My parents are travelling to Singapore alone for the first time. What should I advise them?

Cheapest things to buy in Singapore Airport

Few things about Singapore you may find useful:n1.

Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world.

A bicycle tyre theft is displayed on hoardings there!!! Rest assured people are not going to get mugged in Singapore.

n2.

Locals are accustomed to foreign visitors, they are fluent in English and are extremely helpful when asked.

Always ask locals for directions.

n3.

You can buy a local sim for very cheap and easy to buy in any 7/11 shop.

I would advise that visitors buy a local sim and use the balance amount on a data plan.

Never do international calls- very expensive.

Use the data plan to Whatsapp, Google maps and Viber to call people back home.

4G internet is super fast.

n3.

If short on time travel by taxis.

Uber mobile app works in Singapore as long as you have an international credit card registered.

n4.

Airports, hotel rooms and malls have free WiFi.

Never miss the opportunity to use them.

n5.

If you have some time on your hands in Singapore you can take public transport.

One of the best and cheapest public transport in the world.

You can buy a smart cart called tourist pass which gives you unlimited access to trains and buses.

The deposit for the pass is refundable if you return it within 5 days.

(http://home.

ezlink.

com.

sg/home-tourist) Train stations do have vending machines for tickets if you dont want to buy the smart card.

Local buses require exact change.

You will not get change back if you put in extra.

n5.

Food in fine dining restaurants can range from S$200- S$1500 (for a couple).

Every mall in Singapore has a food court.

I suggest visitors to find them and eat there only.

You can have a meal for less than S$4.

There is amazing variety in the food courts but it is self service.

n6.

Pure vegetarian restaurants are hard to find in Singapore.

Little India, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay are places to find vegetarian Indian food.

However vegatarian food is more expensive than sea food in Singapore.

n7.

Do not visit Jurong Bird Park.

It is not well maintained.

It is less impressive than other attractions in Singapore.

n8.

Do not waste your time in Mustafa market if you are Indian.

There is nothing available there that is not available for cheaper in India.

The craze of the 90s is useless.

n9.

My recommendations for tourists are Gardens by the bay conservatory and its music show, marina bay sands and its laser show, Singapore zoo, night safari, botanical gardens, orchard road, Bugis flea market, Clarke Quay sentosa island and Universal studios.

,I hope that was useful for you.

Let me know if you have specific queries.

Singapore Airport duty free

Not at all.

There are other shops within Singapore where the chocolates are much cheaper.

Like the one on orchard, and in Mustafa center

changi airport duty-free open to public

Changi (as it is fondly called by Singaporeans) symbolizes certain Singaporean principles that the society upholds, and the government work for to sustain in its daily living, which are: n,Equality,Aesthetics,Efficiency,Convenience,nEqualityThe government of Singapore strives to enforce equality in its policies regarding Singapore and this reflects from the airport itself.

The efficiency, convenience, art installations and areas of Changi Airport are open to all, free for all.

,Flying Economy Class and dreaming of the Business Class treatment? ,Changi would make you forget the fact that you were dreaming.

One doesnt need to be rich to enjoy the relaxing space one deserves from long hauls, or could get only in frequent flyer lounges of other airports.

,One is also treated by the airport staff (who are always available to help you) with equal parts politeness and respect, and not with suspicion, or based on any arbitrary perceived threat by the airport personnel owing to how the traveler is looking.

n,u200b,Changi Airport inside, featuring the Green Wall that has more than 25 species of plants and vines growing in it.

The principle of equality would be more apparent through the course of this answer.

,Aesthetics: ,Changi Airport is beautiful and it goes beyond providing just glitter.

The art installations (kinetic rain and woodblock rubbing) the ponds, and several other structures have been constructed with the express goals of providing a traveler the pleasure of connecting with nature and re-charge ones mind and body:n,u200b,It doesnt matter whether you are travelling alone or have a co-passenger.

Changi Airport has enough to keep you occupied beyond playing games on the phone because you dont have the network or have nothing else to do.

,Singapore is called City in a Garden, and the amount of greenery available in Changi Airport feels like a trailer to the movie.

,Efficiency: ,From the moment you land at Changi Airport to taking the Taxi (or public transport), everything, including immigration check, luggage claim, washroom runs, water fountain sips, etc do not take more than 30 minutes.

