0 The Malaysia Manual - Part 2: Food and Shopping

Shopping Malls –

Suria KLCC

Suria KLCC is a stylish shopping centre offering 6 levels of retail outlets at the base of the Petronas Towers complex. It is open 7 days a week between 10am and 10pm.

Fashion labels available include: Jimmy Choo, Karen Millen, Kate Spade, Mui Mui, Chanel, Coach, Fendi, Gucci, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Mulberry, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Top Shop, Marks and Spencer Department Store, Aseana exclusive store and many more.


At the heart of the trendy Bukit Bintang district lies the perfect reason to indulge in fashion, food and urban leisure. Experience the excitement of this 1.37 mil sq ft retail haven with 450 outlets offering the finest fashion and home furnishing to entertainment and culinary delights. Let the endless appeal of Malaysia's premier shopping destination awaken your senses the moment you arrive at its doorstep.


Malaysian shopping destination 1 Utama Shopping Centre is indisputably a premier lifestyle and entertainment shopping mall with something for everyone.

Nestled in MSC Malaysia Cybercentre status township Bandar Utama, the award-winning shopping centre has gone on to redefine the shopping scene, achieving many industry firsts such as the Skybridge, a lush tropical Rainforest inside the mail and its Secret Garden, South East Asia's largest rooftop garden.

For easier navigation, 1 Utama has various themed zones: Highstreet, Oval, Rainforest, Secret Garden, Promenade, Promenade Lakeside, Centre Court, Sportszone and the Entertainment Zone.

The Curve

The Curve is Malaysia’s first pedestrianised shopping mall.
It is anchored by world class retail establishments namely, IKEA Home Furnishings, IKANO Power Centre, e@Curve and Tesco Hypermarket which are all connected to the Curve via all-weather walkways.


Johor Premium Outlets (JPO) Malaysia officially opened on December 11th 2011 and this is the first ever proper Factory Outlet in Malaysia and Southeast Asia which is located at Kulaijaya in the Iskandar Malaysia zone. A dream come true for many Malaysians and Singaporeans, the JPO is strategically located for the convenience of both countries and also for those travelers passing through Malaysia.

Pasar Malam (Night Markets)

The Malaysian experience is never complete without a walk through a pasar malam. Pasar malam take place in the evenings from about 6 to 11 pm at various places. At trendy Bangsar, it is on Sunday from 5.30 pm. A little beyond the borders of KL, you can find pasar malam St SS2 in Petaling Jaya on Mondays and Thursdays.

Petaling Street

This street is a major activity zone of the city. One can find a large number of shops selling Chinese herbs, clothes, toys and other Chinese products. In the afternoons the street is filled with a large number of stalls selling food items, electronics, and other goods. Because of this reason, the street is closed to traffic during this time. This market is known for the pirated good that are sold over here. One can find a large number of fake DVD's to fake branded watches like those of Rolex, which is also known as 'Lolex'.

. One can also find a number of restaurants over here, where you can get to eat a large number of traditional Malay delicacies. During the evenings, this shopping center converts itself into a fancy and lively night market.

20 July 2012 - 19 Aug 2012 : Bazaar Ramadan (throughout the country)

If one wishes to visit a bustling multicultural country like Malaysia, the best time of the year to completely experience it is during the Ramadan season.

One of the biggest attractions in Malaysia during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan is the Ramadan Bazaar. Located at various places in different towns and kampungs all over, rows of stalls and booths selling varieties of popular food and drinks for the breaking of fast is a phenomenon in itself.

Each bazaar, with its own distinctive flavor, comes to life after dusk with vendors selling their wares. A great place for visitors to sample traditional Malay cuisine which is freshly prepared and cooked on open coals while you wait, the Ramadan Bazaars are different from night markets and Sunday markets since  they sell mostly food and drinks for the breaking of fast. These stalls attract Muslims and non-Muslims alike to their special once-a-year delicacies and favorite food.

