From Halal Food & Travel
Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru are areas within Kuala Lumpur, located to the north of the City Centre. They contain popular traditional shopping options as well as affordable authentic food and good accommodation. The main artery of Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) and Chow Kit is none other than Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, or Jalan TAR, whilst Kampung Baru lies to the east.
Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre Halal Explorer
Besides Jalan TAR, the district also is home to the colourful shopping street of Jalan Masjid India, which is chock-a-block with shops specialising in saris and other Indian apparel. Indeed, the area is sometimes called Little India, although several other parts of KL (notably Brickfields) compete for that title and these days there are at least as many Indonesians around.
The northern part of the district is called Chow Kit, known for bargain shopping and food. The famous Chow Kit Wet Market has never stopped being the favourite wet market of all. You'll also be able to see things which you'll never be able to find elsewhere in KL, like the full array of Malay traditional medicine. Located just off the Chow Kit Monorail stop, the Jalan Haji Hussein street market at night is similar to Chinatown's Petaling Street, offering fake goods and delicious local food.
The Tuanku Abdul Rahman end of Jalan Sultan Ismail has become KL's new hot nightspot. Nicknamed Heritage Row, restaurants and clubs are now breathing new life into the old dilapidated terrace houses of Jalan Doraisamy and Jalan Yap Ah Shak, just off Jalan Sultan Ismail.
Travel as a Muslim to Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre
Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru are easily accessible by public transport, so you will find travelling into this district quite easy.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman is accessible by several rail stations. To reach the southern end of Jalan TAR,AG|7 SP|7 KJ|13 Masjid Jamek LRT station (Kelana Jaya or Ampang/Sri Petaling lines) is best suited if one is visiting Masjid Jamek, Dataran Merdeka or Jalan Masjid India. To directly access the middle portion of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (where most of the shops are located), it is best to alight at theAG|6 SP|6 Bandaraya LRT station. Alternately, visitors coming from Klang, Shah Alam, Batu Caves or even Ipoh and Seremban can opt for the KA|03 Bank Negara Komuter station, which is linked to the Bandaraya LRT station by a pedestrian bridge crossing Jalan Kuching and the Gombak River.
MR|9 Medan Tuanku Monorail Station,AG|5 SP|5 Sultan Ismail and theAG|4 SP|4 PWTC LRT stations on the Ampang/Sri Petaling line are best for the northern sector of TAR as well as the far southern part of Chow Kit.
The central Chow Kit area is best accessed by the MR|10 Chow Kit KL Monorail station. Another option is the Ampang/Sri Petaling LRT line stopping atAG|4 SP|4 PWTC station, a 5-10 minute walk to the centre of Chow Kit. For Kampung Baru the best option it to take the Kelana Jaya LRT to none other than KJ|11 Kampung Baru station, or walk from Chow Kit Monorail station.
What to see in Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre
Interestingly, despite its extremely philistine atmosphere, the northern part of Kuala Lumpur is home to some of the city's main cultural establishments. The area just north of Jalan Tun Razak has been designated by the government as KL's performing arts zone.
- Istana Budaya - National Theatre - Istana Budaya (meaning Palace of Culture) is home to the National Theatre and is equipped with cutting edge stage, sound and lighting equipment on par with the top theatres around the world. It host productions of both domestic and international origins. The building itself is a beautiful and a tourist attraction.
- Balai Seni Visual Negara - National Visual Arts Gallery - To reach the National Theatre or the National Art Gallery by foot, take the LRT or Monorail to Titiwangsa station. You will see the strange blue roof of the Theatre from the station. You have to walk roughly east for about 10 minutes, including a dodgy underpass (and an overpass later if you don't cross to the north side in the underpass). Alternatively it's about 5 minutes by car from KLCC.
- Titiwangsa Lake Gardens - Taman Tasik Titiwangsa | Beautiful park with nice views to the city centre.
Top Muslim Travel Tips for Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre
- Stroll around Kampung Baru - One of the most fascinating neighbourhoods of the whole city. The contrast between the charme of this unspoilt Malay quarter and the city skypscrapers only a stones throw away is what makes this place so special. The city administration is planning to demolish the district for more highrisers. Go there as long as the place is around!
Muslim Friendly Shopping in Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is lined with established department stores, malls and shopping centres. Haggling is ok in most locations but for the best deals, head down the to the street stalls and markets.
- Bazaar Baru Chow Kit - Chow Kit Wet Market | Boasting the title as the largest wet market in Kuala Lumpur this market gives a glimpse of how ordinary Malaysians do their daily shopping. In addition to fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood you will also find stalls selling silks, fabrics, shoes and other nicknacks without the tourist price inflation. Food stalls are scattered throughout the markets too.
- Masjid India Bazaar | A covered bazaar stretching out from LRT Masjid Jamek towards Little India, quite similar in feel to the more famous Jalan Petaling but not as large or crowded -- not necessarily a bad thing.
- Pasar Malam - Night Market | A long night market spanning the entire length of the 'lorong'. This Saturday night market is an experience whether you are looking for a bargain, local products, or just an authentic Malaysian market experience. Food stalls are scattered throughout the market and is a great experience outside the typical tourist scene.
