When Ben and I decided last minute we’d go to Singapore for our visas, I will admit the first thing I thought of was Burger King. The second was shopping. I swear soon after that culture and local food came to mind… but I never claimed not to be materialistic! Plus, a girl has needs that India sometimes fails at providing. I spent a lot of time shopping and eating so here is my guide to shopping in Singapore.
We spent the first day in Little India, Bugis, and China Town. These areas are great for souvenirs and trinkets. It is also a good place to get anything tailor-made or buy fabric. If you have clothes that need hemmed bring them here and get a much cheaper price! But this is not that kind of shopping I was looking for. I live in ‘Real India’ where I see souvenirs and trinkets that are identical to Singapore’s on a regular basis.
You can buy any type of chopstick you’d like! They had mother of pearl, sterling silver, and sandalwood…
…and they had Angry Birds and Horoscope ones.
I wanted A/C shopping malls, and man did I find them! We stayed with Ben’s friend, Dom. His girlfriend, Massy, is a clothing designer AND Singaporean (check out her FB page) so she of course had all the best advice for me!
1. Orchard Road
This is shopping heaven. If you’re really going to shop hard you need the day here. Maybe in your hometown you might have a couple big malls about a 20-minute drive apart, but on Orchard Road there are over 20 HUGE malls within 2.5 km of each other. It’s intense. It’s very high-end but also has staples like Sephora, H&M, and Aldo. The most well known mall is here Ion mall, but it’s just one of many.
Special Tip: Skip the mainstream stores on Orchard Road and head to the Far East Plaza for boutiques. Get something no one else has!
largest H&M in Asia
2. Vivo City
That road was a little too extreme for me, so we went to Vivo City on our way to Sentosa. This is thankfully just one mall and it had everything I wanted: TopShop, Forever 21, and MAC, among others.
This is where you’ll go to get on the train to Sentosa so it’s worth going an hour early. There is a food court, so we went for lunch. I’m not ashamed to say I had Burger King, and it turned out not to be my only burger of the day.
3. Marina Bay Mall
If you’re reading this and are super rich, first off go ahead and shoot me an e-mail, maybe you’d like to donate to my travel fund? but secondly you’d like shopping at Marina Bay Mall. This is the most marked up price you’ll price from the most expensive designers in the world. No discounts here. It’s a little intimidating! What does a girl have to do to get a Pretty Woman shopping spree? Obviously other than whore herself out, even though it worked out well for Julia and seems like it could be easily done in Singapore…
what else could you expect in a mall that looks like this? credit: flickr
4. Arab Street
Want more boutiques? Of course you do! I love wearing clothing that no one else has. Make sure to fit in Haji Lane near Arab Street. There are clothing and art boutiques here, but they are closed at night.
5. Sim Lim Square
For electronics, the nerd in you will want to spend a little time at Sim Lim Square, of the other Sim Lim just across from the Square. Multiple stories high it has everything from iPhone lens clips and cameras, to cell phones and TVs. Quoted prices I got were very high and you do have to negotiate.
Ben wanted something very nerd-like called a Google Chromecast . It is about 30 USD in India so we looked at prices in Singapore. A knock-off Andriod one was quoted to us at 330 SD! Obviously, we bought it… Joking. Make sure you are getting a real version, not a knock-off and ALWAYS test what you buy with an outlet they’ll provide. I almost bought an iPhone charger, but after testing discovered it didn’t work. You can get phone cases and accessories here for 3 bucks or less, so there are some deals worth coming for.
photo credit: flickr