14 Free Things to Do in Southeast Asia Perfect for Budget Travelers

14 Free Things to Do in Southeast Asia Perfect for Budget Travelers
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Traveling is always fun and exciting however, it could get pretty costly. But smart travelers like you always find ways to pay less! If you’re searching for free things to do in Southeast Asia, we got you covered!

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of activities you can do which are not only inexpensive but are actually free! We’ve rounded up some of the best free things to do in Southeast Asia that you will definitely enjoy and help you save thousands of bucks!

Malaysia

1. Watch dance performances in Central Market

malaysians performing cultural dance

There’s more to Kuala Lumpur than its temples and skyscrapers! What makes Malaysia truly colorful is its immersive culture as well as talented people. The weekly Cultural Performances at Central Market near Pasar Seni LRT Station are sure to entertain both tourists and locals alike, while increasing appreciation for Malaysia’s history and culture. Not only this is great but watching cultural dance performances is definitely one of the best free things to do in Malaysia.

2. Visit Batu Caves

colorful stairs at batu caves

If you’re wondering where the colorful stairs in Malaysia is, it’s in Batu Caves! And one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur is exploring it! Yes, it’s definitely free! It houses several caves and Hindu shrines. There are three main caves you can check out at Batu Caves: Art Gallery Cave, Museum Cave, and Cathedral cave—the most famous cave. Visitors must climb to some 272 step to reach the peak. The interior of which is decorated with ornate Hindu shrines and features a large opening at the top where the sunlight streams through.

3. Clubbing

Photo credits to Club Kyō at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

Some people spend too much for clubbing but in Malaysia, you can totally enjoy it without paying anything! Oh yes! Free clubbing exists in Malaysia! If you’re a party lover, you’d definitely enjoy this and help you save lots. Talk about free things to do in Malaysia! One bar to enjoy for free is the Club Kyō at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. Entrance is free before 11:00pm, but the club has a RM40 cover charge, inclusive of one house poured drink, if you visit any later than that.

4. Shopping at Pasar Percuma

 

a woman shopping in malaysia

Pasar Percuma offers a totally different concept of shopping. You will shop here based on the barter system. Choose any item you want to get and in exchange, give something you own or something you don’t need anymore. No money needed! where you can bring anything, say old clothes, shoes, bags etc and exchange it for another item, no money needed. Everything is free in this market. If this doesn’t excite you we don’t know what will. Don’t miss this as shopping at Pasar Percuma is one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur!

Philippines

5. Stroll in the parks of Bonifacio Global City

people having fun at a park in bgc

Whoever said that the Philippines is the true face of a third world country hasn’t seen Bonifacio Global City yet. Bask in the beauty of the most modern city in Metro Manila when you explore the parks in BGC! Go jogging, walk your dog, or marvel at street art in Track 30th and Terra 28th. If you’re into football, join other casual athletes for a game or two at Turf BGC. No entrance fee is required. This is definitely among the most fun free things to do in Metro Manila.

6. Visit the National Museum of the Philippines

facade of the national museum of the philippines

If you’re into history and culture, you should check out the National Museum of the Philippines. It is home to Juan Luna’s famous Spoliarium—the Philippines’ largest painting that’s more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide. The admission here is free! You will enjoy the National Museum because of its art pieces and of course, because it’s one of the best free things to do in Philippines.

7. Check out the only church in Manila that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site

amazing interior of san agustin church

If you’re looking for the best and meaningful free things to do in Philippines, you shouldn’t miss the San Agustin Church. It is the oldest church in the Philippines and the only church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Manila. Everyone who visited was amazed at the masterpiece painted on its ceilings. One amazing fact to know about San Agustin Church is that the Philippines’ first governor-general, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, is buried there.

8. Have a picnic at Rizal Park

bright sunny day at luneta park

The city of Manila has a lot of parks to visit and one of these is the Rizal Park where the monument of the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal is located. Jose Rizal was executed here thus, thus the park is considered as one of the most historical places in Manila. If you’re so bothered by the metro’s traffic but doesn’t want to go all otu and spend too much in hotels or restaurants, consider having a picnic at Rizal Park which is one of the best free things to do in Metro Manila.

Indonesia

9. Tour the Kota Tua Jakarta

colorful bikes parkes outside kota tua

Kota Tua means “Old Town” and is home to the remains of Oud Batavia, a walled Dutch settlement in Jakarta. Touring this neighborhood is sure to delight history and culture buffs. Featuring fantastic Dutch architecture, museums, and temples, you can unearth the former glory of Oud Batavia and learn more about Indonesian history. This is absolutely one of the best free things to do in Jakarta.

10. Watch the fountain show at National Monument

colorful fountain show at national monument in indonesia

The Merdeka Square is not only home to the impressive National Monument but also a popular hanging out spot. Every weekend, the square gets even more lively with a spectacular fountain show, complete with dramatic lights and music that you can enjoy for free. Don’t miss watching the fountain show as it is among the best free things to do in Jakarta.

11. Visit the National Gallery

facade of national gallery indonesia

Even if the National Gallery houses many of Indonesia’s most monumental and prestigious artworks, tourists can enter the National Gallery of Indonesia free of charge. The gallery has more than 1,700 items in its collection for everyone to enjoy. If you’re an art lover, this should top your list of the best free things to do in Indonesia.

12. Lounge at Suropati Park

empty park in jakarta

One of the best free things to do in Indonesia is going to Suropati Park. Suropati Park is tucked in the middle of Jakarta’s busy and modern streets, surrounded by elegant buildings of the upscale Menteng residence. The park is full of tall shady trees that will sway as the fresh air blows. It has a mix of nature, urban, and an artistic vibe that fits any personality. You will find doves here that consider this park as their home and you can occasionally see groups or individuals practicing their musical instruments under the trees.

Singapore

13. Walk in the Southern Ridges in Singapore

aerial shot of tourists walking in southern ridges bridge in singapore

Singapore may arguably be the most artificial and man-made city in Southeast Asia, but if you truly explore it, you’ll find green open spaces that will make you rethink the country’s stereotype. Known as one of the world’s most expensive city, there are also great free things to do in Singapore. The Southern Ridges is a Singaporean park spanning 10 kilometers presenting a wide-angle view of the city. You can take photos of the various plants and animals, have a picnic with friends and family, or observe the different types of birds flying overhead.

14. Stroll around Singapore Botanic Gardens

beautiful walkway in singapore botanic gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to over 10,000 species of flora and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. While strolling around the gardens, you might also see three-foot monitor lizards that sometimes bolt across the paths. Visiting the Botanic Gardens is one of the best free things to do in Singapore because you get to enjoy beautiful sightings without paying anything.

While traveling and engaging in free things to do in Southeast Asia, save even more by choosing ZEN Rooms as your accommodation. Whether you end up in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, or Jakarta, we have different hotel options for you.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

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