1. Hunted down the sales at industrial sized warehouses
Tanah Merah might seem like just a sleepy town in the east, populated mostly by offices and warehouses, but it’s perhaps the closest you can get to a factory outlet experience in Singapore. The star attraction here is the Singapore EXPO which draws hundreds of visitors every weekend. Boosting 10 exhibition halls, each larger than a football field, Singapore EXPO hosts a galore of fairs and sales all year round. There’s something happening every week, check them out here.
Some events are held annually or even quarterly, so fret not if you’ve missed out on some of them.
For foodies, check out the annual Singapore Food Expo or Food of Asia where many brands come armed with discounts and new product launches. You’ll find some familiar hawker names but since only light cooking can be done in the premises, most food have been precooked and reheated for sale. Personally, I would give those a miss and go for the frozen or packed food. Some stalls would offer cooked samples, so it’s a great chance to compare and test out new brands. Most food would also be cheaper than what you can get at the supermarkets, so take this chance to stock up on your favourite indulgence!
For more sinful goodness, check out the food sections of the fairs held regularly by Robinsons, John Little and Metro, where you’ll find crowd favourites such as Kettle chips and Haagen Daz. These 3 retail stores seem to take turns holding their sales here so cheap junk food is never far away.
For gadget lovers, the IT fairs here are one of the most popular events. Held quarterly or half yearly, many brands would offer crazy discounts to the first few buyers, leading to queues forming outside the halls on the nights before. I’ve even seen huge tentages being put up just for these queues, so come prepared!
For those struck with wanderlust, NATAS travel fairs are held quarterly, usually before the start of the school holidays. The crowds have expanded over the years, so there’s an admission fee now to keep people away. I’ve never been one to go for tour packages, but if you’re looking for one, this is the place to be.
Other events include book sales, furniture fairs, parenting events and the list goes on. If you enjoy weaving in and out through rows and rows of merchandise for a bargain, this is the place for you.
1 Expo Drive, Singapore 486150
2. … and chased after the bargains at the biggest collection of outlet stores in Singapore
And if the sales at Singapore EXPO are not enough to whet your appetite, head over to Changi City Point, the newest (and only) mall at Tanah Merah. It boosts a variety of major brand outlet stores such as Adidas, Nike, Crocs, Puma, G2000, Lacoste, Sketchers, Timberland and Esprit. You find mostly older merchandise at these stores and though this might not appeal to all, for the bargain hunters, it’s like the Great Singapore Sale experience all year round!
Changi City Point
5 Changi Business Park Central 1, Singapore 486038
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm | Daily
3. Relived my childhood in the sky
Shopping aside, The 3 House on level 2 of Changi City Point is bound to bring out the kid inside of us. The playground has both wet and dry areas, complete with water jets, cannons, water jet propelled merry-go-round and climbing structures.
And to those of us over-aged kids who would like to jump on the slides but too self-conscious to do so, try visiting the area later at night when the kids are gone and you’ll have the whole space to yourself!
You can also check out the interactive art installations at the rooftop garden above the playground.
4. Caught a movie under the stars
You might not find any cinemas in the Tanah Merah area, but isn’t it better to catch a movie in a vast open space under the stars? More so if it’s free! On the last Saturday evening (7.30pm) of each month, Changi City Point screens movies at their level 3 outdoor arena. The concrete steps might not be the most comfortable to sit on but gather some friends, pack along your dinner and snacks and soon the seating will be the furthest thing from your mind.
5. Feasted on some late night pratas
And if you’re craving for some supper, head over to Simpang Bedok which is about a 5 minutes drive away from Singapore EXPO (2 bus stops away from Tanah Merah MRT). This is the place to go if you’re craving for pratas (and who isn’t?). The stalls selling prata line up both sides of the street, so pick your poison! Check out the reviews of New Mahamoodiya Restaurant and Syed Restaurant. My favourite prata can be found at New Mahamoodiya Restaurant but when it’s busy, getting the attention of the service staff can be a pain.
If you prefer something a little healthier, try out the halal dim sums at Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe or the kick ass KL Hokkien Mee over at Big Eater Seafood (which might be not that healthy after all…).
This would certainly be the place to get good comfort food if you plan on queuing overnight for an IT fair!
326 Bedok Road, Singapore 469496
Tel: 6242 5412
Opening hours: 24 hours | Daily
New Mahamoodiya Restaurant
335 Bedok Road, Singapore 469510
Tel: 6243 2086
Opening hours: 24 hours | Daily
Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe
Cuisine: Chinese (Halal)
357 Bedok Rd, Singapore 469545
Tel: 6445 9100
Opening hours: 11am to 4am | Daily
Big Eater Seafood
34 Jalan Pari Burong, Singapore 488700
Tel: 6245 7268
Opening hours: 11am to 2pm, 4.30pm to 11.30pm | Mon to Fri | 11.30am to 11.00pm | Sat, Sun & Public Holiday
Date timer: ~4 hours (excluding the movie)
What’s your favourite fair or event at the Singapore EXPO?
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