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Best of Kuala Lumpur Travel in Chinatown and Heritage Site

As a very passionate traveler, I have visited Kuala Lumpur once, and fell in love with the architecture, culture and huge malls, a shopaholic’s paradise. This incredible place is a mix of modern culture, art, and history, where one can relive the fantastic feeling of exploring the KL.

After a bit of exploring, I decided to target Chinatown and Heritage Site as my target locations for this Kuala Lumpur travel itinerary, and this adventure will take me walking and exploring the attractions in this majestic city. I chose walking as this method will surely give you the best feeling doing it, and experience of you deciding what to do, and where to go next is golden to me.

Chinatown is the small world inside KL. You wouldn’t believe how different it is from the surrounding areas, like KLCC & Bukit Bintang district. I’m a shopaholic, I admit. A bargain hunter. And in Chinatown, I felt like in heaven.

Also, I found heritage site in KL to be one of the must-see attractions. Furthermore, after some research, my itinerary was a bit different to the popular heritage walk, just to avoid crowds as much as possible (even though it is not that possible as this is Kuala Lumpur, after all.)

This tour will give you the Best of KL Travel in Chinatown and heritage site, by walking. Without a guide, you can get one if you prefer that way; my intention was to go by myself and experience Kuala Lumpur like a local, and travel-savvy person. *There is a part where I joined a guided tour group.*

This amazing day went so fast, and I enjoyed the beauty of the South Asia’s monumental city.

Let’s dive in.


8:00m

Leaving Backhome KL Guesthouse

8:10am

Breakfast at Hon Kee in Petaling Street

9:00am

Merdeka Square Heritage Guided Tour

12:45pm

Lunch (Chicken Rice) at Nam Heong Restaurant

1:45

Visit KL’s oldest Hindu temple

2:40pm

Handicraft and Souvenir Shopping at Central Market

3:45pm

Personalize my Stamp at POS. Then send a post card to my friend using my stamp

4:55pm

Photo taking at Chan She Shu Yuen Association & Guan Yin Temple

5:55pm

Dinner at Kim Lian Kee Restaurant

7:05pm

Experience the Hustle and Bustle at Petaling Street Night Market


My chosen place of stay was Backhome KL Guesthouse. No better place to start, as it is located in historical center of Kuala Lumpur. Colonial design and 5-star backpacking experience are small parts of this beautiful complex of hostel buildings.

The Guarantee is a real deal-maker, as they offer additional free night if the guarantee was not met. With lots of great feedback, and positive grades at major hotel sites, this was a no-brainer. Pleasant staff, friendly and clean environment, nice accommodation, lovely décor.

8:00am, left the room to start this magnificent day.

Breakfast at 8.10 was at Hon Kee Porridge. I’m a big fan of porridge, and wanted to taste it here. It’s a small restaurant, with tables outside both sides of the walking path, where you’ll sometimes have to wait for an empty table, as it was crowded in the morning. People love this place.

Beside standard porridge, I had to try Chee Cheong Fun, and I was thrilled having it. Rice flour rolls are delicious. Also, a big plus for this place – adorable yellow bowls. My belly is stuffed, and now it’s time to go – Kuala Lumpur travel experience awaits me!

I joined the free walking tour started at 9am at Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. The tour is organized by KL City Hall with the aim of providing brief history of the buildings around. With an experienced tour guide showing around, it is also possible to access some of the buildings, which are forbidden otherwise.

Huge flagpole (95 meters – 311 feet) stands in the square, is the tallest flagpole in the world, holding the Malayan flag high. Merdeka Square holds Merdeka Day parade on every August 31. There is also a big National History Museum (Muzium Serajah Nasional) where numerous artefacts and materials represent Malaysia’s historical heritage.

The most prominent building of the tour is Sultan Abdul Samad building, a monumental landmark of the Kuala Lumpur. The building is really colossal, and impressive. The beautiful panoramic view is excellent for picture taking and taking a stroll, even though the square is crowded almost all the time of the day. The experience just standing here and observing this magnificent place will fulfil your traveler’s needs.

St. Mary’s Cathedral rises from the north, and captures my sight for a long time, since this monumental building looks stunning.

After exploring more than 10 colonial buildings around Merdeka Square, it was time to return to the Chinatown. When walking through Petaling Street, (Jalan Petaling) the KL Chinatown’s heart and soul, with hundreds and hundreds of small shops where you can find various hand made products, and stroll through the street with cover above, like you’re in a tunnel of some kind. Beautiful colonial architecture buildings front sides are turn into small shops, where you’ll have the feeling of a real Chinatown, a live market with hundreds of people buzzing around.

12.45 pm. Time for lunch at Nam Heong Restaurant. A beautiful suited place with wooden chairs and tables, bright atmosphere, and friendly and kind staff. Specialty in here is chicken rice, alongside rich menu with vegetable meals, other types of meat and fish, all flavored with delicious spices and sauces.

Kuala Lumpur can be proud of this restaurant for its represent of great food. I enjoyed the savoury chicken rice, drank some beautiful strong coffee, and relaxed in a nice ambient to get ready for my next destination.

One of the most amazing architectural structure I have seen. Ave inspiring experience. The temple is 22.9 meters (75 feet) tall, found in 1873, and rebuilt in 1968 with “Raja Gopuram” tower added. Built in South Indian style, this is the oldest hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. The entrance gateway is crazy high, and colossal, decorated with flowers and banana tree. The gopuram has 5 tiers and is decorated with handmade sculptures of Hindu gods, exactly 228 of them.

