The shopping scene in Kuala Lumpur can please even the most fastidious of shopaholics. From street bazaars to the most sophisticated of shopping malls, a wide range of goods are available, from handicrafts and leather goods, to knickknacks and hi-tech gadgets. But for the wallet-conscious fashionistas, KL is a city teeming with shopping opportunities. Whether it is artsy finds or designer discoveries, chances are there’s a bargainfriendly shop just around the corner.
Start at Central Market (Pasar Seni), the cultural showcase for Malaysian and Asian products, traditional arts and crafts. If you have an eye for the unique, this historical landmark offers a wide array of antiques, jewellery, batik, wood carvings, pewter ware, and novelty items. Better still is the Annexe, an alternative free space for the arts, hidden on the top of the market’s small auxiliary building. On the ground floor, portraitists and street artists can be found – allowing for unique gift opportunities over the festive seasons.
Chinatown (Petaling Street)
Move on to Chinatown, one of KL’s most popular shopping boulevards, with merchandise ranging from knockoff timepieces to reproductions of designer shoes and handbags. The night market, which is a daily feature here, makes this place one of the greatest shopping haunts in the city. Leather goods, perfumes, souvenirs, cheap clothes, fabrics, electronic items, fresh flowers, and watches, sit alongside pet shops, restaurants serving regional authentic Chinese cuisine, and Chinese artifacts – you can find almost anything here! There are also traders with their mats spread out along narrow five-foot ways, offering brightly coloured trinkets, wall hangings, teapots, curios and ornaments from India, Myanmar, and beyond. A bit of haggling and you’re well on your way to some great bargain buys.
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
If you don’t have Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman chalked in your “must-visit” list, then it is time to add this oftenoverlooked hot spot in. Local and ethnic clothing, textiles, and quality bargains at family-owned stores are readily available. Cheaper Malaysian batik, silk, or songket… all are available along the arcades located along Jalan TAR, as long as you are prepared to drive a hard bargain. Those who enjoy the festive feel of street bazaars should mosey on down to Jalan TAR on Saturday evenings, where the night market comes to life at Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman – the lane cramped between Jalan TAR and Jalan Masjid India.
Little India, Brickfields
Little India, in the Indian-dominated area known as Brickfields, is always a bustling area. Deemed “Madras without the madness,” this tiny enclave offers enough injection of local colour to cover a 100-mile radius. You can see vendors lugging bales of colourful sarees and designs through the traffic, to one of the many stores that pepper the laneways. Brickfields becomes especially colourful in the weeks leading up to Deepavali. The sidewalks turn into a giant street market, selling clothes, Indian jewellery, flowers, and henna artists – all at discounted prices. Happy shopping!
Source: The Expat November 2013
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