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HAGGLING IN HONG KONG

From huge malls with big name brands to mid-range centres and colourful markets, Hong Kong has a reputation as shopping heaven for a good reason. One of the top places for some retail therapy is Central, which houses over 250 international brands, while at The Peak Galleria you’ll find an array of shops selling gifts and locally designed products.

Langham Place Shopping Mall is among Hong Kong’s trendiest malls and also provides entertainment in the form the destination’s first shopping centre gallery — Zodiac, the Spiral Stars Gallery. Plaza Hollywood is another highlight, with over 220 shops and restaurants.

But Hong Kong’s vibrant culture is expressed best through its street markets, where locals and tourists alike practise the art of haggling. At Stanley Market, wares peddled include Chinese artwork, silk collectibles and knick knacks. And at Kowloon’s Temple Street Night Market, vendors sell a variety of items such as clothing, watches, CDs, electronic gadgets, and luggage, with food stalls thrown into the mix.

SPENDING IN SINGAPORE

Orchard Road is Singapore’s main shopping artery and this is where you’ll find all the latest fashions. Among the recent additions is the massive Ion Orchard, where the shopping experience ranges from luxury brands such as Prada to high street brands like Topshop. Another new kid on the block is Orchard Central, which also houses the world’s tallest indoor Via Ferrata (climbing wall).

Those with more of a cultural bent can head to districts such as historic Kampong Glam, where you can get a taste of Malay culture. There’s the bustling Bugis Market, Bussorah Street with its mix of old haberdasheries, art galleries and trinket shops, and Haji Lane — a hidden street with independent fashion boutiques and quirky small shops. And Little India is a heady mix of sights, smells and sounds, with Tekka Market boasting a plethora of stalls selling Indian, Malay and Chinese food.

DESIGNER IN DUBAI

When it comes to shopping malls, Dubai likes them big. The Dubai Mall houses over 1200 stores including Guess Jeans, Gap and Manolo Blahnik. For entertainment, there’s the Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre and Dubai Ice Rink. Mall of Emirates, meanwhile, features 350 shops and the world’s largest indoor ski slope.

For designer fashions, head to the upmarket BurJuman mall, a one-stop shopping destination for every label ranging from Dior to Louis Vuitton as well as the ultra fashionable Saks Fifth Avenue store. The equally stylish Boulevard at Jumeirah Emirates Towers is home to even more of these high end brands.

For a more authentic Arabian experience, guests should visit one of the local souks or markets. From the narrow alleyways of the gold, perfume, spice, electronics and textile souks in Deira and Bur Dubai, to the more modern re-creations at the other end of town, there are plenty of places where you can test your bargaining skills.

Source: Travel Weekly Australia

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