Shopping by Foot in Kuala Lumpur

Many people find shopping to be therapeutic and like it to be their main activity when they travel.

Given that encouraging tourists to shop reaps a great boost to the local economy is the main rationale for the Malaysian government encouraging tourists to visit Malaysia for the sole purpose of shopping. In fact, Malaysia actively encourages shopping tourism by implementing an annual mega shopping carnival, which rewards visitors for shopping by making all but five products duty free right throughout the country.

Malaysia has about 300 huge shopping malls spread out across the country, but the capital Kuala Lumpur is the king of shopping centres, with 55% of all shopping malls located within or close to the city.

One of KL’s biggest shopping malls is Suria, which is located at the base of the Petronas Towers, which is the world’s tallest double tower complex. It is a six storey complex which is home to more than 380 stores.

Located about 500 metres from the towers is Bukit Bintang, the main tourist shopping and entertainment area. It used to be hard, hot work moving between the two areas, but now the government has made the transit from one to the other ridiculously easy by building an elevated, air-conditioned walkway which directly leads from the Suria to The Pavilion Mall, which is an upmarket mall in Bukit Bintang.

The new link walkway means that over 3,000 shops are now within easy reach of each other, making Kuala Lumpur a shopaholic heaven.

Whilst most of the major shopping malls are open until 10pm at night, many of the street stores in Bukit Bintang are open until the early hours of the morning. Apart from shopping, Bukit Bintang has many restaurants, street stalls, bars and clubs which keep the area very lively. It has a great atmosphere, particularly at night, and is considered to be safe for tourists and locals alike.

Prices in Malaysia are low, even by Asian standards, and with the majority of goods being duty free, including the latest technological devices, and high end fashion accessories, there are many bargains to be had. During the Mega Shopping Carnival, which runs between June and September each year, and the end if year sales, which start in November and continue through to January, prices are discounted further.

With the government supporting shopping as a valid tourist activity, and with their encouragement for traders to offer genuine value for money, Malaysia is one place where shopaholics can manage to indulge in their obsession to their hearts’ content.

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