Autocorrect was super mad at me when I titled this post but hey, I was just gettin’ creative.
When I was in KL, a little more than a month ago, I had the whole city to myself and my itinerary was decided on the spot. Like, I’d simply get up and get out of the hotel and go wherever my feet, the Tube or a Grab taxi took me. My trip to the Publika Creative Mall was an epitome of this schedule.
Before I begin showcasing the prettiest mall ever, lemme give ye lot a bit of an idea about Kuala Lumpur’s railway system. So when you get to the Tube station in KL, there’s four trains that you can take: the LRT, the Monorail, the KTM Komuter or the Intercity. The LRT is the most popular one and the one that I used the most. The Monorail is great too and we will have a trip by it in one of my next blogs but this post is a shout-out to the KTM Komuter.
I saw in my hotel’s tourist card that the Publika Creative Mall was quite the buzz in KL and the way to get there was by a KTM Komuter train to a station called Segambut and the rest of the way could be covered by taxi. Now, I love train travel and I wanted a reason to travel by the Komuter because till that day, I’d only used the LRT and the Monorail so I headed off to KL Sentral station and got myself a Komuter card.
Komuter trains have a fixed schedule but I got lucky that day and I arrived on the platform the moment the train came to a stop. I was also lucky to have an empty train car so I could dart from window to window and photograph the scenery without feeling like some sort of a Whack-A-Mole between passengers. My hopes were soon dashed because the route wasn’t very scenic but I did like going through industrial suburbs and overgrown weeds and tunnels and occasionally a colourful temple.
My biggest surprise was when I got off at Segambut and discovered I’d come into a ghost station.
Now, I’ve seen my share of oddities at stations. Where I’m from, the whole drama of humanity happens at the station but seeing a station with no people in it felt like that scene in Deathly Hallows where Harry gets hit by the killing curse and meets Dumbledore at a spirit version of King’s Cross. I was so stunned that I actually spent some minutes on the platform, trying to find any signs of life.
When I got out of the station, I saw a cemetery.
I legit thought I’d entered the spirit world and I was only convinced otherwise when my taxi pulled up outside the station and the driver didn’t resemble the Ghost Rider. In fact, the driver herself was surprised to see a person at the Segambut station.
The re-entry into the human world (and the entry to the Publika Mall) was marked by a batch of Tapirs.
The Publika Creative Mall is built on the principle of incorporating art into retail. The mall is filled with art installations and mini exhibitions and it has a huge flea market which promotes artsy small businesses. This Tapir installation at the entrance is a tribute to Malaysia’s national animal, the Tapir. It can also be a good photo stop and visitors are allowed to photograph themselves in a sea of Tapirs.
Like so….I’m glad there’s no eyeliner streaming down my face because in a bid to hunt for humanity at the Segambut station, I’d worked up quite a sweat and the weather was humid.
My trip to KL was a constant battle between me and a perfectly winged liquid eyeliner.
My first stop at the Publika Mall was a Japanese Market on the ground floor. I decided to explore the mall from bottom to top and when I stepped into that Japanese market, I was floored by how pretty everything was. The market was essentially a grocery shop but it was literally romantic with all the lanterns and the fairy lights. I had never imagined a grocery shop to be an ideal date idea but here we are. The fish lanterns are so aesthetic and being a proper Pisces, it was right up my alley. The white and red balls look like hot air balloons and the sign in the centre gives the place a very vintage Hollywood vibe:)
The ground floor at Publika has a lot of trinket stalls selling cute, aesthetic stuff like bracelets, showpieces, succulents and dreamcatchers. This was a stall called D’Styleo and I loved it at first sight. It had such a Soft Girl vibe to it and the trinkets were so adorable. It was like entering a magic shop. This is the kind of shop that can make the most cynical person believe in romance.
Good ol’ Hallmark:) The collection of soft toys here was so good! I entered the shop because I saw the huge Snoopy on the top shelf and I really wanted some Peanuts toys. I didn’t end up getting the big Snoopy but I did get a buy one get one free deal on a mini Charlie Brown and Snoopy:) Here they are!
I love the cart set up of these stalls! When I approached the smaller flea market on the ground floor, I thought they were food trucks but instead, I saw that one of these carts sold hair accessories and the other one sold magnets and keychains and even some anime merchandise.
The last place on the ground floor of the mall was the Food Village called ‘eat’. The neon decor was so catchy and I loved how the kitty actually had a moving paw, achieved by shifting neon lights. This entrance reminded me of those futuristic movies where there are talking, robotic dolls and life-sized holograms of mythical creatures. I don’t watch those movies but this entrance was so beautiful. And it had a cat, which, in my eyes is a total win.
Emerging from the underground haven of cottage core soft girl techno, I stepped into the bustling flea market lining the whole length of the mall. The very sight of this made me grin so big and I spent a lot of time finding a nice angle to photograph the flea market because it was so beautiful. I love how neat and compact all the stalls are and the ease with which the shoppers go about their business. This place has some of the most aesthetic, artsy things that I’ve ever seen and it really drives home the mall’s vision of artsy retail.
The first picture is a stall selling artisanal plants and one selling bags. The second picture is my favourite stall at the flea market. It is a pet merchandise store called the Waggie Woofie store which has an amazing variety of toys and other pet supplies. This stall gave me a chance to properly spoil my cat and I was so happy to just dive into a sea of cat toys and get my kitty poo all the stuff he deserves:) Here’s the kitty haul:
I know the chicken looks lopsided but that’s just my kitty loving his toys:)
When I said that the mall believes in incorporating art, this is what I meant. Every corner of the mall has an art installation and I feel that you need to make a trip to specifically look at the art and find hidden gems. The first statue is such a mood, even though I have no idea what that person is trying to do. The Tapir is made of Vegan leather and then there’s streamers and Christmas trees:) There was also a hidden exhibition of paintings that I found while strolling.
It was so therapeutic to simply walk in and look at paintings with nowhere to rush to and no stress. The collection ranged from sceneries to modern, abstract pieces. You could even buy a painting. It is my dream to acquire a painting from a gallery. I couldn’t fulfil that this time because I spent my allowance on toys(for the cat and me), food and a story book but next time, I will make sure I leave some of it for a painting.
Or more toys for my cat….
These are some of the shops at the mall. The first one is a toy shop called ‘Carousel’ which is right out of Noddy. I mean, I half expected a nutcracker to walk up to me and show me around the shop on a toy train. The nutcracker didn’t budge though. Although, I did hear whispers when I wasn’t looking:) The second picture is a vintage trinket store called ‘Kaleidoscope’ which lives up to its name because every corner of the shop is filled with scattered colour. It reminds me of the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Genie popped out of somewhere and asked me for three wishes.
I would wish for a hundred wishes and then use them all to wish for more toys for my cat.
And probably use the last one for a hundred more wishes….
You can only guess what I’ll use those for, hehe….
The third shop is an art shop selling portraits and greeting cards and the last one is a jewellery shop selling jewellery made out of real flowers in resin. It was called ‘The Petal Archive’ and their collection was beautiful.
Penultimately, there’s the graffiti. The second one is done en route the bathroom. The artists working on this mall really haven’t left a spot:)
Finally, here’s the haul….
The Tapir rides a bicycle….I told you there was magic involved. Hehe….And the last one is a fox and not a tabby cat.
It’s like I always say,
Shopping is an art and artsy shopping is just fantastic.
Failed attempt at an inspirational quote: √
And that is a wrap,
Until next time,
Keep creating, keep shopping!