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It’s fairly simple to foretell what a first-timer’s Kuala Lumpur itinerary would appear like. You’ll be able to wager that it’s going to embody a cease on the Petronas Towers, a climb to Batu Caves, and a meals crawl via Jalan Alor. Maybe a day journey to Genting Highlands, too. These are staples, and for good purpose. They’ve turn out to be essentially the most recognizable tourism icons not only for the town however for Malaysia as a complete.

However for many who have visited KL earlier than, does the Malaysian capital have something recent to supply nowadays? And the reply to that, my jet-setting good friend, is a powerful sure.

Over the previous few years, Kuala Lumpur has restored previous websites and created new ones, including to the already lengthy listing of issues to do and locations to go to within the metropolis. On this submit, we’ll share with you some that you simply may need to contemplate in your subsequent journey to the Backyard Metropolis of Lights.


Spanning virtually 70 meters, the Saloma Hyperlink is a pedestrian and bicycle owner bridge that straddles Klang River and Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Freeway. As a result of it connects the old-world village of Kampung Baru (Kampong Bharu) to KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Metropolis Centre), the place the Petronas Towers stand proudly, it additionally serves as a powerful lookout. From right here, one may admire the highest halves of the dual towers protruding from the skyline.

Saloma Link

Saloma Bridge was opened to the general public in February 2020, simply earlier than the pandemic introduced world tourism to its knees. Therefore, a lot of those that had been to Kuala Lumpur earlier than most likely have by no means seen this hyperlink but. And it’s a sight to behold, certainly! Designed by VERITAS Design Group, the construction is impressed by the betel nut leaf, a part of the Malay wedding ceremony customized. It’s best visited at night time, when it’s wearing colourful, virtually kaleidoscopic illumination, seemingly inviting and ushering guests to the Petronas Towers and different close by buildings. Which means that it’s additionally extra crowded at night time, so simply hold that in thoughts.

Saloma Bridge in Kuala Lumpur

It wasn’t plan of our unique itinerary. We didn’t even find out about this hyperlink till we have been already on the best way to the Petronas Towers. Our AirAsia Experience driver casually talked about it as we handed by the intersection near it. He really useful that we go in that path after we had our time with the Twins. And we did!

From the Petronas Towers, it was solely a simple 10-minute stroll away. As a result of it was constructed to service each pedestrians and cyclists alike, it’s geared up with ramps on both facet and an elevator on the Kampung Baru facet.

The bridge was named after the Malaysian-Singaporean singer Saloma, whose stays have been laid to relaxation on the close by Jalan Ampang Muslim Cemetery on the KLCC facet.

Location: Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nearest Station: Kampung Baru LRT Station or KLCC LRT Station

We all know Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown district has been round for a very long time. And in case you’ve been right here earlier than, you most likely greatest bear in mind Petaling Avenue, a 800-meter procuring strip working from Leboh Pasar Besar/Jalan Yap Ah Loy on the northern finish to Bulatan Merdeka within the south. About 300 meters of it’s coated by a inexperienced roof (fondly nicknamed the “Inexperienced Dragon”) and marked by two Chinese language arches on both finish.

Petaling Street Arch

Petaling Avenue, particularly, has seen numerous transformations since Cantonese and Hakka tin commerce staff arrived within the metropolis within the nineteenth century. However someday in direction of the top of the millennium, growth slowed down and this a part of KL turned largely referred to as the go-to place for counterfeit merchandise — from branded equipment to unlawful DVDs.

Petaling Street Counterfeit Bags

However because the 2010s ended, Chinatown has been having fun with a type of renaissance. Counterfeit merchandise are nonetheless there, however cool, hipster, Instagrammable spots additionally started popping up. An evening meals market got here to life, serving an infinite number of Chinese language and Southeast Asian dishes and snacks. Some buildings additionally bought a much-needed face raise.

However this transformation is most evident at Lorong Panggung, often known as Kwai Chai Hong after a restoration ardour venture that spearheaded by Bai Chuan Administration. It was once a bleak and forgotten alleyway, however when it reopened to the general public in 2019, guests noticed a fascinating heritage web site that has been completely cleaned up and adorned by colourful avenue artwork and murals, depicting the Chinatown of yore.

Lorong Panggung Bunn Choon Restaurant

It covers the restoration of 10 pre-war shophouses — six on Jalan Petaling and 4 on Lorong Panggung — bringing again the Nineteen Sixties glory days of KL’s Chinatown. The once-neglected again lane has turn out to be a captivating attraction that each locals and vacationers can take pleasure in.

Kwai Chai Hong Kuala Lumpur

Kwai Chai Hong Kuala Lumpur Chinatown

For those who get hungry or thirsty, attempt one of many eating places, cafes, and bars lining Lorong Panggung and Jalan Petaling. Probably the most well-liked is Bunn Choon Restaurant, an iconic institution serving extremely sought-after egg tarts together with different pastries and dimsum since 1893. Simply subsequent to it, in the identical vibrant yellow constructing, is Pandan Republic, additionally a neighborhood favourite best-known for its breakfast and dessert choices like Hakka lei cha (pounded tea), pandan gula Melaka cheesecake, and pandan delicate serve.

