Tom Vincent

Essays on hacking, travel and self-improvement

Chow Kit

Arriving late meant I could not sample the city’s monorail at night, instead opting for a taxi. A tip for anyone stuck in KL Sentral after the trains have finished: go upstairs to level two and look for the coupon taxi stand (near a 7/11). You buy a pre-priced ticket and get a genuine driver rather than the over priced (one quoted three times as much as I paid) ones on the ground floor.

After trawling the bustling streets near Chow Kit, I found my hostel; Hotel Cosmopolitan. The area itself has a grungy feel but full of life. Street markets and constant fireworks; I’m in Malaysia during Ramadan, only beginning to realise the extent of the Muslim culture here.

In a room with no windows, I overslept until 4pm, bewilderingly having to ask “is that really the time?!”. Bring an alarm if your schedule is tight.

I headed out to try some street food in the market just outside. Using the old trick of watching what the locals buy, I had a mix of Indian chaats and oozing coconut jelly. On a local’s recommendation, I took the metro into KLCC; a very westernised area of shopping areas (they even had Topman!) and tourist attractions. With a few mandatory shots of the admittedly impressive looking Petronas Towers and gardens, I hit the eastern side of Chow Kit.

Invoking the second trick of looking for the busiest restaurant in the Malay village surroundings, I had a chicken dish (and drink) for less than £1. Worried about a “tourist tax”, this was excellent and definitely recommendable. Look for Jalan Raja Muda Musa (near Kampung Baru station) if you get the chance.

With the UK riots on the news besides me, I’m back to the cosy hostel, planning for the Batu Caves tomorrow.