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Bukit Bintang (Malay [ˈbu.ket̚ ˈbi.ntaŋ]; stylized as Bintang Walk or Starhill, the latter being a translation of the Malay name) is the name of the shopping and entertainment district of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It encompasses Bukit Bintang Road and its immediate surrounding areas. The area has long been Kuala Lumpur's most prominent retail belt that is home to many landmark shopping centres, al-fresco cafés, swanky bars, night markets, as well as hawker-type eateries. This area is popular among tourists and locals, especially among the youths. A part of Bintang Walk is designated as an "Arab Street".
- 1 Location
- 2 History
- 3 Overview
- 4 Shopping
- 5 List of shopping malls
- 6 Food
- 7 Indoor theme park
- 8 Spa and foot reflexology
- 9 Accessibility
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Nestled within Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, the Bukit Bintang district begins with Bukit Bintang Road which starts at Raja Chulan Road and ends at Pudu Road. The two other roads that border the Bukit Bintang district are Sultan Ismail Road which intersects it and Imbi Road at the south. Walter Grenier Road, Bulan Road, Changkat Bukit Bintang and Alor Road are considered part of the entertainment district.
Tong Shin Road in Bukit Bintang was the focal point of the Malaysia's deadly May 13 race riots. Back in the late 1980s, corporate magnate Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay proposed a rejuvenated retail cluster in Kuala Lumpur. He started retail developments in this area through a conglomerate YTL Corporation and branded the area as Bintang Walk. The district has since undergone a transformation to become one of the hippest destinations in the city, though the decentralisation of malls in Kuala Lumpur of late has seen more sophisticated malls sprouting around the fringes of the city proper at an unprecedented rate.
Bintang Walk refers to the more developed stretch along the main Bukit Bintang Road and Sultan Ismail Road roads, with the intersection of these two roads as its axis. This place has been transformed over the last 5 years to become one of the most trendy and busiest shopping clusters in the city.Street furniture lines the pavements here. Upscale cafes, restaurants and clubs continue to make their presence felt here. On weekends, thousands of locals as well as tourists throng Bintang Walk and its shopping centres. Many major nightlife events take place here such as the New Year's countdown, Merdeka eve celebrations, street concerts and parties. The annual Malaysian F1 Grand Prix pit stop and Guinness St Patrick's Day Celebrations are held here too.
Bukit Bintang is one of the city's shopping districts. Many of the city's major retail malls are located in this area, including Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Fahrenheit 88, Low Yat Plaza, Starhill Gallery, Sungei Wang Plaza, Lot 10 and Pavilion KL.
Imbi is a commercial area located near Bukit Bintang and being a popular tourist spot, the district is especially crowded during public holidays and peak hours. The Berjaya Times Square shopping complex and hotel is located in Imbi. Imbi Road is the main road running through this area.
List of shopping malls
- Berjaya Times Square It is currently the 13th biggest shopping mall in the world boasting 12 levels of retail with a total of 3,500,000 square feet (330,000 m2). Although it was initially aimed at the upper-echelon of society, it is currently positioned as a middle-class shopping mall offering youth fashion targeted at the younger crowds. For entertainment, it has the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia located on the 7th floor of the building, it also offers a 3D-Imax theater located on the top floor of the retail podium.
- Starhill Gallery is probably the ritziest and luxurious mall in the whole of Kuala Lumpur alongside Suria KLCC. A Louis Vuitton flagship outlet flank the exterior facade of this grand structure. Fashion houses whether Gucci, Fendi, Valentino can all be found here.
- Pavilion KL Built in late 2007, it is targeted at the middle-upper segment of society. It offers a diverse tenant mix which makes it one of the more popular malls in KL. Tangs and Parkson are the anchor tenants of this mammoth 7-storey retail podium, first-times in Malaysia like Mandarina Duck and Juicy Couture have settled here. A plethora of luxury boutiques ranging from YSL, Celine, Zegna, Diane von Fürstenberg to Italian fashion doyens like Furla and Prada are also located there. Malaysia's previous prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad opened his very own bakery here, known as The Loaf, located strategically next to the entrance.
- Fahrenheit 88 Renamed and refurbished, opened in September 2010, the area previously housed the deteriorating KL Plaza. It consists of 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) of lettable space spread over 5 levels of zoned shopping space. There is a designated zone for IT gadgets similar to that of Low Yat Plaza, named Signature@IT. This mall caters largely to homegrown, middle-priced retailers despite anchored by Japanese retailer Uniqlo.
- Lot 10 When it was opened in 1989, it was considered the Harrods-equivalent of Malaysia housing designer outlets like Aigner and Versace. Nowadays it is widely-reckoned as a middle-class retail destination as most outlets have shifted as a result of competition and degradation. Widespread refurbishment to the mall was done at a cost of RM20 million. Existing anchor Isetan has undergone a facelift. The entrance of this monumental landmark is flanked by British retailer Debenhams and Zara as well as H&M, popular Swedish multinational retail-clothing outlet.
- Low Yat Plaza The ultimate one-stop center for KL-ites when shopping for electronic gadgets. The ratio between IT outlets and F&B outlets are 70:30.
- Sungei Wang Plaza (Chinese: 金河广场)— Despite opening in 1977 and is the oldest mall in the area it remains a 100%-occupancy mall with the highest visiting traffic in Malaysia, though visitors more towards the younger crowd. It features mainly trendy Asian-inspired fast-retail fashion at bargain prices.
- BB Plaza (Chinese: 武吉免登购物中心)— Bukit Bintang Plaza is adjoined to Sungei Wang Plaza. It is anchored by homegrown Metrojaya. Slated for demolition and will be closed by 31 December 2014 to make way for the MRT project.