In one other nook, you’ll discover Beryl’s Chocolate and Cafe at Lot 18. Beryl’s, after all, is Malaysia’s homegrown chocolate model, which I greatest know for its dragées, these merely irresistible egg-shaped candies with almonds or raisins at their core.

You may even spot an artwork set up or interactive reveals.

Location: Lorong Panggung, Metropolis Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nearest Station: Pasar Seni MRT Station

Kuala Lumpur River of Life

The River of Life is seven-year RM4-billion authorities venture that ambitiously aimed to scrub up, rehabilitate and beautify Klang River (Sungai Klang) and surrounding areas. However for tourism functions, it principally refers back to the level the place the Klang meets the Gombak River (Sungai Gombak), which greatest exemplifies this spectacular transformation. This is a vital a part of the town as a result of Kuala Lumpur actually means “muddy confluence” in Malay, referring to the convergence of those two muddy rivers.

From the lookout alongside Leboh Pasar Besar, essentially the most eye-catching construction is the Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque), wearing Moorish structure, standing proudly on the junction. Inaugurated in 1909, it is among the oldest within the capital. So sure, this isn’t new in any respect; it’s fairly historic. What’s recent is what’s occurring round it.

Kuala Lumpur River of Life Mural

Within the day time, the primary issues to most likely get your consideration are the large murals adorning the facade of the flanking buildings! At night time, the location is flooded with blue illuminations. We have been additionally instructed {that a} fountain present prompts each 20-Half-hour or so, making a splash of magical visible show with the mosque within the background to numerous acquainted tunes. It was round midday after we visited, so we didn’t get to see any of those mild and water exhibits, although.

Alongside the river, you’ll additionally discover cafes and bicycle paths.

Location: River of Life, Leboh Pasar Besar, Metropolis Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nearest Station: Masjid Jamek LRT Station

Japan’s borders stay closed for impartial vacationers, but when you actually need a dose of it and also you’re KL-bound anyway, head over to Bukit Bintang, the place Japanese institutions have been mushrooming.

First on the listing is Don Don Donki. Doesn’t ring a bell? That is really the identical as Don Quijote, Japan’s largest low cost retailer chain. Why the identify change? As a result of its very first Asia-Pacific department outdoors Japan was opened in Singapore, the place one other model has already been utilizing the identify so that they used Don Don Donki as an alternative. When it opened its first Malaysian retailer at Lot 10 in Bukit Bintang in March 2021, they adopted the SG branding for regional consistency.

Don Don Donki is Don Quijote in Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur

For the uninitiated, Don Quijote is a neighborhood and vacationer favourite in Japan, with over 160 shops throughout the archipelago. Even we will’t resist coming into a Donki retailer every time we see it simply to snag some pasalubong. It has virtually every little thing you might consider — from snacks to attire to equipment to cosmetics to houseware — at a pocket-friendly value. Like in Japan, Donki right here in Malaysia makes use of the identical lovely penguin mascot. It was really how we acknowledged the shop as we handed by.

Since then, they’ve launched one other department, at Lalaport additionally in Bukit Bintang, which can also be a brand new addition to the rising listing of procuring malls in KL. Opened to the general public in January 2022, Lalaport is the primary Southeast Asian department of Mutsui Procuring Park, one other well-known establishment in Japan. It homes a number of recognizable manufacturers like Nitori, providing Japanese-style furnishings much like Muji (in case you’re extra accustomed to the latter); Nojima, well-known for electronics; and Coo & Riku, Japan’s largest pet retailer chain.

Don’t go away with out climbing the LED-illuminated starcase and testing the open rooftop backyard, which affords an imposing view of the town skyline together with the KL Tower, particularly at sundown.

In fact, we nonetheless extremely suggest the basic culinary sights in Kuala Lumpur, particularly in case you’ve by no means been there. However in case you’re on the lookout for one thing new to attempt, new meals spots have additionally sprouted all through the town even within the midst of the pandemic.

On our final KL go to, after a vibrant photo-op session on the Saloma Hyperlink, we determined to move right down to Kampung Baru. Whereas the identify interprets to “New Village”, it’s really one of many few remaining conventional Malay strongholds in KL, as extra fashionable surroundings and constructions dominate the town. Formally established on the flip of the twentieth century, it was formally declared because the Malay Agricultural Settlement in 1950. Whereas vacationers flock round Jalan Alor, many locals hang around right here for meals and drinks. It’s fairly previous, and it’s dwelling to some time-tested eating institutions.

