Singapore Souvenirs: 25 Unique Things to Bring Home

Singapore Souvenirs: 25 Unique Things to Bring Home

Want to get some mementos from this multicultural city as a gift or a keepsake? Look no further!

If you’re reading this article, chances are, you’re probably planning a trip to Singapore and are wondering what are the best souvenirs the country has to offer! Perhaps you have spent too much time frolicking around Singapore during your time here and want to know what are some gifts you can get at the eleventh hour. Fret not, Singapore is definitely brimming with quirky souvenirs islandwide so you are sure to find something in this extensive list of Singapore souvenirs.

1. Kaya

If there is anything Singapore is known for, it is our signature coconut jam. Made from coconut milk and eggs, this jam (known locally as kaya) is a classic spread of choice for the locals, particularly on toast. This sweet spread often hits the spot for Singaporeans, and if it does for you too, you should definitely buy back a jar.

Kaya can be found in most supermarkets, although the best bet for authentic kaya would be the kopitiams around Singapore. Definitely be sure to pop this one into your luggage as kaya can only be found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia!

2. White Rabbit candy

white rabbit is one of the candies to buy as Singapore souvenirs

Image credit: KowHhk lamaiw

The white rabbit candy may have originated from Shanghai, but it gained so much popularity amongst the locals in the early 80s and 90s that it has now become a classic childhood candy for most. In fact, the white rabbit candy has made a comeback by appearing as food items such as white rabbit bubble tea and white rabbit cake roll. Get your hands on this creamy, milky sweet at most supermarkets and you’ll understand why it’s so popular.

Also read: 27 Best Things to Buy at Muji Stores in Asia

3. Durian candy

durian candy Singapore souvenirs

Image credit: Oculus Prime

Another candy that should be on your list of souvenirs from Singapore is the durian candy. This tropical fruit can only be found in Southeast Asia and has quickly become a staple and a symbol of pride for most Singaporeans. The local arts centre, Esplanade, even boasts an architectural structure that resembles the durian fruit.

Though it may be impossible to bring the fruit itself overseas due to its strong scent, it is possible to get Singapore souvenirs like durian candy to bring home and perhaps let your friends have a taste. A note of warning though — durian is something that you either love or hate, so let’s hope that you’re a fan!

4. Merlion merchandise

Ahh, the mascot of Singapore. This lion-fish creature is an iconic landmark of the country and a major tourist attraction — so it makes sense for the merlion to be made into souvenirs of all sorts. From keychains to magnets to bottle openers, merlion-themed souvenirs are everywhere. The best place to go to get your hands on one of these, however, is still Chinatown, though you can also try your luck at Peninsula Plaza or Mustafa Centre. With the diverse merlion-themed souvenirs available around Singapore, there is sure to be one that suits your liking!

5. Local Singapore plates

This may sound like a strange souvenir to get, but just wait until you actually see one of these plates in person! Designed with many local food references as well as other allusions, these quirky Singapore-themed plates are a fun souvenir choice to buy, keep, and use to your liking. Shops like Independent Market and Naiise offer a variety of interesting designs so you can choose whichever tickles your pickle.

6. Salted egg fish skin

No words can describe how obsessed Singaporeans are with salted egg. One salted egg-flavoured snack that has been gaining popularity amongst the locals is the salted egg fish skin — because why not?

Though more brands are popping up that offers salted egg fish skin, Irvin’s is still the brand that Singaporeans are most familiar with and the one they go to satisfy their salted egg cravings. Not only do they sell salted egg fish skin, but salted egg potato chips and cassava chips as well — and these tend to get snapped up fast! So if you do see these being sold, don’t hesitate to buy them or they’ll be gone in a flash!

7. Bak kwa

bak kwa

Image credit: Alpha

Though bak kwa is most popular come Chinese New Year, it is a delicacy that many enjoy year-round. Bak kwa is a type of dried roast pork with a beautiful blend of sweet and savoury taste. Though bak kwa is a traditional Chinese snack, Singaporeans have made it their own by grilling the meat over charcoal instead of air-drying it. This gives the bak kwa in Singapore a smokier flavour.

There are a variety of shops in Singapore selling this fragrant dried meat, but the few well-known ones include Bee Cheng Hiang, Fragrance, and Lim Chee Guan. No matter which store you decide to go to, you can’t go wrong with it!

