Singapore shopping binge.
Our guide to Orchard Road designer brands, local malls, duty-free shopping, shoe stores for women, cameras, and back-alley deals in head-bobbing Little India. by Jessie Kok. MRT , of course, stands for the Mass Rapid Transit trains that run both underground and above ground throughout most of Singapore. But walking is probably the best method to explore Orchard Road. If you can stand the heat and afternoon downpours just to bag that bargain, consider yourself a true shopping loon. Find the best digs for your trip in our Singapore business hotels review and family hotels roundup. BVLGARI store, Hilton, Orchard Road/ photo: Vijay Verghese. And now on we head into the thrum of glitzy Orchard Road - where mega brands trumpet their wares from every billboard and neon-lit mall - and on to scout back street bargains and local designers with some truly unique offerings. Whatever youre in the mood for, Singapore has it in spades. And yes, the people smile and taxi drivers love to have a yak, often about politics and, no, theyre not government agents, just dads and moonlighters who enliven their shifts with passenger exchanges. Its a cliché but it certainly brings punters back for more. So here’s our big Singapore shopping guide for women, metrosexuals, and men about town. Orchard Road glitz and mega malls. Originally named after the many pepper and nutmeg plantations dotting the road in the 1840s, Orchard Road underwent a S$40 million revamp in 2009 that unveiled widened pedestrian walkways and better lighting. The bustling shopping belt starts off from the busy junction where Wheelock Place (501 Orchard Road, tel:  6738-8660, www.wheelockproperties.com.sg) stands with an unmistakable glass cone built within its architecture. It lights up like a giant Christmas Tree during the festive season.
Road belt – though there is a mind-boggling concentration of designer brands here – that will keep restless shoppers entertained, there are malls and hideaways everywhere from Marina Bay to Sentosa. Best of all, many Singapore shopping malls are quite child-friendly and some lay claim to excellent nibbles and eats for that mid-afternoon pit stop. While it’s a year-round shopping paradise, the best time to visit is during its annual eight-week Great Singapore Sale (www.greatsingaporesale.com.sg), when all kinds of discounts and deals pop up island-wide from late June to August. To kick-start your all-out Singapore shopping spree, there’s perhaps no better place than the much vaunted – and flaunted – Orchard Road , where you can peruse a bevy of shopping malls, conveniently stacked one after the other, all the jolly way from Wheelock Place (near the Orchard MRT station) to Plaza Singapura (Dhoby Ghaut station).