Malaysia is a land of plenty and it is plenty that you will find of everything from sun drenched beaches and pristine jungles to vibrant city excitement and glorious SHOPPING. Wherever your wanderlust takes you through this country, you will no doubt find something that catches your eye and fancy in each state. Tempting shopping experiences await in as many plush malls as they do in exotic street marts, offering a colourful mix of local souvenirs and contemporary merchandise. Remember, some goods may be exclusive to certain states; so look out for local highlights as you traverse through Malaysia. Oh and do bring along an empty suitcase, for you’ll have much to fill it up with! Let’s go!
Mid Valley Megamall
SELANGOR/ KLANG VALLEY
The Klang Valley throbs to the beat of shopping throughout the year. Considered to be THE place for shopping in Malaysia, it brims with shopping malls and departmental stores comparable with some of the world’s most modern shopping centres. The shopping triangle of KLCC and Bukit Bintang alone houses many malls that compete vigorously for the shopper’s Ringgit. Signature landmarks here include the Suria KLCC, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Starhill Gallery, fahrenheit88, Lot 10 and Sungei Wang to name just a few. Beyond the city centre, places like Mid Valley Megamall, Sunway Pyramid, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, the Curve and The Gardens Mall make for fun shopping sprees on all kinds of budgets.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Street market enthusiasts are not left out either; the bazaars and flea marts at Petaling Street, Little India, Jalan TAR, Bangsar, the Curve and Hartamas are flooded with all kinds of everything at bargain prices that tourists and most shoppers relish. This premier hub basically spills over with everything from local and international designer labels to exotic items off lively street markets. If you’re in doubt of this city’s retail appeal, find assurance in CNN’s claim that it’s a great place for value-for money deals!
Steeped for centuries in culture and craft, Melaka is also a hub for antiques, curios, relics and wonderful cuisine. This charming city which still retains the feel of a bygone era is more popular for what you’ll find at its bazaars than its malls. Jonker Walk is a must for shoppers hunting down unusual souvenirs; with some patience, you’ll make some of the most unique and valuable discoveries here. Food lovers look out! Sample famous ‘Nyonya’ cuisine at sidewalk stalls and cafes. Don’t miss out the pineapple tarts and delightful ‘Nyonya’ cakes. Seafood delights are served up at the sea fronting Portuguese Settlement. The piquant Grilled Fish is highly recommended.
For local handicrafts, drop by the bazaars at Dataran Pahlawan, Medan Samudera and Jalan Merdeka. A wide selection of items crafted from wood and rattan are sold at a bargain. A highlight of Melaka is its Peranakan culture which has brought forth a gorgeous female outfit called the ‘Nyonya Kebaya’. It is habitually paired with delicately beaded or embroidered shoes and also, vibrantly painted wooden clogs.
A blend of rich cultures and a mix of old and new treats are what you’ll find in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The shopping experience in Penang stretches beyond modern malls like the Gurney Paragon, Straits Quay Tanjung Pinang, Queensbay Mall, Gurney Plaza, Penang Times Square, Prangin Mall, 1Avenue Mall, Island Plaza and Sunway Carnival Mall to fascinating streets crammed with shops housed in pre-war buildings.
While the malls meet the shopper’s expectations in contemporary goods of clothes and duty free goods like cameras, watches and more, it is outside these posh centres that one experiences the true essence of Penang-style shopping. Shops with a rustic feel sell textile, apparels, food, jewellery, antiques and curios in charismatic Georgetown while gold and gem bazaars, colourful silk sarees and aromatic spices paint a colourful picture in the Little India district. Bazaars and flea markets make popular hang outs for both locals and tourists and these include the mile-long night market in Batu Ferringhi, the city’s oldest bazaar of Chowrasta with its endless supply of preserved fruits and other delicacies, the Little Penang Street Market at Upper Penang Road which offers antiques, crafts, plants, jewellery and food, and the Lorong Kulit flea mart, a unique place where you’ll never know what to expect!