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Traveling

Walking Tour of China Town, Kuala Lumpur Feb 5, 2015

Walking Tour of China Town, Kuala Lumpur

GPS waypoint: 3°08'39.4"N 101°41'51.5"E
Location: China Town, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Chinese in KL at a Glance
China Town is one of the oldest institutions here in Kuala Lumpur, starting from the founding of the city when Chinese miners were mining tin at the confluence of the Kelang and Gombak Rivers. In 2010, the Chinese, mostly Han Chinese, number 655,413 making up 43.2% of the population* and represent the 2nd biggest ethnic group in Malaysia, second to the Malays. The Chinese are well established as the upper crust with a 70% control of the Malaysian economy*.

Yap Ah Loy (March 14, 1837 - April 15, 1885)Yap Ah Loy (March 14, 1837 - April 15, 1885)
Even though he has long passed on, Yap Ah Loy looms large in the annals of China Town in KL. He was the 3rd Kapitan Cina, or the big boss of China Town. He was a strong, respected and feared leader who made everyone toe the line. This powerful position also gave him special access and privilege to the ruling Malays and the colonizing British. For as long as Yap Ah Loy was in compliance to the ruling class, he was pretty much given a free reign on China Town. He owned the opium dens, controlled the tin market, gambling, prostitution, racketeering and loan sharking. He is credited for transforming Kuala Lumpur, then a 'muddy estuary' into a booming tin mining town. His amassed a sizeable wealth during his tenure. You can say he was the Don Corleone of his time. I bet his life would make a riveting biographical movie.

Petaling Street
The most bustling part of Chinatown is along Petaling Street when it gets dark. Here, locals and tourists go elbow by elbow in weaving themselves along the close-to-traffic street that has been made narrower by the adjacent stalls selling clothing, food, gadgets, fruits, etc. Looking for a cheap fake Louis Vuitton? Look no further. A high wavy roof covers the length of the street's shopping area to keep the place alive even under the sun or heavy rain. It's a colorful and animated scene, certainly worth a visit.

Central Market
The word 'Central' conjures imagery of grand, varied, bustling and busy like Chatuchak Market of Bangkok. That was not the case with KL's Central Market - this was more like a smaller version of Phnom Penh's Central Market. It's a completely enclosed air-conditioned building with boutiques selling handicrafts, clothing, souvenir items and other dry goods. If you are already in Chinatown, it is certainly worth a visit. Try the homemade ice cream sold outside the building, on the covered area where most stall are - the durian flavor wins it.

Pagodas and Temples
It is interesting to note that Chinatown has a good number of Chinese pagodas neatly tucked between restaurants and residential dwellings. But what's more interesting is that in the heart of Chinatown stands an ornate and towering Indian pagoda that was built by the Tamil migrants back in the day. This simply underscores the multi-culturalism that has been nurtured by Kuala Lumpur and evident by the way people get along.

--- TheLoneRider

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_Chinese

Next stop: Batu Caves

location markers

Guan Di Temple (God of War), 1888 row of shophouses, 1930 Jalan Hang Kasturi shophouses, 1930 Old Market Square where Yap Ah Loy ran his opium and gambling dens
t-shirts on night market along Petaling Street Petaling Street at night name your designer watch...you'll find it here drinks...fruits at night market
chestnuts roasting on an open fire t-shirts gadgets, binoculars, etc tea break
food court beef noodle, MYR 7 entrance to Central Market Central Market since 1888
inside Central Market best homemade ice cream...MYR 3...durian flavor is best Petaling Street during the day Chinese breakfast...al fresco
kitchen is always busy still not a bad deal even for a backpacker on a shoestring pork and beef jerky...yummy but I wonder what's in it Chan See Shue Yuen, 1906 - looks like a Chinese pagoda, but it's really a clan house
scoop any dish you want and the cashier somehow figures out how much you pay....cheapest way to eat a meal in Chinatown honey seller with honeycomb as convincing prop weekend sidewalk markets appear from nowhere the ornate and monumental Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, 1873, a Hindu temple in the heart of Chinatown
they call this The Vatican my last known address in Chinatown...Pacific Mandarin Hotel...my home for 3 days, free of course! from my hotel window, view of the ongoing LRT construction...addition of another train line noodle soup anyone? choose your wild

