By Sun Yu Li
Paragon shopping centre, Orchard Road, Singapore
Taken on: 28th July, 2006. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Sparky the Neon Cat's page of Flickr
Read more about Orchard
An endless stretch of shopping centres, chain restaurants, and upscale hotels, Orchard Road is the shopaholic heart of Singapore. The name originates from the fruit and spice orchards that lined the street during the colonial days, but the plants died and the district was redeveloped as a commercial and residential zone for Singapore's elite — an apt description even today.
Not a city that clings to its past too tightly, authorities demolished the colonial buildings during Singapore's boom to make way for modern mega-malls. A few historical buildings remain — the Goodwood Park Hotel, the Istana palace, and the sprawling Thai Embassy — but no one goes to Orchard Road for a history lesson: it's all about the shopping.
Orchard Road is a shrine to consumerism. It measures 2.2 km long, yet there is hardly a gap between the malls. By our count, it's home to at least 25 shopping centres, 15 five-star hotels, four multi-screen cineplexes, three ... Read our complete Orchard travel guide