Yes we have finally come around to posting again about our beloved little red dot. It has been such a long time since the last one. Not quite the Gardens by the Bay, the green of the Chinese and Japanese gardens in the western side of Singapore offers you an entirely different experience. Whereas the gardens at the bay are more about ‘in your face’ impressive, this corner of the little red dot offers more poetic solace.
And that is partly because it is set in the heartlands, our local term for the suburban towns and neighbourhoods where most people live. You’ll need to know that Singapore is more than just the shiny skyscrapers and beautiful glitzy hotels in the CBD area. And that not everyone lives in a nice condo.
Home to the workhorses of the country, it is also the place where you’d see more local inhabitants than tourists, so those travelers out there (hey remember to come get your certifications) will be most delighted you can immerse into local culture. Just remember not to overuse the ‘lah’ when you interact and try to blend in like a local. Heheh.
But most importantly, come for a morning walk when the sun rises and reflections of the ball of fire is rippled in the waters surrounding the gardens. Yes! The gardens are set within a body of water, the Jurong lake. Which serves not just as a water catchment (recall this post?) but also a leisure area where folks can take to the water – not swimming, just canoeing etc. You’ll get a fine for getting into the water…sorry.
Recall that the gardens by the bay have otters? Well guess what these gardens have? You’d be surprised with what you see here in the gardens. Find out more here!
Not exactly free for all, the National Gallery of Singapore does have some sections where even those without tickets may slip in for a view.
Read more here about what you can expect for a half day out at the galleries.
However for those who do not want to pay at all, fear not. There is still a reason to come here – and that’s got to be the rooftop viewing platform. Located on the 6th floor (well the roof…), this platform affords a beautiful view not only of the Padang green in front of the city hall building, but also a panorama of the CDB and the Marina Bay.
You can also enjoy a cuppa while literally watching the world go by.
One more free rooftop view in Singapore brought to your attention. You don’t need to sneak your way to take daredevil shots. There’s an elevator for you!
All that recent top of the world stunts inspired copy cats around the world. What about us ‘normal’ travellers? Where can one get free access to panoramic rooftop views? In Singapore that is. For those who had read our post about ION sky, that is one way. But did you know that it is also free to access the top of the old city hall for a rooftop experience too?
Gazetted now as part of the National Gallery, access to the exhibits may not be free (for foreign visitors anyway), but anyone is free to ‘roam’ about. And that includes the rooftop garden terrace and viewing platform.
On a fine day you will look over the vast expanse that is the Padang, home to the country’s national day parades for many years before it was moved to other locations.
It was originally created as a cricket playing ground and club for the colonialists. Today it hosts a variety of sports and is a great vantage to watch the speeding F1 racers circle around the city race track. Good luck to those who think they can skip buying tickets and watch the race from the terrace though…and the night race might well cease after 2018…
Yet another free experience in Singapore. Try it!
In many publications, Singapore is ranked at or near the top. Apparently this applies to the cost of living too. So, how can we encourage more folks to come to our little red dot if its always about cost that would-be travelers are concerned about?
This thought set us to embark on finding as many attractions on the island that are free to access, and that they would mean something to enrich the experiences of folks who really want to make their travel handprint stick (in your memories that is).
The first in a series, we would like to share where you can get fantastic all around panoramic views of the island for – free! Located in the heart of the shopping belt, ION sky is a must go without spending big bucks here. Something quite extraordinary in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
More information if you click through to the page.