Shopping in Malaysia is a famous affair, as it stocks affordable and fashionable products all year long. Malaysia dubbed a ‘shopping paradise’ has over 50 big shopping malls. Name a famous global brand, and it would have at least one store in one of the malls in Malaysia. Malaysia caters all types of shopping needs from cheap wallet-friendly shops to high-end luxury shops, making it a one-stop for all shopping needs.
Best Shopping places in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is the best shopping destination in Malaysia with local stores, markets, tech-related shops and high-end brands all at one place. Kuala Lumpur has many shopping malls in the KLCC and Bukit Bintang area for the luxurious shopping of designer and local brands. There are IT malls for all things electronic at cheaper prices. Kuala Lumpur hosts a vibrant street market like Petaling Street, Central Market Annexe. As the place offers everything, it depends on you to explore your favourite spot.
Penang Island is a fascinating island which stands next to Kuala Lumpur in shopping. It has classy malls with all big international names. Penang also hosts a night market, where prices are a little lower than Kuala Lumpur. The food capital of Malaysia also has various packed food products, which are a bit of Malaysia to take back home.
Langkawi is a duty-free shopping destination with beautiful beaches. Langkawi is the perfect stop for shopping chocolates, cosmetics, alcohol at a low price due to tax exemptions. This tropical island will offer the best duty-free shopping experience in the whole of Malaysia.
What is famous in Malaysia for shopping?
When in Malaysia, allot separate timing for shopping as it is excellent to visit the malls and markets full of beautiful stuff. Before you go shopping, check out our guide on what is famous in Malaysia for shopping.
A trip is never complete without buying a souvenir. Malaysia is a culturally rich country with blends of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences, there are plenty of souvenir options for shopping in Malaysia. Read along to know about the list of famous Malaysian products to accompany you back home.
Malaysian Batik Fabric
Malaysian Batik is the famous Malaysian handicraft on Batik fabric. This beautiful hand painted fabric is known for its vibrant colour and versatility. With the Malaysian government encouraging the use of Batik textiles, there are many new age products like handbags, dresses, wall arts, accessories, made out of Malaysian Batik. Malaysian Batik has leaves, flowers and trees motif which are hand-painted with brushes by artisans. The unique prints are sure to catch your attention in major shopping areas. If hand-painted Malaysian Batik is expensive for your pockets, try out the block-printed ones which are inexpensive. Back home, try tailoring it as dresses or shirts, or make it a vibrant addition to your living room as a wall hanging.
Where to buy: Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
Songket is a traditional fabric of silk or cotton woven with silver or golden threads. These beautiful fabrics are a blend of Chinese and Indian textile culture. Songket fabrics belong to the brocade family of textiles, first woven for the royalties. This fabric is woven to obtain a symmetric pattern with a touch of gold or silver. This style of weaving has inspired many designs in modern-day clothing. The shimmery fabrics are exemplary work of Malaysian artisans, which can be tailored as you wish.
Where to buy: Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
Ipoh White Coffee is the popular coffee drink of Malaysia. Coffee lovers have to try this creamy coffee for its aroma and taste. White coffee is made from coffee beans roasted in margarine, which gives the unique flavour. White coffee is available in many Kopitiam styled cafes, Old Town is famous and has the authentic taste. Old town’s instant coffee gives the feel of most loved Malaysian coffee at your convenience, so pack a few of these packets to experience them back home.
Where to buy: One of the Old Town coffee shops or supermarkets
Durian known as the King of Fruits is exotic in taste and is a much-hyped possession of Malaysia. Though international visitors are new to the taste of Durian, the different kinds of sweets and savouries made out of it are sure to impress many. Durian is the smelliest fruit, but it’s mild sweetness, and creamy texture makes it one of a kind. Try out Durian delicacies like Durian Cake, Durian Puff, Durian ice cream, Fried Durian fritters, etc., when in this tropical country. Shopping in Malaysia is not complete until you pack some of the delicious Durian chocolates notably Durian dodols on your way home (be careful to avoid artificial fillings and go for natural Durian filled chocolates), as they are great gifts.
Where to buy: Supermarkets, Duty-free shops
Instant noodles are everyone’s favourite snack or (sometimes) meal. Malaysia is a major manufacturer of instant noodles and houses many internationally recognized brands like Red Chef Sakura, MyKuali Penang and CarJEN. MyKuali Penang White curry noodles are the most famous and have top ten rankings in ramen rater. This spicy blend of flavourful noodles is bought widely by locals as well as tourists to take back home. So satiate your craving for Ramen at Malaysian restaurants and bring home the taste of Malaysia with delicious instant noodles.
