Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru are areas within Kuala Lumpur, located to the north of the City Centre. They contain popular traditional shopping options as well as cheap authentic food and budget accommodation. The main artery of Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) and Chow Kit is none other than Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, or Jalan TAR, whilst Kampung Baru lies to the east.
Besides Jalan TAR, the district also is home to the colourful shopping street of Jalan Masjid India, which is chock-a-block with shops specialising in saris and other Indian apparel. Indeed, the area is sometimes called Little India, although several other parts of KL (notably Brickfields) compete for that title and these days there are at least as many Indonesians around.
The northern part of the district is called Chow Kit, known for bargain shopping and food. The famous Chow Kit Wet Market has never stopped being the favourite wet market of all. You'll also be able to see things which you'll never be able to find elsewhere in KL, like the full array of Malay traditional medicine. The Jalan Haji Hussein street market at night is similar to Chinatown's Petaling street offering fake goods & delicious local food which is located just off the Chow Kit Monorail stop.
The Tuanku Abdul Rahman end of Jalan Sultan Ismail has become KL's new hot nightspot. Nicknamed Heritage Row, restaurants and clubs are now breathing new life into the old dilapidated terrace houses of Jalan Doraisamy and Jalan Yap Ah Shak, just off Jalan Sultan Ismail.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru are easily accessible by public transport, so you will find travelling into this district quite easy.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman is accessible by several rail stations. To reach the southern end of Jalan TAR, ST5 KJ13 Masjid Jamek LRT station (Kelana Jaya or Ampang/Sri Petaling lines) is best suited if one is visiting Masjid Jamek, Dataran Merdeka or Jalan Masjid India. To directly access the middle portion of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (where most of the shops are located), it is best to alight at the ST6 Bandaraya LRT station.
MR9 Medan Tuanku Monorail Station, ST7 Sultan Ismail and the ST8 PWTC LRT stations on the Ampang/Sri Petaling line are best for the northern sector of TAR as well as the far southern part of Chow Kit.
The central Chow Kit area is best accessed by the MR10 Chow Kit KL Monorail station. Another option is the Ampang/Sri Petaling LRT line stopping at ST8 PWTC station, a 5-10 minute walk to the centre of Chow Kit. For Kampung Baru the best option it to take the Kelana Jaya LRT to none other than KJ11 Kampung Baru station, or walk from Chow Kit Monorail station.
- Istana Budaya (National Theatre), Istana Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak, ☎ . , (Box Office)Istana Budaya (meaning Palace of Culture) is home to the National Theatre and is equipped with cutting edge stage, sound and lighting equipment on par with the top theatres around the world. It host productions of both domestic and international origins. The building itself is a beautiful and a tourist attraction.
- Balai Seni Lukis Negara (National Art Gallery), 2 Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Razak (just east of the national theater). 10AM - 6PM daily except some holidays (9AM - 5PM during Ramadan). To reach the National Theatre or the National Art Gallery by foot, take the LRT or Monorail to Titiwangsa station. You will see the strange blue roof of the Theatre from the station. You have to walk roughly east for about 10 minutes, including a dodgy underpass (and an overpass later if you don't cross to the north side in the underpass). Alternatively it's about 5 minutes by car from KLCC.. Free.
- Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque), at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers (behind Masjid Jamek LRT station). One of Malaysia's prettiest mosques, Masjid Jamek was built in 1907 and served as KL's main mosque from its opening in 1909. Its location between two rivers makes it appear as an island of tranquility in the busy city. free.
So what is there to do in Tuanku Abdul Rahman? Shop till you drop! Escape the heat in air conditioned malls and department stores, dine with people from around the world and haggle for the best deals on the streets.
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is lined with established department stores, malls and shopping centres. Haggling is ok in most locations but for the best deals, head down the to the street stalls and markets.
- Bazaar Baru Chow Kit (Chow Kit Wet Market), 469-473 Jl Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Chow Kit Monorail Station). 9:00-17:00. Boasting the title as the largest wet market in Kuala Lumpur this market gives a glimpse of how ordinary Malaysians do their daily shopping. In addition to fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood you will also find stalls selling silks, fabrics, shoes and other nicknacks without the tourist price inflation. Food stalls are scattered throughout the markets too.
- Masjid India Bazaar, Along Jl Melayu, Jl Masjid India. Daily. A covered bazaar stretching out from LRT Masjid Jamek towards Little India, quite similar in feel to the more famous Jalan Petaling but not as large or crowded -- not necessarily a bad thing.
- Pasar Malam (Night Market), Along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman. 17:00-22:00 Saturday. A long night market spanning the entire length of the 'lorong'. This Saturday night market is an experience whether you are looking for a bargain, local products, or just an authentic Malaysian market experience. Food stalls are scattered throughout the market and is a great experience outside the typical tourist scene.
Stores and malls
- Campbell Complex. Great shopping centre to buy textiles. Site of the infamous Campbell Complex fire in 1976, regarded as Malaysia's own "Towering Inferno".
