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Malaysia, A Shopper’s Paradise

January 28, 2014 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Hendy Tan goes on some retail therapy to compile the unique shopping experiences in Malaysia

It was good news for Malaysia for both 2012 and 2013 when CNN ranked Kuala Lumpur at number four in its report of the top 10 best shopping cities in the world and in the top four league with New York, Tokyo and London.

Shopping is a lucrative sector of Malaysia’s tourism industry. It holds the second biggest share of tourist expenditure after accommodation. In 2012, tourists spent RM18.6 billion on shopping which constituted 30.7 percent of the total receipts of RM60.5 billion.

With 2014 being Visit Malaysia Year, here’s a compilation of Malaysia’s best shopping experiences for travellers looking for great value-for-money bargains.

New Shopping Malls in Malaysia250x250

While Pavilion, Suria KLCC, Mid Valley Megamall have become the main shopping magnets in Kuala Lumpur, newer malls springing up elsewhere means that shoppers can look forward to more exciting retail therapy all over Malaysia.

Gurney Paragon

Gurney Paragon (gurneyparagon.com) in Penang, which opened on 1 July 2013, is built around a stunning heritage building. It blends the antique and modern, just like Penang itself, and because of its ocean-front location, shoppers can enjoy the relaxing sea breeze after a hard day of shopping!

Paradigm Mall

Paradigm Mall (paradigmmall.com.my) is the iconic lifestyle mall in suburbian Petaling Jaya. Shoppers who want to escape the traffic and human congestion of Kuala Lumpur have plenty of space to roam about here — the mall consists of six levels with one million square feet of retail, food and beverage and entertainment space.

Setia City Mall

Setia City Mall (setiacitymall.com) brings a new chapter to the township of Setia Alam, Shah Alam in Selangor with its shop-in-the-park concept. This new retail destination comes with 10.5 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland where visitors can shop, dine, and enjoy nature all at once.

Publika

This unique and yet trendy shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur has reinvented the idea of shopping. Not only does it give shoppers the impression of visiting an art gallery (with all its public art works on display), publika (publika.com.my) also offers some creative shopping space where cultural activities can be held and enjoyed. Apart from that, a number of upscale clothing boutiques, novelty stores and eateries are arranged around this creative and artsy complex. Some big name brands include MPH bookstore, B.I.G. Ben’s Independent Grocer, ACE hardware, British India and more.

The Intermark Mall

Located at the junction of two of the most prominent streets — Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur city centre, The Intermark Mall (theintermark.com) offers shoppers a relaxing and upper class shopping experience. Apart from some fine dining restaurants and specialised retail outlets, shoppers would be pampered in comfortable surroundings by its well-decorated lounge, bar and artistic decorations of the building. It’s conveniently integrated with the Double Tree by Hilton, office towers and retail podium.

Citta Mall

Citta Mall (citta.com.my) is a neighbourhood mall in the up-and-coming area of Ara Damansara, Selangor, near the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. This family-oriented mall features huge open spaces and is bound to be your favourite shopping spot, even though you don’t live in the neighbourhood. Among the retail, food and entertainment outlets are Harvey Norman, MBO Cinema, McDonald’s, Meatworks and Chawan.

Johor Premium Outlet

Officially opened on 11 December 2011, Johor Premium Outlets (premiumoutlets.com.my) is a collection of many designer and brand outlet stores featuring great savings every day. Think 25 to 65 percent off from Armani Exchange, CK Calvin Klein, Bonia, Coach, Timberland, Polo, etc. It is located at the intersection of the North-South Expressway and the Second Link  Expressway, which is easily  accecible going to and from Johor and  Singapore.

Plaza Merdeka, Kuching

Plaza Merdeka (plazamerdeka.com) is the newest shopping destination in the centre of Kuching that offers a wide selection of local and international brand names within 550,000 square feet over six levels of shopping space. The shopping centre is surrounded by some of Kuching’s prominent landmarks, such as Sarawak Museum, the historic Padang Merdeka, the Old Courthouse Complex, Brooke’s Monument, Chinatown with its quaint streets, and numerous temples. Well known international brands like Cotton On, Dorothy Perkins, AD Jeans, VOIR, Ripcurl, Diva, The Bold and Beautiful, Ogival, Leather Avenue RADO Boutique, SKECHERS, and Clarks are found here.

Top Fashion Choices

Get your fashion fix at some of Kuala Lumpur’s trendiest malls. With its attractive price range and a wide selection of fashion products, Malaysia is a truly value-for-money shopping destination.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Winner of numerous local and international awards, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur (pavilion-kl.com) is a favourite among the well-heeled looking for brands such as Burberry, DKNY, esprit, Montblanc, Prada, Paris Hilton, Swarovski, Zara, etc. The Tokyo Street on level six is also worth checking out as it offers various kinds of Japanese products, food, arts and culture, within a Japanese townscape design.

