The island country of Singapore is a melting pot of people and cultures. It’s home to over five million people with millions more visiting each year. With such a large number of people trooping through the city, business in Singapore thrives. It’s a haven for shopaholics with various shopping malls dotting the city. Places like VivoCity and ION Orchard are attractions unto themselves, playing host to hundreds of stores that sell anything from clothing to electronics. With such a large number of shopping outlets, many visitors end up feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of options on what to buy. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 10 things to buy in Singapore. Check it out below.
1. Merlion souvenirs
First on our list of must-buys when in Singapore are the popular Merlion souvenirs. The mythical Merlion is a creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. This is somewhat a national symbol in Singapore with a whole park, Merlion Park, bearing this theme. It is, therefore, fitting to lag back home a set of Merlion souvenirs so as to fully announce your trip to Singapore. Several gift shops in the city sell these, stocking anything from Merlion keychains to Merlion pillows. You can even buy Merlion sweets and chocolates while you’re at it. And thankfully, they aren’t costly with the cheapest setting you back just SGD 2 (USD 1.5).
Price: SGD 2/ USD 1.5
2. Tiger Balm
Singaporeans love Tiger Balm for its very effective pain relief abilities. This ointment is well-known and has been used for centuries, making it a common feature in most homes. The Tiger Balm brand makes products that offer remedies to headaches, arthritic pain, muscle pains, and even colds. If you know someone who suffers from these complications, a bottle of this ointment might be just what they need. Linked to Chinese herbalists, this is a must-buy when you visit Singapore. You can find the ointment at various malls in the city, for example, Bedok Mall and Tampines Mall.
Address: 2 Chia Ping Road,, #09-03, Haw Par Tiger Balm Building, Singapore 619968
Price: SGD 10/USD 7
Website: Tiger Balm products
3. Orchid perfumes
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Another symbol of Singaporean culture is the Orchid, a flower that has earned the status of being the country’s national flower. You’ll most certainly notice various orchid-themed products in stores around the city, ranging from orchid jewelry to orchid designed home accessories. Also available are orchid perfumes, perfect as gifts for your loved ones. Their scents are unique and very enchanting, with different fragrances for you to choose from. There are even gender-specific perfumes as well as unisex ones, depending on what you’re looking for. Stores like Sentosa Fun Shops and Isetan have these in stock and their prices start at about SGD 40 (USD 30).
Price: SGD 40/ USD 30
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What do you get when you take a chunk of beef or pork, marinade it in soy sauce, sugar, and other spices, then charcoal grill it? The answer is Bakkwa, a traditional Singaporean snack which it, undoubtedly, finger-licking good. Bakkwa is a popular gift, exchanged among family or friends during special holidays and it ought to be on your shopping list. It can be bought in multiple stores, for instance, Fragrance Foodstuff stores, Kim Hock Guan stores, and Lim Chee Guan stores. For about two pounds (one kilogram) you’ll spend about SGD 60 (USD 45).
Price: SGD 60/ USD 45
5. Asian antiques
Obviously, Singapore being a part of the Asian continent, is awash with antiques that narrate different tales of the history of this region. And when in the country, you’ll certainly want to bring back a piece of this history by buying such antiques. You’ll find antiques from China, Japan, and Thailand, among* other Asian countries. These pieces make for excellent gifts, and they also always end up looking stunning as home decorative items. Take a stroll in Chinatown where some exquisite items can be found, ranging from lamps to even cabinets.
Address: 163 Tanglin Road, Singapore
Price: From SGD 130/ USD 94
Website: Tanglin Mall
6. Traditional cookies
You’ll adore the traditional cookies, with their rich flavors and a taste that will linger in your mouth. These cookies often have a story behind them, one that’s linked to Singapore’s history. The very variety of the traditional cookies speaks volumes of Singapore’s diversity making them a perfect item to buy and carry back home. One of the best bakeries to buy them fresh is Thye Moh Chan which is found in Chinatown.
Thye Moh Chan
Address: Chinatown Point, 33 New Bridge Road
Price: From SGD 10/ USD 7
Website: Thye Moh Chan
7. Pastes from Prima Taste
If you love food, then you’ll definitely come across the Prima Taste brand when in Singapore. This is a company that has made a name for itself in the country’s culinary industry, offering products that pay homage to the country’s traditional cuisines. They sell pastes that are an integral part of Singaporean dishes, giving the meals a delectable taste. The pastes are found in retailers around the country and you can also buy them online.
Prima Taste pastes
Price: SGD 48/ USD 35
Website: Prima Taste
8. Ya Kun Kaya (coconut jam)
This jam is a popular breakfast spread for bread, found in most homes in Singapore. It’s made of coconut milk, pandan leaves, sugar and eggs. This is not only a tasty part of breakfast and desserts, but it is also a highly nutritive accompaniment. Go ahead an buy a jar to bring back home. Kaya is sold in most shops and supermarkets, and its price starts at SGD 7 (USD 5).
Price: SGD 7/ USD 5
9. Chinese herbs
Chinese herbs are known for their healing qualities as well as disease preventive capabilities. Outside of China, you can buy these herbs in almost any other Asian country and Singapore is no exception. The country is littered with Chinese clinics where you’ll find herbs for various ailments ranging from kidney issues to back pain. One of the best places to buy these herbs is Eu Yan Sang, which is a chain of stores found throughout the country.
Eu Yan Sang
Price: From SGD 40 /USD 30
Website: Eu Yan Sang(https://www.euyansang.com.sg/)
Finally, go ahead and buy one or more handbags if you’re looking for the perfect gift item in Singapore. Stores around the country sell handbags at different price points. If you’re looking for a unique one that’s hand-crafted, you’ll find it here. If, perhaps, you’re in the market for a popular designer handbag, you’ll also find it in Singapore. Wander around the shopping malls like ION Orchard Mall and Paragon Shopping Mall, and you’ll definitely leave with a stunning handbag as a memento of your trip to Singapore.
ION Orchard Mall
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore
Price: From SGD 70 /USD 50
Website: ION Orchard Mall
Spend time exploring the country’s various stalls and shops, browsing through the vast array of products on sale. You will certainly find numerous high-quality items to buy in Singapore. And with our list above, the possibility of being overwhelmed by the choices it greatly reduced. Happy shopping!
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