Tourists and locals alike enjoy looking for bargains as they stroll along Petaling Street, one of the Kuala Lumpur’s busiest shopping precincts. This area is well known for excellent food and counterfeit products, but many people visit simply for the people-watching and high-energy atmosphere.
Petaling Street sprung up as an extension of Kuala Lumpur’s original Chinatown back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since then, it’s developed into a market of bustling stalls and shouting vendors.
Weave your way through the crowds as you browse bargain merchandise. You’ll find that many vendors have a similar selection, so be sure to look around before you start haggling. Items often start at two or three times what they’re worth, so it pays to be aggressive with bargaining, even if it means walking away. Keep in mind that this is a game of give and take, although some vendors can be pushy.
Even if haggling for bargains isn’t your thing, make sure to try out some of the local cuisine. You’ll find delicious laksas and some of the best noodles in town. There are restaurants all around, but often the best food is out on the street. It’s usually safe to eat, but be cautious and choose stalls with lots of customers.
Once you’ve had your fill of food and shopping, spend some time exploring the surrounding area beyond Petaling Street. Once you leave the heavily touristed area, you’ll stumble across tiny shops and narrow alleyways reminiscent of the original Chinatown. Not far away you’ll also find Sri Mahamariamman, one of Malaysia’s oldest Hindu temples, as well as the arts and crafts stalls of the Central Market.
Petaling Street is in downtown Kuala Lumpur, a short distance southeast of Merdeka Square and the Jamek Mosque. Although Petaling Street is for pedestrians only, the area is easily accessible by public transport, and is busy throughout the day and well into the evening.