totally head off early to that nice spot for Sunday’s event. also, check out this post where I indicated where I was last year… I was at the best seat for a walk-about tickets.. unfortunately, that area is now closed and not accessible for walk-abouts…
no matter where you sit.. your view will still be blocked by the fence because it is super near the cars… I tried going up some more to test the shots, but couldn’t get any decent ones 🙂