Stuff to do in KL at night (the beginners guide)

Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as KL, is the economic capital of Malaysia. It is also my adoptive hometown, having finished highschool in this bustling metropolis.

One of my favourite things about KL is it’s vibrant nightlife. From rooftop restaurants, bars in five-star hotels, pubs, and bars which have a friendly ambience, a wide range of choices of alcoholic beverages, and talented DJs to bustling night markets that remain open until the morning, these are just some of the many attractions that KL offer. One must also try Jalan Alor’s bustling stalls and seafood restaurants and Changkat Bukit Bintang’s chic see-and-be-seen nightclubs with hip-hop and house tracks. Below I’ve compiled a beginners guide to KL’s nightlife.

  1. Changkat Bukit Bintang

Known as the “it” party venue, this street is lined with various international two-storey restobars, classy nightclubs and cocktail lounges with international DJs and live band performances. There are also stand-up comedy, gay parties and foreign film screenings which you also find in this area which is one of the city’s most energetic places.

  1. Rooftop Bars

For people who love to party, rooftop bars are the most popular since they offer great ambience and breathtaking views of the city through their high-rise structures. A few of the many best rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur are Marini’s on 57, Sky Bar at KLCC and Luna Bar.

  1. Petaling Street

Petaling street in Chinatown is a famous shopping district with a lively night market with stalls selling clothes, souvenirs, and accessories at very cheap prices. There are also a few nightlife spots in this area such as hostels and cocktail bars which are located in narrow alleyways.

  1. Jalan Alor

Jalan Alor is one of the most well-knows roads in Kuala Lumpur when it comes to food because there are numerous seafood restaurants that close late. Jalan Alor is famous for the air-conditioned Chinese seafood restaurants which can be easily spotted through their signage lightings and Chinese lanterns.

  1. Nightclubs

Nightclubs in Kuala Lumpur vary from classy and chic rooftop bars with amazing views to underground venues. The most famous nightclub in Kuala Lumpur is Zouk KL. However, if you are finding a more affordable and less mainstream type of songs, Under9 KL is the place to be in Friday and Saturday nights.

  1. Bangsar

Bangsar is a place for nightlife since it has cool pubs, mini night clubs and unique cafes. This place is usually visited by college students, tourists, and the younger ones. The famous places in Bangsar are SIX Cocktail Lounge, Ril’s, The Social, and La Bodega.

  1. Ampang

Ampang is the place to be for high-end socialites since the five-star hotels and award-winning rooftop bars are here. This area connects straight to the Petronas Twin Towers with locals who love to dress up. Ampang’s most famous areas are Como Bar Kuala Lumpur, Zouk KL and Omakase + Appreciate lounge.

  1. The Row Kuala Lumpur

If you are looking for a European ambience with unique ambience that offers local cuisine, The Row Kuala Lumpur is the perfect place. There are chic cafes, bistros and restaurants in this area.

  1. Night Markets

Locally called “pasar malam”, night markets open as early as 18:00 which sells almost anything you can think of which allow both locals and tourists to shop for cheap goods.

  1. Jalan Bukit Bintang

Jalan Bukit Bintang is one of Kuala Lumpur’s best nightlife places since there are a number of unique resto-bars, trendy nightclubs and Karaoke lounges which are open any day of the week starting at 21:00.
Do bear in mind though that alcohol in Malaysia can get quite pricey, as it’s heavily taxed. For house parties, I usually source my drinks from this Malaysian online liquor shop. I haven’t found another source that can beat its price for authentic drinks.

  • Bart

(Healthier) Stuff to do in Perth

In the previous post, I covered some of my favourite liquor joints in Perth. There are plenty of more healthy activities that I also enjoy while visiting (believe it or not). The purpose of this post is so that you may use it to discover the beauties (be it mainstream or not) of Perth that I so enjoy.

 

Underrated and Charming: Things to do in Perth and Western Australia

Some people like the big city, some like natural attractions, but there’s a perfect combination of both and it’s in Perth, Western Australia. From beaches to nightlife, this place has everything for everybody!

Checkout the list below and choose your own adventure!

Slow down and Enjoy Nature’s Wonders

Perth is situated on the banks of the swan river. You can start your getaway with walking and enjoying the beautiful city. Detoxify and enjoy the magic of nature.

 

  • Walk along the Swan River: There are trails all along the river so take a walk, run or bike ride any time of day and year along the first heritage icon of Western Australia

 

  • Experience a sunset over the Indian Ocean: Be captivated and take it all in. Western Australia has some of the best sunsets in the world.

 

  • Explore Bell Tower: Check out this history filled fascinating design that became an icon for Perth and Western Australia

 

  • Immerse yourself in art around Fremantle. It is best known for its eclectic mix of music and art.

 

 

Hungry after all that walking or just looking for some night fun? Take a break and visit these great places to eat and drink!

