Malaysia cheapest country for weekend getaway

Pavillion KL7KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Malaysia ranks as the cheapest country to have a high-end weekend getaway, costing tourists less than half of what they would pay in Singapore, a survey has shown.

The global price survey by Deutsche Bank Research titled “The Random Walk: Mapping the World’s Prices 2015” set the average price for a two-night holiday in Kuala Lumpur with a stay at a five-star hotel at US$480.20 (RM1,775.54), which includes the cost of four meals, two snacks, car rental for two days, two pints of beer, four litres of soft drinks or water and some shopping on the side.

It is also lower than the average price of US$541.80 for a similar stay in Kuala Lumpur last year, when the Malaysian capital lost out to Mumbai as the cheapest luxury destination in 2014 with a weekend rate of US$505.60.

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Handicraft Market

Located along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, the Handicraft Market is a favoured shopping haunt for locals and tourists alike. Souvenirs galore await you and rest assured there is something for everyone.

There are miles and miles of beautiful sarongs and pareos, an ideal reminder of your tropical holiday in Sabah! Be sure to also check out the glistening and gorgeous pearl jewellery and handicrafts while you are there.

The best thing about the Handicraft Market is that you never know what piece of treasure you might unravel during your visit. Some have returned home with an authentic sompoton (a traditional wind instrument), a Murut headhunter’s blowpipe, a coconut-shaped handbag and a wooden-frog that ‘sings’ when you stroke its back with a wooden stick.

The most important tip when visiting the market is to bargain, bargain, bargain! Pick up some local lingo to improve your bargaining skills and you might even walk away a steal.

Address: at the Waterfront in Kota Kinabalu City
Business hours: 09.00am to 04.30pm daily.

Warisan Square

Warisan Square was quite revolutionary with wide open spaces and a quality feel, successfully incorporating an air-conditioned mall experience with an open-air ambiance.

The perimeter of the mall features restaurants and coffee shops, whilst the inner atrium and floors higher up hosts retail outlets.

Above the atrium of the main block, as well as in 2 additional blocks on either side, floors are dedicated to office space and a slew of not-so-budget budget hotels and reflexology centres.

Warisan Square is still a good starting point for your shopping safari in Kota Kinabalu as its varied enough to deliver a mildly interesting shopping experience.

Address: Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: (6)088-447 871

Wisma Merdeka

Wisma Merdeka Kota Kinabalu located at the waterfront, is one of Kota Kinabalu’s most successful shopping centres offering a wide range of merchandise.

This is certainly the place for visitors to look for souvenirs whether it is batik, handicrafts, antiques, local interest books or other souvenirs. The complex also offers money changers, photo processing, a wine shop, as well as a wide range of shops selling wearing apparel and shoes for the beach, the mountain or just bargain denim to take home.

Possibly Kota Kinabalu’s best food centre is to be found on the second floor but there are also fast food outlets and some of the best coffee in town.

Address: Wisma Merdeka, Jalan Tun Razak, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: (6)088-232 761

Gaya Street (Sunday Market)

Originally named Bond Street, Gaya Street located in the Kota Kinabalu Central Business District has been the centre of business for over a hundred years. The wooden shops with nipah roofs are long gone but here is where generations-old family businesses are still thriving passed down from father to son.

Every Sunday morning, the length of Gaya Street is closed off to traffic to make way for the Fair. Shop for anything under shady trees and over-sized umbrellas, like batik sarongs, fruits and flowers, arts and craft, footwear, antiques and souvenirs, cakes, even pets and herbs!. This is the best place to experience the cross-section of the local population when entire families enjoy a Sunday outing.

Address: Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu
Business hours: Every Sunday from 6.30 am to 1.00 pm

Suria Sabah Shopping Mall

Suria SabahSuria Sabah Shopping Mall, or Suria KK as it’s sometimes referred to, is easily identified by its salad-bowl design.

Suria Sabah is a new’ish shopping mall in the middle of Kota Kinabalu, which, after a slow start, has finally picked up some momentum and is now teeming with life.

Start in the basement you’ll find most of the fast food restaurants together, with a few better quality eateries and a food court spread across the higher floors.

Metro Jaya is one of the anchor tenants and spans several floors, while numerous other shops sell either beauty products or clothing and are randomly dotted throughout the mall. Sura Sabah Shopping Mall is also making a push to rob Karamunsing of their “Best for IT” title, but although there are many gadget shops already, the quality and variety is still lagging behind Karamunsing.

The Times bookstore is not to be forgotten, nor is GSC Cinemas, which significantly boosted the visitor rate at the mall.

GSC Suria brought 8 new screens to Kota Kinabalu and now feature two 3D ready cinemas at this complex alone.

Address: 1, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, 88000 Kota Kinabalu
Tel: (6)088-487 087

Centre Point Sabah

Centre Point Sabah is situated just off the main coastal highway and within walking distance from the Central Business District. Centre Point Sabah is a one-stop shopping, dinning, office, car park and amusement complex serving the State Capital.

Address: 1, Jalan Centre Point, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: (6)088-246 900

1Borneo Hypermall

1Borneo Hypermall is Sabah’s largest shopping mall and is located about 10km away from the city centre.

The mall is home to restaurants (notably Sabah’s only Nandoo’s), fancy-label clothing, department stores, entertainment outlets, appliance stores and supermarkets.

1Borneo is home to 3 hotels, 3 apartment block towers, a cinema multiplex, night spots, a gym and a much-touted aquarium which, it is now safe to say, will probably never materialise.

Thanks to the large exhibition areas around the mall, 1Borneo Hypermall often hosts exhibitions and other events, which creates a beautiful traffic mess that the sloppy parking system is incapable of handling efficiently.

Address: Jalan Sulaman, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: (6)088 447 744

KSL City Mall

KSLKSL City Mall and Hotel is the newest integrated resort in Johor Bahru that offers a complete shopping experience with entertainments and accommodations which comprises of 500 retail outlets, 868 hotel rooms and 602 condominiums.

Address: 33, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, Johor Bahru, Johor
Tel: (6)07-288 2888
Price level: Moderate

City Square Johor Bahru Shopping Mall

Strategically located in the heart of the city and only a stone’s throw from the customs and immigration checkpoint, Johor Bahru City Square stands out as a central landmark in JB.

With its more than 200 retailers, it offers a host of fashion, entertainment and restaurants. All catered to wow the senses and satisfy the needs.

Rush in when the doors open at 10am for breakfast, then head out and start your shopping adventure of clothes, shoes, bags, trinklets, toiletries, electronic toys. Everything the heart desires.

Unique to Johor Bahru City Square is the Inner City, an eclectic mix of smallish fashion and accessory shops plus restaurants housed in a tight, quaint setting. Always a firm favorite of the “NOW” generation.


Address: 108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Tel: (607-224 5333