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Old 3rd April 2009, 10:46   #1
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(Modes please move / merge thread if needed. There are few threads regarding these countries , but couldn’t find relevant post which will answering my specific questions )


I am planning to visit these countries for 11 days and most of the cost is paid to tour operator ( including food stay transportation rides etc ). What is left , is only money needed for personal shopping and other things.

Suppose I want to do total shopping of rs 25000 INR. in Singapore And say 5000rs in other countries. (Shopping items are electronic items and may be few gold items.)

Now here are my questions

1)Should I convert all the amount ( 25+ 5 k ) in Singapore dollars hard cash. Can I use the same in Malaysia THAILAND?
2)Should I convert the amount ( 25 ) in Singapore dollars hard cash and 5k in Malaysia currency ?
3)Don’t convert anything, just take Indian credit card ( Citi bank ) and use it in these countries?
4)If I am converting money (case 1, 2) should I use cash or travelers chq?
5)If instead of 25+ 5 k , if I do shopping only for say 22k + 3k , then after coming back I need to convert this again to INR. So I am losing double money in this currency conversion. Is there any better way?


Regarding shopping,

Few people have suggested me to buy electronic items from Singapore. As per them these are expensive in Malaysia THAILAND. Is this true? If yes then what can be brought from Malaysia THAILAND?


Thanks in advance for the help.

Last edited by hrishig : 3rd April 2009 at 10:47.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:50   #2
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Hrishi, the best way would be to carry TCs and little cash in US$.
You can convert it to any currency at any place.

For shopping, price vice both Spore and Malaysia are almost same, Spore is the best place for shopping.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:52   #3
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Most of the Electronic stuff like Cameras, PS3 , DVD Players ect are cheaper to buy in India.

Only the Top of the line models of Laptops, cameras ect are slightly cheaper in Singapore.

Beware of fakes in both Malaysia and in Thailand.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 14:22   #4
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Please carry TCs or US$, it is easy to convery to local currency when needed. most of the big shopping malls or hotels in all these countries have currency exchange facility.

Please check with your tour operator, whether you will apply for VISA on arrival in Thailand. if so you must show some 10500 THB cash to the immigration officer. it might be that the tour operator would give this cash to you.

In my view Singapore is expensive for electronics, Malaysia is bit cheaper. Hongkong/Shenzen is still cheaper. For LCD TVs Thailand seems to be cheaper. I have seen lot of people bringing Sony LCD TVs from Bangkok on return flight. Thailand is famous for textiles, shoes, bags etc both in terms of range, quality and price.

In any country, while buying any item more than say 2500 Indian Rs, please ensure that you buy authentic stuff.

enjoy your trip
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Old 3rd April 2009, 14:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mura View Post
Most of the Electronic stuff like Cameras, PS3 , DVD Players ect are cheaper to buy in India.

Only the Top of the line models of Laptops, cameras ect are slightly cheaper in Singapore.

Beware of fakes in both Malaysia and in Thailand.
Now this is kind of kahani me twist. All these years I have heard stories of how Singapore is cheap etc etc.

My latest net search shows that in US of A you can get them at cheapest rate. But the 110 220 Volt made me thinking buying electronic items in Singapore .

So will it make sense to buy electronic items in Singapore or Mera bahart mahan?
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrishig View Post
Now this is kind of kahani me twist. All these years I have heard stories of how Singapore is cheap etc etc.

My latest net search shows that in US of A you can get them at cheapest rate. But the 110 220 Volt made me thinking buying electronic items in Singapore .

So will it make sense to buy electronic items in Singapore or Mera bahart mahan?
Shopping is cheap if you know the local shops or have local friends.

Mostly people make it a must in their itenery to visit Musthafa / some big shopping complex. It is expensive for most items. Ofcourse you can claim tax portion in Airport, but thats if you have total duty of about 300S$ or something (may be less).

Btw, there is one Singh shop just behinid the Temple in Little India. He gave a very good rate (almost 50-60S$ cheaper than Mustafa for Pioneer speaker + player). But that was around 3 years back. Still if you can get your shopping in such places, it helps.

This was known to us from soome of the friend who stays and works in Signapore.

May be you can PM Happywheels, he may have some good pointers for such shop.

But tourists will seldom have such contact or time.

Regarding the currency/TC/credit card, do not use credit card in Thailand. This is what advised by many people around and also in this very same forum.

Always have US Dollar and change when you need to. I am not sure where in Thailand you wanna visit, but if its around Bangkok, you have plenty of exchanges in every metro stations etc.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:05   #7
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hrishig, buy fun stuff. Curios, clothes, enjoyable memories.

Gone are the days of buying electronics and gold from abroad. Makes no sense today.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:29   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Btw, there is one Singh shop just behinid the Temple in Little India.
The shop is called "Niranjan Electronics" and is located on Old Race Course Road behind Mustafa center. Any cabbie will take you there if you mention the above or you can ask for directions and walk to the place if you are near Mustafa center.

Of course, it is still there and is one of the cheapest stores to buy electronic stuff from. His shop has more crowd looking for mobile phones but you get almost every consumer electronic item there.

Note that prices are cheap as he does not provide warranty for the stuff you buy. Again, it doesn't matter because the warranty for phones, DVD players, etc is local to Singapore. If you want to get stuff to India, then makes sense to get without warranty.

