Little India and Chinatown are among my favorite neighborhoods!
In Kuala Lumpur, there are actually two different Indian neighborhoods: one in the South close to KL Sentral, called Brickfields, and another a little more off the beaten path, located just North of Chinatown.
Brickfields will leave you speechless. Just a couple of steps away from KL Sentral Station, the main drag, Jalan Tun Sambanthan is teeming with bars and shops. I was especially struck by the rich colors, sounds, and good vibes of the area. One particularly interesting experience that I happened upon by coincidence was a blind massage in Jalan Thambypillai. Yes you heard right, a massage performed by a visually impaired masseuse. I would have never imagined myself getting a blind massage! I was simply amazed by their expertise and extremely sensitive touch. Although the building may seem a little run down and by no means is it a luxury spa, don’t let that put you off :)
Little India, is the other colorful neighborhood. It consists of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the Sogo shopping center, and all the smaller roads in the vicinity. Here you can truly immerse yourself in a Bollywood environment full of colorful buildings, blaring Indian music, textile shops on every corner, beautiful flowers lining the streets, and the intoxicating scents of spices and curry. Altogether creating a beautiful atmosphere sure to leave you in awe. I suggest heading to Jalan Masjid India, another very lively area not too far away. Stop to enjoy a refreshing cononut milk before continuing to have a look at the India Mosque.
Masjid Jamek station marks the edge of little India and the beginning of Chinatown, another captivating and very traditional neighborhood.
Medan Pasar, a small square with a clock tower, is a great place to start your exploration of the neighborhood. I recommend walking along Jalan Hang Kasturi all the way to the Sze Ya Temple, Kuala Lumpur’s oldest Taoist temple. Here you’ll come face to face with a myriad of flowers, the perfume of which can sometimes be overpowered by the incense burned by worshipers.
Afterwards, on Jalan Benteng, you’ll have the opportunity to visit my favorite temple, the Sri Mahamariamman, one of the most impressive Hindu places of worship in KL. It consists of a 22m tower featuring many representations of Hindu deities.
Don’t forget to also have a look at Jalan Petaling. This street is well known for its various markets, the most interesting being the night market.
Not far from here, the famous Old China Cafe serves up delicious local cuisine. Why not try the Nyona Laksa, a noodle dish featuring coconut milk, chili, sea food, and greens. Laksa ressembles Japanese ramen, only much spicier and with flavors native to South East Asia. Great for anyone, who like me, love anything with coconut!