Kuala Lumpur is many things, particularly an excellent shopping mecca. The shopping and entertainment district known as Bukit Bintang (or Starhill) has long been the city’s most important commercial center for trafficking in consumer goods. Malaysia‘s main fashion event (Malaysia International Fashion Week) is held in this area each year, as are the STYLO Fashion Week, the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix pit stop and the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It is, in effect, the country’s equivalent of the Big Apple, just in miniature. New Year’s countdowns are held here, and it functions as the home base of Merdeka (Malaysian Independence Day) celebrations.
Branded as the “Bintang Walk” in the 1980s in an effort to redefine the area as a shopping mecca, the district encompasses Jalan Bukit Bintang and its immediate surrounding areas. There is a monorail, various other methods of public transportation, and a whole system of malls, entertainments and eateries.
In a somewhat bizarre re-appropriation of the term “Arab Street,” a section of the walk is dedicated to all things Middle Eastern and North African.
The prominent shopping malls include Berjaya Times Square (one of the largest of its kind anywhere in the world), Fahrenheit 88 (previously known as KL Plaza), Pavilion KL, Low Yat Plaza (the go-to spot for electronics), Lot 10, Sungei Wang Plaza (a bargain hunter’s dream if ever there was one), and Starhill Gallery (possibly the most glamorous and effete of all of Bintang’s shopping options).