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Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

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Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby JR8 » Fri, 14 Aug 2015 8:20 pm

re: SoulSearching's impending relo. He is heading over end Aug, for [?] up to a week. He's well into 'P1' visa territory, and has a wife who will perhaps be seeking work later, and a young daughter aged c3YO IIRC. He's been made what he says is a good offer, and this sounds like a 'meet your future colleagues and let's get this offer signed' kind of trip. How to spend the time to get the max out of it?

My 2c
- SoulS can probably expect the focus from his side to be office focused. Showing how committed he is, getting into the office and putting in some hours. On the flipside, his colleagues will probably want to take him out after work and show him how convivial the lifestyle is.
So to an extent he can expect the time on his visit to be dictated by his colleagues.

There will be some downtime though. A baseline might be using something like Lonely Planet's 'what to do in singapore in 3 days' [or 2 days, or 5 days...] sub-section and perusing that. The only downside with that is it will give you a typical tourist's 'stop-over' view of SG.

How might one dig just a little deeper? Visit a sub-urban mall? Go out to an East Coast seafood eatery for dinner (maybe taking a local/s would help?). Go out and have a stroll around the Changi Boardwalk, and stop at an open-air food-court there for some food? Take a bus, an MRT, visit an HDB wet-market?

Any other ideas? I'm just thinking that the expat experience is different from the tourist one, and if you have time why not not try and prepare for it? On the other hand, if Orchard/Raffles is the usual, maybe a dinner up at HV (Holland Village), and/or a meal up at Dempsey Hill would be going far enough for the time being?

Any thoughts?

Edit/add: This topic was split/moved off from here... viewtopic.php?t=108075
Last edited by JR8 on Wed, 19 Aug 2015 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby soulsearching » Fri, 14 Aug 2015 8:50 pm

JR8, mate you're truly a superstar! Thanks for starting this over for me, much appreciate your sincere help.

Our trip as of now is looking like this.

26th Aug (Wed) - Leave UK (London) - night
27th Aug (Thu) - Arrival Singapore - around 1900 hours
27th Aug (Thu) - check into hotel PM
28th Aug (Fri) - meeting the company individuals around 1300 hours
28th Aug (Fri) - wife meeting a recruiter seperately around 1500 hours
28th Aug (Fri) - post 1900 hours check out Singapore time
29th Aug (Sat) - meeting friends, relocated from London to Singapore - place to be decided
30th Aug (Sat) - FREE
31st Aug (Sun) - FREE
1st Sep (Mon) - possibly wife meeting another recrruiter, but as of now FREE
2nd Sep (Tue) - flying back to London at 1100 hours


So please feel free to suggest some places, etc. as and when you can? Any local meetings / expat clubs etc. we might join too, will be most welcome to talk to a few people.

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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby JR8 » Sat, 15 Aug 2015 7:56 pm

There is a social side to this forum too, but social events tend to get planned a couple of weeks in advance. That is primarily because many people spend a lot of their time traveling around the region, so getting a decent group together at one time can be a bit like herding kittens :)
The other phenomenon you might encounter is how tricky it can be meeting other expats, at least others outside of the workplace. That IME is down to how transient SG is, and the expats therein. [We've discussed this before here quite some time ago]. There is something of a feeling of 'why invest time getting to know someone when one of us will probably have left in six months time...'. I expect that'll make more sense to you in due course after you relo.

Last place we had in SG we lived right next door to another Brit. It was almost like the proximity created it's own issue, of being too close [?]. Over 2 years I maybe said hello to him in passing 10 ten times, that's as far as it went... weird. Similar happened at the condo before that too. Took me a while to figure out. In brief you don't make friends of your neighbours or just run into a bunch of expats and start chatting with them. It's ... er, like you need to do it via a socially more formal structure. Joining an activity or social club for example.

Working in an office gives you that, or at least the foundations of it. The non-working ('trailing') spouse has their work cut out. No office to form a social life around, and other expats in the condo probably won't speak to you. That said young children (down by the pool etc on weekends), appear to be a useful ice-breaker to other parents.

