Travel writer Jack Levitt talks us through his explorations of three major cities in the Far EastWritten by Jack Levitt on 10th December 2017
Top 3: Free Things to Do in Singapore
Travel writer, Alys, suggests activities when exploring Singapore on a budget
Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands hotel
As an eco-friendly attraction, the Gardens by the Bay are a great example of Singapore’s tourism industry working to benefit the environment. The high-tech ‘supertrees’ are covered in thousands of plants and are designed to produce solar energy. At night, the structures illuminate to create a spectacular sight during the light shows (7.45pm and 8.45pm daily). Leave a couple of hours to explore the gardens especially if entering the flower dome and cloud forest, at additional costs. The gardens can be easily accessed from the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which has become a popular attraction for its impressive architecture. Browse the designer shops in the mall beneath the hotel to escape the city’s raging humidity.
Singapore’s Botanic gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the city’s most popular attractions all year round. The 74-hectare site includes an array of themed gardens, a rare section of primeval rainforest, and the symphony lake, which provides a romantic setting for seasonal opera performances. The botanic gardens are also home to the National Orchid Garden which can be accessed for $5. For the most enjoyable experience, avoid visiting during the midday heat. When it comes to Botanic gardens Singapore outshines most others, and considering that Birmingham’s own Botanic gardens have an entrance fee, visiting this expansive botanic wonderland is an absolute steal not to be missed.
MacRitchie Treetop walk
Definitely a less well-known attraction in Singapore, the MacRitchie Treetop walk could prove that the best places of interest are not always those that appear on Instagram or Pinterest. Located within the MacRitchie nature reserve, you need to walk 4.5km from the MacRitchie Reservoir, or 2.5km from Venus Drive to begin the treetop trail. The walk provides a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy, and takes approximately 2-3 hours in total. It is difficult to imagine the bustling city centre from your viewpoint within this hidden gem with not a skyscraper in sight. Note that the walk is closed on Mondays.