Malaysia — Shopping and Leisure
Malaysia may not have the shopping culture of its northern neighbor Thailand, but this Southeast Asian nation is still home to a plethora of interesting shopping spots. Prices are cheaper than most Western countries, but when compared to Indonesia or other ASEAN countries, it’s generally more expensive. From the glitzy fashion malls in downtown Kuala Lumpur to the bustling antique-zones of Malacca, Malaysia is still a fantastic destination to shop. Keep in mind though, some cities, especially those founded by European colonialists, are predominantly Christian, and therefore do not operate on Sundays. However, areas with mainly Muslim populations trade every day of the week.
When it comes to high-end shopping, head to Malaysia’s capital, which has more than 60 malls. The Bukit Bintang district is where most of the glistening shopping complexes are found, including Pavilion KL and Berjaya Times Square. Midvalley is another significant shopping spot in the city, boasting the Megamall and The Gardens. Bargaining is not the norm in standard retail outlets, but a trip to Chinatown will take tourists to the more typical Asian shopping scene where you can barter your heart out.
Kuching is home to more traditional Malaysian souvenirs, including handicrafts and wooden goods. The Kuching Waterfront is home to the famous bazaar that operates daily, drawing visitors from all over Asia. This is a great location for bargains, especially gifts for those back home.
Antiques are the main shopping attraction in Malacca, but items here tend to be more expensive than anywhere else in Asia and are comparable to prices in the Western world. Every weekday, there is a night market held somewhere in the city. Jonkers Walk operates each weekend from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, while a night market is also found in different suburbs every evening. For example, Kampung Lapan hosts its shopping extravaganza on Tuesdays.