As with any capital of Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur has large shopping centers and areas where you can do your shopping without blowing your budget. In Kuala Lumpur, it is easy to come across decent quality copies of the world’s leading international brands, if you would rather save money on things like electronics, clothes and shoes.
Though there are many high-end shops and designs to choose from too. Well, it all really depends on what it is you’re after. When it comes to gifts and souvenirs, there is a pretty big variety of things to choose from. In case you are looking for a perfect gift or souvenir to bring home from your travels in Kuala Lumpur, this post is here to help. We will list the things you can find in the city, and some areas where you could find them.
- 1 Best Souvenirs From Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
- 1.1 Traditional Malaysian Garments – Batik
- 1.2 ARCH – an official souvenir of Kuala Lumpur
- 1.3 Antiques, vintage clothes, jewellery
- 1.4 Sabah Pearls
- 1.5 Kerongsang brooches
- 1.6 Cucuk Sanggul
- 1.7 Handicrafts of the indigenous people
- 1.8 Wau – handmade kites
- 1.9 Boh Tea
- 1.10 Traditional Malaysian Curry Paste, Spices & Sauces
- 1.11 Chocolate with tropical fruits
- 2 Places to look for gifts and souvenirs In Kuala Lumpur
- 3 Some other interesting shops you can visit…
Best Souvenirs From Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Whatever your itinerary in KL, there is not missing out on some of the coolest markets and malls to explore in Malaysia’s captial. There are plenty of bargains to score and grab some cool souvenirs to bring back home from Kuala Lumpur.
Traditional Malaysian Garments – Batik
Scarves, blouses, dresses, paintings… Batik garment is a truly unique gift, reflecting Malaysian culture, which is worth learning about. Batik is a method of decorating textiles through dye resistance, in which designs are created by preventing specific parts of a textile from being exposed to dye. The most popular motifs are leaves and flowers.
Malaysian batik depicting humans or animals are rare because Islam norms forbid animal images as decoration. However, the butterfly theme is a common exception. The Malaysian batik is also famous for its geometrical designs, such as spirals. For men, Batik can be worn at dinner functions. Even the ladies wear the fabric as formal dress, combining batik with modern fashion. The Malaysian government even encourages civil servants to wear batik during the 1st and 15th day of the month. It is obvious that batik garments are an inseparable part of Malaysian culture.
Sculpture cut with laser. The Knick-knack Arch store specializes in portraits cut with Asian laser hair and patterns, made of wood plate and covers to create a 3D effect. You can buy these works of art in the form of framed paintings, portalapices, even slings for telephones. For a broader selection, visit the main store Arch in the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.
Also Read: 3 Week South East Asia Itinerary
ARCH – an official souvenir of Kuala Lumpur
ARCH is a premium Malaysian brand represented by an extraordinary range of Made In Malaysia gifts that aim to capture the uniqueness of the world’s greatest landmarks. ARCH was founded in 1989 to fabricate architectural scale models. In the late 90s, using the same expertise, technology, and machinery, ARCH diversified into the gift industry – filling the much-needed vacuum for premium quality corporate and tourist related gifts with distinctive detailing.
Antiques, vintage clothes, jewellery
With their quirky wares and the potential for hidden gems, various flea markets in Kuala Lumpur can be a great opportunity to find something unique, even with a long history. Apart from being an incredible shopping experience, flea markets are a great opportunity to learn about the way of life in Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur, its history, as well as to find a perfect gift or a souvenir for a loved one. You may look for kids’ toys, picture frames, various antiques, artwork, books, records, clothes… The beauty of flea markets is that you never know what you’ll find—and there’s always a chance you’ll find something fabulous. So, why not do it in Kuala Lumpur?
Sabah, the state located in the Eastern part of Malaysia, is famous worldwide for its lovely clear waters and marine life. It is possible to purchase high quality Sabah Pearls here in Kuala Lumpur at a bargain price. Try checking out the central market.
Kerongsang is typically worn by Malay women with their traditional Kebaya or Baju. This brooch usually holds the dress together in a decorative fashion. Embedded with colorful beads and stones, this is the perfect present for anyone that likes pretty little things! You usually buy Kerongsang as a set of three separate pieces, where each one is a different size.
Another idea for a traditional souvenir is Cucuk Sangul, a hairpin made of silver or gold with a decorative end. Some have designs, others have images of mythical animals and creatures. The price ranges from at least RM100 to RM300 ($ 22-74) and more depending on the quality of the material. You may have to go to a specialty store to buy one. Normally, you should be able to find it in any wedding shop, as they are a popular wedding gift in Malaysia.
