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Shop for fun in Singapore

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SingaporeThe best time to shop in Singapore is during the six-week ‘Great Singapore Sale’ that usually kicks off in late spring.

If there’s one place on earth that combines Western development with Eastern charm, offering travelers the best of both worlds, it has got to be Singapore. One is treated to the indelible marks of a great civilization in the cultural events and festivals this island country has to offer, making it the world’s favorite shopping paradise.

If you were keen on going East, then it would be best to combine Singapore with another exotic locale in the region, such as Bali or some other small island in neighboring Malaysia. This is because, after shopping till you drop in Singapore’s famous malls, you will definitely need a break in some quiet place! The country is in many ways Asia’s engine of economic growth and offers various diversions including shopping, eating, night outs, safaris, unique cultural events and festivals.

Singapore is no longer a bargainer’s paradise, although it does offer enough surprises to shoppers, ranging from the latest in electronic gadgets to fine fabrics. It remains an international marketplace for jewelry, sporting goods, fashion, electronics, watches, and also Asian artifacts and curios.

Orchard Road and Somerset Road, are the most famous shopping districts of Singapore, with major malls like Ngee An City, Wisma, and Far East Plaza dotting the neighborhood. Of course, one could always check out the splendor of shopping complexes like Suntec City and Marina Square located nearby.

If you are looking for bargains, it would be a good idea to venture out of the city center. The suburbs offer as many options as the city center, but prices are typically much cheaper. Take the metro rail and check out Tampines, Bishan, Jurong East, and Yishun for some great bargains. You could also check out Pagoda Street, Smith Street, and areas in Chinatown for antiques. In fact, most tourists are advised to take a stroll down River Valley Road, Geylang, Katong, and Paya Lebar.

The best time to shop in Singapore is during the six-week ‘Great Singapore Sale’ that usually kicks off in late spring. This is the time of the year when most shops offer the best possible discounts and are stocked up with leading as well as local brands.

It would be a good idea to land in Singapore with a wish-list of what you want to take home, as the bright colors and displays in shops could have you returning home with items you didn’t need but ended up buying anyway! While fixed prices are the rule at department stores, there are an increasing number of outlets where bargaining is the rule. Your tourist tag would automatically put you at a disadvantage while starting the price negotiation. A good idea is to ask his best price and then make your counter offer in such a way that you save between 10 and 30 percent over the seller’s price.

And if you still have energy left after the shopping binge, there are several must-do activities.
Splendid Sights: Don’t miss out on the grandeur of the Raffles Hotel, the Zoo, and the Night Safari. The new Esplanade Arts Center and the National Orchid Garden are a must-see in case you are traveling with children. Take time out to visit the Hindu Temples, the Sari shops as well as the splendid Mariamman Temple in Chinatown.

Night out: Check out the bars in the city, indulge in a few drinks with locals or expats at the Fullerton Hotel. A cabaret show or the live jazz at Harry’s Bar are other great options to get the real flavor of Singapore’s buzzing nightlife. You could get some great gourmet at the UDMC Seafood Center as well, though, if you prefer an Indian meal, be sure to check out the Rang Mahal.

Walking Up: And finally, you should devote at least half a day to take in Singapore’s rich colonial heritage around the Padang. Set off from the Raffles Hotel and walk your way to the nearby Boat Quay or Clifford Pier. A jaunt through busy Chinatown or a stroll down Serangoon Road or Club Street after nightfall offers a very different experience, though one that is certainly no less memorable.

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