If you have read my post “15 Hours In Singapore” – I was supposed to meet Arif in Kuala Lumpur, here is how and where we re-united in this amazing city…
Early in the morning on Friday, January 15th, Arif contacted me on Facebook and suggested we meet up at the Central Market, a ten minute walk from my hostel near Chinatown. We met at the entrance at 9.30am, the guard at the entrance told us they were opening at 10am and we had about 30 minutes to kill and so we had a quick coffee at a nearby convenience store where we talked about the frequent earthquakes and its widespread devastation and damage in his hometown in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and other beautiful places to see in his country apart from Bali. Thirty minutes flew by and soon we went in to explore and check out the Central Market.
It is an award winning attraction and shopping mall at the same time preserving the importance in showcasing the nation’s rich traditions and heritage for both tourists and the locals. It’s located in a large, two-story time honored historic building with a light blue exterior paint and was last saved from demolition and renovated in 1985, and it is important that they continue. A walkway with an outdoor and covered pedestrianized lane was added in 2011 called the Kasturi Walk featuring food stalls with beautifully presented food, fresh fruits, cakes and other delicious cuisines and creating a vibrant al fresco atmosphere to the shoppers’ experience.
The business premises was designed to represent the historic outdoor markets. The walkway in the middle is narrow, yet with several packed stalls around. The atmosphere is loud and very lively featuring multi-cultural performances and celebrations, clothing, traditional arts and craft exhibits, jewelry, souvenirs, books, textiles and many more.
Many people consider it a great place to spend time and mingle with other and experience the local arts scene – the diverse galleries form a group of colorful platform for artists and audiences to merge and share the language of art. The market is divided into three main areas, each area representing one of Malaysia’s three main races: Malay, Chinese and Indian.
The ground floor consists a number of stalls and few restaurants, while a large food court is on the first floor along with several stalls. There wasn’t a real crowd the day we went, so we were able to shop and buy gifts for our dear ones with our own convenience. We left the food area on the first floor unexplored since we were not in the mood to eat just about an hour after breakfast and a coffee. It was a memorable and fun experience though, and for anyone who is good at haggling, it can be exhilarating and exciting.
If you ever visit the Central Market, be prepared to haggle. Many of the items on sale and display have price tags on them, also negotiable if you are willing to speak and ask the seller. Comparing prices at the market are sometimes high with what is available at nearby Chinatown, but great bargains are possible too sometimes. Even with lower prices at Chinatown, some people prefer shopping at the Central Market because its an air conditioned environment and its a strong motivation on a hot day in Kuala Lumpur.
It is a great place to visit, especially if you haven’t been there. Keep in mind that a lot of people spend a lot of their time to earn their livings at the Central Market, so when you go make sure not to have fun at someone else’s expense.