At the airport, you will find brochures of the various tourist destinations and even at the hotel lobby. Almost all of these flyers/brochures show the map of Singapore and the routes of the MRT. If you can read and understand English, there should be no problem. You also need the basics on land navigation too. Well, just find where north, south, west and east by identifying the sun's location. If you're still unsure, ask a friend-----almost everyone in Singapore is very warm and hospitable.
This is the sample of the map that are printed in the flyers. You will see color-coded routes indicating the name of the stations (usually the name of the location). NE route means that the train will follow the north-east line while Circle Line is the route which is colored light orange. You must also spot which stations are the 'interchange' and has bus route connections. From this map, you will find which route you are supposed to use from your specific location and if you need to use another train route in an interchange.
MRT stations are clearly marked and can be seen from a distance. It is a shaded area with identification marks showing the name of the station as shown in the right side of the photo.
You can find the ticketing machines and the trains at least three levels down from here.
Read directions and follow them carefully. The specific platform number is indicated, showing the final destination of the train that comes in that platform.
If you want to get the cheaper E-Z link card, you must find the passenger's office where you can buy it. For a 1-ride pass card, you can buy this from the GTM (General Ticketing Machine). It comes with a deposit of at least SGD 1.00 so you need to refund this at the GTM in your point of disembarcation. The GTM works like an ATM. Just follow all the directions. The pass card will come out at the bottom as shown. (Prepare smaller bills like SGD 1.00, SGD 5.00, when you buy the tickets through the GTM).
The GTM has a touch screen that shows the map of the MRT routes. If you want to make your life easier during your first try, ask the help from MRT station assistant. The woman in the left-most photo is one of them. Just flash as smile and she will readily help you.
Use the gates with green arrows, tap the card on top of the reader to open the gate. If the card doesn't work, do not attempt to hurdle the gate by jumping over it! You can go to the passenger's office to have your ticket/pass card validated.
At the level of the platforms, you can find signages like this where you can confirm the train stations and most importantly, which platform has the train that goes to your destination!
In the platform, you will find arrows beside the glass doors. You must not go beyond this line. The blue arrow that is pointing outward is the direction of the disembarking passengers. Allow them to come out first before entering the door. Be attentive of the gap between the platform and the floor of the train.
You are lucky if there are available seats once you hop in. Be aware that there are marked 'reserved seats' such as the one to my right. This is reserved for pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly. If no passenger belongs to that category in your group, you can use this seat but you must be ready to offer this seat when someone needs it.
While travelling, be attentive of the public address system and the electronic signages. The name of the next train station is always announced and flashed in the screen.
In the MRT station where you disembark, don't forget to refund the SGD 1.00 deposit, if you're using the 1-ride pass card. For E-z link card, you just need to top up through this same machine if needed.