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Asia Pacific Guides

What to buy in Singapore

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Copyright 2012 Asia-Pacific Guides Ltd. All rights reserved.

While Singapore is no longer the bargain-basement it used to be 20 or 30 years ago, it is still one of the world's best shopping destinations, with glitzy malls, high-street shops and authentic bazaars where you can find virtually everything you can think of, from the latest in electronics and gadgets to Chinese religious art, and from colorful Indian batiks to top designers boutiques, and at relatively low prices, especially when compared to Europe and the US. This mini-guide will take you through ten things that are worth buying in Singapore
Electronics and computer ware: Singapore has a
great variety and prices are relatively low. The City shops stock the latest, state-of-the-art electronic products, gadgets, computer, cellular phones, digital cameras and so on... Some of the stuff you will find in the shops here had not yet reached the rest of the world. The best places to look for this kind of stuff include Funan DigitalLife Mall (also known as Funan Centre), on North Bridge Road / Hill Street (just a short walk from either City Hall MRT, as well as from the Singapore River / Clarke Quay) and Sim Lim Square, near Little india (not far from Bugis either). Other places well worth trying are Mustafa, on Serangoon Road, and Lucky Plaza, on Orchard Road. In addition, there are more than a few IT shows that take place in Singapore every year, where you can fetch the best possible prices on electronics (You can try this "Trade Shows Calendar" : It is pretty detailed). Hailed as Asias largest watch boutiques, Cortina Watch Espace boasts a unique shop in shop concept featuring some 12-20 individual brand boutiques within it, including Piguet, Cartier, Omega, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and their likes... Their shops can be found in Marina Bay Sands (The Shoppes #B2-39/39A), as well as in Millenia Walk. . Those of you who look for cheap imitations might find what they are looking for in places like Bugis Village (Corner of Victoria St. and Rochor Rd. Opposite Bugis Junction Shopping Mall): There are shops there that sell reasonable - quality fakes).

Gold and other jewelries: Singapore is a good

place to buy high-quality pieces of jewelry at reasonable prices. Gold, diamonds, pearls and precious gems all sit prominently in every jewelry store window, and the city's goldsmiths are known for their fine workmanship and creative designs. Please note: When buying expensive jeweleries, you'll better focus on shops that display the QJS emblem (QJS stands for Quality Jewelers of Singapore). Developed jointly by the Singapore's Jewelers association and Singapore Tourism Board, the QJS scheme sets the benchmark for the Jewelery industry. Fixed retail prices are based on weight, purity and craftsmanship. Make sure you obtain an invoice indicating the fineness, weight and price of the jewelry item. For more information, please contact the Singapore Jewelers Association, Tel: 6533 4053 When shopping for gold jewellery in Singapore, check if the shop participates in the GST Refund Scheme.

Watches: Great variety at relatively good prices.

Passions Watch Exchange, in Funan Digitalife Mall (#02-20 / 21 / 22) is probably one of your best bets for genuine watches at reasonable prices, and they deal with both brand-new and pre-owned watches. Other good places to look for unique, high-end new and pre-owned watches include Watch Link in Far East Plaza (14 Scotts Road, #03 - 79) and Visiotime, at 9 Raffles Place (#01-15 Republic Plaza). Monster Time, also in Far East Plaza (#02-22, 14 Scotts Road) is another recommended place to shop for preowned luxury watches Watch Arena, on 290 Balestier Road, is one of Singapore's leading distributors and retailers of fine luxury timepieces

Visiting Singapore? Click here to go to our Singapore Hop-on, Hop-off Guide, where you will be shown how to explore this lovely city in a fun way. There are many gold jewellery shops in Singapore's Little India and those are mostly lined along Serangoon Road, near Little India's MRT Station. Another popular place to shop for gold jewellery in Singapore is Mustafa Centre, which is also in Little India (Just beware that most of Little India's jewellery shops sell Indian-style stuff...). Singapore's most popular & reputable jewellery shops include: TianPo, Lee Hwa Jewellery, Goldheart, Meyson Jewellery, Soo Kee and SK Jewellery. Each one of them boasts several outlets within the city's leading malls and shopping arcades, and the designs they sell are international, as well as Chinese.

Sportslink is one of Singapore's largest sporting goods retailers, with an outlet in Orchard Central and a "superstore" at Block 712 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 (not far from MRT- Ang Mo Kio). Weekend flea market takes place at SCAPE (2 Orchard Link / ION Orchard) A small tip: Nowadays, getting cheap clothing and footwear brands at your home country should not be a problem, and the price/quality/variety will probably not be inferior, compared to what can be found in Singapore... so maybe you should think twice before stuffing your suitcase with things you can buy at home for the same price...(unless it is something really unique / authentic...) .

Expensive clothing and footwear: Thousands of Cheap clothing and footwear: There is a fairly
good selection of imitations that arrive at the city markets from China, as well as brand name surpluses and dead-stocks. Ethnic clothing is also popular and can be bought around the ethnic quarters (Saris, Traditional Chinese shirts and so on.... ) Mustaffa Centre, in Little India, is a good place to shop for cheap clothes, and so are some of the shops along Serangoon Road and its offshoots, but do not expect to find any sensational bargains - "what you pay is what you get"... Toopalee Fashions, on Little India's Serangoon Rd., are particularly known for their popular and inexpensive leather sandals, although they also stock a good variety of handbags, clothes, fabrics and sari's. Lucky Plaza, on Orchard Road, is another good place to look for inexpensive stuff, and so is Far East Plaza, on Scotts Road, just around the corner, which targets mainly teenagers and youths. Bugis Village and New Bugis Street are also well worth visiting. Queensway Shopping Centre (Near Alexandra Hospital ) is the right place to look for cheap sports gear and limited edition shoes, including cheap sneakers, racquets, and sporting apparel, Man fashion and even jeans... shops across the metropolis specialize in international brands: From the more casual brands, to the world's most notable fashion designers. "Sale seasons" are a particular good time for you to get quality brands at competitive price (and if you like brand names, you can save heaps, buying in the right place at the right time).

