Heartland gems: Toa Payoh
by Tabitha Tan
inSing.com - 05 Jun 2009 06:23 PM
Toa Payoh or "big swamp" in Hokkien got its name from its pig farming squatter origins. Back then, the neighbourhood was a vast swampy area. But with urban planning, the estate's town centre has blossomed into a hub of commercial activity with a shopping precinct, leisure centre, library and cinema. Toa Payoh also has Singapore's only air-conditioned bus interchange. Marrying an old world charm with new town convenience, there's always something interesting to discover in Toa Payoh. inSing.com scouts around the small shops that occupy the town centre and found a variety of lifestyle finds that make for thrifty treasures and great quirky buys.
Here's what we found.
1. Yummy earrings, $25
As a child, you were told not to play with food. The rule no longer applies when it comes to earrings this delectable looking. In light of fashion's recent good humour, with the emergence of wacky pop colours and cartoon-inspired clothing, you're encouraged to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to accessorising. Ladies, your girlfriends are bound to coo at its cuteness and you'll have the men looking twice. Who says you can't wear what you eat?
Rosecatarina, Blk 185 Toa Payoh Central, #01-346 Singapore 310185. Tel: 6356 9904.
2. Quim Watch, $25
"Neighbourhood Watch" takes on a whole new meaning with this Quim timepiece, one of Toa Payoh's star buys. Reminiscent of the highly coveted Bell & Ross and U-Boat timepieces, this watch bears an outstanding oversized dial and hardy masculine exterior made for the bold at heart. Sporty guys can now own a fashion statement at a fraction of the cost.
Soon Plus Mi Trading, Blk 190 Toa Payoh Central, #01-576 Singapore 310190. Tel: 6256 5507
3. Sock shoes (in a set of three), $24
Your toddler can now take baby steps in style. Sold in a set of three different designs, they look like actual footwear with details like leather laces and shoe buckles. For a cheap and cheerful price, fashion-crazy Mums will get the chance to play dress-up with their little ones while their twinkle toes are kept warm and toasty.
Forest Kid, #01-10 Toa Payoh Bus Interchange.
4. Miniature safe, $38
Here's the perfect substitute to the age-old jewellery box. This miniature safe looks exactly like its full-sized predecessor and acts like it too. To keep precious trinkets safe, set it to a secret four-digit code. It will trigger off a trilling alarm with every failed attempt to open it. The mini safe also has a coin slot and can function as a piggybank. Available in five fabulous colours - silver, chilli red, hot pink, bright orange and electric blue, this machine is battery operated. Saving money was never this fun.
Grupp Marketing, Blk 185 Toa Payoh Central, #01-318 Singapore 310185. Tel: 6356 4168
5. Globe ceiling lamp, $198
At first glance, this lamp appears to be just a clear globe bearing fine fibres of metal wire. Turn on the switch and it instantly becomes a work of art. While its main function is to emit the standard yellow light commonly used in households, it can also become ambient lighting with the metal fibres changing and merging colours. It's more than just a tasteful complement for the contemporary living room; it is also energy saving - needing only 20 watts of energy to produce 100 watts of brightness.
Best Tech Electrical, Blk 184 Toa Payoh Central, #01-358B Singapore 310184. Tel: 6255 4248
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