This forum has several social groups pitched at various ages. From youngsters, to been-around-the-block old buggers. // The order of things on moving here seems to be, sort out 1) work, 2) a home 3) your social life, the latter an ongoing challenge as people move in/out of the country.
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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby soulsearching » Wed, 19 Aug 2015 7:36 pm

We are looking at following areas to rent (if we make up our minds to move)

River Valley
Colley Quay/ Robinsons Quay
Orchard Road
Bukit Timah
Club Street (Near financial District)
Holland village
Tanjong Pagar

So can you please let us know, what is better (I prefer Bukit / Orchard from my own research), but have been told Club Street, is pretty alright too.

Finally, do any of you work within real estate, know someone within the same, who can show us a couple of "potential properties", so we get the idea what it looks it out there (instead of just photos online)

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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 19 Aug 2015 9:22 pm

I realise you don't seem to have looked this this viewtopic.php?t=101985 ['FAQ: Where should I/we live...'].

I realised because the places you list are clustered in the Central area, will be $$$, and so on. If you were moving as a youngish single that might work. But you have a wife and child with you and after a while I think they, and hence by extension you :), might be climbing the walls.

The FAQ was compiled as this is a simple 'trap' to fall into. SG is small so districts and the facilities and their vibe changes over a short geographic distance. Living on Club Street, the stuff of nightmares for me, might be like living on a Chinese Brick Lane. Holland Village ('HV')/Tanglin like Knightsbridge/Belgravia... complete with similar ar$ey neighbours. Tanjong Pagar.... dunno... maybe like Farringdon. The Quays, -> Leicester Square if it were on the Thames? And so on. All fine and great to visit, but I'd not wish to live in any of them. [My perspective is previously working in the City and living in E1/W2/9/14/SW5].

I reckon your wife and child might appreciate a bit of space, and facilities. Facilities (pools, tennis, communal BBQ facilities etc) are one of the first things you lose when you head 'downtown' to the kind of places you list, since land is so $$$. Also consider that you get almost exponentially more for your rent when you consider beyond the Orchard/HV/Quays etc. districts. Space is still a compromise compared to back home, even in SGs zone-2, but at least decent outdoor facilities goes some way to making up for it. Esp. for family members who might be spending a lot of time at home during the day.

p.s. Be aware of agents now bombing you with Private Messages and promises. Look via the hosts of this forum (i.e. an agent). Or ask your HR to recommend an agent. Better still see if you can take out a company lease on a place, i.e. the flat in the company's name. IME agents are less likely to try and stuff a company, than a walk-in customer (tenant) who's here today, gone tomorrow.
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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby soulsearching » Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:40 pm

JR8 wrote:I realise you don't seem to have looked this this viewtopic.php?t=101985 ['FAQ: Where should I/we live...'].

I realised because the places you list are clustered in the Central area, will be $$$, and so on. If you were moving as a youngish single that might work. But you have a wife and child with you and after a while I think they, and hence by extension you :), might be climbing the walls.

The FAQ was compiled as this is a simple 'trap' to fall into. SG is small so districts and the facilities and their vibe changes over a short geographic distance. Living on Club Street, the stuff of nightmares for me, might be like living on a Chinese Brick Lane. Holland Village ('HV')/Tanglin like Knightsbridge/Belgravia... complete with similar ar$ey neighbours. Tanjong Pagar.... dunno... maybe like Farringdon. The Quays, -> Leicester Square if it were on the Thames? And so on. All fine and great to visit, but I'd not wish to live in any of them. [My perspective is previously working in the City and living in E1/W2/9/14/SW5].

I reckon your wife and child might appreciate a bit of space, and facilities. Facilities (pools, tennis, communal BBQ facilities etc) are one of the first things you lose when you head 'downtown' to the kind of places you list, since land is so $$$. Also consider that you get almost exponentially more for your rent when you consider beyond the Orchard/HV/Quays etc. districts. Space is still a compromise compared to back home, even in SGs zone-2, but at least decent outdoor facilities goes some way to making up for it. Esp. for family members who might be spending a lot of time at home during the day.

p.s. Be aware of agents now bombing you with Private Messages and promises. Look via the hosts of this forum (i.e. an agent). Or ask your HR to recommend an agent. Better still see if you can take out a company lease on a place, i.e. the flat in the company's name. IME agents are less likely to try and stuff a company, than a walk-in customer (tenant) who's here today, gone tomorrow.


