If shopping is an important part of your holiday fun, I have one word for you: Asia. This continent is famous for being a shopper’s wonderland. There is something for everyone; from name brand and fashion label big spenders to those searching for a bargain or a little local flavour. Here are some of the east’s top shopping spots:
Hong Kong = hello!
Hong Kong has long been voted and written about as the best place to shop in Asia. From the lights and energy to the noise and throngs of people, Hong Kong is buzzing. The city is small enough that you can get around easily and the public transport network is frighteningly efficient. All you’ll have to worry about is where to go first because you can buy anything here; from electrical goods and cheap clothing to international fashion brands.
Popular places to shop: SOHO, Causeway Bay, Festival Walk and Kowloon.
Bangkok = bargain!
Thailand’s capital city is a shopper’s haven, provided you have some patience and a good bartering brain. Budget rip-offs and handicrafts. Fashion brands and Thai silk. You’ll find everything on earth to buy in this city and sometimes it’s all in the same place.
Popular places to shop: Khao San Road (especially for the youngsters), Central World Plaza (the biggest mall in Bangkok), Chatuchak Market, MBK Mall and Siam Discovery.
Singapore = splurge!
Singapore is fast catching up to Hong Kong on the electrical goods front. And there are a huge number of malls, centres and fashion outlets offering an array of shopping choice. There is a sale on somewhere almost year round, so if you’re feeling spontaneous, you could leave with bags of bargains.
Popular places to shop: Lucky Plaza (perfume and cologne at low prices), Haji Lane (vintage shopping), Parco Marina Bay, Chinatown and Little India.
Seoul = shopping spree!
South Koreans are well-known for their fashion sense and style. In the capital city, you will find a good mix of markets and high end stores. But it has to be cosmetics which tourists are most likely to buy while visiting this beauty-mad country.
Popular places to shop: Namdaemun Market, Dongdaemun Market and the Myeongdong shopping district.
Kuala Lumpur = shopping sense!
Malaysia’s biggest city is so full of malls, you can often walk from one to another without going outside. Like most other large Asian cities, you can purchase just about anything here. Don’t forget the night markets either. Petaling Street is a sea of colour, sights and sounds.
Popular places to shop: Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Starhill Plaza and Petaling Street.
Tokyo = temptation!
Japanese people love fashion and style and the proof is in the shopping choice. Well-known Japanese and international brands stand side by side and you can easily find the latest electronic goods and anime products.
Popular places to shop: Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Bay, Shinjuku and the backstreets of Harajuku, Shibuya and Ebisu.
Markets of south-east Asia = mesmerising!
Don’t forget about the beautiful merchandise to be found at the night markets in Siem Reap, Cambodia. You’ll find handicrafts, silks, recycled goods and souvenirs galore.
Why not have something tailored in Hanoi or Hoi An, Vietnam; a suit, a winter jacket or a pair of shoes perhaps? The country is fast becoming the shopping capital for tailor made clothing at affordable prices.
By: Philippa Francis