According to Singaporeans Orchard Road in Singapore got its name from the orchards and plantations that existed in the area until the turn of the 20th century. However in the 1900s, a mysterious disease swept through the nutmeg plantations, wiping them out within a year. Because of its location in a valley, floods were also common. They were only controlled in 1965 when Stamford Canal - part of which runs below the pedestrian mall fronting Wisma Atria Shopping Centre today - was deepened and widened.
Today Orchard Road is the Mecca of tourists who come to Singapore in search of its famed shopping outlets. In the early 70s, Singaporean landmarks such as C. K. Tangs, Plaza Singapura were built and led the way for today's sprawling entertainment complexes. Gradually buildings of glass and shining steel replaced what used to be mud-tracks on Orchard Road.
Orchard Road rivals all other shopping and entertainment areas in Singapore by its sheer size, the number and the variety of shops are far greater than in any other area. The area encompasses a larger number of shopping malls and offers almost everything that is sold anywhere on earth. It also has a bevy of classy restaurants, chic cafes and happening nightspots. It is also in close proximity to Singapore's Central Business District.
Some of the main shopping malls here include, the enormous Ngee Ann City - the largest mall on Orchard Road, Far East Plaza - a paradise for bargain hunters, Wheelock Place - known for its Borders bookstore, CK Tangs - Singapore's old-school department store, Paragon - Singapore's most expensive mall, filled with luxury brands such as Prada and Gucci, and Ion Orchard- Singapore's newest iconic mall which is due to open for physical completion at end 2008.
Close to all the hustle and bustle of this trendy shopping district is Orchard Hotel Singapore a luxury hotel in Singapore which is just the ideal venue for shop-a-holics to plan their shopping adventures conveniently.
Naveen Marasinghe is an Online Marketing Executive at eMarketingEye which is a search engine marketing agency that offers integrated Internet marketing solutions and specializes in serving the online travel and hospitality industry. (http://www.emarketingeye.com/)