The stay at ibis Singapore on Bencoolen must have been a great one with its central location and comfortable rooms. As the time to leave for home draws close, you realise you’ve been so busy travelling around Singapore that you have yet to buy any souvenirs! Not to worry because Bencoolen Street is just a stone’s throw away from Bugis Street. A 5 minutes walk will get you to the buzzing street market selling everything from street fashion to touristy souvenirs. Here are 5 last-minute (yet thoughtful) souvenirs you can get there:
I LOVE SG T-shirts
This needs no explanation.
If you have to ask, don’t get it.
Quirky Singapore Magnets
Not everyone is into Country t-shirts, that is perfectly fine. Opt for these quirky, humorous magnets instead. Often sold at an average of 3 for S$5, you can have a good mix of magnets ranging from a Merlion (Singapore’s half lion, half fish mascot), famous attractions in Singapore and the “fine sign” magnets seen above. A great souvenir idea for friends who may be fined or caned and jailed in Singapore for not flushing or vandalism.
SIA Batik Prints
An iconic batik print worn by the air stewards and stewardesses of Singapore Airlines, these shirts and sarongs (wrap-around skirts) make for a uniquely Singapore gift. The same batik is now made into pouches, tote bags and even umbrellas if you find clothing sizes tricky. This would make a perfect present for anyone who loves bold prints and jewel tones.
Unlike the previous souvenirs, emoji cushions are not uniquely Singapore but they do make very thoughtful gifts. Choose from a wide range of our favourite keyboard emojis that reminds you of your loved ones or friends. These will definitely be well received from everyone from young to old as they are fun, quirky and likeable.
Pushcarts at Bugis Junction
Head across the road from Bugis Street to Bugis Junction once you have exhausted the entire street market and souvenir stores. On the first floor of Bugis Junction, rows of pushcarts selling scarves, bags, tiny t-shirts for toddlers and even customisable wooden signages make for a good mixture of gifts to get. While these are great alternatives to the traditional souvenirs at Bugis Street, do bear in mind the they are a little more pricey and less “uniquely Singapore”.
Bonus: Old School Singaporean Toys
If you have a little more time to spare for souvenir shopping, the Malay heritage area, Kampong Glam at Arab Street, is a 10-15 minutes walk from Hotel ibis Singapore on Bencoolen. Among the rows of shophouses is one called Ah Seng’s Toy Store that has a museum on the second floor.
The store sells little knick knacks, toys and games that are familiar to those growing up in Singapore - chaptehs (a shuttlecock made with colourful feathers attached to a rubber disk at the base), styrofoam planes and Bestman plastic bubbles are just a few examples. These would make good presents for children or anyone who is a child at heart. Some may even view these toys as old-school trinkets or hipster treasures.
Also, a S$2 token fee will allow you to a small and cozy toy museum on the second floor that promises a blast to the past with interactive stations from an old drink stall pushcart to an old school telephone booth.
With all these unique and quirky Singaporean souvenirs and gifts just around the corner, there is no need to panic to find the perfect memento, even at the last minute.