One of the main tourist attractions in Singapore is Orchard Road. It is a one-way street located west of the Central Area. Back in the 1830s, there were orchards of fruits and nutmeg on both sides of the street, thus its name. It was not until the 1900s that the road and its vicinity were developed into a commercial area. Now, the orchards have been replaced with malls and smaller shops, making it the main shopping area of Singapore.
Going to Orchard Road is simple. You can access it by driving, taking a cab, or taking the MRT. The road itself provides an easy walk that takes you from one mall to the next. In fact, if you want to explore different shopping malls, it is best to walk the length of the shopping area. To cross the Orchard and Scotts intersection, you have to use the underground walkway, an air-conditioned walkway system that connects some of the buildings.
There are over 20 shopping malls and shopping centers along the street, ranging from the upscale ones that carry expensive brands to the average ones that sell popular but less expensive items. Ngee Ann City, one of the upmarket malls, is known to be the hangout place for tai-tais. A tai-tai refers to a woman who is married to a rich husband and who takes leisurely trips to the mall to meet friends of a similar status. DFS Galleria, another upscale mall, sells designer items like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bvulgari, Hermes, and Prada.
Far East Plaza offers many items on bargain. It is a favorite shopping destination for teenagers. It has added new upmarket shops recently. Orchard Central is one of the more modern malls in the area. Its first six floors are filled with shops while its last six floors are filled with restaurants offering various cuisines like Japanese and Korean food.
If you long for a stress-relieving massage or a beauty treatment, go and pamper yourself in one of the spas along Orchard Road. Italian-inspired Estheva Spa offers not just massages but also anti-aging treatments, cellulite reduction treatments, face and neck treatments, body scrub, hand spa, foot and leg spa, body wraps, and waxings. Damai Spa in Grand Hyatt, Scotts Road is just a few steps away from the main shopping road of Singapore. The spa offers European, Chinese, Indian, and Malay treatments. It also has a fitness center.
The area is dotted with restaurants and small eateries where you can taste the different flavors of Singapore and even Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Chinese, and Thai food. Restaurants can go from budget to average to expensive. Most shopping malls, such as Lucky Plaza, Far East Plaza, and Cuppy Plaza, have food courts where you can find affordable food minus the fancy ambiance. In Food Republic, found in Wisma Atria food court, you will find hawker carts selling Japanese food at a slightly higher price than most food courts, but the food is excellent.
If you are not too keen on shopping, you can visit the museums. There are several museums along Orchard Road. The National Museum of Singapore showcases the Singapore History Gallery that features the island’s history over 2,800 square meters of multimedia display. Battle Box used to be the British army headquarters during the Second World War, but it has been converted into a museum. It is built with animated figure displays that recount the important events of that time.