Kuala Lumpur has a good selection of reputable nightclubs and discos, most belonging to the big hotels. Many of Kuala Lumpur's bars have a happy hour, offering two drinks for the price of one, between 5 and 8/9 pm. Bintang Walk is a lively spot and has a good selection of alfresco bars and coffee shops. Penang is also lively at night; larger hotels having cocktail lounges, dining, dancing and cultural shows.
There are night markets in most towns, including both Kuala Lumpur and Penang Chinatown. Malay and Chinese films often have English subtitles and there are also English films. The national lottery and Malaysia's only casino at Genting Highlands are government-approved and visitors are not supposed to gamble elsewhere.
Places to Unwind
Kuala Lumpur boasts a bustling commercial centre by day and offers exciting entertainment by night. A myriad of nightspots provides a great and varied selection, and attract the fickle loyalties of party-goers. No doubt, a dull moment never exists in Kuala Lumpur. The various races and cultures also present a great base for many festivals and cultural shows.
Bars and pubs close around 1 or 2 am, while bigger discos will stay open till 3 am. Nearly all have a happy hour, usually between 5 and 7pm, when drink discounts apply on draft beers and "house-pour" (lower-shelf) mixed drinks. Dance clubs charge covers most nights of the week, which typically run from anywhere between RM25 and RM45, depending on the entertainment, and include a drink.
Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle is the epicentre of most of the partying which goes on in the city. Jalan P. Ramlee, just south of KLCC, is Kuala Lumpur's central clubbing area, while the action also spills onto Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Pinang and Jalan Perak. By far the biggest dance club in town is Zouk (113 Jalan Ampang), which is fashioned after the ultra successful Zouk in Singapore. Kuala Lumpur's Hard Rock Café is on Jalan Sultan Ismail next to Concorde Hotel, where you can see local bands playing evergreen rock and blues. Nearby Bukit Bintang also throbs with action, and its neon-lit nightclubs, many of them with hostesses, certainly have a more Asian feel to them. Heritage Row, in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman district, is also a popular nightspot. It occupies a row of refurbished colonial-era shop houses and is now home to one of Kuala Lumpur's swankiest clubs and trendy bars. Strictly for well heeled visitors and locals. It is on Jalan Doraisamy just off Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Dang Wangi.
Out of the city centre, Bangsar has long been one of the busiest places in Kuala Lumpur after the sun goes down. The action is around Jalan Telawi and its side streets, and is definitely the place to go for clubbing and deafening music. Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara in the Damansara and Hartamas district have popular pubs and some clubs as well as nice coffee places. You may be able to find live performances in some of the outlets.
The Malaysian Tourist Centre (109 Jalan Ampang) has an auditorium where Malaysian traditional dance shows are staged every Tuesday to Thursday at 3 pm and every Saturday at 8:30 pm. Cultural performances like traditional Malay dance and martial arts demonstrations are usually held on Friday and Saturday nights at the Central Market, but it's best to check to make sure there's a show.
The movies supply Malaysians with a favourite past time, and Kuala Lumpur has the best range of cinemas in the country. However, be aware that most movies screened here have been thoroughly censored of questionable content. Tanjong Golden Village provides one of the best sound systems plus comfortable chairs in a rather posh setting. Golden Screen Cinemas, equally posh and grand, screens films that compete in prestigious film festivals such as Sundance, plus the normal box office hits.