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Have a few hours to spare for gadget hunting? From Tokyo’s vibrant Akihabara district in Japan to the buzzing IT malls of Southeast Asia, here are eight places you’d want to visit for the latest electronics from around the world.
Regarded as the epicentre of global electronics, this is where you’ll find iPhones, Sony headphones, Microsoft PCs and more. Huaqiangbei is also the perfect place to get supplies for kickstarter projects. A word of caution though: Do remember to check the authenticity of the items by paying attention to the brand labels and warranty cards before you make your purchase.
Tips for navigating: You might get overwhelmed with the 20-plus malls here, so head straight to the street level at Shennan Road near SEG Plaza if you’re shopping for phones and drones. For 3D glasses and printers, check out SEG Electronics, and for security and stealth electronics, try the niche stores right behind SEG.
From computers to audio systems to gaming accessories, this is the largest and most famous place in Seoul for wholesale electronics. More than 3,000 stores are located here, with prices that are easily 15-30% lower than at general retail stores.
Tips for navigating: If you’re looking for computer-related products, make a beeline to the first floor of Seonin Mall. For second-hand phones, make your way to the 8th floor of I’PARK Mall for the best deals.
Also known as Akihabara Denki Gai (which translates to Akihabara Electric Town), this is the right place to visit if you’re looking for any retro electronic games, personal gadgets such as phones and PCs or tiny parts for niche electronics. Some 10 years ago, the district was revitalised with the opening of Yodobashi Camera, a major Japanese retail chain that specialises in electronics. Now it has also become a popular hangout for anime fans, with a slew of maid cafes in the district.
Tips for navigating: Located right behind the JR Akihabara Station, the nine-storey Yodobashi-Akiba complex is ideal if you have only time for one stop. Home to the famous Yodabashi Camera store, you’ll find more than just cameras on the first floor. There are also keyboards and printing supplies in the basement, LCD flatscreen TVs on the third floor and audio players on the fourth floor.
Also called the IT hub of Mumbai, the street was named after Lord Lamington, the Governor of Bombay between 1903 and 1907. Today the area is famous for wholesale and retail electronics from the latest computers to rare electronic parts for radios such as transistors, sound cards and capacitors. You’ll even be able to find CCTVs here.
Tips for navigating: Visit Cybersites India if you’re looking for desktops or Visha Electronics for a wider range of computer products.
One of the biggest IT malls in Bangkok, Pantip Plaza is constantly running promotions for shoppers. Look out for weekly deals ranging from handphones to gaming gear.
Tips for navigating: On each floor, the shops that are located nearer the back of the mall tend to have lower prices. But stay clear of the oddly cheap items as they might be counterfeit products. IT Junction on the first floor is where you’ll find small electronic goods and accessories; the second floor is dedicated to cameras and hardware; and IT City, the largest and most organised store here, is located on the top floor.
Located in Bur Dubai, Al Fahidi Street is a shopping bazaar where you’ll find electronic gadgets and more. Watch as the place comes to life at night with bustling shoppers eager to score a good buy under the bright neon lights.
Tips for navigating: The vast district might be overwhelming for some, so locate the end of the Al Fahidi street near Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and work your way to the start at Meena Bazaar. Some shops worth visiting are Sharaf DG and Jumbo for a good mix of electronic products and Seven Wonders Electronics Trading for phones.
A one-stop solution for techies and gadget hunters, Sim Lim Square is a six-storey electronics and IT hub where you’ll find a huge range of consumer electronics, from laptops and cameras to handphones to accessories.
Tips for navigating: Head to Level 1 and 2 for digital cameras and LCD television screens. If you’re looking for computers, components and repair services, these can be found on the higher levels. For peace of mind, choose to shop only at authorised dealers of major brands, such as Alan Photo.
Living up to its name as the largest IT lifestyle mall in Malaysia, Plaza Low Yat in Kuala Lumpur caters to a wide range of interests from mobile devices and gaming to photography and computers. It’s also easy to navigate, with each section of the mall dedicated to specific product categories, from laptops and tablets on the first floor to cameras on the fourth floor.
Tips for navigating: With more than 350 stores in the seven-storey building, it might leave you clueless on where to begin. Do your research before you head over and make your purchases from recommended shops such as Jayacom, Thunder Match and Cycom.
Whether you’re a business traveller with a few hours to spare or travelling for leisure and hoping to check off items on your gadget wishlist, arm yourselves with our handy guide to save time the next time you’re gadget hunting in key cities around the world. While you’re at it, be sure to check the voltage requirements if you’re intending to bring the item back to your home country!
Interested in more tech recommendations? Explore our other tech tips on the blog.