Malaysian Mega Sale
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Malaysia maga sale

 Burdened with bargains

Many peoples' idea of Malaysia is a sleepy Asian backwater where people live a bucolic rural lifestyle, frozen in time. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Malaysia is a bustling cosmopolitan society with a healthy economy, rising standards of living and education and a well-paid populace. Of course the economy has not yet reached Western levels and pockets of poverty remain but most Malaysians have money to spend and no shortage of places to spend it. Malaysia's plentiful shopping malls offer choices that few Western cities can better. These malls are busy and the throngs of shoppers are mainly local people with perhaps a few tourists. One of the great things about shopping in Malaysia is the friendliness of the people. Generally the staff at stores are very well behaved, polite and attentive. Their command of English varies from fluent to only a few words and phrases but they usually give you service with a smile and honesty amongst sales staff is fundamental.

As Malaysia is a multicultural nation, the population have all had a lifetime's experience in dealing with people from different racial and cultural backgrounds. This has led to the development of a very tolerant, polite and patient civilization. I have never felt worried or threatened during my many trips through Malaysia. On the contrary, I know I can always receive help and advice if I request it.

The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board will have one of its annual sales from the 3rd of August until the 1st of September. This will be known as the Malaysian Mega Sale.

The favourable exchange rate of M.R 3.80 to the dollar means prices seem low to tourists. There is a huge range of locally produced handicrafts with silver, pewter and brass offering excellent workmanship at unbeatable prices. Many other items of rattan, wickerwork, cloth and pottery are inexpensive and of high quality. Oriental art objects and curios are abundant. Carvings in wood and stone, paintings, tapestries, rugs of silk and fine woollen carpets are also available. Batiks on silk and cotton with bold designs in brilliant colours and typically Malaysian patterns are different from those offered in other Asian countries. An extensive range of quality ready-to-wear apparel in modern designs and hues; from sedate to vivid, are accompanied by a complete range of handbags, shoes and accessories. Designer collections from the fashion centres of the world include, with the best-tailored garments, a range of elegant footwear, optical accessories and quality fabrics.

The latest in electrical appliances, electronic equipment, computers and cameras can be found at bargain prices.

Business hours for stores in Malaysia are generally 9.30 A.M to 7.00 P.M. Most department stores and supermarkets open from 10.00 A.M until 10.00 P.M. Prices in larger stores and malls are fixed. Bargaining is normal in smaller stores and obligatory for roadside vendors and hawkers. Reductions in price of 10-20 % are standard amongst vendors; sometimes 30-40 % can be achieved, depending on your negotiating skill and your patience! Starting to walk away after saying thanks but no with a little smile can often result in a sudden acceptance of your last offer.

Electricity in Malaysia is 220 volts. Electrical equipment may be sold without an attached plug. However, most stores will fit a plug of your choice for use back home.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city and the commercial hub of the country. Historical relics, heritage buildings and land marks, parks, amusement centers, animal and plant exhibits mean there's plenty to do in the daytime apart from shop. At night the city rocks and a pulsating nightlife offers relaxation or exhaustion as you choose. The next day, a visit to the Central Market will let you see many artisans producing local handicrafts and paintings. This former wet market is now an air-conditioned shopping bazaar with a wide variety of local crafts and souvenirs for sale. It also has numerous food outlets where the best of local cuisine can be sampled. Across from the Central Market is the'Goldsmiths Row'. Here shops sell gold, diamonds and jade at competitive prices.

Some other handicraft centres are worth visiting including; the Kompleks Budaya Kraf at Jalan Conlay, also the Infokraf Centre at Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin and the Batik Malaysia Berhad outlets in the city centre. These establishments offer exquisite silverware, pewter, woodcarvings and batik or brocade [songket].

The Royal Selangor Factory at Setapak is worth visiting with its information about pewter manufacturing, displays and a huge selection of high quality pewter-ware including mugs, goblets, cutlery, ashtrays, dishes, bowls and figurines.

To sample something uniquely Malaysian visit China town in Petaling Street. Known as'The Bargain Center'. This is one of the busiest and most colourful parts of the city. At night the street is closed to traffic and becomes a bustling brightly lit night market with an enormous range of goods offered at rock bottom prices. Other places that have many choices include the shopping precinct called Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Here you can find clothing, food, cosmetics, shoes, electrical goods, sports equipment and antiques. Jalan Bukit Bintang has several ultra- modern shopping and commercial complexes and large international hotels. Shoppers can browse through several hundred shops in this busy area.

Jalan Ampang/Jalan Tun Razak is located within Kuala Lumpur's Diplomatic Enclave. The area has several prestigious shopping complexes that boast international names as well as quality local products. The newest and classiest shopping complex is the "SURIA" next to the Petronas twin towers. Many other mega malls can be found in the city suburbs, all offer excellent value and a wide range of goods.

The Malaysian Mega Sale coincides with Malaysian Independence Day on 31 August. The celebrations will be attended by a number of dignified guests and a colourful parade promises to illuminate the city. The festivities will include many exciting events sure to be of interest to people from all walks of life.
The Mega sale promotion is nationwide and hundreds of other shopping complexes around the country will be offering discounts and special promotions. You can be sure of finding great value in whichever city you choose to visit. Malaysia's Mega sale is a bargain hunter's dream.

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- August Issue, 2002

   
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