Shopping – The fun things to do when you’re bored

Although I think it is very unlikely for you to feel bored when you are on vacation, there is still a slim chance that you might feel tired doing all the things that tourist does. Maybe you feel like taking a break from visiting museums, or maybe you just want to do fun things like – obviously shopping!

Don’t worry, if you are in Malaysia, there are plenty of shopping malls to be visited during your stay. Too many to list. Especially if you are in Kuala Lumpur. There are a lot of shopping malls choices, from the high-end outlets to the place that is perfect for a weekend hangout, KL got them all.

Is shopping in Kuala Lumpur cheap?

This is probably one of the popular questions amongst travelers that are looking forward to visiting Malaysia. “How much money shall I bring?”, “Are the goods good in quality?”, “Can I bargain the price?”
These thoughts are normal. Obviously, we want to be prepared in whatever condition that we are going to face in a foreign country.

Again, I think I have to emphasize the fact that 2017 is the best time to visit Malaysia due to the leverage that you could get from the currency exchange. Since mid-2016, Malaysian Ringgit had performed quite badly due to several issues, globally and locally. In short, Malaysian Ringgit is at its lowest or weakest condition this year. This means, technically, if you change a certain amount of your currency today, it will worth more in Malaysian Ringgit compare to let’s say, 2 or 3 years ago. Therefore, the situation itself will give you a stronger buying power. On the other hand, to generalize that shopping in Malaysia is cheap (all kinds of things) is an overstatement. It depends on the type of things that you are looking for and of course the relative price (at your country).

For example, if you compare the price of a handbag from Kate Spade in Malaysia and the US, obviously, you will find the price here is more expensive. Or maybe, the price of accessories from Ted Baker, whether it is cheaper in Malaysia or in the UK, the obvious answer us no, the price in the UK will be a lot cheaper. Those are imported goods and you are better off to shop for these brands at their birthplace. You got what I mean?

However, if you feel like trying the same products like shoes, handbags or anything else with the local brand, then it will be a lot cheaper in Malaysia. So, it is really subjective. However, there is still a way to buy the luxurious items with cheap prices in Malaysia – I will reserve the tips until the very end.

What to buy in Kuala Lumpur

From my random research, the number one thing for the foreigners to buy in Malaysia is electrical and electronics appliances and maybe gadgets. These are the items with the significant amount of price difference compared to other countries. Thanks to globalization and industrial boom – there are a lot of factories that manufacture these items in Malaysia. For example, you can find famous brands like Samsung, Panasonic, Dell and others that have their manufacturing facilities in Malaysia. So, do your price comparison research and look for these items, you may want to buy it here. However, words of advice – always buy from reliable sources and make sure to check its quality first.

Other things that you might consider buying in Malaysia are clothing, accessories and maybe head scarfs for women. These are also some of the popular items that you may find the bargains for them. Also, local crafts, artworks that are rare could also be considered as a good buy. Other than that, if you want to find cheap fabrics to be made as clothing (especially womenswear), you could head down to Jalan TAR near Masjid Jamek LRT Station where you will find arrays of shops selling these stuff like there is no tomorrow. The plus point to shop at the place like this is – you could do negotiations and bargains for a better price, in fact, you must always bargain!

Shopping in Jalan TAR

A street vendor working his *yes, it’s a his* charm selling head scarfs for just RM5, approx 1.2USD or £1. Jalan TAR is the one place that you must go for a cheap shopping trip. This place will be jammed-packed during the Ramadhan season in which, people will shop for their Hari Raya (the biggest festive season after Ramadhan) preparations here.

Best shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur

However, if you want the convenience of shopping in the air-conditioned environment, with rows of cafes and restaurants, then you should obviously go to the malls, and I kid you not, there are a lot of shopping malls in KL. I wonder why, though. I suspect that the land developers tried to push the properties’ prices by literally building malls in every new project. So, yeah, it is not an uncommon thing if you find yourself surrounded by a lot of malls nearby apartments in the residential area. It is kind of weird, I know.

However, there are seasoned malls, the ones that are well-known as the go-to places. Maybe because of the quality of the retailers that they have, or maybe simply because of their locations. These are the best of the best shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur which you must visit if you ever visit Kuala Lumpur.

1 – Pavilion, Bukit Bintang, KL

With over 550 retail outlets and restaurants, this mall is so popular. The main reason is because of the exclusive and the luxurious feels that it brings. Imagine this as Harrods of KL although maybe it is not the same in stature and heritage of the one in London. But, this is the place for you to visit if you opt for a luxurious shopping, or maybe, just for the window shopping.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Pavilion, KL – located in Bukit Bintang of the KL Golden Triangle, simply the place you want to be for your city vacation

This place is also very popular amongst the rich Arabs tourists, therefore, don’t be shocked if you find a lot of them here, in fact – Pavilion is so popular for foreigners that they have their own loyalty program only for tourist. You can get your Tourist Reward Card at Fashion Avenue Concierge at Level 2 or Concierge Desk at Level 3 to enjoy special offers, discounts, gifts and so much more from over 250 stores.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Pavilion KL – reward card for tourist. Another reason to shop here

Actually, there is no surprise that this mall is very popular amongst tourists. It is because of the location – Bukit Bintang. Oh, maybe if you want to look for hotels near Pavilion, you might want to consider, Grand Millennium Hotel Kuala Lumpur, The Westin Kuala Lumpur or Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel & Residences. These are all hotels that located less than 5 minutes by walking to Pavilion.

