Saying goodbye to people who have become our family here in Singapore is never easy but finding the perfect leaving gifts to say farewell can soften the blow – for them, at least! Here are some gorgeous goodbye presents to help you bid them adieu.
If you’re looking for goodbye presents that are unique and beautiful, the ‘Farewell My’ series from Ciaolink fits the bill. These framed artistic images are made using pachica, a special kind of paper produced in Japan. The paper becomes transparent under hot stamping and requires advanced craftsmanship. The temperature, pressure and time all have to be controlled to develop dense and complex yet uniform embossing transparency on the delicate paper.
The ‘Farewell My’ series includes iconic sights such as the Marina, Raffles Hotel and Downtown. The frames are crafted in Japan’s Kochi Prefecture, and the packaging is made from recycled cardboard with FSC certification.
Scents of Singapore
Scent by SIX is a Singapore-grown fragrance label specialising in perfumes and home scenting products such as candles and diffusers. The company uses responsibly sourced ingredients and scents reminiscent of Asian climes – think lemon peel, mandarin, jasmine or orchid. By picking one of these leaving gifts your friend will be metaphorically transported back to Singapore in no time.
The 2065 Ujong reed diffuser is owner Jason Lee’s interpretation of Singapore’s future, in the year 2065 (Singapore’s 100-year anniversary). Ujong is a less-commonly used name for Singapore and means ‘tip’ in the Malay language, referring to Singapore being on the tip of the Malay peninsula.
Looking for leaving gifts in Singapore with that personal touch? The artist behind Dami, Beatrice Ng, crafts bespoke papercut artworks. Customers commission Beatrice to create an outline of a memorable Singapore sight and she can then papercut names or a meaningful quote into the scene.
Beatrice has always been fascinated with the older buildings of Singapore and felt that papercut was an unusual and uncommon technique here. She’s happy to work from photographs for these goodbye presents, and prices are according to size and include frame and delivery within Singapore. An A5 piece is $45, A4 $75 and A3 $135.
Sustainable Slice of Singapore
These boards made from Singapore mahogany offer a sustainable gifting option. Recently introduced to the range at The Cinnamon Room, the pieces are made from salvaged wood and make lovely expat leaving gifts. Smaller pieces of wood are retrieved from Singapore timber mills processing mahogany trees for construction and furniture. The boards are then carefully handcrafted and can be personalised with a message.
A limited supply is available at any given time due to the nature of their manufacture. The boards come in five sizes, with prices starting from $85 and an extra $30 for a personalised engraving. All boards come with an SG trees engraving.
Nostalgic leaving gifts
These pieces make great leaving gifts for someone with an eye for design. Louise Hill’s vibrant and detailed prints capture everyday elements of Singapore woven into multi-layered detail. Creating her pieces takes months of photo taking and collecting vintage fabrics and curios, then hours of editing, which eventually results in a digital print containing up to 500 layers.
‘Singapore Typographic’ is a lasting memory of the city using type combined with playful images. You can play ‘spot the Singapore reference’ in this design that celebrates love for the city with a hint of vintage nostalgia.
This piece is available in a range of sizes, printed in Giclee Museum Grade non-fade inks as a stretched canvas, or printed onto high-quality German etching paper and framed behind Acrylic glass. Prices start from $440 for a small size measuring 90cm x 38cm.
Cushion the Blow!
Goodbye presents don’t have to cost a fortune! This plush velvet Lah cushion is just one of a larger collection of cushion covers from quirky Singapore-based design studio wheniwasfour. Other fun pieces include Lor, Sia and Meh Meh covers, as well as plenty of other pieces that combine functionality with a unique Singapore memorabilia-style that would also make great leaving gifts.
Iconic Leaving Gifts
This eco-friendly lunch box with a dash of local Singapore flavour would make great kids’ leaving gifts. Not only does it look great but it’s reasonably priced, is small and light (so it doesn’t need much packing space!), dishwasher safe and BPA-free.
Spot some of Singapore’s iconic hawker cuisine such as chicken rice, satay and curry puff on this brightly coloured lunch box drawn by artist Bok Loong.
This is just one of many Singapore-inspired pieces available at The Art Faculty, a social enterprise started by the Autism Resource Centre as a platform to celebrate the abilities of people with autism and related challenges.
Their range makes them the perfect spot to go shopping for goodbye presents. It features the artwork and merchandise of talented students and alumni of Pathlight School, the first autism-focused school in Singapore. For every sale of artwork and product, its artists earn royalties and learn the value of work and financial independence.
Make it a little easier to say goodbye with one of these iconic ice buckets from Singapore Trading Post (filling it with bottles for your friends is optional!). The Singapore palm logo makes these a popular memento – a reminder of happy times in the tropics. Ranging from small to large sizes, the vessels can cater for intimate dinners to larger soirees.
The silver tarnishes over time, giving it that vintage look. The large gold-finish ice bucket can fit up to nine bottles in it, perfect for sociable friends who love entertaining!
Prices range from $420 to $545 and all come delivered free of charge.
Forbidden Hill is a local fashion and lifestyle brand that reflects its South East Asian inspiration in its designs. Its silk bangles are a combination of rhodium or gold contrasted against pure Thai silk. The silk slides are interchangeable with a selection of 20 colours, so you can choose a few of your leaving friend’s favourite colours for them to mix and match.
The Iskandar makes an especially symbolic gift for friends leaving Singapore. Named after Iskandar Shah, the last of the Maharajahs of the Kingdom of Singapura, the Iskandar bangle is reminiscent of the hypnotically intricate patterns found in architecture across the Malay Archipelago.
We’ve also got some great books available for purchase on our site, including one on colonial homes that makes a great expat leaving gift!
For more helpful tips, head to our Living in Singapore section.