If you travel to Southeast Asia, there is a wide variety of souvenirs that you can buy in Malaysia. Traditional Malaysian products are spread throughout the country’s thirteen states and three federal territories. Nothing less than their 27 million inhabitants are ready to provide you with an incredible journey.
Souvenirs from Malaysia are varied but, above all, they are crafted by artisans. They can be anything from expensive antiquities to beautiful handmade pieces. The majority of the artisans are Muslim, and for this reason designs are heavily influenced by Islam. On the other hand, as the religion prohibits the reproduction of the human form in art, you will find designs with natural elements, like vine leaves, flowers and animal motifs.
Let’s see what to buy in Malaysia and what traditional souvenir would make the perfect reminder of this fascinating country.
Crafts made from wood
Wooden handicrafts are another possible item to buy in Malaysia, as the country has been blessed with an abundance of wood. You will find a large variety of exotic decorative objects made from wood. Among these, you may like the panels engraved in the Malaysian style, the Keris dagger handles, the spirit sculptures of Orang Asli, the sculpted walking sticks and the kitchen utensils. There is also a wide selection of carved fragrant woods.
Metal, or to be more precise, brass, is one of the traditional products of Malaysia. From ancient times, brass and bronze have been used to make a wide variety of utensils. Craft items made from brass include: kitchen utensils, decorative objects, Tepak Sireh saucepan sets and Keris knife blades.
The incredible creativity of the hand-crafted textiles makes these the perfect Malaysian souvenir. To create the textile items, Malaysians use local plant fibres like the bamboo, rattan, wicker and the leaves of the mengkuang. With these fibres they produce baskets, briefcases, carpets, hats and balls of sepak raga, all of which are hand crafted.
Among the materials you will find in the markets are: batik, songket, pua kumbu and tekat. With these types of materials, Malaysians create everything from high couture clothing to shoes, as well as colourful curtains and exquisite bed linen.
Jewellery and Accessories
Of all the traditional items to buy in Malaysia, jewellery and accessories delight many travellers. You can choose between items made from leather, necklaces made of beads from Borneo or gold or silver jewellery with precious and semi-precious stones.
This jewellery can range from the most sophisticated and expensive to the simplest trinkets used for costumes and for the country’s traditional festivals. There is something for everyone’s taste in both quality and originality and, in every case, you have to consider the value of a totally handcrafted product.
This traditional accessory consists of a three-piece brooch which was traditionally used to secure the collar of the Baju kebaya. It generally comes in sets of three, from larger to smaller, and is an ideal souvenir to give as a gift or to keep at home as a memory of the trip.
Las Cucuk Sanggul
Another item of traditional Malaysian jewellery is the hairpins used for holding the hair in place. The finest ones are made of gold and silver and are traditionally worn by brides and traditional dancers. They are also sold in packs of three, five or seven. They are a very sophisticated touch with which to surprise your friends and family.
This traditional item is a clasp used by men to decorate their traditional costume. Apart from its design, an attractive element of the pending is that it is considered to be a sign of wealth and class. If you want to take home one of the most original Malaysian traditional items, be sure to find the precious pending.
On the Sabah coast, there are natural pearls which are used to make necklaces, earrings and bracelets. What better Malaysian souvenir than a gift of those Sabah pearl earrings? Choose between different shades of cream, white, pink or blue-grey. The price is a real bargain and you can buy the pearls by weight or as part of a piece of jewellery.
Apart from items of decoration and jewellery, there are other things to buy in Malaysia, such as mouth-watering sweet and tasty souvenirs like the Dodol. This dark brown-coloured and sweet-smelling Malaysian sweet is similar to toffee. You can also buy it in green, tinted with Pandan leaves, and it is sold in packs of different sizes.