Written by Jodeci527 on 21 Jun, 2013
The shopping scene in Singapore is extremely diversified, and it's one of the most celebrated shopping destinations worldwide. It appears as though the majority of the entire country was designed for this purpose, and thousands of visitors flock here to take advantage of the seemingly…Read More
The shopping scene in Singapore is extremely diversified, and it's one of the most celebrated shopping destinations worldwide. It appears as though the majority of the entire country was designed for this purpose, and thousands of visitors flock here to take advantage of the seemingly limitless numbers of stores, boutiques and plazas.Singapore has a shopping area for everyone, regardless of differences in budget. From the financially frugal bargain hunter to the fabulous fashionista, there's a very good chance that something will catch your eye. Although I didn't visit with the intentions of going on a shopping spree, I found myself buying several items due to the fact that the deals were just too decent to pass up.Travellers on a budget should make a beeline for Chinatown, in the heart of the city. This large shoppers' paradise spills across several lanes and streets. To figure out when you've found the right place, simply turn your gaze skyward to check for laterns being strung from buildings in a criss-cross fashion to form an open air sort of canopy. Chinatown is a great place to grab many items at ridiculous wholesale prices. If you're a souvenir collector like myself, there's no better place in Singapore to stack up on keyrings and magnets as prices are in the ballpark of $1-$2 SGD per item. Most vendors tend to sell these in bulk, and may quote a figure of $5 for 3 articles. While Chinatown can be enjoyed during the day, I recommend going after nightfall. The lights, music and crowds will create an entirely different experience!For the midrange to luxury travellers, there are countless stores and malls which fall into your category. The most visited shopping areas include Orchard Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre and Vivo City. These options offer hundreds of stores, allowing customers to be spoilt for choice while shopping for clothing, electronics or even gourmet meals. Even for persons without shopping lists, these places are worth visiting, simply to admire the architecural designs or to grab a bite in the expansive food courts.The shopping scene in Singapore isn't only for buying typical merchandise, but for something which all visitors need. Currency Exchange stores exist in some of these shopping centres, and I found the bureau within the Central Mall (along the Singapore River) to offer far lower rates than those being quoted at the Changi International Airport. By changing your money downtown, you may end up saving yourself quite a bit of cash like I did.Most stores including those at the malls are open from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week. The stalls at Chinatown close even later during the weekend. I enjoyed the shoppers' paradise which is Singapore, and I sincerely hope that this helps any future visitors! Close
Written by nofootprint on 16 May, 2011
Our romantic get away to Singapore, got off to a rough start at the airport in Bangkok.We had a terrible time with the Singapore Airline . I booked and paid months in advance using a credit card .Because I didn’t have the actual card with…Read More
Our romantic get away to Singapore, got off to a rough start at the airport in Bangkok.We had a terrible time with the Singapore Airline . I booked and paid months in advance using a credit card .Because I didn’t have the actual card with me that I used to purchase the tickets ,we were denied boarding .We had Passports and Birth Certificates and my husbands identical credit card .but it wasn’t accepted .We had to buy another ticket on a much later flight for more money!! The airline wouldn't or couldn't do anything for us. Strangly enough on the return trip , they didn't even ask to look at our credit card our passport was enough!!Another travel lesson learned.On the bright side even with our late arrival ,we had time for a drink at the famous Raffles Hotel. ( a Singapore Sling of course) and a nice diiner at Clarke Quay.This is a fun place to go for good food and the nightlife. There are so many restuarants it's a hard pick but we decided on Fish Tales Restarant. Everyone just cruises around reading menus and picking a spot with a good seat and view if possible. There are lots of choices . Cuisines range from Chinese, Indian, Western, Indonesian and Seafood. We tried the chili crab . Being from Nova Scotia , we're no stranger to shellfish , but I have to say this was different and very good. Be warned it is messy though. Singapore has many ethnic districts that are so much fun for shopping and eating .Over the next couple of days we explored them all.China Town- some good bargains and lots of tasty cheap meals.Arab Street - although we didn't eat there the food looked pretty good . It was amazing to walk through the narrow sidewalks overflowing with all the beautiful textiles . I bought a couple of gorgeous prints for table cloths and at about $5.00 each I wish I had bought more. There were tons of silks to chosse from as well.Little India- The aromas of the spice alone make it worth it to go.For the very best shopping though it is hard to beat Orchard Road . Fun for those who love to shop and even for those who don't. Note : if you want a cab make sure you are in a designated cab stopping spot ...otherwise you will be out of luck!! Close