- Plaza City One. Textile and fashion stores congregate here. At the second floor above ground level there is a food court.
- Semua House. Closes at 20:00. Located next to Plaza City One, here one can find fashion, cosmetics, perfume as well as jewellery. Food court located one floor below ground.
- GS Gills, 9th Floor 106 Jalan Tuanku Adbul Rahman, ☎ . The top sporting goods distributes in Mayalsia, carrying all sorts of sporting equipment and attire.
- Pertama Complex (Jalan TAR). Opened in 1976 as Kuala Lumpur's very first shopping mall, and still good for cheap shoes, leather ware and other knick-knacks.
- Sogo Shopping Complex, 190 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, ☎ . 10AM- 9:30PM Daily. Probably the biggest department store you will ever see, with 10 floors of shopping, dining and entertainment. If you budget permits, you can shop here for everything from clothing to high-tech toys.
- The Mall, Jalan Raja Laut (parallel to Jalan TAR, opp Putra WTC).
- Maju Junction, at the intersection of Jalan TAR Jalan Sultan Ismail, and opposite Tune Hotel.
- Wisma Shen.
- Quill City Mall, 1018, Jalan Sultan Ismail, ☎ . 10:00 - 22:00. The newest shopping mall in the vicinity and possibly downtown KL, it is about 3 to 5 minutes' walk from Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman itself. Features seven retail levels, eateries, a cinema and an AEON store. Connected to Medan Tuanku Monorail station by a bridge.
Places to eat are scattered throughout the district, with stalls concentrated along Jalan Doraisamy near the Heritage Row and Jalan Raja Abdullah in Kampung Baru (for Malay food). Kampung Baru is a Malay food haven at affordable prices. Non-touristy & in traditional kampung setting. Over 100 stalls available. Most are open 24 hours. Chinese coffeeshops can be found along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and lanes off it, and Chow Kit; Indian in the Jalan Masjid India area; and upmarket restaurants on Heritage Row.
- La Cuisine. 24h. food court offering a variety of local & western foods
- Capital Cafe. Known to be one of the oldest cafes along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Founded in the 1940s, popular until now.
- RA Nasi Lemak, 15A Jl Raja Abdullah. Serving up the Malaysian breakfast favourite, Nasi Lemak, and a range of drinks including Teh Tarik. A place of rice is given to you then you add whatever you like on a self-serve basis.
- Yut Kee, 35 Jl Dang Wangi. A true KL establishment, this Chinese coffeeshop is famous for its Hainanese-style chicken chop and roti babi, pork sandwich.
- Coliseum Cafe and Bar, 98 Jln. Tuanku Abdul Rahman. A KL legend, this colonial-style hangout hasn't changed its appearance or staff in over 90 years. Service is surly and the tablecloths could use a good wash, but their Western food, particularly the "sizzling" steaks on a hot plate (from RM35), is still one of the best deals in town. Also try a freshly mixed shandy (beer and lemonade, RM8) in the adjacent smoky bar.
Nightlife in this district is either of the partying variety at Heritage Row, as Jalan Doraisamy is now popularly known as, or the "hanging out at the Mamak stall" kind. As for the latter, Mamak stalls (stalls or food shops run by Indian Muslims) can be found everywhere but the most popular is actually just next to Heritage Row, nearer the intersection between Jalan Doraisamy and Jalan Dang Wangi.
Clubs and bars
- Bar SaVanh/Cochine, ☎ . 64, Jalan Doraisamy.
- The Loft
- Cynna Bar
Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Chow Kit area is now The place to find budget accommodations offering very competitive prices as many have been built here to avoid the congested Chinatown 1km south.
- City Park Hotel Kuala Lumpur. 46, Lorong Haji Hussein Satu, Off Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz has 128 rooms, some smoking, some non-smoking. Rates from RM110 for standard room.
- Hostel Cosmopolitan, No. 73 & 75, Jalan Haji Hussein (50m from Chow Kit monorail station), ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. It offers free internet with 4 computers & Wi-Fi 24 hours. Excellent security with PIN code for main access, CCTV, & burly security personnel on standby basis 24-hrs. Lockers provided for each guests. Possibly the largest backpackers hostel in Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia as it can accommodate about 80 people. Ample shared bathroom/toilet cubicles, never any need to wait even when it's fully booked. Also sells trips & boat tickets to Perhentian islands. However, it does not accept phone/email bookings without advance deposits. Air-con dorm beds from RM22, fan dorm RM15, single room RM45, basic double/twin room RM55.
- Hotel Putra Muda, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz. Rates from RM80 for double occupancy. Just 1 min walk from Monorail stn.
- Hotel Sahara, just opposite Monorail - Chow Kit stn. Room rates start from RM80.
