In pictures: Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

THE crowded and colourful area of Chinatown in central Kuala Lumpur teems with shoppers, markets, great food and historic Chinese shophouses.

Here you can pick up some Indian sweets, visit a mosque, pray in a Chinese temple, hang out in a backpacker bar, pick up some cheap movies on DVD, eat some tantalising food, go to the bank, cross streets with hair raising traffic and witness any array of hustle, bustle, activity and noise.

Chinatown can be an assault on your senses but it represents much of the kaleidoscope of culture, cuisine and architecture you’ll see around KL. It goes without saying that it’s also one of the most interesting districts in the city.

The busy markets of Jalan Petaling — the main shopping street of Chinatown.


Locals are attracted to the area as much as tourists. This is one of the many popular food stands in the Chinatown district.


Crossing the street near the Central Market is always a hairy business.


Locals stream in and out of Chinese temples in this neighborhood to light incense and say prayers.


Numerous restaurants, cafes and stalls are magnets for locals and tourists alike. Noodles, rice dishes, seafood, grilled chicken, chicken hotpot and everything from Indian to Chinese is on the menu here.


An Indian-run flower stall down a side street off Jalan Petaling


Chinese shophouses are still a huge feature of Chinatown.

A real Chinatown landmark: the 1930s shopping centre Wisma Fui Chui


Chickens steaming away in clay pots at a food stall

Fish therapy is a popular treatment in Chinatown. Simply put your feet in the spa and you are treated to a pedicure by ravenous fish eating away your dead skin.

At night the activity in Chinatown doesn't slow. If anything, it cranks up a notch.


Smoking incense lanterns at a Chinese temple in Chinatown.


All images are by Joanne Lane from