Notorious S.L.S. Singapore’s Sim Lim Square, the place to go for PC/IT stuff.

Did my opening picture catch your attention? HAHAHA, who would have thought to put an adult novelty toys shop in an IT parts mall? Apparently, a genius because there are 3 shops now whereas there weren’t any a few years ago! I guess Singapore isn’t as conservative a country as people have led me to believe.

Seriously now, If you’re ever in need of PC/IT parts and stuff when you’re in Singapore, you should check out Sim Lim Square as opposed to Funan IT Mall (my Funan post HERE). Also don’t mistake Sim Lim Square with Sim Lim Tower. Although they are quite close in proximity (diagonally across the street from each other) the shops sell, in general, different things.

The closest MRT station to Sim Lim Square is Rochor Station on the blue line. Once you alight the train, head up the escalators until you exit the station, where you’ll be greeted with the sight of a bus stop. You want to turn right and as soon as you cross the street about 15 feet away, you’ll be at one of the entrances to Sim Lim Square. Here’s some pictures:

Alternatively, if you’re on the green line or it’s more convenient to get to Bugis Station from where you are, alight at Bugis Station and make your way up to the street level. From there it’s pretty much a straight line to Sim Lim Square but you’ll have to walk through Bugis Street Market (more details and pictures in my post HERE) then pass Fu Lo Shou Mall (more details and pictures in my post HERE). After you pass Fu Lo Shou Mall, keep walking straight until you get to the overhead bridge.

You’ll have to choose either to take the overhead bridge or cross the street. Both will take you right up to an entrance of Sim Lim Square (also referred to as SLS by the locals).

Sim Lim Square has had a lot of bad press in the not so distant past. A few cases got mainstream media attention and resulted in arrests (if you’re interested in finding out more just Google Sim Lim Square scams). Sometimes these cases are about over pricing/charging (it’s amazing how many people just sign the credit card slip with out double checking the charges, myself included or extra fees added on later etc.), bait and switching, charging for freebies or removing freebies from the box, things like that. The last one happened to me (removal of in box freebies) years ago but not at Sim Lim Square (I eventually got it back after filing a complaint with CASE, Singapore’s version of the BBB). Prior to this, if you wanted pirated stuff, SLS was the place to go but those shops have all come and gone as have the crypto mining rigs that were so proudly displayed all over the place. Is SLS really that bad? Personally, I don’t think so anymore, gone are the overly aggressive sales reps on the first as well as the people handing out flyers (I’ve gotten paper cuts on my arms before from the 3-5 people at every up escalator, shoving paper at everyone going up). Recently though, I Haven’t heard any bad things about the shops in Sim Lim Square but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen. Just remember the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and just walk away.

Anyways, Sim Lim Square is 6 floors of IT shops and a few camera shops sprinkled here and there and of course the adult novelty toy shops. I still find it so strange that nestled amongst computer repair shops, server rack shops and parts and accessories shops that you’d find a sex toy shop. You can’t really see into the stores though as the windows and doors are all covered up with posters, product displays and or advertisements. Well, except one shop, it had a bead curtain for a door. I think I’ll go into one, one of these days, just to see what it’s like haha. There are many repair shops and two video game shops. The one on the higher floors has a large variety of games and I found their Nintendo Switch games selection larger than anywhere else I’ve seen in Singapore and the prices are competitive, usually on the lower side if you don’t have member pricing at any of the other shops. The other game shop is on the basement level and doesn’t have as much stuff but still worth look see.

For PC parts, I shop around a lot and I find that I gravitate towards the places that have sign boards with price lists pinned on them. Recently I found one shop with touchscreen display boards. These boards are right outside the shop so you don’t even have to go in. You can price check until you’re completely satisfied. They used to have people handing out price lists at all the entrances and escalators but I haven’t seen any for a while now. If you need to buy second hand stuff or get something repaired, legacy parts, you’ll definitely need to come to this mall. You’ll be hard pressed to find what you need anywhere else in Singapore.

For camera gear, I only shop in Orient Photo (while in Sim Lim Square) because they have good prices and they’re not pushy or rude. They are all the way up on the top floor in one of the back corners. A bit of a hassle to get up there but the prices are good and the people are friendly and helpful, so I don’t really mind.