- Imbi Plaza
Chulan Square is located at the intersection of the upper-end of bustling Raja Chulan Road and Bukit Bintang Road. Outlets available:
- Nawab Authentic Moghul Restaurant (Northern Indian)
- KL Rakuzen Japanese Restaurant (Japanese)
- Gu Yue Tien Chinese Cuisine (Chinese)
- Gaucho Grill (Argentinean)
- Hadramawt Authentic Middle Eastern (Middle Eastern)
- Yemen Cuisine (Yemeni)
- Kampung Laksa (Malay)
- First Kayu Nasi Kandar Seafood Paradise Restoran (Fusion;Malay;Western)
Restaurants dedicated to Arabian gastronomy have been sprouting along the core of the Bintang Walk of late as a result of a recent general initiative to lure Arab tourists to this region. Popular Maghreb and Lebanese alongside Iranian delicacies are increasingly served by restaurants. However, there are still plenty of trendy and chic restaurants catering to international fare, especially in the BB park area.
"Hutong" on Lot 10
Hutong (Chinese: 胡同) is referred to as Malaysia's first gourmet heritage village, a food court inspired by the Old China influences. The term Hutong is commonly associated with narrow alleys in Beijing's oldest neighborhoods. Located on the lower ground floor of Lot 10, this newly revamped food court features 25 street food stalls selling locally-renowned and established Chinese eateries scoured across Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It is directly connected to Bintang Walk via an escalator.
Previously an entertainment park owned by Low Yat and Sons Realty, BB Park has been extensively revamped to keep abreast with changing times. Its axis is located along the lower section of Bintang Walk, its concept revolves around social dining and cultural themes. It hosts themed-restaurants in a semi-open air setting which serves up mainly foreign foods including French and German cuisines. The park features Live entertainment in the form of Live bands and cultural shows, and are held during some weekdays alongside during weekends. Besides food joints, some of BB Park's tenants include local art galleries.
Changkat Bukit Bintang
Changkat Bukit Bintang is located perpendicular to Bintang Walk and Alor Road. This is the upmarket gastronomy district of Bukit Bintang. Fine dining joints line the street. It boasts pre-war, colonial buildings which have been refurbished into upmarket restaurants and pubs, serving up Western dining. Changkat Bukit Bintang is also home to one of Kuala Lumpur's hippest and happening party venues.
Alor Road is an entire street dedicated to cheap hawker food of mainly local Chinese cuisines. Located within walking proximity of Bintang Walk, it is popular among the locals for offering food served in a traditional open-air atmosphere, with chairs and tables dotting the curbs and road-sides. This is a place burgeoning with activity both during night and day. While some hawkers erect stalls along curbs, others operate food stalls from utilitarian restaurants. The food served in local hawker stalls is generally cleaner than their counterparts in Malaysia's less-developed neighbouring countries.
Indoor theme park
Cosmo's World Indoor theme park is located between level 5 and 7 of Berjaya Times Square. It is Malaysia's largest indoor theme park, measuring 133,000 square feet (12,400 m2). It features both children rides and thrill rides. The grueling Supersonic Odyssey is Asia-Pacific's longest multiple-inverted 800 metres long indoor roller coaster.
Spa and foot reflexology
The Bintang Walk district is famous for its specialist foot/body massages and spas-related services. There are numerous shops along the district offering different types of massages inspired by Chinese traditions. These stores also offer exotic foot treatments. These incorporate reflexology, which stimulates acupressure points on the foot. Among the claimed benefits of foot massages are better blood circulation, cures to certain ailments and a balanced, detoxified body. In these shops, patrons sit on reclining long chairs and spend up to an hour or more getting their feet treated to a thorough massage. Charges are measured by duration and types of the massages. The shops are usually open till the wee hours of the morning, which is when the bulk of the business comes.
Bintang Walk is accessible via Bukit Bintang Monorail station, which is located at the intersection of Sultan Ismail Road and Bukit Bintang Road; Imbi Monorail station which is located right next to Berjaya Times Square and Raja Chulan Monorail station which is connected to the elevated pedestrian walkway from Suria KLCC to Bukit Bintang.
Under the upcoming My Rapid Transit, one station has been designated for Bintang Walk under the finalised Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line, namely Bukit Bintang Central. The previous proposal to have two stations- Bukit Bintang East and Bukit Bintang West -have been etched and consolidated into one. Operations will begin in January 2016.
In 2011, Petronas spent RM100 million under its social contribution programme to build an elevated, air-conditioned walkway from Suria KLCC shopping centre to Pavilion shopping center in Bukit Bintang. The walkway includes a 562m long and five-metre wide elevated walkway that traverses through the busy areas of Pinang Road, Perak Road and Raja Chulan Road with escalator and staircase entry and exit points at strategic and convenient locations as well as security guards for the safety of the pedestrians. The walkway is also linked to the Raja Chulan Monorail station, Impiana Hotel and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. An average walk from Suria KLCC to Pavilion through the elevated walkway would take approximately 15 minutes.
- Bukit Bintang Girls' School, a previously colonial school, the site of the present Pavilion KL.
- Orchard Road, Singapore's premier shopping haven.
- Fifth Avenue, New York's retail strip.
- "Malaysia-International Fashion Week set to dazzle".
- Ziauddin Sardar (August 2000), The consumption of Kuala Lumpur, pp. 111 et seq., ISBN 978-1-86189-057-3
- "Pembangunan Semula Bukit Bintang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur". UDA Holdings. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Grand opening of Lot 10 Hutong".
- "Gourmet Heritage Village – Lot 10 Hutong".
- "BB Park's glorious draw".
- "TimesSq KL".
- Tourism Malaysia: Bintang Walk
- Bukit Bintang travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Cosmo's World Indoor Theme Park
- Photographs of Bukit Bintang