Stuff to do in KL at night (A Beginner’s 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 online liquor shop. I haven’t found another source that can beat its price for authentic drinks.

  • Bart

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. If it weren’t for this Malaysian online liquor shop, I’d probably be a lot more sober. 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