It’s no secret that Malaysia’s beloved capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is getting crowded with tourists, all of which are flocking to the popular attractions such as Petronas Towers, Genting Highlands and more.
But there’s hope yet for the Malaysian locals who just want to find a nice, quiet place to chill. There are so many hidden places in Kuala Lumpur that is as of yet undiscovered, but as equally beautiful as the other tourist spots.
Here are 10 Hidden Places in Kuala Lumpur Where Local Malaysians can Chill and Wander:
1. KL Forest Eco Park
The KL Forest Eco Park is one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia. Recently, it’s also becoming an attraction among locals and tourists. But so far, a lot of Malaysians come to this century-old forest for a sniff of nature and clean air.
KL Forest Eco Park is not far from the city of Kuala Lumpur as it’s close to the more popular KL Tower. The Eco Park’s highlight is its 200-meter-long canopy walk, complete with hanging bridges and exotic birds and bugs. There’s also a wonderful aerial view of the trees and the busy city of Kuala Lumpur.
2. Jalan Alor
When Malaysians think food, it’s usually Pasar Malam or Hawker Stalls/Centres. And when Malaysians want really good local food that’s cheap, they go to Jalan Alor just behind Bukit Bintang. Its a unique food destination located in the middle of the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur.
Jalan Alor at Bukit Bintang is most alive at night, which is no coincidence since it used to be a notorious red light district. But now, the place will be filled with food stalls left and right, front and center. A food haven by 5 PM up until the wee hours of the day. Local Malaysians say that the best time for eating at Jalan Alor is between 12 AM to 2 AM in the morning.
3. Batu Caves
Just 17 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur is the Batu Caves, a holy monument featuring Malaysia’s limestone mountains and religious Hindu sculptures. This is where the Thaipusam Festival is held every year. It’s an important Hindu celebration that devotees frequent to pay respects and commit rituals.
This holy location is dedicated to the Lord Murugan, with his 140 feet tall statue placed just outside the caves. Locals also visit the place to climb the 272 steps that will lead to the Temple Cave, and for amateur spelunking tours at the Dark Cave.
4. No Black Tie
You can find and listen to a wide variety of musical performances at No Black Tie, a fashionable jazz club at Kuala Lumpur. Local Malaysians can listen to jazz, classical, country, blues and many other genres at this watering hole.
This jazz bar has featured the country’s most established musicians, and also local bands and performers who have yet to catch their big break.
It’s also located in Bukit Bintang, so if you get hungry after a good gig, you can always visit Jalan Alor. But if you’re already comfortable in your seat, they also serve delicious Japanese cuisine like soft-shell crab agemaki.
5. Lorong Panggung
Lorong Panggung is an instagrammable but quiet alleyway that wouldn’t look too different from the places you see in vintage photos. You can find traditional shops and cafes along Lorong Panggung, with colorful windows and bright red lanterns adorning the alleyway.
There’s also no shortage of picturesque places to take photos in, as its buildings are all painted a pleasing pastel color. Lorong Panggung also has a secret: a coffee shop that’s been standing for 60 long years. This place is famous for its eggs and toast breakfast.
6. Belum Rainforest
Belum Rainforest is one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Its flora have been here for more than 130 million years already, thanks to constant protection. Located next to Temenggor Lake, this rainforest is home to many plants, trees, animals and even Indigenous People.
Local Malaysians can visit the Belum Rainforest and have a boat cruise across the Temenggor Lake. They can also go camping at the Belum Adventure Camp, where participants go on high rope and zip line challenges. There’s even a Resort for those interested in an overnight staycation.
7. Serani Row
Serani Row is an abandoned building, but no mistake, it’s still a hidden KL gem. It’s most known for its amazing graffiti and murals, with the abandoned and ruined texture making for a picturesque aesthetic. From Serani Row, you can also see the ever-looming KL Tower.
8. Zhongshan Building, Kampung Attap
There’s a current trend in Malaysia right now of old, abandoned buildings being renovated into artistic and cultural hubs. Kwai Chai Hong? Serani Row? Any of that sound familiar?
It’s also happened to the Zhongshan Building in Kampung Attap. What was once a row of shophouses is now a contemporary art gallery.
This vibrant cultural spot is still a pretty little secret from other people, so locals are free to visit and not be bombarded by crowds of tourists.
Zhongshan Building is more than just an art gallery too. There’s also a cafe, a bespoke tailoring store, and Tandang (an independent collective trade space filled with vinyl records and audio cassettes). There’s no mistaking it, Zhongshan Building is very much an imagined space.
The Brickfields neighborhood is one of Malaysia’s Little Indias. Like much of India’s culture and aesthetic, its sidewalks are filled with the most vibrant colors. If you want to experience India without having to wander far from Kuala Lumpur, this is the perfect place to be.
At Brickfields, you can look for beautiful traditional sarees, handmade flower garlands and more. You can even hear Indian music reminiscent from Bollywood soundtracks all over the streets.
10. Perdana Botanical Garden
If you’re still itching for a view of nature, then visit Perdana Botanical Garden. What used to be the Lake Gardens is a beautiful nature escape from the metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur. This place is great for morning jogs, evening walks, or just plain chilling by the shade of the trees.
There’s a Zingiberales and Heliconia garden, and a Herb & Spice Garden. Meanwhile, the Sunken Garden is there for Malaysian locals to explore. It’s the perfect place to just sit in and relax. Maybe play a game that pays real money, or two. It’s the trend now in Malaysia.
How did you find our list of hidden places in Kuala Lumpur locals like you can visit and chill in? If you liked it, share this to your friends! Bring them along with you. Kuala Lumpur has more secrets than you might think.