5 wallet-friendly ways to spend your holiday weekends

It’s that time of the year again – when bright lights line the streets and overwhelming festive vibes make you itch for a quiet respite from the city. Or, perhaps you are planning a budget staycation for the family. Keen to explore somewhere within Singapore that will not break the bank? Here are 5 ideas to enjoy your escape into nature!

Go hiking

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Henderson Waves | Credit: NParks Singapore

Take a hike through the Southern Ridges, starting from Mount Faber Park and trek on for up to 10km through Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk. With the stunning Henderson Waves as the highlight of your hike, you’ll see why a walk through the Southern Ridges is a different experience from your usual stroll in the neighbourhood park.

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Bell of Happiness | Credit: The Carrot Patch

On the way, pick up saga seeds as a token of love for your partner, drop by the historical remnants of the British battlement at Labrador, or make a wish of everlasting joy with the Bell of Happiness at Mount Faber’s Faber Peak to spice up your journey.

Planning your trip

Cost: Free
Getting there: From Harbourfront MRT Exit D, enter via Marang Trail.
Find out more: NParks – The Southern Ridges

 

Cycle on an offshore island

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Coney Island Entrance | Credit: NParks Singapore

Escape from the bustling main island of Singapore by hopping on your wheels and going for a leisurely ride in Coney Island Park. Find paths lined with towering casuarina trees, rare birds nesting in corners and 5 unique beach habitats featuring different coastal plants. Even if the legendary Brahman bull is no longer around, there are still many remarkable sightings to look out for!

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Bird Hide | Credit: NParks Singapore

Stop at the bird hide and be fascinated by various species such as the Common Tailorbird and the Baya Weaver as they stitch leaves or knot grass strips to create their homes. You can also take a step back in time when you pass by the vintage rusty bin on display and the abandoned ruins of the Haw Par Beach Villa – distant reminders of the island’s history.

Planning your trip

Cost: Free
Getting there: From Punggol MRT, take bus 84 and walk 500m to Coney Island Park West Entrance.
Find out more: NParks – Coney Island Park

 

Visit the last kampong in Singapore

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Lorong Buang Kok entrance | Credit: Honeycombers Singapore

Your parents or grandparents might have shared a tale or two as they reminisced about the kampong spirit that eludes the modern high-rise HDB flats. How better to understand such a lifestyle than to see it with your own eyes? Take a walk in the quaint pocket of space filled with zinc-roofed one-storey wooden houses. Juxtaposed against brand new apartments, the kampong stands strong against the impact of urbanisation. It’s also evidence of how our living environment has changed.

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Clothes hung between trees | Credit: The Smart Local Singapore

Challenge yourself to some fun by counting the number of homes in the kampong as you go down the lanes. Discover the way of life in a kampong – where clothes are hung between tree trunks, live chickens are reared and residents leave their gates open. But here’s a tip, don’t forget to be respectful and ask for permission if you’re taking photos near any houses!

Planning your trip

Cost: Free
Getting there: From Serangoon MRT, take bus 70 or 103 and alight at Church of St. Vincent de Paul. Cross the road, then cross the canal to find it on the left side of the road.
Find out more: Singapore Infopedia – Kampong Lorong Buangkok

 

Kayak through mangroves

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Entering mangroves habitat on Pulau Ubin | Credit: Adventures by Asian Detours

Seeking a bigger adventure? Paddle your way through Singapore’s mangroves on a guided tour, best explored as you glide through the swamps and take your time to appreciate the rich biodiversity. A paddlers’ favourite is the mangrove habitat on Pulau Ubin that’s part of the Chek Jawa Wetlands. Look out for the mudskippers, fiddler crabs and the magnificent mangroves that flank the kayak route, including the attap palm that produces the attap seeds in ice kachang desserts.

Planning your trip

Cost: About $85 per adult and $65 per child for a tour.
Getting there: Catch a ferry to Pulau Ubin from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
Find out more: Asian Detours – Mangrove Kayaking Adventure or kayakasia – Ubin Rivers Trail

 

Explore a farm

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Bollywood Veggies Farm | Credit: Bollywood Veggies

You might have a brief idea of how your food ends up on your plate but nothing beats seeing it in person. Head off on a journey to learn about growing greens and milking cattle in the north-western part of Singapore. As the heart of all sorts of farms, Lim Chu Kang is a treasure trove to get a glimpse of agriculture in Singapore.

For the uninitiated, start with the family-friendly Bollywood Veggies where you can step right onto a farm to touch or smell the plants. The farmhouse also offers experiences like tasting fresh produce at the bistro, learning about natural remedies or even planting paddy!

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Hay Dairies’ Goats | Credit: Hay Dairies

After familiarising yourself with leaves, roots and stems, next up would be farm animals. If you want to treat your taste buds to a new flavour, try Hay Dairies for some creamy goodness from goats.

Alternatively, you can also drink some locally-produced cow’s milk at Viknesh Dairy Farm as you watch the farmhands milk the cattle.

Planning your trip

Bollywood Veggies/Hay Dairies
Cost: Free entry. Activity costs vary.
Getting there: From Kranji MRT, hop on the shuttle bus.
Find out more: Bollywood Veggies/Hay Dairies

Viknesh Dairy Farm
Cost: Free entry
Getting there: From opposite Choa Chu Kang MRT, take bus 975 and alight at Opp Neo Tiew Rd. Take a 1-minute walk to the farm.
Find out more: Viknesh Dairy Farm

 


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