Top 10 Asian cities for shopping

Top 10 Asian cities for shopping

This article initially appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald

It's official: Hong Kong is the hottest shopping neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The food, the shopping, the views, the energy, the noise, the waterways - HK's alive and buzzing 24/7," says design tracker Anne-Maree Sargeant, on our panel of shopping experts who share their secret haunts and favourite hot spots in the region's top 10 shopping cities, according to a Global Shopper survey (

The cities were chosen based on their visitor numbers - Sydney is the only Australian city to make the list - and each city was marked out of 100 based on its affordability, shops, convenience, hotels, transport, climate and culture.

1. Hong Kong,  69/100

The insider: Art and design journalist and hunter Anne-Maree Sargeant (

What's hot: Best in show for its fashion, electronics, watches and jewellery. 83/100 for the shops.

What's not: Pricey hotels that are permanently booked out. 58/100 for retail affordability.

The address book: Hit Cat Street Gallery for emerging and mid-career artists ( and the inaugural Hong Kong art fair (May 23- 26, 2013), run by the hugely influential new owners Art Basel and Design Miami ( Stylish superstore Lane Crawford is stacked with luxury brands and designer offerings. Check the capsule store featuring furniture and lighting from favourite Brit designer Lee Broom ( Get your fix of Harvey Nicks at The Landmark, the Asian Harvey Nichols flagship store for revered luxury and designer offerings ( Monocle Shop is the first of a new "retail/news" concept for British style tome Monocle (

Getting there: Fly Sydney to Hong Kong direct with Qantas (, Cathay Pacific ( or Virgin Atlantic (

Staying there: The 117-room Upper House hotel, designed by architect Andre Fu, sits above Pacific Place Shopping Mall, Admiralty, Hong Kong Island (

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2. Kuala Lumpur, 65/100

The insider: Belinda Jackson, travel writer and former international shopping columnist.

What's hot: Low prices in great malls and off-the-scale seasonal sales. 76/100 for shops.

What's not: Sticky climate and few attractions. 50/100 for climate and culture.

The address book: Malaysians do shoes, led by the master, Jimmy Choo, in luxe mall Suria KLCC ( The new Choo is said to be Lewre Lew, found in Parkson department stores ( Buy batik shoes from Jimmy's fave designer, Fion Poon, in the Central Market ( Brothers Charles and Keith Wong's Charles & Keith are unmissable for affordable, high-style shoes and accessories ( For stingray clutches, head to Klutched in Mid Valley Megamall ( High-energy Low Yat Plaza has every computer invention at one-third of the price of Singapore, with one floor dedicated just to repairs ( KL is justly famous for its malls - hit the strip of Bukit Bintang for big-dollar Starhill and Suria KLCC, chic Pavilion, street-smart Fahrenheit88, Lot 10 and perennial bargain fave Sungei Wang.

Getting there: Fly direct from Sydney to Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines ( and Air Asia (

Staying there: The Westin Kuala Lumpur is at the start of Bukit Bintang, making it ideal for shoppers (

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3.Shanghai, 63/100

The insiders: Fashion designer Alex Zabotto-Bentley and events director Anna Patterson of AZBcreative (

What's hot: International brands, affordable hotels and long shopping hours. 84/100 for hotels and transport.

What's not: Nasty sales taxes. 59/100 for affordability.

The address book: Spend a weekend afternoon at the iconic Dong Tai Lu Antiques Markets. Enter from Xizang Lu into Liuhe Lu, near Xintiandi, and haggle. Spin has amazing handmade ceramics: think industrial chic meets a Chinese art gallery (360 Kangding Lu, near Shanxi Bei Lu). Casa Pagoda is the ultimate in East meets West, with exotic fabrics, old lost-and-found furniture and homewares ( We love Madame Mao's Dowry for womenswear and Chinese kitsch for the home ( The streets Xinle Lu and Changle Lu in the French Concession have amazing women's fashion, cafes and art deco furniture. Try The Villa for high-end international fashion (

Getting there: Fly Sydney to Shanghai direct with China Eastern ( or Air China (

Staying there: For immaculate location and architecture, stay at the Waterhouse at South Bund (

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