Allegations have been brought against me of the most serious kind. Word has it that I have an addiction to shopping. Perhaps, but even I was overwhelmed with the shopping in Singapore and needed a break. That says something.
I stayed at the Hilton located right on Orchard Road. If you have ever been to Singapore before, you know just how dangerous this street is. Why? It is literally miles of shopping. In fact, stores like Balenciaga, Missoni, Rolex, 3.1 Phillip Lim, just to name a few, were literally attached to my hotel.
Today’s post is dedicated to the sheer awesomeness that is Orchard Road. If you ask a local Singaporean to tell you a bit about this street filled with roughly 2.2 kilometers of shopping, you may hear comments like “oh that is where the tourists shop.” While this may be partially true, you will find locals as well as tourists roaming the thousands of brands to be found at all price points. Singapore is well-known for its beautifully groomed gardens, so the fact that such a prized street holds a floral name makes perfect sense. In the early 1800s, Orchard Road was surrounded by fruit orchards, which is where the street gets its name. Overtime, developers entered the area and begin establishing temples, homes, and markets. It was not until the 1950s that Orchard Road received its first department store. Once the first department store hit, and as the area was transformed into a more residential neighborhood, Orchard Road began to boom with countless hotels and shops. Today, Orchard Road is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world!
Name a store! I can virtually guarantee you they have it. What is even better is the countless stores that are unique to Southeast Asia. While this may sound amazing, be warned. If you have ever felt overwhelmed in your local mall during Christmas shopping season, multiply that experience times ten. Orchard Road is incredibly crowded and the malls that connect both under and above ground can be confusing at times. I specifically recall the urge to scream one evening after I could not manage to find the right exit. It did not help that I had been on my feet for 13 hours, but I digress.
Some people manage to shop at the same group of stores wherever they travel. My policy is simple. If you can get it at home, do not buy it overseas! Believe me when I tell you that the tax refund does not make it cheaper. I roamed Orchard looking for some unique fashions, and I found some. Take a look at some of the great local creations I found!
My absolute favorite time to visit Singapore is during Christmas season because Singaporeans love to decorate. The street was lined with carolers, countless delicately decorated trees, lights, and the like. It was an amazing site to see, especially at night. There were several nights after long days in the office that I just walked up and down gazing at the joys of Christmas decorations. However, the heat and humidity really threw me off when all I heard were songs like “White Christmas”. Here are some of the immaculate decorations you can find during the holiday season. Be advised if you are travelling alone, if you stop to gaze with a peaceful smile, it apparently attracts stalkers. I digress once again…
While Singapore used to be an incredibly cheap country to reside in, this could not be further from the truth. Hotels that would cost you $150 in Los Angeles may cost you $450 easily. Crazy, right?!? If you are looking to shop, there are special discounts available to tourists, and their tax deduction is actually incredibly easy (unlike some countries).
One designer that I absolutely love is Samantha Thavasa. Samantha Thavasa is an amazing Japanese brand whose popularity is slowly rising in the US. There is so much to love about these bags. I absolutely love the range of colors, and they are truly well made. There are designers I won’t name who often have poor stitching or weak colors. In addition to the best colors and quality, I love the fact that they carry a wide line of accessories for your purse. This may sound odd, but various charms, scarves, etc. can really jazz up a look and transform the look of any bag. If you are ever in New York, I highly recommend visiting their store on Madison Avenue. Samantha Thavasa is actually located underground in Singapore at Ion Mall. I challenge you to walk away with nothing. I thought I could, but then this happened.
With my new purchase in hand, I could not resist ending my shopping by celebrating with Hello Kitty. Yes, I am not shamed to admit that I waiting in line to see a Hello Kitty show. It is her 40th birthday after all. When in Asia, spend time with Hello Kitty. That’s a thing, right?
After literally an entire day of shopping, it was time for good food and an amazing view. I highly recommend the Panorama Restaurant on the rooftop of the Hilton. Their truffle risotto and biscottis made me a happy camper.