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Shopping in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is a shoppers' paradise, with an assorted range of retail outlets right from air-conditioned mega malls to frenzied street markets. Prices are quite reasonable at both places. Haggling is a standard practice in the street markets and sometimes the malls offer bulk discounts. The city has numerous malls. These malls, with their impressive bowling alleys, discos and cinemas, make shopping in KL an incredible experience.
Kuala Lumpur is the place for some great shopping with goods available in all price ranges.
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur is an exciting experience, with numerous shopping malls, traditional shopping streets and colourful markets. Consult our Kuala Lumpur Shopping Guide below to find out what to buy and where to buy it whilst on your Kuala Lumpur holiday. You can also find some general shopping information in our Malaysia Shopping Guide. Even though shopping in Kuala Lumpur is fun and rewarding, it can be hot, humid and crowded, so schedule some air-conditioned time-out in a traditional Kuala Lumpur Restaurant.
Kuala Lumpur Shopping Guide
Malls situated on the Jalan Bukit Bintang share the name Bintang Walk, now a part of Star Hill. Visitors can buy electronic goods from Bukit Bintang Plaza, clothing and footwear from Lot 10, get special bargains on designer wear at the Star Hill shopping centre and explore the boutiques in Kuala Lumpur Plaza. Tucked away in the basement of the Petronas Twin Towers is the Suria KLCC shopping centre, which houses big designer names like Hugo Boss, Laura Ashley and Karl Seeger, catering to high fashion designer wear. Keep your eyes open for Times Square, situated on the periphery of Bintang Walk.
Kuala Lumpur's main shopping area is the Bukit Bintang area in the Golden Triangle. A large number of stores, shopping malls and hotels can be seen in all directions along Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Imbi. These malls and shops cater to all types of budgets. Low Yat Plaza is an excellent place for buying electronic gadgets whereas Times Square and Bukit Bintang / Sungei Wang Plaza sell the latest Asian wear at affordable rates. The Pavilion shopping mall is a recent addition to the numerous malls in this area. Its ultra-modern complex has a good collection of international retail brands. KLCC, which is about 2 km by foot from the Bukit Bintang area, has a huge shopping mall.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) looks more like a shopping mall than an airport because of the over 70 retail outlets in the airport, which provide first-rate duty free shopping to the tourist.
There are numerous shopping malls outside the Golden Triangle. The best shopping malls are located in the Bangsar and Midvalley areas of Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the up-market shopping malls like Midvalley Mega Mall and the Gardens, it also includes Bangsar Shopping Centre and the cosy Bangsar village located in Bangsar.
You will find many shopping malls in the neighbouring towns of Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman has the largest single department store -SOGO Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL SOGO. This area is well known as the best place for shopping for the locals of Kuala Lumpur.
Street Stalls & Markets
In addition to so many malls, Kuala Lumpur has plenty of street shops and markets that cater to the Asian community. Several areas in the city have been selected to market locally manufactured products like textiles, fabrics and handicrafts. Chinatown, located at the city centre of Kuala Lumpur, is one such market. More commonly known among the locals as Petaling Street, Chinatown houses many pre-independence buildings, influenced by Chinese and European traditions. Kuala Lumpur‘s Central Market, previously known as the city's fresh produce market, offers a variety of art and craft items. These include antiques, paintings, souvenirs and clothing. The Central Market, also known as Pasar Seni in Malay, is the best place to shop for souvenirs.
Vision KL Magazine publishes a regular update about the best markets in Kuala Lumpur. The night market, Jalan Petaling, is the only market which gets a regular mention in this magazine. These night markets are a class apart. The Chinatown market sells everything from CDs and electrical equipment to perfumes, watches and clothing at very competitive prices. Traditional handicrafts like pewterware make good souvenirs.
Kuala Lumpur‘s traditional handicraft manufacturer, Royal Selangor Pewter offers free guided tours to tourists who can visit the world's largest tankard and see the factory outlet. Batik may have its origin in the Malacca Straits in Indonesia, but you can buy excellent quality of Batik from the Central Market and Kompleks Budaya Kraf at Jalan Conlay in Kuala Lumpur.
Most of the shops in Kuala Lumpur are open daily, 0900-1700hrs, but the malls are open1000-2200hrs. Generally, all the malls remain open on Sundays but some shops remain closed. Sales tax charged is around 10%, but some products are exempted from sales tax while others are taxed at 5% or 15%. Visitors can also take advantage of tax free options. You need to inform the shop before you make your payment. The shops will give you a form which you can produce at the airport on your departure and get a refund.
The mega sale event for shopping in Malaysia was started by the Ministry of Tourism in 2000. The mega sale event is now held thrice a year - in March, May and December. All the shopping malls are encouraged to participate in this mega sale to project Kuala Lumpur as a leading shopping destination.
Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088, Kuala Lumpur.
Pavillion Kuala Lumpur
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Ctr, 3 Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, 46150 Selangor.
Mid Valley Mega Mall
Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra
Lot 10, Bukit Bintang.
Berjaya Times Square
1 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Sungei Wang Plaza
Sungei Wang Plaza, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Low Yat Plaza
Lot 7, Jalan 1/77, Off Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Starhill Gallery 181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
The Mall Kuala Lumpur
The Mall Putra Place, 100, Jalan Putra, 50350 Kuala Lumpur.
Sogo Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur.