In Khota Bharu, I enjoyed the sounds of a crowded mall while riding the escalators from floor to floor. Brightly colored and coordinated tunics and todongs worn by women flashed by me, going down or coming up with their arms filled with bags. It was a good day of shopping. I had a good day too. The mall is ideally located next to the Renaissance Hotel where I was staying. I stopped and caught up with friends at the internet café, shot pool and had lunch that consisted of several strange, but delicious, fruits and an odd non-milk kiwi-flavored product made by a manufacturer that I was sure I would never see again. The drink was green and tasted nothing like milk, non-milk/soy, or kiwi. It was a nice day.

What made the day even nicer is when I stopped by a computer software store. To my surprise, it was not what I was used to seeing: no fancy packaging or shiny displays. The software displays in thin plastic sheets with a description of the bundled software that the purchaser would receive. The software comes with way more than you could imagine. Bundled with not only the software you might want, but with all the software anyone could want to compliment the main software. Better yet is the price. Everything was 12RM (around $3.50). Yes, Adobe, Microsoft, Games, languages,, they were all there. Complete versions of Microsoft Office with every conceivable add-on, an amazing deal.

This was not just my experience in one software store, but several. Of course, I cannot say what the copyright laws are in Malaysia or what bringing these wildly discounted software titles in the U.S. or other countries would be, but it might make it worth a ticket price beyond all the other great things Malaysia has to offer.

Written by Devin Galaudet

Globe Trekker - Thailand, Malaysia & Laos