Where to buy: Supermarkets spoil you with instant noodle choices.
Nutmeg trees are widely popular in the areas of Penang Island, which are a source of Nutmeg fruits and seeds. Nutmeg oil is one of the famous product of these seeds, which have medicinal value. Nutmeg oil is used as a pain reliever and is loved by many for instant relief from muscular pain, cramps, sprains and headaches. Nutmeg provides a soothing effect on the human body, thus used for relaxing the muscles. There many other products of Nutmeg like Juice, Syrup, which is nutrient rich. This natural medicine can be handy for instant relief from pain, so buy a bottle of it when you are in Malaysia.
Where to buy: Penang is famous for authentic Nutmeg oil. Nowadays, Nutmeg oil is easily available in pharmacies all over Malaysia.
Wau Kite is the vibrant coloured traditional kite of Malaysia. These kites are very attractive and date back to very old times when there were kite competitions. Nowadays, they are beautiful souvenirs with unique prints and intricate decorations. Wau Kite is available in two varieties, the bird kite and moon kite. These kites are generally large to carry home, but there are small sized kites crafted for the likes of tourists.
Where to buy: Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
Pewter goods is a highlight of shopping in Malaysia. The goods are made of Tin, and are intricately crafted and moulded into various products. Pewter goods are present all over Malaysia, but the best goods are from Royal Selangor, which is the largest producer. The wide range of Pewter products are sure to catch your eye, as there is something for everyone. To name a few, office essentials, drinkware, tableware, photo frames, coasters, jewellery, etc.. Pick out one of the finely crafted pewters to adorn your work desk or living room.
Where to buy: Royal Selangor shop, Kuala Lumpur.
Kerongsang is Malaysian jewellery used to hold the traditional Malay women’s dress (Kebaya or Baju) together. Kerongsang is exquisite pieces with precious stones which can be used as a glamorous brooch for your next occasion. This pretty little jewel, which represents Malaysian culture, is famous in Malaysia. Kerongsang is sold in sets of three, in different sizes. Kerongsang can be your first choice if you love authentic touch and colourful stones on your dress.
Where to buy: Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
Boh Tea is a world-renowned tea brand, with a range of spice-infused flavours. This traditional Malaysian Tea company sells packets of teas in exotic flavours like mango, passion fruit, lemon mandarin, lime and ginger, etc.. Boh tea is your perfect fix for new flavours of good old tea, which can be enjoyed at any time. This tea brand is going to leave you, asking for more.
Where to buy: Compact packets are available in all Supermarkets.
Curry Paste and Spices
If you have developed a liking for the Malaysian food, then there are many spices and curry paste of the Malaysian region that you can take home. The curry pastes are a concentrated mixture of freshly ground spices which can be mixed with coconut milk and cooked for a tasty sauce. These are made of natural ingredients and have many varieties suiting vegetarian needs too. Try out these curry pastes and spices to cook an authentic noodle bowl back home.
Where to buy: Supermarkets (famous ones are from Baba’s and Brahmin’s)
Suggested Read: Ultimate travel guide to Malaysia
Malaysia is shopper’s paradise with all the famous global brand’s presence. Handbags, Shoes, Clothes, Accessories, you name it, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur has all the brands that sell it. There are shopping malls and complexes which get millions of shopper’s every month. So, while shopping in Malaysia expect a wide range of dresses and accessories in all sizes from famous brands at the display.
Malaysia is also famous for Electronics goods as they are cheaper than in western countries. Malaysia has all kinds of electronic goods from tiny products to extravagant electronics. Always compare prices and check about the warranty before you buy as many shops hike the prices for tourists and also warranty would not be valid outside Malaysia.
When to shop for the best deals?
For the best deals, visit Malaysia shopping malls during the Sale period. Malaysian government organizes a nation-wide sale twice a year, which offers discounts up to 75%. The first sale is Malaysia Mega sale shopping carnival organized between July and August. This sale attracts locals and tourists as there are major festivals following the period. The second sale is Malaysia Year end sale during the Christmas time of the year, November to December. This also offers up to 75% discounts, and various events are organized during the period.
Check out for credit card offers during the sale period, as there are attractive deals for international travellers too. The malls are in beautiful decorations, and there are many events organized like plays, fashion weeks, cultural evenings, etc. to enjoy shopping.
