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.
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.
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.
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.