Most vacationers are looking for your run-of-the-mill experiences like fun attractions, relaxation, and partying. But there are few who look for more. They want to experience the culture of that place. They want to explore places where culture comes alive.
Shopping is an integral part of any culture and this should be experienced too. If you too are a unique traveller like that, the only place you should consider is Singapore. This melting pot of various cultures and shopping haven, never ceases to amaze tourists. So, pack your bags and open your heart to an experience that is life-changing.
The cultural aspect of Singapore is so strong that even a Half Day City Tour Singapore takes tourists to places where they can experience local culture. Singapore was once war-torn and colonized. But it recovered well, mainly because of the industrious locals and immigrants, collaborating and rebuilding the nation. Today, all the descendants of the immigrants have their own place in Singapore, and consider themselves Singaporeans, without having lost their cultural identity. Only in Singapore can you see such harmony.
In Chinatown, you will find Chinese immigrants who have been here for the longest time. Everything you’d expect from a place like this is present here. Tiny streets full of shops, hawkers selling food, ancient Chinese medicine shops, souvenir shops and more, you will find it all in Chinatown. This place is always packed with people, most of them are mainland Singaporeans and tourists. Many of them come to see ancient temples like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. It is believed that the temple holds a left canine tooth of Lord Buddha himself. There are other temples here as well, and a few mosques.
Chinatown is most famous for their authentic food and bargain shopping. You can dine comfortably at the Chinatown Food Street, where you can indulge in various foods like satay, stir-fried noodles, wontons, etc. There’s an air-conditioned dining area here. It is quite a gastronomic experience. Later on head to Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Temple Street, Smith Street, or Sago Lane. Here, you can shop and bargain to your heart’s content.
Another place that is popular on the every Singapore City Tour itinerary is Little India. As you can guess by the name, this is where all the Indian settlers stay. Many of them had been brought over by the British who had colonized both India and Singapore. But quite a sizeable number have been here for more than a century. If you like Indian food, this is the place where you can grab a hearty Indian meal. The taste is so authentic that you will feel like you are dining in India. Also, always end your meal with South Indian filter coffee. It is exported from the Southern states of India and it is delicious. There are also many temples here that are over a century old. During festival time, they are decked up, and become the epicenter for celebration.
Little India is also home to the famous Mustafa Centre. Whatever your shopping need be, it will guaranteed be fulfilled at the Mustafa Centre. There are also weekends markets all over the place, and the streets are decorated in lights, making a festive atmosphere. These are also good places to shop for cheap yet durable stuff. Little India is an iconic place to experience Singaporean cultural harmony.
This place was once the epicentre of Malaysian aristocracy, then later Britishers from the East India Company, and today, they have a concentration of many ethnic communities, but mainly Malaysian and Arabs. The area is known for culture, history and lifestyle avenues. Since you are inclined towards culture, the first place to check out here is the Malaysian Heritage Centre. Here, you will be able to trace the complete history of the Malaysian culture in the area, and it’s importance in Singapore. You’ll spend so much time lost in the experience that you are sure come out feeling hungry. So, in the same area, you can find restaurants and street stalls serving Malaysian, Middle Eastern, Swedish, and even Japanese food here.
For shopping, head to Haji Lane, Arab Street or Bussorah Street. In these places, you can find traditional stuff, ethnic wear, Persian carpets and even modern boutiques. You are guaranteed to have a gala time shopping. Kampong Glam is one of those places whose influence will stay with you once you visit. It should be a stop on every city tour to Singapore.
Now that you know about the shopping experiences that await you in cultural areas, here’s a look at the shopping opportunities in mainland Singapore. The city is packed with mega malls that are home to the biggest brands in the world. Most of them are of international standards, and you will find the best products here. Another great place to shop is at Quays like Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, etc. They have good retails stores.
There are also many offers ongoing sales throughout the year in the malls and retails. The best part about shopping in Singapore is that you are entitled to get a GST return. Apply for it when you come to Singapore, save up all your shopping receipts, and get a refund of GST when you are about to return. This fact alone draws in many shoppers from around the world.
So, don’t wait anymore. Plan to visit Singapore at the earliest to experience culture and shopping like never before.
Akshay Koranne is a travel blogger who works for Visit Singapore. In. He likes travelling across the world and sharing that experience through blogs and articles. Apart from blogging and travelling he likes to spent time in playing Cricket and Chess.
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