Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jalan Bukit Bintang

Jalan Bukit Bintang is the premier street in Kuala Lumpur.Starting with the Pavilion Shopping Centre and running down to it's junction with Jalan Pudu the street is a hive of activity by day and by night.There are many up-market shopping malls and hotels located at one end of the street but as you walk further down past KFC it becomes cheap and tacky,especially at night.
There's absolutely nothing here except aggressive touts offering foot massage or young ladies and a few tacky souvenir stalls.
A pedestrian walkway at the side of Pavilion is lined with restaurants and cafes and you can get some very good value happy hour deals,it does get busy but you have to put up with the constant drone of aircon outlets,which doesn't make for a relaxing atmosphere.Each establishment plays it's own loud music in an attempt to drown out the noise from the aircon plus there are a couple of big screen TV's doing there own thing,the end result being a cacophony of sound.
La Bodega at the beginning of the walkway is probably the one that feels a bit more like a bar,whilst the restaurants at the other end have the best beer deals.
Star Hill Shopping Centre,which seems just to sell watches,has an interesting well-planned restaurant area downstairs in the basement and is worth a visit just to walk through the multi-coloured reflective link to the Marriot Hotel.
The only real nightspot not in a hotel is upstairs at The Ship situated opposite BB Plaza,it's been going for years and is a huge barn of a place with a very loud band and a hefty cover-charge.
It gets packed after midnight with a young,mainly local crowd.
The ladyboy show can also be good(harmless) fun and the "girls" quite like picking on expats in the crowd to try and embarass them.
The show has been runnung for years but it seems a bit of a contradiction that whilst semi-naked men pretending to be women dancing on stage is permitted by the authorities the same cannot be said for actual real women.....

For shopping,forget the bland homogeneous up-market malls and head to Sungei Wang/BB Plaza
It has a certain unique character and is full of owner-operated small stores selling cheap clothing,electronics and cheap shoes and is a breath of fresh air from the usual franchises and international brands.