Shopping in Malaysia

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Malaysia has almost every form of shopping imaginable, from the smallest individual stalls, to shophouses, to bazaars and night markets, all the way up to the highest of upscale shopping malls. Here is just a taste:


These small vendors will arrive in the morning, claim a piece of parking lot or sidewalk, and set up a shop upon a table under an umbrella. Their wares are too various to list or name specifically. Most often these are low-cost generic products, but you might sometimes find a gem of Malaysian culture among them. Haggling for a lower price is almost expected at these stalls.


Some areas of Malaysia’s cities and towns designated for commercial use are lined with hundreds upon hundreds of small shophouses. You’ll find a plethora of cultural treasures in these shops – jewellery, statues, ornamental crafts, furniture, and hundreds of other items. Try haggling for a better price, though shophouse owners might be firm on giving deals. If you feel good about the price, but. If not, walk away towards another shop (which can also be a good haggling tactic).


While not any one type of shopping, this classification refers to ‘everything that doesn’t fit conveniently into the other categories’. In most major cities, you’ll likely find a gathering of sellers under one roof. Central Market in KL is among the most famous, where sellers of traditional Malay, Chnese, and Indian wares ply their trade.

A stone’s throw away is KL’s infamous Petaling Street – Chinatown. Here you’ll find anything and everything, with the possible exception of ‘real’ brands. Chinatown is known for its knock-offs of brand-name items. Watch out for ‘Roolex’ watched and ‘Gootchi’ handbags.

In these often-crowded areas of commercial competition, you’ll get a great price if you compare prices and use some haggling strategy.


Night Markets (Pasar Malam)

In many of Malaysia’s cities, it’s tradition that on several nights per week, whole streets will close to traffic at dusk and come alive with the air of the ‘pasar malam’. Here you’ll find anything and everything – clothing, remote controls, fresh fish and produce, dolls, and much more. Tow of KL’s finest are Pasar Malam SS2(Mondays and Thursdays) and Bangsar Telawi Pasar Malam(Sundays).

Shopping Malls

Malaysians love their malls. Thought many may not intend to buy anything, the malls of Malaysia are packed on weekends. You’ll find all the names your’e more familiar with at the largest malls – Sony, Prada, Nokia, Nike, and so on. Parking is sometimes a problem, but many mallys have this problem covered. Among KL’s most expat-friendly malls are Great Eastern, Bangsar Village I and II, 1 Utama, Suria KLCC, Pavilion, Lot 10, The Gardens at Mid Valley and Mid Valley Megamall.


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