Though some might try to dispute the heading, notably George Town, Penang or Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur, Klang in Selangor ticks all the boxes. Head to Little India Klang if you need a sari, or any other type of outfit with origins in the Indian sub-continent. They’re the place to go for Festivals, principally Deepavali (Diwali), which falls at the end of October or early November each year. This is when the shops are full of new stock and business is even more brisk than usual.
Little India Klang: Where to start?
Klang is the Royal Town (soon to become a city) of Selangor and Little India grew over the years along and around Jalan Tengku Kelana in the old part of town. This is an easy walk from the Klang Railway station, making the KTM Komuter train ride an easy way to check out what’s on offer. The ride from KL Sentral takes about an hour, but this should be faster once track upgrading works are completed.
What’s on offer?
Shopping for clothes and other personal items
We made our first stop at Chennai Silk Palace, a rather upmarket shop offering a wide range of clothes, household goods, groceries and costume jewellery. Whether you just browse or buy, you’ll get a good feel for the type of things available at many of the enclave’s shops, whether it be clothes, shoes, makeup or jewellery.
But the real choices are available once you head across to Jln Tengku Kelana, the heart of Little India. Don’t ignore the side and back streets either, there’s so much to choose from.
Before major festivals like Thaipusam (January/February) or Deepavali (October/November), the displays will extend even further outside the shops than they usually do. You can choose from a wide range of clothes and jewellery items to suit all budgets. You can get an armful of colourful and inexpensive bangles from many of these shops, or if you want something ‘high end’, look for the specialty jewellers with bars around the cases. You’ll be amazed at the eye-popping displays of henna, kohl and eye makeup of every shade, to go with your sari, Punjabi outfit or kurta.
Shopping for groceries or household items
Need new pots and pans, oil lamps or a grinder for making spices? Or perhaps vegetables, prepared spices and general groceries? You’ll find them all here, with a wide range of choices. In between, stop at one of the palmists to have your future told, or perhaps have his trained bird choose the right card for you.
Food! Take a break for lunch
There are quite a few restaurants in the area, Jai Hind and Restaurant Mohana among them. We stopped by to have a banana leaf meal at Mohana’s, which has a good range of dishes on offer. Your generous serving of rice, with a pappadam on the side, comes with raita, some vegetable and your choice of fish or chicken curry to moisten the rice. It also makes it easier to eat with your fingers, but remember, only use the ends of your fingers. Don’t be shy to try, or ask for a spoon and fork if you feel more comfortable. When you finish, make your empty leave ‘smile’ – fold it inwards towards you to show you’ve finished your meal and are happy.
Don’t forget the extras
After a satisfying meal, there are still more things to see and buy to try or take home. Along the street you’ll find many sweet stalls to tempt you with delicious but ‘sugar spike’ treats like barfi, the beautiful milk sweets, gulab jamun and jelebi ladoo, or if you prefer spicy, you can’t walk past a bag of murukku, which is seriously addictive once you’ve had the first piece! When there’s a festival coming up, you’ll also have many temporary set up as well, selling all sorts of cookies and delicacies for the occasion.
Many shops also offer various types of prayer items, and Lorong Tingkat with all the flower shops flowers runs off to the side at the Southern end of the stretch. Business is always brisk for the beautiful garlands, strings of jasmine and other types of flowers.
Check out our video on our YouTube channel, which also includes a useful glossary for all the foods we enjoyed during our wander.
images©ET. Economy Traveller does not have any interest in any of the businesses mentioned, nor were our meals or purchases sponsored. Our comments are based on personal experiences.