Google Map Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

tourist attractions in Bali tourist attractions
  • KL Tower in Bali KL Tower - dine at the revolving restaurant (3°09'10.3"N 101°42'13.7"E)
  • Petronas Twin Towers Petronas Twin Towers - once the world's tallest building (3°09'28.4"N 101°42'41.8"E)
  • Batu Caves Batu Caves -Hindus take pilgrimage to this cave
  • Kuala Lumpur Bird Park Kuala Lumpur Bird Park - world largest free-flight walk-in bird park, 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, 21 acres (8 ha), 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, phone: +60 3-2272 1010, adult admission CurrencyCurrencyABBR 48, http://www.klbirdpark.com
  • Aquaria KLCC Aquaria KLCC - ocean aquarium under the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Jalang Pinang, open daily from 10:30am - 8:00pm, check schedule for Piranha feeding, adult admission RM50, +603 2333 1975 / 1976 / 1977 or email at marketing@aquawalk.com
  • China Town China Town - for authentic Chinese cuisine, night market, bustling activities, history and culture
cafes in Kuala Lumpur cafe
  • Yum Cha Cafe Yum Cha Cafe - coffee, food, desserts
    143 Jalan Petaling, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur | 012-639 8222 | 08:30 - 18:30 | 3°08'29.7"N 101°41'52.4"E
restaurant in Kuala Lumpur restaurant
  • Arabesque Arabesque - middle Eastern cuisine
    92, Jalan Petaling, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur - 3°08'34.4"N 101°41'52.5"E

    How to Get to Bukit Bintang from the KL Airport

    1. take a the red AirBus to the KL Sentral train station, 48 kms, MYR 10/pax
    2. from KL Sentral train station, take the purple Monorail (it's actually a 5-min walk outside the station) to Bukit Bintang, 5 stops, MYR 35/pax

    Kuala Lumpur FYI / Tips

    • the tourist area where most of the night outdoor hawker-style eateries and bars are located along the Jalan Alor Street area and Jalan Changkat (one of many)

    Tranport Modes (map)

    • Train - KL Sentral is the center for the city's urban rail-commmute system although they are not integrated. Tickets are required separately for each system and interchanges are not conveniently connected. The rechargeable Touch & Go stored value card (MYR10 deposit) which are available at all LRT stations, can be used at the electronic gates to the LRT, train and monorail systems. Trains are more practical than buses when commuting within city limits.
      • Monorail systems
      • KLIA Transit
      • KLIA Ekspres
      • KTM Komuter
      • LRT
    • Bus - At the Jalan Sultan Mohammed bus stop in Chinatown, there is a booth where you can pick up info on routes, schedules, stops and buy season tickets. Maximun single fare is MYR1.
      • Hop-on Hop-off - city tour, MYR 45/24 hours and MYR 79/48 hours, 2.5 hours loop, bus frequency every 20-30 mins, kids below 5 years are free
      • Metro Bus -
      • KL Go City - free shuttle bus around KL. Purple Line ends at KLCC, Green Line ends at China Town (Petaling Street)
      • Rapid KL - convenient to use as their destinations are clearly displayed (1 800 388 228 / www.rapidkl.com.my)
    • Taxi - meter starts at RM2 for the first kilometre, and 10 sen for each additional 200m or 45 seconds. They are all over the place and relatively cheap. There are designated taxi stops within the city but some empty taxis can be flagged down on the street. rom 12 midnight to 6am, 50% surcharge is levied on the metered fare, and extra passengers over two, are charged 20 sen each. Luggage placed in the boot is an extra RM1 and there's an RM12 surcharge for taxis to KLIA. The airport has a coupon system where you pay in advance.

    Kuala Lumpur FYI / Tips

    • the tourist area where most of the night outdoor hawker-style eateries and bars are located along the Jalan Alor Street area and Jalan Changkat in Bukit Bintang, and along Jalan Petaling in China Town
    • transit map of Kuala Lumpur

