Malaysia is a country that offers the tourist culture, adventure, health and wellness, and a host of natural attractions on both the mainland and the many islands that form part of the country.
Malaysia is often chosen as a stopping-off point on the journey to and from Australia or Thailand and there is an excellent network of transport to make onward journeys easy. Driving is pleasant in Malaysia and hiring a car is easy, but there are mini-buses and coaches to most important destinations:
Kuala Lumpur, more often just called KL
It is one of the great cities of the East with a fascinating blend of Malay, Asian and Chinese cultures. Captivating sights, sounds and smells from sizzling satays, cloying incense and the always popular durian fruit, make KL a perfect spot for a dose of culture shock. The city is easier to negotiate than Bangkok, is edgier than Singapore and has a more varied population than Hanoi.
In just less than two centuries, the country has turned itself from a mining village into a modern metropolis, with the Petronas Towers as the prime example of a country reaching for the sky. Unfortunately, in the rush for the new, much of the old is being demolished, but enough atmosphere is preserved in the colorful quarters like Chinatown, Little India and Kampung Baru..
Lying off the north-western coast of Peninsula Malaysia, Langkawi is merely one of a cluster of 99 islands which are collectively known as Langkawi. It is an island of legends and myths, miles of sandy white beaches, tranquil villages and acres of paddi-fields. Island hopping it the favorite pastime and days can be spent boat riding.
Things to do on Langkawi include visiting Makam Mahsuri, a shrine erected in honor of Mahsuri a beautiful maiden unjustly accused of adultery whose dying curse on the island is still taken seriously by some locals. There are water-sports from most of the hotels, an Underwater World and an Oriental Village to visit, but best of all perhaps, is the Duty-free shopping. One can also opt for dafabet Malaysia for all the online fun.
Melaka (or Malacca) Malaysia
Now declared an official Historical city, Melaka offers the tourist a taste of what life was like centuries ago. Many parts of the city still retain a sense of another, older world, with buildings and sites standing as a reminder that Melaka was once the centre of trade for the East, a colonial spur for the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. It is unlike any other part of Malaysia and for this reason alone, is well worth a visit.
Few tourists can be unaware of Penang, the Pearl of the Orient and an island with a colorful history. Encompassing the bustling metropolis of Georgetown and a perfect seaside resort with idyllic beaches and resort hotels, Penang is an amalgam of the old and the new. For sheer variety of cultures and cuisines, Penang is hard to beat, whether it’s the many prewar buildings in Georgetown still standing in contrast to the skyscrapers, or the modern shops that sit side by side with the markets and temples.
Best thing about Penang are the hawker stalls with food available day and night – a treat at any time – the festivals that abound throughout the year and the kampungs lying just outside the town – a mere trishaw ride away.
Five Places to Shop in Kuala Lumpur
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur (known as KL) is a delight as there is a huge variety of choices for visitors. From the really expensive and luxurious goods to the cheap and affordable local souvenirs, KL has it all.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur: Shopping for Branded Goods
The Pavilion is a great shopping experience particularly for those who love branded goods. Many famous brands such as GUCCI, Prada and Versace are present there. Moreover, there are Bentley and Jaguar Auto Galleries too. After shopping for an entire afternoon, shoppers can enjoy total relaxation at the Kenko Fish Spa or Oriental Reflexology.
Suria KLCC at the Petronas Twin Towers
While visiting the world’s tallest twin towers, do stop by the Suria KLCC shopping mall. Major retailers include Isetan, Marks & Spencer and Parkson. Other shops in KLCC include GAP, British India and Topshop.
Besides shopping, there are many other attractions. PETROSAINS provides children with opportunities to learn more about the petroleum industry in a fun way. The KLCC Park offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Kids will also love the children’s playground and wading pool in the park.
Bukit Bintang: Frequently Compared to Singapore’s Orchard Road
Unlike Singapore’s Orchard Road, which is a long and straight area littered with various malls, Malaysia’s Bukit Bintang area is more haphazard. Nevertheless, there are many places to shop at. For the teenagers, Sungei Wang Plaza is a good option. Those hoping to get good deals for IT products such as cameras or computers should head to Low Yat Plaza.
The largest indoor theme park, Cosmo’s World Theme Park is located at the Berjaya Times Square. There are 14 attractive rides and the latest attraction is the Haunted Chambers. As the ladies shop, the kids can have an enjoyable time at the rides. For those who enjoy bowling, the Ampang SuperBowl has 48 lanes to offer. On the other hand, bookworms can head straight to Borders which occupy a large space of 25,000 square feet in the mall. Within the bookshop, there is a Starbucks Cafe too.
Amcorp Mall: Flea Markets Galore
The Amcorp Mall is much smaller when compared to the newer malls in KL such as Midvalley or 1Utama. However, Amcorp Mall is special in its own way. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 6pm, there is a flea market at Amcorp Mall. The stalls sell things ranging from antiques to collectibles to toys.
Central Market: Local and Traditional Souvenirs for Purchase
The Central Market is the place to visit to purchase souvenirs for family and friends back home. There are various shops selling local handicraft such as the wau (a kind of local kite) and batik. For the art enthusiast, there are also paintings on sale here.
It is true indeed that Kuala Lumpur offers a wonderful shopping experience to all visitors. There are always items worth buying for different groups of people, no matter where.