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Situated at a height of 1800 metres on the peak of Mount Ulu Kali, Genting Highlands is a popular destination that promises a day full of fun, thrill and excitement. This beautiful location offers views of giant mountains, and lush greenery as well as fun activities to keep you entertained throughout your Malaysia trip. You can enjoy a cable car ride and admire the panoramic views of the entire town. You can stroll through the lush orchards and even pick your own strawberries and mushrooms for a memorable experience. Make sure to visit the popular Taoist temple Chin Swee Caves, decorated with paintings of Buddha and thousands of lights. This hill station is also renowned for its exciting theme parks which are one of a kind. Two of the most popular theme parks are the Genting Skyworlds and Skytropolis which offer a wide range of thrilling rides. Additionally, there is a mini Snow City which is entirely covered with snow and offers a temperature of -6 degrees Celsius. Here, you will be provided with warm suits to play with the snow and click fun pictures. Make sure to end your tour by visiting Sky Avenue which is a four-storey lifestyle mall in Genting. You can enjoy shopping from local to luxury brands or relax with a spa session. 

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Central Market Kuala Lumpur (Pasar Seni) travel guide

Posted on Last updated: February 25, 2024

Categories Kuala Lumpur , Visit Malaysia

Central Market Kuala Lumpur (Pasar Seni)

Central Market Kuala Lumpur (pasar seni) is a cultural landmark every tourist should visit.

Central Market is barely a five-minute short walk from Chinatown at Petaling Street, making it conveniently accessible to tourists who plan to visit both places on the same trip. 

The original building of Central Market was built in 1988 by the British as a wet market in 1937. The Art Deco-style building was rebuilt in 1937 and has been listed as a heritage site by the National Heritage Department. Since then, it has emerged as the landmark of Malaysian culture and heritage melting pot . 

Several changes have occurred since my first visit to Central Market in 2019. Here is the updated information, along with some fresh images I captured during my visit in February 2024.

Central Market Drop Pin, next to the entrance of the iconic blue facade

1. Ground Flour

The Ground Floor of the building has gone through extensive renovations, including removing the existing Malay Street, Straits Chinese, and Little India eaterie outlets. These have been replaced with new food outlets, mainly grouped under the Market Hall.

Market Hall

The central area of the Ground Floor is where all the activities occur. During my visit, a large book fair was being held, and since it was the weekend, the place was crowded and noisy, which appropriately fits its name, Central Market.

ground floor of central market kuala lumpur

A warren of kiosks inside the building sells clothing, appeals, local handicrafts, collectibles, and souvenirs. Most of them are traditional handicrafts from various ethnic groups in Malaysia.

tourist market kuala lumpur

2. The mezzanine floor

The mezzanine floor is mainly for different types of dresses.

Malaysian batik at Central Market

3. The Central Market Annexe Gallery in Kuala Lumpur

At the back of the main building of Central Market is the Annexe Gallery, which is the place for the exhibition of contemporary art. 

Central Market Annexe

It was formerly a cineplex, which has been transformed into an art gallery since 2006. Over here. It holds various exhibitions regularly. Check it out if you like the local arts and crafts.

The Central Market Annexe Gallery in Kuala Lumpur

4. Kasturi walk

Kasturi Walk is part of the Jalan Hang Kasturi, pedestrianized under a huge wau arch next to Central Market, opened in 2011. 

It is a 150-meter short covered walkway of the Central Market.  It is a shopping haven for visitors with alfresco-style kiosks selling a wide range of items, from local delicacies like putu bamboo to exquisite souvenirs.

Kasturi Walk at Central Market

The Kasturi Walk sells practically the same stuff as in the building. However, you can find knockoff items and perhaps some original ones. You can find watches, shoes, dresses, T-shirts, etc. Vendors may quote a high price. Remember to haggle with the seller.

Kasturi Walk

Benteng is a new addition to Pasar Seni on the opposite side of Kasturi Walk. More shops are selling clothes, snacks, food, and souvenirs here.

life performance at Benteng

A brief history

Central Market has a rich history dating back to 1882, when Yap Ah Loy, the third Chinese Kapitan, built it. Over the years, the market underwent various transformations, with a major renovation from 1936 to 1937. However, in the late 1970s, the Urban Development Authority proposed demolishing the building and surrounding pre-war shophouses. This decision was met with opposition from The Heritage Malaysia Trust and other NGOs, who campaigned to preserve the market. In 1985, due to the economic downturn and a surplus of office and commercial space in the property market, the government agreed to save the Central Market. The building was refurbished and facelifted, transforming the old wet market into a vibrant center of Malaysian culture, arts, and handicrafts.

Address: No. 10, 1st-3rd floor, Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Geographic coordinates:   3.145571, 101.695291 Opening hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00 Go by MRT:  5 minutes walk from Pasar Seni Station Distance from city center: At the city center, it is a few minutes walk to Petaling Street Best time to visit: Arrive before 10 AM to avoid crowds. Dress code: No specific dress code Suggested duration: 2-3 hours Entrance fee:  Free Telephone: +603 2031 0399 or +603 2031 5399 or +603 2031 7399

The location of Central Market

It is now in the history …

I took some photos during our visit in 2017. Unfortunately, they have been removed after the renovation. However, I would like to keep them at the end of this article for your reference as they are now part of the history.

There are three parallel side lanes at the west wing of the ground floor, which are called Malay Street, Straits Chinese, and Little India, respectively. Here is the best place to look for handicrafts by the major ethnic groups in Malaysia.

Malay Street

Chinese Calligraphy

You will find diversified cultures and arts at Central Market. This uncle is the familiar face on the ground floor of Central Market.  He is an expert in Chinese calligraphy 书法, the artistic writing for Chinese characters. You can request him to write your name or a couplet for the Chinese New Year.

Chinese calligraphy at Central Market

OldTown White Coffee is a homegrown coffee shop franchise specializing in the unique local ‘white ‘ coffee. It is a sweetened coffee that tastes distinctly different from any espresso-based coffee. Other newer eateries have now replaced it.

tourist market kuala lumpur

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Central Market and Kasturi Walk

Central Market, also known as Pasar Seni, is a well-renowned heritage site and a popular tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur. Strategically situated in the heart of the city, Central Market is located at Jalan Hang Kasturi, a few minutes from another popular tourist attraction, Petaling Street.

Central Market (Pasar Seni) Kuala Lumpur 1

Back in 1988, the location Central Market now stands on was used as an open wet market for Kuala Lumpur’s general public. A permanent structure was later built to house all vendors as the market expanded. The permanent structure was later improvised in the 1930s and completed in 1937 to have the current building seen today. It has since been classified as a heritage site by the Malaysian Heritage Society and is now used as a Centre for Malaysian Culture, Arts and Handicrafts.

Central Market (Pasar Seni) Kuala Lumpur 2

Central Market houses numerous stalls that retail traditional goods at affordable prices such as local handicrafts, arts, kebaya, songket and batik. The stalls are grouped into three separate zones, namely Lorong Melayu (Malay Street), Straits Chinese and Little India. These zones are based on the features of each race and provide an insight of the cultural differences of the various races in Malaysia. There is also a zone dedicated to the distinct Malacca cultural heritage, the Malacca Jonker Street, which features double-storey and single-storey Baba and Nyonya-styled architectural buildings and a Batik Emporium which showcases various batik designer labels with the best batik items including clothes, bags, and home furnishings.

Central Market (Pasar Seni) Kuala Lumpur 3

Drop in Central Market’s attractive shops such as the Arch Collection, Asli Craft, Borneo Pearls and Success Portrait for lovely souvenirs to bring home. There are shops that sell the typical PETRONAS Twin Towers replicas and shops that sell the Wau Bulan (traditional Malay kite), Wayang Kulit, Keris and of course traditional Batik.

Central Market (Pasar Seni) Kuala Lumpur 11

Right next to the Central Market you can find the ‘Kasturi Walk’, here too you see many nice shops and also a few hawkers with typical Malaysian dishes.

Kasturi Walk Kuala Lumpur 1

As host to several traditional Malaysian festivals, Central Market presents colorful and exciting exhibitions with more stalls selling various items distinct to each festival such as kuih raya during Hari Raya, Chinese decorations during Chinese New Year and beautiful sarees during Deepavali.

The upper level of Central Market houses food stalls and restaurants within a nice food court, offering a wide variety of local and western cuisines to provide sustenance and resting places for visitors to help recuperate from the tire of shopping sprees.

Central Market (Pasar Seni) Kuala Lumpur 7

During weekends, colorful Malaysian traditional cultural and arts events and cultural performances are held at the Central Market Outdoor Stage (every Saturday and Sunday, 8pm).

Central Market is open daily from 10am to 10pm (Kasturi Walk from 10am to 10pm) and is accessible via major public transportation links, making it easier for visitors to drop by for a collection of local art and handicraft. The nearest MRT is station Pasar Seni, only a 3 minute walk from the Central Market complex. Nearby popular attractions are Chinatown (and the two wonderful temples; Guan Di and Sri Maha Mariamman), Merdeka Square and the Old Railway Station.

Map of Central Market and Kasturi Walk

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Tagging: Attractions , Attractions Kuala Lumpur , Central Market , Chinatown , Highlights Kuala Lumpur , Kasturi Walk , Kuala Lumpur , Kuala Lumpur attractions , Sights

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4 comments on Central Market and Kasturi Walk

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Love to visit Central Market whenever Im in KL especially on Saturday nights.It used to be a great cruising area for gays especially on the first floor, you can find the top gaybar in town called “Liquid Bar” with great music of House & techno to dance your night away.

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Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your publish is just cool and that i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with coming near near post. Thanks one million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

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Central Market is quite famous and I have been here before. Very interesting

Central Market is quite famous and I have been here before Vampire Survivors . Very interesting

8 Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Central Market and Kasturi Walk

[…] for the best views. Those staying in Chinatown will be able to see the parade in front of the Central Market and later when it returns from KLCC, also along Jalan Pudu in front of Pudu […]

[…] nearby the Indian temple are of course the vibrant Petaling Street (Night & Day) market, Central Market, Merdeka Square and the equally beautiful Guan Di Chinese Temple (located along the same road, just […]

[…] Central Market, also known as Pasar Seni, is a well-renowned heritage site which serves as the Centre for Malaysian Culture, Arts and Handicrafts. It houses numerous stalls that retail traditional goods and an Annex Gallery where local contemporary arts are exhibited. Colorful Malaysian traditional cultural and arts events as well as cultural performances also take place at the Central Market’s outdoor stage on weekends. More about the Central Market… […]

[…] to Chinatown and back. You can get on the bus in front of Pavilion KL, and you can get out at the Central Market, or directly in Chinatown. Travelers that arrive (or depart) by bus at Pudu Sentral can use the […]

[…] Popular attractions within walking distance of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building are Merdeka Square, Chinatown (with its famous tourist market and numerous temples) and the beautiful Central Market. […]

[…] Lebih lengkap mengenai Pasar seni, Kasturi Walk, Petaling Street, sila di cek  : http://www.wonderfulmalaysia.com/attractions/central-market-and-kasturi-walk-in-kuala-lumpur.htm […]

[…] to Chinatown and back. You can get on the bus in front of Pavilion KL, and you can get out at the Central Market, or directly in Chinatown. Travelers that arrive (or depart) by bus at Pudu Sentral can use the […]

[…] Kasturi Walk is home to all your fake-label clothes, handbags and jewellery. Whilst browsing the stalls feel free to indulge in some local fruits and snacks and engage in some old fashioned bartering. Kasturi Walk is quieter than the more popular Petaling Street, making it a more chilled out market. […]

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Central Market Kuala Lumpur - Best Tourist Attractions in KL

Central Market or Pasar Seni it is popularly called is a traditional market that originated as a trading hub around the 1880s. Central Market is located near Jamek Masjid India which had a cluster of businesses in the early years of Kuala Lumpur City. The market was developed as a trading hub for local vendors. In recent years, the market is transformed into a cultural center and shopping destination for local crafts, art, and products from all regions of Malaysia. For first-time visitors to Kuala Lumpur, Central Market is a must-visit destination to experience the richness of Malaysian culture. 

Interesting History of Central Market

The Central Market was initially established by Yap Ah Loy, a prominent Chinese-Malaysian businessman and the third Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur. It served as a central location for trading various goods, including fresh produce, meat, and fish.

central market kuala lumpur

In the early 20th century , the market underwent significant renovations and expansions to accommodate the growing population and changing needs of the city. The structure was rebuilt in Art Deco style, featuring a distinctive blue-tiled façade and a clock tower.

In the 1980s, there were plans to demolish Central Market as part of urban redevelopment initiatives. However, recognizing its historical significance and cultural value, the government decided to preserve and restore the building instead.

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In 1986 , Central Market was reopened as a vibrant cultural center and shopping destination . The restoration was aimed to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Malaysia and maintain this building as a hub for arts and crafts as well as other cultural attractions for tourists keen to explore the arts and culture of Malaysia. 

What makes Central Market a special place to visit in Kuala Lumpur?

Central Market must be on your list if you are visiting Kuala Lumpur for the first time. The area has flourished into a major tourist attraction with Petaling Street, Kasturi Walk, Masjid Jamek, and Merdeka Square located very close to each other. Most tourists enjoy the mid-range shopping in the neighbourhood while indulging in the diverse foodie adventures in Chinatown and its surrounding area. 

10

During my last visit to Kuala Lumpur in late 2022 I decided to stay at Travelodge City Center located in front of the Central Market. This gave me an amazing opportunity to explore the Central Market as well as it is surrounding area. 

Today, Central Market continues to thrive as a cultural hub and tourist attraction . It features a wide array of stalls and shops offering traditional Malaysian handicrafts, artworks, and textiles including batik, and souvenirs. The market also hosts cultural performances , demonstrations, and events to promote and preserve the country's rich heritage.

Upon entering the central market you are greeted with a friendly staff and information desk that provides you with a wide range of tourist maps, brochures, and tips on exploring the places of your interest. If found the staff very professional and well-trained. 

central market kuala lumpur

On the first floor, you will find a wide range of arts and crafts stores displaying Malaysian brands like Royal Selangor and ARCH. I particularly loved the designs and creative displays of ARCH reflecting the traditional, history and culture of Malaysian life, architecture, and design. I bought a number of miniature models of amazing buildings in Kuala Lumpur. The craftsmanship and design are sure to impress anyone. 

As you walk along the corridors a number of clothing stores and boutiques display a wide range of fabrics manufactured in a traditional manner in Malaysia. Hand print-making and batik are traditional techniques extensively used in Malaysian fabrics and offer very unique and eye-catching designs. 

central market kl

A number of stalls in the middle of the hallway display a wide range of beautiful souvenirs, gifts, fashion jewelry, and perfumes. The Central Market is definitely a place to buy memorable gifts and souvenirs during your trip to Kuala Lumpur City. 

A great fact about Central Market is that you can find shops selling products from other states in Malaysia including Kelantan, Pahang, and Sarawak. Various crafts and artwork are unique to these regions of Malaysia. 

Cafes and Food Court in the Central Market

The first floor of the Central Market has a food court offering a good mix of local Malaysian food stalls as well drinks. You can enjoy a meal under RM 10. Don't forget to try local Malaysian sweet drinks as well as Teh Tarek. 

Precious Old China Restaurant KL

What other places are worth visiting near the Central Market Kuala Lumpur?

Kasturi Walk: This covered pedestrian walkway connects Central Market with the nearby Jamek Mosque and Chinatown. It hosts street performances, cultural shows, and events, making it a lively and entertaining spot. In the daytime, Kasturi Walk has a number of stalls selling kids' toys, local fruit, and mid-range gifts. 

central market kl

While staying in the neighborhood I picked a liking for Restoran Yasoof Dan Zakhir offering an interesting mix of local Malay and Indian dishes. This is a regular everyday restaurant where you can enjoy a local meal for under RM 15. This restaurant is very popular with office workers which makes it a very busy spot for lunch. 

restaurants near central market kl

Petaling Street:  Petaling Street is renowned for its vibrant market stalls and shops. Visitors can explore a variety of goods, including clothing, accessories, electronics, toys, souvenirs, and imitation designer products. Bargaining and haggling are common practices here, so be prepared to negotiate for the best prices.

petaling street

Masjid Jamek:  Masjid Jamek features a distinctive architectural style that combines traditional Islamic elements with colonial influences. The mosque's design includes domes, minarets, arches, and decorative tile work. Its prominent red-brick structure stands out amidst the modern buildings of Kuala Lumpur.

The market's location is strategic, situated close to other popular tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur, such as Merdeka Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, and Petaling Street. It is easily accessible via public transportation, including the LRT (Light Rail Transit) and buses.

Central Market Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit destination for those interested in Malaysian arts, crafts, and culture. It offers a rich and diverse shopping experience while preserving the country's heritage and traditions.

tourist market kuala lumpur

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Welcome To Central Market Kuala Lumpur

Central Market

Central Market Kuala Lumpur  is a centre for Malaysian culture, art and craft located in the heart of the city. As a building with significant historical value Central Market Kuala Lumpur has come a long way from its early beginning as a wet market built in 1888 to a delightful destination for tourists, shoppers, and art lovers.

Today, Central Market Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit destination offering visitors a unique shopping opportunity where they can relish from local handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs, collectibles, and local snacks. It is not just a retail experience but also a heritage experience offering a wonderful visual treat and appreciation of Malaysia heritage and architecture in a glance as they step into its doors.

Central Market Kuala Lumpur’s emphasis on art is also evident with the transformation of Central Market Annexe to house a variety of eclectic art galleries to include Illusion 3D Art Museum, Art House Gallery. Central Market Art Lane, on the other hand is an art corner comprising of 10 unique studios that features exciting works of art by local artists.

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Central Market Kuala Lumpur is located at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Foch Avenue) and the pedestrian-only section of Jalan Hang Kasturi (Rodger Street), a few minutes away from Petaling Street. It was founded in 1888 and originally used as a wet market, while the current Art Deco style building was completed in 1937. It has been classified as a Heritage Site by the Malaysian Heritage Society and it is now a landmark for Malaysian culture and heritage.

History The original building was built in 1888 by the British in colonial British Malaya. It was used as wet market for Kuala Lumpur citizens and tin miners. The Wet Market was very convenient to the early city dwellers because it was within the vicinity of Klang bus stand, the hub of feeder bus service for Kuala Lumpur and the train station.

Further expansions were made in 1889, 1895, 1920 and 1921. By 1933, the expansions to the warehouse made the market now in its present size, and cost around $167,000.

As Kuala Lumpur experienced its own development at a rapid pace in the 1970s, there were plans to demolish the site. The intervention of the Malaysian Heritage Society proved timely as they successfully petitioned against its deconstruction and the site was declared as a ‘Heritage Site’.

During construction of Dayabumi near Klang River banks in 1981, the market was saved from demolition. In 1985, the market was renovated into a vibrant and colourful new style, and has been officially known as Pasar Budaya since April 1986.

The Central Market Annexe, located at the back of main building, formerly housed a cineplex and was opened in 2006. The Annexe houses a variety of eclectic art galleries. It is one of the major art spaces in Kuala Lumpur and is a hub of activity all year long which features artworks by local artists.

Located alongside the main building is the newly transformed, pedestrianized and covered walkway, Kasturi Walk. Opened in 2011, Kasturi Walk boasts an al fresco ambiance featuring an exciting variety of stalls selling tantalizing local snacks and exquisite souvenirs.The street is noted for housing street musicians or “buskers”.

tourist market kuala lumpur

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  • Central Market Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Visiting Central Market in Kuala Lumpur: What To Expect?

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Central Market in Kuala Lumpur

In the midst of the city, Central Market Kuala Lumpur serves as a hub for Malaysian culture, art, and craft. The Central Market KL has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a wet market constructed in 1888 to a lovely destination for tourists, shoppers, and art enthusiasts.

The Central Market in Kuala Lumpur is becoming a must-see location, offering tourists a distinctive shopping experience where they may savour local handicrafts, textiles and clothing, souvenirs, collectables, and local delicacies. 

It offers a beautiful visual delight and an appreciation of Malaysian heritage as well as architecture in a glimpse as visitors enter its doors. It’s not only a shopping experience but also a heritage experience.

Brief History of Central Market Kuala Lumpur

Central Market Kuala Lumpur’s history began when it originated as a wet market in 1888, founded by Yap Ah Loy, the city’s Chinese Kapitan. It’s known as a notable landmark in both colonial and present-day. 

As the market grew, a permanent structure was constructed to house all of the sellers. By the 1930s, the construction had been substantially improved to the current facade.

As the wet market was relocated in the 1980s, the Malaysian Heritage Society effectively petitioned against the building’s destruction. The building was given RM9 million refurbishment by the Federal Government and made into a hub for Malaysian culture, arts, and crafts. To preserve the charm of previous generations, the facade has remained untouched.

The Central Market’s tenants have wholeheartedly supported the tourism sector during the past 20 years by marketing and selling Malaysian arts, handicrafts, and souvenirs to both foreign and local travellers. 

As a result, Central Market has done more than only promote Malaysian culture; it has also given many deserving entrepreneurs opportunities.

Central Market Map

Under the magnificent, Art Deco building, you can escape Kuala Lumpur’s numerous malls and find locally manufactured handicrafts, apparel, batik, boutiques, artwork and gifts. There are three groups of stalls—Malay Street, Little India, and Straits Chinese—representing the three major cultures in Malaysia for you to dive in.

Also, don’t miss the opportunity to try affordable, authentic Malay cuisines like nasi lemak and sizzling yee mee at the food court. If you want to tour regional art galleries, studios, and the Illusion 3D Art Museum, you have to go into the Central Market Annexe. You’ll quickly realise why both locals and tourists love shopping at Central Market. 

If you want to explore more of the market, you can refer to the Kuala Lumpur Central Market map here !

How To Get To Central Market Kuala Lumpur?

Since the Central Market Kuala Lumpur is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it’s easily accessible from everywhere in the city. If you’re planning to visit the market, do consider the following options:

You can either take the Ampang Line to Masjid Jamek Station, which is about 15 minutes walk from the Central Market, or the Kelana Jaya Line to Pasar Seni Station, which is just across from the Central Market.

You can choose from 3 different bus options to get to the market. The standard Rapid KL bus is the first available choice. Another option is to board the KL Hop-On-Hop-Off City Tour bus, which stops directly outside the market. The free Go KL tourist bus (Purple Line) will drop you off directly across from the market as a final option.

This would be the easiest and fastest option for you to travel to Central Market Kuala Lumpur as they also prepare a big parking space for you to park your car. Now that you’re here, you can rent a car with Trevo as ABC! From low-cost to high-performance cars capable of meeting any need, book your car here today!

Things To Do in Central Market

1. collect stamps with must visit attractions trail card.

With the latest Kuala Lumpur Must Visit Attractions Trail Card, you may collect these fun stamps while visiting the city. This trail card includes 12 city sites to visit. With a memorable visit token, you can discover, explore, and learn more about Kuala Lumpur. 

All you have to do is: 

  • Go to the Central Market Information Counter and get your FREE trial card.
  • Enjoy your time and collect stamps from the card’s 12 must-see places in KL.
  • Redeem a reward at the Central Market Information Counter for completing ALL STAMPS!

2. Take a photo at the Central Market Drop Pin

Create a memory at the enormous Central Market Kuala Lumpur drop pin. This arch, situated directly in front of Central Market’s recognisable blue facade, is tall enough to provide a fantastic backdrop for your OOTD photos. Visit the building during the day when it’s illuminated by the sun or take a few pictures at night when it’s lit up to let others know you were there!

3. Batik Painting at Ainna Artwork

Discover the exotic and unique types of Malaysian batik art at Ainna Artwork while creating colourful and vibrant artwork. Since every batik item is made in-house, the designs are more unique than what you would find in most batik stores. If you wish to make your own batik art, there’s a special DIY Batik Art Workshop conducted daily!

4. Visit the Illusion 3D Art Museum

The Illusion 3D Art Museum at Central Market Annexe is a fun location for everyone. Visitors are able to enjoy a stunning gallery with over 36 paintings that brings art to life through a lively showcase of wonderful 3D art paintings and a virtual reality video. Besides, visitors can also seek photo ideas to help them make the best of their visit, with all sorts of funny poses to achieve that ideal snap!

5.Get henna art with your best friends at Unique Art of Henna

tourist market kuala lumpur

This temporary ‘tattoo’ is manufactured from natural dye and is made from the henna plant. It fades off in just over two weeks. Come by Unique Art Of Henna and let the henna artists curate their magic! Charges are based on design and might range between RM20 and RM40 per hand. Unique Art Of Henna can be found on the ground floor of Central Market.

What To Eat in Central Market

1. food court chicken rice.

Chicken Rice is a popular local delicacy that should not be missed when visiting Malaysia. It’s made of wonderful aromatic rice and served with roasted, steaming, or sesame chicken, as well as a regionally inspired blended chilli sauce and sesame soy sauce. Visit the Chicken Rice shop at the Food Court to try the best food in Central Market Kuala Lumpur. 

2. Ginger Forever Thai

The restaurant, located on the Mezzanine Floor Central Market complex, is well-known for serving authentic Thai cuisine. Asian, Indochinese, and seafood dishes are also available at the restaurant. You ought to try their Pie Tee, which is a classic Nyonya food. 

It’s a crispy hat-shaped cone made from rice flour that’s stuffed with sweet turnips, carrots, hard-boiled eggs or omelette pieces, as well as chopped coriander leaves, and it’s commonly served with a spicy chilli sauce. 

3. Merchant’s Lane

tourist market kuala lumpur

It’s not quite in the Central Market, but it’s within walking distance! This tranquil cafe is located above an old business near the Advance Tertiary College. There is a little sign heading up to the area that isn’t too difficult to discover. Breakfast and Asian-inspired cuisine are on the menu, alongwith a wide variety of interesting drinks!

Address: 150, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11:30am – 9:30pm

Saturday & Sunday, 9:30am – 9:30pm

4. Precious Old China

Precious Old China Cafe in Central Market Malaysia is one of the most precious restaurants in the city, boasting its own distinctive dining setting that transports you back to the early days of Chinese community life in the early 20th century. It’s located on the Mezzanine Floor of Central Market. You can find a variety of Asian dishes offered on the menu, but the Lemak Nenas Prawn is a must-try!

5. Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock

tourist market kuala lumpur

Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock is just 200m from the MRT Pasar Seni Station and a short walk from the Central Market! It’s located in Chinatown on Jalan Balai Police. This sleek eatery featuring a few classic furnishings is an excellent spot to relax in the hot weather, especially because it’s air-conditioned and serves some delectable local delicacies. Their classic Nasi Lemak Ayam should not be missed.

Address: 13, Jalan Balai Polis, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00am – 5:00pm

Ride with TREVO

Trevo has the most diverse car selection, with models ranging from low-cost to high-performance cars that may fulfil any requirement. Trevo provides the ideal vehicle for all occasions, whether it’s cruising by the beach, a fun ride around town, a road trip, or exploring the beauty of Central Market Kuala Lumpur!

Rent a car with TREVO today and have the best time at the Central Market!

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A travel guide to the best places to visit

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The best shopping markets and shopping streets in Kuala Lumpur

In this guide we will showcase the best shopping markets and shopping streets of Kuala Lumpur. The city of Kuala Lumpur is becoming one of the most popular shopping destinations, as it allows relatively cheap shopping in a comfortably warm and sunny climate. The local culture is also extremely welcoming to foreigners. Many shopaholics stay in the large number of upmarket shopping malls for their shopping experience. This is a pity as Kuala Lumpur has a lot more interesting shopping areas throughout the city that suit every taste and budget. We from Meet The Cities have listed the best places to shop till you drop while getting a taste of the local flavors and culture with a passion for bargain prices.

