Kuala Lumpur is not only a melting pot for many cultures but has over eight shopping malls in the Bukit Bintang cluster alone. Despite the burgeoning competition, many of the malls have found a way to remain unique, whether it be through architecture, well celebrated festival decorations, or flagship tenants. Ordered from the most affordable to the most high-end, here are the malls in Malaysia’s capital city that have managed to remain one-of-a-kind.
Sungei Wang Plaza
Established way back in 1977, Sungei Wang Plaza remains a must-visit for shoppers who are looking for a glimpse of Bukit Bintang in its older days. Unlike its glamorous and upscale neighbors, Sungei Wang Plaza offers simplicity in its outdated-ness, priding itself in its huge variety of shops and encouraging visitors to explore its many nooks and crannies. Immensely popular with locals, this mall is a haven for knick-knack collectors and people looking to polish their bargaining skills. The lack of popular outlets is no deterrence whatsoever, as the amount of speciality shops provide stock for just about anyone looking for anything.
Mid Valley Megamall
This yellow goliath is at least a 20-minute drive away from central Kuala Lumpur, and is on the border between suburban Klang Valley and the capital city. With two hotels, office blocks and another mall called the Gardens, this complex holds the title of largest urban development project, with another sister building on the way. This powerhouse offers retail entertainment and contains a myriad of shops catering to grocery needs and branded goods. Mid Valley also houses its own convention center and the largest cinema this side of Kuala Lumpur with 18 screens.
This giant of a shopping complex boasts the title of largest mall in Malaysia and the seventh largest in the world with over 700 stores in its tenancy. If you’re lucky, a minimal 30 minute drive from KL Sentral station is all it takes, as long as you avoid peak traffic hours. Surrounded by IKEA, Ikano and the Curve, 1 Utama is a massive modern monument dedicated to bringing the best brands and franchises to Malaysia and retaining a high budget clientele. During holiday seasons visitor numbers soar, as 1 Utama spares no expense in lavishly decorating all of its wings in festive splendor, attracting all ages for photos and fun.
When it comes to iconic architecture, nothing beats the mall right at the foot of the Twin Towers. Catering to patrons with high-end brands such as Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton and Alfred Dunhill, Suria KLCC is in the middle of the most visited site in Malaysia ever. Connected to giant entertainment centers such as inland aquarium Aquaria, kid-based science discovery center Petrosains and mega bookstore Kinokuniya plus the other malls surrounding it, Suria is a must-go visit.
241, Suria KLCC, 50088 KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2382 2828
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
The only mall that can beat Suria KLCC in terms of prosperity, and 1 Utama in regards to elaborate decorations, would be the crystal high-rises of Pavilion KL. The cornerstone of the shopping district Bukit Bintang, Pavilion is home to flagship outlets of countless fashion brands and restaurants. With its brightly lit corridors and classy interior, many people flock to simply window shop the items that are far out of normal value price ranges. Traffic is especially heavy during Christmas, as more people visit the lavish decorations that fill up the main inner hall. Shopping here is mostly reserved for those with high budgets, but there are still some retail outlets that remain affordable for more moderate spenders in order to keep everyone involved and interested.
Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2118 8833