Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tea Dances in Kuala Lumpur

Do you get bored on a Sunday?
Tired of shopping malls and of lazing by the pool?
Hangover not (too) bad?
Then try a Tea Dance!
There are 3 or 4 locations in town that host a Sunday afternoon/early evening event known as a Tea Dance,which is basically a binge-drinking disco party!
The original idea years back was to provide a meeting place for all the domestic workers in Kuala Lumpur who are lucky enough to get Sunday as a rest day,back then mainly Filipina maids who after church could let their hair-down....Tea may have been the drink of choice back then but a jug of Tiger or bottle of scotch is the prefered beverage today.
Singapore and Hong Kong are more well-known for their Tea dances as they have a larger Filipina population.
In Kuala Lumpur,Cruz Club on Jalan Sultan Ismail, opposite the 7-Eleven/Wendy's,The basement of the Melia Hotel opposite Times Square on Jalan Imbi and the Angkasa Hotel near Pudaraya bus station can all lay claim to hosting these dubious events.
You can usually tell if one is happening by looking for a few girls throwing-up or crying into their handphone outside.
The one held in the Melia Hotel is in a small club that would make the black hole of Calcutta look spacious and roomy by comparison.
Wherever you stand,you're in someone's way.
It's intense.
Cruz Club is a bigger and doesn't get as claustrophobic and it's easy to taxi-hop between the two to compare and contrast.
Things kick-off around 4-5pm and most of the action and vomit is over by 9pm.
Jugs of beer are reasonably priced at around RM35 and the crowd of expats,locals,maids and a few working girls are always friendly and intent on having a good time-and by and large they always do.
It can get a bit tense later in the evening as lots of the girls go home and the pissed-up guys get a bit territorial and/or desperate fuelled by alcohol and testosterone-but as I said,usually everyone has a good time.
To be honest they're not quite my "cup of tea" as I find the whole experience a bit too full-on and intense-and drinking in the afternoon can ruin the whole evening.
Nevertheless,friends of mine love'em and enjoy the unique atmosphere of people who just want to have fun.
Whatever time you arrive,things will be in full-swing and it can take a few beers before you feel accustomed to the place.
And,leaving in daylight will bring back memories of afternoon visits to the cinema when you were a kid as you emerge blinking into bright sunlight-but this time you'll be pissed!

Update 8/2/11-I understand that the Maluri Club at the Melia Hotel no longer has a Tea Dance.
But you may want to check-out Modesto's on P.Ramlee on a Sunday afternoon-and some say that the club above Thai Club,opposite Beach Club also holds a Tea Dance....but you've got to be pretty brave going into a club called "Macho Man" on a Sunday afternoon.....


  1. Yeah - the biggest problem with tea dance is that it can be a tad overwhelming if sober :) I think you have to get slightly sloshed to appreciate.

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  3. What is the current Tea Dance scene like? Are there any other clubs apart from Cruz club hosting tea dances on Sunday afternoons?