Shopping in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, Malaysia

April 21, 2023 3:52 am83 commentsViews: 208

The rapidly changing range of goods on sale echoes the evolving nature of today’s world. From modern electronic and audio-visual equipment to exotic crafts made using age-old techniques, it is not hard for the sellers to find eager buyers. With the extensive collection of designer labels from the fashion capitals of the world and ethnic textiles fashioned into western and Islamic styles, Malaysia is definitely high up on the shop-till-you-drop list.

Kuala LumpurShopping in Malls & Shopping Centres

The Malls cater for every taste and in Kuala Lumpur the visitor should not miss Bukit Bintang, a mall-lined street with well-known chain stores from eastern and western High Streets alongside designer boutiques and galleries. In Beejaya Times Square there is the famous shoemaker Lewre, whose shoes are much in demand by the young and trendy. The shoes invariably have colossal high heels and lots of intricate crystal detail.

Shopping at the Night Markets in Malaysia

Roadside stalls offer cheap evening entertainment, not to mention cheap goods and if casual shopping is called for, the colourful night markets, or ‘pasar malams’ found in all neighbourhoods will not be found wanting. With their variety of local foods and fruits, tee shirts and shorts, beautiful textiles and silks, shopping here is to be relished. Bargaining is quite acceptable, in fact it is considered a necessity, but it is always conducted in a humorous manner.

Best Markets in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia

In Kuala Lumpur the best is undoubtedly that held in and around the Chinatown area of the capital, mainly because of the wealth of imported Chinese goods. The only problem is that often the sizes are on the small side. In Penang the many good markets are located around Batu Ferringhi.

December is a good month to pick up a bargain in the Malaysian Year End Carnival Sale, especially now that the exemption of duty on a range of goods has made shopping in Malaysia even more attractive. Duty-free shops can be found in Kuala Lumpur and Penang in the city centres although all items purchased may have to be paid for and collected on boarding the aircraft. The best duty-free zones are the islands of Labuan and Langkawi where items like cameras, watches, perfumes, mobile phones, computers and cosmetics are much cheaper than in other countries.

Shopping in Malacca, Malaysia

Although a much smaller city and with fewer tourists, Malacca offers excellent shopping, especially if searching for antiques. In Kubu Street, shops that specialise in the sale of traditional Nyonya shoes and slippers have congregated. A pair of hand-sewn cloth slippers with intricate beadwork embroidery can be ordered but it takes one to two weeks to make a pair of slippers

Malacca, being Malaysia’s historical city, has a lot of antique shops, especially on Jonker Street. Handcrafted furniture, fine porcelain, and bead worked clothing are just some of the things to be found in the antique shops here along with jewellery and gemstones, antique currency and coins.

Handicrafts are another favourite buy in Malacca, and the shops along Laksamana Street have a good stock of Indonesian items, especially pottery tea-sets. Back in Jonker Street, there are good woodwork pieces with creative carvings at the Tribal Arts Gallery.

Why Shop in Malaysia

Malaysia is like most Asian cities, keen to sell to the visitor, but offering value for money at the same time. Pick up a bargain with an ethnic shawl, a lacquer bowl or an exquisite piece of porcelain delicately painted. Bargain, but not too hard, the seller has a family to support.


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