Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Well.. there wasn't a category that summed up Petaling Street in Chinatown, KL so I went for an all-encompassing "Discount Store". This is basically a flea market type street like Patpong in Bangkok without the sleazy girly bars and chock-a-block with stall vendors selling anything you could ever want.. and then some! Go with an open mind and aim to sharpen/hone your bargaining skills!... you may say you won't support piracy or be caught dead in designer fakes, but my friend... come walk this way and see if your convictions are still that strong ;)))
What to buy: You can get anything you want at great prices.. your designer replicas, Gucci winter fur-lined coats even!, t-shirts, leather goods, jewelry, accessories, also brilliant copies of latest before-release-in-Europe DVDs/CDs, even cheap Cable TV remote controls for RM15, mobile phone batteries and chargers, covers, etc. etc. Fake watches a-PLENTY amongst others!!!
What to pay: For watches: Ranging from your basic RM13.00 for made-in-china Gucci ladies watches all the way to those better quality ones which the stall vendors keep behind glass at the back (what they call Swiss machine watches made in Hong Kong... these are the 'real deals' baby!!) If you're really good, you can bargain a good behind-the-glass-cabinet-Tag Heuer down from RM250+ to RM150 but give or take RM10 or RM20 here and there... it's a good deal! I have friends who buy a watch a month to keep up with the latest trends, crazy fun!
Chinatown: the street is also affectionately known as PS among locals.
The street has actually been given a facelift. Gone are the uneven roads and broken pavements and the huge colourful umbrellas that protect the goods sold from wooden pushcarts. Petaling Street is now sheltered, with two large Chinese arches placed at both ends of the street to welcome visitors.
What to buy: You buy immitations designer goods like wallets, handbags, t-shirts, watches, shoes as well as dresses, sunglasses, dvds, shoes, fabrics and souvenirs. Local fruits and food too.
The Hokkien Noodles at the corner of Hong Leong Bank is very popular among the locals.
What to pay: The word is BARGAIN! Bargain as hard as you can and make sure the price is low and inspect the goods before paying for it.
If you are living around China Town or even somewherelse you must visit this store to make purchases on wholesale prices. You will find everything in this store. The prices are surprisingly the lowest in KL. It is located near China Town towards Pudaraya Bus Terminal and very prominent to find. I observed lots of locals making purchases probably they are aware of the low prices.
What to buy: Almost every thing
Chinatown is a heaven for DVD/fake bags/clothes shoppers. But be sure to
1. go in the morning: There are more stalls set up in the streets (but all these shops sell the same thing anyway so you probably won't be missing out) but if you go in the evening, they expect that you are an unsuspecting tourist and try to rip you off. If you go in the morning it will be less crowded and cheaper.
2. BARGAIN: Call at least 1/3 the price and if they refuse then pretend you don't care and pretend to walk away, and show them the cash. If this does not work go to another stall. If the other stall does not comply as well then increase your price offer. Do NOT pay what they ask, it is a blatant rip off. HOWEVER: if they call 10 ringgit for watches there is no bargaining. That's the best price you'll get, unless you want to stand there haggling for an hour only to get the price down to 9rm. (prices are fixed in the shops that are air conditioned)
What to buy: DVDs, bags, watches, beads, shoes, cell phone accessories, underwear, clothes (esp skirts are nice. Shirt quality is rather bad), local fruit
What to pay: 20~25rm for a bag is an acceptable price. 10rm for a watch is rock bottom (best price). Around 15~40rm for skirts, 40~80rm for jeans, and 10~20rm for shirts.
Heaven for those looking for imitation goods, from "branded" t-shirts, watches, wallets to even perfumes.
What to buy: Imitation goods, what else?
What to pay: Depends on what U wanna buy, but do baragain for the best price(start with 50% off from the price quoted)
Bewared. DVDs are often blank, scratched or poor quality at China Town. They know that you will be back in your own country when you discover the rip-off but will put them in the bin and forget about it.
Beware, watches, get them adjusted to your wrist before you leave the stand or that cheap watch may need a band when you get back home because there is no way of adjusting it. I have one where the screw heads one the links are damaged and can't be unscrewed. Also take note of the dealer and his position as if you part with A$70 for a better quality copy watch and if stops a few days latter you can go back.
Beware Software, not that there is alot around but you will find out of 10, 1 might, might work. They are riddled with viruses, Trojans, so virus check them on your return. Most have files missing or won't start or install.
Beware of electrical goods, they often have local warranties, come with instruction books which are poorly written and have missing parts you will find you think should be standard but are options.
You want bargains, look for when the sales are on in LK, usually 2-3 times a year and go then. You'll get 50-70% off items making China Town seem like a rip-off.
I picked up a top of the range Casio watch at Iseatan Dept Store, 70% off for A$60.00 and China Town wanted A$50.00 for a copy which will be worthless in 6 months. And my Casio does more than the copy watch does.
What to buy: As I said, if you can, book you trip around the big sales where you will buy clothes, etc so much cheaper.
One thing I did notice that, sure the clothes are made in China, like the ones on the shelf in Australia but the prices are 1/3 - 1/2 the cost without the sale. So trousers I would easily pay $100.00 for in Australia are about A$45.00 in KL and with 50% off at the sales that is a ridiculous A$22.50. And we are talking brad name clothes.
