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|Travel & Resources: KUALA LUMPUR & Vicinity (Klang Valley)
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KUALA LUMPUR -- area code (60-3)
KL is a modest little city on steroids, with muscular architectural monuments and traffic jams that feel out of proportion to its winding, tree lined streets and village-like neighborhoods. Colorful and chaotic, it retains a vitality that neighboring Singapore nearly polished away in its own efforts to become Asia's Tomorrowland. But it's KL that feels like a themepark in progress. Here, you may ramble through a traditional Malay kampong in the shadow of the show-stopping twin towers; or ride the cute monorail that offers first-time visitors vistas of both construction sites and destruction sites. Half of Chinatown has been turned into a uglified pedestrian mall that feels like anywhere but Chinatown, while old and crumbling heritage shophouses nearby that were (thankfully) overlooked by civic planners still house traditional businesses that ooze with charm of days gone by. Modern, yet hand-me-down; confident, yet uptight; Asian tiger, yet conservatively colonial; butch, yet nelly: KL is the fascinating love child of visionary nation-maker Dr. Mahathir and his Mr. Hyde ego.
Gay life in the capitol is widespread and surprisingly sophisticated, but still largely underground due to lingering antique British colonial law and Islamic disapproval. Many gay businesses have morphed into creative hybrids to remain "within the pale": yogatoriums, aerobisaunas, massageaurants or spaversities with darkgyms and karaocuzzis. Mainstream businesses now openly cultivate gay and lesbian customers who loyally dispense pink ringgit at the growing number of mixed venues that welcome them. Gay or lesbian nights at straight clubs are common. And, of course, the Internet is the medium of choice for the discreet and closeted.
Getting into KL from the KLIA airport is faster and easier than ever. Skip the hour long and expensive taxi ride and, when you get out of Immigration, change just enough for about R$100 (the money changers in the city will give you a much better deal than at the airport!), and take the elevator down to level 1 and get right on the KLIA Express train. You'll be at the Sentral Train Station downtown in 28 minutes. Pay R$35 for the train ride at the ticket booth to exit and then go straight to the budget taxi stand for a ticket to your final destination (in 2011 only R$13 to Bukit Bingtang). Such a big improvement!
The population of Kuala Lumpur is about 1.5 million people (that's 60,000 Utopians just in the city proper). The Klang Valley, incorporating KL, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya has a combined population of over 4 million (for a grand total of more than 160,000. Utopians).
Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Kuala Lumpur:
Capricorn Enterprise UTOPIAN VERIFIED DEC 2015
A-5-10 Empire Tower SS 16/1, Subang Jaya, email. Gay-owned tour related services including airport transfers; customized and private tours; hotel and ground arrangements; plus private cars and drivers. Licensed, English speaking tourist guide and private transportation for small groups up to 10 people. Any destinations within peninsular Malaysia. Utopia Member Discount
Comments from Utopians:
"I used Capricorn Enterprise for two separate tours this month while making my first visit to Kuala Lumpur. I can't say enough about his professionalism and knowledge and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone visiting that exciting city and dynamic country. Tourism is a 2nd career for Victor, as he had been an executive in the banking industry for many years previously. He is a fully accredited and licensed tour guide now and his knowledge of his area is exceptional. My trip would not have been as informative and exciting without his facts, figures and back story details that were intriguing and enlightening. Great job, Victor and many thanks." -- Robert Stephen Browning (international traveler and writer), Dec 17, 2015
Kuala Lumpur Travel UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2012
016-235-9009, email. Gay-friendly, independent local guide providing tours and transportation services in Kuala Lumpur and throughout peninsular Malaysia. Utopia Member Discount
Pride Travel UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2012
012-347-2747, email. Local gay guide providing private tours and transportation services in Kuala Lumpur and throughout peninsular Malaysia. Get insider access to Kuala Lumpur's local gay scene and visit places, off the average tourist's radar, where local gays go to meet each other. Along the way, sample some of the city's best local food spots and other cultural highlights based on your own interests. Accommodation and home stays may also be arranged. Utopia Member Discount
Click here for Kuala Lumpur hotels and accommodations.
- Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Jln Lembah Perdana, Utopia Map, 2274-2020. This private museum is probably the most beautiful museum in the capital. With superb collections of architecture, calligraphy, jewelry, textiles, ceramics, metalwork and more, all housed in state-of-the-art displays with excellent English language translations. Particularly appealing are scale models of famous mosques and actual lifesize rooms displaying the height of Islamic artistry from around the world. All of this is housed in a beautiful building filled with natural light and a thoroughly modern interpretation of classical Islamic architectural motifs.
