Our earnest Malaysian tour guide was clearly deciding to ignore the dominant state of his passengers.
Most were hiding behind dark sunglasses, heads sinking back into the high-backed bus seats. If any chatter was happening it was coming from those who had passed on the midnight trip into Kuala Lumpur’s CBD for drinks and some sweet dance moves in a smoked-filled, rabbit-warren-like nightclub. (Yes, I know smokey nightclub hair … it took me back … to 1992.)
No, our tour guide cared not that he didn’t have the ear of his captive subjects, using his mic to regal us for 30 minutes with the minute details and inner workings of the Malaysian political system.
Just as I was joining my fellow (shall we say tired and emotional?) passengers, in the land of nod, he mentioned the “s” word.
“You want Jimmy Choos?” he asked.
I raised my arm in the air like a maniac possessed. Forget the effectiveness or not of the Malaysian Government Opposition. He had my attention. Front and centre.
“You’ll find them in the KLCC shopping centre. Oh, and handbags … I show you. You’ll not believe your eyes. You need to see every inch of this place. It’s a tantalising package,” he said.
And indeed it was … and if only we didn’t have just over an hour to cover “every inch” I would have carried out his command. To the word.
Instead I did what I do best.
I skimmed dreamily past every shop on the luxury designer level.
Prada, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Balenciaga … labels sweetie. It was all there in one pristine five-level shopping centre.
I kept my credit card firmly in my wallet and my feet securely planted outside the closed doors.
Upstairs was a different story. Many of the stores were the same as what we have in most Australian shopping centres. And prices were pretty similar too – unless a store was holding a sale. In which case, like I did at Rip Curl for the kids, you could pick up some decent bargains.
Later that night after dinner at the Pavilion shopping centre, I did the shopping skim again. Every chain store gets a look in here – including Top Shop, Zara and Sephora (Why don’t we have Sephora in Australia? Why?).
I may have cried when 9.30pm rocked around and it was time to get back on the bus. So many shops; so little time.
KL I’m coming back one day to shop. It is my democratic right.
Things that you might like to know
There are about 3 Malaysian Ringgits to 1 Australian dollar. Get used to dividing everything by three. Most clothing store prices are comparable to Australia. Food is cheap (even in five-star hotels) but coffee is not. Wine is extortionate. Cocktails can be bought for little more than the cost of a softdrink in Australia.
The major shopping centres include KLCC and Pavilion.
If you like a haggle and something “inspired” by the luxury labels mentioned above, the Chinatown markets are for you.
AirAsia X offers long-haul flights to 16 destinations: Japan (Haneda & Osaka), Korea (Incheon), Australia (Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast), India (New Delhi and Mumbai), China (Tianjin, Hangzhou and Chengdu), Taiwan (Taipei), Iran (Tehran), Paris (Orly), London (Gatwick) and New Zealand (Christchurch).
For more photos from my trip, check out the album on the Styling You Facebook page.
Check out what I wore across the weekend here.