Souvenirs are a way to bring a piece of a foreign land home with you after your journey ends, but it can be a challenge to find something unique that doesn’t look like a massproduced plastic keychain from your neighbourhood store. If it’s Malaysian authenticity you want, look no further. Tucked away on Jalan Conlay in the heart of the Golden Triangle is the Craft Complex of Kuala Lumpur, an attractive venue with air-conditioned pavilions in Malay-style architecture that host an extensive showcase of Malaysian traditional craft while offering craft classes.
Spoilt for Choice
Colourful batik clothing, hand-woven mengkuang accessories, wooden carvings and statues plus crystal and pewter models of iconic Malaysian symbols fill the shelves in the main craft and souvenir shops. Primarily run by Karyaneka, it is a one-stop brand for Malaysian premium souvenirs. Options for more elegant corporate gifts can also be found here, along with a gift wrapping and delivery service for those in the Klang Valley. On the east side is the Karyaneka Boutique, a twostorey centre for all things woven. Fans of batik will rejoice at the vibrant variety of clothes, scarves and accessories offered here. The fabric is also sold in bulk form for tailoring purposes.
Where It All Began
Further on is the Craft Museum, where you can access a treasure trove of knowledge about the origins of Malaysian traditions and handicrafts. Spread over two floors, the ground floor plays host to two new exhibitions every month, whereas the top floor has the permanent exhibitions of traditional crafting such as blacksmithing, fine carving, weaving and more.
Itching to try your hand at making art? Below the Craft Museum you’ll find the quaint Craft Village, and within it master artisans who’ll be more than happy to give you a demonstration of their trade. What better souvenir for you to take home than your very own handmade batik drawing, wood carving, pottery piece or scented candle? If it’s paintings you want, a short walk across the paved car park brings you to the Artist’s Colony, where local artists work their magic upon canvasses that you can purchase. Forget the generic fridge magnets and gaudy caps, you will leave not just with full shopping bags, but a whole new collection of experiences and memories – the most precious souvenirs of them all.