If you are planning on travelling to Kuala Lumpur then don’t miss out on experiencing the charismatic Chinatown.
Reasons to Visit Chinatown
Chinatown is centrally located and based around Petaling street, a long street packed full of merchandise, food and fantastic bargains. It has become extremely popular with tourists who want to take advantage of the amazing deals to be had.
You have to do a bit of haggling to get the best possible price and you will be hassled to buy something at every single stall, as the locals work hard to sell their goods. The delights of Chinatown are a wonderful experience for any traveller, so make sure you stop by on your next trip to Kuala Lumpur.
You will be amazed at the amount of food on offer in Chinatown. You can get everything from fresh vegetables and meat to local noodle dishes and sizzling grilled street food. Grab some food on the go or stop and enjoy your food while you soak up the lively atmosphere.
If you are feeling brave then try some of the weird and wonderful food or tuck into some tasty barbecue food. Chinatown is immersed in traditional Chinese culture and this is certainly reflected in the food, there are lots of Chinese dishes on offer.
You can also get lots of different types of meat and if you have a sweet tooth then there are some street stalls selling different deserts.
If you love shopping around for a good bargain then Chinatown is the place to be. It’s not for the faint hearted though, you will get hassled to buy something at every stall. The local people selling their products will not give up, so you have to be firm and move on to the next stall.
You can make your way down the street and take your pick from the wide range of products on offer, from handbags and clothes to DVD’s and jewellery.
Take a moment to watch the salesman at work, interacting with lots of bargain hungry tourists. You could pick up a few tips from watching them, but the basic rule of haggling here is to walk away if they don’t come up with the price you want. If you are prepared to barter then you will leave with some really good deals. The locals will try and convince you that they are selling genuine products from big name brands, but the reality is most things sold here are cheap alternatives.
Chinatown can get very hot and busy during peak hours, so you probably want to avoid these times. It’s cooler and quieter in the evening, if you want to do some serious shopping then this is the best time to go.
You can pick up lots of souvenirs to remind you of your time in Kuala Lumpur. Buy some local clothing, fascinating antiques or items of jewellery to take home with you. A lot of the stalls will sell similar products so be sure to shop around to find the best priced souvenirs.
If all the shopping and bargain hunting gets a bit much and you need a break, then take some time out to have a massage. You can practically get one on every corner as the vendors try to lure you in. If you like a bit of pampering and enjoy massages then it’s worth buying a massage at a very reasonable price.
Eat and Drink
There are lots of eateries in Chinatown where you can sit back and watch the world go by. It’s refreshing to enjoy a nice cold drink while you watch other tourists meander through the stalls. Sit with the locals while you have a few ice cold drinks and absorb the atmosphere.
If you are looking for a budget hotel then there are plenty in the Chinatown area. These hotels are located right next to the busy market where it all happens. You can be right in the centre of the action and close to the city centre and some of the main attractions in Kuala Lumpur.
About the Author: Ryan is the resident blogger at AsiaRooms. When Ryan is not working he spends his time travelling the globe, drawing on his travel experience and passion for travel to spread the good word. Ryan is also a social monkey and can be found lounging around on Twitter & Google+ and loves to interact with other travel bloggers.
Yes, the entry looks tiny. But inside, expect a mini walkathon because this play and touch museum spans over 2 floors and is filled with many petroleum related exhibits for your little ones.
There are Formula 1 racing cars, helicopter simulators, oil rig replica as well as other displays to play and touch (like stones that bleed oil) to get your little ones entertained.
But watch out. In this museum, time flies.
Duration of Visit: 3 hours.
5. Go to the Aquaria
This Aquaria is nothing compared to the ones in Singapore or Sydney. But since it is just 5 minutes walk from the Tower, this small underground aquarium is worth a mention — especially if it showers on your trip.
As expected, you’ll get to watch creatures like sea horses, sharks and turtles as well as live reptiles and insects here.
Just make sure you don’t miss the piranha feeding session at 4 pm.
Duration of Visit: 2 hours Note: Not advisable if your family is on tight budget.
6. Check the Bintang Walk
From KLCC, get on the air-conditioned overhead bridge to Bukit Bintang — the city’s version of Oxford Street.
This is where you could see swanky world class malls, listen the music of the local street performers, get your feet massaged by illegal Chinese immigrants and relax by the roadside cafe all in one shopping block.
Unfortunately, there’s a massive construction work in the area right now. As a result, the area is choked with people, and traffic is bad. If you are over 50 or plan to get here while pushing an infant in a trolley, crossing the roads could be frustrating.
By now, your leg will scream for a rest. So it’s time to head on to Jalan Alor, and get some ice cold lychee drink from one of the many Chinese steet vendors here.
It doesn’t matter if you just like to hang around with a huge crowd or just want to try a hot chicken satay, this is a popular place in Kuala Lumpur for tourist to sit and eat past midnight.
