Saturday, 12 April 2014

Visit Singapore on a Cheap Budget (Part 1)

"World's Most Expensive City 2014"-Singapore has outranked placeholder Tokyo for this dubious honor. This new has created quite a stir and it is vigorously discussed in the internet. Many potential visitors to the tiny island have now second thoughts on their plans.

Being a true blue Singaporean living in here for 40 over years, I believe there are some misconceptions on this statement. Yes, Singapore is not a cheap country to stay. There are high end retail shops and restaurants that dig deep into your pockets. But you also have the options to visit normal street shops and cheap hawker centers for your needs.

Traveling here does not mean one has to visit expensive destinations. There are cheap and even free ones around to satisfy your travel lusts.  For this blog, I like to contribute my bits as a local and let you know the various destinations that you can visit on a cheap budget. Here it goes:

1. Merlion Park

Merlion and Marina Bay Sands

A must visit for your trip here. This is where Singapore most famous icon-The Merlion is situated. This is also where you can take fabulous skyline pictures of the "Spaceship hotel"-Marina Bay Sand, the "Durian"-Esplanade and Singapore Flyer. Four famous Singapore landmarks at a glance and it's for free. What more can you ask for ;-)?

Cost: Free
How to get there: Take MRT to Esplanade station. Follow directional signs and walk 10 mins to Merlion Park.
Further info: Here    

2. Singapore River Boat Ride

Bumboat at Fullerton Hotel

Make sure you take this river ride which takes you on the iconic bumboat down Singapore River from Clark Quay to Marina Bay Sand. The historic river will bring you pass many famous Singapore landmarks like the Asian Civilization Museum, Fullerton Building, Sir Stamford Raffles statue etc. Be fascinated by the colorful shop houses and pubs (converted from former cargoes' and coolies' houses) line along Clark Quay and Boat Quay.

There are two kinds of available ride. Take the one meant for locals (at SGD$3 per person only)which is called River Taxi than the one (Singapore River Cruise) for tourists (SGD$22). I found out the vast cost differences were due to the latter offering commentaries and a longer ride. But personally, I think the cheaper version is good enough. The only drawback is that you may have to wait longer for the ride compares to those taking the River Cruise package.

Cost: SGD $3 per person (Latest: You need to have EZ-link cards to enjoy this prices. They can be easily bought from MRT stations or 7-11 stores)
How to get there: Take MRT to Clark Quay. Walk 5 minutes to jetty. At the ticket booth, ask for the $3 River Taxi Ride.
Further info: Here

3. Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa

This place is always overlooked by tourists as many may not know it even exists! I advise you not to as it is the one and only left in the World. The ones at Hong Kong and China have been tore down for development very long ago. The place is filled with all kinds of statues that depict Chinese folklore, history and legends. You will need to climb a bit to explore this amazing place.

The highlight of this destination shall be the "Ten Courts of Hell". Be warned that this is not for the faint hearts as it describes the extreme punishment for the sins commit in one's lifetime.

Cost: Free
How to get there: Take MRT to Haw Par Villa station. Walk 2 minutes to Haw Par Villa.
Further info: Here

4.  Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands at night

Not to worry. I am not asking you to stay here. For sure, it will cost a bomb. But come here at night to experience Singapore's latest icon at it's best. Stand at the Helix bridge and admire the marvelous architecture at close distance. Enjoy the breeze and the Singapore skyline.

Catch the Laser and Water show (at 8pm, 9.30pm and 11pm on Friday and Saturday, and 8pm and 9.30pm on Sunday) which lasts 13 minutes long. Best place to catch the show is at the Event Plaza of Marina Bay Sands. If you have spare cash to spend, try your luck at the Casino.

Cost: Free
How to get there: Take MRT to Bayfront station.
Further info: Here

5. Gardens by the Bay


This attraction is just opposite Marina Bay Sands. The Supertrees are good reasons enough to visit the place. Standing at about 50 meters tall each,  you can easily spot them from a distance. The Gardens have different themes which allow visitors to witness plants that narrate the multicultural histories of  Singapore.

At night, the Supertrees are lit up in stunning light which never fail to amaze and impress visitors. There is a newly opened playground (both wet and dry) which will keep your young ones happy. You can easily spend half a day here. Take note all attractions are free there except the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.

Cost: Free     
How to get there: Take MRT to Bayfront station. Follow directional signs and walk 10 minutes to the Gardens.
Further info: Here

I will end this blog with these recommendations. More to come for Part 2. Hope they are helpful to you!

Related Posts: Visit Singapore on a Cheap Budget (Part 2)

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  1. Great tips! I spent some time in Singapore a few weeks ago and it's not that expensive as long as you know some budget friendly places. I agree with you, the city has so much to offer in terms of sightseeing on the cheap!

  2. Hi Agness Walewind, totally agree with you :-)!

  3. Great tips! I'd love to visit Singapore this year. Any suggestions on accomodation?

  4. Hi Elena Travelgram, thanks for visiting my site. Accommodation will depend very much on your budget. For low to mid range (around slightly over SGD $100 plus for a twin room), you can try the Hotel 81 chain. The one located at Chinatown is very near the MRT station and a good place to start your tour of Singapore. Book thru for discount :-)

  5. Hi Taikwee!

    Great post, I totally agree with what you said about the Gardens By The Bay, on our previous visit I think it was my favourite place - especially at night. We didn't do the boat ride though - I'll put that on my list!

    We've recently done a quick 2 day visa run to Singapore from KL and tried not to spend too much money. As it wasn't our first visit we found some places that some visitors don't see when they are only there a couple of days.

    Maybe you could check out my post if you have time:

  6. Hi minisuitcase, thanks for visiting my site. I am glad you are able to visit my homeland on a cheap budget. Thumb up to your site and the great inexpensive tips on visiting Singapore :-)

  7. You did a good research. It is an excellent destination. The city is very beautiful. In summer I think I could go there on vacation, and your info helps me a lot. Thank you and take care of yourself!

  8. Hi Marcia Taams, thanks for your visit again. Glad that you love my Country. Have a happy weekend!

  9. posting this in 2017 hope its things are still free and cheap :-P thanksTaikwee Tan

  10. Not to worry, our tips are still valid :-)