Stores and malls
- Campbell Complex - Great shopping centre to buy textiles. Site of the infamous Campbell Complex fire in 1976, regarded as Malaysia's own "Towering Inferno".
- Plaza City One - Textile and fashion stores congregate here. At the second floor above ground level there is a food court.
- Semua House - Located next to Plaza City One, here one can find fashion, cosmetics, perfume as well as jewellery. Food court located one floor below ground.
- GS Gills - The top sporting goods distributes in Mayalsia, carrying all sorts of sporting equipment and attire.
- Pertama Complex - Jalan TAR | Opened in 1976 as Kuala Lumpur's very first shopping mall, and still good for affordable shoes, leather ware and other knick-knacks.
- Sogo Shopping Complex - Probably the biggest department store you will ever see, with 10 floors of shopping, dining and entertainment. If you budget permits, you can shop here for everything from clothing to high-tech toys.
- Wisma Shen - StarPoints Hotel - StarPoints Hotel occupies the upper floors of the building. On the ground level there is a Haniffa Department Store.
- Quill City Mall - The newest shopping mall in the vicinity and possibly downtown KL, it is about 3 to 5 minutes' walk from Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman itself. Features seven retail levels, eateries, a cinema and an AEON store. Connected to Medan Tuanku Monorail station by a bridge.
Halal Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre
Places to eat are scattered throughout the district, with stalls concentrated along Jalan Doraisamy near the Heritage Row and Jalan Raja Abdullah in Kampung Baru (for Malay food). Kampung Baru is a Malay food haven at affordable prices. Non-touristy & in traditional kampung setting. Over 100 stalls available. Most are open 24 hours. Chinese coffeeshops can be found along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and lanes off it, and Chow Kit; Indian in the Jalan Masjid India area; and upmarket restaurants on Heritage Row.
- La Cuisine | food court offering a variety of local & international foods
- Capital Cafe - known to be one of the oldest cafes along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Founded in the 1940s, popular until now.
- RA Nasi Lemak | Serving up the Malaysian breakfast favourite, Nasi Lemak, and a range of soft-drinks including Teh Tarik. A place of rice is given to you then you add whatever you like on a self-serve basis.
Muslim Friendly Hotels in Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre
Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Chow Kit area is now The place to find good accommodations offering very competitive prices as many have been built here to avoid the congested Chinatown 1km south.
- Swiss Hotel - Not affiliated with Swissôtel, so do not expect the same level of service. Swiss Hotel offers deluxe, superior and family rooms with cable TV, private toilet and bath. Its facilities and services include luggage storage, currency exchange, 24-hour front desk and fax/photocopying.
- Tune Hotel - A no-frills hotel that is affiliated with AirAsia. Basic rooms with top quality beds, ensuite and fan can start as low as RM10 if booked during sales. Walk-in rates around RM90. You have to pay extra for services you want including air-con, towels and toiletries, in room Wi-Fi, Early Check-in and Late Check-out. A 7-Eleven, coffee shop and a food outlet are on ground level. Complementary 30 min internet at the lobby, ask the desk for a login password.
- Citin Hotel Masjid Jamek - Opened October 2009 smack dab in the middle of the bazaar, offers small but surprisingly slick, quiet and sparkling clean rooms. Aircon, ensuite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Great little cafe serving local and your usual selection of western/international dishes.
- Citrus Hotel - Chic, contemporary and with its splashes of greens and oranges, very cheerful. Rooms are comfortable and for those seeking a little more privacy with a few more privileges the Club Floor is a great alternative fitted with a 32" LCD flat screen TV, unlimited free WiFi, use of the Club Lounge and more. Facilities include a cafe, room service, swimming pool, gym and banquet rooms.
- City Villa Hotel, Jalan Haji Hussein, off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. 3-star hotel in Chow Kit. Close to te nightly food market. Rooms from RM110.
- Sheraton Imperial - Rooms have plasma TV, butler service, walk in closet. Previously a Luxury collection hotel, and the rooms reflect this- nice marble baths with separate shower, great health club. Restaurants ranging from western to eastern. The hotel also provides shuttle service to KLCC and KL Sentral. May be slightly off the tourist belt but the monorail station is just outside the hotel.
- Silka Maytower - Consists of hotel suites and serviced apartments. Facilities provided: gym, pool, car park. La Maison restaurant located at the lobby.
- Twin Tower View - 2-bedroom apartment located in a condominium opposite PWTC train station. View across KL city centre. A/C, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi, swimming pool.
Stay safe as a Muslim in Kuala Lumpur/North of City Centre
Chow Kit used to have a bad reputation among locals. Back in the 80s, prostitution used to plague the area; however, one can hardly see this anymore except for some ladyboys offering themselves on the streets. Chow Kit is no longer the dangerous place it used to be & now set to be the next commercial and shopping area of Kuala Lumpur.
The Dang Wangi police station is located at the intersection of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Dang Wangi.
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