It comes as no shock and surprise after a few minutes in KL that wherever one seems to turn, everyone has a shopping bag. It may be the simple plastic of an open market or the shiny threads of high-end brands, in every case the inhabitants and visitors to this city all take advantage of the abundant shopping.
Malaysian’s themselves revel in their national pastime, malls and shopping centers are massive complexes with every imaginable style, attraction and label. Each shopping center focuses on the biggest holiday displays, the coolest air conditioning and the trendiest décor. What is nice is that all are well served by public transit, hours are very accommodating, sales are frequent and bargains are good especially compared to the normal costs many of these stores have in other places. Don’t imagine a giveaway or a full on outlet, but a nicely adjusted discount based on national rates and currency. KL is definitely a good place to add to one’s travel shopping list. Some of the biggest attractions one can easily get to in the city are as follows.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
This is one of the newest hotspots in the city. The brands and store types are aimed at middle to upper class types both in pricing and brands. This multi-layered facility is a dazzling white decorated palace with lots of glass to let in natural light. Floors are wide open to give a sense of space and the central hall is a buzz of activity, shows and displays almost any given day of the week. All in all there are 450 retailers from footwear, to luggage, gourmet food to clothing and it is a true blend of the world’s more captivating names in fashion, cuisine and accessories.
Hard to miss if looking for a downtown landmark, this impressive facility is located in the pedestrian levels underneath the famed Petronas towers. Like many of the malls in Kuala Lumpur this place is a bargain heaven in August each year when the citywide Malaysia Mega Sale carnival takes off. The Mall is a bit labyrinthine to the first time visitor because it occupies several subterranean levels which lead to the metro trains and connect to other buildings, hotels and convention centers long distances away in the cool air conditioned space. This mall is well known for its wide variety of great gastronomic options.
This one might be a bit of a throwback, but it is full of unique opportunities to shop for locally crafted goods, souvenirs and even clothing. The Central Market is a decent sized two story shopping center that has occupied the same site in KL since the colonial days. Here one can get lots of typical Malaysian foods, raw spices and fresh fruits. Chatting with the shopkeepers is a delightful experience and they are not too pushy either.
Mid Valley Mega Mall
This mall may just be the city’s favorite right now. It is outside the confines of the direct downtown, but it can be reached by bus transit or car. For tourists the best option may be to grab the complimentary shuttle bus from South Court Bus stop or Bangsar LRT station. There is a U66 bus from KL Sentral. It does not depart from inside the KL Sentral station. Go outside to the main road in front and cross the street. The bus stop is just 50m up from the mobil gas station on the left, next to the YMCA. The Mall has several atriums, multiple floors and a collection of eclectic shops to thrill the most demanding and varied shoppers. It has a definite suburban feel and design that make it a pleasant and grand escape.