I won’t be listing down all the international branded products here as the list will be never ending in that case. Starting right from Michael Kors to Coach, Dolce and Gabanna to Ralph Lauren, Swatch to Gucci, Malaysia has all of them! Some famous Malaysia-based brands would include Padini, British India, Bonia, Jimmy Choo, etc. Fashion brands shopping will sure make it to the list but that will not be all, as Malaysia has got a lot more to offer to all the shopaholics out there. I try to list down a few:
- Fashion shopping – you can just go into any of the malls listed above for this
- Batik shopping – the batik craft of Malaysia generally features flower, butterfly or bird motifs. Although there are a lot of shops selling batik fabrics, I personally found the price at the Central market very reasonable for the quality of the cloth. You might be good at bargaining, though. They have range of batik products like clothes, shoes, bags, pouches, cloth materials, etc.
- Pewter ware – I have personally not bought any Pewter ware, just did window shopping for these simply because of the price. But if you want to go for it, from what I know, Royal Selangor is the world’s largest pewter manufacturer. You must pay higher price than the other shops, of course, but you pay that for simply the quality.
- Traditional Chinese medicines and herbs – often, at the shopping malls you will find shops selling traditional Chinese medicines and herbs. You might even find stalls selling herbal tea. Some heads up here though, the taste might make you puke and quite literally I mean. But when was the last time that we loved taking medicines, anyway, and these herbs are proven to be effective to flight flu and other infections which sure makes them worth a try
- Hand woven / painted crafts – hand-woven crafts, made of bamboo, rattan, screw pines (mengkuang and pandan leaves) and coconut shells. The products include bags, baskets, coin pouches among the others. For buying any handicraft or local fabric products, Central market is the best place to be, hands down.
- Songket – Songket is inherited from Kelantan state, originating from the trade between China and Malaysia, Malaysia and India since the 12th century. It featured characteristic gold and silk threads interwoven with threads of other material to create a unique fabric. The cost for the fabric is a bit high. This is also available in Central market, where you can search for cloth or other items featuring songket material to get home as a souvenir.
- Designer brooch – one of my favourites. The local Malay women use them to securely hold their head scarf in place. They have a variety of brooches available here – Kerongsang, which is a set of brooch, one big and the other small, mostly stone studded; set of brooch, mostly stone studded, with a connecting chain,a variance from the regular Kerongsang; small button like brooches, come in different shapes and sizes, made of plastic or stone studded metals. The Masjid India lane near Masjid Jamek has shops lined up selling brooches.
- Electronics – although I personally did not find much price difference with the handphones or tablets, the television sets here are particularly cheap. For electronics shopping, some little heads up, beware of duplicate products. If you find it fishy, better not to go for it. Also, if you find very cheap “branded” products selling near the Petaling street area, be rest assured, those are 200% imitation products. You might want to have a look at the Plaza Lowyat in Bukit Bintang, although all the shopping malls here have at least one section, if not the entire floor dedicated for electronic products.
- If you are visiting Kuala Lumpur around the Chinese New year time (January-February), do look out for the temporary stalls set up at most of the shopping malls, selling traditional Chinese dresses, snacks, sweets, etc at a very competitive price. You can also go for the mandarin oranges available in the grocery shops.
- If you are visiting during the Hari Raya / Eid celebrations (June-July), do look out for the food and grocery shops selling dates imported from the Middle East; you might get yourself a good deal