The temple resembles the form of a laying human body, with head positioned towards the West and feet positioned towards the East.The tourists have the access of the temple, the main prayer hall, and other smaller shrines. Whole temple is decorated wealthy and beautifully, especially the prayer hall.

The ritual of praying was performed with priest, from shrine to shrine, with large wind instrument called Shehnai playing accompanied with drums. They bring really impressive atmosphere to the ritual of praying. Tall ceilings from marble provide big echo, and this experience was truly astonishing.

During festivals like Deepavali and Thaipusam holy day, this temple is packed.

After the spiritual experience of Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the shopaholic bargain hunter inside of me was provoked. It was 2:40pm, time for Central Market Kuala Lumpur.

This market dates from 1888, when its primary role was wet market. With several attempts to demolish it, Central Market represents the historical monument of times of prosperity, but tough times as well. Rebuilt and expanded several times through history, this vivid complex of galleries, small theatre and music performance spaces, craft shops, arts studios is the hub of life and activities in Kuala Lumpur during the whole year.

Bargaining skills simply got out of me, and I bought great souvenirs while exploring many side streets all stuffed with small shops. This part of Chinatown comes even more alive at night, as the big malls around the city close.

If you are not into traditional art, you’ll be able to briefly explore the place within half an hour. For me, I took one whole hour to buy several souvenirs.


I’ve promised some post cards to my friends back home, and I have researched a bit, that POS in KL Chinatown allows you to personalize your stamp with picture of desire. So, besides sending beautiful post cards to my friends, I was able to add my own image to the stamp, which was amazing! This makes post card unique, and great.

The plan to send out a post card to a friend turned up to be 20 postcards! I kept some for myself, and sent dozen to my friends back home. What a lovely feeling. Be sure to do the same when you’re having a trip to KL.

After sending the cards (which made me so happy), my KL itinerary was taking me to Chan She Shu Yen Association, and Guan Yin Temple. This was the farthest walk distance in this KL walking tour, and it took me 15 minutes to arrive.

Research show me that the style of this temple is different, Cantonese – style, established in 1896 and opened in 1906 to serve immigrants in Kuala Lumpur, providing them shelter and refuge. Architecture here shows astonishing Chinese craft, with vivid colors and hundreds of handcrafted beautiful sculptures. Beautiful ornaments, decorations on every inch of a wall will make your eyes pop (Dragons were so awesome). Remarkable arrangements, and beautiful green color dominates the scene, which absolutely must be photographed. I made several dozens of beautiful shots, here are some of them.

This temple was close to Chan Association, and its beauty really provoked the spiritual side in the man. I found out that it is dedicated to the goddess Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy.

Next to Maharajalela station, this temple rises and gives one a feeling of inner calm, bond with the natural, and I didn’t regret visiting this beautiful monument in Kuala Lumpur. I was lucky as there was a praying ritual at that time. The monks led us inside and allowed us to photograph inside the temple, and to observe the prayer time. There were about 20 monks praying, and chanting “Namo Guanshiyin Bodhisattva” and the silence was so strong, that you could feel the presence of Buddha in the air. The big statue at the entrance made me thinking about him the whole time, don’t know why. Guess I was charmed. Spiritual energy flows in Guan Yin Temple, without any doubt. Hope the images will give you a small bit of the experience we had in this beautiful oasis of peace and calm.

Dinner time came fast. My choice for dinner was Kim Lian Kee restaurant. This place is famous for its Carbon Noodles, serving them for the last 80 years, so I ordered them out. The 2-storey restaurant is popular among locals and tourists as well. The second level is well designed and atmosphere is pleasant. You can eat outside the building, inside, or at the floor upstairs.

Want to know the important part?
The prices were ok, not too expensive, and meals were delicious. This restaurant served me well, and gave me many choices, and I drank some really tasty tea alongside my noodles. Meals were served in lovely colorful plates (I got red one) and was delicious. Kuala Lumpur eating out has its beauty you should not miss it.

And, for the end of my itinerary, the shopaholic “cherry on top”. The Petaling market on the night turns to something different. Vibrant colors of light, even more crowds, hustle and bustle here will make this experience memorable for sure. Kuala Lumpur shopping district is alive during the day, but when the night falls, this is a complete different story.

This district was inhabited by Chinese in past, working in tin mines. During the Civil War, mines were abandoned, but Chinese returned after, to find the mine flooded. So the tapioca mill was opened to keep the workers inside the KL. That’s why the street is called Chee Cheong Kai – Starch Factory Street in Cantonese dialect, referring to the historical events.

The street is now relatively modern, covered with archway during the whole length of district, to protect the people from rain and sun. Hundreds of shops and stalls are located here, with so many products at your disposal, one simply can’t resist to buy at least something. A true Chinatown experience. Bargaining is a must, and I myself enjoyed haggling with KL shop vendors, getting the best for my money’s worth. Splendid experience filled my heart with joy as I didn’t want to leave this truly amazing place.

With load of bags stuffed with souvenirs, I exited the Petaling Street Night Market three hours later with a huge smile on my face.

I was exhausted when I got back to my room. My tour was truthfully remarkable. When you’re after exploring Kuala Lumpur, and walking tours, this itinerary will cover some of the best places to visit in KL Chinatown area. The day was exciting, I couldn’t leave a smile on my face, and simply enjoyed through the whole day without any problems alongside.

Without any doubt, this experience brought the best out of Kuala Lumpur for me. Chinatown, and Heritage sites mentioned are astonishing, and they changed me a bit like a person, and provoke some energies that I didn’t felt before. Don’t hesitate to visit Kuala Lumpur, it will give you a remarkable experience.


Best of KL Travel in Chinatown and Heritage Site
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