In summary, I’ve never been scammed or potentially scammed at Sim Lim Square. So just as safe practice, make sure you know exactly what you want and the price range of the item and upon paying, if with a credit card, check the amount being charged. It’s also kind of normal for stores in Singapore to pass on the credit card fees to the buyer sometimes there’s a sign to let you know but many times there isn’t. If I recall correctly the fee is around 4%. Also unless otherwise indicated the price includes the goods and services tax (currently 7%). Some shops may try to add it on because they think you don’t know or tell you there’s a discount for paying cash when there really isn’t.

OH! If you ever get Brunei currency as change in Singapore, it’s ok. Don’t be like me and make a HUGE fuss, haha. Apparently Singapore and Brunei have tied their currency together so they are both of equal value in either country. I still don’t understand why the cashier wouldn’t just give me a Singapore note when I asked nicely the first time…anyways… If you’re familiar with the history of Sim Lim Square you may think that it’s too scary or risky going there, my kids still refer to it as “shady town” but I think they’ve “cleaned up” a lot since then and if you’re looking for parts, there really is nowhere else to go for parts both new and used. Just keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine.

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Fu Lo Shou Complex in Singapore for Thai (and other) amulets and repair services too!

Hey guys, and gals! If you’ve been following my Thailand shenanigans, you’ll know that I’ve purchased a few more Thai amulets whilst I was in Bangkok. I’m now back in Singapore. So interestingly enough, having been living in Singapore for 14 years, I’ve never had the urge to go in this particular building. I had an idea/thought that they had a few Buddhism/Feng Shui related stuff in there but I never went in. This day, however, while on my way to get some computer parts, I walked past this building as usual but this time the shop with the outdoor tables, right in front caught my attention, in a big way. I “had” to go and get a closer look. If I had a “mind blown” emoticon, I’d insert that right here! Not only did I find amulets but also repair services being offered in this shop. More on this further down, but first:

If you’re interested in getting here via public transport, here’s the details. The stop you’ll need to alight at Bugis Station on the green line. If you’re on the Red Line, you’ll need to change trains at City Hall Station. Here’s a map of Singapore’s MRT system (it’s very easy to navigate).

Once you alight at Bugis Station, you head up the escalators and exit the gantries. Once you’re out of the station you want to turn right. As you reach the end of the hall, turn right again and go up the escalators. Once you’re at the top of the escalators, look to straight and a bit to the right (1 o’clock position) and you’ll see a crossing to cross the road. Once you’ve crossed that road, go straight through Bugis Street Market (entrance under the “Happy Hour” sign), you’ll know when you’re through because you’ll have to cross another street. Be careful as you near the end (when you see a fresh fruit drink stall or a table selling fruits on the left) because the market literally ends at the curb, meaning you’ll walk right into traffic if you’re not paying attention. Which is easy to do because Bugis Street Market is quite an interesting visit if you’re wanting to get souvenirs and stuff. HERE’S my post on it (there’s more directional photos in there, if you need).

Once you exit Bugis Street Market and cross the street, you’ll see some street vendors on the right, the main entrance to Fu Lo Shou complex is on the right, just after the last blue tent roof in the photo below.

As you walk into the building, the first shop on the left, I think is the largest of the stores in the mall, not only that but while walking around the area, I found they had another outlet but with more statues and figures rather than amulets. What’s unique about this shop, versus the others in the mall, is that there are large statues of Buddha inside which you can offer your prayers, flowers and donations to. Also, there is a monk inside who (I think) will add “a blessing” to your amulet if you buy one (just like at Wat Arun in Bangkok). When I was there he was chanting but I didn’t see any recipient of the chant. This shop felt “legit” to me if that is any reassurance to anyone, haha. Anyways, aside from that as mentioned above, this shop also offers amulet repair services (there are other shops in the mall that has this too) but unlike in Bangkok when I inquired about changing the casing on a couple of my amulets, the general consensus was that it will take at least a week. The shops in this mall, depending on how busy they are, will change your casing on the spot. I witnessed people at two different shops waiting and watching while someone swapped cases for them. One was a glass case with metal trim and the other was the clear plastic bubble type. I can’t believe I only just now found this!

Looking around this 6 story mall there were plenty of other shops offering a variety of services and products such as Chinese Astrology, Feng Shui “fortune telling”, Chinese Massages, Daoist and Buddhist paraphernalia, Thai amulets, jewellery shops (mainly religious themed items), Feng Shui paraphernalia and some food outlets. There’s even an amulet authentication service!

