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

 

5 must-have dishes to try in Singapore

My husband and I had an unforgettable five-day Singapore holiday last August. From Gardens by the Bay to Universal Studio, we enjoyed every moment of the trip. The husband (Mr S) went crazy about the food he got to try in the wonderful country- it was easy on the pocket, delicious and drastically different from what we get in India (me being vegetarian didn’t go as ballistic about the food).

And here’s a meme about Singaporean food I made:

Takeaway Level Singapore meme

Here are the top Singaporean dishes we loved (the non-vegetarian ones are obviously his picks). All pictures below are clicked by me in Singapore (except for the meme):

First… my favourite- Ice cream sandwich!

Yep- desserts first! When a friend told us about Singapore’s sandwich ice cream, I assumed he was talking about the sandwich we get in India- a slab of vanilla ice cream held between two chocolate biscuits. But the Singaporean ice cream sandwich actually had bread! So a large slice of a special (sweet) bread was wrapped around a ice cream slab of our choice (we chose chocolate chip). That sandwich is among the most interesting food experiences I’ve ever had. Yummmm!!!

Singapore icecream sandwich

Singapore icecream sandwich

Spiced Prawns

This dish was a relatively simple one- prawns were cooked with oil and spices and served with a spicy paste on a leaf. S commented that the prawns seemed super fresh and the spices were a delight. BTW, we had this at the Singapore Food Trails at Singapore Flyer.

Spiced prawns Singapore

Chilli Crab

When you’re in Singapore, you cannot miss the Chilli Crab- S tried this at one of the restaurants at Bugis. He opines that the huge helping of crab cannot be finished by one person, and the sweet-and-tangy sauce is a wonderful play on your taste buds.

Crispy Duck

The Singaporean version of fried chicken, this dish was succulent and had just the right texture. After drizzling the accompanying sauce on the bird, S declared it was the among best duck dishes he’d ever had.

Singapore food menu

Singapore Sling (a no-brainer)  

This famous cocktail is Singapore’s “national drink”. Made with gin and a fix of juices, we had this drink at a local Singapore bar during Happy Hours. Needless to say, we loved it!

PS- Discover Far More Singapore on this droolicious website.