Good morning, Pink Tarha readers! We’ve been away from the blog for the first week of November because of the recently concluded second workshop of the Pink Tarha Mornings. It was very, very successful and we’ll tell you about it in another entry. For now, we’re ‘traveling’ to one of the favorite destinations in Asia… Malaysia!
It was in 2007 when I first went to Malaysia as a representative of my workplace in the Philippines (that was before Saudi Arabia happened in my life) in a press junket. It was one of the most memorable trips ever because it was my first time to travel outside the Philippines… and alone at that! It was such an amazing experience and I urge everyone to go and travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, where the shopping action is happening! So, let’s go!
Kuala Lumpur: A shopper’s paradise
A shopping trip to Kuala Lumpur is a holiday in itself. It presents visitors with some of the best and biggest malls that the region offers, and the best value for money too. Shoppers can shop within the multi-story shopping complexes or at sidewalk stalls, bazaars, and night markets (pasar malam). You should keep in mind that the city is just teeming with shopping opportunities.
One of the great shopping destinations in KL is Bukit Bintang/Bintang Walk. The Bintang Walk, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, is one of the most famous shopping centers in Malaysia. At night, you will be spellbound to see the colorful and dazzling array of lights in this area. It’s a perfect place for people watching over a latte between bouts of bargain hunting.
Bukit Bintang has the highest concentration of malls in Kuala Lumpur. Low Yat Plaza is the place to go if you need any piece of technology. The entire plaza is made up of technology retail outlets and stalls with MP3 players, DVD cameras, computers and etc. Every electrical items and optical product you might ever want can be bought from Sungei Wang. Starhill Gallery specializes in luxury and designer brands such as watches, jewellery, fashion and leather good. In Pavilion KL, you can find designer brands, cosmetics and fashion goods.
|Centre Court at the Pavilion shopping mall|
All the stores are open by 11am and shut around 10pm. The easiest way to get there is by taking the Kuala Lumpur Monorail and stop at Bukit Bintang Station or by hiring a taxi where a good drop off point would be Star Hill Plaza, then you could walk all the way down the street to Low Yat Plaza.
Ain Arabia or Arab Street is located just a few minutes’ walk from Bukit Bintang. Ain Arabia was designed to recreate the shopping lifestyle of the Middle East, so that Arabs could come to dine, shop and meet. There’s also an Arab barber to cut hair the way Arab men like it; the Hay-al Arab Restaurant, which serves Yemeni cuisine, Naab’s mini market selling Lebanese bread and even dates, and the Al-Khaima souvenir shop stocks perfume oils and incense wood chips and other stuff.
If you come using the monorail, stop at Bukit Bintang monorail station from where the street is just five minutes walk away. There is an arch with the name “AIN ARABIA” engraved on it as you walk along the street.
Your shopping experience in KL will not be complete without a trip to Chinatown. It’s full of stalls and boutiques lining up side by side. It is also known for its jewelry shops with their fascinating variety, in addition to Chinese pharmacies, which sell ginseng and all sort of traditional remedies. Moreover, you can enjoy plenty of delicious Chinese food. You will need to bargain hard for the best prices.
|The night time action in Chinatown|
You can walk to Chinatown / Petaling Street from Maharajelela station, or take the Monorail to Maharajalela or MRT to Pasar Seni or Masjd Jamek; then follow the signs to Petaling Street.
If you are seeking an interesting shopping experience then the Little India area is well worth a stroll. All along these streets you will find shops selling everything Indian – from gorgeous silk, cotton and brocade sari materials to stainless steel tiffin carriers. I bought shawls for the women of my family here and up to now, they’re still using it. One of them, my grandmother’s, is with me here in Saudi Arabia because even if it was my gift for her, she gave it to me to “keep me warm.” I love the shawls and scarves from Little India!
Everywhere, you will find colorful shops selling saris, spices, and sandalwood, in addition to some delicious Indian food too. It has some lovely old shop houses, market stalls and the Masjid India, India Mosque, from which the area takes its name.
To get to Little India from Masjid Jamek station you can take the LRT to either the Star LRT or Putra LRT stations. Little India is just a short walk from the stations. Other choices are buses and taxis, which are easily available.
Those looking to grab art pieces by local artists can head to Central Market while Chow Kit Market and Kasturi Walk are filled with mini-stalls selling everything from sunglasses and second hand books to clothes and figurines.
Shopping in KL is sheer fun and exciting as well. The exemption of duty on certain items has also resulted in more competitive pricing and made shopping in Malaysia a much more attractive option. Frankly, a trip to KL is not complete without some serious retail therapy.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about travelling to Malaysia, please visit the Tourism Malaysia website.