Shopping is a serious business in Singapore. Designer fashions, handcrafted jewelry, Khmer objets d‘art, cutting-edge electronics, Indian spices—the variety of goods sold in Singapore is likely to impress even the most seasoned shopper.
Here you’ll find an island well suited to full-day retail expeditions, from the mile-long strip of shoulder-to-shoulder mega-malls along dizzying Orchard Road to clusters of boutiques housed in the renovated shophouses in ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown and Kampong Glam. A growing number of independent shops are popping up within hip neighborhoods like Tiong Bahru and Little India, adding some welcome variety. Dempsey Hill, best known for its wining and dining, is also home to warehouse-like galleries filled with Southeast Asian antiques, artwork, furnishings, and housewares.
Bargain hunters should mark their calendars for the Great Singapore Sale, an annual eight-week extravaganza held from late May through July. At this time all of Singapore’s shopping centers and many independent stores slash prices by up to 80%. It pays to come early, though, as the biggest bargains are quickly snapped up by hawkeyed locals and zealous shoppers from around the region who flock to the island specially for the event.