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Pasar Karat KL


Karat literally translates to "rust" in English. We were not talking about diamonds here, but sure enough Pasar Karat is a flea market near Petaling Street in KL, and one could unearth some gems from time to time!

Some dubbed it "Market of Thieves" and certainly one can't help but wonder why such term was coined when you walk around the market. They were filled with antiques and certainly some stolen goods as well.

How to get there? It ran parallel to Petaling Street (KL Chinatown) in the middle of town, within walking distance from Central Market, and it formed part of the route for our #WWPW2015 - Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk - the other day. It opened every Saturday and Sunday as early as 6 am, and one had to get there early to get the best bargain.

We entered the market from the Jalan Sultan entrance, making our way into Petaling Street proper. When we arrived there at almost 9, the place was already packed. They were all makeshift stalls and tables, the wares being left displayed in the open for us to bargain on the price. The main stalls by the entrance were selling proper antiques. The deeper you go, the dodgier the business were until right at the back where you suspect that those were all stolen items.

But it was all in good spirit. The sellers were pretty approachable, but be sure to ask their permission before you take their photos. They can be a bit touchy. After all, it was their turf.

After walking for around 20 minutes, talking to some of the sellers, we sat by a coffee stall to have a drink. According to the owner, Pasar Karat had been around since the early 80s. It used to be exclusively Chinese but in the last 10 years, foreigners came into the picture, and with that some rougher characters. There were always some plain clothed policeman around patrolling the area and see if there are any disturbances. One had also had to be wary about your pockets, and make sure you keep your personal belongings to yourself. But generally speaking the place were quiet peaceful.

I didn't buy anything since I couldn't bother to carry them on the rest of my walk. Certainly not a place I would come alone. Safety in numbers, that was the key. The vendors could tell if it was your first time there, and how good could you bargain.

The items sold there were also rather dodgy especially the electronics. One could get an 32Gb SD card for around RM30, but one couldn't guarantee if you can safe more than 4Gb of data on the card if you know what I mean! Watch out for bargains that were too good to be true! And everything has a price!

As for photo-ops, certainly there were plenty to snaps. There were some nice looking murals on the walls and the patron there tended to be characters as well. But be sure to ask permission before you snap. More likely than not, they would say yes. And if they say no, move along. Just google "Pasar Karat KL" and you would sure to get the directions to the place. Happy hunting!

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