Malaysia allows foreign guests to enjoy the benefits provided by the Tax Free (VAT Refund) system. This program lets them receive a partial refund of the VAT tax, which is added to a vast selection of goods. The refund can make up to 5% of the product's price.
In order to enjoy the refund, you have to buy goods at special shopping destinations that take part in this program. Global Blue is the only company that offers such services in the country. Stores that work with it have "Global Blue" or "Tax Free" signs on their windows/doors.
When your purchase is complete, ask the shop assistant to fill in the GTS Refund form for you. It must contain info about the buyer, the sum and date of your purchase, and the amount eligible for refunding. Please note that minimal spend makes 300 MYR in the same store and on the same day.
Your refund awaits in any international airport of Kuala Lumpur. Come to the Custom Validation desk to have your forms stamped before the check-in procedure and baggage inspection. You are obliged to submit the goods (make sure that they are sealed and unused), their purchase receipts, your passport / ID card, flight tickets, and filled GST Refund forms.
You can receive your money at one of the Global Blue refund offices (look for the IRIS sign). The refund is available in cash or the money can be wired to your credit card / bank account. Alternatively, you can receive a check.
Please note that each form must be stamped within one month of the date of purchase. Otherwise, the goods are not eligible for refund.
Miniature figures of the famous Petronas Towers, one of the most impressive and interesting architectural landmarks in the capital of Malaysia, are an extremely popular souvenir. Besides, travelers often buy such things as traditional fridge magnets, decorative plates, trinkets, glass and napkin holders, and much more. There is a gigantic souvenir market found in the downtown of the city, not too far from the railway station. It offers an impressive selection of various keepsakes and souvenirs.
Also noteworthy are different tin items. The region is very rich in this metal and local craftsmen produce interesting things from it. Tin kitchenware is worth checking out. Moreover, tourists often buy wooden and copper crafts, high-quality silk, and battik goods.
Kuala Lumpur has a fine selection of high-grade gold and silver jewelry on offer. It will be wise to buy personal adornments in specialized stores. The majority of these lies around the Central Market. Authentic stuff can be purchased at many antique shops of the capital.
Let us not forget about local cosmetics, including hand-made soap with exotic flavors, creams, scrubs with natural oils, etc. These goods are sold in dozens of department stores and in healthcare shops. Coconut oil is purchased for cooking or as a cosmetic means. It is a high-quality product that is sold at a rather affordable price.
A very popular souvenir is the famous Tiger balm. This medicine was invented by a Chinese apothecary in the end of the 19th century. It can help ease pain in joints and muscles, and is used to deal with various health issues. There are red, blue, and green balms of offer. It is sold freely all around the place, including shops, pharmacies, markets and even gift stores.
Edible gifts include local sweet treats (candies with dried durian, chocolate and so on), spices, coffee, and tea in gift bags.
Tourists often purchase exotic fruit and bring them back home. Noteworthy are starfruit (carambola), jack-fruit, papaya, litchi, mangosteens, and rambutans. Some supermarkets sell these fruits packed in special baskets. However, it will not be a problem to buy a container for the fruits on your own.