Kuala Lumpur China Town, test your bargaining ability!
Kuala Lumpur China Town
Like most major cities in the world, with the exception of those in the Middle East, Kuala Lumpur or KL has its own
part of the city which is designated Chinatown.
“Petaling Street” or “Chee Cheong Kai” in Cantonese, is deemed by the locals as the center of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown and it is truly one place that never sleeps. You can’t get any sleep even if you want to with the loud ruckus they call music playing from the woofers in the shops along the street.
But if you are looking for cheap clothes, bags, souvenirs, electronic trinkets, fabric, DVDs and watches then, this is the place to shop.
Kuala Lumpur China Town - Petaling Street
Even among the locals, Petaling Street is famous for its all day parade of roadside stalls which are a great bargain hunting ground. The stalls here sell all sorts of imitation products, cheap electronic goods from China and imitation watches like Rolexes and Cartier’s.
You can also get imitation bags and wallets of brands like, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton just to name a few. What’s amazing about these imitations is the fact that they are almost as good as the real thing. You really need to examine them closely before you can tell them apart from the real brand.
The key to having a great sense of adventure here while shopping is to bargain hard. If you don’t want to get fleeced then you have to bargain for almost everything you want to buy.
The enterprising stall owners
normally markup their normal prices to the unsuspecting tourist by as much as 50% to 70%.
Kuala Lumpur China Town – Food Haven
The locals also regard Petaling Street as a food haven. Street food is definitely found in abundance here with a wide variety of choices.
You can easily find different types of noodle dishes like “Assam Laksa”, “Hokkien Mee” and “Curry Noodles”, “Wanton Mee” and “Penang Chay Kiau Tiaw”. These are some of the several “must try” dishes when you visit Petaling Street. I particularly love the “Hainanese Chicken Rice” which is rice steamed with chicken broth and served with bite size pieces of juicy tender chicken.
But if the local delicacies aren’t your cup of tea, then there is always KFC or McDonalds around the corner.
I nearly forgot, for finger food, don’t forget to try the water chestnuts roasted in coffee beans! I don’t know if the street vendor was trying to roast both the coffee beans and water chestnuts at the same time, but the coffee beans certainly added a unique flavor to the roasted water chestnuts.
There are a few hotels located on this busy street, but most of them are at the low
end of the budget spectrum and cater for the budget conscience traveler.
Note: During peak hours, Petaling Street can really get jam packed with people, offering a wealth of opportunities for thieves and pickpockets. So take note of your valuables when you are visiting Petaling Street particularly during the evening.
If you don’t have the stomach for bargaining, then Kuala Lumpur China Town might not be one of those places that you would want to visit. It’s crowded, noisy and humid and the air reeks of a potpourri of smells.
The ambiance is like wadding through a kaleidoscope of people. Nevertheless, a visit to Chinatown in KL is definitely an Eye-Opening experience!