    Things to do, Places to go in Kuala Lumpur

    1. Petronas Twin Towers - once the world's tallest building (3°09'28.4"N 101°42'41.8"E)
    2. KL Tower - dine at the revolving restaurant (3°09'10.3"N 101°42'13.7"E)
    3. Batu Caves - Hindus take pilgrimage to this cave
    4. Kuala Lumpur City Tour - lose yourself in KL's old neighborhoods and be amazed at the new neighborhoods. Visit Chinatown and the oldest Hindu Temple
    5. Putrajaya at Night - this well-planned city illuminates at night...perfect for dining by Putrajaya Lake
    6. Kuala Lumpur Bird Park - world largest free-flight walk-in bird park, 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, 21 acres (8 ha), 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, phone: +60 3-2272 1010, adult admission MYR 48, http://www.klbirdpark.com
    7. Aquaria KLCC - ocean aquarium under the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Jalang Pinang, open daily from 10:30am - 8:00pm, check schedule for Piranha feeding, adult admission RM50, +603 2333 1975 / 1976 / 1977 or email at marketing@aquawalk.com
    8. Bukit Bintang - aka Bintang Walk or Starhill, a district in Kuala Lumpur known for shopping, entertainment, hawker-type eateries, al-fresco cafés, swanky bars and night market

    Petronas Twin Towers FYI

    Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    • Ticket Price - adult MYR80, adult (MyKad) MYR25, child MYR30 and child (MyKid) MYR12
    • Operations - Tuesday to Sunday (closed every Monday), open on all public holidays with the exception of Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji
    • Hours - 9am - 9pm (closed from 1pm - 2.30pm on Fridays)
    • Ticketing Counter - Concourse level, PETRONAS Twin Towers. Issuing of tickets will start from 8:30am (tickets are limited and issued on a first come, first served basis). Advance purchase is available.

    FREE Stuff in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Kuala Lumpur rivals Hong Kong as one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in Southeast Asia. Wherever you go in KL, you see a free tourist map with guided walking tours, transit info, etc. People have a better command of English than Thailand, Vietnam, laos or Cambodia. But to just to make things even better for the traveler, here are a few FREE stuff you'll find in KL to make your visit more comfortable, more memorable and more engaging.

    • FREE bus rides - free shuttle bus around KL's Central Business District with KL Go Buses. Purple Line ends at KLCC, Green Line ends at China Town (Petaling Street)
    • FREE wine tasting - at Cronier Wines, every Friday from 17:00 - 18:00, reservations are required, 5-6 The One Avenue, Pelangi Utama Condominium, PJU 6A, Jalan Masjid, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Tel: +603 7722 2252 or +6014 965 1037
    • FREE art gallery admission - at Petronas Art Gallery, 10:00 - 20:00 Tuesday - Sunday, Lot 341 - 343, Level 3, Suria KLCC, PETRONAS Twin Towers, +603 2051 7770
    • FREE bicycle rides - 07:00 - 10:00am Sundays at The Square, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1.2 km loop
    • FREE movie screenings
      • Palate Palette - classic films, documentaries, shorts and romantic comedies + free seaweed snack, select nights, 21, Jalan Mesui, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 03-2142 2148
      • Moontree House - discontinued until further notice!!! Sundays from 18:30 - 21:00 near Petaling Street, Chinatown, feminist-oriented big screen titles
      • Publika - call first as this may have been discontinued!!! at Publika every Monday night, Malaysian and regional films, in English or with English subtitles / Level U2, Block C5, Solaris Dutamas, No 1, Jalan Dutamas 1 / 03 6207 9426 or 03 7960 1235
    • FREE rock climbing - at Batu Caves, but bring your own gear. Over 160 climbing routes sprinkled on 150 meters of limestone hill face. Come early to get your spot for your level of expertise
    • FREE food tasting sessions - weekly at KL's best restaurants, with Open Rice's Makan Ventures. You need to go through a selection process though to qualify. First, be a member of Open Rice.
    • FREE walking tours
      • Kampong Bharu - the cradle of Malay culture in Kuala Lumpur, Tue/Thurs/Sunday, registration time 4:15pm - 4:30pm, walking tour 4:30pm to 7:00pm, 1 day advance booking recommended, 603 2698 0332, pelancongan@dbkl.gov.my
      • Brickfields Heritage Walk - Tourism Unit, KL at - 03 2698 0332 - email: pelancongan@dbkl.gov.my., Saturdays, meeting at Vivekananda Ashram at 9:00-11:30am, 2.5 hour walk
      • Dataran Merdeka Heritage Guided Walk - get the inside stories behind the independence of Malaysia through the historic buildings and monuments around Dataran Merdeka / Mondays-Wednesdays-Saturdays / 8:30-11:45am at Kuala Lumpur City Gallery / 603 2698 0332 / pelancongan@@dbkl.gov.my
    • FREE garden park admission - on weekdays (weekends are not free) at the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, 230 acres including the Hibiscus Garden, Orchid Garden and Deer Park, bring snacks and water
    • FREE Kundalini Meditation - 6:30pm Tuesdays at Vivekananda Ashram on Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields (Little India) / 03 2722 5051, 53 012 379 1324

