Singapore

Singapore is an island nation located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. At 704.0 sqkm (272 square miles), it is one of the few city-states in the world and the smallest country in Southeast Asia.

Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru is the state capital of the state of Johor and the second largest metropolitan area in Malaysia. Most tourists don't stop here and just pass through the city on their way to or out of Singapore. JB is a major local transportation hub however. Since it is just across the causeway from Singapore, some travellers use it as a hub to visit Singapore from here (lower accommodation prices) or to board the train, bus or airplane.

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



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Red Palm Backpacker Hostel Kuala Lumpur
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Jalan Alor
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Step Inn Guesthouse
Guesthouse / hostel situated close to Pudu Sentral (Puduraya) bus terminal in a quite back road, halfway between Bukit Bintang and Chinatown
Red Palm
Small, relaxed and very personal hostel in a colonial 2-storey pre-war house in Bukit Bintang and the reason why www.backpackingmalaysia.com exists
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