Moving on from one terminal to another is a piece of cake (I have transited through various chief airports of the world and I say this in light of that experience).

,This airport is the hub of more than 100 airlines flying in and out through it each day and Singapore is a busy hub of Asia where throngs of people are coming and moving out.

In spite of that, and with equal importance given to matters of security and safety, it is efficient.

If I compare this to Heathrow (which is my nightmare during travelling), Changi is the not just heaven, its the most elite class of heaven.

,I havent seen an airport which is this efficient, really.

And it goes beyond just giving feedback for using the airport washrooms: n,u200b,If youre not happy with the experience, someone will come to your assistance, to assuage your unhappiness right away.

That board is not just a board with empty promise.

,A colleague of mine (not a Singaporean citizen or PR) had gone home after renewing his passport (3 months prior to his departure) the details of which had to be updated by the HR to align with his work permit.

The HR had forgotten about it.

Three weeks later, when he returned, he couldnt get through the automated entry immigration points (which are reasons for efficient managing of people).

But he was let without much ado but after a quick checking.

I shudder to think of this situation in JFK.

,Much before we knew wed live in Singapore, some years back, my husband was transiting through Singapore and upon landing in Changi, and walking towards the next gate, he found he had lost his wallet.

,He informed the people.

,After 2 hours, when he was about to catch his next flight, in that very gate from where he was supposed to take his next flight, his wallet was given to him.

They found it in that airplane he had taken (it had dropped in the seat while he was sleeping).

,That is Singapore, and Changi upholds the principle to its best.

,ConvenienceGoing beyond just providing free Internet (Changi also sells portable routers to use overseas: Overseas Wi-Fi Router Rental ) free water, and free charging stations, as is the case in rest of the world, Changi has created a massive infrastructure of catering to the needs of the traveller, who might need to live in Singapore for brief or long times.

There are endless places to stretch your leg, play areas for kids, good food to eat, free foot massage areas (shown below)n,u200b,and snooze areas, with chairs designed to invite you to sleep rather than keep you awake (as experienced in other airports):n,u200b,.

.

.

.

.

and provide connection with nature when youre tired with seeing and inhaling the man-made technology: there is an orchid garden, the sunflower garden, the cactus garden, the butterfly garden (shown below)n,u200b,The Enchanted Garden (shown below), plays on various sounds of nature and blooming flowers and special lighting, and is activated by motion-sensors to create the sensation of Magic.

n,u200b,In addition, there is a a gym with shower facilities (FREE): n,u200b,.

.

.

.

.

as well as a rooftop swimming pool with Jacuzzi, including shower facilities, a towel and complimentary non-alcoholic drink (available for $14 SGD), Two FREE movie theatres where latest movies are run round the clock.

.

.

.

as well as of course, shopping areas with high-end, duty free as well as reasonably priced shops (which is even locals come to shop at Changi) and dining areas, showcasing the absolutely awesome food tradition of Singapore: n,u200b,One of the many dining areas in ChangiGamers can find FREE gaming areas that houses the Playstation 3 and XBOX360, at the Entertainment Deck, and sport lovers can find their medicine at the Xperience Zone.

As well, there are open smoking areas (shown below).

.

.

.

not many airports have open smoking areas (Im not even comparing the ones of Hong Kong Airport, no disrespect to anybody): n,u200b,In addition, there is a 2.

5 hour free tour of Singapore for anybody willing: Changi Airports Free Singapore TourShow me an airport thats comparable to this level of service, keeping in mind the needs of the traveler and which truly attempts to connect.

No wonder a couple lived in the airport for 7 months: Spore couple camp at Changi Airport for 7 months: Theres free Internet, electricity, water.

Duty free Singapore Sale

Two stories:,A) Some years ago in Singapore I made the mistake of waiting until I went through security before doing my shopping u2018duty freeu2018.

After seeing the prices there, I *cough* returned street-side (dont ask), did my shopping and went through security again.

,B) At Wellington airport, the price of u2018duty free cigarettes went up when the duty went up.

Clearly u2018duty freeu2019 does not mean u2018profit free,Summary : they have a captive market.

