Table of Contents Hide
- Nearby Attractions To Visit At Petaling Street
- Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
- Sin Sze Zi Ya Temple
- Kwai Chai Hong
- Central Market
- Bars and restaurants to explore on Petaling Street.
- Panggung KL
- Flaaah The Bakery
- Da Bao
- Alta Burger
- Crane KL
- How To Get To Petaling Street
- Must-try Chinese Cuisine in Chinatown
- Where To Stay
- What to Bring
- What to Wear
- Things to Note
Tucked away Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Petaling Street, also known as Chinatown, is a hotspot that invites people to discover its rich history!
Start your journey with the famous Petaling Street Arch, which is decorated with elaborate Chinese patterns in red and gold tones. It’s a great place to start your journey and a reminder of the neighbourhood’s rich history.
Similar to Bukit Bintang, which is Kuala Lumpur’s older neighbourhood, is Petaling Street, often known as Chinatown. The bustling and hustling never stops in this place. Day or night, people continue to converge on Petaling Street, either to take advantage of the street food that is so well-known or to shop for some great deals on merchandise. Petaling Street is a haven for bargain hunters looking to score some great deals. Nearly anything is available here, including fabrics, apparel, trinkets, and electronics. In addition to cheap items, Petaling Street is well known for its counterfeit goods, which include watches, wallets, purses, and shoes from labels like Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Calvin Klein, and so on.
Petaling Street has a storied past dating back to the late 19th century. Initially a settlement for Chinese immigrants, it gradually transformed into a thriving commercial district. Its journey from a humble immigrant enclave to the bustling hub it is today mirrors the evolution of Kuala Lumpur itself. Exploring its historic streets allows you to delve into the city’s heritage. It is also home to various temples and cultural landmarks. The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is a standout, featuring intricate sculptures, vibrant colors, and a sense of spirituality that captivates visitors. Make time to explore the Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Association, an architectural masterpiece with profound historical significance.
There aren’t many proper shops here. Most of the shops here are the little stalls but many locals claim that these stalls are where the best street foods can be found. A famous delicacy in Petaling Street is the salted roast duck which is sold at a mobile stall- the stall is built on a motorcycle. Be sure to be there early as the roast ducks are sold out by lunch time. Other than shopping and eating here in Chinatown, there are other attractions nearby as well. Two places not to be missed are the Central Market Kuala Lumpur and the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur. A stone’s throw away is the Central Market of Kuala Lumpur. Here you will be able to experience the rich culture of all the races in Malaysia. In the market, there are the Lorong Melayu, Lorong India, and Straits Chinese which allows visitors to understand more of the differences in the culture of our people.
Nearby Attractions To Visit At Petaling Street
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple was established in 1873. The temple has developed into a well-known destination for both tourists and locals over time. This famous temple is a highly revered religious monument and a hallowed place of devotion with immense significance. The Mother Goddess, also known as Goddess Mariamman, is the primary deity worshipped at this temple, and she is called after whom the temple is named.
The ancient Hindu architecture and human body served as inspiration for the temple’s design. Its cultural legacy and unique architectural elements have earned it recognition, solidifying its place in history as an important landmark. It is conveniently located just four minutes’ walk from the well-known Petaling Street Market, making it a convenient destination for those who live nearby.
Sin Sze Zi Ya Temple
The oldest Taoist temple in the city is this well-known one. This 1864-founded temple is in Pasar Seni, close to the Central Market. Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya, the two principal Taoist deities, are worshipped in this temple. The most exquisite pillars with elaborate patterns adorn the temple. Taoism involves burning incense in front of the statues, and visitors can join in by purchasing joss sticks at the temple for RM10. The temple is easily accessible for people who are in the vicinity and would like to visit it because it is located not far from Petaling Street.
Kwai Chai Hong
Kwai Chai Hong is well known for its variety of attractions that magnificently display Chinatown’s rich history and lively culture. Just a short walk from Petaling Street is a charming, undiscovered street lined with art galleries, cafes, and restaurants, which makes it even more interesting. With a rich history dating back to Chinatown’s early days, Kwai Chai Hong is the top destination for travellers, who come here to photograph its charms because of its numerous, incredibly engaging murals. The tiny children who used to play and run around the region gave rise to the moniker Kwai Chai Hong. One way to interpret the area’s name is Little Ghost Lane.
Previously known as an abandoned alleyway, Kwai Chai Hong was transformed into a location that highlights the neighborhood’s actual history and legacy in 2018. Every piece of art on display here has a significance related to Chinatown’s history from the 1940s through the 1960s. The tale of every age is depicted and brought to life for the people of today, whether it is an old man playing the Urhu or young children playing marbles. Every painting that is displayed in the alley depicts a former resident or employee of the space. Visitors can read the background information and significance of each artwork by scanning the QR code that is placed next to each mural to learn more about it.
This particular alley has hosted a lot of amazing performances or events. Kwai Chai Hong was selected for the Stranger Things season 4 showcase, which aims to introduce the show to the local audience. The best time to visit this location is in the late afternoon when the hues of the artwork come to life under the soft embrace of natural light, making it possible to take beautiful pictures. To top it off, you may enjoy a cool, calm break at one of the local cafes, which will make your vacation even more magical.
Rich historical and modern components are perfectly combined at REXKL, a unique lifestyle destination. The historic building, originally known as REX Cinema, has been painstakingly restored and redesigned as REXKL, a prime example of the perfect coexistence of traditional beauty and modern appeal. Inside, a wide range of activities are available for exploration, including dining, shopping, and engaging with the arts and culture.
Numerous stores and specialty shops provide a wide range of unique presents that are ideal as mementos of Chinatown’s rich cultural past. Intriguing options that include both international and local food are offered by the diverse culinary selections, which heightens the experience.
Notably, REXKL is well known for being a centre for artists looking to exhibit their works. The location has a number of art galleries that invite admirers and enthusiasts to explore a diverse range of artistic expressions. In addition, REXKL is a vibrant event venue that presents a range of fascinating shows and events, transforming it into a dynamic cultural hub that always changes to improve the experiences of its guests.
Built in 1888, Central Market served as a hub for wet marketplaces. It did, however, change into a craft market in the 1980s. Central Market has developed into a well-known tourist attraction today, providing a wide selection of Malaysian food, souvenirs, and handicrafts.
This place is well known for its huge assortment of traditional Malay handicrafts. This is where one can find incredibly rare and beautiful products like wood carvings, songkets, and batik. In addition, Central Market offers a variety of Chinese handicrafts, including jade, porcelain, and calligraphy. On the premises, guests may also peruse an array of Indian jewels and textiles that showcase the diverse fabric of Indian culture.
There are tons of interesting, underappreciated, and new spots to explore on Petaling Street and in Chinatown KL! Here is a list of popular cafés, hidden bars, and cocktail bars as nothing beats having a wonderful time while enjoying delicious food and beverages!
Bars and restaurants to explore on Petaling Street.
Looking to wine and dine in Petaling Street? You’re in for a treat! From cozy bars serving up fresh cocktails, to hidden restaurants offering mouthwatering dishes, discover the perfect place to hang out to satisfy your cravings.
This 1920s theatre-themed pub, which draws influence from the historic Madras Theatre in Kuala Lumpur, will have you feeling all light, camera, action. Listed among Malaysia’s Top 30 Bars is this Chinatown KL bar! This establishment has a “wow” factor thanks to velvet furniture, bright lighting, and cinematic decor, as well as famous movie posters with Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Lee among other movie icons! This building has three stories with a restaurant area, an outside terrace with live action and a space for private gatherings.
