Top 10 places to shop in Penang, Malaysia as a traveler

Top 10 places to shop in Penang

  • The Gurney Plaza
  • Chinatown
  • Chowrasta Market
  • Little India
  • Little Penang Street Market
  • One-Stop Midlands Park Centre
  • Penang Bazaar
  • Penang New World Park
  • Penang Plaza
  • Queensbay Mall

The Gurney Plaza

Gurney Plaza is the second largest mall in Penang and is located at the popular locality of Gurney Drive. It is situated in front of the waterfront and was opened only recently in the year 2001. It has three anchors – the Golden Screen Cinemas that offers 12 screens, the Cold Storage Supermarket and the Parkson Grand. The mall has nine stories and houses almost 400 brands like Versace, Fossil and Coach. The mall is open everyday from 10 am to 10 pm and is accessible through Kelawai Road and the Gurney Drive.

Chinatown

The name Chinatown is not an official one but the locality is popularly known by this name. It is located around the areas of Lebuh Chulia and the Lebuh Campbell. Chinatown offers a good insight into the history of the Chinese immigrants of Penang along with housing numerous stalls and markets. These sell everything from clothes to lanterns. The area is also dotted with numerous Chinese coffee shops, antique shops and temples. Even if you do not buy anything, you will be delighted by the whole experience of it.

The various markets and stalls in Chinatown offer traditional clothes, Chinese medicines, herbs, crystals and antique items. You can also find shoemakers, signage gravers and shoemakers here. These are skills mastered by the Chinese immigrants and they have been passed on from one generation to another.

Chowrasta Market

The Chowrasta Market is the most renowned market of Penang. It is a very old market and its history goes back to a few centuries. The market is divided into two sections – the wet market and the dry market. The wet market is located at the back and sells some of the most fresh food items like Hiang biscuits, fresh nutmegs and preserved fruits. Most of the food items sold here are the cheapest in the island. You will also find a bookshop on the first floor that sells second-hand books at bargain prices. The market is open everyday from 8:30 am to 8 pm.

Little India

Little India is a locality filled with shops offering spices, Indian food items, gold jewelry, items used for prayer and also CD-S and DVD-s of Indian movies. Indian songs are played throughout the day from the shops and it just adds to the vibe of the market. The market offers a totally different experience and is open everyday from 10 am to 11 pm.

Little Penang Street Market

The Little Penang Street Market is open on the last Sunday of every month and it is a unique market offering exciting crafts and artworks. It displays the best of the culture, which is prevalent in Penang. The market also boasts of live performances, an art gallery, live demonstrations, exhibitions, book reading sessions and entertainment for children. It is open everyday from 10 am to 5 pm.

One-Stop Midlands Park Centre

The One stop Midlands Park centre boasts of 200 shops and houses both well-known brands and bargain items at the same place. You will find rare items like paintings, ceramics, feng shui charms and pottery. The sixth floor of the market has everything you may need for using your computer. It is open everyday from 10 am to 8 pm.

Penang Bazaar

Unlike the other vibrant shopping malls of Penang, this one offers a quiet and calm experience. The mall is two-storied and its main anchor is Giant supermarket housing everything you may need for running your home. A furniture showroom and a bargain bookstore are located at the second floor. It is a good place for getting essential household items.

What types of gifts are there in full moon package deals?

Pregnancy is the most beautiful time in the life of a woman. During that time, women like to make plans, buy clothes, decorate and redecorate nurseries, shop for strollers, cribs and so on and so forth. One of the most expected parties of the pregnancy period is the baby shower. Until their last trimester, many moms choose not to buy any clothes because they are superstitious and think it would bring bad luck. During the baby shower, friends of the mom offer gifts like baby bottles, clothes and they play different games. After the baby is born, more exactly after a month since the baby is born, the mother hosts another party where the guests are supposed to bring full moon package.

