Nov '12 - Jan '13
If you spend any time with friends or family in Kuala Lumpur, you will spend a lot of it in shopping malls, with much greater frequency than you might be accustomed. I generally avoid shopping malls back home, and if I have an option for a local shop or downtown purveyor, I'll choose that. But I've learned to embrace the mall experience here: they are everywhere, and most day-to-day needs are fulfilled in them--dining out, shopping for groceries, or just passing time in an air conditioned, upscale environment.
Kuala Lumpur (KL) is one of the prime shopping capitals in Asia. The Malaysia Star recently published a piece on the subject (http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/11/19/central/12260112&sec=central ), calling shopping the "national pass time". The Globe Shopper Index recently ranked KL #2 in Asia (http://www.globeshopperindex.com/en/destinations/asia?ranks=1) for the quality and quantity of its shopping, second only to Hong Kong. According to the Wikipedia entry, 3 of the 10 largest malls in the world are in Malaysia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_shopping_malls_in_the_world).
The malls here typically offer much more than just shopping. Condominiums, hotels, museums, amusement parks, casinos, and acres of parking are just some of the programmatic enhancements that frequently get built into them. The ambition and scale of some of the developments is breathtaking, and unique in my experience.
This blog will periodically feature photographs of some of the larger mall developments in KL. I intend to take day trips to the more note-worthy developments, and post a brief summary of each project. Your observations are appreciated!
photographic documentation of urban mega-hybrids in a contemporary asian capital