Damansara and Hartamas are two middle- to upper-middle-class suburbs which lie to the west of Kuala Lumpur. Although largely residential, both have pockets of good restaurants, watering holes and even some clubs. Desa Hartamas is particularly popular with the expatriate community.
Damansara runs right up to the border between the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor state and virtually merges with the city of Petaling Jaya. And just to create some confusion, many areas in the northern part of Petaling Jaya also deemed to be part of Damansara.
Sri Hartamas and Desa Sri Hartamas
Whilst there is nothing typically touristy to see or do in Sri Hartamas this is a fantastic place to really get a feel for Kuala Lumpur. Desa Sri Hartamas in particular has developed into a fantastic little eating area where you can experiment with a wide variety of international food relatively cheaply. The most appealing aspect of this is that most of the food retains its national identity. Of particular interest is sitting down to a Korean BBQ — order bulgogi or sam giup sul — going for steamboat, or joining in the food court when it starts to become busy after eight in the evening.
There is also a reputable dive shop in Desa Sri Hartamas that has a thriving little dive community behind it and runs regular trips out of Kuala Lumpur to a variety of diving spots.
Take a taxi, about RM 10 from the center of KL and about 10 minutes. Ask to be put down at Desa Sri Hartamas. Taxis are easily hailable to return to the city. Within walking distance is Mont Kiara, an area of towering condominiums, that has a few nice bars, reasonable restaurants (that are more expensive than Sri Hartamas) and a growing expat community.
This is probably the easiest way to get into the Damansara or Hartamas region.
From the city centre, head on to Jalan Kuching going northward and then connect to Jalan Duta, then get into Lebuhraya Sprint and follow the Sri Hartamas sign. Alternatively, one might also use Jalan Parlimen and it will eventually lead to Jalan Duta and Lebuhraya Sprint.
For Sri Hartamas/Mont Kiara (Kuala Lumpur side), the nearest rapid rail station is theSegambut KTM Komuter station. From here, one can take the RapidKL bus route 190 (formerly U7) to reach Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas. The ride between Mont Kiara/Sri Hartamas and Segambut Komuter station could last between 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the traffic condition.
Meanwhile, the closest rapid rail station serving Damansara (Kuala Lumpur side) is theTTDI MRT station at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.
Alternatively, one can take the RapidKL Route 190 (formerly U7) bus straightaway from Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in downtown Kuala Lumpur and reach Mont Kiara/Sri Hartamas.
- 1 National Palace (Istana Negara). Apparently, the previous kings (Yang Di-Pertuan Agong) have complained that the present palace at Jalan Istana is small. Needless to say that a larger palace has been built for the ruler. One can get a glance at this gigantic building by going to the main entrance (see geo marker). If the flag is raised up on top of the largest dome of the palace, then the king is inside. Else the king has left the complex. At 11AM each day there is a changing of the guard.
- 2 KL Court Complex (Kompleks Mahkamah). It is said that this Court Complex is the second largest in the world behind the one in India. Although not overly touristy, the arial view of the court resembles a Y-Wing Plane from Star Wars. To get there, Head on to Jalan Khidmat Usaha from Jalan Duta and the court can be seen at your right.
- 3 Federal Territory Mosque (Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan), Jalan Duta, ☏ , fax: . This large mosque, which was opened in 2000, was partly inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The mosque's website is in Malay only. Statistics on the number of tourist visits are given, so it is clearly possible to visit the mosque outside of prayer times, but the website doesn't seem to make clear what arrangements would be needed, so it might be a good idea to call, especially if you're a non-Muslim interested in seeing the interior outside of prayer times. If you are a Muslim and would like to pray at the mosque, prayer times are prominently displayed on the website.
- 1 Hiking or mountainbiking in Bukit Kiara. The most popular spot in the whole city to go mountainbiking or hiking. Unfortunately the forest is constantly reduced in size by greedy building developers.
- Reflexology. Desa Sri Hartamas probably has the largest number of reflexology centres per unit area in KL.
- 1 Plaza Mont' Kiara Fiesta Nite, No. 2, Jalan Kiara, ☏ . 9AM-10PM. A bazaar every Thursday, selling food, clothing, toys, household appliances, etc.
- 2 1 Mont' Kiara, No. 1, Jalan Kiara, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-10PM.
- 3 Hartamas Shopping Centre, No. 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, ☏ . 10AM-10PM.
- 4 AEON Metro Prima (JUSCO), No. 1, Jalan Metro Prima, Taman Kepong, ☏ , toll-free: . Su-Th 10AM-10PM, F Sa 10AM-11PM.
- 5 Publika, Jalan Dutamas 1, Hartamas Heights, ☏ . 10AM-10PM. Great place with plenty of hip stores. Plenty of food choices and a great supermarket in the basement.
- 6 Kepong Village Mall (TESCO), No.3 Jalan 7A/62A, Bandar Manjalara, Kepong, ☏ . Su-Th 8AM-11PM, F Sa and the event of public holidays 8AM-1AM.
- Safiz Corner. Most probably the cheapest dining outlet in Desa Sri Hartamas. Safiz Corner serves a variety of mamak dishes with good taste and quality. Satay is also available here.
- , Atria, Damansara Jaya. 1PM-11PM. Just for meat lovers. The name of this game is meat! Lots of it! Amazing Brazilian meat serviced until you are too full to walk.
- Bricks & Barrels (B&B), 76, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, ☏ . 4PM–2AM. Large semi-opened air bar and restaurant with good happy hour promotions. Mix of local office workers along with expat who stay in the area. Be prepared to make reservations during large sporting events. Food specialties include wood fire pizzas and plenty of pork dishes. Before 9PM, drink prices RM 10-20 for a beer and after 9PM, RM 20-30.
- Souled Out, 20, Jalan 30/70 A, Sri Hartamas, ☏ . noon–1AM. One of the original large restaurants/bars in Sri Hartamas. Always a good time here, drinks and food are of pretty high standards. Note that they do not serve pork here. Large TV and projectors constantly show live sporting events. Be prepared to make reservations for evenings.
- The Royal Bintang Damansara, 6 Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara. Beautiful high-end hotel 30 min from the airport, with 6 restaurants and a spa. RM 235-3,000.
- Peninsula Residence All Suite Hotel, 10, Jalan Semantan, 50490, ☏ . Studio and peninsula suites, all equipped with air-conditioner, Internet access, cable TV, and mini-bar. Facilities and services are fitness room/gym, sauna and spa, outdoor swimming pool, and car rental. From RM 190.
- 1 Damas Suites, Plaza Damas 3, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Taman Sri Hartamas, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.