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R.M.
25-07-2004, 09:44 AM
Hi all - in 3 weeks we leave for our big OE (haven't been to the UK since 1969!). We have a couple of nights in Singapore on the way. What should I buy in Singapore (I have an interest in computer things, but not probably as dedicated as most of you), and a definite interest in digital photography. Someone suggested getting my next lot of spectacles there.... So I'm working on that.

Cheers
R.M. :)

mikebartnz
25-07-2004, 11:02 AM
The advantage of buying in Singapore isn't as great as it was back in the 60's and 70's.

metla
25-07-2004, 11:26 AM
Indeed,But it can be done,I have an uncle whose hobby is making trips to that area and buying up large and then redestributing.

Made him enough money to purchase 20 acres and a house outside Perth.

mikebartnz
25-07-2004, 11:46 AM
You don't actually have to go there to buy up large. If you are buying a thousand or so you can do that online.

Pheonix
25-07-2004, 11:55 AM
Not as much fun though. A holiday/break that you can write off against tax. :)

Baldy
25-07-2004, 12:24 PM
> Indeed,But it can be done,I have an uncle whose hobby
> is making trips to that area and buying up large and
> then redestributing.
>
> Made him enough money to purchase 20 acres and a
> house outside Perth.

Was he a member of the Mr Asia ring?

Misty
25-07-2004, 01:10 PM
Hi RM
We stopped in Singapore last September on the way back from the UK.
Amongst other things we bought a black ink cartridge and a colour cartridge from our HP5550. There was enough of a saving that the blank ink cartridge was free compared with buying the same two items in good old NZ. This was from a firm in a big building in the centre of town. It was four stories high and was inhabited entirely by computer shops of one type or another. If you are interested I can find out the name of the building for you. Lots of interesting things, including just about everything you could imagine connected with computers, printers etc.

We also went to an Irish pub as I have an unbroken record of having a Guinness in any country I visit (peculiar hobby !!). Even have had one in Venice and in Fiji. The Irish pub we went to had an "Irish" band composed of about six Chinese people who were playing all the traditional Irish instruments, including the bodhran ! Seemed quite weird ;)

Misty

Steve_L
25-07-2004, 01:24 PM
R. M. - I was in Singapore a couple of years ago and wish I had waited to buy a camcorder there and not here in NZ. You CAN get international warranties but be sure to check since some are only Singapore warranties. The variety of models, etc. is HUUUGE compared to little remote NZ.

The best place to go is in the central city area - there is an electronics mall composed of about five floors with an open central area. Dozens and dozens of shops. Unbelievable- you gotta see it to believe it. When you enter the buliding look up in the open centre and you will see floor after floor of 360 degree electronic shops. HEAPS of digcams, 'puters etc etc. I can check my files for the name of this building/mall but if you ask any intelligent young man who lives in Singapore, they will know the place if you describe it as I did above. Prices are cheaper but not massively so as they were years and years ago. Let me know if you want the name of the place.

metla
25-07-2004, 01:27 PM
> Was he a member of the Mr Asia ring?


Not quite, unless the Lutheran Church has expanded its operations.

R.M.
25-07-2004, 01:33 PM
Yes please, and thanks! :)

bk T
25-07-2004, 05:12 PM
> This was from a firm in a big building in
> the centre of town. It was four stories high and
> was inhabited entirely by computer shops of one type
> or another. If you are interested I can find out
> the name of the building for you. Lots of
> interesting things, including just about everything
> you could imagine connected with computers, printers
> etc.

It is called Sim Lim Square Building along Rochore Canal Road (if I remember correctly. I think it is 8 storeys of computer /electronics stuff under one roof. You probably can spend 2 days shopping in this Building.
If you can't the computer stuff you are looking for, probably you can't find it any where else!

While you are there, pay a visit to Funan Centre near the junction of North Bridge Road /Coleman Street (Peninsula Hotel). Here you can also find 4 - 5 storeys of computer stuff.
>

Cheers

Steve_L
25-07-2004, 05:13 PM
R.M. - the name of the gigantic 'makeyoureyesweap' electronics shopping mall is Sim Lim Square. Ask anyone including bus and taxi drivers where this is and they will tell you. Prepare to spend a long time there :) :)

Don't forget to go for an international warranty instead of a Singapore only warranty.

BTW, if you happen to arrive really early in the morning / late at night (when stores are closed), there is a hotel within the airport - even some Singaporeans do not know this. It is upstairs in the middle of the airport and you can walk right by without knowing. You can have a shower only (towel and soap provided) or stay in 4 hour blocks.

Steve_L
25-07-2004, 05:19 PM
Oh well, bt beat me to it by one minute :^O

There is an island that you can take a bus to, or even walk over to if you can cope with the heat and humidity. Cannot recall the name of it but it is an oasis of palm trees and beaches that is well worth a visit and a very peaceful contrast to the busy busy Singapore city. I have not been there but friends have been and they highly recommend it. Not to be confused with a larger island full of resorts that you have to go by boat - this one has a bridge.

R.M.
25-07-2004, 06:38 PM
Thanks for all the comments - some very useful ones there for me. I can see it is going to be a busy couple of days!

