Aside from food, there are travelers that are likely to choose their next destination according to its shopping appeal. Believe it or not, East Asia is like a shopping mecca. If you have gone shopping in New York, Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Milan, Vienna, and Dubai, it is time to heed CNN’s suggestions in the post World’s 12 Best Shopping Cities by Violet Kim and give the Asian destinations in the list – #2 Tokyo (Japan), #4 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), #6 Hong Hong, and #12 Seoul.
Kim writes, “From a shopper’s perspective, frequent traveling can be crippling …To pinpoint which cities around the world deliver the most gratifying, enjoyable shopping experiences, we consulted global experts …Then we judged cities in four areas, using a one-to-10 scoring scale for each category: Getting around … Value …
Variety … Experience.”
#2 – Tokyo
Getting around: 8 Value: 8 Variety: 9 Experience: 9 Total: 34
For an ultimate shopping experience, you don’t need to go far from the comfort and conveniences of the malls. The leader is the colossal Isetan. Head to its flagship store in Shinjuku where a personalized interpretation service and shopping consultants await you.
You might also want to check out the following shops: Comme des Garçon at Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku and M’s: Pop Life Sex Department Store at Soukanda, Chiyoda-ku.
#4 – Kuala Lumpur
Getting around: 6 Value: 10 Variety: 8 Experience: 6 Total: 30
Kuala Lumpur’s winning score comes from “…high quality shopping, affordable prices and reliable sales …” The city also boasts of having three of 10 largest malls in the world including, 1 Utama that ranked 4th. It is located at Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama City Centre, Bandar Utama (#4) and has over 650 shops.
Other recommended shopping spots include Local designer Peter Hoe’s store at Jaan Tun HS Lee and Quirky Brown Cow at Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru.
#6 – Hong Kong
Getting around: 10 Value: 5 Variety: 6 Experience: 7 Total: 28
‘According to Global Shopper City Index research, 87 percent of Hong Kong tourists shop, and “76 percent of shopping tourists expressed above-average satisfaction on value for money in 2011.” Small wonder that Hong Kong also claims the title of best Asian shopping city in the Index.’
If you are hunting for bargains, you’ll be delighted to be assisted by the friendly shop clerks. Great shopping waits in individual boutiques. For women’s wear with a hint of Asian, the local label Fang Fong is a delightful choice; head to Fang Fong Projects in Peel St.,Central. For celebrity fashion, KniQ in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong is popular among celebrities who want one-of-a-kind. For more trendy shops, head to Star Street, Sun Street, Moon Street and St. Francis Yard; check out WDSG, Club Monaco Men’s Store, Kapok, and Monocle.
Getting around: 4 Value: 7 Variety: 4 Experience: 6 Total: 21
South Korea’ addiction to shopping is evident in its record high credit card transactions/person than any other country in the world. Thus, it’s little wonder that this city is bursting with every imaginable shop and modern, all-nighter shopping malls. Stay away from international labels if you are looking for great bargains. Instead bask in their local boutiques selling locally made products.
Suggested spots you shouldn’t miss are Doota at Euljiro 6-ga, Jung-gu, which is tagged as Seoul’s hippest late-night shopping mall; Lotte Department Store flagship at Sogong-dong, Jung-gu; Garosugil, the shopping streets of Sinsa-dong and Gangnam-gu; and 10 Corso Como, at Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu.
In East Asia, you may also be interested to check out shopping potentials of the destinations suggested in South China Morning Post – Fashion and Luxury Section’s Five hot destinations for fashion shopping in East Asia.
“From Shanghai to Seoul and Bali to Delhi, East Asian cities ooze style. You’ll be hard to put to avoid picking up some next time you visit any of these fashion capitals this summer…”
The list includes Shanghai, Delhi, Bali, and again Seoul.
- Style tripper: get high on fashion in Shanghai: One worthy shop to scour is JDV in Wenzhou. It sells menswear enthused by the gentlemen’s fashion in the ’30s and ’40s and modernized for the 21st century menfolk with a fine taste – shirts, pants and all sorts of accessories such as belts, shoes and hats.
- Delhi’s best shops for fashion, from Indian couture to contemporary wear: Be delighted by exotic, handmade dyed fabrics and apparel.
- Fashion bargains await beyond the sea in Bali: This island is home to many international designers who found Bali an irresistible source of inspirations for their craft. Visit their shops here.
Asia is a gold mine for shoppers. It is a destination that won’t disappoint travelers with a hunger for shopping. It is a bonus as these spots are also becoming popular for their exotic destinations, food and culture.