  • Eat at Greenhouse: This is one of the most unique things you can do in Perth. This eco-friendly space serves international dishes. They have a rooftop garden that produces the fresh ingredients for your food and their walls are covered in vertical gardens.
  • Northbridge nightlife: Spend a night out in this inner-city suburb filled with diverse shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars.
  • Bay 33 Cafe at Marmion Marine Park: An aquatic sanctuary and a cafe? Definitely a place to chill out at.
  • Wine tasting at Margaret River: If you’re up for a drive, visit this region is famous for its abundance of locally produced food and wine. Margaret River is about 3 hours away from Perth.

 

Looking for family friendly activities? Here’s a list of the go to places for kids and kids at heart:

  • Caversham Wildlife Park: this family owned park showcases the largest private collection of native wildlife in Western Australia. The park allows interactive experience so you can enjoy feeding a kangaroo, joeys, and wallaby.
  • Kangaroos at Heirisson Island: Situated in the middle of the Swan River, this quiet spot houses an array of birds and kangaroos. You have to go through a gate on the western side of the island to see the kangaroos!
  • Dog Beaches: Perth has tons of pet friendly parks and beaches. Bring your furry best friend and run around. Do research about the beaches you want to visit though, some have calmer waters and others have bigger waves.

 

 

If you’re willing to travel a little (couple hours to days), you’ll be able to witness stuff that only exists in Australia (due to its unique isolation from the rest of the world’s ecology)

  • Monkey Mia: The only place in Australia where dolphins visit daily. Enjoy crystal clear waters, white shell beaches, and daily visitation of wild dolphin at Monkey Mia. There are guides at the resort to assist you so you can see the dolphins up close.
  • Ningaloo Reef: Swim with harmless human whale sharks between March and mid-July in this Marine Park. Ningaloo Reef is one of the only places in the world where you can actually swim with these gentle giants.
  • Carnarvon: Check out the blowholes and calm coral lagoon in this cute laid-back town.

I hope this list helped you with your travel plans in Australia! Do let me know if you need more info on anything above.

 

Some of my favourite drinking holes in Perth

As some of you may or may not know, I spent a significant amount of time in Australia during my more youthful days. After having completed my Bachelors degree in Melbourne, I found a job in Perth working at a boutique investment bank. This was in the early ’00s when the Backstreet Boys were trying to make a comeback. I was there for 5 years before heading back to ASEAN for warmer waters.

In the 15 odd years since then, I’ve often visited Perth. The city’s changed a lot. It’s benefitted from an influx of capital via real estate and mining investors. As I approach my 42nd birthday, I’m faced with a decision; to move back to Perth, or not to. But that’s a topic for another time.

This post is about some of my favourite bars in Perth. Those that know me know that I’m a bit of an alcoholic. Unfortunately for my wallet, alcohol is heavily taxed in Malaysia. However, the same can’t be said of Australia. Booze is cheap and it’s quality is world-beating. Which is why I always look forward to travelling back to my old haunt(s). I always find solace in binge drinking in the company of friends and/or strangers at these spots.

Here are some of the best places where you can get your drinks in Perth.

 Mechanics Institute

This bar’s name is derived from 19th century institutions where you can study. The Mechanics Institute offers a modern feel with a relaxing rooftop where you can enjoy your drinks. If you’re hungry, you might want to try their specialty burgers to satisfy your craving. They also offer one of the most exquisite Australian wines and craft beers in the state.

The Aviary

As the name suggests, this is a very nice rooftop bar where you and your mates can chill in the afternoon or at night. If you’re out to bar hop, this is the place to start with its casual vibes. Aside from its superb cocktails, they also offer a great view of the city’s skyline. Enjoy the scenery while listening to beats by great DJs and musicians.

Northbridge Brewing Company

For beer lovers, this is the place to be. They offer a wide-array of beers from all over the world including Australian craft beers. The drinks are served on tap which adds to its authentic appeal. If you’re in the mood for some beer-tasting activity, try their tasting paddle to sample four of their home brews.

 Helvetica

The name of this bar hails from Switzerland’s Latin name. Specializing in whiskey, Helvetica is definitely a place for those who are looking for a sophisticated atmosphere. Check out their menu to see different spirits from all over the globe. If you are a beginner at drinking whiskey, you can also join their whiskey tasting activities.

 Belgian Beer Care

This is a great bar to spend the rest of your night listening to music while drinking your favorite European beer. Its interior design will surely take you back with its traditional 1930’s Belgian bar motif. If you’re looking to get some cocktails for your date, you will definitely enjoy their long list of in-house cocktails which uses succulent liqueurs and world-renowned spirits.

1907

This is one of Perth’s most famous restaurants that offers fine dining to its guests. However, if you feel like having a drink, you will find that just below its dining room is a vibrant bar that will satisfy your drinking needs. The 1907 bar offers spirits from all over the world mixed by professionally-trained bartenders that can mix any kind of drink that you desire.

It’s time to make an experience that you won’t forget when you visit Perth. Go to one of these bars and you are sure to drink and enjoy your night away with your friends and family.

If and when you’re next in Perth, do give these a try. I promise you won’t regret it! And give me a shoutout if you’d like to know more about stuff to do in Perth.

  • -Bart