When Singapore is mentioned, the word expensive comes to mind. The city, after all, has just been awarded the not so coveted title of “most expensive city in the world to live in”. Fortunately, there are still places in the tiny city-state where you can gaze at amazing landscapes; learn about the country’s history and culture; and relax without spending so much money.
No visit to the Lion City is complete without that obligatory photo with the city’s icon, the Merlion, a creature which is half lion and half fish. The statue spouting water from its mouth is 8.6 meters tall and weighs 70 tonnes.
Haw Par Villa
What do you do when you have so much money after your business takes off? The founders of Tiger Palm decided to create a park that imparts traditional Chinese values with Chinese mythology inspired diorama and statues. One of the highlights of Haw Par Villa is the 10 Courts of Hell which is a representation of the punishment people will suffer in hell for committing various sins.
ION Orchard 56th Level
Who says you have to pay more than $20 to have a good view of the city? Most people recognize Orchard as a shopping district but it is also home to one of Singapore’s finest kept secrets, the 56th level of ION Orchard. How to get there? Alight at Orchard MRT, go to Level 4 of ION Art Gallery then take a lift to Level 55, go up one more floor by foot and you will have an amazing view.
Hidden in the heart of the Muslim Quarter, Haji Lane is abundant in shop-houses with magnificent finds. If you are a fashionista or someone looking for unique funds, Haji Lane is a must-visit. After an afternoon spent looking for shabby-chic finds, you can head to Cafe le Caire for a Middle Eastern feast.
Chinatown Heritage Center
Chinatown Heritage Center is one cultural tour in Singapore which visitors must never miss. Scenes from 19th and 20th century bedrooms and houses have been recreated faithfully to give you that feeling of being back in time. Chinatown is also a great place for you to get some souvenirs to bring home.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
If you love the bucolic life, away from the noise of cars and the construction mega structures or if you have more than enough time in your hands to while away, head to Singapore Botanic Gardens. As you roam around this green spot in a city filled with modern buildings, you will see both locals and foreigners alike relaxing, reading books, taking pictures and even practicing Taichi.
MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir Park
People who love the great outdoors with enough time to spare while in Singapore, should go to MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir Park. It is a popular destination for runners, water sport enthusiasts and nature lovers. Read my blog entry about it.