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Souq

Souq is a cafe and boutique store, selling incredibly expensive furniture and clothing items. The cafe itself is nice but very few vegan items on the menu. We simply had some toast here before moving on to get breakfast elsewhere. They did have gluten free vegan toast at least. The drinks are popular but you can get just as good for cheaper elsewhere.

Mon – Sat 07:30 ~ 20:00
Sun 09:00 ~ 18:00

Sim Lim Square

There are two malls in Singapore famous for electronics, Sim Lim Square and Funan Digital Life Mall. Funan is the better choice of the two unless you really know your stuff and are very good at negotiating.

At Sim Lim, I sensed the scammers as soon as I walked in. The way they call out to foreigners, trying to hide the dollar signs in their eyes. There are few printed prices, and most of the stores really are out to get tourists.

My advice is don’t buy anything there without research first. Check prices for online stores and big chain stores in Singapore such as Courts or Harvey Norman. Know exactly what you should pay for an item, and set a price limit that you are willing to pay. Printing out prices is a good idea so you can show them. You may still pay a premium over online rates but make sure its worth the premium to have it right now. If you have a local friend, you could send them in (without you) to negotiate on your behalf. Also, head up to the higher levels in the mall, and ask at multiple shops before making any purchases.

Regardless, electronics in Singapore are NOT cheap. Import and sales taxes push prices high in Singapore, and you can probably get a better price online or elsewhere in the region.

One thing that Sim Lim does have over Funan is two large Jade sculptures, a ship and a dragon wall. These are on the ground floor and worth checking out if you are wondering around, but don’t justify a trip on their own.

Between Little India and Bugis MRT stations, walkable from both.

Daily 10:30 ~ 21:00

Artesans Market

The Artesans Market (Mercado de Artesanias de la Ciudadela) is the best place in the city to find art and craft pieces from around the country. It is not the cheapest place in Mexico, but it is reasonable, and has items from the different regions, so if Mexico City is your last or only stop in Mexico, buy up! However, if you’re just starting your Mexican Adventure, you can buy it cheaper, and later (limiting carrying time) south in Oaxaca ore central in San Cristobal.

Either way, even if you don’t plan to buy anything, you should at least walk around this market, the colour and design of the items are amazing. By the time you leave this market you will have either bought something, or wish you had!

Between Balderas & Juarez Metro stations, also walkable from Zocolo / Centro Historico Area. From Balderas, walk along Balderas Ave, through the street stalls, and enter the main market area.

Mon – Sat – 09:00 ~ 19:00
Sun – 09:00 ~ 18:00

Vx / SSOV Vegan Shop

Vx (Vee Cross) is a an all-vegan boutique shop in London! They sell cupcakes from Mrs. Cupcake and Cat & the Cream, groceries, sandwiches, shoes, clothing by SSOV (The Secret Society of Vegans), books, SSOV accessories etc.

Check them out for some great stuff and not having to check anything, its all vegan!

Mon – 11:00 ~ 19:30
Tues – Sun – 10:00 ~ 18:30

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Arigatou & Rice Wine

Arigato and Rice Wine are both small Japanese supermarkets on Brewer Street, just up from Piccadilly Circus. I find these two the best places to buy Tofu and other Japanese foods in London, with Arigato being my preference as although Rice Wine is a little cheaper, they are often out of stock on my favourite items. They are both cheaper than the places I used to go in China Town too.

A big block of Tofu is roughly £1.20-£1.60. You can also get Japanese rice, miso paste, kimchi, sushi nori, soya sauce, bulldog sauce etc.

Arigato also serves food from a small restaurant within the shop, I have never eaten there however.

Arigato
Mon – Sat 10:00~21:00
Sun – 11:00~20:00

Rice Wine
Mon – Sat 10:00~22:00
Sun – 12:00~21:00

Kathmandu, London

Kathmandu is “New Zealand’s No.1 Outdoor Store”, selling everything from socks, pocket knives, and locks to backpacks, sleeping bags, adventure clothing and equipment. Every time I go here I want to buy one of their cool travel-gadgets.

The best thing about Kathmandu is their huge range of backpacks in many styles and sizes, Gore-Tex jackets, fleece Jackets, and thermal under garments. Most products are their own brand and are great quality. I have been using the same large backpack for 6 years!

In general, I think Kathmandu can be a little expensive. However, twice a year they have sales. BIG sales. Up to 60% off. This brings a £300 backpack down to a much more reasonable £120 for example. So check out the store, work out what you need, and if you can, hold out till one of their sales.

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Lush, London

Lush is a UK based cosmetics company selling natural skin, hair, bath and shower products; like handmade soaps, lotions, bath bombs, shampoo etc. Lush is against animal testing, all of their products are vegetarian, and many are Vegan and labelled as such on their website and in-store.

Lush uses natural ingredients like fruits, vegetables, essential oils (no animal fats) and some synthetic materials. Some of their products contain beeswax, lanolin, honey or free-range eggs and hence are not vegan. All products are purchased from companies that are against animal testing, and Lush test their own products on human volunteers before sale!

Everything inside the shop looks and smells great. Some of it even looks edible! It all sits in the open (Lush use minimal packaging) and blocks of soap are sold by weight. As they are fresh and natural, some of the products even have use-by-dates.

Lush products make great gifts, and they sell box packages at £10, £20 etc already wrapped up and ready to go. Staff are friendly and helpful in picking the right thing, either for you or someone else.

Lush now has over 600 stores Worldwide, with stores all over London. You can find more branches here.

National Geographic Store

Everyone knows (and loves) National Geographic Magazine, & they continue the theme in their Regent Street store, to inform, amaze and inspire us. With products and information related to travel, adventure and culture, items include clothing, gear, books, educational toys, and art works from around the world.

They also have a nice cafe in-store.

Just north of Piccadilly Circus on Regent Street.

Mon – Sat – 10:00~20:00
Sun – 12:00~18:00

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