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Shopping in Singapore
Singapore shopping is a great attraction for the tourists, mainly because of its vast selection of air-conditioned shopping malls. Retail therapy is constantly promoted, whether for shopaholic locals or for tourists, especially during the Great Singapore Sale from late May to July. During this time, most shops in Singapore have amazing bargains, sometimes 70% off, and grabbing them is almost a national obsession.
Key areas
Bugis Junction, whose dark alleyways were once the haunt of Singapore's transvestite community, is now a glass-covered air-conditioned street known as Parco, incorporating shop-houses, modern outlets and a huge Japanese department store.
Near Singapore's financial district is Chinatown, cultural hub of the Chinese migrants and a colourful web of streets and alleys with a wealth of artefacts, jewellery, clothes, food and medicines behind traditional Chinese shop-house fronts. Tanjong Pagar is filled with traditional teashops, Chinese lacquerware, kites and Asian handicrafts.
Little India, on and around Serangoon Road, is a treasure trove of sumptuous textiles, as well as spices, jewellery, handicrafts and cheap Indian CDs. The Mustafa Centre, a three-storey emporium open 24 hours, sells mainly electrical goods at fixed prices and offers excellent deals, although it is worth checking the warranty.
Singaporeans love Sim Lim Square (Bugis) for discount electronic goods; six levels stacked with cameras, computer equipment, pirate CDs, hi-fi and video equipment. Again, visitors should check for a valid warranty and not be tempted by pushy sales staff. Funan Centre (City Hall) has dozens of computer shops on each floor at competitive prices.
The suburbs are making their mark on the shopping scene, offering a different flavour to the main retail areas. Holland Village has a bohemian air, with antiques, Asian arts and vintage clothes shops among glam wine bars and restaurants. Laid-back Changi Village seems far from the frenetic air of the city, with bargains in everyday clothes and household goods.
The night market at Bugis Village, opposite Parco, still has the charm of its past years, while Pagoda Street market and Trengganu Street are best for souvenirs, gifts and bargains, and stylish and cheap Chinese clothes. For food, the Tekka Centre (also known as KK Market) is a busy wet market with fish, fowl, flowers and more.
One of the best flea markets is at Clarke Quay, 3 River Valley Road, every Sunday 1000-1800. The flea market outside Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road, is mainly for fashion and is open the first and third Saturday of every month 1700-2300.
Shopping Destinations
Orchard Road is the central retail district in Singapore and is lined on both sides with shopping malls, including the flagship ION Orchard. Ngee Ann City is the most famous mall of all with more than 100 speciality stores, including Kinokinuya, Asia’s largest book store.
Centre point, in the middle of Orchard Road, is home to Robinsons, Singapore's oldest and award-winning department store. Delfi Orchard has Waterford crystal and Wedgewood china, and Orchard Towers has Thai silk, antiques and leather among its small shops. Wisma Atria and Wheelock Place also have an excellent selection of brands, cafés and restaurants.
At the top of Orchard Road, where it meets Tanglin Road, the Tanglin Shopping Centre hoards some of Asia's finest statues, carpets and antique furniture.
The junction of Cross Street, New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Seng Street has modern shopping arcades including department store Yue Hwa Chinese Products, Chinatown Point housing the Singapore Handicraft Centre, and People's Park Complex. You can find everything from electrical goods to textiles here.
Chinatown is famous for its food, shopping and culture. You can find lots of nice Chinese restaurants with delicious Chinese cuisines. There are also a lot of stores and shops for you to shop too.
Bugis Street - If you are into trendy street wear, Bugis Street is the right place for you. One thing to note when you are shopping at Bugis Street is that you should not take the first offer as the final offer. Some unethical sellers will purposely increase the price of their goods when they are selling to tourists. So always remember to negotiate.
Vivo City is the largest shopping center in Singapore. It is located at Habour Front and is very near Sentosa. Sentosa is an offshore island that is famous for its beach and sight-seeing. Shopping at Vivo is a great idea because after a day of shopping, you can take a cable car to Sentosa and enjoy the nice night scenery with your love ones.
Sim Lim Square - At Sim Lim Square, you’ll find all sorts of gadgets, from laptops to digital cameras. Tourists can enjoy tax free shopping at Sim Lim Square. Before you buy something to save, make sure that you negotiate with the seller to get a better rate.
Holland Village Shopping - At the open market, you will find made-in-Asia wearables, trinkets and Crocs footwear. In the air-conditioned comfort of the Holland Village Shopping Centre are some fantastic finds from all over Asia – arts & crafts, carpets, antiques, fashions and footwear for large sizes, optical wear, home furnishings and more.
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