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China Square Central is a popular hub for shopaholics in the Central Business District. Opened in 2002, this modernized 15-story office structure with rows of shops and restaurants is a true one stop shop for everyone. From a quick bite to a lavish meal, great drinks and good coffee to fabulous shopping, there is a lot one can do in this bustling mall.
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. The many tea houses are a wonderland for the tea connoisseurs, as they do not just enable one to taste the authenticity of Chinese tea, but also promises an insightful escape into the the traditional art of tea-brewing. A stirring nexus of pleasant sights and aromas, Chinatown, at once, strikes as a bright scarlet canvas which is a soulful amalgam of history, culture and ancient architecture. Sheltering a treasure trove of religious places of worship including the Thian Hock Keng temple and Sri Marriaman Temple, Chinatown is embellished with various winding thoroughfares adorned with vibrant, historic establishments which have captured the imaginations of many. This teeming quarter also hosts a hive of hawkers, markets and restaurants serving up delectable, traditional cuisine. Its buildings awash in an amalgam of traditional, Victorian and Baroque architectural styles, Chinatown is especially enlivened with a million lights and fiery hues of red and golden during the Chinese New Year.
What was once a humble expanse of water has, over the years, snowballed into a monumental waterside arena. Stippled with a wealth of luxurious hotels, bars, restaurants and other entertainment establishments, Marina Bay is the ground of a ravishing nighttime revelry. With the the Marina Square Shopping Mall, Millenia Walk, Suntec City and Raffles City in its vicinity, along with a lot of other smaller shops and boutiques in the area, it is a fabulous destination for shoppers. But that's not all. It is also one of the island-city's most prominent tourist attractions like ArtScience Museum, Marina Barrage, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Gardens by the Bay and The Float. Flanked by the sparkling blue waters of the sea, this teeming complex is a wonderland of recreational activities like fishing, walking and running. The cutting-edge Marina Bay Sands hotel is the highlight of the bay, while a string of events like i Light Marina Bay add to its exuberant fervor. Laced by a tapestry of sleek and soaring high-rises, Marina Bay is draped in the kind of increasingly-cosmopolitan vigor that embodies the Central Area of Singapore.
Stumbling upon Haji Lane among the sleepy streets of the Kampung Glam area is a pleasant surprise. Still a well-kept secret by the locals, Haji Lane's transformation from a quiet backstreet to an effortlessly chic shopping street is commendable. For indie music lovers, check out Straits Records for an eclectic collection of records you won't be able to find at your regular HMV. Fans of vintage threads should swing by the House of Japan. Likewise for one-off affordable jewelry finds, visit COL:LAGE at 61 Haji Lane. After all that shopping, rest and relax at one of the many Middle-Eastern cafes dotting the area like the Altazzaq Egyptian Restaurant and dine alfresco in the backstreets of Singapore.
Dubbed as the 'Champs-Élysées of Singapore', Orchard Road is a wonderland for shopping. A close-knit nexus of shopping malls, boutiques and stores, this brimming shopping boulevard stretches 2.5 kilometers (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, fashionable eateries, salons 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, these juxtapose with some entities of the bygone era like the Peranakan shophouses near Emerald Hill, built at the turn of the 20th Century. Peppered along the course of the road is a tapestry of scintillating establishments including art galleries, restaurants and bars which shine out in pleasant contrast with the brilliant retail establishments which frame its luxurious tenor. A canvas of unhindered luminescence and droves of excited shoppers come night, Orchard Road is a seamless amalgam of cutting-edge shopping facilities and a treasure trove of entertainment.
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.