Energy Fitness Studio
Directly behind Giant Mall, Dataran Glomac area, Kelana Jaya, 880-3805. Parking is plentiful and free. Though quite small, the gym spans two floors - 1/F for classes and 2/F for equipment and cardio machines. Tasteful decor with plasma TVs. The place is clean and has a comfortable, tidy feel. The reception area is manned by two muscular chaps who will greet you cheerfully. The shower rooms are very nicely done. They intend to expand to a 3rd floor in the future.
Compleks Renang Swimming Pool UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
Utopia Map. Gay cruisy swimming pool. Water theme park is crowded on weekends with lots of eye candy. The showers have full doors and afford discreet privacy for partners. Pleasant on weekdays with less visitors. The lazy river ride has CCTV cams mounted inside the cave. Food is available on prepaid top-up value bracelet, so no need to carry cash inside.
The Lost World (Bandar Tun Razak) UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
Sri Permaisuri Lake park vicinity, Cheras. Chinese gays cruise in this parking lot, Utopia Map, and then head home or into the park with their catch. Malay gays do the same thing here, Utopia Map, or here, Utopia Map. Best times are 3-5am. Don't bring valuables and best not to come alone.
- Cheras Shopping Mall facilities
Kelana Jaya, Utopia Map. Great for cruising, especially the bathing area. A mixed crowd of young hunks to older chubs (mostly Chinese) lounging and swimming.
Tesco UTOPIAN VERIFIED SEP 2010
Mutiara Damansara, next to Ikano, Utopia Map. G/F facilities.
- Basketball court park
Jln BP 1/5, Bandar Bukit Puchong, Puchong Dist, Utopia Map. A cruising place for many young and old gays at night. Normally more vehicles come in after 10pm and men will have a walk in the park where they search for others. Crowd is mostly Malay/Chinese, and sometimes Caucasians. The local residents know about it but they are quite OK as long as you keep your voice down while cruising and move the fun to another location once you've connected.
- Behind the Kelana Jaya Stadium, by the lake, Utopia Map. Between the old Subang International airport and Petaling Jaya (about 8km from KL City Center). Very cruisy with more upscale Malay, Chinese and a few Indians. After dark until the wee hours.
- Bus stop in front of Dewan Bandaraya.
- In front of Quality Hotel KL.
- Public facility opposite Pertama Complex after 11pm.
- Railway Station Park, after dark.
Transgenders come here to meet their friends or to make new friends. Nice mixed crowd.
- Shopping malls
Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) is a nice neighborhood mall with many nice stores and prime seating for quick glances and smiles. Gay friendly vibe. Nice mix of crowd; especially after office hours and weekends. Sit by Coffee Bean, Just Heavenly, La Bodega or Dome - prime area for exchanging quick glances. UTOPIAN VERIFIED OCT 2013
Parkson OUG UTOPIAN VERIFIED SEP 2013
Old Klang Rd. G/F facility near the Parkson staff entrance is a cruising place. Quite happening 5-9pm on weekdays and weekends after lunch until evening. Mostly office workers and people staying in the nearby area.
- Swimming Pools
Bukit Gambang Resort Centre (BGRC)
Chin Woo Pool
Nice for its location with views overlooking the cityscape, and the water is quite clean. The bathing area and changing rooms have no doors, and locals have fun there.
- Pandamaran swimming pool complex
Mon-Fri after 7:30pm in the shower room, Sat and Sun after 7pm. No one is shy to get naked.
BUKIT BINTANG / KL CITY CENTER
Albion (contemporary British cuisine) UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
31 Jln Berangan, Utopia Map, 2141-9282, email. Gay-owned restaurant serving modern British cuisine reflecting the exciting changes happening now in British food. Gorgeous, contemporary decor. Two bars, lounge, terrace, balcony and dining areas on two floors. Full a la carte menu, comprehensive wine list, and exciting cocktails. Chef Colin's fare includes updates on British staples like steak and Guinness pudding; slow-roasted pork belly with thin sliced potatoes and caramelized apples; or a perfectly poached egg dusted with black truffle and reclining on baby asparagus in a delicate blue cheese sauce. Partner, James, keeps the front of house cordial and casual. Their staff are well-tuned and gorgeous to boot. Available for private hire and functions. Open Tue-Sun, noon-midnight. Utopia Member Discount
Plaza Berjaya, Jln Imbi, Utopia Map. Coffee specialties, and snacks like satés and noodles. Owner welcomes all PLUs, especially chubs and their admirers.
