Pasar Seni also known as the Central Market of Malaysia, was established by the Chinese Kapitan Yap Ah Loy in the year of 1888. Previously Loy was ready to establish a market in Malaysia in the central position of Kuala Lumpur, where he planned to build a wet market which would offer meat and farm products catering to the tin miners who populated Kuala Lumpur at that time.
The market has come to be known as the Central Market of Malaysia offering tourist friendly products like clothes, cosmetics, shoes, jewelleries, traditional fabrics, handbags and vast variety of articles to excite and give you the right shopping pleasure in Malaysia.
Located at Jalan Hang Kasturi City Centre just opposite to the Pasar Seni Railway Station and 15 minutes walk away from Masjid Jamek Station, the market is inescapable.
Pasar Seni or the Central Market is spread over 70000 square feet and was previously known as the Handicraft Market of Kuala Lampur back in the 1980s when Malaysia was known for its handicrafts. Today Pasar Seni reflects the true Malaysian shopping culture and gives you the right platform where you can buy a souvenir for your dear ones to take away.
Inside The Shopping Gallery Of Pasar Seni
On the ground floor of Central Market, you have the central promenade which moves to the west into Lorong India, Lorong Melayu, Lorong Cina, Lorong Colonial and Lorong Kelapa. The first three lanes of the market are mentioned in the names of the first three ethnicities like the Indian, Malay and the Chinese.
Lorong India sells sarees, handicrafts and Indian Jewelleries imported from Kashmir India.
Lorong Kelapa specializes in traditional Malay snacks like keropuk, kueh and many more. Keropuk is made up of fish sausages which are deep fried served with a delicious sauce. Kueh is a dessert delicacy made up of rice pudding, is one of the traditional snack items of Malaysia.
A parallel lane moves towards the eastern side of the market and splits into Jonker Street and Rumah Melayu. Both the lanes are covered with vintage Malaysian houses selling antiques, batik goods and various traditional items.
On the Mezzanine floor of the market, towards the eastern side there is a Batik Emporium selling batik goods and traditional handicrafts items. You can also discover food parlours selling Indonesian, Chinese and Malaysian cuisines along with coffee shops.
Shopping at Kasturi Walk Street
The Jalan Hang Kasturi was converted into outdoor shopping mall in the year 2012. In the shopping street, you will find fifty plus kiosks selling cheap accessories, clothes and traditional snacks.
A large roof is built to cover the mall from rain but its a bit transparent to pass on sun rays to give pleasure while shopping. The roof terminates into the southern part of Petaling Street like a Malayan Kite.
There is huge stage near by the place where late night shows and dance programmes are organized.
Annexe Gallery Of Fine Art
In the annexe north of the main building, you will find an art gallery which used to be a cinema hall. The interior is spacious filled with art shops and the venue is utilized for art gathering along with other related talks and programmes.
If you have time you can get a portrait of yours drawn in the art lane just beside the art gallery. Moreover you can visit the Museum of Ethnic Art which is like a mini museum showing arts from Southeast Asia and China.
What to buy at Pasar Seni?
Pasar Seni is a reasonable tourists destination as far as shopping is concerned. Antiques or handicrafts can be bought at a low price in comparison to other shops around Kuala Lampur. Listed items which can be bought at a reasonable rate are:
Invented by the Indonesians but now decorated by the Malaysians with their own efforts by creating various patterns made by the local artisans using stamp blocks or brushes in place of hand held wax pen. There are lots of floral designs which are preferred by the customers who flock from all across the world to buy Malaysian Silk.
Location: Located in the eastern corridor of the market
Price: Within 20 USD
These types of sculptures found at Jalan Hang Kasturi specialize in laser cut portraits of Asian Landscape and Landmarks carved out of Veneer wood to give the display a 3D effect.
These works can be brought in the form of picture frames, pencil holders or even phone cases.
Location: Near Jalan Hang Kasturi
Price: Within 30 USD
The Central market offers you with some of the finest antiques of genuine quality at a reasonable price. You will find antique items in the form of Chinese porcelain, Persian carpets and Malayan anklets as well as wooden carvings from Cambodia.
Location: In the ground floor of Pasar Seni
Price: Within 40 USD
Pasar Seni also offers you one of the magnificent pearls from East Malaysian States of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.
These pearls reflect the traditional beauty of Malaysia and is priced within the limits of the tourists. Also you can get hand made jewelleries from the same which are sold like hot cakes.
Location: In the ground floor of Pasar Seni
Price: Within 20 USD
Malaysia is known for tin mining and has made its fortune from this sector but owing to a change in the environmental conditions, the sector is witnessing a major decline. The world largest pewter making corporation,The Royal Selangor is based in Malaysia and its store in Pasar Seni marks an important centre for tourist attraction.
Location : In the mezzanine floor of the market
Price: Within 25 -30 USD
The Central Market also offers you some of the special spa products which are rare in other parts. A vast variety of spa specialized stores are present which provide practical demonstration and helps tourists feel right at home.
Location: In the ground floor of the market.
Price: Within 15 USD.
Handcrafted precious quality pottery can be purchased from the market made up of earthenware factory at Batu Caves. The design of these potteries are inspired from the nature which are reflected and transformed into vases, bowls, plates and many other items.
Location: Ground floor of the Pasar Seni
Price: Within 25 USD
Top 10 things to do while visiting Pasar Seni
You can spend your afternoon quite leisurely in this shopping complex.
- Try some of the local snacks offered by the local food parlours.
- Get a portrait of yours drawn by a famous artist from the arts lane with your loved ones.
- Buy some of the handicrafts to gift to your dear ones.
- Take a stroll along the Jalan Hang Kasturi
- Buy some of the hand bags beautifully decorated within 10 USD
- Buy Malaysia’s precious pearls which are sourced from Island of Borneo and Sabah.
- Try some of the unique spa products.
- Buy some Batick items for your loved ones.
- Take some of the fabulous potteries sourced from Batu Caves as a memory of this wonderful trip.
- Relish some Keropuk and Kueh which are some of the mouthwatering snacks of Malaysia.
How to reach to Pasar Seni?
The market opens from 9:30am to 11 pm daily and you can reach it easily by a ten minute walk from Chinatown Petaling street. If you decide to come by train, you can take the Kelana jaya LRT line and get down at Pasar Seni railway station right opposite to the market.
You can even take Free KL Go City Bus to this place. In short,, this place will help you shop some of the most magnificent Baticks, freshwater pearls, antiques sourced from Afghanistan and many more items which can be treasured in your Sundry travel diary.