Kuala Lumpur Wet Markets Tour with Christina
Off the track experience of one of the largest wet markets in the country.
Wet markets are usually the pulse of the city, where the local go to get their weekly shopping done, as well as to catch up with what's going in the neighbourhood. This is so different from shopping in one of the ultra modern air-conditioned supermarkets or hypermarkets.
The experience of the sights and smells of each wet market is unique. Mingle with the local housewives and retailers going there for their regular shopping. Catch the bustle that typifies one of the oldest commercial institutions.
The wet market is situated on Madras Lane and is just off Petaling Street nowadays called Jalan Petaling. This is historically one of the first wet markets in Malaysia which has survived till today against the trend of airconditioned supermarkets. If you want to experience the sights and smells of a wet market which hasn't really changed much over the years this is a must visit site when you are in KL. Visit an old Chinese Medicinal Hall to see the display of herbs - dried seahorses, sundried scorpions and geckoes, antlers and rare herbs from China. Drink the black potent herbal concoction specially brewed for you to rid you off heatiness. If you want something to spice up your sex life - a discreet word can be whispered to the old master.
Try a variety of local dishes and delicacies. Here you will find fresh vegetables from Cameron Highlands, To Fu displayed in water to keep fresh, live chickens, eggs, live fish from the rivers, and an array of spices which gives Malaysian food its distinctive taste. See whether you can spot any century eggs while walking around the market. Give it a try. It has a unique taste and I especially like the yolk. Here you will also find fresh Malaysian fruits like the solo papaya, pineapple from Sarawak, durian, banana, watermelon, honey dew, mangosteen, etc.
The typical day starts at 2am for the vendors and they'll either sell their produce until they are sold out or 12 noon whichever is the earlier. They are open 7 days a week and business will be done from the early hours of the morning until lunch time usually. If you go early enough in the morning you can also find an intersting breakfast spread of noodle and rice dishes. Locals going to work in Chinatown and nearby areas will usually stop over for a quick breakfast, read the local newspapers, perhaps catch up with friends before trotting off to work.
You may get a feel of old Kuala Lumpur while walking through the narrow lanes listening to the vendors yelling out their bargains after the morning rush. If you are on a self catering holiday visit the wet market in mid-morning and you may get some really good prices for your purchases. There's this particular fish seller located at the side entrance/exit facing the old Indian temple whom I use whenever we want really fresh seafood. You will find that his prices are reasonable and can be subject to bargaining.
The Wet Markets are one of the few spots relatively untouched by tourists. Not quite for the faint hearted. Most tourists will put down Chinatown on their intinerary for KL drawn by the bright lights and the promise of cheap bargains. Few would come to know of the Chinatown wet market which is hidden away in between the old shophouses that line Petaling Street.
Time: 8.30 am - 12 noon
Group rates: Available upon request