Situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur , Central Market is an entertainment and recreational hub for local citizens and foreigners. Though somewhat commercialized by the rapid developments around it, one can still find much of our Malaysian culture retained in the arts and crafts sold there. Reflecting the typical busy streets in city life, it stands in a remarkable position amongst other modern city skyscrapers. Central Market is kept for its historical value; it was built by the British in 1900 and back then its primary purpose was to serve as a wet market. Currently, it still retains the nostalgic feel of Malaysian history during the pre-independence era. As a matter of fact, the building was honoured with Coronation Architecture Design Award in 1953.
Dearly known as the one-stop souvenir-shopping central in Kuala Lumpur, you can find any type of souvenir item you can think of here. This art-deco style building showcases all the souvenir stalls in style; ranging from personalized key chains, T-shirts, antique replicas, paintings, curios (cabinets used to shelf collectibles for display), costume jewelry to pewter. One could easily spend hours at a time just browsing through all the souvenirs and mingling in the crowd.
If you are looking for very traditional handcrafts like batik (hand painted clothing), rattan, bamboo products or even Wau (popular Malay kites), Central Market is definitely the place for you. You may even feel astounded by extraordinary displays of porcelain Hindu and Chinese deity statues. All these enticing souvenirs are available to take home at reasonable prices. The Malay Village is also a must “traditional handcrafts” lovers. The conceptual Malay Village fills the space of eight shop lots and only local specialized handcraft traders are allowed to take up occupancy here. Examples are the traditionally woven songket (luxurious fabric with gold & silver threads sewn intricately on it) that is usually seen on the elite Malay crowd; sutera (valuable silk weaving), Batik (dyed silk fabrics that are further enhanced with flower designs by hand painters); Wau Kelantan (a meticulously created Malay kite that is rich in culture) and Kelantan silver and antiques.
Far from merely being a bazaar, Central Market projects insight to incoming visitors, with local diversified cultures such as fortune telling services and wayang kulit, a shadow puppet show. If you have a little time to spare, get your majestic image captured on canvas by talented portrait artists. Central Market also offers fun local street performances as well. For those who yearn to venture further with the performing arts attractions, an outdoor amphitheatre by the riverside presents contemporary dance, music and cultural concerts; all of them evening performances from Thursdays to Sundays.
A visit to Central Market will bestow upon you a vivid sense of Kuala Lumpur city life; combined with traditional and diversified cultures that represent Malaysia . One will be able to effortlessly enrich their palates with indigenous and exotic cultures just by trying out a variety of cuisines at the ground floor. There’s even an old English pub to make merry and have drinks!
Many modes of transportation are available; take the Putra Line Rail Transit (LRT) and get off at the Pasar Seni station, or hail a cab and travel a direct route to Central Market. Waste no more time and make Central Market your next destination by heading over to Jalan Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur .