Little India, Singapore
Singapore visitors are spoilt for choice regarding shopping. If you have already shopped till you could drop in the centres and markets, a good alternative is to take yourself off to Little India, where you can have almost any type of clothing tailormade to you specification.
We have been doing this every time we visit Singapore, my husband has had suits and many shirts made, and I have had pants made which I treasure to this day. The fit is perfect. The cost is a fraction of retail price.
The tailor that I recommend is Terry, at CONTINENTAL TAILORS, Little India.
Terry meticulously does a body measurement, then suggests fabric and design. He is knowlegable and not pushy at all.
We were offered refreshments, and the shop is spacious and air-conditioned.
Our last order was hand delivered after 2 days to our hotel.
What to buy: Tailor Made mens, womens and childrens clothing
What to pay: very affordable
If you enjoy hunting for bargains then Little India is the place to go. Walk down Serangoon Rd and the little laneways and go in and out of all the little shops. You will be amazed at what you find. As you walk along you will be greeted by the beautiful smells of incense and the music of India. Meet the locals, expect to bargain and you will have great fun.
What to buy: From costume jewellery to women's and men's wear you will find it all here. Looking for some beautiful material - try the saree shops. They don't just have to be used as dresses. Hunt through the hanging rails to find beautiful embroidered, sequined women's tops or skirts, men's T-shirts and shorts. There are shops devoted to costume jewellery - beautiful bracelets and necklaces. Need a Bollywood movie or CD - just follow the sounds and you will find a shop.
What to pay: The prices are cheap, approx. S$15 for beautiful sequined women's tops, men's T-shirts S$10.
On Tuesday and Fridays, the Hindu holy days, gods are honoured with simple strands of flowers. In Hindu culture, people are garlanded as a show of respect and welcome.
In Little India street you can find vividly coloured flower shops where you can finde garlands and fresh flowers. Flowers are very important in Indian lifes as a symbol of prosperity. The garland are red yellow and white that symbolise love, peace and purity respectively.
This shop sells electronic goods like Cameras at a discount as proclaimed in the banner generally displayed in front of the shop. I am generally a smart shopper and try to get value for money for all I buy. But ths shop has taught me many lessons in one evening. Maybe it will be useful to other shoppers.
1. Avoid doing the shopping alone. Have a companion with you.
2. If you are not sure of the price, ask for the amount of GST included and whether it will be refunded to tourists.
3. The GST is 5% of the price of the item and so you can multiply the GST amount 20 times to know the realistic price of the item.
4. I went to this shop to buy a Nikon L10 camera for $199 , a few dollars less than in Sim Lim and Mustafa. The smart shop keeper took out the L10 camera and then said apolegetically that the Nikon camera's picture quality is not very good and showed me the pictures taken then and there on the TV. He then took out a cemera called Jenoptik ( a name which I had till then not come across) and demonstrated better quality of photos taken by it. Against all the little warnings from somewhere inside me , I buoght the camera for %288. He took the payment and gave me the bill with the GST Refund certificate folded and stapled. I did not open it to see the amount of GST which would be later refunded to me at the airport. It turned out to be $8 which means the camera was worth $160 and I was over charged to the extent of $120 by the smart shopkeeper.
If you go to hindu Temples, you will see men are with a special cotton saron coverd. Is a very nice cotton very fresh .. my friend wanted one ... we bought on "longui", the price was $6. I don't know what we did wrong. But as my friend took the cotton and open it ... the worker of the shop get very angry with us... perhaps this is a special textil for the and didn't like tourist to buy it??? I don't know... some times you go with a lot of respect but ... as the costums are so diferent ... you don't know what you do wrong.
Nalli is very popular in India, and even to Indians residing outside of India. I didn't buy any saris during my last trip, but my friend bought one a few months ago from Nalli, at the suggestion of her Indian classmate. She brought the sari back to be sewed into a ready-to-wear sari---so that she can wear it without the inconvenience of wrapping herself with it (she needs the help of her friend to wear it). The job cost her SGD35.
