Saturday, March 23, 2013

Taman Jurong and Boon Lay Shopping Centres


Shopping malls in Singapore are getting bigger and bigger. In the city, you have ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura and Suntec City. In the neighbourhoods, you have NEX, Vivocity and Jurong Point. These malls are fine but a lot of residents don't really have access to these big malls. It's mainly because there are no bus services going to these places passing by their houses or that the nearest MRT Station is located quite far away. How do these people go shopping? Through non-aircon shopping malls built by the HDB. Every HDB estate in Singapore has at least one non-aircon shopping mall. If they don't, it's probably a town centre or a neighbourhood centre. In today's article, I'll be talking about my visit to two HDB non-aircon shopping malls in the West which are Taman Jurong Shopping Centre and Boon Lay Shopping Centre.


What is a HDB non-aircon shopping mall?

Just like regular shopping malls, HDB non-aircon shopping malls are basically shopping malls with no aircon and built by the Housing and Development Board (HDB). To be more specific, it's more like a town centre in a multi-storey building. Town centres usually have mom and pop stores along with small businesses and a handful of big businesses. In fact, if an estate does not have space for a town centre or even a neighbourhood centre, HDB non-aircon shopping malls will be built because it takes up half the space. Another common feature of HDB non-aircon shopping malls and town centres is that they are great places to get affordable items.


Reaching Taman Jurong Shopping Centre

Remember the article where I talked about my ride on a non-aircon bus in Singapore? If you recall, I did mentioned about riding on bus service 246 from Boon Lay Bus Interchange to Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, right? That's exactly what I did. The bus stop was located at Corporation Dr near the Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre. The shopping centre was not really near the bus stop so I had to walk a bit for about five minutes. Once I have reached the place, I was quite surprised to see that the architecture was good as compared to other HDB non-aircon shopping centres around Singapore. I entered the building and started my exploration.



 

Bargain Stores at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre

Like what I have mentioned earlier, there are more than enough bargain stores at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre. I already spotted one at the entrance of the building. It was called Universal Homemart and it sells a lot of cheap household stuff like cleaning instruments, brooms, kitchen utensils and so much more. You don't really have to travel all the way to Taman Jurong Shopping Centre to buy stuff at Universal Homemart because they have other locations located islandwide too. Other than Universal Homemart, there was also ABC which they claim as the cheapest store in Singapore. Just like the Value$ stores you can find in shopping malls, you can also find cheap stuff here like cheap cold drinks, snacks, batteries, caps, cleaning supplies and so much more. It seems that most bargain stores have one thing in common other than selling cheap stuff. Their aisles are extremely narrow to fit all the bargain items together. Hey, if you're shopping for something cheap, it's worth going through narrow aisles to find that particular cheap item.



Simple and Beautiful Architecture

What's interesting about Taman Jurong Shopping Centre is the architecture. I like the way it's designed and it certainly looks more modern as compared to other HDB non-aircon shopping centres in Singapore. Another thing is that plenty of sun can be seen entering the building which is rather cool and makes it more like an outdoor place although it's a building. The shopping mall is also quite big and it has four different sections which have similar layouts. You may end up being lost in the mall although you don't have to worry because you can just head to the central area shown in the picture above. Otherwise, you can just get out of the shopping centre easily thanks to the placement of the exits at each and every edge of the mall.


Cute Cat Taking a Break

It seems that when I visited the place at the time, the weather was perfect for this cat to rest. Plus, that area where the cat was sleeping seems to be a comfortable spot. The shopping centre also have beautiful plants located beside the basement carpark which is a great addition to the architecture and design.




Unusual structure in the central plaza

When I was walking around and exploring Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, I noticed this unusual looking structure in the central plaza. I'm not entirely sure what this is and what it is used for. Initially, I thought it was like a stage so if there are any events happening at the shopping centre, they can use this stage and the audience can view the event. However, I don't think it's a stage because I don't recall stages having those metal things stick out. Besides, there was not a lot of space for the audience to stand so I highly doubt that this is a stage. If you live in Taman Jurong and visit this place often and you happen to know what this is, please do leave a comment and let me know.


Familiar and Unfamiliar Shops in Taman Jurong

Other than the unfamiliar shops in Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, there was also a fair share of familiar shops right over here. One of the shops you may heard before is called Fork and Spoon food court which is a food court chain that sells a wide variety of Halal food. However, when I passed by the food court, there was a sign stating that it was going to be rebranded as Koufu Food Court which is the parent company of Fork and Spoon. Koufu is also one of the more popular food court chain in Singapore. Other than that, there was also Prima Deli, a chain of bakeries commonly found in big malls and another familiar shop at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre is NTUC Fairprice, the leading supermarket chain in Singapore. There was one shop at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre which attracted my attention called Regal Tackle which specialises in tackle and fishing equipment. Although it's an unfamiliar shop, it attracted my attention mainly because I have not seen a fishing equipment shop before. This shop also regularly organises fishing competitions for fishing enthusiasts. Those who love fishing will love this place.