    Kuala Lumpur Cost Index at backpacker places

    (US$1 = MYR (Malaysian Ringgit) 3.59 = Php 44.23, as of Jan. 23, 2015)
    best place to change US dollars to MYR is at the local money changers, not in airports, specially not from the airport of your departure (e.g. US$1 = MYR 2.95 at Da Nang Airport, MYR 3.35 at KL Airport and 3.55 at the money changers in KL)

    • MYR 3.6 1.5 liter drinking water
    • MYR 80 one hour massage
    • MYR 8 noodle soup with meat
    • MYR 1.5 tea
    • MYR 6 rice meal
    • MYR 14 dorm bed
    • MYR 3 sugar cane juice
    • MYR 80 Petronas Twin Towers ticket
    • MYR 10/bus + MYR 1.20 to 2.50/monorail bus/monorail ride from airport to Bukit Bintang

    MALAYSIA FYI / Tips

    • Malaysians have a better command of English than Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodians or Laotians
    • Malaysians will not accept US$ unlike Cambodia. Best to exchange your dollars to MYR (ringgit)at money changers (not airports, since airport rates are dismal)
    • Malays comprise half of the population while a quarter are Chinese and 6% Indians
    • Islam is the predominant religion, followed by Buddhism. Christianity is 9%
    • Malaysians drive on the left of the street
    • when introduced, best to gently smile and nod to a lady instead of shaking her hand, unless she initiates it
    • remove shoes when entering a Malaysian home or any place of worship
    • it is polite to accept a drink when offered to you as a house guest - do not refuse
    • give and receive object using right hand. When eating with hands, use the right hand
    • the large Muslim population of Malaysia do not drink alcohol
    • Malaysia uses standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets. Adaptors can be purchase at around MYR6
    • no kissing in public
    • never behave that will make the other person lose face...best to be subtle and calm, don't lose lose your temper
    • be mindful of the foot. Don't point your foot to the other guy or move things with your foot. It is considered disrespectful
    • point with your right thumb with fingers folded instead of pointing with your index finger
    • ethnic relations and politics are sensitive areas in Malaysia. Best not to bring it up.
    • when invited to a Malaysian home, it is customary to bring a small gift. Offer it with your right hand.
    • don't touch the top of the head of anyone. The head is considered the soul's temple

    Malaysia Blogs by TheLoneRider

      Cameron Highlands

    1. Cool Climate of Cameron Highlands June 19-23, 2016
    2. Kluang

    3. Overnight in Kluang, Malaysia Aug 13-14, 2016
    4. Kuala Lumpur

    5. Funky Flow Yoga with Lora Lorenzo at YogaOneThatIWant Studios July 27, 2016
    6. Deja Vu Kuala Lumpur with Karine July 21-26, 2016
    7. Layover in Kuala Lumpur June 22, 2016
    8. The Kuala Lumpur Experience Jan 21 - Feb 20, 2015
    9. Police Harassment in Kuala Lumpur Feb 17, 2015
    10. Visiting Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur Feb 18, 2015
    11. Walking Tour of China Town Feb 5, 2015
    12. Breaking New Ground in Kuala Lumpur Jan 21, 2015
    13. Malacca

    14. A First-Timer in Malacca July 28-Aug 8, 2016
    15. Art Scene of Malacca August 6, 2016
    16. The River Charm of Malacca August 5, 2016
    17. About Malacca July 28, 2016
    18. Penang

    19. Penang (Malaysia) Immersion May 27-Jun 19, 2016
    20. Exploring the Emergent Cafe Culture of Penang Jun 18, 2016
    21. Encounters with the Guru-Types of Penang Jun 17, 2016
    22. Overnight Camping at Turtle Beach Jun 10, 2016
    23. Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation in Penang Jun 10, 2016
    24. Daytrip to Batu Ferringhi Jun 9, 2016
    25. Savouring the Food of Penang May 27 - Jun 6, 2016
    26. Surreal Glow-in-the-Dark 3D World at Dark Mansion June 3, 2016
    27. The Animated Street Art of Penang Jun 3, 2016
    28. Exploring the Lush Greenery of Botanic Gardens May 29, 2016
    29. Up up and Away to Penang Hill May 28, 2016
    30. About Penang May 27, 2016



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