Written by Eric from Aiea on 05 Apr, 2009
In December, I was trying to figure out when and where to take my 2 weeks R&R out of the "Cradle of Civilization", and get as far from here as I could. That was when I started coming upon the idea of travelling around the…Read More
In December, I was trying to figure out when and where to take my 2 weeks R&R out of the "Cradle of Civilization", and get as far from here as I could. That was when I started coming upon the idea of travelling around the world, and stopping in Singapore for St Patrick’s Day. I had always wanted to go there and see what it was like – what better time than now to find out.With my best friend advising me on what was going on, I began to lay out a great plan – that of course was changed completely in February and instead of starting my vacation in Singapore – I had to start it in Arkansas and go the other way around the world. The change ment I would be spending six days in Singapore – and returning to Iraq from there. But I had my wish to do ST Paddy’s at the far corner or the former British Empire.I used several great websites to get up to date information on all the ST Patrick’s Day events occurring, and http://www.st-patricks-day.com/irish-pubs-singapore.asp is a great link into everything happening. I also recommed that anyone planning such a trip for ST Patrick’s Day consult the ole sage of advise - http://www.irishpubsdirectory.com/ as a great first stop for tracking what Irish pubs are around. I had a pretty good list of where I wanted to go before I got to Singapore.Singapore is a place in that it offers something new around every corner. I am hard pressed to say I have been anywhere like it - and its probably why I keep coming back. The metro system makes things so easy for getting around – and every stop is like getting off in a different place on the globe as you walk to street level. I admit to having spent an afternoon taking the metro around to its far reaches – just to look and see what was there when I got there. It is a lot of fun trying the hawker stands – or the street side eateries, and being able to have some food that is so different and with such a wide variety when you are a fan of Malay and Indonesian cooking. Exactly the place you need to be after 5 months in Iraq eating really bland food in a messhall. If you are staying on the northeastern portion of Orchard Road - there are some great hawker stands there – and absolutely no reason to pay 20-30 SGD for breakfast at a hotel. And if your able to find the mango or sweet potato puffs – those are worth your stopping and trying. (The Polar Curry Puffs that you find in the Metro shopping areas are definitely a great snack as well). If you are staying near Boat Quay or Clarke Quay – best bet is Circular Road behind Boat Quay. There you will find some of my favorite street eateries in Singapore – whose reviews I out to write – but never remember to bring my pad and pen. One will find really good – and very inexpensive Chinese, Thai, Indian, and Malay foods – and my favorite Roti and Curry place as well – there on Circular Road. Chinatown Square is another great location for breakfast or a snack. I always go to Chinatown Square area on first day in Singapore to get what is my staple food of snacks – the chili pork strips that are sweet and hot. I also am a fan of the ginger and sweet potato soup you can find there.I did an early scouting of Penny Black – stopping in for a pint of beer my first night in town, and it is always a good place to start a night off, and sometimes it’s a good one to end it as well. The location is such that you probably will be there before dinner – or you end up there after going around pubbing. I actually found Molly’s after eating on Circular Road at an eaterie down the street that has wonderful roti and curry, and stopping in for a mid afternoon ST Paddy’s day pint of hard cider. As oppressively hot and humid as Singapore is – I always find that a pint of hard cider sitting in a pub with AC sure tastes great midday! The same goes for Durty Nelly’s – my first time there had been for a mid day drink – out with several local friends.When night time comes around – Clarke Quay is the place to be – and I tried doing three different clubs a night there to see which ones I liked the most. There are now two places with Cuban bands – and awesome music – but the one upstairs has an almost 8 USD price for beer – and I can pass on that – or could have if a friend was not working there! I liked the band and atmosphere at Pump, and the beers. I also liked the really late night crowd at Arena – and it gets two thumbs up for great staff and great music. But the one place I owe a review on is called Lunar Asian Fusion Bar. There are a lot of places I recommend – but this is one that gets the capitol COOL – with Chinese rock bands – and the red atmosphere and Chinese décor – it is a must see place amongst many places you may want to go too. http://www.lunar.sg/ Close
Written by writeonthespot on 21 Sep, 2006
Up, up, up and away we went inside the DHL hot air balloon located at Tan Quee Lan St. near Bugis. The red and yellow striped balloon took us to about 150m from the ground for a spectacular view of Singapore’s cityscape. As…Read More
Up, up, up and away we went inside the DHL hot air balloon located at Tan Quee Lan St. near Bugis. The red and yellow striped balloon took us to about 150m from the ground for a spectacular view of Singapore’s cityscape.
