Easties vs Westies, which camp has it better? That is definitely one conundrum that bothers Singaporeans.
I reside in the northeastern part of Singapore so I guess I'm more of an Eastie at heart. And that's probably why I never fail to bemoan each time I had to trudge to Kent Ridge for lessons the past few years.
Adjectives like "ulu" and "boring" often cloud my head whenever I think of western Singapore. Well, even though I still feel that the eastern part of Singapore has more to offer (see 10 fun places to visit in east Singapore), I eat my words.
There are places you can explore in western Singapore and this list that I've shortlisted here stocks some pretty cool options that cost you nothing!
1. Stargaze At Singapore Science Centre
Image source: oneminuteastronomer.com
I'd love to see stars if this is what it really means to see stars. Anyhow, these enchanting stargazing sessions make a clever date idea should you be attempting to impress your special one.
Note that these weekly sessions take place at the observatory located at the Omni Theatre Building and that they only open till 10pm.
I can only imagine how exciting it would be to admire majestic stars and planets in real life!
Science Centre Singapore Observatory
21 Jurong Town Hall Road
Fridays: 7:45pm - 10:00pm (except public holidays)
2. Japanese Garden
Image source: allaboutjennifer.wordpress.com
For a peaceful, calming respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, visit the Japanese Garden.
It is interesting to note that so much thought was put into designing the Japanese Garden. Their aim was to evoke inner peace within its visitors with those stone lanterns, rocks, and arched bridges that give a similar feel to traditional gardens in Japan.
Even the gardening techniques used are based on those used in Japan from the Muromachi period (1392-1568) to the Momoyama period (1568-1615). How authentic is that?
1 Chinese Garden Road
Monday-Sunday: 6:00am - 7:00pm
3. Xiao Guilin
Image source: Daniel Cheong
The Bukit Batok Town Park is colloquially known as Xiao Guilin due to its uncanny likeness to the scenery in Guilin, China.
This serene corner in the western part of Singapore is worth a visit for its calmness, greenery and fresh air.
Also, this location is perfect if you fancy pranking your friends by snapping pictures with the glorious granite rocks in the backdrop. With a Facebook caption like "Hello, China", nobody will be able to tell!
Bukit Batok East Avenue 5
4. Haw Paw Villa
Image source: forums.sgclub.com
Haw Par Villa was established by the Tiger Balm founders to impart traditional Chinese values to the community, inspired by Chinese mythology, legends and Confucianism.
This may not be your typical idea of fun with its massive collection of statues and dioramas depicting Chinese legends and folklore, but a trip to the fascinatingly creepy "10 Courts of Hell" may just be what it takes to make you strive to be a good person through and through.
The full experience may be a tad too horrifying for the young, nonetheless. Scaredy cats like me should definitely consider paying it a visit when the sun's hanging high in the sky!
Journeys, Haw Par Villa's newly appointed operator, have plans to restore and reinstate its sculptures and eventually push for Haw Par Villa to achieve national monument status.
262 Pasir Panjang Road
Monday-Friday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
5. Westgate Wonderland
Image source: capitalandmallasia.com
All parents who've had trouble prying digital devices away from their young children can consider taking them to Westgate.
Situated on the fourth level of the shopping mall is Westgate Wonderland, Singapore's largest rooftop mall playground with a larger-than-life garden theme.
Westgate Wonderland is open to children of all ages and is absolutely free-of-charge!
If the different play areas catering to different age groups from 2 to 12 and interactive wet play areas aren't enough to entice your children, you might want to let them know that special lighting and sound effects will transform Westgate Wonderland when night falls and create new adventures for them.
3 Gateway Drive
Mall opening hours:
10:00am - 10:00pm
6. NTU's Art, Design And Media Building
Image source: designdautore.blogspot.sg
This must be the coolest school building in Singapore, hands down. The green roof atop this creative architectural masterpiece provides its users space at a whole new level, literally.
I reckon this green space is ideal for a picnic, kite-flying or even just a casual hang-out spot away from the crowd. Just make sure you aren't chugging alcohol or fooling around!
The ADM Library situated within this eco-friendly building provides a wealth of resources if you are interested in discovering more in evolving disciplines from visual art, architecture, drawing, to even photography!
Art, Design & Media Library
81 Nanyang Drive
Nanyang Technological University
Monday-Friday 8:30am - 9:30pm
Saturday 8:30am - 5:00pm
7. Jurong Eco-Garden
Image source: mynatureexperiences.wordpress.com
Jurong Eco-Garden is located in CLeanTech Park, Singapore's first eco-business park. It spans approximately 5 hectares next to the Nanyang Technological University campus.
This relatively-new green haven boasting more than 139 species of flora and fauna is a respite for the working community and residential community in the vicinity.
Of course, nobody's stopping you if you reside in the east and decide to venture to the other side! It is always nice to rejuvenate in nature, after all.
1 Clean Tech Loop
7:00am - 7:00pm
8. Pandan Reservoir
Image source: leezy86.wordpress.com
Pandan Reservoir is a sanctuary for those seeking the much-needed tranquility that stressful lifestyles have unfortunately robbed us of.
With benches and lights scattered along the perimeter of the reservoir, one can only be thankful that he or she can jog on the gravel tracks in peace - even at night. Although it is advised that you have company and that children are always accompanied by adults!
If jogging and/or fishing is too mainstream for you, why not try out water sports like canoeing, kayaking, rowing or sailing? Note that these obviously aren't free and that you have to rent these facilities. Visit this website for more information.
Junction of West Coast Road & Pandan Gardens
9. Farm Visit To Hay Dairies Goat Farm
Image source: streetdirectory.com
Hay Dairies is Singapore's one and only goat farm that produces goat's milk for sale (original and chocolate flavoured) to the public.
It's open for free and there are easy farm visits at no charge. Find out how Hay Dairies operate a goat farm right here in urbanised Singapore.
This will be an exciting excursion for both children and adults as it's not an everyday thing that we get the opportunity to view goat milking sessions up close!
It is recommended that you visit between 9:00am to 10:30am if catching the milking session is your priority.
- Farm is closed on every Tuesday (except public holidays) and the general public will not be allowed to visit the farm.
- For groups with 20 or more people, prior booking is required.
- Unfortunately, due to AVA regulation, visitors are currently not allowed to touch and feed the goats.
- Visitors who are visiting Hay Dairies Pte Ltd are not allowed to visit any of the cow farms due to hygiene reasons. Those who have visited Europe in the last three months are not allowed to visit their farm.
3 Lim Chu Kang
Monday, Wednesday-Sunday: 9:00am - 4:00pm
10. Army Museum Of Singapore
Image source: kusuisland.wordpress.com
I'm sure many of you have your interests piqued having watched Jack Neo's Ah Boys To Men movies. What better way to channel those patriotic and positive energies than to pay a visit to the Army Museum of Singapore?
Here, you'll get to gain more insights about our army, take pictures with tanks, paint your face and put on your camouflaging game, learn about the army's operations and most importantly, pay tribute to NSmen and all those who have contributed to the defence of our tiny island home.
The Army Museum of Singapore seeks to preserve the heritage of the Singapore Army through exhibits, personal anecdotes, 4-D film screenings and even a simulated shooting range where you can try your hand at being a marksman!
The Army Museum of Singapore is located in the SAFTI Military Institute, near to Singapore Discovery Centre. Admission is free for all Singaporeans and PRs.
500 Upper Jurong Road
Blk 78 #02-25
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
*Open on public holidays including Mondays
To find even more places in Singapore to visit for free, take a look at our list of 10 fun places to visit in the north of Singapore.