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tourist market kuala lumpur

Petaling Street

Petaling Street is a very popular marketplace located in Kuala Lumpur. The pedestrian only street is in the center of Chinatown and is a must go destination for all tourists. Shopping in this market is a great experience because you will enjoy the sounds, the smells, the energy, the sights and its traditional Chinese atmosphere. It is always full of buyers and sellers getting in and out day and night. The street gets even busier in the evening when the atmosphere is at its best. And safety is always assured for all shoppers as security is always prioritized.

Clothes, shoes, watches, electronic items and souvenirs are among the many products sold in Petaling Street. There are also stalls that sell imitation products from famous (designer) brands. Everything goes at a pocket friendly price. Shopping along the street is open for bargaining and this makes it even more interesting. This also makes Petaling Street market a good place for you to buy gifts for your loved ones.

Petaling Street is an all-weather shopping area as it is covered with green awnings that protect people from rain and sun. Because of this green roof, this street is sometimes referred to as the green dragon. The breathtaking market also has restaurants all along where you can get delicious meals at a cheap price. There are also several places where you can grab an ice cold beer.

The best way to get to Petaling Street via public transport is to take the LRT to Pasar Seni station or Plaza Rakyat station.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Jalan Alor is a must-visit for food lovers as it is a unique food street. In the evening Jalan Alor becomes the place to be where you can find a variety of foods and drinks that will expose you to the wonderful world of Asian cuisine. Besides the outdoor restaurants the street will also be filled with Chinese, Thai, Malay and Indian stalls and eateries that have presented their food, drinks and snacks in such an attractive way that it will be hard to choose where you want to eat. It all looks great and smells so delicious.

Ordering from the menu is convenient as most of them contain pictures of the meals, or are translated into English. Another option is to let the vendors and waiters advise you on which snacks or meals you should try and just bring your appetite! Another plus that you will notice is that it is relatively cheap.

The delicious food is the main reason for a visit to Jalan Alor. But it is also very entertaining to experience the atmosphere in this street with its Chinese lanterns and plastic tables and chairs. Jalan Alor is crowded in an charming and enjoyable fashion and you get a taste of the friendly local culture as it is also a popular street among the locals.

Jalan Alor is easy to reach as it is near monorail station Air Asia – Bukit Bintang.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Central Market

Central Market, or Pasar Seni in Malay, was established in 1888 as a wet market, where products like meat, fish and vegetables were sold. In the decades thereafter the building expanded several times and got its current size in 1933. Nowadays the air conditioned market is classified as a Malaysian heritage site and is still traditionally arranged in a stall concept. This is one of the reasons why Central Market is a popular tourist attraction.

In this art-deco style building are more than 300 shops, which mainly consist of local handicrafts, textiles and souvenir shops. Popular traditional goods that are offered are batik, songket, kebaya and embroidery carvings. On the second floor are a food court with Asian eateries and restaurants. At the back of the main building is the Annexe Central Market and houses craft shops, portraitists, art galleries and performance spaces for music and theatre. The people there are friendly and welcoming, making it possible to find assistance quite quickly and an atmosphere that will leave fond memories.

Central Market is daily open from 10:00 am to 9:30 pm and because of its convenient location between LRT/Monorail stations Pasar Seni and Masjid Jamek is it very easy to reach.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Kasturi Walk

Kasturi Walk is a tourist-friendly flea market next to Central Market (Pasar Seni). At the entrance of this covered pedestrian walkway is a large sign of a Malaysian kite, which looks like a butterfly. Although Kasturi Walk has not as many stalls and shops as Petaling Street this street still has a lot to offer. Vendors are selling products like clothing, shoes, watches, Asian snacks, fruits, souvenirs and local handicrafts at very affordable prices.

Another difference with Petaling Street is that Kasturi Walk has a Malay ambiance, while Petaling Street has a Chinese ambiance. In the past Central Market was a wet market and was Jalan Hang Kasturi the place where dried fish and fruits and vegetables were sold. Since the concept of Kasturi Walk was established in 2011 it still looks pretty new and clean, but fortunately there are still some interesting pre-war neoclassical buildings with symmetrical shapes, tall columns, triangular pediments right on top and long vertical windows.

As Kasturi Walk is located at Jalan Hang Kasturi next to Central Market it is advised to take the LRT Kelana Jaya Line to the Pasar Seni station.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Chow Kit Market

Chow Kit Market is one of the busiest and liveliest markets of Kuala Lumpur. This market is a perfect blend of the modern life and the age old traditions. Whenever you visit here, you can expect a huge crowd. However, the crowd is mainly composed of local people from the middle- and lower class who do their daily shopping. So if you want to avoid tourists and want to experience a traditional Asian market with all its charms and oddities this is the place for you.

The market is divided into two sections, which are a dry market and a wet market. Meat is the specialty of the wet market and the prices are also very much affordable. However, meat is butchered here live, which may be uncomfortable for some people. Apart from meat, you will also find a wide variety of fishes, fruits, vegetables and spices. The dry market is more appealing to the tourists and has a wide range of shoes and clothes. You will also find several electronic gadgets here. You can also try to bargain and reduce the price as much as possible.

Chow Kit Market is open from 9 am until 5 pm. Be aware that some backstreets of this neighborhood become a sort of shady red light district in the evening. The market is located at the north of the shopping street Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Reaching here is also quite easy as monorail station Chow Kit is nearby.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Jalan Bukit Bintang – Bintang Walk

Bintang Walk is the stylized name of Jalan Bukit Bintang and some of its side streets. It is a long and very popular street in the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur with many upscale restaurants, bars, shops and large shopping malls . Bintang Walk starts at the eastern part where the streets Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Raja Chulan come together. This is also the most luxurious and trendy part of Bintang Walk where you will find the shops of the famous designer brands.

The busiest part of this shopping street is at the intersection of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail. Here you will find the large shopping chains like Zara and H&M. Near this busy part is also Little Arabia, with its Arabic shops and restaurants. At the western part of Jalan Bukit Bintang, near Jalan Pudu, are many foot- and body massage salons. After a day of shopping a nice foot massage can be very relaxing.

Getting to Bintang Walk is very convenient as the monorail station Air Asia – Bukit Bintang is at the intersection of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Brickfields

Brickfields is a medium-sized residential area with several shopping streets and is commonly referred to as Little India. It is a beautiful and super colorful place that’s derived from the Indian culture due to its large population of Indian residents.

When it comes to shopping, Brickfields lives up to its nickname Little India. Splurge on authentic Indian attire, spices, and collector’s pieces that you will find in the many quaint shops. Or you can buy affordable flower garlands, saris, Indian spices and indulge in wonderful Bollywood music. Besides the shopping you should try the Indian food, specifically the thosai (rice flour pancake) and banana leaf rice. Banana leaf rice is a delectable Indian dish that rounds up your experience of this incredible place with its chutney, pickles, and rice.

Brickfields is home to the several religious structures, like the Sri Kandaswamy Kovil, and is tagged as a divine location because of this. These structures are designed using Tamil architecture which is in itself a tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur. And if you’re looking to explore the full potential of your body through ancient yoga integrated with modern day technology, Brickfields is the place to be. It is home to several excellent yoga academies.

Brickfields is the perfect place for a traveller who is looking to have a colourful, cultural, food-filled, shopping intense and exciting Indian experience while in Kuala Lumpur.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (formerly Batu Road)

Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, or abbreviated Jalan TAR, is one of the oldest roads in Kuala Lumpur. It is a long street and it was the main shopping district of Kuala Lumpur before the glitzy shopping malls came to the city. But Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is still a very popular place for buying a wide range of products like textiles, fabrics, leather goods, carpets, crystal, silver, clothing, luggage and bags at bargain prices. It has all kinds of stalls, shops, and departments stores, so that you can shop till you drop. The street starts near Masjid India and Masjid Jamek, then goes all the way up north until monorail station Chow Kit.

In the southern part is a side street called Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman which has a night market (pasar malam) at Saturday between 5pm and 10pm. The area near the middle of the street, where it crosses Jalan Sultan Ismail, has also become a popular nightspot and is also known as Heritage Row. And the northern part of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is known for its food and bargain shopping. As this old street still has many pre-war buildings with unique features and distinctive facades you will not only get a great shopping experience but also a cultural one.

When you want to start at the southern part of Jalan TAR it is advised to take the LRT line to the Masjid Jamek station, but when you want to start at the northern part of this street it is more practical to take the monorail to Chow Kit station.

tourist market kuala lumpur

Taman Connaught Night Market

Taman Connaught Night Market is also known as Cheras pasar malam. It is one of the most popular and largest night market (pasar malam) in Kuala Lumpur with about 700 stalls. The market will be mainly visited by locals as it isn’t near the city center.

Spread across a large area of about 2 km (1.2 mi), you will find lots of food stalls serving all kinds of Asian delicacies, like Indian, Japanese, Malay, Thai and Chinese. However, you should try out some of the local favorites, like Malaysian pancakes or asam laksa soup. If you want to try out something unique, then you should definitely have the Cola Chicken. It is a different kind of snack, with cola at the bottom of the cup, and then fried chicken is added at the top. Apart from food stalls, you will find shops selling clothes almost everywhere. However, most of the shops only sell female clothes. Taman Connaught is also well known for the availability of a wide range of pet stuff, like pet food, pet clothes and other accessories.

Because Taman Connaught Night Market is only open on Wednesdays from 5:00 pm to 01:00 am, you can expect a huge crowd. This area also lacks a LRT station which makes parking your car near the market very difficult if you’re not early.

Perfect destination for: Foodies paradise , enjoying sightseeing the diverse local cultures, shopping in mega malls and markets .

Location: Kuala Lumpur lies in Malaysia, which is next to Thailand and Singapore.

Nearby: It can be fun to visit the Batu Caves . Or rent a car and explore the cities nearby Kuala Lumpur .

Where to stay: We made a list of the best hotels in Kuala Lumpur .

Currency: The Malaysian Ringgit.

Climate: The temperature is always a comfy 27 degrees celsius (81°F) on average throughout the entire year!

Famous for: It’s a very diverse society with fantastic temples of multiple religions. Monkeys and elephants . Tasty East Asian food . Beautiful parks , rainforests and highlands.

© 2017-2024 Meet The Cities about us - legal - attribution

Top 10 Street Markets in Kuala Lumpur for the Ideal Souvenir Shopping!

Top hotel collections.

tourist market kuala lumpur

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Near SOGO Kuala Lumpur

Near Chinatown Kuala Lumpur

Near Kl Sentral

1. Petaling Street

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM Location: Chinatown

2. Central Market

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM Location: Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Wilayah Persekutuan

3. Kasturi Walk

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening hours:  10:00 AM to 9:30 PM Location: 32, Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Wilayah Persekutuan

4. Chow Kit Market

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: 9:00 AM 5:00 PM Location: Jalan Haji Hussein, Chow Kit

5. Jalan Masjid India Market

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM Location: Jalan Masjid India, City Centre, 50100 Wilayah Persekutuan

6. Kampung Baru Market

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: Saturday 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM Address: Jalan Raja Muda Musa, Kuala Lumpur

7. Taman Connaught Market

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: Wednesday 5:30 PM to 12:00 AM Location: Jalan Cerdas, Taman Connaught, Cheras

8. Fiesta Nite at Plaza Mont Kiara

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: Thursday 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM Location: The Courtyard, Plaza Mont' Kiara, 2, Jalan Kiara

9. Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman Market

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: Saturday 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM Location: 109 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

10. Bangsar Sunday Market

tourist market kuala lumpur

Opening Hours: Sunday, 1 PM – 9 PM Location: 71, 67 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, 59000 Wilayah Persekutuan

This post was published by Sonal Adwani

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Pasar Seni (Central Market): Attractions, Foods & Arts!

Pasar Seni Attraction Food Things to Do and Buy

Looking for an immersive cultural experience that will leave you captivated and wanting more? Look no further than Pasar Seni!

This vibrant, restored Art Deco building is a hub of activity, offering an array of locally-made handicrafts, souvenirs, and traditional products, including batik fabrics, intricate Malay clothing, and beautiful handmade jewellery.

From the delicious aromas of the food court to the colourful and diverse stalls, Pasar Seni will excite your senses and leave you wanting to explore more of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage.

Don’t miss out on the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture at this must-visit destination!

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What Is Pasar Seni?

Pasar Seni, also known as the Central Market, is a popular tourist destination and cultural landmark located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Housed in a beautifully restored Art Deco building, Pasar Seni is a hub of activity, offering a variety of local handicrafts, souvenirs, and products such as batik fabrics, traditional Malay clothing, and handmade jewellery.

Visitors can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the market and indulge in a range of local and international cuisine at the food court.

Pasar Seni also hosts cultural events and performances, making it a perfect destination to explore the local heritage and traditions of Malaysia.

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What Are The Attractions in Pasar Seni?

Pasar Seni offers a wide range of attractions, including:

Handicrafts and Souvenirs

Pasar Seni Jewellery

Pasar Seni is known for its vibrant and diverse array of handicrafts, souvenirs, and local products, such as batik fabrics, traditional Malay clothing, and handmade jewellery.

The market’s food court offers a range of local and international cuisine, including popular Malaysian dishes such as nasi lemak, satay, and laksa.

Cultural Performances

Pasar Seni Performance

Pasar Seni hosts regular cultural events and performances, including traditional dance, music, and theatre shows.

Art Galleries

The market features several art galleries showcasing the works of local and international artists.

Heritage Walk

Visitors can take a guided heritage walk through Pasar Seni and its surroundings to learn more about the rich cultural and historical heritage of the area.

Also Read: What To Eat In Pavilion KL?