Handicrafts of the indigenous people
Asli Craft at Central Market sells handmade craft products by Malaysia’s different indigenous groups including rattan baskets, pandan bags and beaded purses from Sarawak, Mah Meri headpieces, blowpipes and fish-trap bamboo lampshades. Pandan is a wild plant of great cultural significance, used in a variety of ways. Pandan is used to add fragrance to food, such as rice and desserts, to wrap food before cooking, and of course to make woven products. Any of these products that you find will serve as a perfect souvenir from this country.
Wau – handmade kites
Before the arrival of the internet and virtual games, the children of Malaysia used to fly oversized kites as a form of entertainment, especially in smaller towns and villages. This would create a spectacular view, as the kites would sometimes fly so high they could be seen from the neighbouring villages. The structure of the wau is usually made of bamboo and is made by hand, while the intricate patterns and motifs, made of rice paper, are carefully glued on top one by one.
The Wau kite is quite large in size and it won’t be possible for you to carry one on board en route back home. Understanding this, shops like Ka50 at Central Market offer miniature Wau’s of different colors from RM20 or US$7 to RM30 or US10 apiece. Certain kites may go for up to a few hundred RM.
Malaysia’s all-time favorite instant tea mix renowned for its zesty ripeness and rich (juicy/fruity) taste. Available in various flavors, including peach, lemon lime, caramel, teh tarik (hot milk tea) and more. Great tea experience for true tea lovers! Genuine product of Malaysia.
Traditional Malaysian Curry Paste, Spices & Sauces
A pre-cooked concentrated spicy paste from ground fresh spices, one of the best known delicacies of Malaysia! Made of natural ingredients, suited for vegetarian and vegan diet. Easy to handle – just mix the substance with boiling water, add coconut milk and bring to quick boil. Great addition to many dishes, especially noodles.
Chocolate with tropical fruits
Flavours include the famous durian as well as jackfruit and many others. You may not be able to bring the fruit back with you, but you can do it in the form of chocolate!
Places to look for gifts and souvenirs In Kuala Lumpur
The city offers more than 60 shopping centers to choose from. The most expensive places are in the big shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, that are generally open from 10.30 to 21:30 (22:00). There you can find many top international and local brands. For high end fashion, the Bukit Bintang and KLCC areas provide the most variety, with upmarket malls such as Pavilion KL and Suria KLCC home to international brands such as Jimmy Choo, Diane Von Fürstenberg and Louis Vuitton. Meanwhile, shopping centres like Low Yat Plaza and Berjaya Times Square are great places to spend your ringgit on tech-related products, and indie fashion finds.
For those who are looking for a more unique and ethnic shopping experience, try Jalan Petaling and Central Market in Chinatown or Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kuala Lumpur’s Little India – also known as the old Brickworks area.
An important tip for shopping in the markets:
As with the rest of Southeast Asia, you need to bargain in the markets to get a good price. But, only try your haggling skills in markets without fixed prices. Any shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, food courts and smaller shops with a price is what you pay. Just remember that if you get a receipt, you can’t ask for a lower price.
Some other interesting shops you can visit…
… if you are not a big fan of wandering through the maze that markets and huge shopping malls are:
The Batik Boutique promotes the ancient art form of batik, while partnering with local communities in Southeast Asia to bring about holistic transformation. Hand-made, beautiful batik products with a cause – empowering artisans in Malaysia. Products include scarves, bags, travel & accessories, home décor, corporate gifts, and even clutches.
Kinokuniya Book Store
A huge book store located at Suria KLCC. Popular with bookworms, Kinokuniya offers a large selection of books catering to almost every type of reader here. It’s rare that you can’t get the book you want, but the efficient staff is always on hand to assist with orders. With two floors, the upper level is specifically dedicated to art and design books and magazines, with a cosy cafe in the corner too.
Peter Hoe Beyond
Peter Hoe Beyond is a store along Jalan Doraisamy (also known as The Row KL) with a lovely collection of homeware, clothes and souvenirs. It’s divided into three colourful sections: a retail store, boutique and café. Fusing Asian and modern style, some of the best things to buy here include colourful, woven rattan baskets and place mats in bold colours and designs as well as flowery shirts, batik print pareos and scarves.
Kia Klemenz Gifs & Souvenirs
The perfect boutique for your all-season shopping, with carefully selected crafts, unique gifts, souvenirs, batik paintings, garments and decorative items.
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