After giving birth, moms are sent home with their babies in order to gain their strength back and raise their children. Usually, after mothers gives birth they are not supposed to take any medication but some cultures say that it would be better if the mom drank some kind of special teas. When you go to the full moon party you have to keep in mind that the mother and the baby need special care and attention because they are both weak. You should not disturb them too much and you should include in your full moon package things for both of them.

Usually at this party, close friends and family are invited, but you could call anybody you want. This could also be called the coming to the family party because the baby is welcomed into the world.

The full moon package should contain things for the mom and the baby, now they both need special attention. In that package, you could add bottles, diapers, nutrients for the mom, lucky charms, cookies, cakes, sweets and so on. If you have no idea what to put in those baskets, you should know that you could as well order them online. These gifts don’t come in any kind of wrapping but in a special one. The names of the parents and the baby should be printed on the box, there should be photos of them and the box should have a happy color.

The full moon packages that you will find online will save you a lot of trouble. They are already organized; you will only have to set up the last details. You will find all sorts of deals on these packages. Some of them will have only objects for the baby, or for the mom or for the both of them. Some others will have only food and others toys. You can choose a mixture of things, combine more packages and create a newer bigger one.

The mom and the baby will be charmed by the beauty, elegance and at the same time simplicity of the full moon package. All these packages are designed to be useful not only fun, they are meant to help the mom and improve her life a little bit. In a package like this, you could also put what she did not get on the baby shower. Do not stop at small objects that fit in a box, get wild!

Sep 17, 2010 - Activities, Shopping    No Comments

Top 10 places to shop in Kuala Lumpur as a traveler

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur is very easy, as the metropolis is full of shopping malls, out which you can find the most exclusive ones and the bargain places. The main shopping areas of KL city can be found inside the “Golden Triangle” area, which you can easily walk through or use the Monorail for doing so. Other shopping areas include the area of Bangsar and Midvalley roads, which are on the Southern side on the city and can be reached by the local Metro. In our article, we would like to introduce you to some of the best shopping malls of the city with the reason why you would visit them.

  1. Berjaya Times Square – Not too far from the Imbi Metro station Eastwards from Chinatown, you can find this enormous shopping mall which is one of the biggest in Asia. The huge shopping mall will surely take away your day, as it offers various retail stores on altogether 12 levels. The best place to go to check out the latest trends and it is also extremely popular for having the biggest indoor theme park in Malaysia that you can find on the seventh floor. This is a must- visit shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  2. Starhill Gallery:  This is the most luxurious shopping mall of KL city, located within the popular Golden Triangle district. This shopping mall boasts of a high variety of luxury brands such as LV, Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Versace or Gucci, among many others.
  3. Pavillion KL - This enormous shopping mall is quite new being built in 2007, and it offers the choice of around 450 various retails that range from the most expensive Burberry Prorsum to the urban wear brands. You can find the label stores of Hermés, Gucci, Boss, and Prada but in the same time, you can also get to see Juicy Couture, Zara or Mango. The famous shopping mall was the first for many luxury brands to open their very first store in KL city. The mall has a huge food court with various fast food and normal restaurants and cafes.
  4. Fahrenheit 88 – This shopping mall has reopened its doors to the public in 2010 after closing down for a couple of years. The large shopping mall is today among the trendiest places being full of stores of teenage and sportswear and houses fashion stores of several local designers. H&M opened its very first store in Fahrenheit 88. If you want to check out the latest Japanese teenage trends, do not miss visiting Uniql and Muji stores.
  5. Lot 10 – Widely considered as the best shopping mall of KL city, Lot 10 is also a happening mall since its renovation. The mall has dozens of hip stores and it is very popular for those who would like to taste local and international specialties. Lot10 has a great rooftop garden terrace, which gives place to several bars, terraces and cafés. It is very busy during the evening hours. The mall also sports a cool gym and a Debenhams.
  6. Low Yat Plaza – If you are looking for gadgets or any electronic goods or replicas, then this plaza is your place to go. Selling goods much cheaper than their original price, this plaza is always busy and has an extra large clientele. Be prepared that most of the devices here are fake.
  7. Sungei Wang Plaza - This is the trendy Chinese clothes market of Kuala Lumpur where you can buy fine quality Chinese garments, many of which come to Europe to be sold for a much higher price. The store has lots of replica handbags, belts and all sorts of luxury goods.
  8. Bangsar Shopping Centre, known simply as BSC, this is the favorite shopping mall of especially the British expats who live here in large numbers. The mall houses several specialties coming from the UK.  Check out the Cold Storage Supermarket and Burlington Tailor Shop to see the two unique stores in the shopping centre.
  9. Bangsar Village- Connected to the former mall, the new building is now connected to the old one through a covered bridge. This is an ordinary shopping mall with lots of retails and fine prices located along Bangsar Road.
  10. Mid Valley Megamall and Gardens at Mid Valley -  This two malls, which form one, are among the largest shopping malls of Asia with lots of department stores, a Carrefour hypermarket, Jusco, MetroJaya among many other brands

