Bedazzled at KL
Imagine discounts up to 70% percent in all the chic and sophisticated malls you've ever dreamed of going; all the latest in-things you've ever wanted shining from the windowpanes, alluring you. Colourful clowns dancing around here and there playing with the children; fashion shows inside the malls with gorgeous models on the ramp accompanied by vibrant music. Street dances, contests, lucky draws, prizes, hot bargains and what not. It's all there at Kuala Lumpur, the city of ultimate shopping destination these days. From haute couture and high-gloss brands to flea markets and homegrown fashion, Kuala Lumpur has it all.
All this excellence attracts millions of shoppers to Malaysia every year. A survey conducted by the MasterCard International shows that more than 85 per cent of foreign male tourists and 75 per cent of female tourists visit Malaysia solely for shopping. This season the crowd is even more fired up. From July 23 2005 with the launch of the six-week long Mega Sale Malaysia Carnival, the streets of KL are buzzing with shoppers. Held annually since 2000, the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival has become one of the major attractions for tourists around the world.
The grand launching ceremony took place at The Curve, situated at Mutiara Damansara. It was a night to remember. The Minister for Tourism formally launched the sale. Dazzling fireworks cheered up the night sky. A group of dancers performed the electrifying dance track 'Radioactive' immediately stirring vibes around The Curve and the audience. Right after the dance and music presentation, models dressed up as shopping bags took over the stage followed by more gorgeous models clad in glamorous designer cloths of local brands. The party continued till late at night with a midnight sale at the malls.
The Mega Sale will continue till September 4. So it is time to invest in a large suitcase and get ready for a grand shopping adventure. If you happen to be at KL this August, one of the first things you might do is to pop into the Central Market to pick up a few local handicraft pieces. This place will give you a genuinely local feel. A short walk from Central Market is the Chinatown, where a Rolex watch sells at about 20 dollars. These watches look just like the original ones and can fool anyone with their appearances. You have to be there to believe it. Don't miss Petaling Street either. This place is a vibrant mix of Chinese, Nepalese and Burmese traders. Then on to the heart of Little India at Jalan Masjid India. It is a place of spicy temptations. Also check out the Kuala Lumpur Arts and Crafts Centre for more traditional souvenirs.
Moving upscale? Kuala Lumpur's monster malls are crammed with designer brands and more. Just name it and KL has it, from Versace, Gucci and Prada to Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. The Suria Shopping Complex, situated at the foot of the world's tallest twin towers, is a gem, with its swanky shops, cafes and beautiful people. Little stalls in the walkway are stuffed with knick-knacks at an unbelievably cheap price. If you are craving for more visit the Curve, IKANO or Tesco.
Alongside Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival it is also the season for Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW). During the week, a series of fashion shows takes place throughout the city centre. These shows are open to the public. From July 23 to July 31 this grand event rocked the fashion scene at KL. Organised by the Malaysian newspaper Kumpulan Utusan, this year the theme was the 'Rhythm of Colours'. The event was formally launched at the mega mall Suria KLCC in the presence of fashion gurus and later followed by a fashion showcase of local labels. It was a glamorous week all the way with sneak previews of new collections by local designers; local celebrities presenting extravagant fashion shows; charity fashion shows to help poor students and more.
KL finer points
Did you know that in Kuala Lumpur, colourful peacocks move about freely in the presence of human beings? Well, not everywhere, not on the bustling streets but at the KL Bird Park along with hundreds of other species of feathery friends, peacocks roam freely, often eating their favourite fruit papaya or perching on the high branches.
Right opposite the bird park there is an orchid garden. Circle around just to please the eyes. And also at KL they have a Butterfly Park. The Butterfly Park houses some 6,000 butterflies of over 120 species. The park is an imitation of the butterfly's natural habitat. Walking around these parks you will feel the ambience of paradise.
Did you also know that in KL they have the world's tallest Twin Towers? The 88-storey structure is mostly made of steel and glass. And the two towers are linked with a Skybridge located at levels 41 and 42. Up there you will get the birds eye view.
At Menara Kuala Lumpur or the KL tower they have a revolving restaurant. Situated at the height of 276 metres above the ground level, the restaurant circles around slowly and the best time to dine there would be the evening. It is like dining up in the clouds. As you dine, the gleaming twin towers will appear in the scene. Then again in a few minutes it will disappear. You will be orbiting up there along with the desert table, or the piano player and the piano's melody in the air.
By Shahnaz Parveen
KLFW is the most awaited fashion event in Malaysia. It is also the anchor event in the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival 2005. During the fashion week, local designers, models, make-up artists, hairstylists and other professionals get a boost towards international recognition. KLFW is the trendsetter in Malaysia aiming to revolutionise the local fashion scene.
The fashion fiesta does not end with the fashion week. Throughout the whole month of August, 2005 fashion enthusiasts will get a chance to please their eyes with the colourful variety of fashion shows staged within Kuala Lumpur City during the weekends. These fashion shows will be showcased at the various shopping complexes within the City.
The city of Kuala Lumpur with its bustling streets, its shining modern office towers, and its cosmopolitan air projects an unbounded spirit. With its vast immigrant population, Kuala Lumpur is a blend of diversified cultures and heritage. With the mega sale and grand fashion shows on, it has become the grand gateway to a fascinating destination.
By Shahnaz Parveen back from Kuala Lumpur
Photo Courtesy: Kumpulan Utusan