You can also buy trinkets from this shop. I bought a pair of earrings with a matching pendant for only SGD9.
Small shops dotting Little India, Mustafa for 24 hour shopping.
What to buy: Sarees, Indian bangles, miscellaneous crafts and souvenirs, snacks
What to pay: Most small items like bangles and crafts cost $4 (US$2.50) onwards. Sarees can cost from anywhere in the $20s to $100s depending on material and design.
Perfect Pix camera and video Pte Ltd is near Mustafa shopping centre and is best avoided if you want a bargain. The salesmen there use tricks to sell cheap, poor quality products over good ones and I fell for it even though I had done some research beforehand. Since making this mistake I have read of other people having exactly the same experience at the same shop so it must be something they do regularly.
What to buy: Do not buy anything from Perfect Pix Camera and video. I joined this website just to warn people of my experience.
What to pay: If you buy from them expect to pay too much.
Mustafa stocks more than 100000 articles. So you should a) take some time b) plan before what you want . My wife bought some jewellery in a seperate building next to the main building : For 280 € (320 $) she got a very nice collection of very pretty articles , girls like. Not Cartier , but not Cartier prices either. I bought a dozen of shirts ,prices from 9 € to 20€ .
The quality is perfect ,size fits as well -why pay many times more at home. Pierre Cardin underwear for 4 € (boxer )
What to buy: If you have bought more than you expected buy a new suitcase at Mustafa-cheap and good quality . So did we.
There are numerous shops in which you can buy gold products, but they do vary in price, so make sure you shop around before you commit!
What to buy: I think gold in Singapore is relatively cheaper in comparison to other countries.
It is also a slightly different colour, it is a far bolder shade of gold, still nice though!
What to pay: I think you shouldn't pay more than US$15 for a plain gold chain
I was shopping for DSLR camera accessories and happened to checked from this store. I asked for the price of a battery grip but after checking with the item, I found its quality to be very sub-standard. So, I said "Thank you, anyway" but the fellow was very aggressive and sarcastically told me that "You think it's expensive, HA!" and I said again "it's okay, thank you" but when I left he was very furious and shouting at me "okay lah $80, don't want?, $50, $20..." I decided to quickly left that shop before I lost my temper! That sales staff was very rude, ill-mannered not to mentioned the sub-standard quality of the products that they are selling/offering... SO BEWARE OF THIS STORE EVERYONE.... DO NOT WASTE A SINGLE SECOND OF YOUR TIME IN THIS STORE...
What to buy: Electronic items are good to buy in Singapore but definitely NOT from PERFECT PIX! This store is a SHAME!!!
What to pay: Any amount as long as the quality is at its best!
I really did not enjoy my foray into Little India, despite really looking forward to it. The shopkeepers were just so pushy and you couldn't show the slightest bit of interest in anything without being pounced on. As a result, I didn't buy anything.
Little India gathers all kinds of Indian shops. If you have not been to India, Little India is a place to satisfy your curiosity. There you can purchase Indian snacks, books, CDs, clothing, shoes, furniture, vegetable & fruits etc what you will see Indians' life.
However, prices of many product might not meet your expection, such as bags. Dealing with Indians is another job. If you are smart and have good skill, "bargain" must bring you much fun. Unfortunately not.........it doesn't a matter.......
What to buy: I bought 5 music CDs, together 5 SG$ (=200NTD)
The shop is full of all kinfs of snacks. Trying Indian snacks is like taking adventures. You never know what you will taste. The common feature of them is "sweet". They are so sweet and tha seems all are composed completely of sugar.
Used to be a huge fan of mustafa's untill it was renovated, it has lost its charm and consumers are now paying for the renovations and 24hr shopping through higher prices.
What to buy: Once bought a genuine citizen windsurfing watch for S$50, sadly those days have gone expect to pay S$200 and up
Watches like casio are well worth it starting at S$25