Shopping malls in Malaysia
Shopping in Malaysia is made experiential with a visit to the shopping malls. Kuala Lumpur has about 20 malls, having everything under one roof. Kuala Lumpur also has the largest shopping mall in Malaysia. Shopping Malls in Malaysia are well known for their variety of brands and entertainment factor. Some of the best malls in Malaysia are:
1. Utama – largest shopping mall in Malaysia
With 1000 shops, four departmental stores, two supermarkets, and cinemas, One Utama is the largest shopping mall in Malaysia. This mall is known for its tagline ‘It’s All in One’, making it a one-stop destination for literally everything. This is a family-friendly mall complex, with themed zones for easy shopping. This is an eco-mall with a rainforest zone which has special rainforest plants creating a greenhouse with fish tanks and rainbow suspension bridge attracting kids. There is a secret garden at the rooftop which has many species of flora. There are also Entertainment zones, Sportzone and highstreet zone catering particular needs. This mall is growing and expanding. For now, it’s the world’s sixth largest mall.
2. Suria KLCC
Suria KLCC is the mall below the famous Petronas Twin Towers of Malaysia. The luxury mall has over 320 stores and over 40 million people visit the mall every year. If you are looking for luxury international brands for clothes and accessories, this mall offers you the right mix. From the mall, you can visit the Skybridge which connects the forty-first and forty-second floors of the twin towers, which offers the best view of Kuala Lumpur. You can chill at the KLCC park with a view and there are huge crowds before the mall during festival seasons and for special screenings of matches. During New year’s eve, there are fireworks above the towers, which attracts many visitors.
3. Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Pavilion is located in the Golden Triangle area of Kuala Lumpur. This mall is one of the best shopping places in Malaysia, forming the centre of Bukit Bintang. It is known for its luxurious entrance. The mall has over 450 stores with seven floors, with popular stores being Tangs, Times Bookstores and Harvey Norman. There are many high-end luxurious shops with moderately priced shops. The mall has plenty of options to eat, with local food to international cuisine. The cinema hall has a luxurious recliner seating with butler services for gold class tickets, making it one of the finest movie watching experience.
4. Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s own times square is a large mall with over 1000 stores. This huge mall is the destination for both locals and tourists, making it crowded all the time. Berjaya Times Square has an indoor theme which is famous for its roller coaster ride. The park also has bowling alleys, archery, and other games for kids and adults. This mall is also known for its wide variety of dining experiences with over 60 places and a large food court. There’s plenty of options to enjoy shopping and entertainment at Berjaya Times Square mall.
5. Plaza Low Yat, Kuala Lumpur
Plaza Low Yat is the world famous IT mall, which has every electronic item. This is a paradise for IT geeks located in Bukit Bintang area. The mall has over 350 shops spread over 7 floors, all dedicated to IT. With separate floors concentrating on Cell Phones, Computers, etc.., the mall caters all your IT needs. The shops require a lot of bargaining to get the best deals, so be informed about the best prices and offers from the mall’s website.
6. Sunway Pyramid, Kuala Lumpur
The Sunway Pyramid mall is known for its Pyramid structure and a huge Lion replica. The mall has over 800 shops with plenty of local and international goods. The mall has Malaysia’s famous ice skating rink, it’s fun to watch people skate at the centre of the mall. The mall also has a theme park, which is famous for its amusement rides, water rides, artificial surfing beach and wildlife park. The Sunway Pyramid theme park(Sunway Lagoon) is a perfect getaway, with a mix of everything especially attracting kids.
7. 1st Avenue, Penang
1st avenue mall is located in Georgetown, the capital of Penang. Georgetown is a UNESCO world heritage site famous for colonial buildings. This seven storey mall has a theme for each floor, like chill for lower ground and style for the ground floor. The mall is known for its numerous shops and rooftop views of the entire island with a panoramic view. The mall is connected to two other malls, Prangin and ICT@Digital mall through sky bridges, making it easy for the visitors.
8. Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall, Langkawi
Langkawi being one of the most popular destinations in Malaysia has beautiful nature. The place is also known for its duty-free shops, with Langkawi Fair Mall housing more than 100 shops. Due to the duty-free aspect, the products here are cheaper compared to other areas in the world attracting a lot of tourists. If you are into designer brands and alcohol purchases, try out the stores in the mall for better deals. Also, check out the small shops for souvenirs and t-shirts at duty-free prices.
During your visit to Malaysia, don’t miss to shop in style at the awesome Malaysian malls. Also, roam around the street markets to experience Malaysian culture and to bring back unique souvenirs. Kuala Lumpur, the shopper’s favourite city is getting in the line of New York, Moscow and London as one of the best places to shop till you drop.