Changi Airport shops open

Changi (as it is fondly called by Singaporeans) symbolizes certain Singaporean principles that the society upholds, and the government work for to sustain in its daily living, which are: n,Equality,Aesthetics,Efficiency,Convenience,nEqualityThe government of Singapore strives to enforce equality in its policies regarding Singapore and this reflects from the airport itself.

The efficiency, convenience, art installations and areas of Changi Airport are open to all, free for all.

,Flying Economy Class and dreaming of the Business Class treatment? ,Changi would make you forget the fact that you were dreaming.

One doesnt need to be rich to enjoy the relaxing space one deserves from long hauls, or could get only in frequent flyer lounges of other airports.

,One is also treated by the airport staff (who are always available to help you) with equal parts politeness and respect, and not with suspicion, or based on any arbitrary perceived threat by the airport personnel owing to how the traveler is looking.

n,u200b,Changi Airport inside, featuring the Green Wall that has more than 25 species of plants and vines growing in it.

The principle of equality would be more apparent through the course of this answer.

,Aesthetics: ,Changi Airport is beautiful and it goes beyond providing just glitter.

The art installations (kinetic rain and woodblock rubbing) the ponds, and several other structures have been constructed with the express goals of providing a traveler the pleasure of connecting with nature and re-charge ones mind and body:n,u200b,It doesnt matter whether you are travelling alone or have a co-passenger.

Changi Airport has enough to keep you occupied beyond playing games on the phone because you dont have the network or have nothing else to do.

,Singapore is called City in a Garden, and the amount of greenery available in Changi Airport feels like a trailer to the movie.

,Efficiency: ,From the moment you land at Changi Airport to taking the Taxi (or public transport), everything, including immigration check, luggage claim, washroom runs, water fountain sips, etc do not take more than 30 minutes.

Moving on from one terminal to another is a piece of cake (I have transited through various chief airports of the world and I say this in light of that experience).

,This airport is the hub of more than 100 airlines flying in and out through it each day and Singapore is a busy hub of Asia where throngs of people are coming and moving out.

In spite of that, and with equal importance given to matters of security and safety, it is efficient.

If I compare this to Heathrow (which is my nightmare during travelling), Changi is the not just heaven, its the most elite class of heaven.

,I havent seen an airport which is this efficient, really.

And it goes beyond just giving feedback for using the airport washrooms: n,u200b,If youre not happy with the experience, someone will come to your assistance, to assuage your unhappiness right away.

That board is not just a board with empty promise.

,A colleague of mine (not a Singaporean citizen or PR) had gone home after renewing his passport (3 months prior to his departure) the details of which had to be updated by the HR to align with his work permit.

The HR had forgotten about it.

Three weeks later, when he returned, he couldnt get through the automated entry immigration points (which are reasons for efficient managing of people).

But he was let without much ado but after a quick checking.

I shudder to think of this situation in JFK.

,Much before we knew wed live in Singapore, some years back, my husband was transiting through Singapore and upon landing in Changi, and walking towards the next gate, he found he had lost his wallet.

,He informed the people.

,After 2 hours, when he was about to catch his next flight, in that very gate from where he was supposed to take his next flight, his wallet was given to him.

They found it in that airplane he had taken (it had dropped in the seat while he was sleeping).

,That is Singapore, and Changi upholds the principle to its best.

,ConvenienceGoing beyond just providing free Internet (Changi also sells portable routers to use overseas: Overseas Wi-Fi Router Rental ) free water, and free charging stations, as is the case in rest of the world, Changi has created a massive infrastructure of catering to the needs of the traveller, who might need to live in Singapore for brief or long times.

There are endless places to stretch your leg, play areas for kids, good food to eat, free foot massage areas (shown below)n,u200b,and snooze areas, with chairs designed to invite you to sleep rather than keep you awake (as experienced in other airports):n,u200b,.

.

.

.

.

and provide connection with nature when youre tired with seeing and inhaling the man-made technology: there is an orchid garden, the sunflower garden, the cactus garden, the butterfly garden (shown below)n,u200b,The Enchanted Garden (shown below), plays on various sounds of nature and blooming flowers and special lighting, and is activated by motion-sensors to create the sensation of Magic.

n,u200b,In addition, there is a a gym with shower facilities (FREE): n,u200b,.

.

.

.

.

as well as a rooftop swimming pool with Jacuzzi, including shower facilities, a towel and complimentary non-alcoholic drink (available for $14 SGD), Two FREE movie theatres where latest movies are run round the clock.

