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Singapore's insider take:

The business card of Tong Mern Sern Antiques forewarns all who enter this black hole of bric-a-brac: "We buy junk and sell antiques. Some fools buy and some fools sell" (51 Craig Rd., off Neil Rd.; 65-6223-1037). Whichever you are, no visit to Chinatown is complete without a peek into this treasure trove, the contents of which overflow onto Craig Road. Climb to the back where expert restorers are rebuilding Singapore's history, one Art Deco side table at a time. For colonial souvenirs, try the well-priced Ancient Antique Furniture (16 Mohammed Sultan Rd., 65-6844-6006). Travelers drawn to the home-ware heritage of Indonesia may be overstimulated by the copious selection of Javanese hand-carved desks, woven cane planter's chairs, and Balinese princess beds at John Erdos Gallery (83 Kim Yam Rd.; 65-6735-3307; Those who prefer the antique textiles of Burma, North Thailand, and Cambodia will appreciate Isan Textile Gallery (42 Jalan Kembangan; 65-6442-4278; It's located off the beaten path in Kembangan, but the museum-quality collection of owner and textile expert Percy Vatsaloo makes it work the trip.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.