- Swiss Hotel, 12 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, ☎ . Not affiliated with Swissôtel, so do not expect the same level of service. Swiss Hotel offers deluxe, superior and family rooms with cable TV, private toilet and bath. Its facilities and services include luggage storage, currency exchange, 24-hour front desk and fax/photocopying. RM90+.
- Tune Hotel, 316 Jl Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Near Medan Tuanku Monorail Station). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. A no-frills hotel that is affiliated with AirAsia. Basic rooms with top quality beds, ensuite and fan can start as low as RM10 if booked during sales. Walk-in rates around RM90. You have to pay extra for services you want including air-con, towels and toiletries, in room Wi-Fi, Early Check-in and Late Check-out. A 7-Eleven, coffee shop and a food outlet are on ground level. Complementary 30 min internet at the lobby, ask the desk for a login password. RM30-RM70+.
- Anum Hotel, Jalan Putra. Opened 2010. Rates from RM100.
- Brisdale Hotel, 65, Jalan Haji Hussein (Off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman), ☎ . Three-star hotel in Chow Kit. From RM120.
- Citin Hotel Masjid Jamek, No. 7, Seksyen 33, corner of Jalan Melayu/Jalan Masjid India (1 min to LRT Masjid Jamek), ☎ , fax: +60 3 2693 2988, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 12.00noon. Opened October 2009 smack dab in the middle of the bazaar, offers small but surprisingly slick, quiet and sparkling clean rooms. Aircon, ensuite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Great little cafe serving local and your usual selection of western/international dishes. From RM115.
- Citrus Hotel, 51 Jalan Tiong Nam, Off Jalan Raja Laut (Walking distance to Sultain Ismail LRT Station), ☎ , fax: +60 3 9195 9988, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Chic, contemporary and with its splashes of greens and oranges, very cheerful. Rooms are comfortable and for those seeking a little more privacy with a few more privileges the Club Floor is a great alternative fitted with a 32" LCD flat screen TV, unlimited free WiFi, use of the Club Lounge and more. Facilities include a cafe, room service, swimming pool, gym and banquet rooms. Rates are from MYR 149 depending on time of year.
- City Villa Hotel, Jalan Haji Hussein, off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. 3-star hotel in Chow Kit. Close to te nightly food market. Rooms from RM110.
- First Business Inn, 72 Jalan Dato Haji Eusoff Off Jalan Ipoh, Damai Complex, ☎ . It offers air-conditioned accommodations, all of which have a private toilet and bath, cable TV, and telephone. Some of its amenities are high-speed Internet access, laundry/dry cleaning, and a restaurant that serves local and western dishes. Best rates on official website start at MYR 104.40.
- Grand Seasons Hotel, Jalan Pahang (basically same road as Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman). 4-star hotel with excellent facilities. rates from RM200. 2 minutes walk from Chow Kit monorail station.
- Kuala Lumpur International Hotel, Lorong Haji Hussein, Off Jalan Raja Muda Abd Aziz, ☎ . Spacious accommodation, all equipped with air condition, cable television, phone with voicemail system. Facilities and services are function rooms, business centre and Wi-Fi Internet accessbbvttyyhngnbg From MYR 170.00.
- Leo Palace Hotel, Jalan Ramat, off Jalan Ipoh, ☎ . Slightly above average budget hotel, 5 min walk to monorail/Putra WTC. Rooms from RM123.
- Quality Hotel City Centre, Jalan Raja Laut, ☎ , fax: +60 3-26939634. Member of Choice Hotels International, this 250-room hotel is more than decent for its price. Room rates online start at RM168. Attention with online-bookings: At Checkout the Reception easily 'forgets' to deduct the 10% deposit fee!
- Wira Hotel, 123 Jalan Thamboosamy, ☎ . Rates from RM110 for a standard room.
- Sheraton Imperial, Jalan Sultan Ismail (Beside Asian Heritage Row), ☎ . Rooms have plasma TV, butler service, walk in closet. Previously a Luxury collection hotel, and the rooms reflect this- nice marble baths with separate shower, great health club. Restaurants ranging from western to eastern. The hotel also provides shuttle service to KLCC and KL Sentral. May be slightly off the tourist belt but the monorail station is just outside the hotel.
- Silka Maytower, 7, Jalan Munshi Abdullah (Right next door to Plaza City One.). Consists of hotel suites and serviced apartments. Facilities provided: gym, pool, car park. La Maison restaurant located at the lobby.
- Twin Tower View, Bistari Condominium (Close to PWTC (Putra World Trade Centre)). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12 noon. 2-bedroom apartment located in a condominium opposite PWTC train station. View across KL city centre. A/C, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi, swimming pool. US$110 per night.
Chow Kit used to have a bad reputation among locals. Back in the 80s, prostitution used to plague the area; however, one can hardly see this anymore except for some ladyboys offering themselves on the streets. Chow Kit is no longer the dangerous place it used to be & now set to be the next commercial and shopping area of Kuala Lumpur.
The Dang Wangi police station is located at the intersection of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Dang Wangi.