Hidden Treasures of the Past
...amazing shops where passionate owners greet you personally...
Monika Khaled for My Guide Singapore
This article however, goes far beyond the usual souvenir and run-off-the-mill furniture. Discover with us an array of amazing shops where passionate owners greet you personally and where you will find real treasures in Singapore. Check out the profiles of these Asian furniture and antique shops on our website and get even more insight through our videos and virtual tours.
Beautiful Asian wedding cabinets that open with a slight creak, exquisite pharmacy cupboards with black-inked Chinese scripts, richly coloured sideboards in all sizes, romantic 4-poster beds and anything you need for an amazing dinning room - Singapore is your dream of an Asian inspired living space.
Best of all, you don’t actually have to live in Singapore to be able to appreciate Asian furniture. Nearly all shops organize overseas shipping to most countries and it's quite affordable.
Woody Antique House and Woody Teak Collection, run by Chris and his family, are located in the laid-back area of Dempsey Hill. In his two shops, he offers a huge choice of Asian furniture sourced from various countries around the region and Chinese reproductions. There are some lovely Chinese cabinets, sideboards and tables in many colours and sizes as well as a large range of outdoor furniture. You will also find statues and lamps for home decoration. After shopping you hopefully have time left to explore the area with its many bars and restaurants.
In the heartlands of Singapore, but still just a 20-minute taxi ride away from the CBD, is Just Anthony, another favourite among Asian furniture lovers. Danielle and her team offer a wide range of Asian living and bedroom furniture including large wooden Chinese doors and door frames. You will also find smaller items such as lamps, lacquer ware, wall paintings as well as stone statues. While there, have a look at the lovely Buddhist temple just behind the shop and explore the nearby Geylang and Joo Chiat area with many local eateries and Durian Stalls.
Whether you are a seasoned collector of Asian antiques or someone just looking for a very special and historic piece, there are two places in Singapore you don’t want to miss for anything in the world. They are both quite different yet they have one thing in common – they offer treasures of the past that you won’t find anywhere else.
Shang Antiques on Dempsey Hill specializes in genuine Asian antiques and has outstanding collections from Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. The huge Asian antique selection consists of statues, torsos and lintels from the 7th – 19th century. Freddy, who sources all items personally, provides a certificate for antiques that are over a century old and a full buy-back guarantee. Plus, all items are very well packed for you to hand-carry them. The shop is also worth a visit if you're looking for Asian home decor with a flair, resin wicker furniture and large outdoor decorations such as horse statues made from drift wood.
To find Li Bai Arts, you have to know exactly where to go. So, it's good that our experts at give you all the hints to find this hidden gem, located near the well-known Bukit Timah area and yet completely off the beaten track. Be in for a surprise because Linda, the gracious owner of this shop specializing in rare Chinese Antique furniture and Tibetan trunks and chests, is not sure whether she runs a store or a museum. Having secured most items herself from remote areas in China and Tibet, she loves to share the stories of each of her unique pieces.
Small treasures that make exceptional gifts and souvenirs
If you are looking for a personal gift or outstanding memento, we have found just the right places. Our two choices are well away from the usual souvenir shops, both in terms of location and their collections. You will find mainly smaller items to hand-carry and some furniture and paintings.
AsiaBox Living is among those shops a visitor to Singapore would not easily discover. The entire area around Beauty World with its huge MRT construction is not living up to its name at the moment. So look closer and find AsiaBox Living in the basement of Bukit Timah Shopping Mall for your fill of gorgeous lacquer bowls and vases, paintings and home décor items as well as some lovely pieces of Asian inspired jewellery, bags and shawls. This is an ideal stopover to or from nearby Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Opposite of the mall is a small street lined with local restaurants from India to Thai to the local coffee shop.
On the second floor of Liang Court Shopping Mall near Clark Quay, you will find Frangipani Homes. Once you enter the place you know why it’s named after the beautiful flower, as the shop offers an amazing choice of lovely gifts and chic Asian home décor, all tastefully arranged. With new shipments arriving on a regular basis, the shop is always well stocked with tea sets, vases, lamps, Buddha statues, candleholders and bird cadges. They also offer a good range of teak furniture and custom-made design service.
Certainly, shopping for Asian furniture, antiques and souvenirs when in Singapore will be a much more pleasant experience with our finds. Have fun exploring and discovering the hidden treasures Singapore has to offer.