As the balloon ascended, neighboring buildings like the Raffles Hospital, Inter-Continental Singapore and Suntec City Mall came to view. It went higher further and the skyscrapers at Orchard Road slowly appeared. We stayed on air for about 10 minutes and the balloon descended steadily.
It is a one-of-a-kind experience that I would recommend to friends who visit Singapore. Since we took the ride in the morning, I would like to try at night to see the city lights glowing in the dark night.
Regular rate would be S$23 but since we took the HiPPO package tour we only paid S$13. I think there were about 20 of us or more who were allowed to ride the balloon at a time. For inquiries, you may contact 6-33-868-77. It is open from 11am to 9:30pm.
Written by Eric from Aiea on 12 Sep, 2006
The best place to start exploring Singapore from is the City Hall MRT station. From there you can ride to Chinatown or Orchard Road or Little India or where ever you want to go. The Station can be reached by going through the Raffles Plaza.…Read More
The best place to start exploring Singapore from is the City Hall MRT station. From there you can ride to Chinatown or Orchard Road or Little India or where ever you want to go. The Station can be reached by going through the Raffles Plaza. The MRT is cheap and a means to move around much quicker than by bus.
The Marina Plaza shopping center has undergone a complete change in the last couple of years, and I hardly recognized it. There are several great places there for evening entertainment as well. The Marina Plaza is across the river from the Merlion.
Some of the best roti prata can be found down stairs at the IT malls. Whether you like it with egg or onion - it's hard to beat roti and curry as a good snack or even as a breakfast. Most of the small restaurants sell food - but not drinks. Usually there is one place that sells only drinks. Do try Ginger beer if you find it.
The garlic naan bread at the hawker squares around Queens is worth stopping for. Make sure you don't skip over the small places serving it and Indian foods while looking at all the other hawker stands. Chicken briyani is a great meal anytime of the day!
Written by writeonthespot on 06 Sep, 2006
There we were waiting for the rain to stop at the bus station and hoping that it would be anytime soon before the magical show would start. But with no signs of ever getting a dry night, we opted for the SGD2 thin plastic raincoat…Read More
There we were waiting for the rain to stop at the bus station and hoping that it would be anytime soon before the magical show would start. But with no signs of ever getting a dry night, we opted for the SGD2 thin plastic raincoat sold at Sentosa and marched our way towards the amphitheater at the fountain.
A number of people were seated with their umbrellas blocking our view. We tried to stand up at the far end of the section but we were told that we have to be seated. With just a few centimeters of plastic protecting us, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to sit on a wet surface. The rain continued and we were almost soaking wet. "This must better be good," we told ourselves. A few minutes more and we are becoming restless especially that we have to catch the bus before the show would be over.
Preparing for the worst, we inquired how we can get back to the Visitor Information Center. We were told to walk to the bus stop and wait for the blue line that will take us to several stops before reaching the information center. I was thinking it wouldn’t be a wise idea, I inquired if we can walk towards the information center itself. Well, guess what? It’s just at the opposite side of the bus stop. My friend and I already made up our mind that we will walk and we situated ourselves right at the entrance/exit of the amphitheater.
Finally, the voice over announced that the show will start. A magician came in full view giving us a short tale of Sentosa. Suddenly, the fountains splattered and out came Kiki, Sentosa’s mascot, in laser display. The fountains indeed danced but the dancing was done more by the laser lights. Fishes and an octopus came out and various special effects were employed. It truly takes one to a magical spell, with all those beautiful lights and the sound of water. But with the rain continually dropping on our heads, we have to cut short our enjoyment to catch our bus. It was short but it was a nice one. No wonder the amphitheater was still full. We probably missed a lot of things at the remainder of the show but catching Kiki is enough to know how magical Sentosa come alive at night.
Written by alan_nesbit on 28 Jun, 2006
I’ve lived on this small island for nearly 2 years but there are still many interesting places I’ve not been to. I went to Joo Chiat Road for the first time last week, and it’s well worth a visit. Unlike Singapore’s Chinatown, Joo Chiat Road…Read More
I’ve lived on this small island for nearly 2 years but there are still many interesting places I’ve not been to. I went to Joo Chiat Road for the first time last week, and it’s well worth a visit. Unlike Singapore’s Chinatown, Joo Chiat Road is sufficiently far from the main tourist areas to retain some authenticity. It’s a real mixture of the old and the new, the smart, the run-down and the seedy.
