Chinatown is home to a dazzling mix of retail options for collectors of traditional wares, lovers of indie boutiques and fashionistas looking to exude individuality through bespoke finds.
From modern-eco-conscious products to traditional balms and remedies, Chinatown is a mix of both the traditional and innovative, and ideal for a bout of exploration. Shop for the unique wares that this diverse enclave has to offer.
Hidden Gems and Hipster Finds
Your taste in music speaks volumes about your personality. Whether you’re a lover of Shoegaze or Bob Dylan-era folk, you’re bound to find a record that expresses your inner personality at Retrophonic Records. Have a blast digging through their crates of used and pre-owned titles, and be delighted by the rare gems you’ll uncover.
Retrophonic Records. 53A Duxton Road, Singapore 089517. +65 6220 8489.
Tue-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm.
With brick and mortar bookstores becoming an increasingly rare find in many cities, The Moon is a sanctuary for bookworms and literary types. The space holds both a bookstore and a coffeeshop, making it a great place to hang out with fellow lovers of literature and take a load off your feet.
The selection of books here places special focus on the works of female authors and writers of colour, ranging from local literary gems like Ponti to international bestsellers like How I Became A North Korean.
The Moon. 57 Mosque Street, Singapore 059515.
Mon-Thu & Sun 11am-9pm; Fri & Sat 11am-midnight.
Odds ‘N’ Collectables
Hoping to channel your inner Indiana Jones or Lara Croft (without the venomous snakes and treacherous temples)? Be sure to drop by Odds N’ Collectables for a bout of treasure hunting. This quaint shop is filled with vintage posters, rugs and other antiques, making it the perfect place to find a piece that shows off your impeccable taste.
If you’re looking for something specific, the store’s owner—Juzer Saiffee—will be more than willing to help you scour through the treasures on display.
Odds 'N' Collectables. 128 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068597. +65 9662 4461.
The Social Space
A multi-concept stall that boasts a tea bar, a nail salon and a fair-trade retail area, The Social Space is a must-visit for the socially-conscious shopper looking to souvenir-shop sustainably with friends. Grab a cup of tea and unwind in this tranquil oasis, before perusing the store’s range of eco-friendly goods, from gorgeous earrings to bamboo toothbrushes.
The Social Space. 333 Kreta Ayer Road #01-14, Singapore 080333. +65 6655 0221.
Mon, Wed-Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 9am-6pm.
If the timeless fashion of yesteryear has a special place in your heart, Dustbunny Vintage’s selection of apparel is bound to enchant. The store stocks a stellar range of fashion options that will bring you on an exploration of the past, ranging from 1950s fit and flare dresses to vintage designer bags and costume jewellery.
Dustbunny Vintage. 2-A Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089110. +65 6222 0116.
Mon-Fri 12.30-8.30pm; Sat 1-7pm.
HULS Gallery Singapore
If the rigour and minimalism of Japanese craftsmanship speaks to you, be sure to peruse the ceramics on display at HULS Gallery Singapore.
The tableware, lacquerware and accessories showcased here are made by the store’s wide network of Japanese craftsmen, and make great additions to any homeowner’s abodes. Expect to find hand-carved wooden bowls, sake glassware and plates elegantly designed with traditional Japanese motifs.
HULS Gallery Singapore. 24 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089607. +65 6225 6331.
Eu Yan Sang
In Chinese tradition, health is about treating the body in a holistic manner, rather than targeting specific illnesses and symptoms. To delve into this age-old tradition, pay a visit to Eu Yan Sang.
With expertise dating back more than a century, this family-owned business’s emporiums stock a range of tonics, herbs and ointments, which are purported to cure various ailments. Popular local purchases include bird’s nest broth—traditionally used to relieve fatigue—and black herbal jelly, which remedies digestive disorders.
Eu Yan Sang. 269 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058818. +65 6223 6333.
Lim Chee Guan
A treat that you’ll often see at Chinese New Year dining tables, bak kwa (barbecued meat slices) is a favourite among local foodies. Bring home a taste of Singapore to your loved ones by visiting Lim Chee Guan. From its humble origins as a pushcart during Singapore’s pre-World War II era, this family business has become one of the most popular stores on the island.
Do note that if you’re buying this treat home for families and loved ones, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container or freezer, and consume it within three days of purchasing.
Lim Chee Guan. 203 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059429. +65 6933 7230.
Chop Wah On
If you’ve always been fascinated by the intricacies of Chinese medicine, you’ll certainly want to add Chop Wah On to your must-visit list.
Founded more than a century ago, Chop Wah On is a much-loved purveyor of traditional Chinese remedies. This third-generation family business sells more than a dozen products—ranging from eucalyptol balm to alleviate cold symptoms to analgesic oils that relieve muscle aches, cramps and stiff joints.
Chop Wah On. 34 Upper Cross Street, Singapore 058340. +65 6223 4349.
On Cheong Jewellery
One of Singapore’s most esteemed jewellers, On Cheong Jewellery is a heritage jewellery brand that has roots predating the second World War.
The exquisitely-designed pieces here range from pink sapphire earrings to jadeite pendants. Add a dash of the Orient to your wardrobe, and bring home a sparkling treasure that’ll be cherished for generations.
On Cheong Jewellery. 251 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058800. +65 6223 4788.
Yue Hwa Department Store
An emporium of wondrous wares, Yue Hwa Department Store sells a variety of goods and apparel from China. Whether you’re looking to flaunt a qipao (traditional Chinese dress), bring home gorgeous porcelain wares or sample Chinese rice wine, this establishment is bound to stock what you seek.
Yue Hwa Department Store. 70 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore 059805. +65 6538 4222.
Mon-Fri & Sun 11am-9pm; Sat 11am-10pm.
Kee Hing Hung
Experts in horology and watch connoisseurs alike should make a beeline for Kee Hing Hung. Located in the heart of Chinatown, these venerable purveyors of luxury watches has a reputation for expert knowledge, impeccable service and decades of experience. The brand is famous for stocking the island’s widest selection of Rolex timepieces.
People’s Park Complex. 1 Park Road #02-21/22, Singapore 059108. +65 6222 5151.
Mon-Sat 11am-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm.
Feeling peckish after your shopping spree? Check out our guide to the countless food options available in Chinatown.