Things To Do In Pasar Seni

Pasar Seni is a great place to immerse yourself in Malaysian culture, shop for unique souvenirs, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of Kuala Lumpur.

Here are some things to do while you’re visiting Pasar Seni:

  • Shopping: Pasar Seni is one of the best places to shop for traditional Malaysian handicrafts, souvenirs, and artwork. You can find everything from batik clothing to silverware, and from hand-woven baskets to pottery. Take your time to explore the market and haggle with the vendors to get the best prices.
  • Explore the street art: Pasar Seni is home to some of the most beautiful street art in Kuala Lumpur. Walk around the surrounding streets to see colourful murals and graffiti created by local artists.
  • Visit the Central Market Annex: The Central Market Annex is a new addition to Pasar Seni, located across the street from the main market building. It’s a modern shopping mall that features a variety of stores selling everything from designer clothing to electronics. You can also find food stalls, cafes, and restaurants here.
  • Get a Henna tattoo: Henna tattoos are a popular tradition in Malaysia, and you can find many vendors offering this service in Pasar Seni. It’s a great way to get a temporary souvenir and experience a local tradition.
  • Watch a cultural performance: Pasar Seni has a dedicated space for cultural performances, where you can watch traditional Malaysian dances, music performances, and puppet shows. Check the schedule to see if there’s a performance happening during your visit.
  • Try Malaysian street food: Pasar Seni is also a great place to try some delicious Malaysian street food. You can find a variety of stalls selling local favourites such as nasi lemak, satay, and roti canai.

Pasar Seni in KL Image 1

Pasar Seni Food: What To Eat In Pasar Seni?

Pasar Seni offers a range of local and international cuisine to cater to diverse tastes. Some of the popular dishes to try at Pasar Seni include:

  • Nasi Lemak: A traditional Malaysian dish made with coconut rice, anchovies, peanuts, sambal, and a boiled egg.
  • Satay: Grilled meat skewers marinated with spices and served with peanut sauce.
  • Laksa: A spicy noodle soup made with coconut milk, seafood, and herbs.
  • Curry Mee: A spicy noodle soup made with coconut milk, curry, and a variety of ingredients, such as tofu, chicken, and seafood.
  • Fried Rice: A popular dish made with fried rice, eggs, vegetables, and a choice of protein, such as chicken or seafood.
  • Dim Sum: A popular Chinese cuisine that includes steamed or fried dumplings filled with a variety of fillings.
  • Teh Tarik: A popular Malaysian milk tea that is sweet, creamy, and made by pulling the tea between two containers to create a frothy top.
  • Banana Leaf Rice: A South Indian meal served on a banana leaf, which includes white rice, vegetables, curries, and papadum.
  • Hokkien Mee: A Malaysian-Chinese dish made with egg noodles, shrimp, squid, and pork, stir-fried in a rich dark soy sauce.
  • Char Kway Teow: A popular Malaysian dish made with flat rice noodles, shrimp, cockles, and bean sprouts, stir-fried in a savoury sauce.
  • Chicken Rice: A simple and flavorful Malaysian dish made with tender poached chicken, served with fragrant rice, and dipping sauces.
  • Cendol: A popular Malaysian dessert made with coconut milk, shaved ice, and green jelly noodles.
  • Roti Canai: A Malaysian-Indian dish made with flaky flatbread, typically served with a side of curry sauce.

These are just a few of the many dishes available at Pasar Seni. With its diverse range of cuisines and food options, Pasar Seni is a great destination for food lovers looking to explore the local culinary scene in Malaysia.

What To Buy In Pasar Seni

Pasar Seni is a great place to find unique and authentic Malaysian items that can serve as great souvenirs or gifts. Just be sure to bargain and compare prices between different stalls to get the best deal.

Here are some things you may want to consider buying while shopping in Pasar Seni:

  • Batik Clothing: Batik is a traditional art form that uses wax and dye to create intricate patterns on cloth. You can find a wide range of batik clothing such as dresses, shirts, and sarongs in Pasar Seni.
  • Traditional Handicrafts: Pasar Seni is famous for its traditional handicrafts such as hand-woven baskets, wooden carvings, and pottery. These items make great souvenirs and can add a touch of Malaysian culture to your home.
  • Silverware: Malaysia is well-known for its intricate silverware designs. You can find a wide range of silverware such as jewellery, tableware, and decorative items in Pasar Seni.
  • Traditional Musical Instruments: You can also find traditional Malaysian musical instruments such as the gamelan, angklung, and rebana in Pasar Seni. These instruments make great gifts for music lovers.
  • Souvenirs: Pasar Seni is full of souvenir shops that sell items such as keychains, magnets, t-shirts, and postcards. These items are great for remembering your trip to Kuala Lumpur or as gifts for friends and family.
  • Paintings and Artworks: Pasar Seni has a thriving art scene and is home to several galleries and art shops that sell paintings, prints, and other artworks by local artists.

Pasar Seni Batik

What To Take Note Of When Visiting Pasar Seni

Pasar Seni is a vibrant and exciting place to visit, but like any new destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

When visiting Pasar Seni, there are a few things you should take note of:

  • Bargain with vendors: It’s a common practice to bargain with vendors at Pasar Seni. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the vendor, but also be reasonable and respectful.
  • Try the local street food: Pasar Seni is a great place to sample local street food.
  • Be mindful of cultural sensitivities: Malaysia is a diverse country with a rich cultural heritage, so it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Avoid taking photos of people without their permission, and be mindful of local customs and etiquette.
  • Plan your visit: Pasar Seni is a popular destination, so it’s best to plan your visit ahead of time. Check the opening hours and plan to visit during non-peak hours to avoid crowds.

Also Read: Best Cafes In KLCC

History of Pasar Seni

Pasar Seni, which translates to “Central Market” in English, is a historic market located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The market was first established in 1888 as a simple, makeshift market that served as a trading hub for fresh produce, meat, and fish. However, in the early 20th century, as Kuala Lumpur grew rapidly, the market expanded and became a more permanent fixture in the city.

In 1937, the original market building was replaced with a new Art Deco-style building that was designed by local architect, Hubback. The building was constructed in the shape of an “L,” with two floors and a central courtyard.

The new building was modern and spacious, with features such as a clock tower, iron grilles, and stained glass windows.

During the Second World War, the market was badly damaged, but it was later restored in the 1950s. Over the years, the market has undergone several renovations and upgrades, with the most recent renovation taking place in the late 1980s.

Today, Pasar Seni is a popular tourist destination, with a wide range of shops, stalls, and restaurants that cater to both locals and tourists. The market has a rich cultural heritage and is a testament to the diverse history of Kuala Lumpur.

Despite the changes and upgrades, Pasar Seni has retained much of its original charm and character, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Malaysian culture and history.

Is Pasar Seni Worth Visiting?

Yes, Pasar Seni is definitely worth visiting if you are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The market is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers visitors a unique glimpse into Malaysian culture and tradition.

Here are some reasons why Pasar Seni is worth visiting:

  • Rich cultural heritage: Pasar Seni is a historic market that has been a fixture in Kuala Lumpur since the late 19th century. It’s a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage and offers visitors a unique glimpse into Malaysia’s past.
  • Unique shopping experience: Pasar Seni is one of the best places to shop for traditional Malaysian handicrafts, souvenirs, and artwork. You can find everything from batik clothing to silverware, and from hand-woven baskets to pottery. The market offers a unique shopping experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Great food: Pasar Seni is also a great place to try some delicious Malaysian street food. You can find a variety of stalls selling local favourites such as nasi lemak, satay, and roti canai.
  • Street art: The surrounding streets of Pasar Seni are home to some of the most beautiful street art in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a great place to explore and take some great photos.
  • Cultural performances: Pasar Seni has a dedicated space for cultural performances, where you can watch traditional Malaysian dances, music performances, and puppet shows.

In short, Pasar Seni is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers visitors a unique insight into Malaysian culture and tradition. Whether you’re interested in shopping, food, or culture, Pasar Seni is definitely worth a visit.

Pasar Seni Operating Hours & Address

Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily

Address: Lot 3.04-3.06, 06, Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Best Time To Visit Pasar Seni

The best time to visit Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is in the morning or early afternoon, ideally between 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

During these hours, the market is less crowded, and you’ll have more space to move around and explore the various stalls and shops. Additionally, many of the vendors tend to offer better prices during these hours, especially if you’re willing to haggle.

If you prefer a livelier atmosphere, then you may want to visit in the evening when the market is bustling with locals and tourists. This is when the cultural performances take place, and the market’s eateries come alive with an array of delicious smells and flavours.

However, be aware that the market can get very crowded during peak hours, and it may be difficult to navigate through the crowds.

It’s also a good idea to avoid visiting Pasar Seni during public holidays, as the market can get extremely crowded and busy during these times.

Additionally, the market may have shortened or altered hours during public holidays, so it’s a good idea to check ahead of time.

Also Read: Best Restaurants In Suria KLCC

How To Get To Pasar Seni

Pasar Seni is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are some of the most common ways to get to Pasar Seni:

  • By Train: The Pasar Seni LRT (Light Rail Transit) station is located just across the street from Pasar Seni. You can take the Kelana Jaya Line, Sri Petaling Line, or Ampang Line to get to Pasar Seni.
  • By Bus: There are several bus stops near Pasar Seni that are serviced by various bus routes, including the free GoKL City Bus. The bus stops are located on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Lebuh Pudu, and Jalan Hang Kasturi.
  • By Taxi or Ride-Hailing Service: You can take a taxi or use a ride-hailing service such as Grab to get to Pasar Seni. It’s a convenient option if you’re travelling with a group or have a lot of luggage.
  • By Foot: If you’re staying in the nearby Chinatown area, you can easily walk to Pasar Seni. It’s a short 5 to 10-minute walk from Petaling Street, and you can take in the sights and sounds of the vibrant Chinatown area along the way.
  • By Car: You can also drive to Pasar Seni, but parking in the area can be challenging, especially during peak hours. There are several paid parking lots nearby, including the Central Market car park, which is located just across the street from Pasar Seni.

Pasar Seni LRT Map & Station

If you are taking LRT, here is the map :

LRT Map to Pasar Seni

For full LRT map, check out here .

Pasar Seni Buses

If you are taking a bus, here are the buses you can take:

  • Rapid KL Bus: 821, 822, 851, 180, 640, 650, 651, 652, 772, 780, 781, 782, 750, 751, 752, 770, 771, BET1, BET3, BET4
  • KL Hop-On Hop-Off: This City Tour Bus stops at the station right opposite Central Market Kuala Lumpur.
  • GOKL: Visitors in Kuala Lumpur can also travel for free within selected routes in the city with the GOKL free city bus service. The GOKL bus stops opposite Central Market Kuala Lumpur.

Historical Attractions Near Pasar Seni

Pasar Seni is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s historic city centre, so there are several historical attractions nearby that you can explore. Here are some of the top historical attractions to check out:

  • Merdeka Square: Merdeka Square is a historic landmark that is located just a few minutes walk from Pasar Seni. It’s the site where the Malaysian flag was raised for the first time in 1957, signifying the country’s independence from colonial rule.
  • Sultan Abdul Samad Building: The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a magnificent piece of architecture that was built in 1897 during British colonial rule. It served as the administrative centre of the colonial government and is now home to several government offices.
  • National Textile Museum: The National Textile Museum is a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Malaysian textiles. It’s housed in a beautiful 19th-century building that was once the residence of a wealthy Chinese businessman.
  • Masjid Jamek: Masjid Jamek is one of the oldest and most significant mosques in Kuala Lumpur. It was built in 1909 at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers and features a beautiful blend of Moorish and Mughal architectural styles.
  • Central Market: Central Market is another historic landmark that is located just across the street from Pasar Seni. The market was built in 1888 and was once a wet market, but it has since been transformed into a cultural and shopping centre.

These historical attractions are easily accessible from Pasar Seni and can be explored in a day, making for an enjoyable and educational experience.

Please find the below map for more nearby historical attractions of Pasar Seni.

Historical Attractions Near to Pasar Seni

Also Read: Best Hot Springs In Malaysia

Hotels Near Pasar Seni

There are several hotels near Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur that offer a range of options for different budgets and preferences. Here are some of the top hotels near Pasar Seni:

1. Travelodge City Centre

Travelodge City Centre

Located just a few minutes walk from Pasar Seni, Travelodge City Centre is a modern and comfortable hotel that offers a range of amenities, including a rooftop pool and fitness centre.

2. The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is a historic and luxurious hotel that’s located about 10 minutes drive from Pasar Seni. The hotel features elegant rooms, a spa, and several dining options.

3. The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel

The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel

The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel is a trendy and stylish hotel that’s located about 15 minutes walk from Pasar Seni. The hotel features chic rooms, a rooftop bar, and a restaurant.

These hotels offer easy access to Pasar Seni and other popular attractions in Kuala Lumpur, making them an excellent choice for travellers who want to explore the city.

Homestays Near Pasar Seni

There are several homestays near Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur that offer affordable and comfortable accommodations for travellers. Here are some of the top homestays near Pasar Seni:

1. Mercu Summer Suites

Mercu Summer Suites

Mercu Summer Suites is an affordable and comfortable hotel that’s located about 10 minutes drive from Pasar Seni. The hotel features modern and spacious rooms and an outdoor pool.

2. The Explorers Guesthouse

The Explorers Guesthouse and Hostel

The Explorers Guesthouse is a cozy and affordable homestay that’s located just a few minutes walk from Pasar Seni. The homestay features simple and comfortable rooms and a communal kitchen.

3. Raizzy’s Guesthouse

Raizzys Guesthouse

Raizzy’s Guesthouse is a popular homestay that’s located just a few minutes walk from Pasar Seni. The homestay features comfortable and spacious rooms and a rooftop terrace with views of the city.

