Discover Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown - Kuala Lumpur
For the uninitiated, it is easy to dismiss Petaling Street as just another Asian flea market in Kuala Lumpur. But saying it is one is a disservice to the rich history of this road and the rest of Chinatown—which is why TripGuru still recommends a trip to the area.
To experience the real Chinatown, start your journey by visiting Guan Di Temple on Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, one of the oldest temples in the area. Down the road is the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. Then walk over to the other side of Chinatown to Jalan Sultan and Petaling Street Art House, a museum-slash-gallery about the area’s history. And like other Chinatowns around the world, the food is not to be missed. Venture inside Madras Lane for chee cheon fun (rice noodles), curry laksa, yong tau foo (tofu), and ice chendol. Or go to the intersection of Jalan Hang Lekir and Petaling Street to find the stalls selling Madame Tang’s muah chee (mochi, or glutinous rice balls), air mata kuching (longan juice), apom-balik (Malaysian-style pancakes), and soya milk. Not to be missed is Restoran Kim Lian Kee and its charcoal-fried Hokkien Mee noodles. At night, these stalls close and are replaced by countless lok lok, or hotpot-style food stalls set up along the sidewalks of Jalan Sultan.
Many of the abovementioned food stalls, open for generations, are now considered part and parcel of Chinatown’s heritage. While great bargains in electronics and apparel are to be had once the pasar malam (night market) stalls open, the real Chinatown is best experienced during the daytime, tucked in alleys and hidden in buildings. And don’t worry about walking around—almost the entire length of Petaling Street is pedestrianized, with a canopy cover protecting travelers from the harsh sun.
The fastest way to reach Petaling Street is by monorail. Simply disembark at Maharajalela Station, then walk past the Chan She Shue Yuen Temple (which is also worth a visit) and Jalan Stadium to reach Petaling Street. Alternatively, take the LRT to Pasar Seni and walk down Jalan Sultan to reach Petaling Street. Make sure to go early in the morning for more traditional fare, or early in the afternoon to grab a seat at a lok lok.