Handbags, purses and fashion accessories:

Endless variety at excellent prices. From cheap imitations to first class designer products. Everything you can think of can be found in Singapore. Tangs, on the corner of Orchard and Scotts, is a fairly good place to shop for handbags (international-stye), and so are the ethnic quarters (ethnic-style). Singapore is not only glitzy shopping malls and amusement parks Join one of our "expert walking tours" to explore the city's hidden gems.

Cosmetics: Vast selection at very good prices. Few

shops eve offer better than duty-free prices (although not that many anymore). Sephora, which seems to be one of the hottest shops in Singapore nowadays, has outlets in Ion Orchard and Ngee Ann City. Inexpensive toiletries and fragrances can be bought at Mustafa Centre.

Tailor-made suits: Singapore's tailors are renowned

for their fine workmanship and quality garments. Suits, shirts, skirts and evening gowns can be created to suit the most elaborate or sedate of tastes and the prices are much lower than in the US, Europe or Japan. Tailor-made shoes are also popular. Again: It's advisable to invest a bit of time in a short market research, as you can get some really nice pieces at a fraction of what they would have cost in Europe or the States. Please note: When ordering tailor-made suits or clothes, a certain deposit will normally be required.
Here are some of Singapore's "best of the best" tailors... 1. Raffles Tailor: #02-18 Delfi Orchard, 402 Orchard Road, (+65) 6733 1336 2. Personality Menshop can be found at the Peninsula Shopping Centre, on Coleman Street (next to Peninsula Excelsior Hotel and just around the corner from Funan digitaLife Mall), phone: (+65) 6337 2459 3. Pagoda Master Tailor is on 48 Smith Street in Chinatown (+65) 6323 6973 / 9009 0840 / 9127 8072 4. Eurobest - 31 Pagoda Street, Chinatown (+65) 6323 4082 5. JustMens tailor is at #01-36/39 Tanglin Shopping Centre, on 19 Tanglin Road - (+65) 6737 4800 / 6235 2303 6. CYC is at #02-12 Raffles Hotel Arcade, phone (+65) 6336 3556 7. Leighton's Shop Pte Ltd can be found at #02-03 Far East Shopping Centre, 545 Orchard Road, (+65) 6235 2410 8. Oxford Tailor can be found at 1 RAFFLES PLACE, #04-12 (OUB Building), Tel: 6533 7131 . And here are three more shops that are well worth knowing about (and might also be somewhat less expensive): Max @ Mohan's, in Far East Plaza on Scotts Road "That Shirt Shop", also in Far East Plaza (#03-76B) Ehkay Corner Tailor, on 150 Orchard Road

Singapore is not only glitzy shopping malls and amusement parks Join one of our "expert walking tours" to explore the city's hidden gems.

Fabrics: Huge selection of Chinese, Asian and

Western fabrics at very good prices. Fabrics can be purchased in Arab Street, while Indonesian 'Batik' cloth can be found mostly in Little India, as well as in Chinatown and Kampong Glam (Arab Street).

Arts, Crafts and Antiques: There is a stunning

variety of crafts and antiques available in Singapore and the prices are normally quite good. The city sits on one of Asia's most prominent crossroads and is home to the continent's major ethnic groups, so it naturally developed into a huge bazaar where beautiful arts and crafts from four corners of Asia can be found and at a good price... Personal seals engraved in stone, Miniatures, Chinese Silk rugs, Oriental carpets, Rattan furniture, colorful Indian fabrics... you name it. Soft home furnishings are very popular in Singapore and make a lovely souvenir or gift. As already mentioned, Many shops can arrange to insure, pack and ship your goods. However, You may wish to consider an expert's appraisal and the customs duty regulations in your home country before buying.

Herbal medicines, Spices and exotic dried foods:

These are abundant in the city's open-air markets and in small traditional shops, mainly around the ethnic quarters (although they can be found in more than a few modern shops). Take your time to familiarize yourself with all those exotic products... Tip: Although Singapore has one of the best public-transport systems in the world, taking the Singapore City Hop-on Hop-off Tour is highly recommended, as it takes you directly to the various attractions and saves you the time and hassle of waiting for a bus or walking

In Chinatown: Yue Hwa, Singapore's famous Chinese department store, is one of the best places to shop for quality Chinese tea and its paraphernalia, at reasonable prices, although the small streets around MRT Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar accommodate a few other shops that sell higher quality stuff, but are also pricier... The best ones are Yixing Xuan Teahouse at 30/32 Tanjong Pagar Road, Tea Chapter, on 9 & 11 Neil Road (a short walk from "Buddha Tooth Relic Temple") and Ten Ren Tea, on 259 South Bridge Road (opposite the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple). In Orchard Road: Time for Tea in Lucky Plaza a fairly good option.

Click here to view all our FREE travel eBooks of Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Bangkok

Although Singapore has one of the best public-transport systems in the world, taking the Singapore City Hop-on Hop-off Tour is highly recommended, as it takes you directly to the various attractions and saves you the time and hassle of waiting for a bus or walking from the nearest MRT station

Copyright 2012 Asia-Pacific Guides Ltd. All rights reserved.