0Businesses are run from the ground floor of old shop-houses—little engineering companies open onto the pavement, or old men sit at workbenches or at sewing machines in dark interiors. Hardware stores full to the ceiling with merchandise, or thick, unidentified smells from grocery stores. These are the kind of place that would be swept away if the road became more prosperous. There’s a place making funeral accessories—items to burn for the deceased to enjoy in the afterlife. Partly complete paper-covered houses on bamboo frames stand outside. A Mercedes seems to be the car of choice in heaven.
To look at, it’s the first floor that is most interesting. Painted walls with bright shuttered windows, mouldings and ceramic tiles depicting birds and flowers. Not all of the houses are in good repair. Some are left to decay, with plants growing in gutters, neglected roofs, and unpainted woodwork. There’s an empty building with heavy wooden props at one crossroads.
The late-night karaoke bars give the road a seedy edge, and numerous KTV lounges line the street. With adverts for cheap drink and pictures of the hostesses outside, the inside is hidden behind dark glass windows and doors.
Singapore is an easy place in which to live. It’s a wealthy country where everyone can walk around clean streets in complete safety. Most people enjoy a very comfortable standard of living, and for an expat, earning a salary that would be good even by…Read More
Singapore is an easy place in which to live. It’s a wealthy country where everyone can walk around clean streets in complete safety. Most people enjoy a very comfortable standard of living, and for an expat, earning a salary that would be good even by Western standards, life is a very comfortable indeed.
The wealth of Singapore attracts many people from elsewhere in Asia, coming to earn money that they can send home, often construction workers and maids. A short-term visitor to Singapore may pass through completely unaware of the number of maids here, and the role maids play in the country.
Mainly from the Philippines and Indonesia, maids are employed by many households to run the home or look after the children. They’re a constant source of debate here—and quite rightly so. The attached photo, taken outside a shopping centre at the end of Joo Chiat Road, may give an indication of their status.
As an expat, it surprises me that Singapore allows them to work the hours that are expected of them. They’re not even protected by normal employment rules. I know they can earn more here than at home, but it’s still a tiny amount and still worthwhile for many women to leave their home and family (often young children to be brought up by grandparents).
So, next time you are out in Singapore, and you spot a young woman carrying a baby, or the shopping, or pushing a pram, and walking two steps behind the rest of the family—she’s the maid.
Written by marseilles on 01 Jul, 2008
One of the nice things about shopping as a tourist in Singapore is that a lot of things technically have a 7% discount.Singapore allows tourists to get a tax refund on the sales tax that is automatically added to all items. There are conditions,…Read More
One of the nice things about shopping as a tourist in Singapore is that a lot of things technically have a 7% discount.Singapore allows tourists to get a tax refund on the sales tax that is automatically added to all items. There are conditions, though. A person needs to spend at least S$100 at the same retailer to avail of this "discount." And of course, the buyer should make sure that the tax refund voucher is available at the store at which he/she is shopping (flea markets obviously will not be able to provide you with this voucher).Some stores will ask you to show your passport as proof that you are indeed a tourist. Then they will give you a voucher attached to the receipt of your purchase. Fill in all the required information in the voucher in your hotel, and when you get to the airport on your way out of Singapore, present the vouchers and receipts at the GST Refund Desk for clearance. You may be asked to present the items listed on the receipts. (Because of this, my husband and I packed all our purchases in our hand-carry so we wouldn't have to reopen our suitcase at the airport.) You can then be refunded either in cash or as a debit to your credit card (if that's what you used). Close
Written by writeonthespot on 10 Nov, 2006
There’s no mistaking for the colorful rows of shops and Chinese lanterns. Ascending the escalator from the MRT to Pagoda Street is the best welcome one can get from Chinatown. You can see a wide array of goods from shirts to keychains, from posters to…Read More
There’s no mistaking for the colorful rows of shops and Chinese lanterns. Ascending the escalator from the MRT to Pagoda Street is the best welcome one can get from Chinatown. You can see a wide array of goods from shirts to keychains, from posters to postcards, from the common buys to the rare ones. What’s more, you can buy a hodge podge of things for only S$10. I got 24 keychains for a S$10 package while others sell them at a higher rate. For the same amount, I got a cap, a pen and keychain, and a paper weight. Not bad, huh.
When buying cloth, bed sheets or pillow cases, you just have to be discerning because some seem to be similar to those sold in Bangkok, which you can get at a cheaper price. If the shop has business cards available, try to ask for one so you will know how to find your way back if you decide to visit the shop in the future. But Chinatown is not just all shopping. There are tourist destinations like the colorful Hindu temple and the Muslim mosque. There are also foot massages and spas available in the area, a good respite from walking and carrying those shopping bags.