WOW! Thanks JR8, it is very helpful. Especially since you put it into London's perspective. So where are the areas you think are more "family friendly", since you know the whole two of us "youngish", and one 3 year old!

the trouble without knowing the city, you end up looking for the better properties, which obviously kinda turn to be more flashy ones. Maybe after a year or so living in the place we might better acclimatise, and then know it better. Hence am actively seeking advice here, so we kinda land in a place which is a bit more long haul, without the need to change after a year or so.

I will in the meantime look into the link you've shared above. I was looking on the . wesbite (which seems similar to rightmove here in UK) for apartments.

So if you could kindly name a few places which might be BETTER and not just flashy, I will start looking for condos in that area too.

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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby Primrose Hill » Thu, 20 Aug 2015 1:22 pm

JR8 you certainly put some colour to the areas.
I would say Club Street is more like Soho/Covent Garden/Camden. Tanglin/Holland V/Bukit Timah more like Primrose Hill/Hampstead/Marylebone. Orchard is more like Knightsbridge/Chelsea. Tanjong Pagar is more like City (Liverpool St/Moorgate)/Canary Wharf/Shoreditch.
It depends on what you like and is used to. I live in HV and used to live in London, similar areas. But that's not for everyone, whereas it works for us.

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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby soulsearching » Thu, 20 Aug 2015 4:03 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:JR8 you certainly put some colour to the areas.
I would say Club Street is more like Soho/Covent Garden/Camden. Tanglin/Holland V/Bukit Timah more like Primrose Hill/Hampstead/Marylebone. Orchard is more like Knightsbridge/Chelsea. Tanjong Pagar is more like City (Liverpool St/Moorgate)/Canary Wharf/Shoreditch.
It depends on what you like and is used to. I live in HV and used to live in London, similar areas. But that's not for everyone, whereas it works for us.



Well we recently brought a house in Hertfordshire and moved there from Canary Wharf due to our daughter (3 year old). This I guess tells a bit about us, that we would like a place, which has a bit of "activity" side to it. As you might know Canary Wharf is all a bit like Singapore, and we wanted a bit more suburban life. Now I know if we move to Singapore, this might not be possible hence we want to know of some places that atleast has more thingd for her to do (me and wifey can really accomodate anywhere)

So can any of you recommend areas away from the ones I mentioned above and as JR8 puts it are a bit $$$. (although dont mind the $$$ bit, but definetely want a better or atleast similar quality of life for little one). Here she is actively going to David Lloyds for swim lessons, tennis classes, etc.

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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby Primrose Hill » Thu, 20 Aug 2015 5:37 pm

I used to live in Camden/Belsize/Primrose/Hampstead ish area even with a kid. We aren't into the suburban lifestyle whilst working in Moorgate. That gave us a space out of the city, far enough away but not too far in terms of commuting times. It still have the parks, smaller shops (4years ago) yet with the family feel to it
We feel in Singapore, the Tanglin/HV/Bukit Timah areas provided that for us. A lot more of the older properties that have tennis courts/squash courts and children play area as well as pool. There's tennis courts in Dempsey for tennis; public courts or if you are working for a British company, you may get substantial rebate if you join British Club, where there's pool and tennis courts.

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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby Primrose Hill » Thu, 20 Aug 2015 5:43 pm

Also there is small parks/play areas around Old Holland Rd/Sixth Avenue and there's Botanic Gardens as well.

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Re: Pre-relo trip - What to do to make best use of time?

Postby soulsearching » Mon, 07 Sep 2015 5:05 pm

back fellas! did our scouting trip and things went real good (expect the 2 days jet lag, which was hard to shake). We have nearly made up our mind and "might" be moving Mid-November. looking to rent in Orchard or Newton .... will check once am there formally.


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