A Guide to the Best (Budget) Shopping Destinations in Asia

You shouldn’t have to splurge on your shopping trip. Here, we culled together pro tips and popular wallet-friendly hotspots worth travelling for.

#1 Bangkok, Thailand

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Whatever you want (and need), Bangkok has it. From modern shopping malls to busy street markets, this shopping paradise has something for everyone, be it international luxury brands, or quirky off-brand stores. It’s also perfect for those on a tight budget, especially if you’re great at bargaining! Of course, you have to check out at least one of their famous floating market! And if you’re there on a weekend, do check out the popular Chatuchak market for a dose of shopping therapy.

#2 Hong Kong

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There are many shopping options in Hong Kong. Find luxury brands in Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, markets in Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po, and a mixture of both at Causeway Bay. Budget shoppers will flock towards the popular Mong Kok, which is also home to the famous Ladies Market. Explore their many streets, each dedicated to different products, from sneakers and souvenirs to flowers and even birds!

The best part: Most products sold are tax-free, which means you get to score more savings. Pro tip: Plan your trip during their sale seasons (December to February during Christmas until Chinese New Year, or the summer sales during July to September).

#3 Tokyo, Japan

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Though shopping in Tokyo might not be considered cheap, you can still get around with a budget if you know where to shop!

Harajuku offers many quirky yet kawaii products, mostly catering to the younger crowd. Many second-hand products are sold there, and most stores at Takeshita Street features a special corner dedicated to items on sale (You’re welcome!). A short distance away is another fashion mecca for the youths that is Shibuya. There are many small boutique shops, complete with higher-end brands and department stores. Psst: Look out for 100 Yen discount shops to score more deals!

#4 Vietnam

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If you’re in Ho Chi Minh, check out An Dong Market – it’s cheaper but as huge as the well-known Ben Thanh Market. Famous for silk is Hoi An, but you could also check out Hang Gai (or Silk Road) in Hanoi, and while you’re there, drop by the Street Night Market held on every Friday and the weekends.

#5 Taipei, Taiwan

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Start off your shopping spree at Ximending, one of the busiest shopping districts in Taipei. Giving off a similar vibe to Harajuku and Shibuya of Tokyo, Ximending caters mostly to the youths. This is the perfect place to shop for cute souvenirs and gifts (think animal-shaped hats and Sanrio selfie-sticks). Another must-go: Taipei 101 tower, which is also home to a shopping mall (with six floors dedicated to shops!), featuring luxury brands like Chanel and Versace, and smaller boutiques with delectable local and international food options in their food court.

In summer, it’s best to shop in the evenings (as it might be too warm in the afternoon), so take this chance to check out their night markets, such as the Shilin Night Market (the biggest one in the city!).

#6 Shanghai, China

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Known as the “Paris of the East”, Shanghai is a haven for shopaholics. Shop your heart’s desire at the famous Nanjing Road, where traditional meets modern, or the busy Huaihai Road (similar to our Orchard Road), a modernised district featuring international brands and smaller boutiques. In the heart of the city is one of the city’s busiest district Xintiandi aka New World, where tradition meets modern. Picture contemporary fashion stores set in “stone-gate buildings”. And if you don’t wish to spend a hefty sum, drop by Qipu Road Clothing Market for great deals on clothes, accessories and cosmetics.

Share your favourite budget shopping hotspot with us!

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