Singapore, which is also called the Lion City, is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia. But whatever it lacks in size, it compensates with its rich culture, colorful art forms, delectable cuisine, impressive architecture, etc. It is known, not only in Asia, but all over the world to be a great destination to any traveler seeking new adventures to experience and new sights to discover.
Anyone would surely enjoy the various Singapore walking tours that can be done to explore Singapore. In some walking tours, you will probably come across this particularly popular road where one will be drowned with beautifully decorated show windows and gigantic shopping malls. Iâ€™m actually referring to Orchard Road which is considered the core of Singaporeâ€™s retail and entertainment scene. It attracts both locals and tourists alike mainly because it is truly a shopperâ€™s paradise â€“ the place where you can purchase whatever your heart desires.
You can get to Orchard Road by taking any of the available means of transportation that are available like the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), buses, or taxi cabs. You can get more information as to how you can explore Singapore by reading Ways to Explore the Lion City of Singapore.
Orchard Road starts just before the Scotts Road/Paterson Hill intersection and ends at the Handy Road intersection. This long stretch of road also has wide-reaching underground pedestrian walkways that connect malls and other streets within the area. It should also be noted that the Istana, which is the official residence of the current President of the Republic of Singapore Mr. S R Nathan, can also be found on Orchard Road.
But do you know why this road is called Orchard Road? It is said that Orchard Roadâ€™s name was based on the numerous orchards that can be found in this area before the 20th century. But a time came when plague infested the land and killed all the trees. Fortunately in the 1970s, Tangs was established on Orchard Road. Later on, other prominent structures like Meritus Mandarin Hotel and Plaza Singapura followed suit. This paved the way for more landmarks to be built and transformed what used to be the home of orchards and plantations to the ultimate shopping destination that it is today.
There are so many malls to visit along Orchard Road and a lot of them are my personal favorites!
I make sure that I visit Ngee Ann City which is considered the largest shopping mall on Orchard Road. It has a Takashimaya, which is a known Japanese Department Store. But my favorite shop here is the bookstore called Books Kinokuniya. I can spend numerous hours here just going over their wide selection of books. If I donâ€™t find the book that Iâ€™m looking for here then I can always go to Wheelock Place where I can do some more book hunting at the Borders Bookstore.
Another mall that is worthy of a visit is Plaza Singapura which you will find right beside the Istana.Â This is linked to the Dhoby Gaunt MRT Station and houses a Carrefour, cineplex and assorted shops. The next one is Wisma Atria, connected to the Orchard MRT Station, which has an Isetan outlet. Another high end shopping mall that you should not miss is Paragon Plaza. It has a Metro department store and other high-end boutiques.
Tangs is known as an Asian lifestyle store that carries exclusive merchandise that includes personal care products and other international labels. Forum the Shopping Mall is also interesting. It is known to carry childrenâ€™s items and accessories. One of my favorite shops in this mall is Toys â€œRâ€ Us. If you are looking for unique yet inexpensive finds then you should head over to the Far East Plaza, a mall that is a favorite by the young crowd. You can purchase CDs and other fashion accessories here. If get hungry from all those shopping, you will surely find a food outlet here that will suit your taste and budget.
You can walk the entire length of Orchard Road to explore other malls like Lucky Plaza (PhilippinesÂ focused mall), The Hereen Shops (for the young and hippy crowd), The Centrepoint, Shaw House and Centre, Mandarin Gallery, OG Orchard Point, Palais Renaissance, Liat Towers, and many more.
Aside from shopping malls, you will also find a lot coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and hotels along Orchard Road. The accommodation choices in Singapore include Hotel Grand Central Singapore,Â Royal Plaza Hotel on Scotts Singapore, Sha Villa Hotel Singapore, Traders Hotel Singapore, and YWCA Fort Canning Lodge Singapore among others.
It is quite hard to imagine bustling Orchard Road to be lined with only towering fruit trees once upon a time. The trees are now replaced with gigantic shopping malls that don’t bear fruits but offer sweet and juicy merchandise that will surely make your mouth water.
The fruit bearing trees are no longer there but still there are huge department stores, bookstores, and boutiques that produce great shopping finds that are yours for the picking.