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Let's Shop Around the World!

On Takeshita Street in Tokyo

From Tokyo's trendy Takeshita Street to Amsterdam's Flower Market and across Europe and the Americas then back to Southeast Asia, shopping is a journey of discovery, retail therapy for some and bittersweet parting with hard earned "dinero" for most of us. Here are some irresistible finds and incredibly beautiful shopping meccas.

Flower Market

In the tulip capital of the world, you can find a variety of bulbs in Amsterdam's Flower Market on the Singel.

Galeries Lafayette

I like to stand in the center underneath the glass dome for the best view of these balconies at the Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. Then I go upstairs to get a birds eye view of the ground floor with its perfume and cosmetic counters. O la la.

Ponte Vecchio

At the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, fine jewelry glitter from shop windows lining the bridge. It's a feast for the eyes and a treat just to see the beautiful pieces on display and imagine it could be yours. Dreaming is free.

La Boqueria

How sweet it is to find this colorful selection of bonbons in La Boqueria, along the famous La Rambla. There are more treats to find in this market where fruit stalls, deli, bread and pastries, fresh seafoods, and wine shops compete for space and shoppers' attention.

Tlaquepaque

Guadalajara is famous for two things, among others: its tequila and its colorful pottery. In Tlaquepaque, you can buy from an array of dishes in stalls like this. When you're through shopping, there are a number of restaurants with mariachi music and tequila, por supuesto!

Cowgirl Creamery Artisan Artisan Shop

Say "fromage, please" at the Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Cowgirl sells its own cheeses made from organic milk as well as "artisan farmstead" cheese from famous cheesemakers in the U.S. and Europe.

Bikini shopping

Four important things to take with you to Hawaii: swimsuit, suntan lotion, slippers, and sunglasses. But if you forget any of the above, no worries. Waikiki has some of the best shopping streets in the world.

HongKong Market

Shopping in one of HongKong's outdoor markets is still a thrill with the possibility of a good bargain. If you're up to jostling with the hordes of shoppers on the eve of Chinese New Year, then prepare to be tempted to buy stuff you hadn't planned to and be completely entertained.

Dried Fish Market, Lantau Island

Locals and tourists come to this unique island not only to see the houses on stilts but to pick up some dried fish.

Sutukil on Mactan Island

And speaking of fish, diners in Cebu can check the availability of fresh fish and other seafoods for their main entrée before picking a restaurant. Or take home a pompano for dinner. Sarap (delish)!

Greenhills Tiangge

You can find just about anything at Greenhills Mall in Metro Manila. In a previous article I had written about my shopping experience at Greenhills where I bought a woodcarving in the Balinese style, a Manny Pacquiao jacket for a friend, necklaces and bracelets for my family and friends, keychains for the two dozen keys I have at home, and I'm planning to buy, on my next visit, a painting to hang in my guest bedroom. In the photo above, traditional Philippine parol or lantern is a Christmas decoration staple.

Happy shopping!

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Photos by Charie

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