Covering an area of 83,850 square meters (902,553 square feet), Suntec City Mall is one of the largest malls in Singapore and has a large fountain to accentuate its grandeur. Three floors cater to the needs of locals and tourists alike, with upmarket boutiques from international brands, and a broad array of shops selling home furnishings, lingerie, leisure products, souvenirs and casual wear. French supermarket Carrefour takes up 13,000 square metres (139,930 square feet), offering economical consumer goods, from fashion and food to pharmaceuticals and car accessories. In addition, there are some 70 restaurants, pubs, fast food outlets and food courts to whet your appetite.
Singapore's Champs-Élysées stretches 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) long and is said to have the largest concentration of shopping malls worldwide. Originally a nutmeg and pepper plantation, Orchard Road today is lined with ritzy malls, swanky eateries and luxury hotels from end to end. The more notable shopping centers include Ngee Ann City, Tangs Department Store, Wisma Atria, The Heeren and Centrepoint. Nevertheless, some old portions of the street have managed to escape the bulldozers, particularly the peranakan shophouses near Emerald Hill, built at the turn of the 20th Century.
Although largely scarred by redevelopment, Chinatown today still contains pockets of genuinely old shophouses where age-old trades like clog-making and calligraphy continue to be practiced. Paper effigies of cars, houses and other material objects are still being made for the deceased. These are then burnt, in the belief that they will raise the standard of living of the deceased in the next world. For tea connoisseurs, a visit to a tea house is a must, not only to relish the flavor of Chinese tea, but also to experience the traditional art of tea-brewing.
The Paragon Shopping centre features designer names like Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Escada, Lanvin, Fendi and Prada and some local boutiques like M)phosis and GG5. More fashion can be found at Marks & Spencer on the third level. Local department store Metro Paragon takes up three whole floors. Occupying the top level are some shops specializing in Chinese art and antiques. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on the ground floor, with dining services in the basement area with food ranging from Indian and Thai to international cuisine.
Awash with scents and sights reminiscent of the subcontinent, this is a microcosm of India where every imaginable Indian product can be found: trinkets, sarees, spices, sweetmeats, nose studs, flower garlands and anything else that an Indian household needs. Traces of Hinduism are found everywhere, from the elaborate temples to wall calendars with pictures of Hindu deities. On Sundays, Indian locals and foreign workers flock to the streets of Little India to eat, chat, shop and worship. Hard though it is to walk through the crowds, this is a unique spectacle you should not miss.
This shopping mall with the reddish-brown polished granite façade is one of Southeast Asia's largest, housing the giant Japanese chain store, Takashimaya, and Asia's largest book store, Books Kinokuniya. Seven floors accommodate about 130 specialty stores retailing sporting goods, stationery, jewelery and designer clothes. Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Chanel, and Charles Jourdan are just some of the boutiques serving the more well-to-do shoppers. Top-notch restaurants of international flavors dominate on level four, while in the basement, Harrod's tea room and other food outlets present an eating experience of another kind.