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Palm-fringed Penang may be Malaysia’s best known island escape, with a reputation for blissful beaches and mouth-watering multi-culti food, but did you know it’s also a stylish place for a spot of shopping, too?
Smith’s top tip is to make a beeline for fab little shopping enclave Armenian Street in bustling colonial capital Georgetown, where our favourite store No 86 Bon Ton The Shop & China Joes, at number 86, is a heavenly haunt for picking up Malaysian batik-print sarongs, jewellery and objets d’art. Open daily from 10am–6pm, it’s a one-stop shop for glam gifts for family or friends back home, from cute stationery to pan-Asian fashion accessories (or just a shade-boosting hat for you). Ok, a vibrant silk cushion, porcelain vase or delicate lantern may not fit into your pull-along bag, but there’s always room for Chinese tea, or a coffee-table book or two.
The store is owned by Straits Collection, one of Smith’s hand-picked boutique hotels in Penang, should you fancy hunkering down for the night in Armenian Street afterwards. For more savvy store-hopping in the neighbourhood, see our Penang destination guide. Happy shopping!