Before I even stepped into Funan mall, I was greeted by a seething mass of people at the intersection near City Hall MRT station. It reaffirmed my age-old belief that most Singaporeans are easily swayed by the latest happenings and die die have to be part of the attendance — just like me, who joined in the crowd so that I can think of a possible article idea.
Clearly, people were excited to see any new developments or facilities the mall has to offer after a three-year absence (not like many people visited the mall before). It was impossible to reach a store without squeezing through bottlenecks here and there, caused by entitled curious people who choose to suddenly stop to take photos.
If you have claustrophobia, this might not be the best time to visit the mall. Don’t worry, there’s still Jewel at Changi Airport.
If you still want to go, here are some ways you can make the trip worth it. This means taking part in free activities and knowing how to stretch your dollar.
#1 The Best Place To Compare Prices For Tech Products Is On Level 3
One thing that is immediately apparent is that the electronic and tech stores are concentrated on the third floor. Some of the big names include Fujifilm, MI (Xiaomi), Gain City, Bose, Dell, Inforcom, and Gadget MIX. A check on the CapitaLand directory confirms this, with the exception of a few stores at the basement or first floor of the mall.
As a consumer, you actually reap great benefits other than the convenience of not having to queue for the escalator. You get to save money because you can compare prices across different products and sellers before deciding to commit.
For instance, you might visit Funan with the intention of purchasing a portable charger. You can head to the MI store to check out the price, before going to Inforcom or Gain City to see what other options are available.
The same applies to speakers, cameras, laptops, wireless headphones, and more. With so many stores offering similar products, you can make an informed decision on which brand you want, and what price you are willing to pay for it. That’s not to say that every tech store offers a portable charger or laptop, but at least you have the autonomy to pick.
#2 Take Advantage Of Special Opening Offers And Monthly Deals
Funan reopened less than a month ago, on 28 June, so stores are still running opening offers and promotions.
For example, many eateries are still offering 1-for-1 deals and additional freebies. For example, Even Tasty, a stall specialising in hand-pulled halal ramen, is extending a 50% off the second bowl promotion to all customers. Take your time to explore all 6 floors as you see rows of eateries and restaurants, serving old-school delicacies such as hawker-style food to all-time favourite Thai and western cuisine.
Even a salon, QBHouse Premium, is giving out a $2 Ya Kun voucher with every haircut, as part of its opening promotion.
For a list of ongoing promotions, you can also visit Funan Mall’s website.
Funan Mall’s website contains a list of ongoing promotions by the various tenant stores.
#3 Take A (Free) Tour Of The Rooftop Garden And Urban Farm
One floor below the Golden Village cinema is a flight of stairs that leads to a rooftop garden with breathtaking views of Singapore’s skyline. You’ll be able to see the central business district and Marina Bay. Near the garden, there is an urban farm where leafy green are grown hydroponically (edible wall).
There is also an aquaculture system home to the tilapia fish. The water that the fish live in is used to water the plants along the terrace tops and along the edible wall.
This is a fantastic place for visitors, especially children, to learn how plants are grown and where our food comes from.
Entrance to the rooftop garden and urban farm are free. A word of caution, the climb up is pretty long, and if you are afraid of heights, do not look down as the stairs are made of perforated metal (metal sheets with holes).
#4 Try Your Hand At Free Activities
At the MI (Xiaomi) store, you can play with various gadgets on sale – from smartphones to the MI electric toothbrush and atmosphere lamp. The good thing about touching the product is that you can feel the quality before deciding if you want to buy.
If you are an avid stationary collector, you can head to THINK, your one-stop stationary shop. There is a range of stylish stationary, most of which are imported Japan and Europe. There are thick reams of paper around the store so that you can try out the pens and markers. You can also browse through the specially-designed notebooks and washi tape.
Also, download the CapitaStar app to buy eVouchers using points and gain access to the bike and shower facilities at Funan. With 100 stars, you can enjoy 20% off a mini Bluetooth from Bose. Or, with 200 stars, you’ll receive complimentary hard-shell tacos from Guzman Y Gomez with a minimum spend of $20. In the homepage, you can also book the futsal pitch or reserve parking lots.
No Longer Just A Tech Mall
Funan has a variety of food outlets, electronic stores, and fashion and beauty stores. The pathways are fairly wide and the toilets are clean. Unique features such as the rock climbing wall, futsal court, rooftop garden, cycling path, and 150-seater amphitheatre are great additions that separate Funan from your typical shopping mall.
Other highlights of the mall include the physical Taobao store and Singapore’s largest Love, Bonito store. Clearly, CapitaLand has worked hard with tenants to conceptualise, execute, and build these facilities and amenities.
However, Funan has lost its essence as a tech mall. There is a general feeling that it is too “try-hard” in becoming a family-friendly and lifestyle mall. Nonetheless, with the popularity of buying tech goods online rising, it is no wonder that the management has to innovate and think of ways to attract people into the mall.
If you’ll like to visit with family and friends, it is better to wait for the hype and the crowd to die down before visiting, unless you want to snag some food deals and promotions.
(Top Image: CapitaLand Facebook Page)