Shopping at Mustafa Centre

3/27/11

Eventually, everyone who comes to Singapore will find themselves getting lost in the retail labyrinth that is Mustafa Centre. It's a Singaporean institution that started off as a small, 900 square foot shop on Serangoon Road in 1973. Today, Mustafa Centre occupies a 150,000 square foot retail space at Serangoon Road and Syed Alwi Road. You can read more about the store's history here.
Don't expect to adhere to your shopping list when you come to Mustafa's. I always manage to come home with a handful of really random things I didn't anticipate buying whenever I come here. You can buy everything from groceries to DSLRs, saris to toilet seats, expensive watches to cheap school supplies. They have almost anything you could ever want (and tons of things you'd never want). 

Some products are really good name brands, while others are of questionable quality. You can also exchange currencies, book plane tickets, get a visa processed, and have a snack at their own cafe. It's all about the hunt at Mustafa's, which is why it can take hours to shop if you are just planning on wandering around. 

During my most recent trip, I decided to take photos of some of the stuff I saw. After a while my eyes glazed over and I stopped taking photos. This is just a small fraction of the stuff they have for sale. 
 An aisle of bangle bracelets.
 Hair accessories...right next to power strips. 
 So many beautiful saris. I think I want to get one for myself.
 Rows and rows of underwear...
 ...and rows and rows of calculators, too. I didn't know people still bought calculators.
 Tons of Singapore souvenirs, like these merlion chocolates...
 ...and merlion figurines in every color and size you could think of.
 Outfits like those of the Singapore Airlines flight attendants.
 Jesus or Mary nightlight, anyone?
 Singapore merlion handkerchiefs. I think I want to go back and get some of these.
 I was looking for a "no durian" sign but I could't find one. 

Mustafa Centre is open 24 hours, so the next time you're jet-lagged in Singapore you could wander the aisles and have them mostly to yourself. I recommend coming on a weekday morning when it's less crowded. On the weekends, the store is ridiculously packed since most people come on their day off.

8 comments:

  1. Ohhh! We were just at Mustafa yesterday night! They certainly have everything (almost!) under the sun. I even found a whole selection of hair accessories by Goody! And I thought I could only get it from the US.

    The naan from one of the coffee shops nearby is quite nice!

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  2. I love how there are like 5 different health/beauty sections. Want toothpaste? Try here, here, on this other floor here, and here. Oh yeah...and here.

    They also sell some American brands you won't find anywhere else. Old Spice cologne, Tang and a few others.

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  3. @Victoria I know the section of hair accessories you're talking about. I stocked up on hair ties during my last trip to the US, but I know where to go for more when I run out.

    @Crystal it's the same thing with power strips and plug adapters. They have them in a bunch of places!

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  4. Loving the angle of your shots of Mustafa. You make it look sooo pretty. Especially love the bangles and bras!

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  5. Hi,
    I love your blog !

    PS. Unfortunatelty you can buy the same "crap" as on your pictures evereywhere in the world. Globalization is not always a good thing.

    maciek.

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  6. Ohhh! We were just at Mustafa yesterday night! They certainly have everything (almost!) under the sun. I even found a whole selection of hair accessories by Goody! And I thought I could only get it from the US.

    The naan from one of the coffee shops nearby is quite nice!

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    Replies
    1. Heyy may I ask where's this "hair section"? I really want to get Goody's stuff :)

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    2. I think it was on the ground floor. It is a bunch of hair and jewelry accessories surrounded by tech stuff. Hope you find it!

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