The Malaysian night market is based on a concept of open-air shopping where street vendors take over a designated street to set up stalls. The designated street is closed to traffic from the early evening to late at night, only to be transformed into a network of brightly lit stalls.
The night market is the place where you can weave your way around the stalls, enjoy the smell of local foods and maybe pick up some trinkets. Many night markets are also famous for their imported fabrics, imitation leather goods, and branded items.
Each night market comprises a different combination of stalls, and new items are constantly being added on in line with current trends and market demand, so there is always something new and exciting to look forward to at each visit.
The night markets are typically from 5 p.m. till 10.30 p.m. You can get anything from might markets, be it groceries, clothing, good local food, hot snacks, accessories, bags, household items, fresh produce, and even the latest fads.
By around 6 p.m., the market is in full swing as the first batches of people sweep in. For those who cook, there is stall upon a stall selling fresh seafood, meat products, and a limitless variety of vegetables. Dried and preserved items such as dried shrimp, mushrooms, salted eggs, and century eggs are easily available here too.
It is no secret that all-night bazaars share a common treasure – scrumptious street cuisine. It would be a sin to breeze through these places and not nibble on mouth-watering local dishes. Thirst-quenchers such as the ever-popular soybean drink and sugarcane juice are a permanent feature here.
Noisy jostling crowds are the hallmark of the night market. Therefore, it is not a place for the faint-hearted or the gentle. To many, they are fun and thrilling places to explore. You can even indulge in discoveries of the antique kind which can be found in some night markets.
Bargaining is a practice in this part of the world where you try to persuade the vendor to part with his ware at a price lower than the price he is offering to sell you. A good starting point would be to offer to pay 40-50% of the price quoted.
Some places are 24-hour markets, which are livelier at night when traders set up numerous stalls selling unusual local food, exotic tropical fruits, cheap clothes, second-hand goods as well as fresh produce. The night market is truly an exciting experience and a feast for the eyes on a tropical night out. The atmosphere is almost festive. There is so much to see, buy and eat.