Stay Away!

5 Places You should avoid when Shopping in Singapore

There may be regions in your city that you avoid visiting. Especially for shopping. They tend to leave a bad taste in memories. It’s the similar with Singapore. There are some areas which are infamous for shopping or anything in general. These are the areas that make this otherwise great city, a little low.

Sim Lim Square Avoid © Photo by Alex.Ch - Flickr

1. Geylang

The place has nice shops and good cheap food. But the presence of gambling, nightclubs and most prominently prostitution has corrupted the environment of the area. The place is definitely not a family spot. However, come here during the daytime and take a look at the vibrant life and markets, especially fruits are famous in Geylang.
The gambling has been reported to be illegally run by gangsters. First of all avoid this place. But even if you do plan to visit, beware of the skimpy women who push you for a cheap message.

• Read More: The 5 Best Places in Singapore To Have sex in your car


2. Orchard Towers

 You will be surprised at this. I mean why Orchard Towers? The name would imply just another shopping mall along Orchard Road. But behold, since years, the place is fast becoming a hot spot for numerous hookers from Thailand and Philippines. The clubs there are over-run with them.
Avoid this place if with a family.
The HardRock Cafe opposite is probably the only place you should go to in that area.


3. Katong Shopping Centre

Some recent incidents of petty crimes have bought the image down. The security is an issue. The shopping centre is not that big and stairways are cramped too. You won’t witness good branded shops. Beware of the fakes and do check the goods for authenticity before buying. Also, the shopkeepers are rude especially with the tourists.

• Read More: “We are bride brokers not Human Traffickers (article)”


4. Sim Lim Square

Some love it some hate it, me included. Sim Lim Square still gets advertised as the electronics haven, with incredible cheap prices for tourists and their gadgets. Well, they do have incredible cheap prices.. But thats before the taxes, credit card surcharge and extra items they make you buy. Plus, products are often fake, broken or not what they should be.
Almost daily you can read in local blogs about scams and even fights with rude shopkeepers, evolving in Sim Lim Square.
Stay away.. my only recommendation.


5. Balestier

 In fact, Balestier is more of an area (around Balestier Road) than one shopping center or scene. The Balesteir market is flooded with gambling activity and so is the whole area. Besides the gambling spots there are several clubs here which don’t do particular good business as well.

Tourists are definitely not advised to take a trip in there as many incidents have been reported in the past.


Just a Warning – Happy Shopping

Consider them as a warning and don’t perceive the whole Singapore to be like that. The city is great for tourists. The crime rate is among the lowest in Asia. As far as shopping is concerned, there are more good places to shop in Singapore. The numbers of places to be avoided are very less. Shopping is the main attraction of Singapore. Don’t be afraid to loosen your purse strings at better locations.
Happy Shopping!




I would add lucky plaza. Some of the sales people are obnoxiously pushy and occasionally try to rip people off. I had one audacious enough to ask if they could keep the change after they’d given me substandard customer service. On my first trip there i left feeling very shaken after being rudely treated by multiple shop keepers. Had I been a short term visitor it would have reflected badly on Singapore for sure. Also avoid anywhere that has multiple tailors near each other. The competition for your business can get very annoying.


Honestly I can’ really understand why Singapore is such a shopping haven, unless the prices on the Luxury Brand Name goods are better here, I wouldn’t know as I don’t buy that sort of stuff.
But I don’t find normal brand name clothes here that cheap, electronics are generally not cheaper than North America. I find Bangkok a way more enjoyable and cheaper shopping experience.


Hi there, just visited Singapore once. I remember that I liked shopping near the harbour. However, I can’t remember the name of the shopping centre. Marina something ??? I’m not so sure if I’ve seen some of the places you mentioned.


P.S. I’m huge fan of your blog, but please, learn the difference between “then” and “than”…


Singapore’s lost it’s status as shopping heaven a long time ago. Personally I prefer shopping in Hong Kong since it has a lot more varierty. There were more than one instance where a particular item could be found in a boutique in Hong Kong but not in Singapore.
Besides, the exchange rate also makes shopping overseas a lot more attractive.
The biggest draw for me is the excellent service I get in almost every country! Not that there aren’t any excellent service staff in Singapore, but they’re becomming a rarity. Pity.


well… Lucky Plaza is recommended by the blogger. That place is known for the most aggressive salesmen, ridiculously overpriced and packed with individuals you better not encounter after sunset.
I have been shopping in Sim Lim several times and nothing bad ever happened.

Muddasar Hossain

@OK: I think your referring to Marina Mandarin maybe . Anyways I think this was a great blog as I could literally relate and imagine myself there. I’ve been coming to Sg since small and for some reason admire it’s slightly insane strict laws & all of it’s quirks. Dammit they’ll cane your bare butt and if you passout they’ll wait for you to wake up. Lol


Dont know why Sim Lim sq is listed here instead of Lucky plaza… Sim Lim Square is one of the cheapest place u can buy IT stuff there if you are paying by cash (ATM is just on ground floor). Go to those shops with at least some customers and only buy items that are still seal in box and so on. avoid those shop behind.


Addon: Avoid this place if you are buying non IT products.

Marlo Cruz

Indeed, Lucky Plaza should have been included here. In fact, I even sued a shop at Lucky Plaza at the Small Claims Tribunal. Lucky that the store gave back my money during the hearing before the judge. When I was at the airport to check the iphone that I bought and found it to be defective, I cancelled my flight, went back to the city, wrote the incident to the Straight Times and filed a claim. The PAL Manager at Changi was very helpful in getting me a hotel even at a very late hour.


hi guys i already visited hong kong and singapore but for guys whom said that hk is cheaper and more variety i didn’t see that hk is more commercial city what are the cheap stuff they got hotels food transportation no way they are more expensive than uk actually plus deal with sales guys in the stores more than 50% of them are rude never smile in your face or help but in singapore everyone is friendly even if u want to take a taxi there is cheaper food much cheaper and almost any kind of cuisine u will find but in HK i couldn’t eat at even in pizza hut
sorry but i am in love with singapore i love the clean street the friendly people there


Avoid go to Balestier Road? Oh No… i will be going to sg on Nov, and i had paid for the Fragrance Oasis Hotel at Balestier Road… :-(


I would say lucky plaza should be in the list. I had experience also yesterday in one of the shop there, DAB electronics!!! I was just buying nokia phone then after giving my payment the staff told me im short of $88 for the memory card he put in on the phone which i am confident to say i never agree to buy. But he insisted that i agree and i must pay for it. So fed up so i wanted to void the transaction since im no longer trusting the shop. He was keeping my payment as well as the item. I called police but they just there to mediate and cant ask the staff to refund my money. Im there for almost 3 hrs and in the end i had no choice but to take the phone and memory card, with receipt. I filed complaint to CASE, i paid $10 for the letter that i personally pass to the horrible shop. Now, still waiting and hoping for just and fair result. I WONT ALLOW THIS PRACTICE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>