Shop to your heart's content in Megan Singleton's five favourite credit card-damaging destinations.
I love to shop when I travel. Who doesn't? But there are some places where the goods or price make the experience unenjoyable. However these five cities do not fall into that category. For some of the best shopping for unique goods and bargains to boot, here are my favourites.
Book a shopping tour with Kiwi woman Suzy Fewtrell who set up Shopping Tours Shanghai about seven years ago to take Westerners on an experience they'll never forget. Even the least interested shopper will be surprised at how much they can spend in a day - and given that most of our items are sourced from here, it makes our purchasing power about 300 per cent stronger. Here's my blog on what bang I got for my buck.
I'll go out on a limb and pronounce KL as my favourite shopping destination in Asia. The reason is there are several huge shopping malls all within a dim sum throw of each other. They also tend to specialise in items like gadgets, sports gear, shoes, jewellery, luggage, high-end European labels, high street Western brands ... I could go on. You could easily spend a day in each, especially when you add a cheeky massage or fish foot spa to your day.
From the high street American and European brands at the enormous Mall of Dubai to the gold market and spice souks, there is something for everyone here. And here's a bonus: drop the kids (and husband) off at the ski field in the mall where they can tackle everything from junior rides to black runs and you can try on clothes in Top Shop without being nagged.
My favourite stopover city is Los Angeles for a number of reasons (beaches, sunsets, restaurants and rooftop bars), but the shopping stretched along Santa Monica's three pedestrianised blocks has pretty much everything you look for in America. Santa Monica Place is home to Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and a top floor of restaurants, bars and a food hall, so I could bob along here all day.
My tip to travellers heading to Phuket or other beach resorts is to add Bangkok on at the end and save your shopping for there. What you'll find at the beach markets is very "same same" but in the city there are several malls (MBK is attached to Pathumwan Hotel and its 2000 stores are open until 10pm) and markets. Chatuchak is the biggest in the world with 9000 stalls in a warren of makeshift alleys. You'll need to drop breadcrumbs. Here's my blog on the best way to navigate it.