It was in 1994 when the much-awaited Great Singapore Sale first dominated the Lion City, with the hundreds of thousands of visitors paving the way for the annual celebration of the sale season. From being held for only a month, the bargain hunting now runs for 10 weeks, specifically from June 9 to August 13 this year. Both locals and tourists can avail of up to 70 percent reduction in original prices—from fashion and jewellery to hotel stays and spa treatments to dining and attractions. Even stores located in the suburbs transform into a shopping paradise during this anticipated time of the year. Below is a rundown of the districts in Singapore, where you can grab deals that give the best value for your buck.
Said to be the most popular shopping street in Asia, Orchard Road is a 2.2-kilometre boulevard that serves as a retail and entertainment hub in Singapore. What used to be lined with fruit orchards and nutmeg plantations in the 1830s is now home to designer labels, upscale dining, and art influences. The hawker centres and wet markets have transformed into supermarkets and department stores, with cinemas and shopping malls also sprouting over the years.
One of the district’s most iconic establishments is the ION Orchard, an architectural wonder featuring glass, marble, and steel. The luxurious shopping complex, which has eight floors across an area of 700,000 square feet, is situated right above the Orchard MRT station. Apart from the high-end designer brands and dining spaces spearheaded by celebrity chefs, ION Orchard also has a free-for-all observatory that grants panoramic views of the entire Orchard Road.
Contrary to the modern aesthetic that Singapore is known for, the country’s Chinatown is a historical enclave featuring traditional markets, shophouse restaurants, and ancient temples and mosques. Through time, however, the neighbourhood started to welcome boutique hotels, interesting cafés, and hipster bars—not to mention the free Wi-Fi connection available throughout the vicinity. Still, the charm of Singapore’s Chinatown lies in its narrow streets lined with hawker stalls and brimming with souvenirs.
Similar to Chinatown, Kampong Glam is also considered as a historical and cultural district in Singapore. Its name comes from the Malay term for little village (kampung) and the tree that grew abundantly in this part of the city (gelam). In earlier days, the area known to be the Muslim Quarter served as the home of the Sultan of Singapore, as well as of the Arab and Bugis traders. Walking through this vibrant neighbourhood reflects its rich history and preserved traditions, yet modern touches in the form of graffiti walls, quirky stores and cafés, and night markets have contributed to Kampong Glam’s trendy vibe.
A heritage district near Kampong Glam, the colourful neighbourhood of Little India is a step back in time. It used to be dominated by Europeans, who chose to settle down in the area for the racecourse it formerly housed, that even the streets of Little India were named after the said residents. Today, the vibrant district is frequented by artists, which also explains the abundance of wall murals in the area. Aside from the Hindu and Chinese temples, Little India is a haven of authentic Indian cuisine, 24-hour shopping, and goldsmith shops. This is also where Deepavali or the Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated in October.