Also read: 15 Underrated Food Items From Singapore’s Popular Eateries That Are Often Overlooked

8. TWG Tea

twg tea

Image credit: Basile Morin

TWG is a local tea brand that has built a name for itself over the years. Selling over 800 varieties of tea and having outlets in more than 10 countries, TWG made its mark by offering customers a luxury tea drinking experience and branding itself as a luxury tea brand. It further broadened its horizons by selling tea-infused products and cuisine. Savour the luxurious tea from this global tea brand to get an inkling on why it has been turning heads!

9. Charles & Keith

charles & keith store

Image credit: Hans Olav Lien

Another local brand that has found much success internationally, Charles and Keith offers a wide range of footwear and accessories. The company, founded by two brothers, gained popularity by researching on customers’ preferences and coming up with their own designs based on such feedback. This allowed the business to grow and subsequently, they were able to expand internationally.

Now, they are able to lay claim to hundreds of stores worldwide. Many tourists from Malaysia, Thailand and China flock to Singapore to get their hands on products from this esteemed brand, as Charles and Keith’s products are definitely priced lower here in its origin country.

10. Limpeh Says

Fancy a game of Cards Against Humanity? Try the Singapore edition of this popular card game — Limpeh Says! Developed by a student for his school project, the Singapore version quickly went viral and prompted the creator to put it on the market for those interested. Limpeh Says is peppered with local references and jokes that are sure to keep you entertained. This card game is available on the official website as well as in various game stores around Singapore.

11. Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling is a gin-based cocktail with tropical flavours, heralded as one of the country’s most famous creations. Fun fact: A bartender working in Raffles Hotel in the early 20th century concocted this special drink. If you want to bring back some of Singapore with you, the Singapore Sling is perhaps the right choice. You can get the Singapore Sling in a bottle at Raffles Hotel, though if it is a little out of your budget, Naiise also offers Singapore Sling-flavoured marmalade — definitely worth a try!

12. Tiger beer

Much like Singapore Sling, Tiger beer is a local alcoholic brew launched in 1932. This lager has found tremendous success and won multiple awards for its taste. As of now, it is available in more than 75 countries worldwide and has breweries in over 10 countries. Do buy a pack back to enjoy o from the duty-free shops in Changi Airport!

13. Gold-plated orchid

If you’re feeling a little fancy, the gold-plated orchid from Risis might be the thing for you.  It features real orchids, making each creation unique and different. These are then made into necklaces, earrings, pendants and brooches. These perfect pieces of jewellery are a great souvenir if you want to bring Singapore’s national flower back home with you.

14. Tiger balm

Tiger balm is a popular home remedy in Singapore for many types of muscle aches and pains. Many of its consumers have attested to the effectiveness of this herbal ointment. Today, over 20 million jars of Tiger Balm are sold yearly. Tiger Balm has grown so popular and successful that they have expanded to offer this pain reliever in the form of a cream, gel, liquid or spray. Get Tiger Balm for anyone you know who may suffer from body aches and they will thank you for it!

15. Pei Pa Koa

Yet another home remedy, Pei Pa Koa is a cough syrup specifically designed to soothe any throat irritations. Despite the formula being over a hundred years old, Pei Pa Koa has held its reputation for being an all-cure for coughs and sore throats. Though it originated in Hong Kong, many Singaporeans are familiar with this over-the-counter remedy and have probably even turned to it for a quick fix for their coughs. If you have never heard of Pei Pa Koa, this is probably a good time to get a bottle so you or someone you know can try this awesome remedy.

16. Old school tinned assortment biscuits

Many locals will remember these tinned assortment biscuits that were so prominent in our lives back when shophouses peppered the island of Singapore. These biscuits are getting increasingly harder to find due to the lack of suppliers available. If you are able to find any of these assortment biscuits in Singapore, definitely buy them and try a variety — you won’t be disappointed.

17. Pork floss

pork floss as singapore souvenirs

Image credit: Khooeddi

A traditional topping in Chinese cuisine, pork floss is made by steeping meat in a sweetened soy sauce mixture before straining and drying it. This popular floss has made its way into Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian dishes, where it’s used not only as a topping but as a filling for certain pastries as well. Other types of meat have been made into floss as well, including chicken, beef, fish and more. Buy a packet of pork floss and see for yourself how addictive it is!

