Shopping in Singapore

Giant Jeans, Crafted Guitars and Audio Heaven

Shopping in Singapore can overwhelm you with the multitude of malls and Orchard Road's gaggle of luxury boutiques and exclusive galleries.

I have already written elsewhere about where to go for basics like groceries, bread, meat and furniture.

Let me take you to some two areas in Singapore where the shopping gets much more earthy and where the only thing that glitters is the plastic Christmas tree in the window during the festive season.

Funan Digital Life

Funan Mall, Singapore

The Peninsula Plaza shopping area is just diagonally across the street from St. Andrew's Cathedral, at City Hall MRT station.

If you don't look hard, you won't even really see it.

The big landmark is Funan Digital Life Mall, a five story mall dedicated to IT and electronics.

Ladies: drop your man off here while you shop away at Raffles Shopping Center and I guarantee he will be your grateful servant for the rest of the year after an hour here.

Funan offers a huge variety of stores selling anything with electrical circuits, except for hifi - the reason for that comes in a bit.

If you are looking for a computer, digital camera, printer, X-Box game, or all of the above, this is Singapore's place to go.

Funan is anchored in the basement and on the top floor by two chains, respectively Harvey Norman Harvey Norman and 24-hour Challenger. In between, a plethora of shops, often specialized, with niche products all around.

Prices here are a little bit higher than in other places, but there is no hassle like in some of the tourist places such as Sim Lim Square where you can get ripped off easily.

There are a couple of shops there I go and have had good experience with.

For cameras, there is SLR Revolution. If you are looking for XBox, PSP or similar games, check level 5, either next to the food court and on the far side of the gallery, next to the escalators - about four or five stores, all with similar selections. Suntronics offers components and the owner there is helpful, with fair prices.

South Asia Electronics on level 3 has a wide selection of accessories and often runs sales with decent discounts.

Adelphi - HiFi Lovers Rejoice!

Adelphi, HiFi, Singapore

When you leave Funan mall and cross the first level pedestrian bridge, you reach the building just across the street which is another indescript building hardly worth a notice.

BUT: go inside and check the hifi stores. I am not really an expert on hifi, but locals and friends always recommend the place as the mecca for shopping in Singapore for audio components, stereos, headphones or speakers.

The Pensinsula Basement Experience

Peninsula, shopping, Singapore

When you leave Funan at ground level and look over at St. Andrew's Cathedral, take a left into Coleman Street and walk not 20 meters (60 feet).

Head into the basement and enjoy a most unique shopping in Singapore experience.

Down here, you will find clothing stores with the biggest jeans on the planet - my 10 year old son fits into one leg - quirky T-shirts, cheap and cheerful shoes and about 7 or 10 guitar shops.

Maestro guitars, Singapore Browse for tons of amps, axes and accessories or check out local handcrafted acoustic guitars at Maestro Guitars. The guitar shops at Peninsula cater to every style and taste and my experience has been that they are all very friendly and helpful. Davis Guitars is the biggest one with a fairly large and sometimes goofy collection of guitars and other equipment.

Do check the smaller ones, though, they often specialize and run great deals.

Sim Lim Square - Rip Off or Deal of the Century?

Sim Lim Square, Singapore

Shopping in Singapore - normally well-regulated and civilized, can be much different at Sim Lim Square.

This is another multi-storey electronics mall just across from Little India and can be an experience in intense anguish or shopping bliss.

Many people love the place for buying second hand computers or components - and for that purpose it is really great. And if you know your way around, you can get excellent deals if you haggle enough.

A number of stores publish weekly price lists, so if you want to build you own computer, this is the perfect place to go.

One thing really mars the experience here: the vendors in levels 1 and 2 love to harass and shout at you, play switch and bait and name weird prices, only for you to find out that the camera or lens you were looking for is 'not in stock'.

Sim Lim Square has also been raided by the police more often than not for contraband and fakes, so really be careful when you shop there.

That about rounds out the shopping in Singapore guide for now.

Check out Shopping in Singapore for more tips on getting rid of your cash.

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