Located right in the heart of city center, the Chinatown Kuala Lumpur is an old Chinese commercial center famous for bargain-basement commodities. It is also known as ‘Chee Cheong Kai’, which translates to Starch Factory Street, because in the old days, starch or tapioca was the dominating product of its district.
Nowadays, Chinatown is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Kuala Lumpur. It is a haven for shopaholics and those who thrive at bargaining. And haggling is the name of the game in Chinatown. You’ll find all kinds of products being sold for ridiculously low prices, which tend to get lower as the day progresses into night and the place transforms into a lively, vibrant night market.
You’ll notice an almost festive atmosphere, which isn’t really surprising considering the heady feeling of being able to buy everything at prices way below those you’ll find in the mall. And if you can buy two or three pieces of clothes for a certain amount in the mall, at Chinatown Kuala Lumpur, you can buy two to six pieces of clothing for the same amount!
Chinatown is also popular for pirated CDs and DVDs, imitations of branded and designer shoes, watches, bags, jewelry, belts and clothes, including cheap and trendy clothes. The most popular area for shopping can be found in Petaling Street, although there are several shopping centers located around Chinatown, including the well-known bazaar, “Central Market” or Pasar Seni. These shopping centers also offer bargain products that you might want to check out too.
It’s wise to remember, though, that even though imitation products are patronized by Chinatown Kuala Lumpur buyers, they still might cause problems with the laws of your country. And while the quality of the products you’ll find in Chinatown are generally acceptable, you should not expect extremely high quality and expect instead to occasionally find fault in them.
Bring cash with you, but be wary of pickpockets. Cash is the only accepted mode of payment. Also, remember that the goods don’t come with a warranty. Check for damages before buying a particular product. Once you leave the store, it might be difficult to get a replacement for products with damages.
Finally, even if you’re not so serious about the business of shopping, a trip to Chinatown is still very much worth it. It’s definitely the best place for a “street food” experience. At night, even though you can’t haggle for food, you’d want to try the delicious-looking and yummy-smelling food of vendors. There are foods on sticks, plain rice, Chinese rice with all kinds of dishes. There are also food vendors on wheels selling food delicacies. And if street food is not your cup of tea, you’d still find restaurants in the area serving authentic Chinese food as well as Malaysian and International cuisines.
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur is truly a city that never sleeps. A paradise for bargain hunters and serious shoppers. But don’t take our word for it, see it for yourself and experience the exhilarating fun that shopping in Chinatown brings. Now is definitely the time to practice your haggling skills!