We all know that the world's best airport sits in the far east of our island and that it's an incredibly busy space.
We also know that the East is home to plenty of excellent food options ranging from hipster cafes that dish out Instagram-worthy food to hawker food that you can stuff yourself with every other day.
Even if you aren't that much of a foodie or traveller, you now have more reasons to make a trip to the east of Singapore with GET.com's list of 10 places you can explore at zero cost!
What are you waiting for?
1. Animal Lovers League
Image source: animalloversleague.com
Everyone knows about the S.P.C.A. but did you know you can spread some love and volunteer your time with the animals at Animal Lovers League as well?
These furry little ones could definitely do with more love and care. Take note that it's not an easy task as you need to have a lot of commitment, kindness and passion for caring for animals.
Those with big hearts who would like to spend some free time volunteering can check out their website to find out more.
No.61 Pasir Ris Farmway 3
Contact Cathy at +65 9154 6422 to arrange an appointment
Visiting hours are from 12:00pm - 6:00pm
2. Sandcastle At East Coast Park
Image source: victoriashih.wordpress.com
The Sandcastle building used to be one of the favourite pastimes of many children, before electronic gadgets took over the world by storm. Here's an activity that is fun, creative and meaningful altogether.
Head down to the sandy beaches of East Coast Park to volunteer your time with Castle Beach, a non-profit organization that provides sandcastle team-building activities for children who come from diverse, challenging backgrounds. I'm pretty sure these children will have a whale of a time with your company!
Volunteering is something that is close to my heart as it's nice to be able to make a difference. Those with similar sentiments should definitely check this option out.
*Note: Coastline Leisure at Area E2 is closed for renovation and is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2015. You might want to give them a call to check before heading down.
East Coast Park, Carpark E2 (In front of Food Village)
Weekends: 3:30pm - 7:00pm
3. NEWater Visitor Centre
Image source: garmin.com.sg
The NEWater Visitor Centre is a fantastic choice of place for a family day out, filled with anticipation and excitement. Singapore is resource-scarce and it is of utmost importance to inculcate that in children so that they'll be aware of the need to avoid wasting resources unnecessarily.
The educational tour is an enriching one that seeks to promote water sustainability in Singapore and educate the masses on how they clean up the gunk from waste waters to make it safe for consumption. I bet you won't bat an eyelid when asked to drink that bottled goodness after the trip!
Note: To ensure a pleasant visit, visitors are strongly encouraged to book a tour in advance.
20 Koh Sek Lim Road
Tuesday-Sunday: 9:00am - 5:30pm (Including public holidays)
4. Road Safety Community Park
Image source: driving-in-singapore.spf.gov.sg
The Road Safety Community Park at East Coast Park is a place all children will love. Catering to children of all ages, the Road Safety Community Park features a mini traffic environment complete with a miniature traffic infrastructure such as traffic lights, road crossings and zebra crossings for them to hone their road-safety skills in a safe environment.
It is an invaluable experience that will let them learn about proper road safety and the importance of being a responsible road user. Children can even role-play as a driver, pedestrian or cyclist!
It is advised that you pack insect repellent, adequate water and a hat as it can get rather sunny in some areas despite the many rest stops and trees in the park.
East Coast Park Service Road
5. Katong Antique House
Image source: yoursingapore.com
Visit this gem in the east to learn more about the Peranakan culture if you haven't already done so. Mr Peter Wee, a fourth-generation Peranakan, is the owner of the Katong Antique House. He will be more than happy to share his stories and experiences with you, so don't be shy!
His dedication in preserving the colourful Peranakan community's heritage for both tourists and Singaporeans is very inspiring. The Katong Antique House holds so much history that is worth learning, appreciating and conserving altogether.
Be prepared to go back in time to a long-forgotten era once you step foot in the Katong Antique House.
208 East Coast Road
Call 6345 8544 for tours and appointments.
11:00am - 4:30pm daily
6. Changi Chapel And Museum
Image source: garmin.com.sg
This is the place to visit if you're curious about our ancestors and what they'd gone through for Singapore during the unnerving World War II through artefacts such as letters, drawings and photographs. You can join a 45-minute guided tour around the compound too.
The Changi Museum houses in-depth accounts of the lives of Singaporeans, civilians and POWs who were imprisoned in Singapore and the surrounding countries during the Japanese Occupation.