4. The Bed KLCC

The Bed KLCC

The Bed KLCC is a chic and comfortable homestay that’s located about 10 minutes drive from Pasar Seni. The homestay features modern and well-equipped rooms and a rooftop bar.

These homestays offer a great alternative to traditional hotels, providing a more personal and authentic experience of Kuala Lumpur. They are also often more affordable than hotels, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious travellers.

FAQ for Pasar Seni

Here are some frequently asked questions about Pasar Seni:

What can I find at Pasar Seni?

At Pasar Seni, you can find a wide range of handicrafts, textiles, jewellery, souvenirs, and street food. It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts and mementoes from your trip to Kuala Lumpur.

When is Pasar Seni open?

Pasar Seni is open daily from 10.00 AM to 8.00 PM.

Where is Pasar Seni located and dow do I get there?

Pasar Seni is located in the Chinatown area of Kuala Lumpur, and it is easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the LRT to the Pasar Seni station or the MRT to the Merdeka station, both of which are located nearby.

Are there hotels near Pasar Seni?

Yes, there are several hotels and homestays located near Pasar Seni. Some popular options include Travelodge City Centre, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, and The Explorers Guesthouse.

What are some nearby attractions to Pasar Seni?

Nearby attractions to Pasar Seni include the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, the Petaling Street Market, and the Central Market. You can also easily access other popular destinations in Kuala Lumpur via public transportation.

What should I bring to Pasar Seni?

It’s a good idea to bring cash, as many of the vendors at Pasar Seni do not accept credit cards. You may also want to bring a bag or backpack to carry your purchases. And don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the colourful sights and sounds of the market!

Conclusion for Pasar Seni

In conclusion, Pasar Seni is a fascinating and enchanting market that provides a truly immersive and exciting experience for anyone looking to explore the rich culture and heritage of Kuala Lumpur.

This bustling marketplace is a treasure trove of traditional handicrafts, colourful textiles, intricate jewellery, and mouth-watering street food that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

The lively atmosphere, vibrant colours, and energetic vendors will draw you in and make you feel like a part of the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Malaysia.

With its convenient location, accessibility by public transportation, and nearby accommodation options, a visit to Pasar Seni is an absolute must-do when in Kuala Lumpur.

So come and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavours of Pasar Seni and discover the magic and wonder of this remarkable marketplace.

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THE 10 BEST Things to Do Near Central Market Kuala Lumpur

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Things to Do near Central Market Kuala Lumpur

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17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kuala Lumpur

Written by Diana Bocco Updated Dec 23, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Malaysia's capital and largest city has much to offer visitors, regardless of their interests. A cosmopolitan metropolis with a significant religious influence, Kuala Lumpur is filled with high-end shopping opportunities and plenty of exciting things to do and places to explore. For many people, it's a starting point for exploring Malaysia .

The famous Petronas Twin Towers are not the only marvel here, though they are certainly the city's most visited attraction. Kuala Lumpur's cultural diversity means there are also plenty of festivals to enjoy here, including the Thaipusam celebration, which includes a procession that walks all the way to the Batu Caves, another well-known tourist destination.

For more ideas on how to spend your time and things to do while visiting, see our list of top tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur.

1. Petronas Twin Towers

2. klcc park, 3. kuala lumpur bird park, 4. petaling street, 5. merdeka square, 6. sunway lagoon theme park, 7. kuala lumpur tower, 8. national museum, 9. central market, 10. kuala lumpur butterfly park, 11. batu caves, 12. bukit bintang shopping district, 13. royal palace istana negara, 14. wilayah mosque, 15. sri mahamariamman temple, 16. jalan alor, 17. titiwangsa lake garden, where to stay in kuala lumpur for sightseeing, map of tourist attractions in kuala lumpur, kuala lumpur, malaysia - climate chart.

Petronas Twin Towers at sunset

Kuala Lumpur's most recognizable landmark is its twin towers, built of reinforced concrete, steel, and glass. Once the tallest towers in the world, the twin skyscrapers remain the tallest twin buildings in the world . At 88 floors tall, the towers are not only Kuala Lumpur's most visible structure, but also a beautiful mix of postmodern style and Islamic art details.

The towers are connected by a sky bridge on the 41st and 42nd floors . While the sky bridge is a major tourist attraction, the main reason for its existence isn't the spectacular views you can get from it-instead, the bridge provides structural support to the towers as they sway during high-wind days, as well as a fire escape route if one of the towers ever has an emergency and needs to be evacuated.

Although most of the floors on the towers are privately rented, the lower floors house the Suria KLCC, an upscale shopping center with over 300 shops, as well as an art gallery, a science center, the Philharmonic Hall, and other attractions. The towers are particularly striking at night, when they are shining bright against the ever-changing urban landscape.

Colorful fountain at night in KLCC Park

KLCC Park, located at the feet of the Petronas Twin Towers, is Kuala Lumpur's largest urban park, a 50-acre sanctuary for both humans and animals.

The park was designed to blend with its surroundings by combining man-made structures, such as sculptures and fountains, with over 2,000 different species of palms and indigenous flora. The trees here were selected through a complex system to ensure they attract both local and migratory birds, promote biodiversity, and provide a wide range of stunning colors and shapes to the design of the park.

KLCC's main attraction is Lake Symphony , a massive lake with a 43-meter bridge cutting across it and a number of fountains, including one that can shoot water 180 meters up into the sky and offers light and music shows twice a day. The fountain is particularly impressive at night, when you can truly appreciate the changing colors against the background of the illuminated Petronas Towers.

The park also offers a 1.3-kilometer-long rubberized jogging path, a wading pool, a two-acre children's playground , and plenty of photo opportunities among the landscaped trails that crisscross the park.

A Victoria crowned pigeon at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

A spectacular tropical aviary covering 20.9 acres, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is not only one of the world's largest covered bird parks, but also an important research center for scientists studying the behavioral patterns of certain species that are difficult to observe in the wild. Most of the over 2,000 birds here are local species, although about 10 percent were imported from as far away as Tanzania and Europe.

The park is divided into four zones, with Zone 4 being one of the most popular because of its walk-in parrot enclosure, its flightless bird exhibit (which include the deadly Cassowary), a feeding station that allows visitors to come in direct contact with some of the birds, and a 30-foot high waterfall .

The park also houses an amphitheater for 350 people that offers bird shows and an education area with presentations to teach guests about birds, endangered species, and more.

Official site: http://www.klbirdpark.com/

Traditional Chinese steamed buns for sale on Petaling Street

Kuala Lumpur's one-street Chinatown starts behind a large arch announcing its name and extends all the way to the Chan See Shu Yuen Temple, one of Malaysia's oldest Buddhist temples . The entire street is covered by a green roof, affectionately known by the locals as "Green Dragon"-a perfect shield from the heavy summer rains and the hot sun during the mid-afternoon hours.

Petaling Street is also a popular destination for street food , and both locals and tourists come here to grab spices, ingredients, and specialties such as salted roast duck or Hokkien mee, a Southeast Asian dish made up of noodles, fried eggs, and a mix of meats.

For those with a less adventurous stomach, there's also plenty to buy here-from street stalls selling toys and imitation brands to a Chinese bookstore, souvenirs, and much more.

Merdeka Square

Once the cricket green of the local Selangor Club, this massive open park square is now a popular spot for rallies, public events, and the National Day Parade. A 100-meter-tall flagpole commemorates the raising of the first Malayan flag here in 1957.

The city's most famous historical colonial buildings line up the streets around the square-and many are open to visitors or make for beautiful photo backgrounds.

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building , heavily influenced by Moorish style, houses the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Culture of Malaysia, while the nearby Kuala Lumpur City Gallery tells the story of the city through miniature models and innovative exhibits.

You'll also find a Victorian-era fountain here, where people often congregate to relax, as well as St. Mary's Church, one of Malaysia's oldest churches. The National Textile Museum , home to displays of traditional costumes and batik, is just a few steps away.

A white tiger at the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

Located a 45-minute drive outside Kuala Lumpur, this multi-themed amusement park offers almost 100 different rides and attractions spread over 88 acres.

While Sunway started as a water park, it now also includes five additional zones: an Amusement Park (with rollercoasters, carousels and other rides); a Wildlife Park, a Scream Park with a massive haunted house; an Extreme Park (where you'll find ATV rides, bungee jumping, and paintball); and an area known as Nickelodeon's Lost Lagoon, which is specially designed for the younger visitors.

The park can be easily accessed via public transportation, and it offers a number of festivals throughout the year, including the very popular Nights of Fright during the entire month of October.

Official site: https://sunwaylagoon.com/

Kuala Lumpur Tower

One of the tallest freestanding towers in the world and the tallest in Southeast Asia, the KL Tower reaches 421 meters into the sky, and it's primarily used as a TV and communications tower, an Islamic falak observatory, and a viewpoint over the city.

Visitors can make their way up to the revolving restaurant or the open-air observation platform, which is located 300 meters above the ground and can be reached by elevator in just under a minute.

There are several attractions inside the tower, including an upside-down funhouse museum; a small aquarium; a souvenir shop offering high-quality handicrafts; and the Sky Box, a glass box that extends out from the Sky Deck and offers unobstructed views of the city in every direction-including under your feet.

Official site: https://www.menarakl.com.my/index.php

National Museum

Malaysia's most important cultural and heritage museum, this three-story museum holds collections that include everything from traditional weapons to historical wedding apparel to restored outdoor structures. The museum sits on the space that was once occupied by the Selangor Museum, destroyed by an air bombing during WWII.

Some of the museum's most interesting exhibits are located outdoors and include a 19th-century timber palace built using Terengganu Malay architecture and a number of traditional horse-drawn carriages and early motorized vehicles.

Inside the museum, visitors can get a glimpse of the colonial history of the country and the fight for independence, as well as the Hindu-Buddhist heritage of the nation in the form of stunning bronze and stone sculptures .

Colorful Malaysian kites for sale at the Central Market

While Kuala Lumpur has its share of upscale shopping centers, this traditional market is where you'll find some of the best items in the city.

Located inside an Art Deco Heritage Site building dating back to the 19 th century, the market is arranged in a stall format, with small open shops offering a mismatched mix of everything from traditional Malaysian handicrafts and batik textiles to pewter and silver items.

Malaysia is also well known for ornamental wood carvings and pottery, both of which are well represented at the market.

Right to the side of the building, there's the colorful Kasturi Walk, an open-air flea market that complements Central Market with sales of local snacks, clothing and shoes, souvenirs, and more. Live performances and music can often be found here as well. Come prepared to haggle over prices, as this is expected and very much part of the fun here.

Official site: http://www.centralmarket.com.my/

Butterfly on hibiscus blossoms at the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park

The largest butterfly park in the world is home to over 5,000 butterflies and covers an area of 7,500 square meters. The butterflies are free inside a walk-in area covered by a canopy and it requires patience and a keen eye to find them resting on flowers and ferns as you walk through the jungle paths. You can also visit a breeding area to see butterfly larvae and a large live insect exhibit, where you'll find rhinoceros beetles, the largest beetles in the world.

The Butterfly Park sits next to the Perdana Botanical Gardens , a colonial-era park that covers 91.6 hectares and is located just minutes away from the National Museum.

If you have some extra time to explore, the gardens are worth a visit as well and feature a sunken garden surrounded by pergolas, a herbarium, an orchid garden, and a two-hectare enclosure home to fallow deer.

Official site: http://klbutterflypark.com/

Cathedral Cave

The Batu Caves are just 13 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur and can be reached via an easy and picturesque train ride from KL's main train station. The caves, set inside stunning limestone hills, are an important Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan, the god of war. Right outside the entrance, a 43-meter-tall statue of Murugan-the tallest of its kind in the world -welcomes visitors.

Although there are three caves here, most visitors come for the main one, Cathedral Cave -a 91-meter-tall cave with stunning stalactite formations that can be reached after climbing 272 steps on a massive stone staircase.

Inside, you'll find a Hindu chapel and beautiful rock formations illuminated by sunlight coming through the breaks on the ceiling. Batu's second-largest cave, Dark Cave , is a protected space and can only be accessed with a tour.

The last section of the cave requires taking part in a special adventure tour and involves a lot of crawling, twisting, and getting dirty and wet-and hopefully spotting a number of large spiders, bats, and other animals.

Bukit Bintang Shopping District

Kuala Lumpur's shopping and entertainment district encompasses several streets and a number of shopping centers, street markets , and many upscale cafés and restaurants. This is the area where many major celebrations take place during the year, including the New Year's countdown and the St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities.

One of the main attractions in the area is the Berjaya Times Square shopping mall , which covers 330,000 square meters of retail space and is home to one of the largest indoor amusement parks in Asia , complete with a number of thrill rides and even a looping roller coaster. Starhill Gallery, the city's most posh mall, is also located in this area.

The Bukit Bintang Shopping District has also become well known for spa-related services , especially massages and reflexology, as well as a number of themed restaurants offering foreign cuisine in open-air spaces, including a "dining in the dark" experience.

Royal Palace Istana Negara

The Istana Negara is the official residence of Malaysia's monarch. The name can be confusing to visitors, as there are actually two Istana Negara locations. The new Istana Negara is a massive 98-hectare palace complex with golden domes. Although the palace itself is closed to the public, its main arched gate is a favorite spot for visitors.

The old Istana Negara (the official royal residence until 2011) is now partially open to the public and houses the Royal Museum, where visitors can walk through 22 former palace spaces, including the royal sleeping chamber, a dining hall, and the Balairung Seri room (where the King would receive visitors).

Unique rooms included a royal dental clinic, a laundry room, and a cinema regularly showing short clips. Guided tours are offered by former palace guards.

Wilayah Mosque

A stunningly visual mix of Ottoman and Malay architectural styles, this massive mosque and its turquoise and gold domes are a beauty to photograph. Modeled after the Blue Mosque in Turkey, the Wilayah Mosque is open to everybody and offers free tours to anybody interested in learning about the local people, culture, and religion (Malaysia is about 60 percent Muslim).

