Shopping is something that is and will always be a universal attraction. People across different ages, cultures, and genders like to indulge in retail therapy once in a while, which is why it isn’t a surprise when a holiday is planned around the activity. Asia is blessed with destinations where one can either splurge or shop within a budget, making the whole continent a shopaholic’s paradise. Whether you choose to head there specifically to shop or incorporate each city as a part of a larger vacation plan, here are ten must-visit Asian shopping destinations.
Bangkok has many a retail charm in its kitty, making it the quintessential shopping destination. It’s safe for women and makes a great girly getaway. Bangkok has something to offer every kind of shopper that comes its way. Head to the Chatuchak weekend market to buy just about anything under the sun; the Patpong Night Market and Rot Fai Market have great bargains to offer; the unique Damnoen Saduak floating market is where you’ll find flowers and vegetables; while malls like Siam Paragon provide for high-end indulgence.
2. Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s capital city offers much to the shopper in you. Most of its shopping areas are clearly demarcated, with each having a unique selling point. If you want to spend lots of ringgit, head to Bukit Bintang and KLCC. Here you can buy Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, and the like at the Pavilion KL and Suria KLCC malls. Berjaya Times Square is where you must be if you love tech products. Petaling Street is perfect for low-cost souvenir shopping.
Since Guangdong is home to factories that manufacture clothing for international brands, its capital, Guangzhou, is the go-to place for those who want to buy a load of stuff at wholesale rates! Here, a variety of electronics can be bought at throwaway prices. For clothes, head to Baima Market and Zhanxi. Beijing Road and the Mall of the World are other popular shopping areas. Don’t forget to pick up local products like jade sculpture and Chinese tea.
Myeongdong is at the centre of Seoul’s shopping scene. It is home to numerous international brands. You will also find the Lotte Department Store here that offers multiple storeys of duty-free and hands-free (buy now pick up at airport) shopping! Most tourists get huge discounts at stores here so make sure to carry your passport with you! Itaewon is the place to be if tailored suits are what you need. Dongdaemun is a wholesale market known mainly for Korean fashion. Here, you can shop for trendy stuff. Its night market is open till sunrise.
5. New Delhi
If junk jewelry and trinkets are your thing, head to New Delhi’s Janpath. Those going wedding shopping can head to Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, and South Extension market for well-priced outfits. You can head to any of the designers’ shops. Khan market, with its myriad offerings, remains one of the most expensive retail destinations in Asia. For a taste of spicy goodness, make your way to Khari Baoli, which is the artisanal spice market in Old Delhi.
Singapore is a small city that packs in quite a punch when it comes to retail therapy. Orchard Road should be your starting point. You can head to ION Orchard or Paragon for high-end shopping. On the cheaper side is the Chinatown Street Market that’s brimming with stalls selling souvenirs, candles, artwork, electronics, and clothing, just like Mustafa Centre in Little India. Haji Lane offers some interesting vintage finds and boutiques. Marina Bay Sands and Vivocity are must-visit malls.
7. Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Kowloon is not only famous for being the home of Bruce Lee but also a paradise for bargain shoppers. Head to the Ladies’ and Jade markets to buy things at cheap prices. The Landmark or “Central” includes all the luxe fashion brands you can think of. The Temple Street Night Market must not be missed by anyone who wants a good deal on clothes, souvenirs, electronics, and footwear! Tsim Sha Tsui’s Harbour City houses 700 stores for you to shop at!
Tokyo’s shopping ambience is as eccentric as Japan is as a country. Shinjuku is an all-encompassing area filled with all sorts of shops. Shibuya is where all the young people go because it is home to shops like Shibuya 109 and other youth-trend stores. Omotesando in Harajuku, dubbed Tokyo's Champs-Elysees, is a boulevard that’s home to luxury fashion stores. Nihonbashi is the historic merchant’s district and isthe perfect place to pick up local crafts.
In between beach and spa jaunts, Bali offers visitors a glorious combination of cheap and expensive shopping. Most of the things to buy reflect the rustic and beachy vibe of the island, sometimes with a luxe twist! It’s a great place to shop for surf and beach wear, designer watches, printed clothes, and fine linen. Kaftans, in every color imaginable, are found in abundance in the Seminyak and Petitenget areas. World-famous Kopi Luwak coffee is an absolute must-buy when in Bali. In the Ubud Market, you can buy local crafts like vintage furniture and handcrafted terracotta.
Dubai has its own shopping festival. Need we say any more? Not only does Dubai offer some crazy discounts and promotions during the festival, it also has something called the “Dubai Summer Surprises,” which is the summer equivalent of the festival. The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates are among the largest in the world and house every brand you can think of. The Deira and Bur Dubai Souks offer the true middle-eastern experience. When in Dubai, shop for gold, electronics, spices, and perfume!
There you have it, a comprehensive listing of must-visit shopping destinations around Asia. You’re probably calculating the conversion rate from your currency to the one used at your shopping destination of choice. Is it the Dirham? Baht? Yen? Or perhaps the South Korean Won? Whichever you choose, make sure to book a hotel through the Cleartrip app. It offers safe, hassle-free booking at great prices! After all, you need a place to “drop” after you shop!