What’s New in Kuala Lumpur? 7 New Sights for Returning Vacationers!

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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 guess that it’ll embrace a cease on the Petronas Towers, a climb to Batu Caves, and a meals crawl by way of Jalan Alor. Maybe a day journey to Genting Highlands, too. These staples are virtually at all times there, and for good purpose. They’ve grow to be essentially the most recognizable tourism icons not only for town however for Malaysia as a complete.

However in the event you’ve visited KL earlier than, the place must you go? Does the Malaysian capital have something contemporary to supply nowadays? And the reply to that, my pal, is a convincing sure.

Over the previous few years, Kuala Lumpur has restored previous websites and created new ones, including to the already lengthy checklist of issues to do and locations to go to within the metropolis. On this submit, we’ll share with you some that you just would possibly need to think about 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 might 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 international tourism to its knees. Therefore, lots 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 evening, 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 evening, so simply maintain that in thoughts.

Saloma Bridge in Kuala Lumpur

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

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

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 aspect.

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 the event you’ve been right here earlier than, you most likely finest 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 quite a lot of transformations since Cantonese and Hakka tin commerce employees arrived within the metropolis within the nineteenth century. However someday in the direction of the top of the millennium, improvement slowed down and this a part of KL grew to become largely generally known 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 form 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 limitless choice of Chinese language and Southeast Asian dishes and snacks. Some buildings additionally acquired a much-needed face elevate.

However this transformation is most evident at Lorong Panggung, often known as Kwai Chai Hong after a restoration ardour challenge 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 charming heritage web site that has been completely cleaned up and adorned by colourful avenue artwork and murals, depicting the Chinatown of yore.

Kwai Chai Hong

Kuala Lumpur Chinatown Bunn Choon

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 grow to be an enthralling attraction that each locals and vacationers can get pleasure from.

Kwai Chai Hong Kuala Lumpur

Kwai Chai Hong Kuala Lumpur Chinatown

Should you get hungry or thirsty, attempt one of many eating places, cafes, and bars lining Lorong Panggung and Jalan Petaling. Some of the widespread 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 brilliant 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 comfortable serve.

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

You would possibly 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 challenge that ambitiously aimed to wash 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 finest exemplifies this spectacular transformation. This is a vital a part of 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 without doubt one of the oldest within the capital. So sure, this isn’t new in any respect; it’s fairly historic. What’s contemporary is what’s taking place 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 evening, the positioning is flooded with blue illuminations. We have been additionally informed {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 once we visited, so we didn’t get to see any of those gentle 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 really want 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 checklist is Don Don Donki. Doesn’t ring a bell? That is truly 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 in order that they used Don Don Donki as a substitute. 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 getting into a Donki retailer each time we see it simply to snag some pasalubong. It has virtually every thing you can consider — from snacks to attire to equipment to cosmetics to houseware — at a pocket-friendly worth. Like in Japan, Donki right here in Malaysia makes use of the identical lovely penguin mascot. It was truly 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 be a brand new addition to the rising checklist of procuring malls in KL. Opened to the general public in January 2022, Lalaport is the primary Southeast Asian department of Mutsui Buying Park, one other well-known establishment in Japan. It homes a number of recognizable manufacturers like Nitori, providing Japanese-style furnishings just like Muji (in the event you’re extra conversant in 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 trying out the open rooftop backyard, which affords an impressive view of town skyline together with the KL Tower, particularly at sundown.

After all, we nonetheless extremely advocate the traditional culinary points of interest in Kuala Lumpur, particularly in the event you’ve by no means been there. However in the event you’re searching for one thing new to attempt, new meals spots have additionally sprouted all through 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 truly one of many few remaining conventional Malay strongholds in KL, as extra fashionable surroundings and buildings dominate 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 house to some time-tested eating institutions.

Kampong Bharu Welcome Arch

However from time to time, a brand new identify pops up. And final yr, 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 vogue. And in the event you’ve ever been right here, you’ll perceive why there’s a lot on-line traction. The workers tirelessly and stylishly prepares every order of kunafa in entrance of shoppers, in a way just like a Salt Bae efficiency and exclaims “Welcome, Habibi!” earlier than closing the lid.

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

Papa Kanafa Kampong Baru

Papa Kanafa Kuala Lumpur

It’s so widespread that it’s exhausting 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 after they change trays, which I believe is nice. It’s additionally a very good time for the workers to relaxation a bit as a result of I might think about how exhausting it might be doing it numerous instances.

However it’s not all type. It serves fairly tasty desserts! Its foremost product is the kunafa — a pastry constituted of baked kataifi or shredded phyllo dough, doused with syrup and topped with bits of pistachios — which comes with one in all 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 throughout the Malay enclave however we didn’t get to attempt. Should you’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 critiques 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 checklist of 20 Greatest New Eating places in Asia Pacific for 2020. The menu adjustments however it places its fashionable tackle conventional Malaysian fare at its heart together with rendang and laksa. You don’t should 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 by way of its unified AirAsia SUPER APP!

AirAsia Meals gives a large spectrum of gastronomic delights, excellent for once you had a protracted day and wished 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 would possibly even get a reduction by way of its many promos.

AirAsia Food Delivery

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

Should you final visited earlier than August 2018, then you definately’ll be stunned that so much has modified since — at the very least visually. That yr, the positioning was given a colourful — albeit a bit controversial — makeover. The 272-step staircase resulting in the Cave Temple was painted in brilliant rainbow colours, utterly altering its feel and look, so that you would possibly need to test it out once more!

Batu Caves

Batu Caves is a vital and sacred place for the Hindu folks. It’s a community of caves and chambers carved right into a 4-million-year-old karst hill. There are three large caves however the largest is the Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, so known as for its excessive ceiling and quite a lot of Hindu shrines it homes. Positioned 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 option to get round! Apart from meals supply, AirAsia has additionally launched a ride-hailing service — AirAsia Ride — accessible by way of the AirAsia SUPER APP. You should utilize it not simply to get out of the airport to town heart, but in addition 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, once we tried AirAsia RIDE, we discovered that it prices lower than standard, at instances virtually 50% cheaper in comparison with direct competitor. That’s an enormous plus for finances vacationers like us. It means we will spend extra on different issues, like meals and points of interest.

It gives several types of rides — LadiesONLY, Compact (extra reasonably priced), and Anyride (closest to your neighborhood).

AirAsia Trip and AirAsia Meals can be found on the airasia Super App! You could obtain it right here: iOS users, Android users.

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

Our current Kuala Lumpur journey was made doable by AirAsia. Opinions are our personal.

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