Top 10 Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur  for FREE

1. KLCC Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC Park

Don’t miss Malaysia’s most iconic sight, the Petronas Twin Towers and it’s surrounding Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC) Park. The 88-storey Petrnoas Twin Towers is located at the North-west corner of the 100-acre development known as KLCC, in the heart of KL. The Towers standing majestically at 452 metres – once the tallest building in the world, they are now the tallest twin towers in the world. The floor plate of the Towers is based on geometric patterns common in architecture of Islamic heritage. A sky bridge at levels 41 and 42 links the Twin Towers. The unique double-deck sky bridge stands 170 metres above street level with its arch support forming a symbolic gateway to the city centre. The sky bridge is opened to visitors between 8.30am - 7.00pm every Tuesday to Sunday. Entry is free but make sure you get there early as tickets are limited. Surrounding the Petronas Twin Towers is a 50-acre tropical landscape called the KLCC Park. Approximately 1,900 indigenous trees and palms representing 74 species can be found in this city center park. Another striking feature of the park is the Lake Symphony which comprises two water fountains. Located at the esplanade outside Suria KLCC Mall, the Lake Symphony is programmed to provide 150 dramatic animations.

For more info on what to do in KLCC – suriaklcc.com

2. Central Market

Central Market or ‘Pasar Seni’ is your one-stop shop Malaysian arts, crafts and culture. Central Market is one of KL’s most familiar landmarks and a popular tourist attraction. the merchandise here is cheap and traditional goods such as batik, embroidery carvings, souvenirs, and sculptures are on offer. The Batik Emporium houses well-known batik designer labels, while outside local artists painting renderings of the busy street or impromptu song-and-dance performance take place.Divided into different zones, vendors’ stall zones are distinctive by race: the purpose of this zoning practice is to let visitors get an insight into the cultural differences of the various races in Malaysia. The Central Market Annexe or The Annexe Gallery is literally the ‘art an soul’ of Kuala Lumpur. Annexe Gallery showcases performances, workshops and art exhibitions of serious up and coming local artists. It was launched on January 2007 to be a hub for contemporary artists.

For more ideas on what to do at Central Market – centralmarket.com.my

3. Kuala Lumpur Lake Garden

Lake Gardens is a 92-hectare park comprising well-manicured lawns, gardens and hills. It is spread around the Tasik Perdana (Perdana Lake) with a number of sights set on its grounds including the Butterfly House and Bird Park, Hibiscus Garden, National Monument, Orchid Garden and Parliament House. Previously a tin mine, the Lake Gardens is a favourite picnic spot, with large sculpted vegetation, picnic areas, children’s playgrounds and more; you can buy food and drink from a number stalls here. The small deer park makes it great for families with little kids, while the Tasik Perdana has pedal boats for hire.The Hibiscus Garden (Taman Bunga Raya) has over 500 species and the Orchid Garden (Taman Bunga Orkid) has up to 800 species but it is the latter which brings in the crowds on weekends when it transforms into an orchid market.

4. Bintang Walk & Changkat Bukit Bintang

Needing no introduction to the city’s urbanites and regular visitors, Jalan Bukit Bintang is known as the ultimate one-stop destination where all sorts of diningentertainmentshopping and accommodation options can be found. Jalan Bukit Bintang comes into full form at night. Street performers provide free entertainment on brightly-lit sidewalks, while the night air is filled with jovial chatter from open-air cafés and music drifting in from a mixture of sources - nightclubs, pubs and buskers. Bintang Walk, Jalan Bukit Bintang’s famed walkway, often plays host to many special events in town such as the New Year’s Eve and the Merdeka (National Day) celebrations, as well as a number of street concerts and festivals. Changkat Bukit Bintang is located perpendicular to Bintang Walk .This is the upmarket gastronomy district of Bukit Bintang. Fine dining joints line the street. It boasts pre-war, colonial buildings which have been refurbished into upmarket restaurants and pubs, serving up Western dining. Changkat Bukit Bintang is also home to one of Kuala Lumpur's hippest and happening party venues.

5. Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Containing one of the best collections of Islamic decorative arts in the world is KL’s outstanding Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. Aside from the quality of the exhibits, which include fabulous textiles, carpets, jewellery, calligraphy-inscribed pottery and an amazing reconstruction of an ornate Ottoman room, the building of the Museum  is a sight in itself, with beautifully decorated domes and glazed tilework. The Museum is located within the Lake Gardens over 30,000 square meters and is South East Asia’s largest Islamic museum.

To know more about the museum – iamm.com.org.my
6. China Town (Petaling Street)

At the heart of Kuala Lumpur is an area which never sleeps, and far more colourful and bustling than its bigger and more glamourous neighbours, KLCC Bukit Bintang is Chinatown, based in Petaling Street. Chinatown is also a well-known bargain hunter’s paradise, a place where you can find all sorts of stuff from Chinese herbs to imitation goods. At night, its main market area, Petaling Street, transforms into a lively and vibrant night market, filled with hundreds of stalls offering all kinds of goods at dirt-cheap prices, and the best thing is, the prices can be brought lower still depending on your haggling prowess. China Town is not just a cheap shopping district, it’s also a great place for authentic Chinese food and checking out Chinese and Indian temples.Located at the southern end of Petaling Street is Chan See Shu Yuen Temple - one of the largest and oldest surviving Buddhist temples in Malaysia.  The  Sri Mahamariamman Temple Hindu temple  incorporates Spanish and Italian tiles, precious stones and gold in its design, KL’s main Hindu temple is an incongruous sight situated between two Buddhist temples at the edge of Chinatown.

7. Batu Caves

Located approximately 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. Considered one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions, this 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it. Incorporated with interior limestone formations said to be around 400 million years old, the temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus.Cathedral Cave – the largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves – houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave – which houses numerous Hindu statues and paintings. Visitors have to scale 272 steps to access the caves and as you ascend the steps watch out for the tailed-macaque monkeys!

8. Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square)

The huge open square where Malaysian independence was declared in 1957 is ringed by heritage buildings and dominated by an enormous flagpole and fluttering Malaysian flag. In the British era, the square was used as a cricket pitch. Dataran Merdeka is set in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the former State Secretariat). Directly in front is the Royal Selangor Club and to the north is St. Mary’s Church, one of Malaysia’s oldest Anglican churches.The centrepiece of the Square is the tallest flagpole in the world (95m) proudly displaying the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag).

9. Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex

A visit to the Kuala Lumpur Craft Cultural Complex at Jalan Conlay, is a wonderful hidden gem. Tucked away from the busy traffic, this craft centre is situated in an open-concept building, with traditional motifs and intricate wooden carvings. The complex houses several different sections comprising a craft museum, artists’ colony and craft village as well as batik gallery and souvenir shop. Stepping into the complex, one is greeted with the latest cultural exhibits. On display are local handicrafts such as batik, rattan baskets, pottery, and other crafty knick-knacks.

Make your way to the artists’ colony to try your hand at batik painting. Visitors are encouraged to participate and leave their prints behind.

10. Mosques - National Mosque and Jame' Mosque

Kuala Lumpur is home to some of the most stunning Islamic architecture anywhere in the world.

The Masjid Negara or National Mosque is located in 5 hectares of beautifully landscaped garden. Reputed as one of the more beautiful mosques in Southeast Asia, its modern design embodies a contemporary expression of traditional Islamic art, calligraphy and ornamentation. The minaret stands 73 meters tall and the bright blue, umbrella-like rooftop is an 18-pointed star. Visitors are welcome but must be respectably dressed.