After introducing you to these great shopping malls of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, let us also suggest you to visit the Central Market, which is located in the downtown Old City part of Kuala Lumpur and it is among the best touristic shopping places of the city. The market was awarded with quality architectural awards and it is one of the historical buildings of this relatively young city built roughly in the same time and the capitals constitution. 

Jun 17, 2010 - Transportation, Travel    No Comments

Transportation and its related advantages and disadvantages when travelling in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a huge city; therefore, its public transportation is colorful, yet often a bit confusing. Hereby, we represent you with the various means of public transportations available in the city, with their pros and cons.

Transportation:

Trains:  Kuala Lumpur is served by two train stations – the KL Sentral and the Old Railway Station.

  • LRT:  The mean of public transportation, which is closest to Metro in Kuala Lumpur, is the LRT.
  • KL Monorail:   With 11 stops, the Monorail goes through the downtown and stops at the most important destinations. Both tourists and locals favor it, and it gives a magnificent view to the city as well.
  • KTM Commuter trains bring people out in the suburbs and different ticket is needed for them.
  • ETS Express trains to Ipoh also stop in the Old Railway Station in the city centre, where domestic and city buses do depart.
  • KLIA is the name of the Airport transfer train that goes between   KL Sentral and KL international airport. KLIA also runs direct express trains. KLIA normal train is a good choice for you if you want to get to Putrajaya and Salak Tinggi.

Bus: Hereby we enlist the types of buses that run inside the city, as per their signals.

Ø      RapidKL bus – This bus has three different categories which you can only see by their respective signs:

  • Bandar (B)  mean the city centre shuttles,
  • Utama (U)   these buses go far from the city centre ending up in the outlying suburbs,
  • Tempatan (T) these are the connecting buses which generally take passengers to train stations.

Price of bus ticket costs roughly around 2 MYR.

Tourist buses: Kuala Lumpur has a great Hop-on, Hop-off sightseeing bus line that goes all around the city. These buses run every 30 minutes. You can buy a 24 hr or a 48 hr ticket and can use it within the downtown as a public transportation. Do not use them during rush hours that are generally between 11 and 17.00H.

Free Buses:  It may sound tricky but indeed Kuala Lumpur has two free bus lines: The GOKL City Bus and the Purple City Bus travels from Pasar Seni to Bukit Bintang shopping area. It is although hard to catch these buses and takes hours to wait them out.

The public transportation system of Kuala Lumpur is not too bad, but the connections are often failing. Be prepared to spend long time waiting at times, in case you would like to use connections. Public transportation is cheap. Travel passes or tourist tickets are still not used here, the only collective ticket available is the one called “Touch ‘n Go” which is valid for multiple travel and can be recharged. Inside the city, we advise you to use Monorail and LRT mixed up. As of now, you can buy one ticket valid for both LRT and Monorail. One single ticket for both costs around 1-3 MYR only.

Airport transfer: Kuala Lumpur Airport Taxi costs around 75 MYR, and after midnight, they can charge more. There is a taxi coupon buying possibility, which makes your trip more secure in terms of how much you pay.

