Before I begin my ramblings about a market in Kuala Lumpur, let’s do a bit of introspection by answering some super easy questions.
- Are you the kind of person who considers lifting shopping bags as upper body workout?
- Are you the kind of person who considers tracking online orders a full-fledged sport?
- Are you the kind of person who goes window shopping only to end up buying everything displayed on all the windows that you looked at?
If your answer to these questions is yes, congratulations, you’ve qualified for a shopaholic discount!
If your answer to these questions is no, I think you’ve been going to the wrong shop.
Shopping is therapeutic. It is an activity for every mood. Fortunately, the world has a huge treasury for this breed of humans known as shopaholics and in this post, Imma take you to one of the oldest markets in the city of Kuala Lumpur i.e the CentralMarket at Pasar Seni that has been catering to shopaholics since 1888.
I love the pastel facade of the market. It looks very vintage but it also tell of a little modernity that has shaped the market over the centuries. It is so hard to get an empty picture of the sign. I had to wait for three huge families to finish before I had like four seconds to get an empty shot before another three families came to throng it. I don’t understand….How many angles of light are you going to get on a gloomy day? And is there no end to the variants of hand signs one can make in front of the camera?
The Central Market is located in an area called Pasar Seni. It is just opposite to the Tube station of the same name and that makes it a very convenient tourist destination as it is connected to most of the main destinations and is a train ride away.
This is the view of the Central Market from the station. The kite shaped canopies look so grand and it feels as though you are walking into a carnival. I saw these structures by accident so I was literally dumbstruck by how pretty it was. I had actually walked past the canopy to go the station to take a train but then I turned and just remained frozen while mentally modifying my itinerary.
Here’s a close up of the walk and the kite. It’s daunting how the Kite looks like an omnipresent eye and I get the feeling that walking past it would teleport me to some kind of a mirror dimension. It actually leads to a river called the River of Life. You can find the details about it here. The walk, however is very pretty with aesthetic shop windows, tree-lined streets, light and shadow contrasts and basically every other photographic element that one can come across.
Here’s some glimpses of the walk through the canopy before we enter the market. I love the random artistry here. It shows how art can enhance everything and that the Earth without art is just eh.
This is the scene after entering the Central Market. Now I am an absolute fan of hanging lights and this arrangement had my heart. I love the vintage cobbled flooring and the infinite rows of shops. It’s like entering some cave of wonders. Also, the flags add a nice touch to it. The Central Market has three floors of retail therapy on a platter and here is the stairway to that heaven….
Even the steps have inlaid designs on them, like this is how artsy the city is…. Also, I love the graffiti and its symbolism. This stairway leads to a boutique selling Batik clothing. Batik is a type of textile art which involves tie-dye in intricate patterns. This sort of art is quite popular in India and parts of Asia and people have been making and wearing it way before tie and dye became an Insta fashion trend. The graffiti on the wall is done in Batik style which is very impressive as it is a difficult art form and doing it on a wall must have taken a lot of effort.
You know, when I told my mum that I need more of a tie-dye scheme in my wardrobe, she took one look at the Insta pictures and said that she owned so many clothes of that kind and it was simply Batik that social media users were discovering for the first time. That kind of gave me a reality check and made me look into my own traditions a bit and it was worth it.
So the rage for tie and dye is not something brand new. India has so many forms of it and if I begin talking about it here, this will turn into a textile blog so Imma just end it here and maybe have a blog on Indian textiles.
I do however like the trend so let’s keep it raging:)
Here’s some doodle graffiti that adds to the modernity of the place. I love the dog in the Central Market square, it gives me major Cubist vibes:))
This is my favourite picture from the Central Market. Like I said, I’m crazy for lamps and this shop made me wild with happiness. The tint is so comforting and the handicrafts on the racks are so well illuminated. These lamps are mostly made of mosaic and other inlaid designs. In India, we call this sort of inlaid work, “Minakari” and it’s quite a popular form of design on plates, jewellery, lamps etc. It looks very good on lamps as it scatters light beautifully and gives it a very magical look. This shop reminded me of the lanterns scene in Tangled which is so romantic and surreal:)
I also love how the shop owner is simply vibing in all the beauty. 10/10 a MOOD.
Here’s a shop selling bed clothes made of embroidered cloth. Now, I love embroidery, I even do some myself but bed clothes aren’t things that I overly enjoy shopping for. That is more up my mum’s alley. I am more of a clothes and trinkets shopper while she loves shopping for the home. The interior was very pretty though, so I had to take a good picture so here we are.
The white pillow cover reminds me of a white chocolate rainbow doughnut for some reason.
This is a shop called ‘Treasure Shop’ and whoever named it ate and left no crumbs, hehe….
I mean just look at this, there’s all sorts of showpieces right from glass painted piglets to toy rabbits to dolls to earrings and basically a whole treasury of all things magical. This took me back to Jeffery Archer’s story about the Chinese Statue. This shop is how I had pictured the workshop in the story to be and while I do have more of an understanding about authenticity, I would love to pass down a glass painted piglet as a family heirloom until my great, great grandchild discovers it’s a copy.
My ancestors must be crying in their graves with all the heirloom they actually have.
This shop made my heart soar like a kite. The colourful facade of the store was so brilliant and the variety of kites was mind-blowing. I consider the ability to fly kites a skill and when a kite such as this soars into the sky, I think it makes the birds jealous. I was so thrilled to see a miniature of the kite that makes the canopy outside the Market. I also like the slightly messy arrangement of the shop as it adds to the playful vibe of the place.
This clock tower was a very random addition to the central market. I believe it was a watch store but it was closed on the day that I visited. The brick building was a stark contrast to everything in the market and there were mainly souvenir stores and live artists sitting around it.
The stall which says “Unique Art of Henna” brought me right home. Henna art or Mehendi as we call it in India, is a temporary tattoo of intricate designs, drawn on hands and feet. It is applied mainly during weddings or on festive seasons but one can also apply it for fun at any time. In Indian weddings, applying henna is a separate ceremony where all the women in the family gather to watch the bride get her hands and feet adorned. I like to apply henna too, although it requires some patience while it dries and sometimes it comes out in a very flaky manner but for the duration that it stays, it looks lovely and is worth it.
This was my final stop at the Central Market. It is a shop by the Royal Selangor company that makes stuff out of pewter. I love the Star Wars figurines and the various battleships. They look very fancy and regal and just looking at it makes me want to start collecting pewter figurines but then my mum would probably give me an ultimatum that it’s either her or the figurines so I simply got a picture….
This is the view of the parking lot of the Central Market, drenched in the rain. I like how everything has come to a standstill and the towering Merdeka building engulfed in fog adds some mystery to the scene. Rain is so aesthetic and calming. Unless you are stuck in it which is what happened in the minutes succeeding this picture because like so many forgetful teenagers I forgot to carry an umbrella and dashed off into the rain as though I repel water.
And yes, I was wearing thick, black eyeliner.
In this battle of Sammy vs. eyeliner, neither wanted to give up.
Here’s the view form the platform at Pasar Seni station with the vintage streets of KL along with the Twin Towers peeking from the background. Pasar Sen station had one of the best views ever and I’m glad I visited the station multiple times to make the most of it.
Finally, here’s a little kitty who wanted to say bye! Her name is Fluff. Make sure to say hello and blow a kiss.
This made me miss my own cat….He is superior….
And that is a wrap,
Until next time.