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Home Historical Sites Chinatown (Petaling Street)

Chinatown (Petaling Street)


Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s busy roads is Petaling Street, commonly referred to as the China Town of Kuala Lumpur. It is a must for those travellers seeking to experience firsthand the art of bargainingfor anything from souvenirs to jewellery to food. Don’t be shy to stroll down the street and browse through items that catch your eye.

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The street has long been associated with the Chinese community of Kuala Lumpur, who came for opportunity to work in the tin business that was flourishing in the late 19th century. In 1870, a civil war erupted between the Cantonese Ghee Hin and the Hakka Hai San societies which werestriving to gain control of the tin industry. The British, realizing that the war is disrupting their economy and chain of supply, decided to enter the war. Towards the end, almost all buildings were completely destroyed and the mines were completely filled with water. As a result, food was scarce. The head capitan, Yap Ah Loy, decided to open a Tapioca Mill where tubers were ground into flour for food. Since then, Petaling Street has been the centre of the Chinese community in Kuala Lumpur.

Among the notable sites in China Town are the Sze Yah Temple, built by capitan Yap Ah Loy, and the Sri Mahamariamman Temple.Both are the oldest temples in Kuala Lumpur and receive many tourists daily, a testament of religious tolerance in Malaysia.

How to get there: Travellers can take the LRT Kelana Jaya Line or the Ampang Line and stop at the Masjid Jamek station. China Town is located a 10-minute walk from the station.

Jalan Petaling, 50000
Kuala Lumpur




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