Singapore is a great shopping destination for many, and a serious one at that. The famous Merlion was first designed as an emblem for the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. And to say the least - tourists come galore. Singapore also offers a fascinating cultural contrast and making it one of the must see places. The official opening hours for shopping are from around 9am to 10pm, but on some places they are extended till 11pm. Some pointers on where to shop:
Singapore’s famous shopping areas:
Orchard road: This is Singapore’s most famous shopping area. Many of Singapore's over 250 malls are located on Orchard Road, Scotts Road, Tanglin Road. The street is lined with shopping malls, local and international department stores, tiny boutiques, restaurants, cafes and snack bars. Some of the best five star hotels are also found on this street. Orchard road is known for great clothes, both branded and economical. Electronics like the cameras, hi-fi equipment, video cameras etc. can also be bought at a good price.
For bazaar style, ethnic shopping
Arab Street: This is the place for some true on the road shopping. Cane baskets, floor mats, camel skin bags… you get the drift?! The area is also renowned for batiks from Indonesia and Malaysia. This place is a centre of Muslim community and you will also find headgear (or songkok), prayer mats, the holy Quran etc. You will also find great souvenirs at bargaining prices. Many textile stores offer tailoring. Look out for an "Aladdin's lamp" at Art Emporium or get a custom-made perfume or natural essential oils from Egypt.
For all that is available in China
China Town: This is a culture hub of Chinese migrants. And what you will find here is exotic herbs and spices, medicine concocted of snake skin, seasonal fruits, traditional delicacies like the Sea Cucumbers lying drying in the sun, fortune tellers, pork chops etc.
On the other section you will find Chinese masks, traditional teashops, kite makers, Chinese lacquerware. You will also find Chinese merchants hawk their wares from Singapore t-shirts and traditional crafts, to delicate bales of silk and gold jewellery. Chinatown is best visited when the Lunar New Year is celebrated (January or February) but it is also full of life during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Another good time to visit is during the Hindu festivals of Deepavali and Thimithi, in October.
For all that is available in India
Little India: TheSerangoon Road is for all the nostalgic Indians. Find your self colourful silk saris, bridal ornaments, colourful bangles, silverware, brassware, ethnic jewellery. You will also find ready-made packets of spices, vegetable curries, Indian bed spread and huge posters of Bollywood stars. The best time to visit is during Deepavali, between October and November.