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Orchard Road Shopping Paradise
When in Singapore... if your shopping fever tickles you or, if you're drooling for a bite, then don't leave Orchard Road out.
A glamour rest, Orchard is a place where the rich roam like sardines in the ocean... Boutique hotels, jewelry stores, fine restaurants and luxury cars everywhere on the streets.
Of course, it's not just for the ladies... but it's leave your jaw open with all the high-end stores... from Gucci, Cartier to Tiffany's...
But first: pay a visit to the Orchard Road official site, it's worth checking it out first!
This is one of Singapore's biggest shopping areas and probably the most notorious one...
I honestly found it the biggest, most impressive: it boasts in luxury, high-end shine, but there's also a "cheap chinese shoe and shirt store" side of Orchard.
To get there, you have to take the red MRT line and disembark at Orchard station.
I almost immediately noticed the rather unusual pagoda-topped skyscraper (as you can see on the image on the left)...
It is the local Marriott Hotel... High-end, high prices...
I saw an offer "from 331 SGD per night", which is 264 USD at the time I'm writing this.
...and that's just the lowest price they promote. It gets a lot higher than that.
But overall, I could say, Orchard is where the rich Singaporeans hang out...
Some of the finest bars and restaurants are found here and some of the best hotels.
Besides curiosity, I also came here to swap money. I had a surplus of Turkish liras and I needed more Singaporean dollars...
This trip was costing me a heck-of-a lot more than I had previously anticipated and calculated.
But the tricky guy at the exchange booth didn't give me the proper amount of dollars (the snake!). I didn't take it, just left it there, pointed to it and told him he needs to give me more. So, he finally did give me the correct amount.
No matter how strict Singapore's laws are, I was still faced with attempts of swindles, frauds... See my previous trip's Sim Lim experience.
There was plenty of green in the area, including on building roofs...
Quite agglomerated too, I'd say even more than in many areas of the Downtown Core. Orchard was full of people moving around.
It's not just locals, but also the tourists that roam in the area. You'll love it, don't you dare leave Orchard out, when in "Lion City"!
Ngee Anh City
Orchard Road has 2.2 km (1.36 mi) in length and it's a retail and entertainment nest.
You could easily spend an entire day shopping and eating around and, entertaining yourself.
One of the most prominent malls and also one of the main attractions in the area - I am talking about the Ngee Anh City.
Entrance to Ngee Ann City
The Ngee Anh City mall is the largest shopping mall in the Orchard area and it's filled with jewelry stores!
Wicked: it's actually found at the location where a huge Chinese graveyard used to be...
Actually, the shopping centre bears the name from the person who managed the burial ground (Ngee Ann Kongsi).
But why "city" why not "mall" or "shopping centre"?
Probably because it's huge!
It has a staggering 29 floors and 130 stores, which is jaw-opening, indeed... but wait 'till you see the interior...
I was amazed by the boasting rich shops in there...
Anyway, there is a certain elegance to the building itself.
I loved the two lions that guard the entrance (see the photo on the left).
But I wasn't there to shop diamond rings...
I walked around and I couldn't help noticing the abundance of flowers and green plants. It seems they're taking extra care to make the area look loyal to the name.
Oh, let's not forget mentioning that in the beginning, the Orchard area used to be covered with fruit and spice plantations (including pepper plantations), therefore the name of "Orchard".
You can sit down and take a rest in the middle of flowers and green plants
One of the main attractions in the Orchard Road area is the Istana, a palace where the President of Singapore resides.
One with a modern look, but whose history dates back to 1867.
Really weird statue: the "big guy" squashing the "little guy"... That's not at all courageous, nor manly!
I had no time to visit the Istana during this second trip either... Remains for next time!
I should also note the fact that some of the most expensive high-rise apartments in Singapore are found in the Orchard area.
"Lucky" foreign businessmen frequently rent out luxury apartments here.
There's also a collection of art pieces like statues here and there along the road. Like the one here on the right...
Obviously, a shopping district like the one at Orchard Road must always be maintained exciting, colourful, so in order to make it less boring, they scatter artwork here and there...
Some of the most important shopping centres in the area: Ngee Ann City, Orchard Central, Orchard Point, ION Orchard, Wheelock Place, 313@Somerset, DFS Galleria, The Paragon, Tang Plaza, Forum - The Shopping Mall, Palais Renaissance, Liat Towers, Wisma Atria, Plaza Singapura, Lucky Plaza, Far East Plaza, Mandarin Gallery.
To the east, you will encounter the Bras Basah Road and not far from it is the Bugis area - both are shopping areas, but none of them is as bustling high-end as Orchard Road!
Read back, see my first Singaporean trip's posts on Bras Basah and Bugis street.
By the way, in addition to more than two-dozen shopping malls, Orchard is also home to more than a dozen high-end 5-star hotels...
Wicked human figures
Because I wasn't there for shopping, did my (typical) architecture exploration tour and enjoyed it quite a lot!
Let me advise you to pick your time to visit Orchard during the June-July Great Singapore Sale period, when massive price discounts occur, so it's great for bargain hunting. Also: June is the best month to visit Singapore (weather-wise).
Interesting pointed building
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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