Breakfast at hotel before embarking on a 2.5 hours interactive walking trail of Petaling Street, a small area largely dominated by the city’s Chinese community, which has maintained much of its traditional atmosphere. Ethnic Chinese make up about a quarter of the country’s population – in Kuala
Lumpur they account for more than 40% – but even they are extremely diverse. There are Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, Teochew, and Peranakan… each making an invaluable contribution to Malaysian society, culture and commerce.
Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown is a thriving attraction filled with some of the city’s best cultural sites. It is a maze of alleyways and narrow streets where old shop houses, temples and old style coffee-shops line its narrow streets. A visit to Chinatown is a sensory journey for most visitors and the experience is thrilling. Much of what occurs in this part of the city hasn’t changed for decades. You may still see old men pedalling their dilapidated bicycles to collect and deliver their wares as they have done forever. Along the way, you will be feted with delightful snacks and lip smacking food that will tantalise your taste buds. So, go on, venture to Petaling Street with an adventurous spirit and an empty stomach. You are bound to have an amazing experience here.
Stop at the wet market where butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers carve out their livelihood and listen to the vendors yelling out their bargains after the morning rush. At a pastry and snacks stall, sample savoury Chinese deep fried crullers ‘ham chim peng’ (deep fried bread with filling of red bean) and ‘mah kiok’ (literally translated as horse’s hoof, a fried fritter which has a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds making it slightly sweet and saltish) and you’ll understand why these pastries are the perennial favourite comfort food for the Chinese.
View the vibrant hustle and bustle of the flea market. The merchandise are displayed in the streets and most of them are cheap and non-branded items like shoes, jackets, bags, watches, books, electrical appliances, apparel, antique, vintage items and all sorts of second hand goods item. Continue to Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, a Taiost temple which is across the road from Petaling Street. Its entrance is engraved with an acknowledgement that Kapitan Yap Ah Loy (founder of Kuala Lumpur) had founded the temple in 1864, and it’s dedicated to patron deities Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya. These deities are actually real personalities – Sheng Meng Li (Kapitan Cina of Sungai Ujong) and Chung Lai (Yap Ah Loy’s loyal lieutenant) respectively. Look closer and you’ll also find Yap Ah Loy’s shrine sitting among the gods.
After all the walking, soothe your growling stomach at a traditional Chinese coffee-shop to sample their food that have withstand the test of time. Sip a cup of ‘cham’ (meaning ‘mixed’ in Hokkien), a beverage which is a mixture of coffee and tea. Tuck in to the star of the coffee-shop, delicious beef noodles made from an old Hainanese recipe. With a hearty broth thickened by hours of boiling, the beef is so tender it will melt in your mouth. Sample the mouth-watering char koay teow (fried flat noodles) that was made with enough ‘wok hei’ (the breath of the wok) to be satisfying. After a satisfying brunch, you will be transferred back to the hotel.
Meet at lobby at 19:00 hours for a hawker’s dinner (exclude drinks) at a Lot 10 Hutong food court. This foodie’s paradise is home to more than 30 stalls, many of which have been owned by the same families for generations. Each one offers a different dining experience, whether it is clay pot chicken rice, fried oysters, beef ball noodles, roast duck, Hokkien fried noodles, Singapore prawn mee, pork ball noodles or Hainanese chicken rice – you will be spoiled for choice.
Savour the lip-smacking Hokkien noodles fried with cabbage, seafood and lard in a very hot wok, claypot chicken rice, juicy roast duck, springy beef ball soup and pork balls noodles. After dinner, return to the hotel.
Overnight on a bed-and-breakfast basis in **** Furama Bukit Bintang****