Judging by the popularity of the Malaysian night market or pasar malam, it’s safe to say that this form of trading is here to stay despite the surge of shopping malls in the country. Markets of any kind are often representative of a country’s culture and the way of life of its citizens. Markets essentially bring together traders, ordinary people and children, either for a simple errand or a journey to discover delicious food and local goods. Some of the more well-known night markets are in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but Malaysians believe their country offers some of the best night markets – known locally as the pasar malam – to rival their counterparts in Asia.
The Sibu Pasar Malam
Survivors in the concrete jungle
One would think that shopping at night markets would lose its appeal in a country where shopping malls are fast emerging. But judging from the crowds, the pasar malam is here to stay. Bangsar Baru’s night market is one of many examples of how a pasar malam survives in a rapidly developing city. Hundreds of Bangsar residents and tourists flock to this night market weekly, to buy groceries, have a meal or simply soak in the colourful atmosphere. The term night market does not necessarily mean that the market operates solely during nightfall. As early as three in the afternoon, access to main roads are closed, so that stall owners or hawkers can start setting up their stalls, umbrellas, tables and flourescent lights, and start displaying their goods and produce. The stall owners start this early and trade late into the night, sometimes till 11pm or midnight. Sunday is a popular day for the pasar malam, simply because it’s a day off and people have the time to window shop and run their weekly errands. Popular spots include Bangsar, Paramount Garden and Batu Feringghi in Penang. Some night markets open daily such as the one in Taman Connaught in Cheras. The pasar malam on Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman is believed to be the largest one in Kuala Lumpur, trading...
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