Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
As well as being a cultural mecca, Kuala Lumpur is a major shopping destination too. In Southeast Asia it is probably second only to Singapore with the scale and number of locations for a spot of retail therapy. The selection ranges from high-end malls in the KLCC to vibrant markets that include Kampung Baru and Chow Kit.
In the shadow of the Petronas Towers, Suria KLCC is a contemporary shopping centre crammed with fashion, health and beauty, technology products and sportswear and equipment stores. Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Samsung, Sony and Timberland are among the brands with outlets here.
Pavilion KL is another excellent venue with 500-plus different shopping and dining outlets that include Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo and Nando’s. Berjaya Times Square is the third member of the city’s premium shopping malls and is also loaded up with options for shopping, eating and entertainment. Bukit Bintang is the place to head off to for fashion clothing, footwear and accessories with more economical price tags.
Jalan Imbi Market is right in the middle of Bukit Bintang and, although not the best place to buy clothes or souvenirs, offers the genuine Malaysian market experience. Jalan Imbi is also renowned for its breakfast offerings. Chow Kit is definitely the market to go to for clothing, sarongs, textiles, shoes, DVDs at rock-bottom prices.
After passing through the arch leading to Chinatown, the diverse wares of Petaling Street are just metres away. The Night Market proper begins as the sun wanes and is a real festive affair. Pewter plates and ornaments with images of the Petronas Towers, Buddha statues, jade jewellery, watches, sports shoes, T-shirts and food hawkers serving yummy snacks ensure Petaling is busy until the wee hours.
A number of the key tourist attractions including Petronas Towers, Aquaria KLCC, Kula Lumpur Bird Park and the National Museum operate their own souvenir stores. Shops with names like the Hornbill Gift Shop and Aquaria carry a range of toys, dolls, drinking vessels, pens and keyrings themed on their particular attractions. These mementos carry logos and are ideal as personal keepsakes or as gifts for family and friends.