Shopping on Singapore’s Orchard Road: Tips and Ideas

Most people who come to Singapore either Eat then Shop or Shop then Eat or if you are not a big fan of eating then you’d Shop.  Most girls I know who come here go crazy with all the shopping malls and variety of brands.  So today (and yesterday) I went round exploring the shopping scene in Singapore as well as to buy everything that’s on my shopping list for friends and family.  I discovered some new malls and also a new route for which to shop.

Route:
Before Id ‘always just get off at Orchard MRT for shopping at Orchard Road, but this trip I discovered Somerset MRT.  Somerset MRT actually gives you access to the East side of Orchard road which is awesome if you want to shop at Robinsons, Centre Point, 313@ Somerset before making your way to Paragon, Takashimaya, Wisma and ION.

What and Where:

Robinsons is great if you want to buy Vitamins and other health related products.  They have a section in most Robinsons on the same floor as the comestics and there are almost always some kind of sales or promotions.  Compared to Thailand, there are more brands and the promotions are good. Three bottles of 90 gelcaps Alaskan Salmon Fish Oil was on sale for S$57.   Cross the street once you are off the Somerset MRT on the Orchard Road side.

Centre Point is actually the plaza in which Robinsons is located. I ventured out and discovered the HK brand Sasa cosmetic shops which sells cosmetics at a discount to the department stores.  They had some sales of 15% to 20% for products that were normal priced elsewhere.

313@ Somerset is a newly opened shopping mall (for me anyways) and what stood out was the HUGE Forever 21 shop.  This is great if you are a Forever 21 fan.  It goes up 4 stories but beware, on weekends there was a long line to all the dressing rooms.

By the time you’ve walked through all these crowded shopping malls a great place to relax and have some respite from the chaos of people is at Paragon. Just across the street, it is a fairly peaceful shopping mall with slightly higher end brands.  A great place to have lunch though is at P.S. Cafe which is on the 3rd floor.  It’s part of the Project Shop which sells funky clothing, but their cafe is good and sells great food and cakes.  Dishes range from S$15 upwards . (They have a website of course: http://www.pscafe.sg/)  They have other locations too.  If  you want simpler foods at Paragon, they also have Crystal Jade and a basement which has a number of restaurants and coffee shops.  Oh, and if you have kids, Paragon has a Toys R Us shop on the top floor. 😀 

Now to the mega shopping mall of Takashimaya which is a must visit for me.  For girls, I love their shoe section.  There are lots of different brands and everytime I come there is always some promotion.  If you like brands, Tods was fairly crowded and had some lovely shoes and bags to tempt.   Knowing guys (who find it hard to understand why women shop) there is Kinokuniya bookstore on the plaza side of the third floor I think. It’s absolutely huge and I was told one of the biggest in Asia.  So if you don’t want to shop, you can spend a good deal of time browsing through the books.  Note it also gets very crowded on weekends.

In the basement of Takashimaya, I am in happy land  where there is a large section on cooking utensils and housewares.  I love pots and pans and all the baking stuff.  Then on the lower basement there are food and snacks to tempt me.  They have a wonderful Cold Storage Supermarket there which has lots of scrumptious food, and outside there is a variety of japanese cream puffs, takoyaki, hokkaido ice cream..cookies, Royce chocolate, tea as well as a huge section of Harrods.  It used to be a small section, but this time it has significantly grown.  There is also a new more orderly foodcourt where all the korean, vietnamese and other foods have been relocated.  It’s a great place if you want to sit down and have a simple meal.  It’s just very crowded and the noise level can go quite high on weekends.

From Takashimaya, I walked along the underground levels which connect you to Wisma Atria and eventually Ion.  Walk underground, there are lots of shops ranging from Zara, Bossini, Guess, Charles and Keith, Pretty Fit, and Forever 21.  Depending on what you want to look at, there is everything.  Wisma also has Topshop.

Then I arrive at ION which is one of the newest additions to Orchard Road.  If you look at it from outside, it is a beautifully shaped building full of curves and windows.  On the stops up to the entrance where Louis Vuitton and Gucci just blind you with their displays there is a beautiful scultpure of people going about their business.  There is a man reading a newspaper, a lady shopping and a business man rushing by….each in various colours.  Lovely. Ion has a wonderfully large Sephora store where I spent a good deal of time.  They have OPI nail colours and all the usual brands.  Oh, there is also Uniglo 🙂

ION for me is a great place to end the shopping route.  It is directly connected to the MRT station so just follow the signs or ask someone and you can just hop back to your hotel 🙂

Pricewise, I have to say that Bangkok is cheaper.  Bangkok too has a wonderful shopping scene, yet the variety and the intensity in which people shop cannot be compared to Singapore.  Singaporeans go to Orchard to shop, expatriates go to Orchard to shop and tourists go to Orchard to shop.  Even if you don’t plan on shopping much, its definitely a road you should visit to just experience how people can go crazy shopping. 🙂  Happy Shopping!!

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