Travelling from the airport by bus costs only 10 MYR while the train (KLIA) costs around 35 MYR / single trip.

Walking in Kuala Lumpur

When walking in Kuala Lumpur, be prepared that not every driver takes green lights seriously so pay attention when crossing any streets. Using KL train and Monorail is a great way to get around in the city. Trains go from KLIA Train Station and the bus station is together with the train station. Bus is usually cheaper but much slower than trains. Be aware that the pavements are made of such special cover that once they get wet, they get extremely slippery.

Travelling outside the city or country:

Trains are surprisingly cheap here; you can get an overnight train to Thailand cheaply that runs from KL Sentral Railway or from the neighboring Bus station.

May 1, 2010 - Activities, Travel    No Comments

Top 10 activities to do in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is really a diverse city where many Asian cultures meet in order to create a unique mix, which you will not see anywhere else in the world. This characteristic and the inviting all-year long warm climate makes Kuala Lumpur an inviting destination for tourists of all budget.  In our article, we will quickly examine the 10 top activities that you can do while you are staying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

1. Sightseeing: This city is really inviting for tourists with its colorful streets, colonial quarter, Chinatown and Little India. Kuala Lumpur celebrates many events and has many festivals all-year long. You must check out the great diversity, culture and architecture of Kuala Lumpur together with the former tallest building in the world the Petronas Tower. Do not miss riding the Monorail that gives you the best chance to take great photos of Kuala Lumpur’s downtown area.

2. Shopping: If you stay in Kuala Lumpur, you will quickly see how inviting a destination it is for shoppers. Packed with some of the largest shopping malls of Asia, you can get everything in KL City, from luxury goods to the cheapest gadgets. As all Asian cities, KL City is rich in all and every goods. You must check out the night market in China Town, which is one of the most popular activities to do, even for the locals.

3. Relaxing: Kuala Lumpur is a great place to relax. The city is packed with beautiful parks even in its centers, which give you perfect chance to relax. In addition, the city houses some of the best spas in Asia, including the Day Life Spa and the Puri Santi Spas, each one located in the city centre, yet once you are there, it seems as if you had been on a relaxing jungle island.

4. Golf: Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is one of the most important golf destinations of Asia. There are various quality golf courses here and golf remains to be one of the most popular activities for locals. Popular golf courses include Tibwangsa Golf Course, Kelab Golf Course. The biggest gold course of Singapore is the Royal Selangcor, which is the place of several local and international competitions as well.

5. Eating out: Kuala Lumpur is a great place for gourmets and for those who love to takes local specialties. As it is the melting pot of different Asian cultures, you can get to find great specialties in the city from all around the world. You should not miss tasting the local restaurants, such as kedai mamak (curry houses), taste roti canai (a roll similar to pancakes stuffed with meat).

6. Going out: Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is great for going out, especially its Bangsar Street area which is the real party place full of discos and the hippest clubs in the city.

7. Excursions: Some of the best theme parks and excursion sites of Kuala Lumpur can be found outside the city, which you should not miss out on visiting in order to see the real natural beauty of this beautiful tropical country.

8. Business, meetings, exhibitions: Kuala Lumpur has a brand new World Trade Centre that is its main place for exhibitions, fairs and conferences. The town has plenty of top quality executive hotels in the area of the World Trade Centre that makes it great for any business related programs.

9. Cultural entertainment: Kuala Lumpur has a very rich cultural life with its National Museum, Museum of Islamic art and lots of smaller museums and galleries. The Kuala Lumpur musical life is developing together with its theatres where they are representing a growing number of local and international plays.

10.  Formula 1: Kuala Lumpur has become excessively popular from the time its course has been implemented in the yearly Formula 1 tournaments. Yearly thousands of visitors arrive here to watch the F-1 run and this does great for the tourism of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

These are only some of the great activities to do while in Kuala Lumpur. Come and explore this magical city for yourself! Being served by one of the largest international airports in Asia, Kuala Lumpur accepts the world’s biggest airlines that all have frequent flights to Kuala Lumpur, one of the biggest and most important cities in South East Asia.

