what to buy for family and friends back home ?

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
louy
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat, 02 Aug 2008 5:29 pm

what to buy for family and friends back home ?

Post by louy » Sat, 15 May 2010 3:02 pm

After a year and a half in Singapore, I am making my first trip back to UK. In my time here, I have actually missed quite a bit back home. A lot of my university friends are now married, cousins had babies and all the usual family gatherings.

I am looking forwards to seeing all my friends and family again. What souvenirs and gifts from Singapore do you recommend I take with me, and where should I buy them from. Obviously nothing to pricey, or heavy or easily available in UK.

And then on my return journey, What souvenirs and gifts from UK do you recommend I take with me, and where should I buy them from. Obviously nothing to pricey, or heavy or easily available in Singapore.

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9873
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Sat, 15 May 2010 3:32 pm

I do not think there are too much of attractive things of purely Singaporean origin. We used to bring home rather Thai stuff like mango or coconut wood vases, candle holders, some rubbed paper drawing or other small-middle size handicraft. It is better to buy them in Bangkok at Chatuchak market but in the Holland Village shopping centre, 1st/2nd floor there is a number of various shops with this kind of goods.

User avatar
gravida
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 9:22 pm

Post by gravida » Sat, 15 May 2010 4:01 pm

One thing people back home really liked is all the mini-cheongsam staff, like bottle dresses, phone covers, lipstick holders etc. Chopstick will be another bet, even though you can get them in UK (like most of the other things). Some games like mahjong, or jenga tower. My family also like local spices, sauces, curries etc.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39564
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 15 May 2010 4:19 pm

I went home rarely the first 15 years or so here so I took maximum suitcases (a lot with the kids were small) with minimum clothes - filled 'em with clothes over there to bring back here that way they would fit properly and wear well. One year I filled two large suitcases with small boxed Chinese cork carvings encased in the glass & rosewood frames. Everybody loved the heck out of them and coming near 20 years later, they are still on display in various homes. Another year I took back a suitcase full of hand massage balls. My mom, after working in a book bindery for many years eventually, had arthritic hands and renauds disease. The massage balls didn't cure the renauds but the massage balls coupled with tins of Tiger Balm (always makes a nice gift as well) and her hands are again as flexible as ever and she's now 83. The massage balls usually come in a typical Chinese cloth covered silk lined box so make good gifts. Another good gift which is very small are internally painted snuff bottles. These also usually come in the same type of boxes.

For a really unusual gift, go down to Chinatown and find a jade carver who make chops and give him the person's name and he will do the character translation and carve a seal, put it into a cloth covered box along with a small tin of red ink. Batiks are also good. Or if you find yourself in Thailand, go to Jim Thompson Silk stores and pick up some Thai Silk.

Image
Image
Image
Image

Just some ideas.....
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8348
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 11:23 pm
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children

Post by nakatago » Sat, 15 May 2010 4:35 pm

* spices
* bakkwa
* "oriental" tablecloths, pillow cases or mantle pieces

a trip through chinatown should give you ideas.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

User avatar
durain
Director
Director
Posts: 3666
Joined: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 8:15 pm
Location: Location: Location: Location:

Post by durain » Sun, 16 May 2010 7:09 am

to uk...
durian sweets
pineapple pie
peanut biscuits

back to singapore...
fortuna & mason tea/biscuits/etc
wrigley extra
deep fried mars bar? defo not available in singapore!

snowqueen
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 370
Joined: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 7:39 pm
Location: East Coast, Singapore

Post by snowqueen » Sun, 16 May 2010 7:55 am

I think China Town is probably one of the better places to get nick nacks. The table cloths and cushion covers are really nice. Bags and trinket boxes for the ladies, jade or orchid ornaments etc.

februus
Regular
Regular
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri, 09 Apr 2010 3:01 pm
Location: Bukit Batok, Singapore

Post by februus » Mon, 17 May 2010 9:02 am

i have a similar dliemma to find a present for my nephew, 5 yrs old for his birthday. was thinking about trying to get something local or at least from the area. any suggestions?

User avatar
valleyman
Regular
Regular
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 4:54 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by valleyman » Mon, 17 May 2010 5:23 pm

I took back home some really "Oriental stuff" like figurines of Chinese gods, small prints depicting traditional Chinese stories, small bells, dragons etc etc.. You may be amazed at the variety of souvenirs available at Mustafa...

For younger folks you can always take the standard "I love Singapore" t-shirts ;-)

Joreal
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon, 17 May 2010 4:54 pm

Post by Joreal » Mon, 17 May 2010 5:40 pm

tiger balms are the frequent requests from my folks, whenever i go back.

louy
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat, 02 Aug 2008 5:29 pm

Post by louy » Sun, 23 May 2010 9:51 pm

I would like to buy loads of bakwa back to UK. The folks back home like that stuff.

But my friends said I will not be allowed to take it back to UK. Apparently there is regulations preventing taking meat into the country or something.

I remember taking this stuff back to UK before and it was ok (either because I am allowed to, or I just wasnt caught).

So am I allowed to take this stuff to UK ??

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8348
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 11:23 pm
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children

Post by nakatago » Mon, 24 May 2010 1:09 am

There's a version where the bakkwa comes in individually vacuum sealed, bite sized pieces. You can check if that can pass quarantine.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

User avatar
durain
Director
Director
Posts: 3666
Joined: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 8:15 pm
Location: Location: Location: Location:

Post by durain » Mon, 24 May 2010 7:09 am

yeah, UK custom are clamping down on meat. bakkwa to them are consider "bush meat". but like nakatago said, a seal bag might look more legit meat. tell the custom it is biltong, singapore style.

oh, gifts for singapore, if you are in london, pop in to the gift shops. one of them is where the planet hollywood used to be and the other is where the SOGO dept store used to be.

can get union jack knickers/boxer (which ever you fancy), router master bus, old style telephone booth, mugs, union jack flags, st george flags (i am sure you can fly them in singapore. cant fly them in england because of political correctness!)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest