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Being a tourist in KL: 8 Places you should check out (if you haven't already)

Fall in love with our city again

Text: Rachel Au


Image: Rachel Au
Image: Joan Kong

Have you been to the places you would recommend to a tourist in KL? Check out eight of our favourite must-visit places and see if you've been there too

ZHONGSHAN BUILDING by cai mei khoo

"Located in what used to be the Selangor Zhongshan Association, these restored 1950s shophouses have been turned into a hipster-friendly, much-Instagrammed arts and culture space. On the ground floor, you'll find an art gallery, as well as a retail space that sells a curated selection of goods created by local and international designers that make for perfect gifts. Wander up the stairs and you'll find a motley selection of stores including a record store (read: vinyls), a vintage bookstore, a hole-in-the-wall cafe, library, and a 'listening room'/ bar that hosts music nights as uncommon as the building it's in." 

must visit spots in KL

MTR MALAYSIA by gwen ong

"Personally, I always thought of Brickfields as the place to bring any foreign friends because of the amalgamation of cultures that is so vibrant and alive. Yes, it's hectic and chaotic but at the same time, it's beautiful. While the banana leaf rice in the area is always enticing, one of my favourite discoveries in Brickfields this year is MTR — also known as Mavalli Tiffin Rooms. The Southern Indian restaurant does excellent dosa (thosai) — trust me, one bite and you'll be completely hooked to the light yet crispy texture. This was the main reason why I wanted to share this gem of a place with my team. Or maybe, it's just an excuse to feed my Indian food addiction (HAHA!). Order the plain dosa to see what I'm talking about. It's unlike any thosai you may have eaten in the city (or dare I say, country) before. After that, take a walk towards the corner of Jalan Thambipillay for another institution — Uncle Chiam's pisang goreng. The stall that has been around for over three decades whips up piping hot caramelised bananas and these fritters are not to be missed as a great afternoon snack."  

 

KL FOREST ECO PARK by rachel au

"Everyone tends to recommend the KL Tower or the Twin Towers but I feel that the KL Forest Eco Park is worth a visit — more so than the KL Tower within its vicinity. The Canopy Walk, though rather old by now, hangs strong and gives you an alternate view of the city with a dash of greenery. If you're more on the active side, you can even do a little trek on the Main Trail. Otherwise, the Canopy Walk would only take 20 minutes and you'll have an unobstructed view of the towering landmark nearby."

must visit spots in KL

BARZHEN by joan kong

"When it comes to being a tourist in KL, many people will automatically think of our amazing food, but after a whole day of eating, the important question is: Where do you go for a nightcap? Recent years saw an influx of bars and speakeasies in KL, and I personally love the ones that have that familiar local twist. For example, BarZhen in Chinatown. With an Asian-inspired menu, you can find drinks such as Ginseng Honey Paloma (using ginseng-infused Cognac), Tongkat Ali Kopitini and Lai Chee Kang cocktail — all with interesting presentations to boot. The drink that I love to order is the Red Dates Clover Club that incorporates red dates-infused gin and served in a traditional Chinese teacup on top of a wooden tray. Some of my other favourite cocktails around town? The asam boi margarita at PS150, the Irish whiskey and bubble tea at Coley, and the jackfruit-infused gin at Pahit."  

 

LAI FOONG by su fen tan

"This is my favourite kopitiam in town for two well-known reasons: the Lai Foong beef noodles and lala noodles. Both are delicious, hearty soup-based meals that always hit just the right spot. Note the lala noodles stall only opens at 10am, and it can take a little while before you're served as each order is cooked bowl by bowl — but it'll be worth it. It's not easy to find (legal) street parking around the area, so I'll usually park at the Kotaraya Complex and take a short walk there. It's also just minutes away from Petaling Street and Central Market, perfect for a post-meal walk exploring that side of town." 

must visit spots in KL

KL CITYWALK by wei yeen loh

"This new urban street arcade is nestled in KL's Golden Triangle and is easily accessible if you are walking from Suria KLCC via the Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway. It boasts more than 30 F&B outlets along the street and a host of fun-filled activities every weekend, from talented local buskers to serenade you on weekdays to art installations peppered along the street. The KLCW is a go-to if you're looking to spend quality time with your family in a pedestrian-friendly part of the city, or if you'd like to impress friends from overseas with an eclectic mix of local flavours and unique nightlife entertainment. Also, it's pretty Instagram-worthy."

 

BATU CAVES by stephanie boey

"About half an hour away from the KL city centre are the limestone hills of Gombak. Hidden in one of the caves sits a popular Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan — you'll find his likeness in the form of a 140-feet statue at the head of the entrance. The massive gold statue leads the way to the steep flight of 272 steps up into the cave and the holy temple. The main facade received a brand new makeover recently and the steps are more colourful than ever. Snap a memory against the breathtaking view. Also, make sure to wear decent attire if you plan to visit the temple up the stairs. Tip: The local monkeys are not phased by the crowds and have been known to display cheeky behaviour. Keep bags zipped, sunglasses in tow and snacks out of sight unless you're willing to play a round of tug of war with the little primates." 

must visit spots in KL

VILLAGE PARK by yi suen chong

"Every Malaysian has their own favourite nasi lemak joint and Village Park happens to be mine! They have the best ayam goreng nasi lemak and though it's not really in KL-KL, it's not too far to make a trip either. From the fragrant rice to the crispy fried chicken to the spicy sambal, it ticks all the right checkboxes. However, it's always packed so do expect to wait in line but it's usually quite fast. My tip: Be there as early as you can. They only open till 7pm though so heads up to anyone planning to go there for dinner. While you're in the area, you can pop by next door to Random Food Store for coffee or walk around the hood for more cafes, restaurants and kopitiams."

 

All photos (except for the main image) were taken with an iPhone 8 Plus.

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