Five Chow Kit’s Attractions, According To NYTimes

After almost four months of research, discussion, and debate, The New York Times had chosen and has recently published its annual list of places to go with sustainability and history emerged as prominent running themes. If you have heard, listed among the likes of Paris in France, Antakya in Turkey, and Asturias in Spain are Malaysia’s own Chow Kit and Sabah.

“An underappreciated neighborhood receives a dose of fresh style and energy” – The New York Times on Chow Kit.

Due to the shady going-on in the area, Kuala Lumpur’s Chow Kit has a reputation of being ‘dodgy’ and ‘seedy’. Nevertheless, the town is rich in history and culture and is now undergoing rapid development. Let’s find out why The New York Times includes Chow Kit as one of the 52 places to go in 2020.

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Two trendy new hotels have opened

Located along the fringe of Chow Kit are these two new funky hotels: The Chow Kit and MoMo, that are said to deliver a fresh dose of style and energy to the neighbourhood. The Chow Kit, Brooklyn-based Studio Tack first project in Asia is a luxurious American-style hotel. Meanwhile, MoMo is a no-frill, minimalist style hotel that focuses on comfort and style. To stay in these hotels; however, do not cost your arm and leg with The Chow Kit costing less than RM300 per night and MoMo less than RM200. 

Photo Credit: The New York Times

The largest fresh-produce market in the country

Chow Kit Market is where many people go for cheap products with high quality. Here, the ambience is almost chaotic; you can hear vendors shouting to attract customers to their stalls as well as customers bargaining for a lower price. The wet section of the market contains fresh meats, vegetables and fruits, and roots and spices. Meanwhile, you can find bundle clothing, DVDs, and toys, among others in the dry section.   

Photo Credit: Inspirock

Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa Diwan: Southeast Asia’s largest Sikh temple

Located in the border of Chow Kit Road market and Kampung Baru is the house of worship for the 75,000 Sikhs in Kuala Lumpur. Yet, many Muslims had entered the temple, as they had mistaken it for a mosque. Nevertheless, that should not dissuade any curious souls from coming because the temple welcomes anyone and everyone. And psst, it serves food daily.

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Photo Credit: Eat Drink KL

Eclectic new restaurants

This sub-district has now housed restaurants with stylish state-of-the-art interior designs, the perfect spots to hang out with the loved ones or to chill by ourselves. Among the many eateries with great ambience are Caribbean-influenced Joloko that blends comfort, design and queerness while Tapestry is rustic and refined. At the same time, French-themed Brasserie 25 has adopted a modern open kitchen and is all-around charming.

Photo Credit: Time Out

The Row: An enclave of hip spots

The Row that was once a famous nightclub strip has now reimagined into an area of hip restaurants, cafes, galleries, and art spaces. The Row retains the charisma of the old but rejuvenated with modern design with a lot of greens among the concrete jungle. An excellent location to take a brisk walk!


Are you thrilled with Chow Kit’s transformation, or are you opposing the gentrification? Share your comments below!

Featured Photo Credit: @ainie.kashif |

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