Melaka

Melaka (a.k.a. Malacca) is the capital of the Malaysian state of Malacca.
Traditionally, the spot where Melaka stands today was the center of Malaccan history. It was the capital of the Malaccan Sultanate and the center of the Malay world in the 15th and the 16th century before it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. Centuries of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British have shaped the architecture of the town.

Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas is a small island located only about 6km off Marang in the east coast state of Terengganu (about 1h north of Kuala Terengganu). It has quite and relaxed atmosphere because it is bypassed by the majority of the backpacker circuit looking for a more remote place like the Perhentian Islands. Pulau Kapas only get fairly busy on the weekends when locals come to island. There are a few good snorkeling spots around the island. All accommodations and beach are on the west coast facing the mainland. The west coast is the weather side has no sand beach, only rocks - it can be reached after a short walk through the jungle. Pulau Kapas shuts down during the monsoon season between November and February.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Bukit Bintang

address: area in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
kuala-lumpur-jalan-bukit-bintang-cny.jpg, Main shopping, dining  and entertainment area of Kuala Lumpur. Many backpacker accommodations are here too.
shot from KL Tower over Bukit Bintang area with Times Square (upper right)
Main shopping, dining and entertainment area of Kuala Lumpur. Many backpacker accommodations are here too.

Bukit Bintang is one of the districts of downtown Kuala Lumpur. It is part of the Golden Triangle - a term that is frequently used by travel guide books but not really common by locals. Bukit Bintang is one of the liveliest areas Kuala Lumpur - at day or night - with countless of shopping malls, restaurants and food stalls, pubs and clubs, and hotels and hotels.

How to get to Bukit Bintang
Bukit Bintang can be reached by public transport with the Monorail. The Bukit Bintang station is at the junction of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang. It has direct connections to Lot 10 and BB Plaza / Sungai Wang shopping malls. The Imbi station hast a direct connection to Time Square shopping mall.
The closest LRT stations are Huang Tuah (with a direct connection to the Monorail) and Plaza Rakyat (just behind Pudu Sentral bus terminal). It is a 10min walk to Bukit Bintang from both stations. The construnction of an MRT line has started which will bring an underground MRT station to Jalan Bukit Bintang in 2016 - just next to the Monorail station.
The main stop for local buses is on Jalan Sultan Ismail - between Mc Donalds and HSBC.
From Chinatown or the KLCC area   you can also walk to Bukit Bintang in 20 minutes.

 


view from Pavilion Shopping Mall towards Starhill Gallery, Fahrenheit 88, Picolo Hotel and Lot 10 along Jalan Bukit Bintang (from left to right)

Melting pot of cultures
Bukit Bintang used to be a predominantly Chinese area but has tranformed into a melting pot of cultures in the past years. You can find tourists and backpackers from all over the world here. There are now also Pakistani (running several guesthouses along Tengkat Tong Shin), Nepali, Indonesian and Burmese communities in the area. There are also a lot Arab / middle eastern tourists here, especially during the summer months of July, August, September. There are many middle eastern restaurant along Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail. The city even designed a little square with middle eastern elements - Ain Arabia (Arab Square) to attract more of this wealthy group of tourists.

The Chinese heart of Bukit Bintang can still be found on Jalan Alor, probably the busiest food street of Malaysia. The whole street is filled with Chinese restaurants and sundry shops and gets really busy at night as table and chairs are put out on the street. Jalan Alor stays busy until the early morning hours.


Jalan Alor
the popular food street Jalan Alor


Clubbing at Changkat
Adding to the contrasts of cultures and lifestyles in Bukit Bintang are the restaurants and clubs along Changkat Bukit Bintang and its side streets. Changkat became the most happening night life area in KL in recent years. The restaurants, pubs and clubs along the street draw in large crowds of local yuppies, expats and tourists every night.


A backpacker hub
Bukit Bintang has countless of Hotels and guesthouse. It is also the backpacker hub in Kuala Lumpur besides Chinatown. Especially along Tengkat Tong Shin backpackers can find affordable accommodation. We recommend checking out Red Palm Hostel and Travellers Palm, if you are looking for small hostels with a personal touch.