I'll probably have a quick look at PressF1 from time to time while I'm away - have fun!

Cheers
R.M. :)

bk T
25-07-2004, 07:32 PM
>
> There is an island that you can take a bus to, or
> even walk over to if you can cope with the heat and
> humidity.

It's called Santosa, am I right? You can go by, ferry, cable-car or by car/taxi through the under sea tunnel.

Is this the island you are referring to? Is there another smaller island where you can walk across? ?:|

nzStan
25-07-2004, 08:29 PM
I just got back from Malaysia from a two weeks holiday. If you get a chance, take a one day trip from Singapore to Johor Baru which is in Malaysia just across the bridge from Singapore.

The reason is the NZ/MYR exchange rate is 1:2.5 which is significantly better than whan you can buy for Singapore dollar.

I bought a new graphic card (FX5600) for myself, plus 128MB USB memory stick for my niece - altogether I paid just under NZ$280 when I checked my Visa bill just now. I was tempted to buy more computer gears - in hindsight I should have but was too chicken to do so having spent heaps on other things like clothes and stuffs.

nzStan
25-07-2004, 08:36 PM
LOL just read your question about spectacles.

If you are buying shades ie Raybans etc don't even for a moment believe the street hawkers peddling their imitations stuff.

I went into a local Kuala Lumpur Optometrist, sat through about half an hour eye examination using latest computerised gears (free checks) then selected a Hugo Boss titanium frame plus high index, polarised lens with all the mods cons for MY$700. That's about NZ$280 and took three days to be ready for collection.

metla
25-07-2004, 08:52 PM
hmmm....Not to rain on the parade so to speak but at $280 you didn't manage to save a cent..............

Steve_L
25-07-2004, 09:03 PM
nzStan - thanks to your post, my next pair of specs will be in Malaysia! My last pair, about 2 yrs ago, cost me nearly $1k here in NZ, so the difference in price will pay for a holiday plus some other cheaperthanNZ gear.

bk t - Santosa? Not sure, cannot remember what my friends said the name was, but they showed me a photo taken on the bridge, nearly at the island, and Singapore was very close. They walked from the city so it cannot be too far as they were feeling stuffed not having slept from Germany plus the heat and humidity.

JJJJJ
25-07-2004, 09:06 PM
For name brand electronics, Singapore is not a lot cheaper than NZ. Remember you have to pay duty when you get the goods back here and then you have to cart them around with you. If you buy anything in Singapore on your way to Europe you will have problems with customs when you take them into different countries, even though you should get refunds when you bring them out again ,UNOPENED.
Singapore is very good for cheap clothes, though.
I have a couple of pairs of glasses I got in Singapore. About a quarter the price you would pay here. Remember though the person who checks your eyes is not an optition as we know them here. He just operates the machine that does the diagnoses your eyes.No medicinal eye check etc. You get your glasses within 24 hours.
Enjoy your trip. It's a great place.
Jack

Steve_L
25-07-2004, 09:30 PM
JJ - an excellent point, about paying duty. What is the limit these days, $700? (Point at which duty starts to apply.) Anyway, I doubt that customs would bother about new specs especially if the person is wearing them.

fus1_n
25-07-2004, 09:37 PM
> JJ - an excellent point, about paying duty. What is
> the limit these days, $700? (Point at which duty
> starts to apply.) Anyway, I doubt that customs would
> bother about new specs especially if the person is
> wearing them.


Na.. sorry but your wrong! As far as I know you can have unlimited as long as its for personal use. its only limit of $700 (forgive my typing as i hve a broken collar bone) if you are going to on sell.

bk T
25-07-2004, 09:59 PM
> ... Remember though the person who checks your eyes
> is not an optition as we know them here. He just
> operates the machine that does the diagnoses your
> eyes.No medicinal eye check etc.

Do we really need an Optometrist to examine our eyes just for a pair of glasses? Personally, I think it's a waste of money. The final process of getting the right pair of glasses is the swapping of those lenses. I think we are paying those optometrist ($40.00 ?) is a rip off.

Fire-and-Ice
25-07-2004, 10:28 PM
If your own glasses prescription is OK you can ask your optomotrist (sp?) for the prescription and hand it over to the optician when you purchase new glasses. That will save the bother of having your eyes tested. ;-)

nzStan
26-07-2004, 10:11 AM
> hmmm....Not to rain on the parade so to speak but at
> $280 you didn't manage to save a cent..............

It's not a standard FX5600. This card uses silver for better heat control. The card was MY$540 = approx NZ$216. I bought some network cables and USB memory for my niece. Total bill under NZ$280. I reckon its a good buy, irregardless.

Misty
26-07-2004, 04:56 PM
Hi RM
You were given the answer much earlier than I could get hold of it. I was describing the Funan Centre. Unfortunately I did not get to the Sim Lim Square Building. Anyway, whichever, you will find lots of choice !

