In Singapore, shopping is said to be the national sport,
strongly supported by numerous shopping areas, malls and markets;
at the mid-year Great Singapore Sale, the whole island offers
fantastic shopping discounts. Despite its reputation as an
international shopping destination however, everything sold in
Singapore is made somewhere else, so don''t expect to find local
goods or handmade treasures.
If ethnic goods are what you''re after, however, Chinatown sells
Chinese items like seals and painted fans, and Geylang Serai and
Little India offer a range of Malay and Indian goods. Colourful
Peranakan clothing and artwork is available in Katong.
Low import taxes mean there are bargains to be had, but if
you''ve come to Singapore in search of bargain electronics or
computers, it pays to do some research ahead of time so you don''t
end up paying more than you could have. Singapore''s consumer
protection laws are good though, so most shops are honest and fakes
are not openly sold.
Orchard Road is the main shopping area and features mall after
mall of fashion, furniture and cosmetic shops. There are countless
stores offering every imaginable form of electronic device shoppers
might require, and the street markets and smaller shops sell
Chinese seals and painted fans - good souvenirs. There is also late
night shopping on Orchard Road every Saturday till 11pm.
Exhibitions, fairs and garage sales take place often and offer
many discounted goods. Wet Markets smell bad but sell well-priced
fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, spices and flowers. The general
opening hours for shops are from about 9am to 10pm, but many shops
(especially those in Suntec City and Funan IT Mall) do not open
before 11am. A 7% GST is charged in Singapore, refundable to