Shopping (&Food) SIN, BKK, SGN, HKG

Old Nov 11, 16, 9:43 am
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Shopping (&Food) SIN, BKK, SGN, HKG

I hate to stereotype and post this here instead of the Asia forum, but.....I like you guys & you have great ideas

In a couple weeks, we head to Asia for a cruise. Cruise embarks in Singapore, hits Ko Samui & Bangkok, then Ho Chi Minh City and ends in Hong Kong. We have quite a few days in Singapore (airline miles tickets) and a couple days in Hong Kong after the cruise. Any special shopping places I should hit? For souvenirs, typically I'm a grocery or drug store shopper (every time I go to China, I bring back $1 paper facial masks) But I'm also sort of looking for a new leather handbag (my last winter/dark brown leather bag just bit the dust) There were some recent discussions of silk/scarves in Bangkok in the Thailand forum that I noted - I do love scarves but have so many - not urgent I shop for more. Just thought I'd ask if there are any "must dos" before we leave.

We adore food, I travel for my stomach - and again, I have long lists from friends as well as the various Asia fora here - but if there's a place you love, tell me about it

[for packing, I'm just assuming hot & humid & potentially rainy - esp SIN - and will pack accordingly and plan to do laundry]
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Old Nov 11, 16, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
I hate to stereotype and post this here instead of the Asia forum, but.....I like you guys & you have great ideas

[for packing, I'm just assuming hot & humid & potentially rainy - esp SIN - and will pack accordingly and plan to do laundry]
Haven't been in the Far East for quite a few years, but what I loved in Singapore was the batik. I came home with several shirts and skirts that I wore for ages.

If you're looking for gifts, in Hong Kong I bought a number of small cloisonné animals, about 1 to 2 inches high so easy to pack. For a couple close friends I brought back the animal from the Chinese zodiac that corresponded to their birth year.
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Old Nov 11, 16, 9:13 pm
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For handbags in both Singapore and Hong Kong, I would look at local brands for something unique. There are lots of imported brands too, but high rents mean that those are often cheaper to purchase in N. America unless you were to look for the European versions/styles that are not sold here.

My fave souvenir from Singapore is Prima Taste meal kits that can be found in almost all supermarkets. These are entire sauce kits that include the grated coconut and coconut milk pouches in addition to the spice paste for a very authentic home-styled dish. I also love the Pandan Chiffon cake. The bakery that is most famous for this has a shop at the airport so there is no big rush to buy one in the city.

For Hong Kong, if you love candied ginger, I would get the ginger cookies from Kei Wah Bakery shop at the airport. I also tend to go for dragon beard candy. If you're in town, look for Marks & Spencer for British treats such as cookies and shrimp cocktail crisps. If you're petite, the Marks & Spencer in Hong Kong features long-wearing career basics in petite Asian sizing at very reasonable prices. For something upscale and embellished in the silk scarf department look for a local brand called Kenkei (sp?). For basic silks look at Yue Hwa department store or Chinese Arts and Crafts store.

In Thailand, have a look at the Jim Thompson store. My favourites are actually their giant cotton voile shawl-sarong-scarfs rather than their silks. For silks, I like looking on the Thai Design floor of major department stores for high quality items. Another good souvenir would be pewter tabletop and household items from various high-end local brands. These can be found in the home decor section of department stores such as Central and Emporium. Styles range from ultra modern keychains and scatter bowls to ornate centerpieces. If you're looking for something more utilitarian, stainless tiffins from ZebraHead brand are the best. For food to eat on the road, maybe with a drink or two, the local cashews and seasoned anchovies are so good. If you like spa items, and fancy soaps, check out Thann.


Vietnam has become insanely expensive over the past few years. The only things I still buy there are toothpick holders made from cassia bark (cinnamon) and bespoke clothing. If you can, have a traditional Vietnamese pantsuit made to measure. It consists of loose trousers with a long mandarin-collar tunic-dress that is slit up to the waist. It is very flattering while still being comfortable and practical to wear.
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Old Nov 12, 16, 5:57 am
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Thanks for the great ideas so far! No time for clothing this trip - but I'm hoping for a land trip to Vietnam in the future with a trip to Hoi An to try out clothing
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Old Nov 25, 16, 8:35 pm
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I second the Prima Taste food packs - you can get them at almost any supermarket. Prima also has laksa noodles that come in ramen/instant mee packet sizes, and they are good.

One of my favorite places to get good, cheap drug store beauty items is at the Watsons in Takashimaya shopping center. Upstairs in the department store, there are several leather bag options, depending on your budget, from both international and local brands.
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Old Nov 27, 16, 2:32 am
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In SIN now so I'll look for the Prima Taste food at the grocery store across the street from our hotel!

All I've bought so far are bamboo ear cleaners and a fan from Daiso. Oh, and so much good food!!
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Old Dec 2, 16, 3:57 am
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I like the local food in the Mosque Street area in Singapore.
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