What are the Ideal Places to Shop in Singapore?

Singapore is a shopping haven for all those who are interested in spending their money and pampering their consumerist appetite. The new economic boom of this South-East Asian country has led to the development of a number of shopping malls with countless brands, products and goods.
What are the Ideal Places to Shop in Singapore?

Apart from having food from a number of delicacies, shopping is taken very seriously and considered to be the favorite pastime in the island. Apart from the roadside stalls and local markets, Singapore has developed itself as the warehouse of some of the most charismatic goods found all over the world.
The malls that are known to be the best in Asia and among the top in the world and will definitely attract your attention with their breathtaking beauty are. Best places to shop in Singapore are:

Vivo City in HarbourFront Precinct – home to the biggest cinema hall, biggest toy store and ampetheater. It is an entertainment, shopping, and lifestyle destination rolled into one.

Ngee Ann City Of Orchard Road – A beautifully decorated mall with all the best brands in the world, it boasts an art and aesthetic section especially at the
Takashimaya department store which stands over seven levels

Knightsbridge Mall of Orchard Road
– Brilliant architecture with the best of retail stores

Mustafa Centre in Little India – Almost with all the leading brands, this mall remains open for 24 hours

Far East Plaza in Orchard Road – Belonging to the older generation of malls and flocked by the young crowd, this is a heaven for bargaining.

Mandarin Gallery in Orchard Road – Previously known as the Meritus Mandarin Shopping Arcade, this is a house of all the international designers

Suntec City in Marina Bay – Constructed as office blocks, it is a centre of exhibition and conference.

Sim Lim Square in Little India – This is the biggest IT mall of the country

Paragon Shopping Centre in Orchard Road – It is a high-end mall and has won a number of awards.

ION Orchard in Orchard Road – Glowing like a futuristic beacon, it is a glowing architectural wonder.

Orchard Road has been ranked as the numero uno shopping place in the whole world. Chosen to be the best shopping mall region, it is special for its wide and clean pavements and extensive varieties of shops and products. This place has more than 22 world class shopping malls and six departmental stores.

More shopping malls in Singapore.

Enjoy the mesmerizing Singapore beaches

Singapore is essentially an island country with a list of beaches. Despite land reclamation and urbanization, miles of natural beaches continue to entertain tourists and locals. The longest beach is that of the East Coast Park and Changi Beach is another popular place. There are beaches in the main island also on the offshore islands. The man-made artificial beaches are heaven for turtle cultivation.

Popular main island Singapore Beaches

East Coast Park beach – Situated in the southeastern part of Singapore, this beach park is a retreat for honeymoon couples. The beautiful sand line stretches from the East Coast Park neighborhood. There are hotels, resorts, golf courses and seafood centre here for entertainment and relaxation.

Sembawang Beach – Covering 15 acre, this park is located in Sembawang Beach. The sandy beach has a number of places of interest such as the Navy Museum and colonial era houses.

Changi Beach – Changi Beach Park is another bach hideout in Singapore around 4 km long. Family picnics, night stroll and fishing are some of the prominent activities here.

West Coast Park Beach – An important fun and entertainment center, the beach park here covers around 50 acres. It is also considered one of the largest in Singapore.

Offshore Singapore beaches

  • Sentosa Island has three beaches
  • Palawan Beach
  • Siloso Beach
  • Tanjong Beach

Other beaches include:

  • Pasir Ris Park beach
  • Pulau Ubin beach
  • Kusu Island beach

Singapore Travel – Dos and Dont’s

A vibrant travel destination that attracts millions a year, Singapore is known as a clean city with efficient traffic control and criminal laws binding both locals and tourists. Home to a diverse ethnic population, there is a strict guideline for foreigners and employment pass holders. As travelers, new to the city, you should know about the restrictions, dos and dont’s while you are in Singapore.

What not to do in Singapore

You will have to abide by certain rules and regulations while traveling to Singapore.

  • Do not Litter
  • There is strict law against littering in Singapore. It is of world’s cleanest cities with high level of public hygiene concerns. Throwing of plastics, waste paper and cigarette is an offense resulting to fine

  • No smoking in public places
  • Smoking in public is prohibited in Singapore and the law is well enforced. Cigarette are sold with a SDPC stamp and smokers using unstamped cigarette packs will be fined up to $500 for each pack. In customs, 1 half opened cigarette pack is allowed to be brought in Singapore

  • Chewing gum
  • Import of chewing gum is illegal and there is a custom checking at the airport and ports. Pack of chewing gums from Malaysia and Indonesia can get you arrested.

  • Drug laws
  • There is strict laws against drug trafficking, consumption and abuse. Possession of drugs can lead to capital punishment even without an exception to foreigners. Also note that drug metabolites in the person’s system is also a criminal offense even if consumed outside Singapore.