Going on a boat ride up the river (or is it estuary ?) is a good experience and not expensive. Eating out is soooooo cheap at lots of places. We had the most marvellous and filling meals for about S$5. The most expensive meal by light years was on the riverbank, the famous pepper crab. The one we got was comprised of a miniscule amount of crab. I think they saw us coming which is a disappointment as the vast majority of Singaporeans are very honest and will give you a fair deal.

If you get bored at any time (which is exceedingly hard to do in Singapore) get on the train and go right round the whole island in a circle - it will cost you about S4-80 from memory. It is a huge education to see endless, and endless...and end... multi-storey buildings where the great majority of the population lives.

Have a great time !!
Misty :) :)

Fire-and-Ice
26-07-2004, 05:03 PM
Out of interest how many days would one need in Singapore to take in the sights and thrash the shops a bit? As an absolute minimum I mean. ;-)

nzStan
26-07-2004, 05:25 PM
Probably about a day or two to visit the various sights on the main island (use a guided tour). Half day trip to Sentosa for me - it wasn't that interesting for me.

But for shopping, man, that could take days!!!!! There are heaps of shopping malls there. And they are not all franchised like what we get in NZ (ala Warehouse+Farmers+Hallenstein) so each mall has a unique blend of shops.

R.M.
26-07-2004, 07:17 PM
Thanks for all your comments - duly noted. I am getting my eyes tested here tomorrow, and have been in contact by e-mail with The Lensmen in Singapore. They can deliver in the time available. By the way, The Lensmen were recommended to me by a colleague at work.

Other comments are useful too - hotel in airport, places to "must see", comments on price of ink cartridges, and I will look at cost of accessories for my Canon G3 camera.

Very many thanks to all of you! :)

Cheers
R.M.

tedheath
26-07-2004, 11:17 PM
I spend a lot of time in Singapore becuase I am married to Singaporean like Don Brash lol.
The shopping was good in the 70s when you got 3.50 Singers for 1 nzd.
NZ now days probaly the cheapest place in the world for everything except prostitutes and petrol cheaper in saudi and iraq.
I personaly hate the place now its too santised and orderly. Its a nazi state they execute the most amount of people in the world. No chewing gum, sat dishes illegal. Say anything bad about ruling PAP party and you will be jailed as sure as night follows day.
What else, They beat prisoners with canes, compulsory miltary training for all males. Get fined for every small thing. Piss is ultra expensive.
The Sinaporeans themselves are boring clones If go on the piss with them they only usualy only talk about money wether chinese malay or indian.
There is going to be bad doo doo there soon as the chinese will become a minority as the Malays and Indians have more kids, the PAP party wont take kindly to coming second.
They look down on Penisular and Borneo malaysia as poor cousins.They have a huge armed forces which will be used to annex Johor Baru if the Malays cut the water supply off.
Food is good.
tedheath

bk T
27-07-2004, 12:27 AM
tedheath >>

I do agree with you to a certain extent. I used to live in Singapore for many years (in the 70s - 80s). Whatever it is, I still personally think that it is the most ideal place for a Chinese to live in - other than China (including Hongkong). Racial discrimination is everywhere, including NZ, whether you like it or not. Chinese are being discriminated (by the locals) all over the world including Malaysia. Singapore is the only country (other than China) which does not discriminate the Chinese people. Now, even Taiwan (supposed to be part of China) is discriminating the Chinese!!! In Singapore, everybody is equal; all races live together harmoniously and respect each other. The Government treats everybody equally. It is a real "Equal Opportunity" place.

Singapore is a nice place to live. Cost of living is reasonably low - food is cheap and good and fresh, too. Wages are good. Public transport system is excellent but cars are expensive to own (don't actually need one). Security is excellent. You feel secure and save to go anywhere, anytime of the day or night. The Government (PAP) is clean and efficient. As regards National Service (compulsary military training for all males), I think it is a good form of training for a 'boy' to become a 'man'. I've no objection to NS.

JJJJJ
27-07-2004, 05:59 AM
Well said bk T. In my opinion (and in most Singaporeans too) there is nothing wrong with their laws. If we had something simliar here it would be a lot safer to walk down the street at night.
A couple more points. Have nothing to do with guided tours. The guides only take you to the places that pay them the highest commission. Just like NZ.
Shopping. Buy nothing in the Orchard Road shops. They are too expensive. Sightsee by all means, but do not buy.
The best places are in the outer suburbs. You can get exactly the same goods at about half the price. And you are expected to haggle. Never buy at the first price asked. Haggle like hell and you will get things at about 40/50% of the initial price. In Orchard Road the prices are fixed and it's take it or leave it.
One thing. Beware of fake labels. Unless of course you want them. I have collected about 8 Rolex watches over the years at a total cost of not much over $100. And they still all work.
As someone mentioned food is very cheap. Unless you eat in Hotel restraunts. Local food centres are great places to eat, but time your visits to be there in the quieter periods. Not the regular meal times. It is perfectly safe to eat anything, anywhere. Hygene laws are strictly enforced.
And unless you are a millionaire, never never NEVER, have a drink from the mini bar in your hotel room. This rule applies anywhere actualy, not just Singapore.
If you are seriously looking for bargains take a trip out to Changi Village.
Jack