The Masjid Jamek is situated, where both rivers the Sungei Klang and the Sungei Gombak meet. Right at this very place has the history of Kuala Lumpur started.
The mosque was built in 1907 and officially opened in 1909. The Masjid Jamek Kuala Lumpur is the oldest mosque in KL. This striking red-brick and marble building is inspired by the mogul/north Indian Islamic architecture. Nearby on walking' distance are the Central Market, China Town, Little India and the Merdeka Square.


Malaysian food is a delicious fusion of flavors that reflect the multicultural variety of the South East nation.


The cuisine of the Malay people is characteristically rich with spices. With a creamy foundation of coconut milk and shrimp paste (belacan.), Malay cooking also liberally uses lemongrass.

Almost every Malay meal always has a staple serving of rice. Although there are a variety of dishes in a Malay meal, all are served at once, not in courses.


Chinese merchants and traders have long ago been linked to the Malayan Peninsula in the South China Sea. It was, however, later in history during the 1800s, that the Chinese came in masses to the Malayan Peninsula. The Chinese brought with them not only their skills, culture, languages and customs but also the various provincial styles of Chinese cuisines. Chinese cuisine in Malaysia is mainly Cantonese, Hokkien, Hainanese, Teochew and Hakka styles of cooking. Chinese cuisine is generally milder compared to Malay or Indian fare. But thanks to the influence from this multiethnic country, Chinese cuisine in Malaysia, has taken on a spicier touch, often reinventing classic Chinese dishes. Many Chinese dishes are unique in Malaysia and not found in China. Chilies are used frequently to bestow fiery hotness to many of it's dishes such as the famous Chili Crab .


Mass immigration from India happened at the height of the British Raj in the 19th century. Despite the mass exodus of Indians returning to India after Malaysia's independence from the British in 1957, many stayed on and today Indians constitute the third largest ethnic group, making up 8% of Malaysia's population of 27 million. Indian food is now not only very Malaysian; unique and new versions of Indian food, not found in India, have ultimately been created. Indian cuisine can be divided into two mainstreams, North Indian and South Indian cuisine. There are numerous Indian restaurants in Malaysia serving authentic Indian cuisine. Many cater to specialized regional Indian cuisine and customary needs.. The most widespread local Indian stalls, eateries and restaurants you will find in Malaysia, are Indian-Muslim. Affectionately referred to by locals as Mamak stall or Mamak restaurant, they serve an extraordinary cuisine of Indian-Muslim food - a culinary assimilation of Indian and Malay cooking styles. Good eats to be had at these round-the-clock joints are Tandoori Chicken, Murtabak and Roti Canai [pronounced Chan-nai].


China has always traded with lands near and far across the globe. Early Chinese settlers wed local Malay brides and gave rise to the first generation of mixed Chinese-Malays known as Peranakan, the male being known as Baba and the female as Nyonya. Today their descendants contribute to the rich culinary tapestry of Malaysian food.

While Nyonya food contains many of the traditional ingredients of Chinese food and Malay spices and herbs, Nyonya cuisine is eclectically seasoned and different than either Chinese or Malay food. It is fusion cuisine at its best! Examples of Nonya specialties include otak-otak, a popular blend of fish, coconut milk, chilli paste, galangal, and herbs wrapped in a banana leaf, Ayam Buah Keluak, a distinctive dish combining chicken pieces with nuts from the Pangium edule or kepayang tree to produce a rich sauce; and Itek Tim, a classic soup containing duck, tomatoes, green peppers, salted vegetables, and preserved sour plums simmered gently together


Malaysian culture is a jumble of three prominent ethnicities. Malays, Chinese and Indians) . Each ethnicity has its own unique set of dietary restrictions For example; The Muslims cannot ear pork, the Hindus and majority of the Buddhist cannot eat beef as for the Christians they are alright to eat anything as long as they are not a vegetarian or they have some self imposed regulation. A Muhibbah meal ensures that the menu is such that all races in Malaysia would be able not only to enjoy the dinner but be able to eat all the food that would be served.

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