The excellent meal options and tasty cocktails enhance this theatrical experience! Even some of Panggung KL’s drinks bear the names of well-known films, such as Nightmare on Elm Street, IT, and Harry Potter. Anticipate an incredible live experience with each drink being delivered in a unique way. You’re going to be surprised with everything from a magic wand smoked-dome to a helium balloon packed with flavor-infused helium vapour. You might even be fortunate enough to witness some entertaining bartender action. Nor is the cuisine to be disappointed! Some of the standout dishes that are definitely worth trying are the Char Siu Lamb Ribs and Latok-Latok (Vegan Caviar). If you’re seeking for a fresh experience, Panggung KL is the place to go!
Flaaah The Bakery
Flaaah The Bakery at Chinatown’s Four Points by Sheraton KL has now opened! The cafe’s modest wooden furniture, brick walls, and concrete accents give it a minimalist feel. One of the best things about this place is the floor to ceiling windows, which let in an abundance of natural light—especially in the morning! The basic yet timeless aesthetic that permeates the cafe also serves as a backdrop for photographs.
The delicious pastries are the best part of all, and you’ll be coming back for more! Here you’ll find a variety of traditional and rare pastries. These consist of the Palmier (chocolate sandwich pastry), Sourdough Croissant, Pain Au Choc, Pesto Croissant, Flan, Strawberry Galette, Raspberry Chocolate Tart, and Tomato Tart. It’s all here, whether you prefer sweet or savoury foods! Any of these will make you feel like you’re in heaven when paired with a cup of coffee. The next time you’re around Petaling Street or Chinatown KL, stop by this cafe.
You can anticipate delectable food, oriental artwork, and neon lighting at Da Bao KL! This location’s lovely surroundings make it an excellent area to take interesting photos to post on social media. Recently redesigned as ‘Kapitan Haus’, the bar upstairs serves distinctive handcrafted drinks that go well with Da Bao KL’s signature bao dishes. You can enjoy a variety of cocktails here, like Once Asam A Time, Tong Sui, Petaling Street Sour, Yum Cha, and Kopi Kaw, which all feature specially infused liquors.
Da Bao, which translates to “extra large steamed bun,” is a meal that is just as big as it is tasty! There are several options to choose from, such as vegan, octopus, lamb, chicken, and pork. There’s also a variety of rice bowls and shared platters available. If you’re craving something sweet, try the Bunga Kantan Bao served with Bunga Kantan Ice Cream or the Matcha Bao served with Niko Neko Matcha Ice Cream. You will definitely love this restobar, therefore you should put it on your list!
Feeling like a delicious burger? Here’s the place to go! Good ingredients are used in the preparation of Alta Burger’s beef, Wagyu, chicken, fish, and falafel burgers. It goes well with fries and natural wines that are brought directly from Australia. You’ve never met the ideal mate until now!
Recently, Alta Burger moved to REXKL, an urban hangout with a variety of activities and occasional events. Amidst the busy population at REXKL, this is a terrific location to hang out and socialise over a juicy burger and a glass or perhaps a bottle of wine! You should visit this place as soon as possible if you haven’t already, as it will undoubtedly satisfy you!
Have you ever visited a pub and restaurant housed in a historic structure? If you’re going out for a day or night, you should get your party on at Crane KL! The elegant restaurant area, which combines modern European elements with traditional Chinese culture, is located on the ground floor and has a light and spacious atmosphere. Not to be overlooked are the distinctive crane decorations that hang throughout the eatery along with a few foliage accents. You may get a variety of fascinating fusion delicacies here, including Beef Rendang Lasagna, Nasi Lemak Wonton, and Udon Masak Lemak. One dessert that you should definitely try is the pandan sago because it’s visually appealing and full of flavour!
You will now be transported to the popular upstairs hidden cocktail bar that is featured in Malaysia’s Top 30 Bars! The speakeasy-style bar is the talk of the town thanks to its sophisticated, oriental decor and delicious concoctions. Upon entering, you will be welcomed by aged picture frames, vintage furniture, and lamps that turn nearly every area into a photo opportunity! The Wrestling Monkey and The Dragon Turns are two of the most popular craft and classic drinks served here! Customising your own gin and tonic by choosing the gin base, garnish, and tonic finish type is another awesome feature. It’s time to head over to this hip restaurant and pub for a fun time!