  • Do not bring firearms
  • Possession of unlicensed arms, firearms, crackers and any kind of mild explosive is punishment, if brought without the necessary permit . According to trafficking laws, import and export of more than 30 g or morphine and 30 g of cocaine and other drugs such as cannabis and heroin has compulsory death penalty. An for unauthorized consumption of drugs, there is a jail term of up to 10 years.

  • Avoid bribing
  • The Singaporean authorities discourage bribing at any public place, to government officials, for any special favors receive in return. Both the parties are considered as offenders.

  • Do not use pirated goods
  • Religious symbols and publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Unification Church cannot be imported, by either land or sea, to Singapore. Pirated CDs or movies and pornographic videos has a fine of up to $1000

  • Avoid tipping and giving money to beggars
  • It is not customary to tip waiters in restaurants and bars. Begging is also not a legal activity

  • Do not carry food in MRT trains
  • Bringing food to MRT trains is a public offense with fine of around $200.

  • Do not gift white flowers
  • For the locals, white flowers are a symbol of mourning and grief and usually bought only at funerals. Avoid gifting anyone.

  • Avoid public display of affection
  • Due to cultural barriers, public display of affection is unacceptable in Singapore unlike many western countries. Homosexual activity remains illegal.

  • Do not feed animals
  • At parks and road, do not stop by to feed birds or monkeys. This activity is strictly prohibited and on notice can cause harassment

  • Illegal entry and stay is punishable
  • Entry without proper visa and permit and staying beyond 90 days after visa expiry has caning as punishment.

  • Do not be in touch with bookies and touts
  • In exchange for money, bookies often lead foreign tourists to traps. It is advisable to make all your bookings in advance to avoid paying extra

  • Do not mingle with strangers
  • It is nice to be polite and courteous but avoid mingling with strangers. You can end up in a tourist trap!

    What to do in Singapore
    Here are few things to do in Singapore

    • Be vigilant and aware while boarding taxis
    • There is duty free alcohol sold in Singapore, enjoy the nightlife
    • Keep all important numbers such as ambulance, fire and police for immediate help
    • Use public restrooms/toilets especially built at all MRT stations, shopping complexes and also bus terminals
    • Maintain dress codes in bars and pubs, wherever required
    • Be courteous to local people, bow to the Chinese, you can shake hands as well
    • Carry prescriptions for all regular medicines that you take, drugs are sold only when prescribed
    • Open your shoes before entering a home or temple
    • Enjoy the tropical climate that may get hot sometimes, make sure to keep yourself enough hydrated
    • Do not depend on credit cards, carry some cash with you

    Singapore’s focus on education for Lawyers

    Singapore came with an initiative that will make the education for Lawyers an ongoing process as from 1st April’2012 onwards, new lawyers will now be spending more than 8 hours on learning activities by December and that too before they can renew the certificates of practising in 2013.

    According to the sources, some 1200 lawyers will have to follow the above decision by the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme. This decision is also for the lawyers who have been practising at the Singapore Bar on or after 2nd January 2007.

    This scheme has been administered by the Singapore Institute of Legal Education. The main aim of this scheme is to allow lawyers to understand and recognise the importance of learning and will be applicable in their entire profession.

    The new CPD scheme will allow the new qualified lawyer to get 8 points which in turn means 8 hours of learning activity. Out of these 8 points, 4 points must be from the learning activities that will be done by the one of the 12 institutions that include Singapore Management University’s School of Law, Singapore Academy of Law, National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Law etc. The left 4 points can ne acquired by attending the legal conferences as well as the seminars, review learning videos, online programmes, writing and publishing the articles in legal publications and journals that are approved by the Institute.

    HDB is coming up with many schemes to live comfortably in Singapore

    Popular HDB, Housing and Development Board, in Singapore will launch 8000 flats in Build-to-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF).

    Want to know more about these flats?
    Well these flats are in mature as well as in non mature estates and are mix in number of room i.e. the flats have rooms in the range of 3 to 5.

    There will be more than 50 percent of the flats as BTO flats along with 860 flats in Bukit Panjang, 670 in Clementi, 640 in Geylang, 1200 in Bukit Batok, 410 in Bedok, 180 in Toa Payoh, 130 in Bukit Timah.

    Khaw Boon Wan, National Development Minister, Singapore , said that there is large variety of flats that will definitely suit needs of different people. Flat buyers can apply for the flats that suit their needs and requirements and also can choose the estate also.

    Priority will be given to the people who will have the HDB flat for the very first time and the formalities for the acquistion will be done fast. Also the second time buyers have more chances to get BTO flats but in non- mature states and also propagate the Married Child Priority Scheme.

    Also there is news that there will be introduction of new Multi-Generation Priority Scheme that will allow married children to live with their parents or near to their parents’ home. The other schemes include Ageing-in-Place Priority Scheme and a Silver Housing Bonus Scheme that will be beneficial for the older people.

