The glory days of KL’s China Town at Kwai Chai Hong

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The weather is still not great in KL with all that haze, but you can’t miss out on this new spot in KL’s China Town. Could this be the new ‘it’ place? With a lot of new restaurants popping up over the next few months, great cafes and a lane where you can breathe the ‘old times’, Kwai Chai Hong offers everything for a fun trip with the family into town.

In less than a year, the back lane of Kwai Chai Hong has been transformed from a dumping ground to the golden age of KL’s China Town. In 2018, Project Kwai Chai Hong started the restoration of 10 shop houses along Petaling Street, Lorong Panggung and a delightful back lane. We decided to visit! . In 2018, Project Kwai Chai Hong started the restoration of 10 shophouses along Petaling Street, Lorong Panggung and a delightful back lane. We decided to visit!

A stroller-friendly red bridge leads into the hidden laneway. It is made of reclaimed wood, salvaged from the shoplots during restoration work. Visiting this small heritage area is worthwhile a trip to China Town. This part of KL is lovely in general, but a visit to the alley makes it even more special. There are painted murals depicting early life of Chinese settlers on pre-war buildings. These murals are painted by five local artists and it reflects the diversity of the community.

Colourful lanterns adorn the alley, as part of Moonlight in the City, a campaign linked to the Mid-Autumn festival. In the evening after 7pm, you can enjoy the sight of a huge moon here, that creates a beautiful atmosphere and lovely Instagram picture moments for you and your kids. The full moon can only be seen until 15 September.

If you like to indulge yourself, have some food/drinks at one of the current tenants such as Bubble Tee Café, Tang Ge Kopitam and the Concubine bar in lot 2. Concubine opened up their cozy outside bar just a week ago and it won’t be long before they’re open for business indoors as well, after renovations.

You can extend your time whilst wandering around in the area and combine it with a visit to Petaling Street whilst enjoying the best of both worlds of KL’s China Town. Another old time favourite, Old China Café, is just around the corner from Kwai Chai Hong. A great stop for lunch or dinner! And more tenants will be opening their business in this area in the next few months.

To celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival, until 15 September, special workshops will take place at Kwai Chai Hong, like the Mosaic Art Workshop, and a Recycled Lantern Creative Workshop. These workshops will be either in English or in Chinese; check out details here, or for more Mid-Autumn Festival events in KL, here.

Text: Trui Knijnenburg

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