While you cannot venture around the mosque on your own, the guides will be more than happy to stop by the most beautiful spots so you can photograph the geometric patterns, try to capture the grandeur of the main prayer hall, and breathe in the beauty of the courtyard.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple

An important cultural and national center for Indian immigrants, this 19th-century temple is best known for its colorful 23-meter-tall gopuram (tower). Designed as a five-tiered pyramid, it's decorated with statues and reliefs of Hindu gods.

The temple is dedicated to Mariamman, a manifestation of the goddess who embodies Mother Earth. While visitors mostly stop by to take pictures of the stunning outside of the building, the inside is equally richly decorated and beautiful.

During the months of January/February, the temple becomes the center of the celebration of the Thaipusam festival, where a silver chariot is brought out from the temple to join a march of believers all the way to the Batu Caves.

Skewers at Jalan Alor

This 500-meter-long street section is Kuala Lumpur's must-visit food destination – especially at night, when it truly comes alive with smells and flavors. An absolute favorite among the locals, Jalan Alor has the benefit of offering a culinary experience without the touristy prices. Whether you're after sit-down restaurants or street food stalls, this is the place to visit if you don't mind crowds.

Noodle-based dishes and grilled foods rule in Jalan Alor, with some places offering unconventional dishes, focusing on seafood or doing only high-spice meals. There are also plenty of small shops selling clothes and knick-knacks here, as well as walk-in foot massage places around. Both shops and restaurants usually stay open until at least midnight.

Less than two blocks away is Jalan Alor Street Art 1, a pedestrian street famous for its colorful murals, trick 3D paintings on buildings, and great Instagram spots.

Titiwangsa Lake Garden

If you're craving waterfront views of the city skyline on your visit to Kuala Lumpur, this massive 95-hectare park built around a lake won't disappoint. It offers plenty of recreational activities, including canoeing, horse riding, tennis courts, and jogging tracks.

The park also houses a Remote Control (RC) Car track and a viewing tower, and there are sometimes live events organized here. Even on quiet days, you can always have a quick picnic here after visiting the National Art Gallery, just a few blocks away.

Luxury Hotels:

  • In a great Golden Triangle location, within walking distance of top shopping, restaurants, and attractions, the new EQ Kuala Lumpur is a re-brand of the original Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur. The 5-star property offers a mix of rooms and suites with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. Many have fantastic city skyline views. Amenities include multiple restaurants, a posh spa, a swimming pool with sun-loungers, and free parking. Breakfast is also included, and the hotel is family-friendly.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur is another luxurious 5-star property, with ultra-modern and trendy rooms featuring a neutral color scheme and modern art. Kids stay free at this family-friendly property. Other amenities include a spa offering a range of services, including couples' massages. There is also a swimming pool, hot tub, and airport transport is available.
  • For a romantic luxury stay, book the Sanctuary Suite at the Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur . It features a relaxation plunge pool in your room facing the floor-to-ceiling window, with in-your-face city skyline views. Regular rooms are still impressive, with colorful modern art. The hotel also has a restaurant, swimming pool, and a swanky spa.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • In the trendy Golden Triangle area, Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon Serviced Residences feature panoramic views of the Kuala Lumpur Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers. They combine modern luxury with the comfort of apartment living. Choose from one-, two-, or three-bedroom units that all have kitchenettes and separate living and dining space. Amenities include an indoor play area and a kids' pool. There is also an outdoor swimming pool with sun-loungers, a fitness center, sauna, and yoga room.
  • The Chow Kit - An Ormond Hotel is another top mid-range property. The recently opened hotel has already won awards for its trendy factor. Located in the city's famous Chow Kit district, its design takes inspiration from this neighborhood's historic past. Amenities include a signature restaurant, curated food and culture walking tours, complimentary breakfast, and yoga classes.
  • Also check out the Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur for bespoke rooms and suites with modern design and great views. They also come with espresso coffee machines. Amenities include a rooftop swimming pool, a restaurant, and a fitness center.

Budget Hotels:

  • MoMo's Kuala Lumpur is a top budget choice. It has a playful vibe throughout and offers guests clean and comfortable micro rooms that are perfect for guests looking for good value and who don't plan to spend a lot of time in their room. The rooms have bunk beds, making them perfect for friends traveling together. There is a late-night taco restaurant on-site that also has live music.
  • Another solid choice for budget-focused travelers includes the 3-star Travelodge City Center . Located in the heart of the city, it has vibrant rooms with mural wall art and blackout curtains. There is a coffee shop on-site, a breakfast buffet is served in the mornings, and laundry services are available.
  • The V Garden Hotel is a very affordable property that still has a fun vibe. The lifestyle hotel features 21 uniquely styled rooms, with modern art and wood-style floors. There is a large courtyard that is nicely landscaped and a café that serves up big breakfasts.

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The Best way to Explore Petaling Street Market & Chinatown’s Must-Visit Places

Petaling street is the heart of Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. This is the best way to enjoy the Chinatown in Petaling Street is to go there in an empty stomach and have time to explore food and shopping. Petaling street markets in Jalan Kuala Lumpur is a live ex ample of the Chinese history in this pioneer city. 

The Petaling Street is crowded most of the time and is a popular spot for tourists and locals to buy counterfeit branded products and for culturally diverse food options. Petaling Street is located close to the other tourist spots in Kuala Lumpur , like Masjid Jamek and Sri Maha Mrihan temple. 

WHAT IS COVERED IN THIS ARTICLE?

How to go to Petaling Street Chinatown?

Petaling street

The Chinatown in Petaling Street is just opposite the Kotaraya Shopping Complex. It’s located near some of the most famous tourist spots . It’s just a few minutes of walk from the Central Market. 

You can take the Kelana Jaya Line and get down at Pasar Seni station, and it’s a few minutes walk. Also, you can get down at Plaza Rakyat LRT station, and it’s also a 1 km minute walk from there.

Evolution of Petaling Street & Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur

Chinatown-in-Kuala-Lumpur

The petaling street was known as market square historically. The street is located on Market Square, which is also known as High street. The market is as old as the city itself. 

The Petaling street market was reconstructed with a multi-million dollar budget in 2007. The current entrance gate and pedestrian walks were made around that time available. Cantonese and Hakkas came in the early 20th century in Kuala Lumpur . Before the Selangor Civil War, the Chinese people came there to work in the tin mines. 

But after the war, the mines were flooded. But due to the persuasion of Yap Aj Loy, the coolies and miners remained in Kuala Lumpur . Thus the Chinese influence in the city remained intact. 

Development of the Petaling Street 

Petaling Street Chinatown

Petaling Street is as old as the city itself. Previously known as a market square, Petaling Street has witnessed many cultural evolutions and has been a hotspot of the city since the 19th century. 

Many Cantonese and Hakkas are settled here for generations, and they have mingled with the city and created Chinese temples, finger-licking Chinese foods, bars, and restaurants. One of the few restaurants to remain solid through the transformation is Ho Kow Kopitam. 

It’s an old-style cafe run by a Hianese family for generations. It was established in 1956. You will also find Chinese pastry shops dating back to 1909. One of the most popular spots in the market is the Little Demon’s Alley which has pre-war shophouses. 

Development-of-the-Petaling-Street

The area has been renovated with signature Chinese paintings, renovation of shops, and relocation of some of the oldest shops for the revival of business.

In 2005, Petaling Street went through a facelift and renovation. At the entrance, tourists can spot an oriental archway decorated with lanterns. You will find tourists flocking here for a good bargain on t-shirts, phones and shoes. 

The market is booming even at night. You will find delicious snacks even in the middle of the night, and this place is chaotic and mesmerising at the same time.

Oldest & Instagrammable Places to Explore in Petaling Market

Kwai chai hong: .

Kwai-Chai-Hong-petaling-street

The name of this lane literally translates to little ghost lane coming from the indication about the little kids that played and created chaos around this area in the old times. Kwai Chai Hong reflects the traditional aesthetics of the 1960s, the golden era of Kuala Lumpur . The bright yellow walls in contrast with long blue windows, are the perfect instagrammable spot. The concubine KL pub cum restaurant is a must-visit in this alley. 

The Concubine KL has a funky vibe with a pet-friendly outdoor space for tourists. The Kwai Chai Hong’s Bumble Bee Cafe’s waffles and Pandan Republic’s desserts are too good to miss as well. And, for the main course, head to Da Bao, Bunn Choon, and Gui GUi BBQ for unimaginable flavours.

Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Ancestral Hall:

Chan-She-Shu-Yuen-Clan-Ancestral-Hall

The Chen She Shu Yuen Clan ancestral hall is a Cantonese-style hall for honouring the Yuen ancestors. The hall is made in traditional Chinese Baroque architecture with gilded carvings on the wall, small figurines in the rooftop, and a low-slung ceiling. The Chen She Shu Yuen ancestral hall also has a small museum inside it. 

The temple is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. The temple is one of the few clan houses still standing in Kuala Lumpur. The Yuen Clan began building a new building in the late 1890s. The new building present now was finished in 1906s. The prayer hall in the centre is called De Xiang Hall. 

Guan Di Temple

guan-di-temple-kuala-lumpur

The Guan Di temple is dedicated to Guandi, a Chinese general. He is commonly seen as the Taoist god of war. The Guan Di temple has a high red wall and high ceilings, and it was founded in 1887. Guan Di symbolises and is worshipped as the patron of righteous brotherhood.

The building is preserved because of its historical value and is one of the oldest and most significant tourist spots in Kuala Lumpur . The temple is open til 3:30 PM every day of the week.

Shopping Around Petaling Street:

Shopping-Around-Petaling-Street

You will find rip-off branded clothes, shoes, watches and more. The Merchant’s Lane is the perfect place to go on a shopping spree, where you will find a lot of branded clothes. Bargaining is the key here to get the clothes and accessories you want.

On Jalan petaling, you will also find a lot of snacks like dry fruits, dried seaweed, dried fish and more that are great for taking back. Exploring clothes is a must. Within $3 to $6 you will find all kinds of basics, including t-shirts, shirts, jeans, and shorts. Jalan Petaling also has many CDs and music shops from the old days which are worth a visit.

Another great treasures to find in Petaling Street are Chinese herbs and medicinal herbs. There is a seemingly endless array of all kinds of accessories. So, take some time and go on a shopping spree on Petaling Street.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple

Sri-Mahamariamman-Temple

Sri Mahamariamman temple is one of the oldest temples in the city. The temple is located just beside Chinatown. Sri Mahamariamman temple was founded in 1873 in Jalan Bandar. The temple is built in the traditional South Indian temple architecture with five gopurams or tiers.

K. Thambooswamy Pillai established the Sri Mahamariamman temple. Make sure to visit this one-of-a-kind Hindu temple. Sri Mahamariamman temple’s present location near Kuala Lumpur Chinatown was made in 1885.

Explore Vintage Cafes in Petaling Street 

Luckin kopi:.

Luckin-kopi

Luckin kopi is one of the most famous coffee shops set up in Kopitiam style with a modern twist. Luckin kopi is one of the greatest cafes filled with the freshly brewed “Kopi”. The Luckin kopi serves Peranakan-style dining.

The Luckin kopis toast, nasi lemak, and chicken chap are some of the famous items for decades. This is a pork-free halal cafe that are loved by local muslims. The cafe is just next to Kwai Chai Hong. The 150-year-old building of Luckin kopi has been renovated to give the most retro feel.

Merchant’s Lane: 

Merchants-Lane

The Merchant’s Lane is a retro cafe with a funky old-school interior that is quite popular among the locals. The cafe serves light meals specially prepared for Malaysian tastebuds. The Merchant Lane opens at around 11:30 in the morning. The Merchant’s lane cafe started in 2015. The Merchant’s lane cafe menu’s most popular items are their breakfast plate, salted caramel latte, and Italian mee goreng.

Their coffees and special menu items are a must-try. And remember to take loads of insta pics with the rusted walls, tree roots, and vintage decor. The price of the food in the cafe is quite reasonable, and the staff service is good as well.

Try Wantan Mee at Koon Kee Wantan Mee : 

Kon-Kee-Wantan-Mee

The Koon Kee Wantan Mee is one of the oldest operating restaurants. It has been operating since 1942. Their Signature thin Wantan Mee is a must-try at Petaling Street. The Wantan Mee comes in thin noodles covered in sauce and pieces of char siew chicken or tender chicken feet atop and wontons in the soup. 

It’s one of the best Wantan mees in the city, made with their signature in-house sauce glistening around the stringy egg noodles. The restaurant is a must-visit in Petaling Street. 

Vintage 1988:

Vintage-1988

Vintage 1988 is a western cafe with a retro interior and one of the oldest coffee shops in Jalan Petaling. The cafe serves gourmet burgers with speciality coffees. The Vintage 1988 is the oldest shop, serving waffles and the classic double cheeseburger for low prices. This is the perfect place in town to chill and relax.

The cafe’s service is fast, and the staff are welcoming and amicable. Some of the items on the menu that you must try along with the burger and coffee are dark horse chocolate in a mini bathtub, cold brew tea and gelato.

Jalan Petaling Chinatowns in Kula Lumpur are the most important sites for the city’s historical value. Its unique shopping experience is a must-do for all travellers. It also has the city’s finest cafes and offers great prices on clothing and accessories. Petaling Street night market has great rip-off branded shoes and accessories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Petaling Street famous for?

Petaling Street is famous for its bustling market filled with vendors selling everything from knock-off designer goods to local street food. It’s a great place to experience the vibrant energy of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown and pick up some unique souvenirs.

Is Petaling Street worth a visit?

Yes, Petaling Street Market is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a bustling market filled with street vendors selling everything from clothing and accessories to food and souvenirs. It’s also located in the heart of Chinatown, which is a must-visit area for its cultural and historical significance.

When should I visit Petaling Street?

