Layover in Kuala Lumpur: The Central Market and Petaling Street - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Layover in Kuala Lumpur: The Central Market and Petaling Street

Petaling Street
The Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur (lit. the "muddy confluence") has a lot to offer its visitors with an interesting combination of old and modern. Yuma and I spent a couple of days in the city back in 2013 when we backpacked for a month through South-East Asia, and this September we had the chance to visit the city again on a layover on our way to Myanmar.
With approximately 10 hours on our hands before the next flight we decided to take a short trip downtown to revisit Kuala Lumpur’s most famous markets; the Petaling Street and the Central Market.
The Pasar Seni station and the Klang river
The procedures
The great thing about a layover in Malaysia is that everything is ridiculously simple (at least when you’re used to filling out arrival and departure cards where it is mandatory to write down every little detail about your stay). No need to get a visa, no need to fill out any documents, we were free to go immediately after the swift passport-check (the process might vary depending on your nationality though).
From the airport we took the express train to KL Sentral, and opted for a 100-ringit two-way ticket. The trip to the station took about 33 minutes, and with trains departing every 15 minutes it was a convenient way to get downtown in short time. Since this was our second time in the city we already knew more or less which areas we wanted to check out, and took a local train to Pasar Seni LRT station where you can find the China Town area with the Central Market.
The Central Market is situated only a couple of minutes from the Pasar Seni station, a name that even means "central market" in Malay. It opened in 1888 and inside the well-kept and charming building they offer a variety of things to see for visitors such as traditional souvenirs, clothing and antiques all under one roof. Last time we went here we tried the Doctor Fish spa as well, but this time we just took a walk around inside the building to enjoy the atmosphere and exotic scents.

The Petaling Street is a bustling market street in Chinatown also situated right by the Pasar Seni station, and here you can find all sorts of fashion items including a wide variety of clothing, including fake brand products. After some light shopping we bought ourself a coconut each which we enjoyed while walking around looking at the hustle and bustle of the busy market. More than in the Central Market you can expect to get approached by local vendors who want to sell their products, but the people seemed friendly towards tourists and we didn't feel as bothered by it as you might in the markets of other countries.

If you get tired of the shopping you can stop by one of the small temples that can be found in the area. In the Chinatown area you can find the oldest hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, and a Chinese temple called Guandi Temple. Last time we stopped by the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, so this time we chose to only visit the Guandi Temple. With that said, they're both within walking distance from each other (you can check out the map at the end of this post), so you might as well pay a visit to both on the same day.

With the variety of things to offer the Pasar Seni area makes a great alternative for those who visit Kuala Lumpur for a short time and want to see this historical part of the city up close. In addition to the shopping and the temples one can enjoy the local architecture with old buildings and funky new street art. This was our second visit to the city, and hopefully we'll get the chance to come back again.

Basic Info
  • ・Name of Area: Pasar Seni
  • ・Access:Train to Pasar Seni LRT station
  • ・Points of Interest:The Central Market, Petaling Street, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, the Guandi Temple

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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