If you are in Singapore, you’re most likely to visit the Mustafa Shopping Center. Here are some tips on orienting yourself better.
Why go there:
- They have just about everything and then some. Electronics, Watches, A supermarket, a Jewellery shop, Pharmacy, Foreign exchange and even a book store. It’s really a one stop shop. So, go prepared for the heavy dose of items/ sq foot
- People go there because it’s cheaper than most places. But I wouldn’t say everything is cheaper.
How to get to Mustafa :
- If you are taking the MRT to get there. Get off at Farrer park station. Most people get off at Little India station because, well Mustafa is IN little India. But the fact is, you are then faced with a long walk through the pretty busy and (un-‘rest of Singapore’ like) sidewalk of Serangoon Road. That can slow you down and tire you out for the final assault on Mustafa.
- If you are a happy tourist, transiting through Singapore. You can take the MRT from the Airport to Outram Park and then transfer there to the North East Line all the way to Farrer Park.
- For those who couldn’t be bothered – Take a taxi J
Something’s you might not know :
- In my experience, you get the best US Dollar conversion rate at the Mustafa exchange, better than at Changi Airport.
- Mustafa has an extensive luggage section. Some visitors ingeniously, buy their luggage first, and then leave it outside Mustafa under watch. After their through with the shop fest they pack in all the stuff into their new bags and have a neat , hassle free way to get out of Singapore.
- If you are an Indian and missing desi spices / masala and all the other paraphernalia, the Mustafa supermarket is an essential monthly stop for groceries. I have seen more ‘Indian’ items there than you would find in a large supermarket back home.
- People love buying DVD’s here and they have an extensive collection.
- The perfumes and chocolates are sometimes cheaper than at the Duty free.
- It’s quite a labyrinthine place, so make sure you explore in all directions and all levels.
- Getting a taxi out of Mustafa sometimes can be a big pain. Most often you will find them On Call. If you are burdened with a lot of shopping , then this can be a frustrating experience. Call for a cab, it will save you a lot of hassle.
- Mustafa has gift certificates with unlimited validity. You can get it from the counter at Basement II
- They have a bunch of ‘qualified to help’ staff walking around looking busy. If you get lost or can’t find something – which you most definitely will, just walk up and ask!
- They have a paging system so use it if you are trying to track someone down.
When to go :
- Mustafa is open 24hrs, which is great for tourists and locals alike.
- Going at midnight and beyond means you get more air to breathe and more inches on the aisles.
- Don’t go to Little India or Mustafa on Sunday evenings or Public Holidays. The mass swelling of migrant workers on their day off can really overwhelm you. If you are squeamish about crowds – Don’t go!