The prices are bit more if you ask for warranty. Make sure to check where the warranty is applicable. World-wide or only in Singapore.

Regarding currency, it is best to carry US$ with you and convert it in Singapore. Maybe you can convert around 100 SGD before you travel and then convert locally in Singapore as and when required. Make sure you avoid exchanging currency in Changi Airport as they offer ridiculous exchange rates to convert USD to SGD. You can buy SGD all over the city from local money exchangers who offer competitive rates.

The same goes when you travel to Malaysia from Singapore. Buy only few Malaysian Ringitt in Singapore and then convert currency in Malaysia. This will get you better exchange rates when you exchange USD or SDG to buy Malaysian Ringitt.

The same goes for Thailand.

As far as price goes, electronic items are relatively cheaper in Singapore than in Thailand or Malaysia. Plus you get the latest models. If you already have the list of items you are planning to buy, it will be good if you can check the prices of those items in India. It will give you a good idea about the price difference when you are in Singapore.

If you visit China Town in downtown Kuala Lumpur or "KL" as it is called in south east asia, you can visit china town where you get lot of imitation watches, clothes, etc for a good price. Make sure you bargain like hell.

Not sure what else you get apart from the exotic massages in Thailand.

I guess you can get good clothes from Bangkok. Dont forget to bargain here too.

Have a good trip.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:33   #9
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Please keep INR - they can be exchanged at good rates at airports. Else USD (but you pay twice for conversion).

Its horrible to get FCY in india - esp airports - its infinitely better on landing there
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:36   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maibaa View Post
If you visit China Town in downtown Kuala Lumpur or "KL" as it is called in south east asia, you can visit china town where you get lot of imitation watches, clothes, etc for a good price. Make sure you bargain like hell.
Oh.. Those guys are reluctant to sell to Indians. They say Indians bargain a lot. .

But do bargain. You get a lot of imitation stuff there.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrishig View Post
Now this is kind of kahani me twist. All these years I have heard stories of how Singapore is cheap etc etc.

My latest net search shows that in US of A you can get them at cheapest rate. But the 110 220 Volt made me thinking buying electronic items in Singapore .

So will it make sense to buy electronic items in Singapore or Mera bahart mahan?
In US electronic items are damn cheap, get it from there from your friends or relatives coming here otherwise shop electronic items in SIM LIM square in singapore where you can get a good bargain.

Now most electronic items are cheaper in India itself, only thing is that you get items in Singapore which are not released here and some may be cheaper. Compare before buying electronic items there and also check for worldwide warranty.

Since you are taking 25K INR it is better to convert everything to Singapore dollars and you can return the remaining. The conversion charges for buying & selling is less than the credit card charges if you trasact there.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 16:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maibaa View Post
The shop is called "Niranjan Electronics" and is located on Old Race Course Road behind Mustafa center. Any cabbie will take you there if you mention the above or you can ask for directions and walk to the place if you are near Mustafa center.
Bang on.

Quote:
Note that prices are cheap as he does not provide warranty for the stuff you buy. Again, it doesn't matter because the warranty for phones, DVD players, etc is local to Singapore. If you want to get stuff to India, then makes sense to get without warranty.
Yes, when i tried the pioneer in Mustafa, he too had local warranty only. So, i just ignored that criteria

Btw. do not miss that Curry shop behind the Saravana Bhavan. Goot and cheap place. its more fun for Non-veg dishes, but you do get veg items.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 18:30   #13
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Since you are planning, I would say that you should try to come when there is a exhibition like an Expo is going on. Yes, electronics are cheap, but then it all depends on what is it that you trying to buy.

EG: The laptop that I got is available at around 20k less than what we get in India. But the external HD was actually the same cost that I got here, that too on an exhibition!!! But, for a camera, a 10x digital Sony camera for 300$, that a friend brought, she got a photo printer, worth almost 200$ and few other goodies! So, plan your travel if possible and what is it that you are buying.

But, if you are just going to come and check out the place, the regular places have already been said. For electronics you can also try out Funan Plaza also. Just do not get into any of the 'Challenger' stores, a electronic chain!

For Sim Lim square, there was a time when you can bargain, but now it is supposedly fixed price. But no, you can bargain. But be careful of what is it that you are picking.

Most of the places have only local warranty, so make note when buying. Better spend more on something you like if it has atleast a Asia Pacific warranty.

Malaysia & Thailand - beware of counterfeits!

Currency - I would say that you convert your currency to Singapore $ and some 100$ US. I believe you can use Sing$ even in Malaysia for purchase. Thailand - well, use the USD.

And what every you buy, that too without warranty, check and recheck the name. These Chinese are a very smart group, they name the items as close as they can to a international brand and you might sometimes miss it!

Are you going Sing-Mal-Thai or how?
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Old 3rd April 2009, 19:49   #14
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hv just come back from singapore and malaysia...... found singapore better for shopping.....but a genuine advice do not shop for electronics they are cheaper here! carry tc's and usd....singapore and malaysia also accept inr but better carry usd...buy local stuff and stuff like chocolates.......
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Old 4th April 2009, 07:25   #15
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wow! Great info. I will use the weekend to the check the indian prices also will check what currency conversion rate in going on now. Will post more details in next week.

Thanks all for the help.

Last edited by Rehaan : 6th April 2009 at 22:07. Reason: chk = check. Please type in full. Thanks.
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