If you’re even just slightly interested in Buddhist/Daoist related paraphernalia and or amulets, you’ll want to come check out this mall. Personally, I’m a bit wary of buying amulets from shops, I’d much prefer buying them from a temple, but maybe that one shop with the “resident” monk is close enough? I must say though that the amulet styles I saw in Fu Lo Shou are noticeably different than the ones I see in Bangkok, not that I’ve seen that many but enough to notice. I guess more specifically when in Thailand I never had to look and wonder what the carving of the amulet was but a lot of the amulets I saw in Fu Lo Shou I had no idea what or who the carving was of. Then again, I’m not in the slightest, versed in this subject matter, so it’s better if you visit this compex and have a look see, if you get a chance. Having said that, I didn’t see any amulet that piqued my interest nor any that I felt gravitated towards so I didn’t buy anything. I will go back to Fu Lo Shou to at least get a quote on repair services.

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Bugis Street Market in Singapore for all your souvenir shopping needs

If you’re needing to buy a boat load or just a handful of souvenirs while in Singapore, you’ll want to check out Bugis Street Market which is located within a 5 min walk from Bugis MRT Station on the green line. Here’s an MRT map (as of Dec 2019). One of my favorite things about Singapore is the ease of use and navigation (lots of signage everywhere) of their train system (if you’re ok with English).

Once you alight at Bugis Station, you head up the escalators and exit the gantries. Once you’re out of the station you want to turn right. As you reach the end of the hall, turn right again and go up the escalators. Here’s some pictures for visual reference.

Once you’re at the top of the escalators, look straight and a bit to the right (one o’clock position) and you’ll see a crossing to cross the road. Try not to get too distracted by the shopping mall on the left, haha.

Once you’ve crossed the road, you’ll be at the back entrance to Bugis Street Market. I call it the back entrance because there isn’t any signage, that I’ve noticed, to let you know that you’re entering Bugis Street Market. Entrance is below the ‘Happy Hour’ sign. Much to my disappointment, the shop displaying that sign is a watch / time piece shop and not an alcohol vendor. Just in case you’re wondering, the image at the top of this post is what I’d say is the front because there is a Bugis Street (Market) sign, although in my opinion, it’s way too high to be noticeable.

At first glance it may look a bit shady because (other than the lack of signage) it just looks like a narrow and crowded lane with souvenir / gift shops, snack / drink shops on either side but if you go in a little ways, there are lanes/paths on either side that lead you deeper into what is Bugis Street Market. You’ll be amazed at how much stuff is crammed in there. Some of these lanes open up to a bigger section of shops. You’ll even find escalators up to even more shops, lots and lots of tiny cubicles of stuff! I didn’t get a chance to go exploring this time around as I was on a mission for computer parts and had to walk through Bugis Street Market to get to the Sim Lim Square, which is the place to go for IT parts and such. I’ll post about that in the coming days.

Prices at Bugis Street Market is comparable to prices you’ll find at the other touristy places like Chinatown but I’d say you can find better deals here. You can bargain here, a bit, in the shops that are deeper in the side lanes, not so much in the main lane that you entered from. Some vendors can get quite rude and or pushy though, so take that into consideration. Bulk is pretty much the name of game here, you’ll find a lot of 3 for $10 Sgd t-shirt deals in here as well as handful of keychains / magnets for cheap too. It’s generally easier to bargain if you buy a lot, the vendors seem to get nicer in attitude too. Aside from souvenir shops, I’ve seen tattoo parlours in there, gadget shops, gadget accessory shops, and of course lots of clothes. Here’s some pics.

Well worth a look see if you need to buy a bunch of souvenirs or relatively cheaper, trendy, young people clothes. It should take about an hour or two if you’re just window shopping, to see everything provided you don’t get lost in there. I’d say just kidding, but I’ve been lost in there and had to ask for directions to get out, TWICE!

I take everyone who visits me and needs to get souvenirs to Bugis Street Market and none of them regret coming and some request to come again on subsequent visits. Although it can get really crowded in the main lane, once you branch off to the sides, there are less people but the walkways are narrower, so be careful not to knock anything over with your bags and bags of loot! Happy shopping, everyone!

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other (usually travel) bloopers, blunders and shenanigans but also photography related news/reviews and the occasional contest entry.

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome, as are upvotes and resteems.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

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