Petaling Street Market and Chinatown are open daily, but the best time to visit is in the late afternoon or early evening when the market is bustling with activity and street vendors are selling their wares. It’s also recommended to avoid visiting during major holidays or festivals when the crowds can be overwhelming.

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  • The Best Street Food Markets...

The 15 Best Street Food Spots in Kuala Lumpur

Taman Connaught Market is a Kuala Lumpur street food hub

Malaysian food is a collision of Chinese , Indian and Malay flavours with a sprinkling of Arab, Thai and British thrown in. Nowhere is this mix more appetising than in the food of Kuala Lumpur’s street cooks. From peppery curries to seafood stir-fries, nutty satays to spicy pasties and delicious dim sum, this food is as delicious as it is varied. Kuala Lumpur street food is also easy to sample, with street stalls dishing up delicacies on seemingly every corner. For the best, do as the locals do and head to Petaling Street or the night markets in the Golden Triangle near the Petronas Towers.

1. sze ngan chye.

Food Stall, Malaysian

SZE NGAN CHYE (The Bespectacled Guy) stall selling famous salted roast duck on Petaling Street KL, the charcoal-roasted duck,

This Chinatown favourite made its name with epic salted roast duck – cooked to a recipe created by septuagenarian founder Choong Feng Phooi. The skin is crisp over moist, tender flesh and the dish comes accompanied by a tangy sauce, also unique to this kiosk-restaurant. Loyal diners come from all over KL to take away and eat in, whilst Choong Feng Phooi’s daughter Amy, who now runs the restaurant, has added dozens of other dishes to the menu.

2. Madam Tang Muah Chee Queen

Food Stall, Dessert

muah chee petaling street

Grandmother Tang’s muah chee dessert stall on Petaling Street is a Chinatown institution. If this isn’t immediately evident from the myriad press cuttings pinned to her stall, it will be once you try the quality of her cooking. The star dish is a Cantonese version of Japanese mochi – a chewy, doughy rice cake covered in sesame seeds or peanuts and sugar. The secret to delicious muah chee is careful steaming of the rice batter followed by vigorous stirring – an art Madam Tang has perfected over the decades.

3. Hon Kee Porridge

Restaurant, Chinese

Whilst the Scots have been making porridge for five millennia, it was the Malaysians who added frogs’ legs, which are stir-fried with tangy ginger-gravy and spring onions before being scooped into the silky smooth gruel. The dish has been served to loyal diners at this Petaling Street kiosk since 1959. Locals eat this for breakfast and the stall is hard to miss with gaudy pictures and big red banners emblazoned ‘Hon Kee Famous Porridge’. And if you don’t fancy the frogs’ legs, other options include raw snakehead fish.

4. Madras Lane Yong Tau Foo

Despite the name, Madras Lane doesn’t serve curries. This busy street stall, just off Petaling Street, is one of KL’s most popular yong tau foo eateries. This Hakka (south-eastern) Chinese dish is made by stuffing meat or minced fish into tofu and vegetables including aubergine and okra. The results are then deep-fried and served with soup, bitter gourd and fish sauce. There are almost always queues for a table at Madras Lane, especially early on in the evening.

5. Shawarma Damascus

Food Stall, Middle Eastern

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish similar to doner kebab – made from spit-roasted meat (usually lamb or chicken) piled into warm pitta bread with onions, chilli pepper and other vegetables. This streetside restaurant in Kuala Lumpur’s Arab quarter (behind the Sungei Wang Plaza shopping mall) is always hectic with eat-in diners and takeaway customers alike. Though shawarma is the most popular dish, the restaurant has an extensive Middle Eastern menu.

6. Yulek Wantan Mee

Food Stall, Malaysian, Chinese

Wantan noodles

One of Kuala Lumpur’s most adored fast-food dishes, wantan mee is made from noodles and vegetables stir-fried in dark soya sauce and served with Wonton soup as well as smoky roast pork belly slices. You’ll find the dish throughout the city but nowhere serves it better than this no-frills family restaurant near the Yulek Morning and Night markets in Cheras Business Centre. Be sure to ask for their homemade chilli sauce – which perfectly offsets the dish’s saltiness.

7. Nasi Lemak Wanjo

Restaurant, Malaysian

Another culinary treasure in Kuala Lumpur is nasi lemak, a staple that can be bought across the city. This humble shop piles plates high with fragrant coconut-milk rice dressed with sambal sotong (chili squid sauce), paru goreng (spiced fried beef lungs), boiled egg and cucumber. Sit at one of the many blue plastic tables and take your time.

8. Kedai Kopi Tian Hong

Deep in the bustling business area of Salak South, this family-run Chinese coffee shop dishes plate after plate of char siew , or Chinese barbecued pork, the specialty here. Orders can get mixed up as the place is always full of diners ready to chow down on the charred meat, which comes served with a rich, sweet sauce. While you’re here, try the crispy pork belly or siew yuk – chicken rice and sides of colourful vegetables.

9. Nasi Lemak Peel Road

Nasi Lemak

Peel Road Nasi Lemak is a long-established Chinese-style nasi lemak stall run by a husband and wife – you’ll spot them by looking for the bright-yellow sign. The pair have nearly 30 years of experience cooking for the hungry crowds who come to eat on tables and chairs out in front of the stall. There are a plethora of dishes to accompany the rice, which forms the central component of any nasi lemak . Most popular is their crispy deep-fried chicken, but other treats include chicken rendang, cockles and mutton curry. Get here as quickly as you can – the food is so trusted and tasty that they tend to sell out early.

10. Peter’s Pork Noodle

This set-up can be found in Money’s Corner Food Court in Brickfields, also known as ‘Little India’ for its high proportion of Indian residents and businesses. Bag a table in the busy seating area, then head to Peter’s stall and choose either dry or soup-based noodles with sliced or minced pork (they also offer liver, intestines and other offal) remembering to specify whether you want extra egg.

11. Brickfields Pisang Goreng

Join the queues that start early in the beating heart of Brickfields for a taste of Mr. Chiam’s pisang goreng, or fried banana fritters. What makes this variety so deliciously addictive is the freshness of the bananas that go into this sweet dish, making it a favorite among regulars. The bananas, lovingly peeled, battered and fried by the roadside, come hot, sweet, gooey and crispy. What’s not to love?

12. Chew Chew Chow Tofu

Food Stall, Chinese

Stinky tofu

You’d think that only the very brave – or those who love a dare – could deal with 14-day old so-called stinky tofu. In fact, the dish is a beloved delicacy across Malaysia. Chew Chew Chow Tofu, in Uptown KL, is a stinky tofu restaurant with a simple interior of dark wooden tables and chairs divided into smoking and non-smoking sections. Stinky tofu – the star of the show – comes regular or extra crispy, the regular version topped with multiple sauce combinations from cheese and mayo to chilli sauce to tomato ketchup. The extra crispy version is served according to national cuisine style, think Thai or Italian. If you’re struggling with the strong stench, seek solace in a glass of refreshing soursop juice.

Air Mata Kucing Petaling Street

Take a break from all the eating and cool down with a cup of iced herbal tea. You can find a variety of herbal teas, including longan, luo han guo (monk fruit) and winter melon drinks at the decades-old Air Mata Kucing stall. Cheap and tasty, this is the best way to escape from the Malaysian heat.

For a juicy, meaty late-night snack, Nur Satay is the place to go. Here you will find skewered marinated meat slowly grilled to perfection. Paired with a crunchy thick peanut sauce, this dish is worth all the extra calories. Options include chicken, beef, tripe and liver with prices starting at RM0.80 per stick.

Ah Keong’s ABC & Cendol Stall

One of Malaysians’ favourite ways to cool down from the hot weather is with a bowl of cendol. Ah Keong’s is just across the street from Brickfield’s Pisang Goreng stall and Restoran One Sentral. The cendol here is hand-made by Uncle Ah Keong, boasting a springy texture and mild aromatic flavour. Alex Robinson contributed additional reporting to this article.

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  • Chinatown Walking Tour

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Welcome to the Chinatown Walking Tour.

Chinatown is the name given to the original commercial heart of Old Kuala Lumpur. The area surrounds Petaling Street which is a busy street market and one of the most popular tourist destinations for any visitor to Kuala Lumpur.

Your tour begins at  Maharajalela Monorail Station  which might be a convenient if you are arriving by public transport.

Right next to the station you will see the colourfully decorated  Guan Yin Temple  dedicated to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion. This temple was built in 1880 in ornate style. People prayer here in the hope of acquiring the Buddhist quality of compassion.

Guan Yin Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Across the busy street, seemingly surrounded by motorways, you will see the  KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall . This whitewashed, domed building was completed in 1923 and is mainly used for meetings and functions. In 2005 it was recognised as a National Heritage site.

KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

Next up on your Chinatown Walking Tour is a handsome low green building, the  Chan See Shue Yuen Clan Association temple . A clan association is a kind of club for people with the same surname which in this case is 'Chan' and includes 'Tan' and 'Chen' whose names are written using the same Chinese characters. That makes it a very big clan!

The association would have helped new immigrants to settle, find work and so on. This temple was built between 1897 and 1906. All the materials and craftsmen were imported from southern China which is where this clan originates.

As a result the temple is similar in architectural style to ones which you might find in Guangdong province, China.

Chan See Shue Yuen Clan Temple

Proceeding along Jalan Petaling you will see a traditional-looking shophouse to your left opposite the police station. This shophouse, complete with bamboo chick blinds and a saloon-style half door, is home to the  Old China Cafe,  a cosy restaurant serving tasty  Peranakan  food.

The cafe oozes character and is decorated with antiques, old photos and paintings.

Old China Cafe

Further up,  Petaling Street  becomes pedestrianised and lined on both sides with stalls selling souvenirs, bags, shoes, T shirts, pens, watches, fake DVDs, and imitation/pirated branded goods. Selling fake products is of course illegal in Malaysia but these vendors still seem to find ways to remain in business.

Open till late in the evening it is very popular with foreign tourists. You will need to practice your bargaining skills to avoid being overcharged. Compare prices (all stalls are selling the same sort of stuff) and it is possible to get some very good bargains. But if you pay RM50 for a 'Rolex' watch don't expect it to work for very long!

Petaling Street, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

You will need to make a detour away from Petaling Street if you want to see  Guan Di Temple  (see Chinatown Walking Tour map).

Earlier you paid your respects to the Goddess of Compassion at Guan Yin temple. Now it is time to admire the statue of the Taoist God of War (Guan Di) which is believed by its devotees to have special powers. It is said that well-wishers who touch the statue will receive its protection and have their wishes granted provided they have a pure mind (having a pure mind is, of course, the hard part!)

The coiled incense spirals hanging from the roof and the general antiquity of the building lends a special atmosphere to this temple.

Be sure to leave a small donation towards the temple's upkeep and to ensure that you do not get on the wrong side of Guan Di!

Nearby is a Hindu temple,  Sri Maha Mariamman Temple  and if you are still in the mood for visiting temples it is worth the effort.

Said to be the oldest functioning Hindu temple in Malaysia, a temple has stood on this site since 1873 though the current building was remodelled substantially in 1968.

Elaborate wall friezes tell tales from Hindu scriptures. The finely decorated entrance gate  (gopuram)  is constructed in typical Tamil style and measures 23 meters high.

If you wish to enter you have to leave your shoes outside and you might wish to employ the locker service to ensure they are still there when you get out. (I usually do not have to bother due to the shabby state of my footwear!).

From here it is a short stroll to  Kasturi Walk , the newly pedestrianised and covered Jalan Hang Kasturi featuring various kiosks aimed at the tourist market.

Kasturi Walk, Kuala Lumpur

The next door  Central Market  is the last stop on the Chinatown Walking Tour and for many people it would be the highlight.

The sign on the entrance says 'Since 1888' but the current building dates from 1933 and is designed in the Art-Deco style that was popular at that time.

In those days the building served as a wet market but today it is probably the biggest and best place in Kuala Lumpur to shop for handicrafts, gifts and souvenir items. It is air-conditioned too which will be a relief after your long sweaty walk!

On the upper level you can find various eating outlets including  Precious Old China (the same company as the Old China Cafe and serving similar delicious Nyonya cuisine) and  Ginger Restaurant  (serving Thai/Malaysian cuisine).

Before finishing up at Central Market make sure you visit the  Annexe  ,across an alleyway at the far end of Central Market, where you can find a number of art galleries showcasing various local and regional artists. In particular you should drop in at Art House Gallery Museum of Ethnic Arts and see their unrivalled collection of tribal arts from Borneo and beyond.

Central Market, Kuala Lumpur

If you have any energy left after completing this Chinatown Walking Tour you can continue walking from Central Market and follow the guidance in my next city trail, the KL Heritage Trail .

Accommodation Near Chinatown Walking Tour

Looking for somewhere to stay in Kuala Lumpur? Take a look at Agoda's website for a wide range of hotels to suit all budgets at discounted rates.

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  • A Solo Traveller's Guide to Kuala Lumpur

Solo travellers with an appetite for adventure can’t miss Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur — a bustling metropolis that’s part cultural hotspot, part foodie haven, just as long as you know where to look.

guide Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Travel

tourist market kuala lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is probably best known as the home of the world’s tallest pair of skyscrapers, the Petronas Twin Towers. But there’s so much more to the Malaysia’s capital city than its dazzling skyline. Venture past the shimmering high-rises that dot the country’s business centre, and you’ll soon find a stunning network of bustling streets and alleyways that give way to roving flea markets, intriguing roadside stalls, historic attractions, and buzzing nightlife.  In other words, it’s a perfect escape for families, couples, and the solo traveller alike, thanks to its alluring mix of food, shopping, and culture, coupled with great connectivity as an international and regional hub. Read on for a list of attractions well-suited for the tourist who prefers to wander alone, while remaining firmly in the seat of civilisation on the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur.

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Alvin is a food and lifestyle writer who enjoys uncovering the stories behind restaurants and hawkers almost as much as he enjoys eating their delicious grub.

