I feel a bit silly even as I type the title of this post because there are lots of Chinese people, locals and tourists alike, in Kuala Lumpur so the city is almost one big China Town. Historically, though, this is the area where the first Chinese immigrants would settle when they arrived in KL.
Today, the whole area is quite a mess, with dilapidated buildings juxtaposed with modern blocks (Sheraton is building a Four Points Hotel here). The street traders are no longer Chinese but foreign labour brought in to front the stalls. Nevertheless this is still a popular area with tourists.
Try to visit in the month before the Chinese New Year, when shops are filled to the brim with all the traditional things you might need to help move your festivities to another level. For me the best thing is that, in class-conscious KL, no one here is likely to care who you are or how you dress.
Fresh flowers made into bouquets, alongside green bamboo stalks which is said to bring good fortune
All manner of souvenirs and crafts are available in Central Market, which used to be a wet market
Kwai Chai Hong/ Lorong Panggung is a row of restored shophouses with murals depicting the activities of early Chinese settlers to the area
Here is a recent article of KL’s Chinatown from the South China Morning Post. Having neglected to come here for such a long time I am beginning to warm to the idea that this might actually be an interesting place to bring visitors, and not just to visit when I need some red packet paper or a Chinese lantern.