.

.

.

as well as of course, shopping areas with high-end, duty free as well as reasonably priced shops (which is even locals come to shop at Changi) and dining areas, showcasing the absolutely awesome food tradition of Singapore: n,u200b,One of the many dining areas in ChangiGamers can find FREE gaming areas that houses the Playstation 3 and XBOX360, at the Entertainment Deck, and sport lovers can find their medicine at the Xperience Zone.

As well, there are open smoking areas (shown below).

.

.

.

not many airports have open smoking areas (Im not even comparing the ones of Hong Kong Airport, no disrespect to anybody): n,u200b,In addition, there is a 2.

5 hour free tour of Singapore for anybody willing: Changi Airports Free Singapore TourShow me an airport thats comparable to this level of service, keeping in mind the needs of the traveler and which truly attempts to connect.

No wonder a couple lived in the airport for 7 months: Spore couple camp at Changi Airport for 7 months: Theres free Internet, electricity, water.

Lotte Duty Free Singapore

Depends a lot on the airportu2026 The u201cseems overpricedu201d bit is often just that, an opinion, unsubstantiated.

Until a year ago I was working in the duty-free industry, so I do have a little knowledge about this business.

One of the tasks salespeople in the DF business have is to compile price lists.

You walk into a shop, look at prices, and write them down.

Employees often object, so instead you record yourself, as if you were having a phone conversation.

Then later you produce a price list.

This REALLY tells us whether an airport is expensive or not.

,As often with generic questions that include the whole world, the answer is It depends.

I suppose one could rephrase the question a little to make it more practical:,In which duty-free shops is it worth shopping, if any? What I have seen so far seems expensive.

,And that would indeed be a great question.

The answer would take a book, or at least a longish article.

But letu2019s keep to a few basics.

,First, about the duty-free business itself.

There are duty-free shops in more than just airports u2013 and thats important because some of them, even within the same country, may be cheaper.

Ports (ferries running international routes); these ferries themselves when theyu2019re in international waters; downtown duty-free shops (for people leaving the country soon: they will pick their purchases at the airport, usually); the internet version of downtown shops: shop online and get your purchases at the airport; and border shops: duty free shops right on the border between 2 countries, where people leaving a country can shop at on their way to another country; and then airports, the main retail channel, and planes.

,Not all channels are equal: airports indeed represent the major part of the trade, reflecting the market share airports have on travel.

Which is why some airlines have been successful at tagging along, being the last-chance shopping opportunity for air travellers.

Some airlines are very good at this, mostly Korean airlines.

Korean Air derived (right now, with Covid, nobody is selling muchu2026) so much profit from duty-free sales that they had a duty-free shop (more like a showroom, but anyway) in their A380.

,Donu2019t be surprised to see cosmetics and perfumes, theyu2019re the leading category.

Different countries have different strategies regarding DF sales.

In Korea, they started late (until 1988 the DF business was a state monopoly, and few people were allowed to leave the country: DF shopping was very basic), but went full-blast as soon at it opened up to competition and private enterprise.

The main strategy was to sell as much as possible, for a small, reasonable margin.

Most imported products were (and in many cased still are) taxed to death, so with the boom of overseas travel starting in 1988, they sold a lot, at a small margin, making plenty of money.

,It was actually until 2018 a false competition, as the major players (Lotte and Shilla) were given monopolies on categories.

Shilla had perfumes & cosmetics, Lotte had tobacco & liquor.

That ended with the latest airport tender, which broke up monopolies, and opened all categories to not just the big 2, but other, smaller, players.

The rents went up too, and thus the gross margin of operators, and, to some extent, the prices.

Airlines have a smaller gross margin (around 53% vs 62% at the airport) so they have a small pricing advantage, vs less choice (thereu2019s just so much a plane can carry).

,This made Korea the hottest DF market in the world.

Chinese tourists in particular have been driving this market (until Covid, and one can bet theyu2019ll be back soon enough).

This was helped by downtown DF stores.

Lotte and Shilla have them of course: they derive most of their sales to women from the downtown shops (and internet).

Men tend not to tag along, and mostly shop at the airport.

Keep in mind that perfume, cosmetics and fashion represent 70 to 80% of all DF sales.

