Petaling Street Travel Guide

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Overview of Petaling Street

Petaling Street is a well-known shopping district and food market in Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur. Located in the heart of Chinatown, Petaling Street is where you’ll find numerous street vendors and stalls selling all kinds of cheap goods from toys and clothing, to bargain watches and accessories. Locals and tourists alike come to enjoy the hustle and bustle atmosphere amongst the traditional Chinese shophouses and taste the many varieties of food that can be found here. Petaling Street is both a day and night market; offering up different flavours of Kuala Lumpur’s unique multicultural street food and market scene.  

Opening Hours: Shops open daily from 10.00am, market stalls open from mid-afternoon till late      

Address: Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur 

Where to Go

Central Market

Central Market is just a short walk away from Petaling Street and is one of the city’s most famous cultural landmarks having been designated a Heritage Site by the National Heritage Department. What used to be a small wet market, has been revamped into an outlet centre celebrating Malaysian art. Here you can buy traditional handicrafts, batik, embroidery carvings, fine art and other local souvenirs. 

Chan See Shu Yuen Temple

Chan See Shu Yuen temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Kuala Lumpur. The temple dates as far back as 1906 and can found at the southern end of Petaling Street. Many visitors come to admire its beautiful interiors with intricate carvings, paintings, statues and open courtyard.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple

The Sri Mahamariamman Temple, built in 1873, is located a stone's throw away from Petaling Street and is one of the most ornate Hindu temples in Malaysia. Both the temple’s interior and exteriors are covered in intricate and elaborate carvings of Hindu deities, paintings, gold decorations and precious stones. It is a must visit to experience Kuala Lumpur’s rich Indian culture and heritage.

What to Do

Budget Shopping

Petaling Street is best known for selling cheap goods throughout the many market stalls and vendors lining its street. You can purchase, for a reasonable price, items such as handbags, t-shirts, watches and jewellery as well as fruits and vegetables in the nearby wet market – the oldest wet market in Kuala Lumpur in Madras Lane. Do take note that many of the branded items on display here are largely imitation or fake goods and can be bargained for a reduced price.

Snacking on Street Food

Petaling Street is a favourite for street food in Kuala Lumpur. Here you will find well-known Chinese and seafood restaurants as well as an array of tasty snacks to fuel your hunger throughout the day. Madras Lane is where you can find some of the best traditional hawker style food. Many of these food stalls stay open late into the night making for the perfect midnight snack.

When is the Best Time to Visit

Petaling Street market is open daily, all year round. Temperatures in Kuala Lumpur usually range between 30°C - 35°C in the day and during the Northeast monsoon season from March - October, can experience high rainfall and thunderstorms.

How to Get to Petaling Street

The most convenient way to get to Petaling Street is by public transport.  

By Car

You can drive or take a taxi/Grab car to Petaling Street which can be found off Jalan Pudu and Jalan Sultan. Cheap parking can be found in the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) however availability may be limited.

By Bus

Petaling Street is accessible by bus. You can take the free GoKL bus service and stop at the bus terminal near the Pasar Seni LRT station. Petaling Street is about a 5 minute walk away. Other bus services heading towards Kotaraya will take make stops in this area.

By Train

You can use the LRT Kelana Jaya Line to Pasar Seni LRT Station or the LRT Ampang Line to Plaza Rakyat LRT Station. Both stations are within walking distance of Petaling Street.  

Alternatively, you can take the Monorail service to Maharajalela Monorail station.

How to Get Around

Petaling Street is best explored on foot to enjoy the atmosphere of this unique market.

What to Eat

Petaling Street is a treasure trove for foodies wanting to explore the many different flavours of Malaysian Chinese cuisine.

Kim Lian Kee Hokkien Mee

Considered the birth place of hokkien mee in Kuala Lumpur, Kim Lian Kee is an institution for foodies in the city. The thick noodles tossed in dark soya sauce is an absolute must-try for those visiting Petaling Street.

Koon Kee Wanton Mee

Koon Kee Restaurant has been open since 1942 and serves some of the best Wanton noodles in the city. Served with BBQ roasted pork and other condiments, these delicious fresh noodles are a favourite among locals.

Sze Ngan Chye Roast Duck

Sze Ngan Chye is well known for selling their crispy and succulent roast duck. Located in the middle of Petaling Street, this small stall has been serving loyal customers for over 5 decades and is a staple food stop in Chinatown.

Kim Soya Bean

Opposite the popular “Air Mata Kucing” drinks stall, you will find the equally as famous Kim Soya Bean selling refreshing soya bean milk and Tau Fu Fah pudding. This is a must-try dessert perfect for cooling down in the hot weather.

Madras Lane Yong Tao Foo

This busy stall located in the Madras Lane wet market sells freshly made Yong Tao Foo made from a wide selection of ingredients–deep fried stuffed vegetables with fish paste, fish balls, meatballs and so much more.

Hon Kee Porridge

A Cantonese classic, Hon Kee Porridge has been selling its famous Raw Fish Porridge for over 60 years and is currently run by the family’s third generation. The warm savoury porridge comes with a side of raw fish slices with house special soy sauce, ginger and coriander. It’s best to come early in the morning to try this Petaling Street special.

Where to Stay

The Petaling Street/Chinatown area is known for having some of the best budget to midrange accommodation in the Kuala Lumpur. Numerous hotels can be found surrounding the LRT stations such as the Travel Lodge City Centre and Hotel Transit Kuala Lumpur.

Luxury accommodation can be found in nearby Bukit Bintang and is easily accessible to Petaling Street via public transport. 

Equally, budget hostels and Airbnb stays more suitable for backpackers can be found across the city.

What to Bring

It is recommended to bring sunscreen and a hat as well as an umbrella or raincoat when exploring Kuala Lumpur city on foot during the day. Make sure to stay hydrated with a bottle of water in the warm weather.

What to Wear

It is best to wear comfortable shoes when walking around Petaling Street and neighbouring attractions to make the most of the experience. Cool, loose fitting clothing will make sure you don’t get too warm in the tropical weather.

Things to Note

Street vendors tend to price their items 15 - 35% higher than their actual value, so do bargain and haggle for lower prices.

Be mindful of your personal belongings in crowded areas in case of pickpocketing.

Summary