If you’ve seen the new movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” which follows an Asian-American woman who discovers that her boyfriend hails from one of the richest families in Singapore where it’s set, you’re probably already dreaming of visiting the Southeast Asian city.
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As showcased in the movie, there are plenty of ways to spend big in Singapore, from buying an orchid-shaped supercar (a luxury car that opens up like the flower) to sipping on gold tea (a white tea plated with 24 karat gold). But Singapore offers a plethora of “rich” experiences you can actually do on a budget, in fact many of the main attractions are actually free.
Here’s how to have a “crazy, rich” time in Singapore without breaking the bank.
With more than one million plants, Gardens by the Bay, is one of the world’s top 20 most checked-in places on Facebook, according to its site.
The gardens, which are free to visit, are spectacular. Plus, there are standout attractions like the Flower Dome ($8 per adult), which is the largest glass greenhouse in the world, according to the 2015 Guinness World Records. The dome features a changing flower display; currently, its Orchard Extravaganza is happening until Aug. 22. Another attraction is the Cloud Forest ($8 per adult), a cool-moist conservatory that features the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, according to its site.
But the absolute, must-see attraction at Gardens by the Bay its stunning and famous Supertree Grove, the vertical, man-made tree-like gardens that stretch high into the sky. The grove itself is free, but the best way to see the attraction is strolling along the OCBC Skyway, which sits 72 feet in the air and connects the vertical gardens; the entry fee is $5 per person. The aerial skyway offers panoramic views of the gardens and the nearby Marina Bay.
Singapore is the perfect city for foodies who want to feast frugally.
Overall, there are currently an impressive 239 Michelin restaurants in Singapore. And while many cost a pretty penny, a number are street food stalls, like food stand Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, famously known for featuring the world’s cheapest Michelin-star meal. It offers up its iconic braised chicken and rice dish for just a $1.50. Other street food stalls in Singapore that boast at least one Michelin star include Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle (starting at $3).
A prominent feature of the Singapore skyline is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel; a building consisting of amazing architecture and a jaw-dropping rooftop.
While hotel rates run steep, anyone can head to the rooftop for the Ce La Vi Restaurant and SkyBar. The views — of Singapore’s skyline, Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Strait — and hanging by its Instagram-famous infinity pool (only hotel guests can swim) are well worth the $14 entry voucher. The voucher is also redeemable for a food and beverage purchase, making it the perfect spot for pre-dinner cocktails or a mid-afternoon snack.
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel also has a SkyPark Observation Deck for $16 but it offers essentially the same views as the restaurant and bar.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park’s hiking trails wind through a tropical rainforest, with macaque monkeys scampering about. Other wildlife includes squirrels, lizards, owls and even flying lemurs.
But the absolute highlight of the park is the TreeTop Walk. Wander across a suspension bridge that floats high above the treetops, 82 feet up at its highest point. The bridge offers amazing views of the forest and “a bird’s eye view of the community of plants and animals that live in the forest canopy,” according to its site. Hiking in the park as well as the Treetop Walk are free.
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