Kampong Bharu Welcome Arch

However now and again, a brand new identify pops up. And final 12 months, one which took Malaysian social media by storm was Papa Kanafa, a stall that whips out tray after tray of candy Turkish pastries in a spectacularly entertaining trend. And in case you’ve ever been right here, you’ll perceive why there may be a lot on-line traction. The workers tirelessly and stylishly prepares every order of kunafa in entrance of shoppers, in a fashion much like a Salt Bae efficiency and exclaims “Welcome, Habibi!” earlier than closing the lid.

(We’re nonetheless making ready the movies so we may present you higher. Within the meantime, listed below are some screencaps.)

Papa Kanafa Kampong Baru

Papa Kanafa Kuala Lumpur

It’s so well-liked that it’s laborious to overlook the queue. We needed to burn Half-hour earlier than our flip, however a lot of the wait was as a result of they needed to warmth the pastry once they swap trays, which I believe is nice. It’s additionally time for the workers to relaxation a bit as a result of I may think about how exhausting it might be doing it numerous occasions. And as a deal with to those that are patiently ready, additionally they handed out complimentary servings of balah el sham, a candy deep-fried finger fritters made with sugar, vanilla, and flour. Consider it as Center Jap churros.

However it’s not all type. It serves fairly tasty desserts! Its primary product is the kunafa — a pastry constructed from baked kataifi or shredded phyllo dough, doused with syrup and topped with bits of pistachios — which comes with certainly one of two stuffings — cheese and cream (most likely ashta). Whereas we didn’t care a lot concerning the cream model, the cheese kunafa was actually well worth the wait. The beneficiant quantity of stretchy cheese complemented the sweetness of the syrup. It wasn’t too candy, which I appreciated. The nuts merely add texture.

There are additionally a number of cafes that lately opened inside the Malay enclave however we didn’t get to attempt. For those who’re not within the temper for one thing new, Kampung Baru additionally has its extra established homegrown eating spots together with Suraya Seafood and Nasi Lemak Wanjo.

One other meals place getting good opinions on-line is The Chow Package Kitchen and Bar, situated on the floor ground of its namesake boutique lodge, a part of the Ormond Lodge group. Probably the most outstanding maybe is its inclusion to CNN Journey’s listing of 20 Greatest New Eating places in Asia Pacific for 2020. The menu adjustments nevertheless it places its fashionable tackle conventional Malaysian fare at its middle together with rendang and laksa. You don’t have to be a lodge visitor to dine right here.

If for no matter purpose you don’t need to eat out, meals supply apps are additionally thriving within the metropolis, the latest of which is AirAsia Meals. Yep, Malaysia’s largest low-cost service now has its personal meals supply service through its unified AirAsia SUPER APP!

AirAsia Meals provides a large spectrum of gastronomic delights, good for once you had an extended day and needed to only keep in your lodge (or hostel) for dinner. You’ll be able to select from completely different meals classes — halal, vegetarian, Asian, Western, wholesome, desserts, and so forth. You may even get a reduction via its many promos.

AirAsia Food Delivery

You’re most likely questioning why Batu Caves is on this listing. However hear us out.

For those who final visited earlier than August 2018, then you definately’ll be stunned that quite a bit has modified since — at the least visually. That 12 months, the location was given a colourful — albeit a bit controversial — makeover. The 272-step staircase resulting in the Cave Temple was painted in vibrant rainbow colours, fully altering its feel and appear, so that you may need to test it out once more!

Batu Caves

Batu Caves is a vital and sacred place for the Hindu individuals. It’s a community of caves and chambers carved right into a 4-million-year-old karst hill. There are three huge caves however the largest is the Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, so referred to as for its excessive ceiling and numerous Hindu shrines it homes. Situated 13 km north of the Malaysian capital, Batu Caves is definitely in Gombak, Selangor. It was named after the close by river Sungai Batu.

OK, this one isn’t an attraction in itself however a strategy to get round! Apart from meals supply, AirAsia has additionally launched a ride-hailing service — AirAsia Ride — accessible via the AirAsia SUPER APP. You should use it not simply to get out of the airport to the town middle, but additionally to get across the metropolis!

AirAsia Ride Kuala Lumpur Airport

AirAsia Ride Kuala Lumpur

When AirAsia invited us to KL, they allowed us to make use of this service when going round on our personal. Sure, sure, we all know there are already extra established related apps providing this, however we find it irresistible when manufacturers get some competitors as a result of most of the time, it comes with aggressive costs! And true sufficient, after we tried AirAsia RIDE, we discovered that it expenses lower than normal, at occasions virtually 50% cheaper in comparison with direct competitor. That’s an enormous plus for funds vacationers like us. It means we will spend extra on different issues, like meals and sights.

It provides various kinds of rides — LadiesONLY, Compact (extra reasonably priced), and Anyride (closest to your neighborhood).

AirAsia Experience and AirAsia Meals can be found on the airasia Tremendous App! It’s possible you’ll obtain it right here: iOS customers, Android customers.

Article and pictures by: Yosh Dimen
Further phrases by: Asta Alvarez

Our latest Kuala Lumpur journey was made attainable by AirAsia. Opinions are our personal.

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