But if you prefer cleaner eateries, forget Jalan Alor and walk into the Hutong Food Court in the Lot 10 mall instead. You will still get authentic street food minus the offensive odors from smelly alleys.
In fact, since the stalls here are handpicked from the best stalls from all around the country, this place is probably better than the crowded, over-rated and dirty Jalan Alor stalls.
Note: For halal food, try the Arab Street.
There you go — a short guide of what to do in Kuala Lumpur if you only have 1 day to spend. Admittedly, you won’t actually see or learn much about the city. But you have at least covered the most important area and see the most important KL attractions located within a small area of KLCC.
For more ideas on things to do in Kuala Lumpur, wait for our second installment.
Leave your guidebooks behind and rely on these locally made apps to plan your trip around Kuala Lumpur. No more asking a stranger the way to the nearest train station or standing on a rainy street corner trying in vain to hail a taxi.
Check the top 7 Malaysian made travel apps that will make traveling around KL using train or taxi far, far easier.
Getting a Taxi
KL has more taxis than New York – but hailing an honest one can be a real pain. Avoid the turmoil involved in hailing a cab, and simply order one from your device with these 2 apps.
When you book via the apps, MyTeksi will send your information to the nearest drivers who will be bidding for the job.
Within 3 minutes, you will get an SMS or a call with the details of your driver. You will also be told when your driver will arrive and how much the trip will cost. If you want, you can also rate your driver at the end of the journey.
2. Taxi Monger
The Taxi Monger is another taxi booking alternative for Android users. The apps allow you to book taxis for immediate or future journeys and give you the choice to opt for a regular or executive taxi.
Like the MyTaxi apps, the Taxi Monger lets you praise or complain about your driver. But unlike the previous apps, you can read the reviews online. RM2 taxi booking charge applies.
Hate KL taxis? If your visit to KL is mainly for shopping, you should probably try the train. Here are 2 apps that will help you plan your journey.
3. KL Train.
This free Appple store app is fully integrated with Google Maps to show direction and will autodetect the nearest train stations to you. Although you probably use 3 major rail services, the KL train apps will show you the services of all the trains available in Kuala Lumpur, including the high speed electric train to Kuala Lumpur airport.
Compared to most other South East Asian countries, Kuala Lumpur is a safe city. But these 2 apps (and some common sense) will help you avoid being the victim of a crime – when using public transportation or while waiting for one.
SecQ.me (pronounced “secure me”) automatically triggers an alert for help in case of an emergency without the need for you to intervene. Watch the video for more info.
The lite version is free and available on Apple and Android devices, though there’s a $4.99 upgrade fee if you want the full version.
This is an app rolled out by the Selangor police to help get a patrol car directly to your location. When activated, the MyDistress app will automatically send out your location to the district and Selangor state police headquarters.
Although it is for Selangor only, the police will still relay the distress signal to their counterparts in KL.
* Note: This app can be downloaded free but a fee of RM2/month is charged for the use, effective Jan 2012
Malaysia is rolling out new banknotes this month. That’s why you have two different looking RM 1 notes – one in paper and one in polymer. Don’t fret as you can still use the new and the old notes anywhere in the country.
What’s New In the Malaysia 2012 Banknotes?
The RM 1 banknote is now in polymer.
The RM 20 is back.
The new notes has Braille features for the blind.
Here are all the images of all the new Malaysian notes
The RM 1 features the picture of the Moon Kites, a popular hand crafted kite in the state of Kelantan.
Depicted in the RM 5 note is the Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), one of the largest and most magnificent hornbill species in the world. It plays an important role in the customs and traditional ceremonies in the state of Sarawak
The RM 10 depicts the image of Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower that is indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia. It was first discovered in the Royal Belum Forest Reserve of the state of Perak in 2003.
Pulled out of circulation in 1993, the RM 20 is back. The gold colored note shows two of the most well-known species of sea turtles endemic to Malaysian – the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).
RM50 note portrays palm oil as a vital commodity in transforming Malaysia into what she is today. Crude palm oil is also used as the underlying commodity to facilitate Islamic financing.
The RM10 shows the magnificent beauty of Malaysia’s two prominent natural wonders, declared ‘World Heritage Sites’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). They are the Kinabalu Park in Sabah, home to the majestic Mount Kinabalu (the highest mountain in Southeast Asia) and the spectacular limestone pinnacle rock formations of Gunung Api valley, found within the Mulu National Park in Sarawak.
So, what do you think of Malaysia’s new currency ?
Some called them the national disgrace, others claim that they are “bullies and extortionists”. No matter what you view them, the KL taxi drivers are here to stay.
The infographic below serves as an overview to the life of KL taxis we love to hate. You are free to share the graphic but please let your readers know the source of the infographic by linking back to http://www.jomjalan.com.