You’ve been in Malaysia for several days, and you’ve done everything that any tourist is expected to do. KL Tower? Check. Day trip to Borneo? Check. A visit to Penang? Check. Now that you’ve been to almost all of the top destinations in Malaysia, you’re probably itching for a night out in town. You know what I’m talking about—a crazy night out with your friends, a bit of drinking here, some people watching and nudging each other when someone who looks incredibly hot walks by—that kind of night. If you’re game, then you can have an awesome time in Kuala Lumpur.
Though the city is not as strict as other Moslem countries, it would be wise to dress a bit conservatively, yes, even if you’re gonna hit the clubs. So for men, it’s nice collared shirts and dark jeans and leather shoes and for women, skinny jeans and drapey or sparkly tops that don’t reveal cleavage. Oh, and absolutely no skirts or dresses so short that you’ll expose your bum once you bend over. And if you plan on going to posh locations, such as the upscale nightspots on Asian Heritage Row, remember to dress to impress, lest you risk getting turned away by the bouncer. Otherwise, you’re good to go.
Here are some places that you should check out for a fun time in gorgeous KL.
29 Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL
Alright, we all know that homosexuality is a no-no in KL, right? And there’s no way there could be a gay bar in this city, right? Wrong! Actually, there is one, fabulously called Frangipani. Once a week, this place has a gay night, and it really is something else. Apart from that, this is a place where fashionistas, designers, and media literati hang out because it truly is a classy joint. It’s both an acclaimed restaurant and the hottest nightlife venue in the city, and the façade alone was designed to impress. Friday nights are unofficially designated as Gay Night, and if you happen to be there on a Friday, you’ll see how there are people who are perfectly happy to be themselves, whatever cultural stigmas may dictate.
The food is out of this world as well. Their cuisine is mostly rooted in modern European fare, and their menu changes from time to time. For starters, try the Sauteed Tiger Prawn, then have the Grilled Lamb Loin for your main dish. Cap it off with the Dark Valrona Chocolate Ganache, and you’ll swear that this is the best meal you’ll ever have in KL. If chi-chi drinks are what you’re after, the bar has been witness to all the best parties and launches in town, not to mention the best cocktails and the coolest crowds in the city. If you want to live it up like a socialite, then Frangipani is the place to be.
31 Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, KL
Upon entering this place, the murals on The Establishment’s outer walls capture most people’s attention, portraying political and pop culture icons such as Abraham Lincoln, Fidel Castro, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Amy Winehouse to name a few. KL’s hipsters have been flocking to this place ever since this bar opened a few years ago, due to the unfussy and achingly cool vibe of this spot. This is a three-storey outlet that has no signboard bearing its name, instead it proudly proclaims “In God we trust, all others pay cash” and “Inch by Inch, Day by Day”. Now if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.
The street level lounge is cavernous and calm, filled with eclectic knick knacks that make it very distinctive. This is a great spot to have drinks on a first date. Try any of their signature cocktails, such as the 42 Below, The Red Hummingbird, or The Emerald Peacock for a change from your usual martini. The Opulent lounge on the second floor is nice too, though the music can be quite loud. The Rooftop is where you go to hit the dance floor. All in all, it’s a hip place to dine, drink and party.
Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Center
This place is exactly what the name implies—a place to sip cocktails in the sky. Perched on the 33rd floor of the Traders Hotel, the open-air lounge allows guests to sprawl against the backdrop of the gleaming Twin Towers as they feast on yummy bar snacks and delicious drinks while listening to chill and upbeat music. If you’re in KL on business, then this is the right place to just hangout and unwind.
Word is they’ve got the best mojito around town, and their other cocktails are similarly lip-smacking good, so indulge, relax and enjoy the spectacular views and the non-snotty but still posh environment.
Heli Lounge Bar
34th floor, Menara KH, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL
Don’t have a fear of heights? Excellent! If you’re looking for a unique place to party, then the Heli Lounge Bar is the perfect place to be. This isn’t just another KL rooftop watering hole. Customers can spend the evening sipping cocktails on the 36th floor helicopter landing pad of Menara KH, with no walls or windows to obscure their 360-degree view of the KL skyline.
There are two parts to Heli Lounge Bar: a conventional bar at the 34th floor, and an active helipad on the very top of the building. To go up the helipad, you’ll need to climb a few flights of stairs, so ladies, ditch the heels and wear flats for this. The steep steps could be disastrous, especially after a few drinks. The helipad starts filling up by sunset, and the view here is totally Instagram-worthy, but it can be annoying when people are taking pictures nonstop when all you want to do is sit back with a frosty drink in hand. Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, and take a couple of shots yourself. The bar is heavy on the aviation theme. The DJ console has been constructed from parts of an actual refurbished Boeing 747 and a reconstructed Boeing 737 cabin seat. Resident DJs hold the fort here with Top 40 remixes and R & B. The menu is straightforward and uninspired, with many bar standards such as martinis and margaritas. Still, the helipad is what you come for, and the incredible view without barriers.
113 Jalan Ampang, KL
Itching to bust a move on the dance floor? Then do so at KL’s only superclub, Zouk. This hugely popular club is divided into five sections, with dedicated genres and acts such as hiphop, trance, pop, and electro all in one boulder-shaped spaceship. This is the only club where you can party until 5AM, so there’s lots of time to visit each section and dance the night away. As the largest club in the complex with a capacity of over 1,500, the main Zouk room regularly hosts international guest DJs, live performances, fashion shows, fringe art events, short film screenings and exhibitions. This is a place where you wanna bust out your designer threads, as dressing to the nines is highly encouraged.
After a night out in town, you might just be out in time to see the sun rise in KL. Energized by the night’s happenings, now you’re all set and raring to go on another adventure in Kuala Lumpur. Oh, and for that hangover you’ve got? That’s what Roti canai, some kaya toast, and black coffee is for.