Apr 17, 2010 - Tips, Travel    No Comments

Things to Remember while travelling in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and it is the biggest city of Malaysia. It is among the most dynamically growing cities in the world, and despite being a relatively young capital city, it is already huge and it is still growing. In our article, we would like to introduce you and provide you with some handy information on what to know and what to pay attention to, while you are in Kuala Lumpur.

Nationalities living in KL City:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is huge and it gives working opportunities to millions of locals. The majority of the local people are from Chinese descent that makes more than 50% of the total population. Interestingly, the percentage of all national groups will stay firmly as people usually marry within their own ethnic groups. A smaller percentage of the population is from Malay descent, the rest are coming from India (mainly of Tamil nation) and from the UK and from everywhere in the world. The advantage of KL City is that English is taught to children from elementary school and it is widely spoken all around the city; therefore, if you speak English, you will not really experience language barriers when communicating with the majority of locals.

Religion, laws and customs:

The majority of Malaysia is Muslim (60%) and Muslim is also the national religion of the country, therefore, laws originating from the Muslim Sharia have been implemented in local laws as well. Similarly, to neighboring Singapore, all sorts of illegal behavior will result in severe punishment. Selling and smuggling of drugs is taken especially seriously. Women are advised to steer clear from dressing up too sexily and these sort of extreme clothes are not permitted to be worn here.

Be aware that you are not allowed to enter a mosque, if you are not a Muslim. In case a mosque has visiting time pay attention to wear suitable dressing, otherwise you are not let inside.

As per local laws, tourists are required to carry their passports all the time. Check out the visa requirements before travel.

Currency and prices:

The national currency of Malaysia is Malaysian Ringgit. 1 USD is around 4 Ringgit and 1 EUR is around 5. The abbreviation is MYR.

You do not need to give tips in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As in most Far Eastern countries, tipping is not a custom to be taken seriously and large tips are not even accepted by people

Safety:

Crime is not big in Kuala Lumpur, but be aware of taxi drivers and those friendly locals who would like to make you play poker with them. Take care because many of these locals just want to invite you to their home as they say so do not visit anyone you do not know about. There are some police officer scams, so if any police stops you saying they want to see your documents, insist on going to the nearest police station.

Health:

Do not drink water only bottled water and be aware that the food sold on the street may be dangerous, especially for those having a sensitive stomach. There are normally no vaccinations required for those not wanting to go outside the capital for a long time.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is an overall a great and a tourist-friendly city with good transportation system and great sites to visit in the downtown area, which is easy to walk around. The best seasons to visit the city are between winter and spring.

Mar 17, 2010 - Place of Interest    No Comments

Rare Attractions of Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is one of the fastest growing metropolises in the world, and today, it is one of the most important commercial centers of the city. In our article, we would like to tell you about five attractions in Kuala Lumpur that you will not see anywhere else, but here.

1. Kuala Lumpur Old Railway Station

It used to serve as the main railways station of Kuala Lumpur a long time ago. Today, the station serves mainly as a bus terminal although it still accepts a few express and suburban trains. The breathtaking Moorish style building of the railways station is a must-see for all lovers of arts and culture.  Called also as a Heritage Railways Station, the complex faces the so popular Central Market.

2. Central Market

The Central Market is located in the Old Town part of Kuala Lumpur right by the river facing the Old Railways station. The Central Market is famous as an architectural masterpiece and the main meeting point for locals and tourists. Contrary to its name, the Central Market is much more than an ordinary market, as it houses several shows, entertainment options and facilities and performances which you can get to see every day here, which all make this market a must-see.

