What’s New in Kuala Lumpur? 7 New Attractions for Returning Tourists!

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It’s fairly simple to foretell what a first-timer’s Kuala Lumpur itinerary would seem like. You can guess that it’ll embody a cease on the Petronas Towers, a climb to Batu Caves, and a meals crawl by way of Jalan Alor. Perhaps a day journey to Genting Highlands, too. These are staples, and for good cause. They have develop into essentially the most recognizable tourism icons not only for town however for Malaysia as a complete.

But for individuals who have visited KL earlier than, does the Malaysian capital have something contemporary to supply today? And the reply to that, my jet-setting buddy, is a convincing sure.

Over the previous few years, Kuala Lumpur has restored outdated websites and created new ones, including to the already lengthy checklist of issues to do and locations to go to within the metropolis. In this put up, we’ll share with you some that you simply would possibly need to take into account in your subsequent journey to the Garden City of Lights.

WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

Spanning virtually 70 meters, the Saloma Link is a pedestrian and bike owner bridge that straddles Klang River and Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway. Because it connects the old-world village of Kampung Baru (Kampong Bharu) to KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre), the place the Petronas Towers stand proudly, it additionally serves as an impressive 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. Hence, a lot of those that had been to Kuala Lumpur earlier than in all probability 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 marriage ceremony customized. It is finest 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. This implies that it’s additionally extra crowded at evening, so simply preserve 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 had been already on the way in which to the Petronas Towers. Our AirAsia Ride driver casually talked about it as we handed by the intersection near it. He really useful that we go in that route after we had our time with the Twins. And we did!

From the Petronas Towers, it was solely a simple 10-minute stroll away. Because it was constructed to service each pedestrians and cyclists alike, it’s outfitted 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 had 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 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 in all probability finest bear in mind Petaling Street, 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 lined by a inexperienced roof (fondly nicknamed the “Green Dragon”) and marked by two Chinese arches on both finish.

Petaling Street Arch

Petaling Street, particularly, has seen quite a few transformations since Cantonese and Hakka tin commerce staff arrived within the metropolis within the nineteenth century. But someday in the direction of the tip of the millennium, growth 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

But because the 2010s ended, Chinatown has been having fun with a kind 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 and Southeast Asian dishes and snacks. Some buildings additionally bought a much-needed face carry.

But this transformation is most evident at Lorong Panggung, also called Kwai Chai Hong after a restoration ardour undertaking that spearheaded by Bai Chuan Management. It was 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 road 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 develop into an enthralling attraction that each locals and vacationers can get pleasure from.

Kwai Chai Hong Kuala Lumpur

Kwai Chai Hong Kuala Lumpur Chinatown

If you get hungry or thirsty, attempt one of many eating places, cafes, and bars lining Lorong Panggung and Jalan Petaling. One of 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. Just 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 mushy 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 sweets with almonds or raisins at their core.

You would possibly even spot an artwork set up or interactive reveals.

Location: Lorong Panggung, City 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 undertaking that ambitiously aimed to scrub up, rehabilitate and beautify Klang River (Sungai Klang) and surrounding areas. But 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 crucial 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 among 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

In the day time, the primary issues to in all probability get your consideration are the big murals adorning the facade of the flanking buildings! At evening, the location is flooded with blue illuminations. We had been additionally advised {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 gentle and water exhibits, although.

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

Location: River of Life, Leboh Pasar Besar, City 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? This is definitely the identical as Don Quijote, Japan’s largest low cost retailer chain. Why the title change? Because its very first Asia-Pacific department exterior Japan was opened in Singapore, the place one other model has already been utilizing the title so 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 are able to’t resist getting into a Donki retailer every time we see it simply to snag some pasalubong. It has virtually all the things you possibly 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 lovable 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 also 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 Shopping 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 the event 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 impressive view of town skyline together with the KL Tower, particularly at sundown.


Of course, we nonetheless extremely suggest the basic culinary sights in Kuala Lumpur, particularly in the event you’ve by no means been there. But in the event you’re on the lookout 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 Link, we determined to move all the way down to Kampung Baru. While the title interprets to “New Village”, it’s truly one of many few remaining conventional Malay strongholds in KL, as extra fashionable surroundings and constructions dominate town. Formally established on the flip of the twentieth century, it was formally declared because the Malay Agricultural Settlement in 1950. While vacationers flock round Jalan Alor, many locals hang around right here for meals and drinks. It’s fairly outdated, and it’s residence to some time-tested eating institutions.

Kampong Bharu Welcome Arch

But every so often, a brand new title 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 the event you’ve ever been right here, you’ll perceive why there may be a lot on-line traction. The employees tirelessly and stylishly prepares every order of kunafa in entrance of consumers, in a fashion much like a Salt Bae efficiency and exclaims “Welcome, Habibi!” earlier than closing the lid.

(We’re nonetheless getting ready the movies so we may present you higher. In the meantime, listed here are some screencaps.)

Papa Kanafa Kampong Baru

Papa Kanafa Kuala Lumpur

It’s so standard that it’s arduous 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 feel is nice. It’s additionally a very good time for the employees to relaxation a bit as a result of I may think about how exhausting it could possibly be doing it numerous instances. 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. Think of it as Middle Eastern churros.

But it’s not all kind. It serves fairly tasty desserts! Its major product is the kunafa — a pastry created from baked kataifi or shredded phyllo dough, doused with syrup and topped with bits of pistachios — which comes with considered one of two stuffings — cheese and cream (in all probability ashta). While we didn’t care a lot in regards to the cream model, the cheese kunafa was actually definitely 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 couple of cafes that just lately opened throughout the Malay enclave however we didn’t get to attempt. If 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.

Another meals place getting good opinions on-line is The Chow Kit Kitchen and Bar, positioned on the floor flooring of its namesake boutique resort, a part of the Ormond Hotel group. The most exceptional maybe is its inclusion to CNN Travel’s checklist of 20 Best New Restaurants in Asia Pacific for 2020. The menu modifications nevertheless it places its fashionable tackle conventional Malaysian fare at its heart together with rendang and laksa. You don’t should be a resort visitor to dine right here.

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

AirAsia Food affords a large spectrum of gastronomic delights, good for whenever you had a protracted day and needed to only keep in your resort (or hostel) for dinner. You can 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 in all probability questioning why Batu Caves is on this checklist. But hear us out.

If you final visited earlier than August 2018, then you definately’ll be shocked that quite a bit has modified since — at the very 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, utterly altering its feel and appear, so that you would possibly need to test it out once more!

Batu Caves

Batu Caves is a crucial 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 known as for its excessive ceiling and quite a few Hindu shrines it homes. Located 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 technique to get round! Aside from meals supply, AirAsia has additionally launched a ride-hailing service — AirAsia Ride — obtainable by way of the AirAsia SUPER APP. You can use 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. Yes, sure, we all know there are already extra established comparable apps providing this, however we like it 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 fees lower than traditional, at instances virtually 50% cheaper in comparison with direct competitor. That’s an enormous plus for price range vacationers like us. It means we are able to spend extra on different issues, like meals and sights.

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

AirAsia Ride and AirAsia Food can be found on the airasia Super App! You could obtain it right here: iOS customers, Android customers.


Article and photographs by: Yosh Dimen
Additional phrases by: Asta Alvarez

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

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