Also read: 10 Iconic Singapore Snacks Locals Recommend You Try

18. Locally-flavoured teas

Singaporeans’ love affair with food knows no bounds. That’s why we are constantly coming up with a unique twist to famous food. If you love Singaporean food as much as we do, you might want to check out Ette Tea for their locally-flavoured tea blends. Ranging from Chicken Rice tea to Pineapple Tart tea, these exotic flavours are sure to wake up your tastebuds!

19. Kaya toast and kopi o pocky sticks

You thought we would stop at making Nasi Lemak tea. Oh, but our love for food extends beyond just this dish. We certainly have to mention kaya — a classic spread of choice for most locals. As a matter of fact, kaya toast might just be Singaporeans’ most favoured traditional breakfast! Paired with a kopi-o on the side and the breakfast would be complete. It is no surprise, then, that kaya and kopi O-flavoured pocky sticks have sprouted up. Our cravings for kaya and kopi will never cease. Find these unique Singapore souvenirs at any Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlets.

20. Instant paste

Singapore is no doubt a food haven. From laksa to chilli crab and bak ku teh, there is no end to the amount of local dishes that you can find in Singapore. What better way to take these dishes back with you than buying the instant paste? Now you can make your own Singaporean meals, even when you’re far from the city itself.

21. Pandan cake

pandan cake

Image credit: Andrea Nyugen

The pandan chiffon cake is popular in Southeast Asia, having become an iconic snack in the region. While it may be hard to pinpoint the exact origin of this treat, you should definitely get a pandan cake to try if you’re in the area. Made from pandan leaves, the humble pandan cake has even been named as Singapore’s national cake by CNN.

Wondering where you can get your hands on Singapore’s best pandan cake? The answer: many local bakeries, particularly Bengawan Solo and Prima Deli. Trust us, you won’t be able to get enough of this fluffy and fragrant delicacy.

22. Peranakan Kebaya

kebaya

Image credit: Irwandy Mazwir

What better way to honour the culture that gave us kaya than to get a kebaya as a souvenir? Whether you’re buying it for yourself or someone else, a kebaya is a great traditional gift representing the beautiful Peranakan culture. Though the kebaya is a traditional Indonesian costume, the Peranakan kebaya varies in its use of Chinese silk as well as hand-beaded shoes. In this manner, the Peranakan kebaya beautifully shows off the blend of Chinese and Malay ethnicities is the birth of this very culture itself.

23. Local literature

Also known as Singapore literature (or SingLit for short), local books are a great way to get a deeper insight into the culture that often may not be obvious from just exploring the country itself. Books are also a great way to just have a permanent keepsake of whichever country you’re travelling to.

The best places to get Singapore literature are local bookstores such as BooksActually, Epigram Books, Cat Socrates and more. Definitely head to a local bookstore and browse through their extensive selection of local literature!

24. Alcohol-free perfumes

Attar or alcohol-free perfume is a blend of essential oils put together from a plethora of natural sources. They include flowers, herbs, and spices. Get your hands on this uniquely Singapore souvenir at Jamal Kazura Aromatics, a perfumery located in the heart of Kampong Glam. With a variety of long-lasting scents stored in intricate bottles, you’ll certainly be able to find your new favourite fragrance.

25. Singlish VS English Book

This Singapore souvenir is a must-buy if you’re trying to pick up a few essential Singlish phrases to speak like a local. For the uninitiated, Singlish is a colloquial lingo that extensively incorporates elements of different languages, mostly Chinese and Malay. The Singlish VS English book from Independent Market consists of 232 brightly coloured pages which compare some of the many Singlish phrases with their counterpart in English. We’re certain that you’ll sound like a true blue Singaporean in no time with this book.

Also read: 8 Uniquely Singaporean Souvenirs to Buy for Your Friends Abroad

So there you have it — 25 ideas for souvenirs to buy in Singapore! Whether you are thinking of bringing it back as a memorabilia or as a gift, there is definitely something on this list to help you bring back a slice of Singapore!

About Authors

Jean Wong
Jean Wong

For someone who's a homebody, Jean sure loves stepping out of her house to travel. When she's not busy exploring quaint towns, she can be found with her nose in a book, sipping on her daily dose of bubble tea.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Jean Wong

Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Ifah Sakinah



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