Take an empty bag and old thow away clothes with you. We took an old suitcase, bought two new ones worth $250 each for A$90.00 each at the sales, filled them with clothes, shoes, etc.
We spent A$2000 and I would say we paid for our accommodation and flights with the savings.
This is one of the best area in kl to shop. Good cheap restaurants to eat and shop and eat and shop again. Beers are cheap too and not to mention other snacks available nearby. So dont worry about running low on energy after shopping. You can get lots of nice cheap shirts, bags and other stuff here. Lots of fake designer bags and brands.
What to buy: Get some designer purse as souveniers for your friends back home. I've got a friend in UK who goes home with one whole huge luggage of fake branded bags and fake rolex watches. I am not sure how long those watches last though. Oh, one very important thing = always remember to Bargain!!! get at least 25-40% of the `original` price.
What to pay: alot if you are a compulsive shopper.
It is special because it is a bargain market that you can find any item under the sun. It is one of the most popular shopping and tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur.
It is best to come and shop at night as it becomes lively as a bustling market from 7:00PM onwards everyday including weekends. Some stalls open as early as 8:00AM though.
Come visit the once regarded as the Bargain Paradise of Kuala Lumpur
What to pay: Differ from stall to stall
Chinatown greets you with lots of guys selling porn VCDs and pirated ones. Its buys busy busy and the place for fake branded goods. But they get repetitive and it gets mind boggling! Strategy? well look around first for designs you like and keep them in view (note price if you like but i didn't bother). as you walk thru Chinatown, note the quality of the design you like, some have better quality then others but those willl definitely cost more. I got my LV bag for 140RM, cos i got so tired of looking for the perfect bag, and the guy assured me it was Grade A from Korea. But then judge for yourself, and check the bag for any flaws.
Apart from this, its a mad squeeze especially if it rains and you sometimes get aggressive vendors trying to push their products at you. I overhead one vendor shouting vulgarities to the customer after the customer refused to buy his product after it had ben discounted. So, be nice, polite but firm and it shouldn't be a problem.
You have to come to Chinatown, because it shows a truer, more realistic view of what Kl (or Malaysia rather) is about.
What to buy: Flowers, bags, belts, watches, you name it they have it. Food you can also get if you manage to find a seat.
We bought most of our DVDs at Sungei Wang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur. The ones from Chinatown were poor quality and badly scratched. Check for scratches before you pay or expect a coaster when you get home. The range was very limited to at China town. You get 12 or more stores selling DVD's at Sungei Wang Plaza. We buy from a guy on the ground floor. When you come from Low Yat into Sungei Wang Plaza, you will go up one set of stairs to get to shopping level. When you walk in, straight ahead is a guy with a corner shop. all 60 dvds we bought worked from this guy.
Watches, well pay your money, take your choice. We bought the more up market fake with Automatic movement. 90 MR Broke down just as we left the runway on our flight home.
The central section of Jalan Petaling is closed to traffic and here you will experience a busy, noisy market.
You will be constantly asked to buy DVD's, jewellery, handbags, clothing and watches. It is a bustling market with a distinctly oriental atmosphere.
Where else can you buy Gucci handbags or Citizen watches for less than RM200 ;~)
This market here in Chinatown is huge and has everything that you would shop for from jewellry,leather handbags,travel bags ,shoes, men and womens clothing,what I did notice like Bangkok so much of the clothing and goods have pirate names and logos..so be careful what you buy..but so much to choose from ...you will buy something...Prices are good also depending on your bargaining skills..
As I was staying in this area this seemed to be on everyday but is very crowded and bigger on the weekend..There are many restuarants here as well as lots of street food and drink stalls..
One of the best places to buy fruits, Chinatown. They start selling the fruits from mornings till late nights. Prices are reasonable. Plus you get different fruits for different seasons. A must for fruit lovers.
This picture was taken at around 9pm at chinatown.
What to buy:
Rambutans, er... Durians...and more
What to pay:
Anywhere from RM1.00 till 10.00
The Petaling Street was so crowded that at times you feel claustrophobic and suffocating!.. Its reallly a hyped up market. We did not find anything interesting, except some cheap DVDs, music CDs, shoes, ladies bags which are cheap imitation of designer brands, some watches and clothes. I feel as compared to the Bangkok Silom street market and the Patong market, the prices here are very high and the quality of the stuff not so good- And you really need to sharpen your bargaining skills here, cause some of the shop owners can be real nasty and rude. I would definitely not make this a "must" place to visit for shopping. Its just about OK to visit this street.
What to buy: heaven for DVDs, VCDs, audio CDs, imitation bags/shoes,, clothes were just about fine, nothing great,
What to pay: You need to bargain a lot in this China town- Petaling street. A person who is not sharp will always feel that he or she has paid more and get a feeling that you could have bargained better! You need to bargain atleat to the extent of 50-60% of the original stated price.
Fake software and music CDs are absolutely rife in KL. In Singapore, and Thailand to some extent, the authorities are clamping down and you don't see so much but it's another story here.
It is basically theft and ethically wrong but being able to get something for a fraction of the normal price is very tempting.
The situation won't last forever. For one, the software companies are making their products much more difficult to use illegally. Microsoft Office XP needs to be activated using a special code provided my Microsoft after it is installed. Secondly, there is political pressure being applied to the governments of countries where copying is going on.
Your decision whether to buy or not.