Heritage Trails

What better way to soak in local culture than by taking a walk on one of Malaysia’s heritage trails? Depending on which area you want to explore, there are prearranged tours, or you could amble about with a map at your own leisurely pace.


The Ipoh Heritage Walk takes you through the historic portion of the city. The fourth largest city in the country, the former tin mining city drew many Chinese immigrants into its fold in the early 20th century due to the ore. Highlights of the trail include the Railway Station (1917), the Town Hall and Post Office Building, built after the World War I, and the Birch Memorial (1909).


A UNESCO World Heritage site, historic Melaka is a great place to explore on foot. The Dutch Heritage Trail covers attractions from the Dutch Colonial period. Meanwhile, the 7km Melaka Heritage Trail covers most of the historic sights, including the Christ Church (1753), the Stadthuys (1650), the Statue of St. Francis Xavier, Hang Li Poh’s Well and the Melaka Sultanate Palace.


In Kuala Lumpur, there are many trails to choose from, covering areas like Merdeka Square, Chinatown, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Brickfields. Guidance can be obtained online or through the Malaysian Tourist Information Centre (MaTiC).


Shopping

Malaysians love shopping, which explains the vast number of luxury malls, stores and street-side stalls in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. From designer goods to the latest electronic gadgets, the constantly changing product range includes an extensive collection of designer labels from the fashion capitals of the world. If you are a shopaholic, the best time to visit is during the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, which takes place around June– September every year.


The exemption of duty on a range of items has made shopping in Malaysia even more attractive. Duty-free items like cameras, watches, pens, cosmetics, perfumes, mobile phones, computers, cigarettes and liquor are among the cheapest in the world. If you’re shopping for these, check out the duty-free islands of Labuan and Langkawi, and the duty-free shops in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, international airports and city centres.


Local regulations ensure items are price-tagged and prominently displayed, particularly at shopping complexes where prices are fixed. Malls are also where you can conveniently find banks, foreign currency exchange counters, supermarkets and hundreds of shops offering a tremendous variety of goods.


For light, casual shopping, there are roadside stalls, bazaars and night markets in towns throughout the country. And don’t forget to visit one of the colourful, bustling night markets or 'pasar malam' – found in most neighbourhoods on certain days of the week. Here you’ll find a great array of items, local foods and fruits, available for a steal depending on your bargaining skills. It can be quite a humorous exercise as the traders are generally enthusiastic and friendly.