Thursday, August 29, 2013

There's Bugis for cheap shopping thrills and souvenirs in Singapore

I have been back in the Netherlands and currently suffering a light jet lag. I slept straight for 14 hours but was awakened when the Dutchman joined me in bed. I was startled at first. I did not know where I was? And I did not know who this man is beside me in bed! Oh dear me, lol.

Then I remembered I am home. I am with the Dutchman. This is what happens when you travel to different countries and staying in hotel rooms and other people's houses.

My last leg of my South East Asian trip was Singapore, and since this city was the most fresh in my mind, I have decided to post an entry about our shopping afternoon there, just the day before I left.

Bugis Street or Bugis Village
Website: Bugis Street

Singapore is a multi-cultural city and country. Everywhere you go they have signs in 4 languages like this at a construction site in front of Bugis: English (so everyone can understand each other, glad its not written in Singlish though!), Mandarin Chinese (74% of Singaporeans are Chinese, although other Chinese dialects are also spoken), Malay (well, Singapore was once a part of Malaysia) and Indian Tamil (another rich history from the past of Indian traders coming to Asia).

It is easy to get to Bugis by car, bus or MRT. Check the website link above for more information.

Some Bugis information and history

Bugis Village is the answer to all our cheap shopping thrills and souvenirs in Singapore. There are more than 800 shops here and is the largest shopping location in Singapore.

The area used to be frequented by hookers and transvestites in the 50's through the 80's. It's near Geylang, another area popularly known as the haven for the other darker side of night life. Things have changed since here at Geylang and Bugis, the area is now home to Singapore's biggest retail happening sans the upmarket signature brands unless you do not mind the quite looking very real work of imitations.

Interestingly, the place is also very local. There were some tourists shopping and passing through, I noticed, but not in big numbers. Bugis is clearly a local thing. Now you have been tipped off!

Trivia: Did you know that Bugis name came from the Buginese people of South Sulawesi, Indonesia? They are a seafaring people who moored their boats in the area and traded with Singaporean merchants.

The mother bought some stuff for the employees back home whilst the father acting as the poor shopping bags carrier, haha. But other than that, my mother likes markets like these. Like mother, like daughter I guess.

Okay, someone was brave enough (not me!) to come to Bugis shopping in flowered blue pants and towering high heels! Respect.

A conundrum!

I can't figure this out, but I simply love to browse and take pictures of local markets, especially if they are outdoor markets, farmers markets, street markets and markets housed in traditional buildings. Modern malls and expensive shopping centres do not interest me that much, although I do go there to buy stuff, sometimes to eat and meet people, but the excitement to visit a local traditional and sometimes kitschy market and partake in the experience is just different. I cannot compare the joy and contentment I get from this than going to a modern shopping mall.

Its a conundrum I suppose because I do rarely buy stuff at these markets, and when I do, I buy just one or two, while at malls and shopping centres, I do buy most of my stuff that I, for example, will really wear or use.

And if you have no appetite for shopping? Bugis have takeaway food and 'hawker' food stalls too! =)

They are selling fresh fruit juices but my favourite is chilled soya milk =)

Got so curious so bought a stick. They are fried chicken fingers wrapped in seaweed wrappers. They were... mwah.

From the same store we bought egg tarts but they were not near to the egg tarts in Macau. The Macau egg tarts were also not as par as the real egg tarts (Pastel de Nata's) in Portugal. At least I can say, I have tried them and can compare them to the original ones.

When you are in Singapore, do check Bugis Village or Bugis Street out!

Travel Period: August 2013
Destination: Singapore Central, Singapore

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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