Tengkat Tong Shop shophouses
row of pre-war colonial shophouses on Tengkat Tong Shin

 

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping
Shopping is another thing that attracts tourists and locals alike to come to Bukit Bintang. The area has an unbelievable density of shopping malls. There are 7 major shopping malls in the area and countless shops and stalls:

  • Sungai Wang / BB Plaza
    Located next to the Bukit Bintang Monorail station is one of oldest and busiest malls in KL, with many small shops and cheap prices. It feels more like a market compared to the newer malls. There is a cheap food court on the fourth floor of Sungai Wang.
  • Berjaya Times Square
    Times Square has 10 floors (!) of shopping and an indoor theme park with a roller coaster.  It is a good place to look for a affordable clothes and fashion. Times Square has a direct connection to the Imbi Monorail station.
  • Pavilion
    This newer and elegant mall has many expensive brand stores but is very popular for the GSC Cinema complex and the outdoor restaurant area. The Food Republic food court is hugely popular and should not be missed.
  • Starhill Gallery
    A shopping mall catering to the super rich just across Pavilion. The spectacular designs of the restaurants at lower ground level are worth a look.
  • Fahrenheit 88
    Latest addition to the list of shopping malls in Bukit Bintang. Fahrenheit is catering to the "young and trendy urbanites"
  • Lot 10
    Shopping mall next to the Bukit Bintang Monorail station with mainly branded designer stores. The Chinese-style Hutong Food Court at the lower ground level is worth a visit.
  • Plaza Low Yat
    For all technology and gadget freaks, Low Yat is heaven. 4 floors of technology-only shops selling anything from computers to smart phones / tablets to cameras and equipment and spare parts. If it has a chip in it, you will find it here.


buskers on Jalan Bukit Bintang
buskers on Jalan Bukit Bintang


Changkat Bukit Bintang
the night life area at Changkat Bukit Bintang with lots of fine dine restaurants, pubs and bars



Add Comment
blog comments powered by Disqus
BackpackingMalaysia recommends
Red Palm Backpacker Hostel Kuala Lumpur
Related Places
Jalan Alor
KL-Jalan-Alor-at-night.jpg
Food Paradise in Bukit Bintang. Jalan Alor turns into a giant open air street restaurant at night ... more
Changkat Bukit Bintang
kl-changkat-bukit-bintang5.jpg
Changkat is a street of mostly 2-storey pre-war colonial buildings which are turned into pubs, restaurants and clubs. It is one the most happening nightlife and clubbing areas in Kuala Lumpur. ... more
Pavilion Shopping Mall KL
kuala-lumpur-pavilion-malll.jpg
The Pavilion is the latest addition to the already densely populated shopping district of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur. It opened in february 2008. The chic mall houses mostly designer stores, a Golden Screen Cinema complex and the popular food court - Food Republic. ... more
BB Plaza / Sungei Wang
Massive complex with 2 shopping malls and hundred of shops in Bukit Bintang. People tend to get lost in there. ... more
Bazaar Ramadhan Bukit Bintang
Bazaar-Rhamadan-Bukit-Bintang-busy.jpg
Street food market in Kuala Lumpur during the month of Ramadhan at the junction of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail ... more
Hotels in in Kuala Lumpur
HOSTELS
in Kuala Lumpur
BackHome
Backpacker hostel near Masjid Jamek LRT station, located in a 2-storey shop house close to Chinatown
Suzie’s Guest House KL
Guesthouse / Hostel in Chinatown
Things to do & see
Imbi
old residential area with a significant Chinese population near Bukit Bintang with many popular Chinese restaurants and food stalls ... more
Pasar Malam Taman Connaught
This predominantly Chinese night market claims to be the longest in Malaysia. It is located alang Jalan Cerdas in Cheras, a part of KL southeast of the city center. ... more
Things to do & see
Cave Temples at Gunung Rapat, Ipoh
3 picturesque cave temples at Gunung Rapat (5km south of downtown Ipoh): Sam Poh Tong, Ling Sen Tong and Nam Tin Tong ... more

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang
Mansion built by Cheong Fatt Tze at the end of 19th Century has 38 rooms, 5 granite-paved courtyards, 7 staircases & 220 vernacular timber louvre windows. Received UNESCO Most Excellent Heritage Conservation Award in 2000 ... more