Tobacco, liquor and the odd souvenirs make up the rest.

And because alcohol cannot be sold online in Korea, the big players canu2019t sell alcohol on their websites, only showcase the products.

,The way it works, you shop at a downtown store, pay for your purchases, and inform the staff of your departure plan: date, time, flight.

Once youu2019re at the airport, and have passed Immigration checks, you go to a DF pickup point, hand over your receipt, and you get your goods, packed in sturdy transparent plastic bags (which you are not supposed to unpack, but which they do right in front of the pickup pointsu2026).

,Tourists unpacking and repacking, right in front of the pickup pointu2026Korean airlines, KAL, Asiana, and the smaller players (many of which are subsidiaries of these 2) have thick catalogs (300+ pages), that cost a lot to produce.

This cost is usually offset by advertising, but they wouldnu2019t bother if it wasnu2019t profitable.

These catalogs also include an on-board order form, which can be used either to get the product now, or on your return flight: a very smart idea.

You order now, pay now, but get your product when you fly back home, without the hassle of carrying it around with you.

And of course airlines lock in a sale they might lose to the airport.

,In other places, a single company can have the monopoly for all DF sales, or most of it: thatu2019s the case of King Power in Thailand, except Koh Samui, which belongs to Bangkok Airways (they own the airportu2026), and, until recently, DFS in Singapore (they have progressively let go of many of their shops).

That is usually not very good for prices.

However, companies like King Power, which has a lot of downtown DF shops, also have promotions targeting Chinese tourists, and if you manage to snag the right discount coupons, there are a lot of good deals to be had u2013 you just have to compare and be alert.

Of course in countries like Thailand, where the domestic market is very expensive due to taxation (500%+ on alcohol), shopping at a DF store on your way to/from Thailand is a good ideau2026,Note that pricing in DF stores has nothing to do with the pricing in-country.

The price tag you see in the shops is not the downtown price minus VAT.

First, that wouldnu2019t make sense, since that formula wouldnu2019t include things like import tax, excise, etc.

And second, if you compare prices for the same product in your local shop and a DF shop, youu2019ll realize that the price difference doesnu2019t reflect whatever taxation is applied when importing products.

I explain the DF pricing structure in this answer.

,The gross margin I mention above, and the other answer, will largely determine the end price of the products, and their competitiveness.

Which is why smaller airports, ports, and border shops (as well as airlines, sometimes) are often cheaper.

Iu2019ve passed through and done business with countless border shops, and the prices are very aggressive.

Of course, they are often not the most accessible places, so they have a smaller, more limited, market.

But many seem to be doing good business.

,Some airlines, and some airports, seem to care fuck all about DF.

Even back when Air France had a DF catalog, they were not doing a lot of business, and the unions pushed to close it: too much work for no reward, they said.

Of course, the very reason they were not doing good business was because the flight attendants were loathe to push sales in the first placeu2026 I was mocked by a flight attendant once because I was looking at the catalog.

I hadnu2019t even asked for anything.

He passed by my seat, saw me looking at the catalog, and probably decided to nip the extra work in the budu2026 That didnu2019t end well for him of course, but that sums up the attitudeu2026,Hong Kong is a duty-free city.

There are no import taxes on most products, and no VAT.

So duty-free shops make (seemingly) no sense.

Except for heavily taxed products (liquor: 100% tax, tobacco).

But the duty-free business at HK airport is thriving.

Or was until Covid anyway.

Mostly for 2 reasons: there are more visitors, who live in a place that has high taxes, than locals; and the duty-free shops function like a regular shop, with promotions, deals, etc.

So they can be cheaper (or not) on specific items.

,So in the end, whether DF shopping in a specific airport is worth it, and which products are, will depend on what you are looking for, and whether the operators are trying to make a profit by selling more at a smaller margin, or by overcharging a captive market.

,I have barely scratched the surface, but let me finish with this.

The Travel Retail industry (which encompasses Duty-Free and a few ancillary businesses) has an association, TFWA, which organizes exhibitions around the world (the main in Cannes, in October; the other big one in Singapore in May, and a couple more, minor, in Orlando and Dubai).

Thereu2019s a reason this industry is flourishing, and very active.

Thereu2019s a lot of money to be made, and if it wasnu2019t attractive to customers, this business wouldnu2019t be so active.