Set in the central south part of the island, Orchard Road is Singapore's shopping hub. Much of the one- kilometre stretch is populated by palatial, air-conditioned shopping malls and quick-fix cafes to fuel shoppers. This consumer paradise sells every designer label, household brand name and electronic gadget imaginable. Shoppers start at the top with home decor at Tanglin Shopping Centre then head south towards the towering pagoda of the Marriott, which pinpoints the junction with cosmopolitan Scotts Road. Cold local Tiger beers are on tap in the traditional Chinese shophouses on Emerald Hill, a quiet turning off Orchard Road.
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The Singapore River starts at the southern harbour near Marina Bay, meandering through districts south of Orchard on its way. From the quaint greens of The Padang cricket ground, it curves past the grand facades of the Asian Civilisation Museums and Parliament. The banks are illuminated at dusk with the river's bar-front nightlife at Boat Quay and Clarke Quay's. Take a taxi boat past the party people for tranquil dining at low-key Robertson Quay.
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Chinatown and the Financial District
Singapore's business area is a huddle of glinting skyscrapers on the south bank of the river above Raffles Place MRT Station. Walk further south into neighbouring Chinatown where architectural giants merge with the timber-clad shophouses and low-storey Chinese shopping centres. Food stalls sell savoury carrot cake while street opera singers chant at the Chinese night market on Trengganu Street and Pagoda Street.
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