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The Central Business District (CBD) in Singapore is the place to shop for many tourists, where popular shopping places such as Bugis Street, Suntec City, ION Orchard are all in the area.
If you are a hipster tourist and do not want to buy a normal gift back from Singapore for your family and friends, you have come to the right shopping guide!
(Psst! If you are working in the CBD Area, and desperately need inspiration to get a gift for your colleague, don’t be afraid to read this post as well.)
Before reading the guide, pair your gift with flowers
What better way to convey your message of love and sincerity than pairing your gift with flowers?
You must be asking me, “I need to find a florist, Raffles Place is a tough place to find one!”
Not to worry, because Floral Garage Singapore has got your back. We provide same day delivery for your orders. If you are bringing the flowers back to your home country from Singapore, we offer dried flowers which can last longer than fresh flowers!
“Kopitiam” (Coffee Shop) Kitchen Towels
From @es20160930 on Instagram
Firstly, if you have wandered around Singapore during your trip and ate at the Singapore kopitiams (coffee shops), you will find that many of the stall uncles use these kitchen towels to wipe almost everything, including their sweat. This became a symbol of the hardworking Singaporean. Getting this as a gift will enable the hardworking gift recipient to be greeted by your “Good Morning” everytime they use these kitchen towels. You can find these towels in hardware stores or supermarkets in the CBD Area.
From @msoinkee on Instagram
You can find the mug version of the Good Morning Towel in Waterloo Street (near Bugis). The mug is a great alternative to the towel because every morning when you have your coffee, you can be greeted by the mug.
Kueh Lapis Sagu (9层糕) Door Stopper
From @redrepublic.sg on Instagram
Kueh Lapis Sagu is one of the traditional sweet treats in Singapore, which boasts the iconic red top layer. Many Singaporeans eat it by savouring it, layer by layer. Besides it being a colourful item to add to one’s home, it also has a functional purpose as a door stopper.
You can find this door stopper in Waterloo Street (near Bugis).
From @artisanofsense on Instagram
Soy candles have been increasingly popular in Singapore, as they are non-toxic and they burn cleaner than a paraffin candle. Many independent brands in Singapore have come up with their own version of their soy candles. You can find soy candles in design and gift stores that sell and showcase independent designer products. Candles are a versatile gift because they come in many scents, colours, and designs to suit the recipient of your gift.
You can find independent stores in Suntec City, Bugis+, or Orchard Gateway.
The Enchanted Rose
If you have watched Beauty and the Beast, you would have noticed the rose in a bell jar which can last for many years. We at Floral Garage have our own take on the Enchanted Rose made using a preserved red rose with romantic petals littered around its base. For a gift that lasts up to a decade, it is a small price to pay for a decade of love.
You may not be able to find this from any Bugis florist, however, with a few taps on your phone you can have it delivered to you on the day you order it!
Click here to get your very own Enchanted Rose!
Salted Egg Fish Skin
From @jermsluvfood on Instagram
Mention salted egg anything and Singaporeans will surely turn their heads. Once a popular snack for Chinese New Year gatherings, it has become the go-to snack for Singaporeans all year round. Salted egg is usually an ingredient in mooncakes or tze char dishes, and have been incorporated in hipster food joints and bakeries, followed by salted egg fish skins and potato chips. These salted egg fish skins are crispy, savoury and sweet, and are sold in most major supermarkets by a variety of brands.
From @megangibson0_o on Instagram
Due to the hot weather, many Singaporeans enjoy wearing slippers wherever they go. Slippers bring convenience and comfort to the lazy. You can bring it up a notch by getting fish slippers from most stalls that sell shoes and slippers in Bugis Street or Far East Plaza. Whether you are buying fish slippers as a gift or for yourself, wearing this at the beach will be sure to attract the attention of beach goers.
Bubble Tea Earrings/Charms
From @thepigbakesclay on Instagram
Bubble Tea is a Singaporean favourite, and that is why there are many bubble tea shops and brands all around Singapore. If you know of someone that loves bubble tea, why not get them this bubble tea earring/charm?
You can get these bubble tea miniatures in Haji Lane (near Bugis) or in a vending machine in Suntec City.
From @supermama on Instagram
Get brightly coloured yet minimalistic porcelain ware for your loved ones to make their dining experience everyday as interesting as the gift. Serve up a stylish cup of tea with these porcelain wares that are unlike any other.
Kaya to spread on toast
From @dapurlondon on Instagram
You can find little jars of kaya (which is coconut jam that contains sugar, pandan, coconut milk and eggs) in all of the supermarkets in Singapore. Kaya on toast is a popular breakfast snack for Singaporeans and Malaysians. Kaya toast can easily be prepared with toasting a slice of bread, and then spreading the kaya goodness over the bread. You can pair kaya toast with hot tea or coffee. You may choose to dip the kaya toast in soft boiled eggs as well!
Curry Puff Pouch
From @thefarmstore.sg on Instagram
The curry puff is a popular Singaporean pastry that is commonly found in pasar malams (night markets) or shopping centres. These curry puffs contain curry, chicken and potatoes and have a flaky pastry crust.
With this Curry Puff Pouch, your gift recipient can store their coins, earpiece, or small items in it.
You can find this curry puff pouch at Waterloo Street (near Bugis) in Singapore.
Ang Ku Kueh Cushion
From @ace83j on Instagram
The Ang Ku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake) is a Chinese pastry made with glutinous rice flour skin, usually sold with fillings of mung bean or peanuts. The Ang Ku Kueh is red colour and has a distinct “tortoise shape”. Placed on top of a banana leaf, it resembles a tortoise shell which is believed to bring longevity to those who eat it, just like how a tortoise can live many years. The circular shape of the cushion makes it perfect to rest your head on, sit on, or hug it.
You can find these Ang Ku Kueh cushions at Waterloo Street (near Bugis), Suntec City, or The Cathay.
From @trhoagphuong on Instagram
You can get edible Singapore Merlions in bite sized chocolate form! The Merlion is used as a national logo because the Mer (meaning the sea), refers to Singapore’s origin of being a fishing village, and the “Lion” from Lion City, where Singapore got its name from. The Merlion statue stretches over Singapore River, and spouts water out of its mouth. There are a total of 5 offical Merlion statues all over Singapore.
You can find these Merlion Chocolates at generic souvenir shops in Bugis Street.
From @homeatgreatbear on Instagram
Mention clean and green city and the first place that pops into my head is Singapore! These green coloured pointy pens look like a pot of plant when placed together in the green pot. You will always need pens to write stuff on paper, and all pens run out of ink. So why not get pens as a gift to replace any pen that is running out of ink?
You can find these pens at Orchard Central, and Bugis+.
If fake plant products are not your style, head on to the next point for something real.
Last but not least, real flowers for any occasion
Flowers are a good gift for any occasion, if you ask any florist. Raffles Place, Orchard, Bugis, and other places in the CBD area are good places to get gifts for your loved ones. These are also places where we deliver our flowers to! If lunch break at work is too short, making it hard for you to get flowers as a gift, you can easily go to our website and place an order for same day delivery.
No need to physically search for us, we are your Raffles Place, Orchard, and Bugis florist. Floral Garage Singapore is accessible right from your phone!
Other notable gifts/souvenirs
Bugis Street is home to many generic souvenir shops that sell printed T-shirts, nail clippers, lighters, mugs, magnets, and chocolate, with Singapore’s national icons such as the Merlion, Vanda Miss Joaquim (national flower), or the Marina Bay Sands printed on the products.
Share with us!
We hope you enjoyed this list of quirky gift ideas in CBD! Which of the abovementioned gift ideas did you decide to get in the end?