- Chinatown (included Reggae Bar)
- For Wine Lovers
- Golden Triangle
- Zouk Club
- Beach Club
- Do It The Backpacker Way... (included prices for alcohol at the supermarkets)
Kuala Lumpur Nightlife
All information below is subject to change
You'll find all sorts of nightlife type like beer bars, nightclubs, and karaoke clubs and so on.
You can find dozens of bars mainly in Chinatown district, Bangsar, Hartamas or in the smoking' hot Golden Triangle.
The bars start their Happy Hours early in the evening (sometimes at 6 pm) to attract thirsty drinkers, and because of the tough competition.
When it comes to nightclubs, most of them close at 3 pm while other close at 1 pm.
The big downside is that alcohol is expensive in Malaysia because the Malay government has a high tax on alcohol.
And do have in mind that the Kuala Lumpur Nightlife is nothing like the one in Bangkok...
... Lady boys won't actually run around in their tight dresses and scream: Here I am...
Homosexuality in Malaysia is technically illegal, and walking around as a transvestite is considered as a public disgrace. There has been a history of legal charges against transvestites in the past!
So, are you ready to read about the Kuala Lumpur Nightlife?
Yeah, thought so!
ChinatownReggae Bar on Jalan Tun H S Lee
I just loved Reggae Bar!
Almost every backpacker who visits Kuala Lumpur, drops by the notorious Reggae Bar. The usual day/night at Reggae Bar starts with a relaxed atmosphere in the daytime and then it escalates to beers and wild flirting in the evening.
Most of the clientele is the younger generation of backpackers who man up with beers so they can have a chat with the cute backpacker girls standing next to them.
But I also noticed that the elderly generation of travelers (like the rest of us) enjoyed the happy Reggae/Old-school music, played some pools and shared stories with fellow travellers.
If you're not all about the drinking, they serve food as well -- both Malay and Western. I tried their delicious mushroom soup (18 RM) - it needed a little bit more of salt though. My boyfriend, as always, dug his mouth into his fried noodles.
These prices might sound expensive compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, but that's because the prices in general in Malaysia are higher than, say, Bangkok.
And a small bottle of mineral water cost 3.80 RM while you can get it for 1 RM at a local super store. Or a coke cost 7.62 RM at Reggae which is five times more than at the supermarkets.
One of the good news is that if you stay at one of the Reggae Guesthouses, you can get 20% discount off (food and beverage)!
To get this discount, you have to give the staff that little business card (which you receive when you check in) when you're ready to pay up.
Where: 31, Changkat Bukit Bintang
Update March 26, 2012: There's a new Reggae Bar now in Bukit Bintang (Golden Triangle), with nightclub/bar/restaurant concept.
Walk around Chinatown
Otherwise, you can just grab some cold cold Tiger beers or Heineken at one of the many restaurants in Chinatown.
Here are the average prices for alcohol in Chinatown:
Tiger Beer: 12-30 RM
One example is the Chinese Pavilion Restaurant:
Beer price: Range from 12 RM (small bottle)-28 RM (jug)
For Wine Lovers
Price: From 12-13 RM per glass
Bottle of wine: From 70 RM and onwards (depends on where are you are sitting and the brand of course)
For those who want to splurge...
Hakka Republic (on Jalan P.Ramlee)
This fine restaurant is known for its quality Australian, Argentine and Italian wine, and has been recommended by Tripadvisor, New York Times etc.
Price by wine glass: RM 17-50
Mains start from RM 48, and starters from RM 18.
What I noticed is that most of the nightclubs played a mix of music genres: like pop, old-school, R'n'B and hip hop in one. While a few places just played trance or house.
Bukit Bintang is located within the shopping district of Golden Triangle. You'll find bars, clubs scattered along the sidewalks.
If you're not excited about drinking, you can also just relax on a local coffee shop (called Manak).
An essential part of the Kuala Lumpur nightlife is that many of the locals stop by Manaks at night, to eat some Chinese food, sit and sip on green tea. It's awfully relaxing to just sit down and observe the life in the streets or listen to the live band music...
Here are average prices for drinks in the Golden Triangle:
Tiger beer: From 12 RM
Here are some of the clubs we tried:
Are you a rock-lover?
Dig retro music?
Or do you want to shake your ass to house music?
Whatever you feel like dancing to, you'll find at Zouk Club!
This unbelievably huge club has several "rooms" with each individual type of music. And the music is never the same because the new and old DJ's at Zouk don't settle for less.
And if you get hungry, you can just move up to their Terrace Bar and choose from their local dishes, or grab a light pastry.
Where: Jalan Ampang (opposite the Maya Hotel)
Open: Until 3 am
Entrance fee: RM 50
Dress code: Yes (remember that Zouk doesn't only have tourists and locals as visitors, but also celebrities and occasionally models...)
So, that means; no shorts, slippers or sloppy t-shirts.
We decided to try Beach Club since we heard so much about it (like Malaysian police raiding it...)
When we entered the premises, I didn't know what to think. The interior was cool and the theme is BEACH. Here you can dance to pop, and later in the evening they play more hardcore music like trance.
But if you want to check this place out, I suggest you stop by sometime between Sunday and Thursday.
We went here on a Saturday and it was too crowded. We tried to dance, but we physically couldn't because there was no space around us! Aaah! Claustrophobic!
But let me tell you something important
I was just amazed/shocked by all the people, or more correctly, the tourists. Both young and older clientele hang out here: Anyone from young tourists to elderly men walking around with their Asian girlfriends/wives, or whatever. My friend was whispering to me:
"Are those women prostitutes?" (I just love his honesty)
I shrugged and asked if he wanted to leave. His response was: Hell yeah!
We were like:
... Now we understand why the police frequently visit the Beach Club .!
Something to think about: Prostitution.
I actually don't blame the fact why Filipina, Thai and Vietnamese and other Asian girls sell their bodies for the night to foreign dicks (pardon my language).
Some prostitutes have been kidnapped then coerced to do it (trafficking). Another common scenario is that other girls have been sold by their families, so that family can make a profit to either survive or just because they didn't like their daughter. While some have just joined the hooker-team to earn money, get some of the money and survive.
If girls "volunteer," prostitution doesn't necessarily signal the weakness of women, but to me it's also a sign of strength of survival. Losing your dignity and integrity ironically requires a strong spirit. Either that or you get killed by your pimp or others for not executing your job.
But prostitution is of course ethically wrong. It goes against common sense and human nature by having sex for money, and being threatened with your life to have sex with someone you don't like or love. No one (both women and men) should be forced to/into prostitution. But that's not how reality is. Reality bites.
Do it the backpacker way
Buy alcohol from supermarkets or 7-11's!
If you're on a tight budget, buying drinks at local stores is a lot cheaper than sitting at a bar!
Here I've gathered some average prices for you:
Prices for both Chinatown + around Golden Triangle
Heineken, Corona, Skol, Victoria Bitter: 8-15 RM
Tiger, Carlsberg, Anchor (can): 5-10 RM
Big bottle of Tiger: 9.5 RM
Carlsberg beer (6 small cans): average 29 RM (at supermarkets)
Bacardi: from 75-95 RM
Wine bottle: From 22 RM
The lower the price on wine, the lower the quality (in general)...
Cigarettes: Marlboro Light (20) -- 9 RM, Marlboro carton - 49 RM
I hope you enjoy the Kuala Lumpur Nightlife as much as I did!
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