Sim Lim Square
The first thing on todays agenda is to visit Sim Lim square, which for those who are unaware is a high rise shopping centre for all things electronic, with, in some cases killer prices.
Before moving onto the visit, some warnings; first most of the stores do not take/like credit cards, so remember to take cash or visit the ATM on the ground floor, then comes the annoying one, expect pushy salesmen, who do not like taking no for an answer.
If you want to shop camera, especially higher end, Sim Lim Square is not the place for you, checkout the second level in the Funan centre. You will find many camera stores, with no sign of any pushy salesmen, just knowledgeable staff who are happy to help.
On the plus side, haggling is possible, but it does depend on the store and what you are buying. And no, its not like Hong Kong where haggling is expected.
So, after rebooting the sense of direction, it was off to Sim Lim square, which in this case was about a 10-minute easy walk from the hotel.
Expecting changes from the many previous visits made over many years, the first was unexpected but welcome, no pushy salesmen. Walking into the centre, past the previously pushy camera salesmen, and being ignored.
One of the things on the shopping list was, camera related, so feeling brave it was time to interact with one of the previously pushy salesmen.
Quite a surprise, they were actually helpful, although not as knowledgeable as those in the Funan centre.
Anyhow, Sim Lim Square is well worth a visit, just be aware that prices can be very different across different stores for the same products. Final words would be, its not as cheap as it used to be, but deals can still be found.
When it comes to prices, the one thing I found which was actually cheaper than back home, is flash memory cards and USB sticks. Both of these where about 20% cheaper than Sydney prices. And yes, I picked up several of each.
One thing you need to know is about the ability to claim the tax on purchases back at the airport, back with my previous trip, you used to be able to take the receipt to the desk at the airport and get the refund that way.
Now things have changed, you need to carry your passport, and talk to the store who will do some paperwork which you will need when you get to the airport. At the airport you need to show the item you purchased together with the paperwork from the store, then they will refund the tax
First win of the day, and the end of the shopping for now, so now it being a nice sunny day, I am heading for Fort Canning Park