Visitors to Kuala Lumpur should have no trouble finding an assortment of fantastic souvenirs to bring home to friends and family. As Malaysia’s shopping capital, there are boutiques and stores to suit all people whether you are looking for a designer dress for your wife or the latest computer game for the kids.
Cheap buys can be found in the markets of Chinatown and Little India with humorous t-shirts, fake watches, handbags, DVDs, sportswear, sunglasses, wallets and trinkets perfect for inexpensive gifts. Chow Kit Market is an Aladdin’s cave of weird and wonderful medicines and potions that are difficult to find anywhere else. And there’s no excuse not to send home some postcards of the Petronas Twin Towers or perhaps a cuddly toy hornbill for a young relative.
Shopping for handicrafts in Kuala Lumpur
Without doubt Central Market is among the best spots for souvenir shopping in KL. Here traditional goods sourced from all the different regions of the country are collected together in one attractive air conditioned building. Prices may be a touch higher than some of the less fashionable outlets but those few extra dollars pays for comfort, convenience and an assurance of quality.
And some of the night markets, such as that on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, are great for decorative objects and ornaments to adorn the mantelpiece and serve as a constant reminder of a fabulous trip. Brass and pewter items such as figurines, jewellery, pendants or jugs are popular souvenirs of Kuala Lumpur that do not take up much space in luggage.
And wood carvings, while certainly heavier to carry around, never go out of fashion and make attractive focal and talking points for living rooms. Often there are opportunities to see how these things are made by paying a visit to some of the factories workshops around the city – often included on city tour programmes.
Traditional batik textiles and clothes are always popular gifts. The choices are almost endless from traditional geometric shapes and leaf patterns to modern interpretations used by coutre fashion designers such as Eric Tho. And it is not just clothes that come with batik wax patterns, all manner of home furnishing such as cushion covers and curtains can be found with the classic effect.
Fashion and accessories
The glitz and glamour of Kuala Lumpur’s shopping malls are perfect for shopaholics who just must have the latest numbers from Milan, Paris and London. All the top European fashion houses are represented here and some great bargains can be found with numerous sales and discount events happening throughout the year.
Out of all the malls in Kuala Lumpur there are perhaps two which stand out as being slightly above the curve. Pavillion on Bukit Bintang is a marble-rich temple to catwalk labels with Gucci, Armani and Versace just a few of the star names with outlets located here. The indomitable Suria KLCC is not to be outdone and squeezes a plethora of fashion houses within its walls including Jimmy Choo and Prada.
Perfumes and cosmetics are extremely popular and considerably cheaper to buy in KL than surrounding Asian countries. Latest scents from Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Elizabeth Arden and Calvin Klein can be purchased in most of the large department stores within the big malls.
Fashion accessories such as ties, hairpins, watches and bracelets are similarly discounted with last season lines going for extremely reasonable amounts. But ladies may find shop assistants a little annoying, as they tend to following shoppers and constantly offer unnecessary assistance.
Electonic souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur
Items such as the latest MP3 players, DVD recorders and mobile phones can be found for bargain prices in Malaysia. Buying electronic souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur is a great choice as usually they are accompanied with international warranties making it easy to get after sales service from in your come country. One mall that specialised in the latest gadgets and gizmos including top names such as Compaq, Canon and Sony is Low Yat Plaza (website: www.plazalowyat.com).
Buying duty free souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur
It is possible to arrange for most purchases from large department stores and shopping malls such as Suria KLCC to be collected at the airport departure gate, thus avoiding duty and taxes. This is a very attractive proposition for many business travellers leaving KL by air but less useful if you plan to take a route over land or by sea. Cigarettes and tobacco products can be found in the duty free shops at Malaysia’s land, sea and air ports as can international spirits and liquor. However, these are still not the cheapest prices that can be found compared with nearby countries such as Thailand and the Philippines.