How To Get To Petaling Street
The public transit system in Kuala Lumpur provides easy access to Petaling Street.
By car: Petaling Street, which is accessible via Jalan Sultan and Jalan Pudu, can be reached by automobile, taxi, or grab-car. Discount parking is available at Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), however space may be scarce.
By bus: Petaling Street is reachable. The bus terminal next to the Pasar Seni LRT station is where you can get off the free GoKL bus service. It takes roughly five minutes to get to Petaling Street. This is where other bus services that are going to Kotaraya will halt.
By Train: The LRT Ampang Line connects to Plaza Rakyat LRT Station, and the LRT Kelana Jaya Line to Pasar Seni LRT Station. Walking distance separates the two stations from Petaling Street. As an alternative, you can travel to the Maharajalela Monorail station using Monorail service.
Must-try Chinese Cuisine in Chinatown
For food enthusiasts who wish to taste the many different flavours of Malaysian Chinese cuisine, Petaling Street is the best place to go
- Hokkien mee at Kim Lian Kee: This place is thought to be the first hokkien mee in Kuala Lumpur. For visitors to Petaling Street, the thick noodles coated in black soy sauce are a must to try.
- Koon Kee Wanton Mee: Known for its delicious wanton noodles, locals love these tasty fresh noodles when they are served with BBQ grilled pork and other sauces.
- Roast Duck at Sze Ngan Chye: Sze Ngan Chye is renowned for its juicy and crispy roast duck. A mainstay of Chinatown, this little stand in the centre of Petaling Street has been delighting devoted patrons for more than 50 years.
- Kim Soya Bean: The equally well-known Kim Soya Bean is located across from the well-liked ‘Air Mata Kucing’ drink stand. It serves tau fu fuh pudding and refreshing soy bean milk. This dessert is a must-try; it’s the ideal way to cool yourself in the summer heat.
- Madras Lane Yong Tao Foo: This bustling stand in the Madras Lane wet market offers freshly produced Yong Tao Foo made from a variety of ingredients, including deep-fried veggies that have been filled with fish paste, fish balls, meatballs and more.
- Hon Kee Porridge: A Cantonese restaurant, Hon Kee Porridge is being run by the third generation of the family and has been selling its renowned raw fish porridge for more than 60 years. A side of raw fish slices with house-made soy sauce, ginger, and coriander is served with the hot, flavourful porridge. To experience this Petaling Street speciality, it is best to arrive early in the day.
Where To Stay
The greatest low-cost to mid-range lodging in Kuala Lumpur may be found around the Petaling Street/Chinatown region. The Travel Lodge City Centre and Hotel Transit Kuala Lumpur are just two of the many hotels that can be located close to the LRT stations. Luxury lodging can be obtained close by in Bukit Bintang, and public transportation to Petaling Street is readily available. Budget hostels and Airbnb rentals that are better suited for travellers may also be found all over the city.
What to Bring
When exploring Kuala Lumpur city on foot throughout the day, it is advised to pack sunscreen, a hat and an umbrella or raincoat. In warm weather, make sure to drink a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
What to Wear
To fully enjoy your time exploring Petaling Street and the nearby sights, it is best to wear comfortable shoes. You can avoid overheating in the tropical climate by dressing in cool, loose-fitting clothes.
Things to Note
Do haggle for reduced costs because street vendors frequently overcharge by 15 to 35% for their goods. In busy areas, be aware of your personal things to prevent pickpocketing.
You’ll discover a wealth of experiences, savour wonderful cuisine, and learn about Kuala Lumpur’s varied history as you meander through the bustling streets of this vibrant neighbourhood. You’re in for an incredible excursion through one of Malaysia’s most famous locations with a local guide since Petaling Street is truly a treasure trove of hidden gems and gastronomic wonders.