Yesterday, I went to Orchard road with my Singaporean friend, Windy. She is studying fashion design at Raffle Design Institute. She took me to Orchard road from Dhoby Gahut. While I was walking on the street I was actually comparing the experience in Singapore to my experience with Bin tang Street in Kuala Lumpur.
Both of them are within commercial areas of the city, but walking on Orchard road with shopping malls on both sides without interruptions by other things is really amazing. It is a brand new experience even though I have been to so many fancy cities like, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles and so on. The path she took me made me feel like I could actually reach my destination (restaurant inside the mall) without walking the sidewalks outside, thus leaving the heat outside. This is really different from the United States, where the mall is often a big concrete building that you can only take the bus or drive by yourself to get to the mall. From this comparison, it shows the usage of public transportation is far more convenient than having your own car in Singapore than in the United States. In Singapore, there is always an exit of MRT station in the mall. You can even find an exit just next to a restaurant in the middle of Food Street in Orchard road. Compare to Kuala Lumpur, the transit is usually done by monorail according to my experience in Kuala Lumpur, which you still need to walk outside under the sun and in the heat to get into a mall.
On top of the convenience of public transportation, both cities have developed green public spaces outside of the malls for people to spend their spare time. In Singapore, the huge trees are along the sidewalks and there are fountains on the public square in front of the malls. However, these trees do create a serious problem. When it reached the evening, many birds (mainly Pigeons) will lay on the braches, which caused a lot of noise. Also, it is really easy to receive bird poop on top of your head when you are walking on Orchard road. This had caught the Singaporean government attention, and Singaporean Government will actually shoot some birds sometimes when the numbers become overwhelming. Under the trees, there are some food stands that are selling some special Singaporean food, which is amazing. I have tried the Peppermint chocolate ice cream wrapped with bread. Here is the photo:
In addition, when I asking Windy about her experiences in Singapore, she told me that it seem to her that there is always another mall being constructed and opened every week. It seems to her that there is always different construction going on in Singapore.
According to Windy’s experience, she told me there was always promotion event that attracting either local consumers or the tourists to go into the mall. This also happens in Kuala Lumpur. On my third day in Kuala Lumpur, I saw there was a fans meeting event (Tokaido, an Japanese designer) in Lot 10.
Walking on the Orchard road is definitely an easy walk given the good environment. It is just like a pedestrian street, with not only stores on two sides of you but giant malls.