Cheap Knick Knacks and Toys

The kids will love this. There was one shop that sold all sorts of knick knacks and toys at affordable prices. Of course, I'm not a kid anymore so I didn't buy anything from this shop. However, looking at this table reminds me of the awesome childhood I had. Anyway, if you have kids, bring them here and get them all kinds of toys and knick knacks.




An Old Theatre at Taman Jurong

While walking to the bus stop to head to my next destination, Boon Lay Shopping Centre, I came across this old building called the Jurong Theatre. It's an old building which used to house a movie theatre. Currently, the building only has a coffee shop on the ground level and the movie theatre is no longer in use. If you want to have a bit of nostalgia. do give Jurong Theatre a visit.


Boon Lay Shopping Centre

After checking out Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, it was time for me to check out Boon Lay Shopping Centre. I rode on bus service 246 which was also the bus service that brought me from Boon Lay Bus Interchange to Taman Jurong Shopping Centre. Boon Lay Shopping Centre is also another non-aircon shopping centre built by the HDB. However, unlike Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, Boon Lay Shopping Centre is smaller and has more people so it's not as quiet as the first one I visited. Despite the size and the amount of people found at Boon Lay Shopping Centre, it's still a great shopping centre selling cheap items. Let's take a closer look at the shopping centre.




Lots of people and cars

I'm not entirely sure if Boon Lay Shopping Centre has a basement carpark or a multi-storey carpark like other HDB non-aircon shopping centres. It seems that Boon Lay Shopping Centre's carpark is an open air carpark similar to the ones you see in older HDB flats. Since there were more people here, more cars can be seen at the carpark. Or maybe these cars may actually belong to patrons of the nearby food centre.


Boon Lay Place Food Village

Speaking of food centres, there was also a food centre beside Boon Lay Shopping Centre. Like typical food centres in Singapore, you can get delicious hawker fare at affordable prices over here. The usual local food that Singaporeans love like Nasi Lemak, Roti Prata and Char Kway Teow are also available here just like other food centres around Singapore. This food centre may be one of the reasons why there were a lot of cars parking outside the shopping centre.

 
Wide Variety of Shops Available Here

Just like Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, a wide variety of cheap items were available here at Boon Lay Shopping Centre. There was a hair salon, a minimart, a shop selling cheap clothing and so much more. Familiar brands were also available here at Boon Lay Shopping Centre such as NTUC Fairprice supermarket and Swee Heng Bakery, a popular local and Halal bakery. The architecture over at Boon Lay Shopping Centre was a bit more simpler than the one at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre and it's much easier to navigate around this shopping centre.

Conclusion

With this post, I conclude that Taman Jurong Shopping Centre and Boon Lay Shopping Centre are awesome HDB non-aircon shopping centres in the Jurong area. You can buy a wide range of affordable items here ranging from cheap clothes to cheap groceries to cheap food. Both shopping centres are also located beside hawker centres for people who want to eat cheap local hawker food. If you live in the Jurong area, these two shopping centres are a must visit. If you live in other estates in Singapore, these two shopping centres may be too far for you. Check your neighbourhood if there are any town centres, neighbourhood centres or HDB non-aircon shopping centres. Chances are, they sell cheap and affordable things just like the two I have mentioned in this post. If you don't live in Jurong and still want to visit these two places, just board service 246 from Boon Lay Bus Interchange. The bus service passes by both shopping centres. I will definitely come back to these two places again.

Getting Here

(Taman Jurong Shopping Centre)

Bus services available: 30, 98, 98M, 240, 246 (Bus stop along Corporation Drive opp. Blk 117)

Nearest MRT Station: Not available

Website: Not available


View Larger Map

(Boon Lay Shopping Centre)

Bus services available: 99, 240, 246 (Bus stop along Boon Lay Place outside Boon Lay Shop Ctr)

Nearest MRT Station: Not available

Website: Not available

 
View Larger Map

1 comment:

  1. Your blog does make a huge difference. Before I saw your blog, I thought there was no marine lives left in Singapore shores (sorry). I was wrong. Keep up the good job. :-) shopping centre in Singapore

    ReplyDelete

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