Shopping in Singapore

A visitor asked me where to shop in Singapore.

When I asked where she has been to?
She mentioned the shops in Orchard and Marina are out of her budget.
Frankly, we tend to shop online these days. Most malls tend to replicate each other. For budget tourist shoppers, who tend to prefer a variety of options, all age group, various interests, there are two we normally bring our guests to.

1) Mustafa

Suitable for families, as there’s something for everyone. It never closes. It sells electronics, bedsheets, medicines, toiletries, basmati rice…just name it. Check out the perfume and fragrance section for last minute gifts.

It also has a wide range of tourist souvenirs. Good if your return flight is early morning and you realised you need more of those Merlions or “Singa Muntah”.

Nearest MRT: Farrer Park

Where to stay: Nearest will be PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road; which is also across the street from the Farrer Park MRT Station Exit. Other options available are Park Hotel Farrer Park, which is probably USD5 more expensive or my favorite Penta Hotel which is less than half than the Parkroyal and Park Hotel.

Bonus: While you are at Mustafa, check out:
City Square Mall, where there is Decathlon SG a sports retailer from Paris. They have everything for cyclists, runners and even archers and equestrians. Everything sports.


2) IMM

Arguably, the biggest outlet mall in Singapore. Selling mostly past season goods. Some of the tenants are brands like Club21 which carry Paul Smith and the likes. There is also Coach, Adidas, Nike, Puma, Rockport, Clarks, Urban Armour and many more. Check the store list here.

Don’t forget to use your passport to get the IMM Tourist Privilege Booklet for special discounts.

Nearest MRT: Jurong East MRT Station

Where to stay: Genting Hotel Jurong is probably the only hotel within a 5km distance from IMM. It is located beside the Singapore Science Centre. Good if you have a young scientist in your team. Genting Hotel Jurong provides 24/7 shuttle service to Sentosa. Just show them your foreign passport. If you need to attend business meetings at International Business Park, they provide shuttle service on weekday mornings.

Bonus: If you are on a tight budget, and want to get gifts, plenty of gifts without tearing a big hOle in the wallet, check out Daiso. The Daiso IMM was the first outlet to open in Singapore. Eveything is $2. Caps, t-shirts, brooms, japanese cups and saucers…the list goes on.



JPO Kulai Visit

We made a trip up to Johor Premium Outlet in Kulai today. Took the Causeway Link Bus and it was a breeze.
Jurong East to CIQ 2nd Link: SGD$4.00
CIQ 2nd link to JPO: RM$4.20

Immigration clearance was quick, no weekend tour buses or China tourists bus loads in sight. We actually left our home (Bukit Batok) 10:00am to catch the 10:40am JPO2 at CIQ 2nd Link, managed to reach just in time and we reached JPO promptly at 11:15am.

We reached JPO by bus in 1h 15minutes, faster than reaching Orchard Road on some days. Timing started from when we stepped out of our house, includes bus waiting time, travelling time, immigration and toll clearance. We did not miss not having the Mazda or Chevy around this time.

Stroller and wheelchair rental services are available. A few ATMs around, Maybank is there too, right beside the Police Base.Store List here.
Some stores like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger will only open in Jan 2012. There were a few stores undergoing renovation, we got a major high from carpenter glue smell. Expect a big hit on your smell senses if you go now.

Discounts varies from store to store. Some up to 70% discount, some only 10% and a few actually only offer discounts with purchases of 3-5 items. The crowd seems to know a bargain, with crowds seen in Burberry and Coach especially.
Stomach wise, a few F&B stores were open. Coffee Bean, Starbucks, CrispyCrepe, a few restaurants non-halal and the Food Court. No off-season discounts or last year stocks from the F&B though. Food Court only opened half its stores. The Nasi Lemak there cost 9 Ringgit. I saw a staff from one of the stores brought in food boxes for lunch for his colleagues. Baskin Robbins have not brought in their chairs though, although they are operational. It helps in the searing heat. JPO smacks itself among the “kelapa sawit” oil palm plantation.


Notice the big space at Baskin Robbins? The chairs are not in yet, understandably.
Baskin Robbins House Warming


Nike Factory Store is huge. Price are about the same in Singapore though. Lots of old designs, it was a factory outlet after all.

Big store

Opening only in Jan 2012


Pink Jambu


We came in from CIQ on JPO2.
Decided to take JPO1 to JB Sentral for the return trip. Costs RM0.30 sen more, slightly longer draggy route. It was a humid afternoon, and we both slept peacefully throughout the comfortable bus ride. Looked forward to having Peri-Peri Chicken at Nandos, City Square.


Besides the shuttle bus service by CausewayLink, there was another shuttle service provided by TranStar via Kotaraya II Terminal. RM5.00 per adult and RM2.50 per child, 1 way. You can board it at the the same bus bay at JPO too.

We didn’t buy much at the JPO. Might have bought something at Burberry or Coach, otherwise there is nothing much for us there. The Europeans outlet change are still better than the US ones for me.