Malaysia is a premier shopping destination in Southeast Asia. Shops, bazaars and shopping centres throughout the country offer a staggering variety of clothing, cosmetics, shoes, handbags, household conveniences
and electronic apparatus.
From the antique and the exotic to modern electronic and audio-visual equipment, the constantly changing product range includes an extensive collection of designer labels from the fashion capitals of the world.
The exemption of duty on a range of items has resulted in more competitive pricing and makes shopping in Malaysia an even more attractive option.
Malaysia has duty-free shops in Labuan and Langkawi as well as at the Kuala Lumpur and Penang international airports and city centres.
Duty-free items like cameras, watches, pens, cosmetics, perfume, cigarettes, liquor and electronic goods are among the cheapest in the world.
Local regulations ensure items are price-tagged and prominently displayed, particularly at department stores in shopping complexes where prices are fixed.
Sophisticated shopping malls where everything has been designed for shopper convenience, contain banks, foreign currency exchange counters, restaurants, supermarkets and hundreds of shops offering tremendous variety.
For light, casual shopping there are roadside stalls, bazaars and night markets in towns throughout the country. A major attraction is the colourful, bustling night market or 'pasar malam’ which stocks a bewildering variety of goods, local foods and fruits. Shopping at one is an experience to be enjoyed. Despite the low prices, bargaining at night markets is acceptable. It can be quite a humorous exercise as the traders are generally enthusiastic and friendly. Cash is accepted at night markets while major credit cards are accepted in most shops in the malls and shopping complexes.
A favourable exchange rate ensures that shopping is relatively cheap in Malaysia. There is a great variety of handicraft of local origin ranging from intricate silver, brass and pewter items to pottery, rattan and wickerwork. Art objects include curio items from the Orient, carpets and rugs of lustrous silk and fine wool.
Batiks of silk and cotton come in tantalisingly vivid hues. The bold designs and dazzling colours of Malaysian batik makes it different from that found elsewhere. There is ready-to-wear apparel of every design and colour and trendy shoes and handbags. From the fashion centres of the world come designer collections, elegant footwear, exclusive watches, optical accessories and quality fabrics.
The latest in electrical appliances, electronic equipment, computers and cameras can be purchased cheaply.
The Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, held once a year is a mammoth nationwide sale that offers everything from A to Z in shopping complexes, departmental stores, individual retailers and street stores. There are exciting bargains ranging from 10% to 70% for a wide range of items.