Although I have travelled the length and breadth of Malaysia, Perlis is the state that I have yet to explore. On the way home from Langkawi to Ipoh by coach last weekend, we made a detour to Padang Besar for shopping.
I am not a shopping kaki but I welcomed the opportunity to have a look at Padang Besar, and see what it offers. Obviously, I have heard from friends that there are plenty to buy, especially Thai products, at discounted prices.
Having spent two hours here on Sunday, I can say the top three items that are purchased at Padang Besar are, in no particular order: Zebra stainless steel ware, cashew nuts and Thai sauces.
Why Thai? Padang Besar borders Thailand and is deeply influenced by Thai Muslims. In fact, many of the traders here are of Thai descent and speak Thai among themselves.
In addition to the above top three items, many other goods are available at this bazaar-style shopping complex, such as clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, stuff that you can get from any pasar malam (night market).
Besides the bazaar, known as Arked Niaga Padang Besar, there are shophouses around the complex, selling similar wares.
Oh, while you are here, don’t forget to indulge in a Thai meal, among them: tom yum, som tum, pad Thai, and mango sticky rice, using the state’s famous harumanis. Enjoy a taste of Thailand without having to get your passport stamped.