2 – Mid Valley Megamall, Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur

This is one of the earliest Megamall in Kuala Lumpur. A very massive one.  They started their operation back in 1999. It is actually a complex that combines office tower block, hotels and a shopping mega mall all in its vicinity. The mall has 4.5 million square feet (420,000 m²) of total floor area which obviously – an enormous amount of space. I remember visiting this mall for the first time when I was in my high school. At that time I am not really familiar with the city scene, especially coming from the suburb area. I was overwhelmed by the scale of it and nearly lost in those ‘courts’ of retail spaces.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Mid Valley Megamall – Centre Court

I actually have a hard time thinking the best way to describe this place. As for shopping, I believe they got it all. From high-street fashion, bookstore, salon, to toys shop, and a place to indulge in the continental foods to piping hot traditional foods like Nasi Lemak, they got them all here. There are about 500 retailers that ready to tempt you to shop till you drop.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Tourism Privilege Cars – Be sure to apply for this card

Like Pavilion, they appreciate tourists very much too. By this card, you are entitled to additional discounts ranging from 10% to 50%! Amazing deal. I believe many travelers don’t really aware about this card, though. What a shame, I wish I am a tourist in Mid Valley. Seriously, just check this link <http://www.midvalley.com.my/img/tourist/touristcard_offers.pdf> out, and you will find the lists of discounts that they reserved for tourists. From fashion, accessories, handbags, to sundries, foods and beverages, these amazing discounts are all for you to grab.

Plus, with your passport and receipts, you can also claim back the 6% GST (Goods & Services Tax) from approved stores on purchases of RM300 or above at the same store. So, be smart and make sure you get this card and claim back the tax imposed upon your purchases.

Oh, in case if you want to stay in the hotel nearby Mid Valley, you could try looking at Cititel Mid Valley hotel, which is the best seller accommodation for people that looking to explore this ginormous mall, or else, The Boulevard – St. Giles Premier Hotel or The Gardens Hotel and Residences is still an excellent option as they are still in the Mid Valley City area.

3 – Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway, PJ.

Also one of the earliest shopping mall in Klang Valley area. Sunway Pyramid has its own charm and attractions. it always jammed packed with people, and the traffic towards this mall is always busy, thus it makes sense to commute here by using public transport or ride sharing apps. It is actually the first shopping mall of its kind. The first themed shopping and entertainment mall with a nearby water theme park. It has been in operation since 1997, a little bit smaller than Mid Valley Megamall, but still, with 4 million square feet of the retail extravaganza, there are so many things to do here.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Too big to include everything in a picture!!

So, what does it means by a ‘themed shopping mall’? – It is a mall built and architecturally incorporated with the Egyptian-inspired Pyramid plus a majestic lion statue guarding the entrance. The mall can be divided generally as the Orange Atrium and Blue Atrium. However, the one thing that gives this mall its charm and character is the four distinct shopping precincts – Fashion Central, Oasis Boulevard, Asian Avenue and Marrakesh Avenue that are ready to offer you a shopping experience like nothing else.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Its grand entrance, like you are paying the Pharoah a visit at its tomb

Other notable attractions at this mall alone are its ice rink, which I believe one of the earliest one in Malaysia (as you know we don’t have any snow due to the geographical factor), and of course the Sunway Lagoon Water Theme Park which is just around the corner. Other than that, as usual, do expect to binge on ridiculous varieties of foods available in store. So many good restaurants to choose, I might as well advise you to come with a completely empty stomach.

Nearby accommodations are Sunway Clio Hotel or if you want to stay nearer to the Sunway Lagoon Water Theme Park, then Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa or Sunway Pyramid Hotel will be a suitable choice for you, especially if you are traveling with young kids, they going to have the best time of their life!

Things to do when your bored

Sunway Lagoon’s map, a perfect place for family Staycation!

So, these are the top 3 best shopping malls in Malaysia. Each of them has their own uniqueness and charms. From  Pavillion, “Harrods of Malaysia” to an Egyptian-themed mall with ice rink? plus water theme park, these are all the places that you can go to spend time with your family and loved ones to have the time of your life. Please, do not forget to take advantage of the privilege cards for tourists, also don’t forget to claim back your 6% GST. So never, ever lose your receipts if you have the intention to claim that money back!

Finally, what are the fun things to do when you’re bored?
I say – shopping in Malaysia!

Thank you

Posted in Things To Do, Travel Malaysia Guide.

22 Comments

  1. I think it would be fun just to go shopping and see the different products that are sold in stores there verse here in the United States. Would love to try to barter while I was there too! That would be a fun time!

