No visit to Kuala Lumpur is complete without a visit to Jalan Petaling, the street at the heart of KL’s Chinatown. Once passing beneath the ornate arches which welcome visitors to this historic area, say goodbye to the modern, orderly KL and say hello to a KL dizzy with energy, colour and aromas.
A much-loved destination for bargain-hunting locals and tourists alike, it’s easy to lose all sense of time here. Visitors can easily spend an entire day – and a night! – sampling the delights under the “green dragon”, the nickname for the enormous awning that covers the length of Jalan Petaling. Locals fondly refer to the street as “Chee Cheong Kai” – meaning “Starch Factory Street” – a name which refers to the areas past as a centre of flour production. Today the street and it’s alleyways burst with shops and stalls offering a mind-boggling array DVD’s, crafts, jewellery, textiles, traditional remedies, snacks and fine dining.
Jalan Petaling is easy to access via public transport and is close to other must-see destinations such as the Central Market, the Sri Mahamariamman temple, and many of KL’s most important heritage buildings. And after all that bargain-hunting, there’s no better way to finish your visit than with a traditional foot massage at a reflexology centre. But you won’t have to walk far, there’s one on every corner – Ahhh!