The most expensive in the world ironically has a lot of marvelous things to offer for free! I will run down just the things that I experienced myself in Singapore.
1.Visit Churches, Monasteries
I haven’t been to a lot of foreign countries but when I do I always make sure I get to pray inside a Catholic Church. If I’ll be out of the country on a Sunday, it’s a must, too, to attend mass and it always turn out to be a priceless experience in itself. I get to learn a lot, too. In Singapore, Catholic church has to recruit members, unlike here in the Philippines where a recent congress on New Evangelization referred to the current institution as a church in a “maintenance mode”. Common observation in Catholic churches abroad is that devotees are stricter than here in the Philippines. Twice on different countries, I was called out for being loud when I as much tried to speak three words while they were reciting the rosary. Maybe they thought I was just a curious tourist wanting to snap some photos without real care for everything sacred inside the church’s walls. The stares would stop when they see I can make a sign of the cross correctly. I said to my self, I’m gonna make sure no non-Catholics would feel prejudiced with the slightest attempt to get close to Christ. Not at least from me. Tip: Taxi drivers need the exact addresses of these churches. They won’t get it by you just saying Singapore cathedral due to the plethora of churches from several religions in this melting pot.
2. Hotel Pool and Amenities
Hotel Jen in Orchard Road has on its top floor an award-winning infinity pool. Make sure you enjoy the free things your hotel has to offer whether it’s a swimming pool, gym, free bottled water (which can cost up to Php240 outside!), or bikes which you can use to roam around Singapore for free! I used Hotel Jen’s complimentary bike services to exercise one morning and experience another free thing to do in Singapore in item 3 below. We were also amused by Jeno and Jenna, the two helpful robots of the hotel used for room deliveries.
3. Singapore Botanic Garden
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore , Opening Hours: 5 am to 12 midnight daily, Website: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg
A UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of a bustling business district. How can this amazing tropical garden be for free? Why can’t Philippines have the same? I was here at 7am and found joggers, photographers, yoga groups, students on a field trip, and a couple having their pre-nuptial shoot! Though bikes are not allowed inside, you can bike until behind the gates of this 74-hectare garden.
4. Little India
How to Go: Little India MRT station MRT interchange station of the Downtown Line and North East Line
Tip: Download Singapore by Ulmon mobile app. It’s an offline map that has helped me a lot on locating different spots in Little India. On maps found on streets, bus stops and outside of Little India MRT stations, you will be guided on what specific streets you have to go to to see places of interest in Little India.
Places I’ve been to:
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Campbell Lane; Little India Arcade, Sri Veeramakalliamman, Sakya Muni Buddha Temple, Mustafa Center
Hindu Temples are open to all for free. Hindus are tolerant of tourist in my opinion. They don’t mind obvious tourists who take photographs with their big lenses on – as long as they are well-behaved and observe the no-shoe policy inside the temples. Buddhist temples generally do not allow most of the interiors to be photographed. I saw Sakya Muni Buddha Temple but due to its intimidating atmosphere, there were no tourists there, I did not attempt to enter.Litte India contains Mustafa Center which is comparable to Divisoria though a lot smaller. A lot of tourists buy souvenir food items here but the stalls just outside Mustafa Center sells items at cheaper prices, though the choices are limited compared to Mustafa Center. I lost track of time here. I couldn’t help but shop a little and window shop a lot more that I had to go back to hotel sooner than planned because I was carrying too much already.
Location: SCAPE Park , 2 Orchard Link near Somerset MRT Station of North South Line
Graffiti to me means that a community encourages creativity. That it honors the crazy but human angst that pleads expression. That it does not discard scribbles, paintings, and writings on the walls as just meaningless vandals. Instead, emotions are proudly put on display channeling perceived darkness, weirdness, non-conformity into beautiful ways. Photos below are taken at Youth Scape Park, walking distance from Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.
Other places where you can bask yourself in graffiti are: Joo Chiat, Haji Lane, Singapura Club
6. Gardens by the Bay
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore
How to Go: MRT Via Circle or Downtown Line and exit at Dragonfly or Meadow Bridge
Sure the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are with entrance fees but the spectacular view of the Supertrees at night isn’t.
Location: 1 Chinese Garden Road, Singapore
How to Go: Chinese Garden MRT Station of East West Line
I have a friend to thank for this “unique find”. Chinese Garden wasn’t included in my original itinerary. It was a 13.5 hectare of Chinese and Japanese garden recommended by a friend when I needed to fill in what I anticipated to be a boring day. This free garden is very accessible by MRT. People also go here to jog and exercise. More advanced selfies and information on this blog post.