I visited Kuala Lumpur a few years ago and thought it offered the best shopping in Asia. Now I’m not an authority on all the shopping options throughout Asia (I wish!) but I did love the many shopping malls and wares therein, all huddled together for easy access by foot.
However my eyes lit up when I found this: the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival that is an annual event and runs from 1 May to 31 July each year. That means up to 75% off the already crazy prices.
I shopped in Kuala Lumpur without any mega carnival on and still reckon it’s the best city in Asia for shoes, gadgets, jewellery, luggage …. Oh I could go on.
The best part is the proximity of several very huge shopping malls – a dumpling’s throw from each other in fact. There are at least seven within walking distance, some are high-end malls with designer labels and high street shopping like Top Shop and Zara. Others are known for their quality luggage, golf gear and even eyewear. In fact I had an eye test just before my last trip over specially because you can have lenses made and buy your frames, all for under $80 and all while you wait.
Sungei Wang Plaza is my recommendation for your first stop. I have a bit of a shoe fetish so if you’re like me, this will light up your eyes. But wait, there’s more! So much more. Six floors of more in fact with more than 500 stores selling shoes and chic clothing, jewellery and an entire floor of gadgets from phones to games and everything in between.
Attached to this is BB Plaza – you can only tell you’re in a different complex when the lino on the floor changes. This is full of kitschy clothes and toys, and is also where my favourite hole-in-the-wall beauty salon is found. Stop here for a massage or an eyelash perm (this is what started my Betty Boop craze). It’s cheap as chips and you deserve it.
But for posh shopping I’d start the day at the Pavilion. This is seven floors of all your mega stores (European and American brands) as well as little gems like Paris Hilton’s handbag store and the bizarre Kenko Fish Foot spa for those who want fish nibbling their feet in between shopping and dining. (You can read my post about the freaky fish spa here)
KL Plaza is the place to go to have your eyes tested by a specialist and the lenses made and fitted to genuine Prada, Gucci, Stella McCartney, etc, frames in about an hour, and all for about NZ$80.
Plaza Low Yat is geek heaven – an IT mall with at least 400 outlets selling widgets and thingamabobs. You’ll also find quality golf gear in department store Isetan over at Lot 10, and plenty of places in between to eat satays on the run or dine in for a full Malay meal.
Times Square – just around the corner from Sungei Wang – is so huge it has an indoor theme park complete with roller coaster. It also has the largest Borders bookshop in the world and so many other stores it’s almost overwhelming.
Under the Petronas Towers, the fourth tallest buildings in the world, is Suria KLCC – a designer mall caters to label hunters including Zara, Top Shop and lovers of expensive European designers.
But the best fun is trying out your haggling skills at the Petaling Street night market. Stalls open about mid-day and that’s a good time to go to avoid the throng, but from 5pm till midnight it’s buzzing and stocked with handbags, watches, Tiffany (et al) knock-offs, shoes, belts and Hugo Boss ties. A lot of the vendors are selling the same things, so compare prices first and then start by offering about half of what you’re quoted. And when you’re done shopping it might be time to do something about those lashes.