Where to buy souvenirs in KL: Central Market, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
If you need to do some souvenir shopping in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there’s really nowhere better to go than Central Market. Founded in 1888, Central Market is sort of a proto-shopping mall. Today, it’s full of food, souvenirs, and other cheap products that any visitor will want to take home.
Central Market is the most famous market in all of Kuala Lumpur. The market itself dates back to the late 19th century, but the current blue art-deco building was designed in 1937. Originally a wet market, today, Central Market is the best place to buy souvenirs and cheap, delicious food.
When I visited Central Market, I took the opportunity to try Nasi Lemak, the national dish of Malaysia. This dish consists of boiled peanuts and spicy anchovies, and a scoop of rice topped with a fried egg. Of course, I washed the whole thing down with a kopi tarik, the classic “pulled coffee” that is the national drink of Malaysia.
After shopping inside the market, don’t forget to explore the streets outside. The surrounding roads have been closed off for pedestrians, and there are more shops and stalls outside surrounding the market.
Though it’s a mark of Malaysia’s colonial period, the market has been co-opted in a very positive way into a Malaysian cultural site. In fact, Central Market was recognized by the Malaysian government as a cultural heritage site in the 1970s after the country gained its independence from Britain.