From Singapore Hotels & Singapore Lifestyle
Shopping is the second national obsession in Singapore - after Food - and the retail onslaught will either seduce you instantly into maxing out your Credit Cards and emptying your wallet or send you screaming back to your Hotel room to shiver under the blankets.
Singaporeans are known to be shopaholics and to have a higher propensity to shop than North Americans. It is part of the Singapore lifestyle and Culture, and Singaporeans are proud of it! While an American family will go Fishing, Climbing, or do other Outdoor Activities in their free time; Singaporeans and their families on the other hand are likely to want to spend the day in an air-conditioned Shopping Malls, go to the Movies and Eat. Perhaps this reflects on the warmer climatic conditions in Singapore. Some Singaporeans would even argue that shopping can actually be good for your health. Walking around stores, Shopping Malls, or outlets can burn calories. Walking around a Shopping Mall all day is pretty much the same as walking on a treadmill at the Gym all day!
Though its reputation as a bargain hunters' paradise has lingered, Singapore is no longer a match for neighbouring countries like Malaysia or Thailand. However, what does lure many visitors is the sheer simplicity. There's no urban chaos to negotiate, it's easy to get around (even laden with shopping bags), you rarely have to haggle or worry about rip-offs and the choice and quality are generally excellent.
And there are bargains to be had. If you are thinking of buying something specific, check out the price before you leave and then compare it with what's on offer in Singapore.
The best items to pick up are Electronics (which can be cheaper here, but you need to shop carefully and arm yourself with the standard retail price before looking for bargains), Art and Antiques (unless you're travelling on to other Southeast Asian countries) and Clothes. Books and CDs are also cheaper than in most Western countries.
One of the greatest pleasures, though, is simply browsing, whether you are gawping at the S$1,000 handbags in an Orchard Road boutique, picking your way through the small neighbourhood shops of Little India or Kampong Glam, or venturing out to one of the towering sub-urban malls (now affectionately known as "Orchard in the heartlands").
The best time of the year to Shop, if you can cope with the crowds, is during the Great Singapore Sale, held every year from the end of May to the beginning of July - and sometimes extended for a week or two if retailers are feeling the pinch that year. Many stores offer discounts at this time but, again, it pays to Shop around. For details on this and other Shopping possibilities, refer to a copy of the Singapore Shopping Guide, free from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) offices. Also check out the free monthly magazine Where Singapore, which has the latest on the Shopping scene.
Shopping in Singapore
- Shopping Directory
- List of all Shopping Malls in Singapore
- Online Shopping
- Type of Consumer Goods & Services for Visitors
- "Boost from a national pastime", Pg.28, Business News, TODAY, Wednesday, January 25, 2006