In the late 19th Century and early 20th Century Petaling Street had been a commercial centre of the city with an important tapioca mill located on the street, providing employment for Chinese immigrant workers whose profession as tin miners had been disrupted by the civil war between rival factions in the State of Selangor during the 1860s and 1870s. The tapioca mill has gone and in its place a market has developed. The elaborate entrance gates and roof were added in 2003 to develop the site’s potential as a tourist attraction.
Shopping at Petaling Street Market
Since 2003 Petaling Street has developed into a colourful tourist oriented shopping area, with shops and stalls selling mostly, clothes, bags, watches and souvenirs.
The market itself consists of a single main street with two side streets, where vendors sell mostly cooked food, fruit and vegetables. This is a market where there are no real fixed prices and everything must be bargained for. Foreign tourists will generally be asked for twice the amount which the vendor would be prepared to accept for a product, sometimes more. There are other places in Kuala Lumpur where you can get the same the thing for a lower price, but these cheaper markets and shops are located in areas far from the main tourist centre.
Petaling Street Market is similar to Patpong Night Market in Bangkok in that a range of branded items, which appear not to be perfect quality, are sold for prices less than those normally charged by shops selling real versions of the same product. The likelihood is that they are fakes or imitations. Petaling Street Market is famous for these items, and they are the reason may people choose to come here. Trainers, T-Shirts and watches seem to be the most popular items, although you can also find jeans, dresses, sun glasses, baseball caps and DVDs here are well. The quality varies and as a general rule the better items are hidden away in the ‘factory stores’ off the main shopping street.
Food at Petaling Street Market
The t-shirts may not be real, but there is nothing fake about the food. For the best food at the best value prices try visiting small the food courts on .
There is a central stall in this food court where you can add various vegetables, curries and other items to a plate of rice. This is Malay food and its cheap.
If this selection of items doesn’t appeal to you’ then down the sides of the food court there other stalls selling a wide range of other types of food. We saw a Halal Nasi Kandar stall (Indian style food), a Chinese chicken and rice shop, a Chinese style noodle stall and several places selling Chinese style stir-fry dishes. They also serve beer at this food court, which is open until late into the evening making it a great place to go for a drink as well as to eat.
Elsewhere in the market there are lots and lots of food stalls selling pretty much everything that gets eaten in Malaysia, although the food is more Chinese influenced than you will find in Penang. Some of stalls sell food that will be unfamiliar, and probably unpleasant, to anyone who is not from China. At the other end of the scale there other stalls which sell bakery style products with fillings similar to what you fill find in many European countries, although slightly different. Its all very cheap so to get the best of a trip to the market try lots of things and if you find nothing you like then there are some European style restaurants in Petaling Street Market, such as in the Swiss Inn, where you can order a plate of spaghetti, or burger and chips (which is useful to remember if you are visiting the market with younger children).
Opening Hours at Petaling Street Market
Petaling Street Market is open everyday from around 10:00 until 21:30, although some of the market stalls seem to only open after 5 pm and some of the food outlets stay open until well past midnight.
Location of Petaling Street Market
- Petaling Street Market is located at Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is 300 metres walking distance from Pasar Seni Station.