    • Hi Kurtis, bartering may not work anymore, especially in big mall like this, or if you mean bargaining for a lower price, it also depends on the location too. Big shopping malls usually fixed their price but still give promotions and discounts, but if you go for street shops, then it is possible.

      Thanks

  2. I only hope my woman doesn’t read this – she would go crazy and insist that the next holiday is exactly there.
    It’s somehow ironic that quite often, it’s the actual shopping that I find boring.
    Was still an interesting read with great photos – thanks

    • Hi Derek, haha, loll…may I share this on your wife’s FB please…?
      You are right, the actual shopping for men, might be the stuff that make us bored, by I believe you will have lots of coffee shop or restaurant to kill your time when your wife is going for her shopping spree.

      Thanks.

  3. Lol. You answered the first question I was going to have: how could you be bored visiting a place like that? I suppose if you were there long enough and were used to it all …

    This is a fantastic-looking list of stuff to do. I love it when someone gives me a window into another part of the world. The Sunway Pyramid looks like a very, very impressive site!

    Thanks for the great work. Keep it up!

    All the best,

    Kevin

    • Hi Kevin, you are right, actually it is hard to get bored here, unless you are really hard to be entertained.
      Going to Sunway Pyramid is like stepping to another foreign world, it is a very great mall.
      Hope you will visit us soon.

      Thanks

  4. Malaysia looks like a lot of fun!! I would love to go travel there. It looks like they definitely know how to get the people there to buy considering how many shopping areas they have. Thank you for this.

    • Hi Brent, thanks for your comment, hope that this post will inspire you to visit Malaysia soon.
      Thanks

  5. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Malaysia. I’m from Vietnam and I love traveling in South East Asia.Those shopping mall looks so amazing. I definitely want to go there once. I’ll for sure remember your post. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi neighbor!.. You are welcome to visit Malaysia anytime, please let me know if you need any helps.

      Thank You

  6. Hi!
    I was never been to Malaysia, but hope one day I will. I like your site a lot. Thank you for all great information and pictures. I am not big fan on shopping, but I would like to see all natural beauties of this great country and, of course to try Nasi Dagang or any other Malayan food.

    • Hi there, don’t worry, if you don’t like shopping, there are so many things to do other than shopping, and you are right, you can eat your way through Malaysia! yes don’t forget about Nasi Dagang.. : )

  7. Wow, I would love to visit Kuala Lumpur and shop at these amazing places! The Pavilion looks right up my alley, as it looks like so many places in one place. What does the rewards card get for you once you get it? I think I would love to visit here, stay at a nearby hotel and have fun shopping and people watching! Of course I love water parks, and Sunway Lagoon looks awesome. I can see myself spending a few long days there for sure.

  8. I’m not much of a shopper when I’m at home, but I certainly can’t resist seeing what they have to offer and for what prices when I am traveling in other countries! Those malls look enormous! (compared to the ones I have seen anyway)

    You said it is fairly standard to try to negotiate or bargain when buying something…does this apply to mostly everywhere? My general rule of thumb is to negotiate when the seller does not have a building or roof, but generally I don’t negotiate when there is a building. Does this apply here?

    Thanks for the article!

    • Hi Bret, you are right about the bargaining.
      Of course, people do not do bargain in Malls normally, but sometimes I do ask whether the retailers offer discounts, sometimes it will lead to items that on promotion.

      Hope it helps!
      Thanks

  9. I’ve always had a desire to travel around the world in the futures. So of course I’ve looked at many different places I could travel to. Malaysia was one of them. I actually didn’t know that right know is the best time due to the currency differences and advantages we’d have. I think that’s somewhere I’d like to definitely visit. Thanks for the awesome article!

    • Hi Caleb, it is indeed the best time to visit Malaysia now, so many great things to do and to see, start planning ahead and please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any help.

      Thanks

  10. Hi M.Ramlee,
    Thanks for sharing and I come to know many things Malaysia. I am from Thailand, but never think Malaysia has such a beautiful place like you show us here.
    My youngest sister is still in Kuala lumpur, but I am now in the United States. After reading this article, I am getting so excited to visit her there.
    I would like to know the best time and season to go there. Please suggest.
    Thanks.

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment, as you know, we ain’t got four seasons here.
      The best time to visit will be during the off peak season like in April or August.
      The end of the year is usually on monsoon season, so it will be raining always.

      Hope you will visit us soon!
      Thanks

  11. Nice Page Ramlee
    I’m sure I won’t be bored in Malaysia any more. I live in Thailand so it’s just a jump to visit Malaysia. Is it still not allowed to smoke in public in Malaysia? I was in Kuala Lumpur once for two days on the way back from Indonesia and liked the street life and food a lot.

    • Hi Stefan, then you should visit us more often.
      About smoking ban, there are some public places that have been gazetted as no smoking area, but they are just only a part of the whole public space, you can still find lots of convenient place to smoke.

      Hope you will return back soon!
      Thanks

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