Shopping In Malaysia: What To Buy in Malaysia?
Travelling is all about creating new memories and experiencing a different part of the world and there’s no better way to preserve these memories than bringing back mementos from that trip. Kuala Lumpur is renowned for its vibrant shopping scene which features just about every bit of the diversity of Asian culture with beautiful, sentimental souvenirs on display.
The golden triangle is a haven of malls and street shops that provides avenues to buy a wide variety of items and cultural pieces. With so many options to choose from, here are 10 souvenirs that will ensure you remember your trip to Malaysia for years to come.
1. Malaysian Songket
A brocade of woven silk or cotton interwoven with golden or silver threads, songket is a legacy from the state of Kelantan obtained from trading with India and China in the 12th century. It is an extravagant fabric that has unique, intricate designs.
It can be used to make fancy tablecloths, beautiful dresses or simply hung on the wall.
2. Nutmeg Oil
Made from the extract of the nutmeg seed, nutmeg oil is traditionally used to relieve muscular pain, sprains, cramps and headaches. It has a profound soothing effect and provides quick relief when applied to the affected area.
3. Sabah Pearls
These special natural pearls are found off the shores of Sabah, in eastern Malaysia. It comes in beautiful hues of bluish-grey, pink, white, cream and other colours. Sabah pearls are used to make extremely attractive ornaments like bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings.
The pearls can be found all over the country, but high-quality purchases can be made at bargain prices in Sabah.
A traditional two-player board game, congkak features two rows of 6 to 10 holes (“houses”) on opposite sides with a large pit (“house”) at each end. It is easy to play, but requires some tactical and mental awareness to win it. The game can be played with pebbles, marble or wood seeds.
5. Malaysian Dodol
Malaysian Dodol is a local toffee-like sweet which is usually brown in colour but has other variants such as Pandan and Durian dodol. It comes in small or large packs, which contain small, individually packed treats for you to savour.
A true Malaysian piece of jewellery in every sense, Kerongsang is a delicately formed glamorous brooch worn by women to hold their dresses together in a decorative fashion. It is embedded and decorated with colourful beads and precious stones.
Kerongsang is sold as a set of three individual pieces of different sizes.
7. Rice Wine
Rice wine is a local Malaysian liquor brewed in parts of Sabah and Sarawak. It is distilled from fermented rice, and is similar to vodka with its sharp taste and flavour. It is usually sold in 1-litre bottles and can be found mostly in the indigenous communities where it is brewed.
8. Labu Sayong
This gourd-shaped clay jar is used to cool water in hot weather; much like a portable refrigerator if you like. It is usually black in colour and is believed to have medicinal properties which might be good for general health. It is produced in various shapes and sizes with ornate designs adorning the sides or edges.
9. Boh Tea
Renowned all over the world, this brand of tea is unique to Malaysian culture and comes in a myriad of spice-infused flavours and textures that will tantalise your taste buds and leave you asking for more.
10. Wau Kite
This traditional Malaysian kite dates back to the old days, when flying competitions were held among Malaysian men. It is intricately decorated with patterns, shapes and threads. The two most popular types are Wau Bulan (“Moon Kite”) and Wau Burung (“Bird Kite”).
The Wau kite is quite large and difficult to carry, but there are miniature sizes sold in various shops to ensure that you return home with a unique symbol of Malaysian culture.