Singapore is amazing country where you can find everything from all throughout Asia, due to the many cultures present in this pearl of the Orient. Singapore’s three main groups are Chinese, Indian, and Malay, and you can find exotic goods here from these and many other Asian cultures. Singapore is a shopper’s dream come true.
The best place to start is in Singapore’s bustling Chinatown, where you’ll swear you’re deep in the heart of Beijing. Chinese make up three-fourths of Singapore’s population, and this Chinatown is one of the largest in the world. Throughout the Chinatown district, you’ll see old-style Chinese architecture everywhere, pre-war shophouses, and the ever-present tea houses for a relaxing interlude after a busy day of shopping.
If you go there during Chinese New Year, you’ll be delighted by all the activity, but any time of year is a great time to explore the many shops and small vendor stalls throughout the area. You’ll find just about anything here, and many of the vendors will bargain with you for price.
You can go from China to India in the amount of time it takes to get a taxicab and go across town. The Little India area of Singapore is equally vibrant and full of activity. Shopping here is an incredible experience, and you’ll be surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of India everywhere you turn. Traditional Indian food is widely available here, and you’ll find traditional colorful Indian clothing, including saris, along with colorful jewelry all throughout. If you visit during Diwali, or the Indian festival of Lights (held in October), you’ll be delighted with the remarkable displays throughout the area.
No, you won’t find clog dancers in wooden shoes and tulip-lined streets here. Holland Village has nothing to do with the Dutch (although as a nod to the name of the region, there is a windmill), it was actually named after Hugh Holland, and has come to have a reputation as the alternative culture center of Singapore. It’s a fun place for young people, and you’ll find plenty of out-of-the-ordinary adventures and treasures here.
There’s a large open market in Holland Village with plenty of exotic clothing; and you’ll find plenty of accessories, jewelry, and fun gifts everywhere you turn. After shopping, stop in at a kopi tiam (coffee shop) for a strong cup of traditional coffee, and you can relax and watch the people go by.
If you’re looking for a something more upscale, Orchard Road has it all, with plenty of the larger international department stores, standing alongside trendy boutiques. But much more than a shopping district, Orchard Road features many fine outdoor cafes, as well as street performers to entertain you.
The Great Singapore Sale
Shopping in Singapore is good any time of year, but if you’re there during the eight-week “Great Singapore Sale” between May and July, you’ll get access to some of the best bargains and most unique goods in the country. The discounts are irresistible!