Sunway Pyramid

Sunway Pyramid (sunwaypyramid.com) is Malaysia’s first themed shopping and entertainment mall. Besides the usual fashion brands, the mall also has an ice-skating rink, a 12-screen movie theatre, and a 48-lane bowling alley. As part of a larger property development group, the mall is located within a mixed-development park consisting of a resort, hotel, theme park, convention centre, hospital and universities.

Sungei Wang Plaza

Perennially popular among ardent shoppers, Sungei Wang Plaza (sungeiwang.com) is suitable for trend-setters, budget-conscious shoppers or even souvenir hunters.  Sungei Wang is a haven of local and imported fashion brands and a favourite shopping hangout among the locals.

The Spring, Kuching

Designed to tap into the affluent Kuching market, the Spring (thespring.com.my) is one of Kuching’s popular shopping malls since its inception in 2008.   Shoppers will find a wide array of international fashion brands such as Esprit, G2000, Guess, HABIB and more. Many of these international names are opening their doors for the first time in Sarawak, bringing brands from Germany, France, Denmark and Brazil to Malaysian shores.

Kenanga Wholesale City

Dubbed as Malaysia’s first one-stop fashion wholesale shopping centre, Kenanga Wholesale City (kenanga.com.my) brings great excitement in the Asian fashion wholesale industry. Shoppers can find everything from tops and pants to accessories and shoes – all in riot of colours! Besides dedicating to wholesale business, this fashion mall also caters to other business services, such as event spaces, banking, food and beverages outlets, etc.

Something for the Home

Home interior shopping is also gaining popularity in Malaysia with many retailers offering a one-stop-centre for home furnishings.

IKEA 

Popular Swedish brand, IKEA (ikea.com.my) has been in Malaysia since 1996, offering a wide range of home furnishing products at low prices, making all items affordable for everyone. Kids can be dropped off at the IKEA play area while the adults shop around. Besides the furniture, the IKEA meatball lunch set is also popular.

VIVA Home 

Viva Home Shopping Mall (vivahome.com.my), is a one-stop centre for home-related products and services. From furniture to bathroom fittings, DIY tools to soft furnishings, kitchen accessories to kids’ furniture and home décor, there is something for every taste, every budget and every home.

Gadget on a Budget

Gadget shopping is worth considering in Malaysia due to the favourable currency exchange rate and choice of goods.

Low Yat Plaza

This lifestyle-based IT mall (plazalowyat.com) is located right in the epicentre of the Kuala Lumpur shopping belt. In March 2009, the Malaysian Book of Records officially recognised Plaza Low Yat as “Malaysia’s Largest IT Lifestyle Mall”. With its seven themed retail floors selling all kinds of digital hardware, software, it certainly deserves the title!

Digital Mall

Meanwhile, Digital Mall (digitalmall.com.my) is a 80,000 square foot 4-storey medium-sized commercial centre in Petaling Jaya stocked up with IT, electronics and electrical products, ranging from smart phones to notebooks, tablets, personal computers, software products, game consoles and cameras. It also houses the service centres of all the major telecommunications companies in Malaysia.

Handicraft Shopping


Before leaving Malaysia, there’s just one more thing left to do – souvenir shopping. And there’s no better keepsake than a local-made handicraft of Malaysia.

Royal Selangor Visitor Centre

Royal Selangor (royalselangor.com), a proudly Malaysian brand is the world’s largest pewter-maker. The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre gives an insight into the world of pewter with interactive exhibits and games. The highlight here is a visit to the School of Hard Knocks, a workshop centre where visitors can create their own pewter souvenirs. The retail store offers an exciting range of pewter homeware, silver filigree jewellery and other gifts.

Central Market (Pasar Seni) 

In Kuala Lumpur, Central Market (centralmarket.com.my) is an award-winning bazaar which offers a wide variety of souvenirs created by local and foreign artists and craftsmen. Visitors can have their portraits sketched or request for custom-made souvenirs. Just outside, the Kasturi Walk offers street-shopping in a safe and covered environment.

Kraftangan Malaysia

Styled like a Malay village, Kraftangan Malaysia (kraftangan.gov.my) houses an artists’ colony, handicraft shops, an art workshop, craft museum and food court. Tourists can spend a day here to learn batik-painting, weaving, jewellery-making or pottery. Also available for sale are export quality Malaysian handicrafts such as kaftans, bathrobes, silverware, pewterware, glassware, pottery, silk batik paintings and songket.

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