3. Merdeka Square complex

Merdeka Square complex includes the huge square where the independence of Malaysia has been declared. Right next to the square, you will find a beautiful park along riverside, where the Masjid Jamae Mosque is located. This mosque is especially beautiful, being one of the oldest mosques of Malaysia; it really makes you feel in the Middle East. Merdeka Square also has a unique place. The Royal Selangkor Club in an Edwardian building looks like it has been transported here straight from England! Just in front of Merdeka Square, you will see the most beautiful building of Kuala Lumpur, which is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which today houses the KL Court. The building is especially beautiful during the evening hours when it is lighted up and it looks just spectacular.

4. Petronas Towers

The huge tower complex used to hold the record of being the tallest building in the world for a couple of years. Today it is standing on the 3rd place. The beautiful tower complex has been the most important landmark of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ever since it has been completed. Today it houses a hotel, the Kuala Lumpur Philharmony Orchestra and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

These are the special attractions, which Kuala Lumpur has to offer. Above these, there are so many beautiful things to see here, if you walk the streets of the Old City or the City Centre with the Golden Triangle. Once you arrive in Kuala Lumpur, you will surely love it.

Feb 17, 2010 - Activities, Tips    No Comments

Budget Travel Tips in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has been an inviting target for tourists. Ever since backpacker tourism appeared, the local services try to make their prices comfortable and suitable for them, as this sort of tourism generates a huge income in the end. Today, the city has great possibilities for students and backpackers who arrive to look around in the busy capital city. In our article, we would like to introduce you to some ways to make your travel cheaper.

Travel

With the boom of European and Indian cheap flights, Asia has also created its own airways that offer cheap tickets for everyone wanting to get around the huge continent. The luckiest being close to Asia is definitely Australian as the continent is connected to all the bigger cities of Asia by economical airlines. Therefore, Australian backpackers can travel to Asia the most cheaply.

Economical airlines include AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways. With the help of these cheap carriers, you can get anywhere within the continent and Australia for the cheapest price.

Accommodation

Kuala Lumpur is more than well-prepared to receive low budget tourists, students and backpackers, due to the extreme numbers of backpackers arriving in the city. The specialty areas of cheap hostels include the Chinatown area and the Tunku Abdul Rahman district that lies nearby. Here, you can get a bed in a dormitory for as much as USD 10 per night. In case you would prefer to stay alone or in double rooms, several hostels and inns are prepared to provide you with a great yet cheap room with breakfast from around USD 15 per night. To book the cheapest room to your taste, check out Hostelbookers.

Eat out

You can eat local specialties and you do not have to pay a lot for having them. You should look around on the streets for Kedai Kopis, which are sorts of coffee shops which sell mostly food. Roadside stalls also sell great local foods for as much as 1 MYR, but take care and have them rather in Kedai Kopi if your stomach is sensitive.  Chinatown and neighboring Jalan Sultan and Petaling road is full of cheap Chinese restaurants.  You should also try the Kedai Mamak restaurants, which are sorts of curry houses where big portions of curry is sold for an extra low price.

Public transportation

The good thing in Kuala Lumpur is that the highest number of budget accommodation such as hotels is located very close to an LRT train station that takes you in the city centre. The Chinatown area is good and has some of the best atmosphere in the city, and as an extra: you do not need to walk much to the Golden Triangle. You can also catch the Monorail at stations where it connects with LRTs. Tickets are quite cheap varying between MYR 1 and 3. Buses have about the same price. Kuala Lumpur is also served by some free buses but these usually serve those who come in the city to work, arriving from further lying suburbs.

Top Budget activities

It is cheap to get around Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The streets of the Old city centre are great for walking and looking around. Basically none of the attraction request you to pay unless you want to enter them. Have strolls across the streets of Kuala Lumpur; if you buy your food at a Kedai Kopi, you will spend only a very little amount of money. In case you want to buy things cheaper, check out the stores at Chinatown, the central Market and the Batang Rouad with the nearby lying Little India where lots of bargain shopping ventures are located.

As you can see, Kuala Lumpur offers loads of possibilities for the budget travelers and enables you to enjoy all the beauty of the city for a budget price! Do not hesitate to check out the latest offers of hostels and budget airline rates in order to spend a great, memorable time in this beautiful and colorful city.