    In Ageing-in-Place Priority Scheme, there will be an initiative to offer 300 studio appartments to older people in Bukit Timah and Toa Payoh.

    Singapore – Smart Business City

    Yes you read it write!!! The famous Jurong Lake District will allow Singapore to become a good business place as Singapore gives good municipal services, promote engagement among citizens and most important, it use the precious resources optimally for the benefit of the country.

    Also Singapore has been chosen as a Recipient of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant for 2012.

    What is Smarter Cities Challenge? Well it is a challenge that had been started in 2011 and covers 100 cities and the challenge costs US$50 million.

    The top management and experts of IBM come together and study the local urban issues and then make recommendations on such issues in order to improve the conditions.

    The EDB (Economic Development Board), URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) and the other agencies who are partners of IBM, will work with the experts of IBM.

    Also the experts will change the Jurong Lake District into a sustainable, smart and connected high density district.

    Jurong Lake District is a 360ha place in West Singapore and is expected to support the Economic Growth of the Singapore in the coming 10-15 years.

    Also the Jurong Lake District will make use of the resources efficiently, land optimization and increase the quality of life of the workers , residents and visitors.

    Singapore is known for innovative solutions to the problems.

    MoU between Singapore and C40

    Singapore has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) in order to participate with the International climate action group and will act as an Observer City.

    According to the sources, the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) told that Singapore has been invited to be a part of the C40 as Singapore has got many achievements and has proved itself in attaining the Economic Growth and Environment Sustainability.

    Also C40 has shown interest in the Singapore’s land transport and water management. It has been claimed that Singapore will be participating as an OBSERVER as it has unique things in itself as a city and will not participate in the communiqués that will be issued by the C40 group.

    Both Singapore and C40 group will focus on the ways in order to reduce the emission of the Green house gas in the World and hence will support the measures, ways and ideas to prevent the impact of climate changes.

    There will be 58 cities in the C40 group and some of them are Seoul, Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, Sao Paulo, New York, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Jakata, Berlin etc.

    Student care centres in Singapore

    Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore want schools to start the student care centers. This will be very beneficial for the students as they will be able to reap the benefits of he student care services in the school itself after the lessons come to an end.

    Also the Ministry gives development grants to encourage such initiatives and hence open up such centers that will be operated by Voluntary Welfare Organizations.

    The schools that will face the shortage of space, can go to the Ministry for funding as well as for developing already developed modular structures.

    Halimah Yacob, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports,claimed the same at the opening of the AMP-Mercu Centre at Fuhua Primary School.

    he advantage of the Student Care Centers will be that they provide constant support and care to the children and specially those who have nobody at their homes when they reach home after school.

    Tobacco – free Young Generation in Singapore is the need of the hour

    How sweet is Singapore..really..to have an upcoming generation free from Tobacco, various medical practitioners and
    researchers have started a campaign in order to propagate the harmful effects of Tobacco and hence keep the
    generation away from tobacco.

    The movement is also the first one for the Singapore’s two medical schools – the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and
    the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

    The campaign will focus on children who are below 12 years of age or those children born after January 2000.The main goal is to aware the children about the harmful effects of the Tobacco and hence prevent them from even lighting up the cigarettes.

    According to the results of the searches, it has been found that the children of age 12 to 13 years start smoking.Despite of the fact that the cigarettes can be sold to the people of age greater than 18 years.

    Also it has been found that the fashion of smoking among the youngsters in Singapore of age 18 to 29 years, has seen
    33 percent hike from 2004 to 2010.

    Koong Heng Nung, Associate Professor, Head of Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre, claimed that his team
    will cover many schools and International audience as and when the campaign will gain attraction.

    There are many campaigns that are running in Singapore for current smokers but what makes this campaign different is
    that there is an extra focus on the gap that has not been looked into by anybody yet. With this movement, the focus
    will not be the youth of Singapore only but all the youngsters in the World.

    The students who are doing a medical course, will be organizing a Young Summit for upper primary and lower secondary

    Also they will give the proposals to the delegates who belong to different countries at the 15th World Congress on
    Tobacco or Health from March 21 to 24 and also will sell the collar pins and car decals in order to raise funds for
    this noble cause.

    Lemon Law in Singapore

    Lemon Law will be in effect from 1st September 2012 in Singapore and will be for the sale of pets also. Under the Lemon law, the people can return the product, if found defective, to the retailer with the first 6 months of the purchase and also can ask for the repairs, a replacement or a refund.

    But there is no specific definition for the defect.But yes, it should follow the Sale Contract. The law will provide flexibility to the retailer as well as the consumer to come at a mutually acceptable agreement.

    The CASE (Consumers Association of Singapore) will support buyers who can prove that the pet was not well at the time of purchase.

    Also animal welfare groups like the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is very happy with such decision. The Executive Director of SPCA, Corinne Fong, that the above move will definitely improve the retail industry of the pet.