Undoubtedly, shopping is one of the things on the to-do list of every overseas trip. But as a Muslimah, it is sometimes difficult to find places that sell the kind of clothes we would typically wear. Fear not, I’ve compiled a list of shopping malls, markets and districts around the region if ever you find yourself on a getaway to any of our neighbouring countries.
Muslimah Shopping Havens around the Region
- Pasar Atjeh (Aceh, Indonesia)
Source: flickr.com (@aceh box)
Pasar Atjeh is the one place you’d need to go to for your shopping needs when in Banda Aceh. A two-storey building sells literally everything a Muslimah would need in her wardrobe – long skirts (for about SGD10), long dresses, prayer garments of all colours and sizes, and of course, hijabs of many kinds! There is a market that sells souvenirs you might want to buy for your family back home. Nearby, you can find several shops selling batik fabric of a variety of designs at very affordable prices. The Baiturrahman Grand Mosque that survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is also right around the corner, so pay a visit while you’re there.
- Citygate Outlets (Hong Kong)
Citygate Outlets is the biggest outlet mall in the whole of Hong Kong. Located on Lantau Island, it is conveniently situated near the airport and Hong Kong Disneyland. There are roughly 80 shops in the mall bearing international brands such as Puma and ESPRIT. And the best part? Many items are on 30 – 70% all year round!
- Russian Market (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
This market in the capital of the country is named as such because of the expats, mostly Russian, who patronised it in the 1980s. Besides a wide range of souvenirs, blouses, dresses and scarves are also widely available here. My pro-tip for you would be to buy things in bulk, and bargain, bargain, bargain!
- Fort Kochi (Kerala, India)
There are plenty of clothing and fabric stores scattered around this South Indian town. If you’re craving for Indian sarees or kurtas of good quality and at affordable prices, then Fort Kochi is the place for you! Long-sleeved blouses are abundant here too – of all shapes, sizes and designs. Some of the shops provide altering services that will have your clothes ready in less than 30 minutes. There are also many shops selling accessories such as earrings, as well as art galleries hidden in back alleys for art enthusiasts. A great starting point for your shopping adventure is Jew Street, where shop after shop await your arrival! Don’t forget to bargain (and say Salaam to the many Muslims you will encounter)!
- Hang Gai Street (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Hang Gai Street in the bustling capital of Vietnam is known as Silk Street because of the variety of high quality silk fabric that you can use for your tailor-made outfit, if you like. There are also shops selling traditional Vietnamese costumes, made of a long-sleeved blouse and long pants, that would be interesting to wear. Other items you can find here are shawls and comfortable cotton pants. Once again, remember to bargain!
What other shopping havens around the region, or around the world, do you know of?