Part II: The Best Places to Go Shopping in Malaysia

Last time, we learned about all the places one can go to in Malaysia for some bargain finds, and we mostly featured bazaars and markets. This week, it’s all about the malls.

Shopping spree in Malaysia

Though shopping in market places is lots of fun, sometimes, nothing comes close to a shopping spree inside a posh mall. You get to try on clothes in big dressing rooms, there’s no need to elbow other shoppers for the merchandise, and each piece in every store is there for a reason. The blouse goes with the trousers, the bag coordinates with the shoes, and so on. Buying things at the mall takes the guesswork out of shopping, and though it’s not the most creative or unusual way to shop, it probably is the most convenient way to do so, especially for people who don’t have the time or patience to look through racks and piles of clothing.

Kuala Lumpur has numerous shopping malls that are frequented by those who want to go on major shopping sprees. These malls feature a collection of stores that cater to every budget, from those looking to score great finds at affordable prices, to those who want luxury items.

When shopping at the mall, remember to keep the following things in mind:

  • Dress nicely. Smart casual attire is always good to wear to the mall, especially if you plan to eat at any of the restaurants there. Women should wear dresses, or a blouse and a skirt to make it easier to try on stuff. Doing your hair nicely and wearing a little makeup will also inspire you to try and buy new things. The lighting in some dressing rooms can be harsh, so it helps to look nice so as not to get discouraged when shopping for new clothes.
  •  Be polite. Don’t be a diva, especially when it comes to dealing with salespeople. Some of them can be pushy, so if you don’t have plans to buy anything from a particular store, just say that you’re browsing.
  •  Don’t feel pressured to buy anything. Some salespeople are on a commission basis. This is especially true for those who work at the cosmetics counters. If you plan to spend a certain amount for, say, a face cream, don’t get talked into buying the night cream, serum, facial cleanser, and toner just because the sales person insists that you have to get the whole set, or because there’s a free gift if you  buy multiple items.
  •  Know your sizes. The clothes from some local Malaysian chains may be cut a little smaller since they cater to Asian women, who are mostly petite. Keep in mind that a US Large will translate to an Asian XL or XXL. Here’s a chart to help you get the right clothing size:

US Size       Asian Size

0-2                XS

4-6               Small

8-10          Medium

12-14            Large

16- 18     Extra Large

  • Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel great about the purchase that you’re about to make, you probably that need it, or maybe it’s not the same as getting what you really want. Don’t settle for the first thing that you’ve tried on, and browse at other stores to see what else is there.
  •  Never shop when you’re hungry. It’s easy to buy impulsively or make some rash decisions if you’re shopping on an empty stomach. Carry some portable snacks with you like an energy bar to stave off hunger pangs, or go to the food court for a quick snack if you don’t have the time to sit down for a meal.

Here are the best malls to visit in Malaysia for some good shopping fun:

1. Pavilion KL
Address: 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Shop at Pavilion KL

If you’re looking for high end shopping, then look no further. Pavilion KL is the place to be. Top designer brands such as True Religion, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Paul Frank, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, and more are here, so you can buy authentic, high quality items or just take your time browsing among the fabulous stores spread over seven levels. This mall has a great food court at the basement, and many restaurants and coffee bars. Apart from the shops and restaurants, there’s also a cinema, a fish spa and a karaoke bar.  The 7th floor is fully dominated by shops for women. Here you’ll find a number of spas, beauty salons, and manicure bars.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, you absolutely have to try watching the latest flick at the Golden Screen Cinemas. Try to get a Gold Class ticket, which costs about RM 50. For that price, you’ll get to sit in a chair that’s actually a very luxurious recliner. When you arrive, you’ll be handed a warm blanket as the airconditioning here makes the halls extremely cold. There’s also a button to press to signal the butler to get your drink or snack order. Impressive, isn’t it?

During festivals, visitors can enjoy amazing decorations at Pavilion KL. Around Christmas, the main entrance is decorated with huge Christmas trees, and man-made snow falls from the rooftop daily at 8PM. The mall is also decorated to the max during Chinese New Year. The whole place is usually filled with red lanterns and cherry blossom trees that give the entire mall a cheerful atmosphere.

2. Suria KLCC
Address: 1 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

suria klcc
Go shopping at Suria KLCC

This is a luxurious mall with over 320 stores, and is located directly beneath the Petronas Twin Towers. It caters to middle and upper class Malaysians and tourists, and nearly 40 million people visit the mall every year, making it one of the busiest malls in Malaysia. Aside from shopping options, there is a large cinema, an orchestra hall, an aquarium, convention center, an art gallery, and a park. The park is usually full of people and fun to walk through. There’s even an outdoor swimming pool in the park which is nice for a quick dip on a hot day.

The mall itself has a wide variety of stores spread over 6 floors. Outside the mall are a few popular bars and restaurants, but for great cuisine, better stop by the 4th floor. Here, you’ll find Madam Kwan’s and Yuzu for excellent Japanese food, and Bumbu Desa for sumptuous Indonesian cuisine. For more affordable eats, the foodcourt at the 2nd floor has over 20 local and international food outlets ranging from Mr. Teppanyaki to McDonalds.

3. Berjaya Times Square
Address: 1 Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur

berjaya time square
Visit Berjaya Times Square

Berjaya Times Square is one of the largest shopping malls in the whole world. There are more than 1,000 shops in business, with specialty stores located at the higher levels.

A unique aspect of this mall is the large indoor theme park called Berjaya Times Square Theme Park, formerly known as Cosmo’s World. Take a ride on the 800-meter long indoor rollercoaster, the Supersonic Odyssey, which flies past the numerous galleries of the shopping mall with tremendous speed. Aside from the indoor theme park, you can also visit the GSC MAXX 2D and 3D theater, the 48-lane bowling alley, the archery hall, and the amusement center.

Whether you love bargain finds or luxury brands, one thing’s for sure, you can find it here in Malaysia. All of the malls and markets featured are centrally located, so it’s easy to find a hotel to stay in if you’re planning a shopping trip to the country. Happy Shopping!

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