Jalan Alor UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
Bukit Bintang, Utopia Map. This famous food street is popular and central, if not the most delicious place to eat. Watch for the stalls where the locals are eating and don't be afraid to order what looks good from competing hawkers.
LOBBY Restaurant & Lounge (Thai) UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2014
L1-2, Office Tower, No.1 Jln Nagasari (off Jln Raia Chulan), Utopia Map, 011-1428-7101, email. Gay-friendly, modern and chic restaurant located in the Bukit Bintang area. Serving Thai Cuisine with full bar. Occasional shows and special events. Utopia Member Discount
Palate Palette Restaurant & Bar (international) UTOPIA VERIFIED OCT 2012
21 Jln Mesui (off Jln Nagasari), Utopia Map, 2142-2148, 012-226-1237, FAX 2143-2148, email. This funky and colorful two-storey restaurant and bar is secretly tucked away between Changkat Bukit Bintang and Jln Raja Chulan. The inventive menu is packed with playful delights like "chicken lollipops" and "deconstructed carrot cake." Dine, drink or snooze (their garden patio was voted one of KL's best places to take a nap!) surrounded by quirky furniture and artful murals. Gay and lesbian-friendly with a weekly Thu night called Rainbow Rojak which celebrates the rainbow community. Closed Mon. Utopia Member Discount
- BJBS Café
G/F 115 Jl 3/93, Taman Miharja Cheras, Utopia Map. This cafe is a meeting and cruising point for local PLUs. Nice, friendly environment.
- Jalan Bunga Mawar 2 UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
Utopia Map. Foodie Alert! This street is packed with dozens of "mixed rice" restaurants where you can heap your plate of rice full with many kinds of local specialties at cheap prices.
- Jalan Taman Saga UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
Utopia Map. This food street has the best view of the KL city lights in Cheras. Dozens of inexpensive food stalls, each with a million ringgit view.
- Restauran 2008 Snow Beer UTOPIA VISITED JUN 2013
Utopia Map. Foodie Alert! Quiet, streetside dining in the cool of evening. Order up the beer of your choice in super-cooled bottles that freeze into a delightful slush (see above) as soon as they are poured. Specialties include deep fried gai lang leaves, lala clams in an incredible herbal broth, and unctuous slices of salted pork served with dipping sauces. Other local vendors are at hand with chicken wings or roti. The Pattaya Thai Seafood restaurant in the same vicinity is also recommended by local eaters.
- A.J. (Malay traditional cuisine)
85 Jln SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Utopia Map, 012-777-2332, email. New location (2012) and same block as the hopping Studio89 gay sauna. Dynamic duo, AJ and Ryu, are the super-Daddy couple who run this colorful and tasty restaurant. The decor is bright, colorful and bubbly, showcasing their collection of bears, Swatch watches, and Japanese maneki neko (beckoning cats). Retro Malay pop music accents the huge buffet spread of outstanding home-made traditional Malay curries, veggies, and specialties which you heap onto a plate of rice. Save room for the dessert table with options including bananas in coconut cream.
Kyle's Place UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2014
11G Jln Metro Wangsa, Wangsa Maju Seksyen 2, Wangsa Maju, Utopia Map, +60 3-4141-8548, email. Gay-owned, G&L-friendly coffee and tea joint opened in Feb 2014. Quality is their mantra. They feature Illy Coffee from Italy and Clipper Tea. Over 30 drinks on the beverage list. Utopia Member Discount
- Old Kawan Kopitiam
12G 10/116B Kuchai Entrepreneur Park, Kuchai Lama, Utopia Map, 03-7981-8961, email. Gay-owned Old Kawan Kopitiam is a cozy place for PLUs and their friends. They serve vegetarian foods, pork-free Asian fare. Free Wi-Fi. In-house games. Special areas for pets and smokers. Economic prices. They also cater for theme parties or functions. Utopia Member Discount
The Healing Touch UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2012
Block B6-09-01, Pandan Mewah Heights
(next to Pandan Indah), Jln Pandan Mewah, Pandan Mewah, Selangor, Utopia Map, 012-399-4288, email. Gay-friendly reiki energy healing for relaxation and health. Reiki is a Japanese form of qi or chi energy healing. It is a touch-therapy which entails the (non-sexual) laying of hands on the front and back of the body, through which energy is transferred. The Reiki therapy is very relaxing, energizing and refreshing. It is also very good for improving one's vitality. In or outcall. Strictly professional service. Utopia Member Discount
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