Awesome shopping streets in South East Asia

Shopping (and window shopping) is one of my favourite things to do when I travel to a new city or country. It gives me a feel of the local fashion, an opportunity to discover ideas for new looks and a sense of how the people there like to dress.

I particularly enjoy walking through shopping streets because they’re so much more fun than malls. You get to the see the neighbourhood, the city’s architecture and of course, street life. In this two-part series, I’m listing my favourite shopping streets. The first part covers my favourite shopping streets in Asia.

Hang Gai, Hanoi (Vietnam)

Hanoi’s Hang Gai has everything a fashionista would want: cute boutiques, chic souvenir stores, French-style cafes, local art stores and even a tshirt-only store. I shopped all of these on Hang Gai and in the neighbourhood, stepping into side streets to discover embroidery stores, handcrafted goods and lots of silk! My top buys: A tongue-in-cheek Hanoi tshirt from Ginkgo (local fashion brand) and hand-embroidered pouches. Browsing at local boutiques in Hang Gai and Hang Trong for clothes and accessories is highly recommended! You may just stumble across some unique finds.

Hanoi Vietnam street shopping

Hanoi Vietnam street shopping

Hanoi Vietnam street shopping

Orchard Road, Singapore

Orchard Street is anyone’s dream destination to shop in Singapore, and the craziness begins when you step off the MRT. I bought two pairs of shoes right at the station even before I hit the shopping street above. 😛 The good news is that Orchard Street has a range of malls to suit different shopping budgets. The bad news is, you want to go everywhere. After a lot of disappointments at Orchard Street stores (international brands were cheaper in India and H&M was a disaster), I finally discovered a store at 313 Somerset called Valleygirl that had trendy dresses and tops at moderate prices.

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Bugis Street, Singapore

Yep, two places in Singapore! Bugis Street is a delight if you want to hog while you shop! I shopped there late evening, and bagged cool bargains on tops, lingerie, nightwear and souvenirs. Then we had a very Singaporean snack right on the street- the icecream sandwich. The restaurants on Bugis Street serve good local fare as well. I didn’t venture deep inside the market, which is where the best deals are to be found, but the street-facing and ground floor shops have some great deals!

Bugis street Singapore shopping

Bugis street Singapore shopping

Bugis street Singapore shopping

Bugis street Singapore shopping

 

Announcing the Chic Cleanup Project

Announcing the Chic Cleanup Project

I have an embarrassing confession to make—I have too many clothes. And too many bags and shoes and jewellery.

From pants to night wear, I have them all. But most of all, I have a tonne of casual clothes accumulated over the years. Some chic things I bought during my trip to Spain last year (bags, belts, makeup):

Sometime last year, I told myself I couldn’t really buy any new clothes because I had no space for them on my cupboard. So shopping became an issue. I came back empty-handed from almost every trip to the mall. I’m not really a shopaholic and I don’t buy on impulse, so that didn’t bother me much. But I wanted the cute skirt and the feminine blouse once in a while. And most importantly, I wanted to be up-to-date.

How can fashionista be dress trendy if I have don’t have new clothes to experiment with?

So late 2011, I decided it was time for drastic measures. I had to change my approach to my wardrobe, my shopping, my fashion, my style, and life in general. And the bottomline was:

I needed to get rid of my old clothes and my old life.

And so the cleanup began. I have taken a pledge that’s something like:

  • I will purge my wardrobe of all the “bad” and unnecessary clothes
  • I will adopt a minimal approach to fashion, styling and my life.
  • I will complete this by June 30, 2012.

While typing this, I feel that this does seem a bit self-absorbed – doing a cleanup because I want to be trendy. But it’s now become more than that. It’s about freeing myself from the mess I see everyday and freeing my mind from the “too much” in my life.

Call it declutter, call it taking the Zen approach, call it what you will. It’s ultimately a thorough cleanse of my life and I’m determined to achieve it.

So here’s what I will be doing in the next few months:

  • Throwing or giving away clothes I don’t want or need
  • Shop as less as possible (been kinda successful with this so far)
  • Discovering what and how much I really need in my wardrobe (do I really need 15 tshirts, for instance?)
  • Adopting a “system” to make my life clutter-free and minimalistic
  • Blogging about my experiences and findings!

All I ask, dear readers, is encouragement, support and your tips.

Let the chic (and crazy) cleanup begin!