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Asian Banking & Finance and Insurance Asia Forum - Kuala Lumpur - June 25, 2024

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Overview 2024 Asian Banking & Finance and Insurance Asia Forum - Kuala Lumpur

Embark on a journey into the core of innovation and resilience within the insurance industry at the Asian Bankling & Finance and  Insura nce Asia Forum 2024 , where banking and insurance professionals from across the continent come together. This forum is meticulously designed to delve deep into the ever-evolving landscapes of risk management, regulatory frameworks, technological advancements, and customer engagement strategies. It serves as the pivotal hub for igniting a transformative wave in the dynamic Asian insurance industry.

The forum embarks on an enlightening tour across Asia's leading cities, initiating a sequence of high-impact gatherings starting with the historic inaugural event in the vibrant metropolis of Ho Chi Minh  on March 12 . It then moves to the commercial epicenter of Bangkok on April 23 , advances to Jakarta 's booming insurance market on May 14, transitions to the finance-savvy Kuala Lumpur on June 25 , and concludes amidst the burgeoning insurance sector of Manila on October 1 .

The 2024 Asian Banking & Finance and Insurance Asia Forum invites you to embrace a world where tradition meets innovation, empowering you to redefine the boundaries of what's possible in the insurance sector.

Secure your spot now and become an active participant in shaping the future, not merely observing it.

Venue : DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur

Why the Asian Banking & Finance and Insurance Asia Forum 2024 is indispensable for professionals:

Engage with peers, thought leaders, and innovators. Expand your professional circle with executives and decision-makers through our tailored networking sessions.

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Gain direct insights from industry forerunners and dissect groundbreaking case studies. Be at the forefront of understanding how regional trends and global shifts are influencing the insurance landscape in Asia.

Explore the latest in insurtech, cyber insurance, and customer service excellence. Discover tools and tactics to drive product innovation, streamline operations, and enhance customer satisfaction.

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Propel your career and your company forward with the knowledge and connections gained. Whether it’s tapping into emerging markets or leveraging digital transformation, walk away with strategies that foster substantial growth.

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Make sure you don’t miss the Insurance Asia Forum in Kuala Lumpur

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Andrew Sill

Independent Director Bank of America Malaysia Berhad

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Joanne Rodrigues

Group CFO AFFIN Bank

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Partner Bain & Company

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Head of Customer Experience APAC Zurich Insurance

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director AmMetLife Insurance Berhad

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Chief Marketing and Communication Officer Hong Leong Bank

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3:00 - 3:30 PM NETWORKING BREAK

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5:00 PM END OF PROGRAM

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Join us on 25 June 2024, as Kuala Lumpur takes centre stage in the dynamic journey of the Insurance Asia Forum.

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Consortium led by Khazanah, EPF announces takeover offer for MAHB at RM18.4bil, to be de-listed by 4Q

Consortium led by Khazanah, EPF announces takeover offer for MAHB at RM18.4bil, to be de-listed by 4Q

Khazanah, epf are weighing taking malaysia airports private, sources say, khazanah nasional records better profit from operations of rm5.9bil in fy23.

Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir (left) and Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn. -filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent debates and opinions surrounding the privatisation of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) have captured significant public and industry attention.

At the forefront of this initiative is the Gateway Development Alliance (GDA), a consortium which aims to leverage its collective expertise to enhance the nation’s airport infrastructure, ensuring long-term sustainable growth and improved services for passengers and airlines alike.

As a key player in Malaysia’s airport network, MAHB's potential improvements under the consortium’s guidance promise substantial benefits. By prioritising maintenance, infrastructure upgrades, and enhanced connectivity, the GDA envisions a future where passengers will enjoy a superior travel experience and a wider range of destinations.

Such enhancements are expected to boost passenger traffic and have a significant positive impact on Malaysia’s people and economy.

To shed more light on the deal, we spoke with Khazanah Nasional managing director Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) chief executive officer Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn, as the two major Malaysian entities will own a 70% stake in GDA.

Through their perspectives, we aim to uncover how this venture is poised to benefit not just MAHB, but also the nation.

The Need for Change

1. Can you explain why the need to do this deal and why now?

Amirul Feisal: Malaysia has the potential to really boost its aviation connectivity, but currently, it’s not doing as well as it should. Before the pandemic hit, Malaysia’s inbound tourism growth in the past 10 years was only around 1.0% per annum, which was way behind our neighbours, who were growing at about 8.0% per year (this comparison excludes day-trippers).

While we are well-served for short-haul segments compared to our neighbours Singapore and Bangkok, our long-haul flights seem to be lagging. Last year, Kuala Lumpur only had 22 long-haul routes, whereas Singapore and Thailand had 40 and 55, respectively.

Our region is well positioned for long-term passenger growth; the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects passenger growth of 4.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the next 20 years.

However, we risk falling behind as other countries in the region have been investing aggressively to improve their airports. Regional peers have invested significantly larger amounts in the last five years (Thailand: RM6.6bil, Indonesia: RM12.0bil) than MAHB (RM1.4bil). There is an urgent need for MAHB to improve their services and invest to ensure that Malaysia too remains competitive as our regional peers are preparing for growth by investing in the gateways to their economic hubs. We have left it far way too long, and the country’s competitiveness is at stake.

We need to improve connectivity, one of the key focus areas for Khazanah’s Malaysia Strategy for 2024. There’s no doubt that airports are super important for our economy; their connectedness helps promote more business, tourism and cargo. We need our airports to be regionally competitive to support existing airlines' operations and attract more airlines. To do this, we need to invest.

Ahmad Zulqarnain: A consortium, backed by major investors and substantial funds, strengthened by the right skills and expertise, will help Malaysia compete in the region by supporting projects to improve our airports and improve the nation’s connectivity.

At the same time, this is an attractive long-term investment, given the stable nature of the infrastructure asset, which generates consistent cash flows and the expected continued growth in the number of the travelling public, which aligns with the objectives of financial investors such as EPF.

2. What is the rationale for taking MAHB private?

Amirul Feisal: By taking it private, we are streamlining the shareholding structure, which would make it easier for the four shareholders – Khazanah, EPF, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – to align our strategy and work closely with the government, which continues to hold the golden share. Strategic decisions can be made more efficiently and timely, even long-term investment decisions. This will assist the senior leadership in improving the business’s competitive position in the marketplace.

Finding the Right Fit and Collective Expertise

3. Why aren’t Malaysian companies considered for the task instead of foreign entities?

Amirul Feisal: The industry is such that nearly all the airports are already operated by MAHB. So, the Malaysian airport expertise is already within MAHB, which is doing a commendable job. However, an international technical partner who has the expertise and the drive to get things right can then work with management to implement international best practices. This would allow MAHB to further improve service levels.

4. Why are you allowing foreigners to own Malaysia’s strategic asset and how will national interest be protected?

Amirul Feisal: There’s been talk going around that we are selling MAHB, but that’s just not true. In fact, Khazanah isn’t selling MAHB at all. We are actually planning to increase our stake from about 33% to 40%.

Ahmad Zulqarnain: Together, Khazanah and EPF will boost our collective shares in MAHB from around 41% to 70% after this offer. International investors like ADIA and GIP are stepping in to replace short-term investors with long-term capital investors effectively, considering that foreign shareholding is already at 27%.

This deal, in a way, brings our airports back firmly under Malaysian control once it’s delisted. Foreign shareholding in MAHB has gone up as high as 45% in 2018. Furthermore, Malaysian interests are well protected. The government will keep its special share and board representation in MAHB, and both the chairman and CEO will remain Malaysians.

5. Why was Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) chosen, and what is the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) role?

Amirul Feisal: This is a question that many out there are asking. Before I answer, please allow me to provide some context. Our consortium partners are ADIA and GIP, both of which formed a co-owned entity to join the consortium. Together, they will hold a 30 per cent partnership with Khazanah and EPF, meaning the Malaysian parties will have a 70% stake. Specifically, ADIA will have a 5% effective interest while GIP will have 25%.

ADIA and GIP bring a lot of strengths to the table.

With GIP, we went through a thorough review of potential technical partners, including top global airport operators. It is crucial that our partner has a strong track record of value creation, which goes beyond what current airport managers can achieve.

While the MAHB team has indeed done a fantastic job bringing in new airlines and improving services, there is always room to do better.

To my understanding, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Sydney, and London City Airport were operating at respectable levels even before GIP got involved. However, bringing in best practice airport management techniques have elevated the performance of these airports further.

Another key point is that the choice of partners also needs to align with our objectives. We approached GIP and have been in talks for a while now because they have what we need, to be the most suitable choice. Importantly, GIP, just like most of private equity funds, will eventually exit after creating value.

ADIA is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, adding significant financial muscle to our group. They have extensive experience with investing in and supporting the growth of airports, as they did with GIP at Gatwick Airport in the UK. Their involvement also shows that international investors have confidence in our country.

ADIA is excited about the opportunity to invest in MAHB, which it sees as being supported by the economic growth in the region. They share a strategy with the other consortium members that focuses on long- term value creation.

Ahmad Zulqarnain: When it comes to choosing who EPF works with, we always work with parties that have proven track records. We believe that GIP could bring innovative ideas and strategies to elevate the passenger experience.

This would include improvement in passenger flows, enhanced food and beverage offerings, and more efficient security and immigration controls. And GIP has successfully delivered all these.

With GIP’s expertise, we anticipate creating an unparalleled travel experience that meets the highest international standards.

Edinburgh Airport is an illustrative example. Since GIP took over in 2012, passenger numbers have jumped from 9.2 million to 14.4 million in 2023, and more importantly, the number of destinations have increased by 141 to 225. Compare that to Glasgow Airport, which has seen passenger traffic increasing from 7.2 million to only 7.4 million during the same period.

Its Sydney Airport saw decreased security wait times by more than 60% to 11 minutes. At Gatwick, GIP completed their train replacement (same model and track length as KLIA’s Aerotrain) within 10 months and increased passenger throughput from 220 to 550 passengers per hour. This allowed Gatwick to grow its passenger traffic by nine million more passengers since GIP took over, despite land constraints. This is key for the consortium because such expertise can make a significant impact to MAHB, especially since we’re competing with airports in Singapore, Bangkok, and Indonesia, each with its own strengths.

The announced offer price is above MAHB’s all-time high.

Addressing the Relationship

6. Who is BlackRock and what is GIP’s relationship with BlackRock?

Amirul Feisal: BlackRock is currently the largest fund manager in the world, with a staggering US$10.5tri (US$1=RM4.71) assets under management. Their investments span across a wide array of assets. A significant portion of BlackRock’s portfolio is dedicated to passive, index-linked investments, which means they hold shares in nearly all publicly listed companies globally – this includes tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google. BlackRock funds have interest in Bursa Malaysia stocks that are worth around RM20.5 bil and about RM6.9 bil in both Malaysian government and corporate bonds.

GIP, on the other hand, is an infrastructure fund. Essentially, they manage funds from various investors worldwide, much like other big names in the industry such as TPG, KKR, and Macquarie, to give a few examples.

Recently, BlackRock expressed interest in boosting its own infrastructure fund capabilities by seeking to acquire GIP, acknowledging GIP’s expertise in the field. However, to the best of my knowledge, their deal has yet to be concluded. Regarding the Gateway Development Alliance, we would like to clarify that our direct consortium partners are ADIA and GIP, not BlackRock.

7. How will the rakyat and Malaysia benefit from this deal?

Amirul Feisal: The consortium has plans to set MAHB up for long-term, sustainable growth. We are looking to focus on maintaining and upgrading airport infrastructure, boosting passenger service levels, and improving airline connectivity. This is all aimed at supporting an increase in passenger traffic and raising tourist numbers to come to Malaysia, which will have lasting positive impacts on the rakyat.

Ahmad Zulqarnain: For customers, airlines, and passengers, this means a more enjoyable travel experience and seamless operations. Think about having more retail and dining options and more direct destinations to travel to or connect through. Moreover, the financial benefits could be significant with potential returns from this investment.

Improving Overall Airport Operations, Employee and Customer Satisfaction

8. Will MAHB be going through rationalisation, including cost-cutting initiatives? How will this affect its employees?

Amirul Feisal: This transaction is about preparing MAHB for the next level, rather than cutting costs. Hence, the priorities are centred on passenger-centric initiatives, such as enhancing air connectivity and the overall passenger experience.

9. Can you ensure there will be no layoffs at MAHB and will GIP have management control in MAHB?

Amirul Feisal: We are dedicated to protecting the rights of MAHB’s current employees, and there are no plans for layoffs. As for the second part of your question, GIP won’t be directly appointing staff or secondees to manage MAHB. Instead, management will be jointly appointed by the consortium as a whole, and we will tap into GIP’s technical expertise when needed. Rest assured, the employment rights of MAHB’s existing employees are fully safeguarded, with no plans for layoffs. Staff would benefit from knowledge sharing with global experts.

Amirul Feisal and Ahmad Zulqarnain acknowledge that as MAHB embarks on this journey under the backing of the GDA, the stakes are undeniably high, but so are the potential rewards.

The strategic focus on enhancing infrastructure, improving connectivity, and delivering superior passenger experiences aligns with a broader vision of national growth and prosperity. The proposed privatisation of MAHB represents more than just making a change; it symbolises a key step towards realising a modernised, efficient, and globally competitive airport network. The urgency to act now reflects the need not to fall behind the rest of the region.

As the nation watches closely, the collaborative efforts of the consortium and its stakeholders promise to pave the way for a brighter, more connected future for Malaysia’s aviation sector. With the groundwork laid and strategic plans in motion, the next chapter for MAHB and the entire Malaysian aviation industry holds great promise, fueled by a shared vision of excellence and innovation. – Bernama

Tags / Keywords: Khazanah Nasional , EPF , MAHB , GDA , Airports , Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir , Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn

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