Shopping Deals and Cheap Hawker Food in Singapore

by Linda
(Medan, Indonesia)

Dear Gabriel,

Thanks for answering my previous question regarding GST refund.

I would like to ask some other questions.

I will spend 3 days in Singapore (23-25July) on my upcoming holidays in July. I plan to spend the daytime doing shopping trips.

1. I'll be staying at Victoria Hotel (choose this hotel after reading your review). My plan is to have one day at Orchard, one day at Bugis / Suntec / Marina.

(I think going there on 25 July, since you say there'll be fireworks, so shopping at day time, and enjoying firework at night. By the way, if I would like to take photo by the Esplanade, is it OK to visit and take the picture at night?)

What about the other day?

Do you still have another must-visit shopping area? (Pls don't recommend designer outlets, because I can't afford it. I prefer some local outlets such as IORA). Is there any outlet that sells dresses/night gowns and provides alteration service to fit the dress to our body?

And, where should I spend the night? Since I'm travelling with senior citizens who have difficulties with walking too much, the Night Safari will be impossible for me. Any suggestions?

2. Is there any cheap (but averagely good taste) hawker food around Orchard? Around Bugis? Around Victoria Hotel? Around Suntec / Marina? Chinese food / Indonesian food / spicy food will be my preference.

Thanks for your kind assistance.


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Jun 02, 2009
Singapore Shopping for Ladies + Cheap Food Tips
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Linda

Here are my suggestions:

A Full-day Singapore Heartland Shopping Tour

Beyond the usual shopping spots downtown Singapore, you'll be surprised to find good deals in the so-called heartland HDB towns, especially if you are going for affordable ladies' clothes, shoes and accessories.

From the City Hall MRT Station, you could take the North-South Line and stop at the HDB towns of Toa Payoh, Bishan, and Ang Mo Kio.

Basically, I'm suggesting a heartland town-hopping shopping trip!

Here are the heartland shopping spots:

1. Around Toa Payoh MRT Station:

- Toa Payoh Hub (just above MRT Station)
(There's nothing much in the Hub itself. So exit and browse the shops around the town centre.)

- Toa Payoh Town Centre shops
(Great, great variety!)

2. Around Bishan MRT Station:

- Junction 8
(It's a cute, not-so-little mall.)

- I didn't find the other shops around Bishan Town Centre too exciting though.

3. Around Ang Mo Kio MRT Station:

- Ang Mo Kio Hub
(Newest of the 3 malls on this shopping tour. I've got a funny suspicion you may really like this one.)

- Ang Mo Kio Town Centre Shops
(May not be as exciting as the Toa Payoh Town shops. But there's still a great variety here.)

You'll probably need the entire day to shop at all these town centres. While you are there, do try the food in the hawker centres and coffee shops as well.

The shops at these HDB town centres will offer a different experience to Bugis, Marina Bay and Orchard. The clothes here are somewhat humbler and hence lower priced. But the designs are interesting and the variety is very good.

You're unlikely to find that dress or night gown for a wedding dinner. But there're lots of casual clothes - such as you'll wear for a shopping trip in hot and humid Singapore.

I've done some research on a few places to buy cheap ladies' clothes. I'm also working out shopping trails for Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio. So be patient with me, and I'll put these shopping tips up in the next week or so.

Cheap Singapore Food Places Around Bugis and Marina Bay Areas

Around Bugis / Victoria Street Area:

1. Food Court @ Victoria Street
(next to Allson Hotel, 100m from Victoria Hotel)

- A good variety of local food, and the prices are very reasonable.

2. Food Junction @ Bugis Junction
(Level 3 of this shopping centre)

3. Albert Centre Market & Food Centre
(On Queen Street near the end of the Bugis Village Street Bazaar)

Around Marina Bay and City Hall:

1. The Food Place at Raffle City Shopping Centre
(Food Court on Level 3)

2. Food Junction @ Funan IT Mall
(Food court on Level 5)

Have a wonderful Singapore shopping tour.

Jun 03, 2009
Singapore Shopping for Ladies - 2 Other Options
by: Gabriel Tan

Here are 2 other options for your shopping tour in Singapore:

Option 1: Chinatown & Central (Clarke Quay)

1. About 4 or 5 bus stops down the road from Victoria Hotel, you'll come to Central Mall on New Bridge Road. This is a relatively new mall. You'll find a good range of ladies' stuff here as well.

2. Further down New Bridge Road - near the Chinatown MRT Station - you can also check out People's Park, People's Park Complex and OG Building.

Again the variety here is very good, ranging from formal night dresses at OG to the casual day wear at People's Park. The People's Park shops are on Level 2, just above the very popular People's Park Food Centre.

Your best chance of altering any newly bought dress is at People's Park.

Option 2: Jurong Bird Park & Jurong Point Shopping

1. If you and your travel companions have never been to the Jurong Bird Park, consider making a trip there in the morning.

To cut down on walking, you could take the Panorail ride or be very selective with what to see. After that you could catch the bird shows (Birds n Buddies & Birds of Prey Show).

2. In the afternoon, take the bus or taxi to Jurong Point, one of the biggest out-of-town shopping malls.

The popular Asian brands, Veeko and Wanko, are found here. The ladies in my family seem to like these two brands a lot, and they won't hurt your pockets like designer labels do.

Other local labels are found at Jurong Point too - a few of which, you are unlikely to find in town.

Jun 03, 2009
Night Photography @ Esplanade
by: Gabriel Tan

1. If you want to be in the photos, simply set your camera to 'Night Portrait' mode. The subject will normally be clear. And you'll have a reasonable capture of the background as well.

2. If you want better photos of the surrounding buildings, you'll need to mount your camera on a tripod and use the 'bulb' mode.

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