Malaysia is a world-class shopping destination, with futuristic malls, unique cultural stores and bustling street markets. Bargaining is expected in the markets, but shops and department stores charge fixed prices, and offer bargain prices during the annual sales from July to September and November to January.
Kuala Lumpur is the most popular shopping destination, rivalling Singapore and Hong Kong for fashions and electronic goods. At the base of the Petronas Towers, Suria KLCC, houses a great selection of leading international brands. Sleek Starhill Gallery and Lot 10 have more glamorous brands, while Berjaya Times Square has its own amusement park, with rollercoasters looping past the stores. The Jalan Petaling street market in Chinatown is good for inexpensive souvenirs, and quality handicrafts can be found in the eye-catching Central Market.
Electronic goods, cosmetics and perfumes are available duty-free throughout Malaysia, and distinctive Malaysian souvenirs include Royal Selangor pewter, batiks, wood-carvings, jewellery, handmade kris knives and songket brocade cloth. The islands of Labuan and Langkawi are duty-free zones. Enquire at the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (www.customs.gov.my) about claiming cashback on duty-free goods.