The Changi Chapel was built to pay tribute to all the courageous individuals who'd given their best in protecting Singapore and her people. It also houses a box of sand from Changi Beach where the calamitous Sook Ching massacre took place.
1000 Upper Changi Road North
9:30am – 5:00pm daily
Last admission at 4.30pm (including public holidays)
7. Changi Point Coastal Walk
Image source: farm9.staticflickr.com/8069/8187280761_dca683b7b2_o.jpg
Soak in the rustic, natural ambience as you stroll along this 2.6km path that stretches along the Changi coastline. You'll be happy to know that even though it's well-lit, much thought went into integrating the terrain, flora and fauna with the design of the boardwalk to ensure seamlessness.
It is a very manageable walk so long as you put on proper footwear. Also, those who love sunsets should definitely plan their trip to end at the westernmost portion of the boardwalk at Sunset Walk so that you'll be there in time to watch the sun descend into the flaming horizon.
Click here to learn more about the Changi Point Coastal Walk.
51 Lorong Bekukong
8. Mainland Tropical Fish Farm
Image source: mainlandfishfarm.com
If the ocean and its vast array of sea creatures fascinate you, you'll have to pay Mainland Tropical Fish Farm a visit. It is a perfect spot for children to observe and learn about fish and other sea creatures up close.
The most unique draw here is probably arapaima, the largest freshwater fish in the world. Stingrays, red and silver arowanas, monstrous catfishes and freshwater prawns are available, too.
Children have the option to take part in "longkang fishing" and "live prawn fishing" though these aren't free of charge. They get to keep the fish and prawns though! On the other hand, adults can go for the fish spa therapy that is available at the farm.
No.1 Pasir Ris Farmway 1
8:30am - 7:00pm daily
9. Ericsson Pet Farm
Image source: ericssonpets.wordpress.com
Ericsson Pet Farm is a one-stop destination for all pet lovers and children who love furry creatures. Besides selling accessories and pet food supplies, adorable puppies, kittens and other small creatures that make almost all kids squeal in delight are sold as well.
It's absolutely okay to visit this pet zoo for a fun day out even if you aren't ready to get a pet. Remember that owning a pet entails a lot of responsibility and commitment, get one (or a few) only when you know you really want a pet and can love your pet unconditionally.
No.16 Pasir Ris Farmway 2
10:30am - 7:00pm daily
10. Coney Island Park
Image source: hasayang.wordpress.com
Here's an island off the coast of Punggol that you can stop over in your free time. Coney Island, also known as Serangoon Island, is renowned for being a pit stop for migratory birds. Those who enjoy bird-watching should definitely spend some time exploring the island.
Boasting natural rustic charm stemming from the wide variety of habitats, it is a place that nature enthusiasts will love for its vast array of fascinating flora and fauna - some of which are nationally-threatened species!
Those who like to cycle can do just that at Coney Island, too. All you have to do is bring your own bike or rent one from Punggol Point Park. There is a 2.4 km-long path, part of the park connector network, which cyclists can use to travel between Pasir Ris and Punggol.
According to URA's master plan, a part of Coney Island is zoned off for residential use in the future. I can't help but wonder if the tranquility of this supposed nature haven will be disturbed. I guess that's reason enough for us to pay the island a visit before the authorities do anything to it!
How to get there:
Cross the link bridge along Punggol Promenade Nature Walk or Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6.
BONUS: Kampung Lorong Buangkok
Image source: en.wikipedia.org
Take your exploration up a notch by visiting Kampung Lorong Buangkok, the last remaining village on mainland Singapore. I daresay most millennials have never experienced anything remotely close to authentic village life!
I digress, but the only times I'd lived like a villager was when I did a volunteering stint with a bunch of university friends in a Cambodian village for 18 days back in 2011. Those were the days when I lived without the internet, air-conditioning, potable water and minimal electricity.
In case you're wondering, Kampung Lorong Buangkok still houses clusters of families! It offers visitors a rich slice of Singapore's history that has pretty much stayed the way it used to be back in the 1950s and 1960s.
Kampung Lorong Buangkok definitely serves as a retreat for those who miss kampung life or those interested in observing and learning more about the possibly last few remnants of traditional Singaporean village life!
How to get there:
The Kampong is located near Gerald Drive off Yio Chu Kang Road.
After visiting east Singapore you might want to take a trip up north to visit 10 fun places in the north of Singapore.