This Secret Laneway In KL Is The Latest Instagram-Worthy Spot You Need To Visit


Cheng Sim •  Jun 18, 2019

If the walls of Petaling Street could talk, they would speak of all the untold stories that breeze through its heritage laneway. Come and take a glimpse of history at Kwai Chai Hong, a revitalised laneway situated between Jalan Petaling and Lorong Panggung ? The city's latest street art space is only a 4-minute walk from Pasar Seni LRT station.

Credit: @kwaichaihong on Instagram

Petaling Street, also known as Chinatown, is no stranger for being a high-traffic shopping district that is teeming with history. The moment you walk through the double-lanterned arch with Chinese calligraphy of Kwai Chai Hong, it'll take you back in time ?

Credit: @kwaichaihong on Instagram

Back in the days, the weathered and gritty Lorong Panggung was called Kwai Chai Hong, which literally translates to 'Ghost Lane' or 'Little Demon Alley' in Cantonese. According to The Malay Mail, it theorised that the name derives from the migrant workers from China who lived in the area and referred to the kids playing along the laneway as 'kwai chai' or 'little demons'. Well, not any more thanks to the new look that this heritage laneway brings.

Credit: @kenwei86 on Instagram

A project kickstarted by a local space management company named Bai Chuan Management Sdn Bhd, these pre-war shophouses have been reimagined with street art that tells a story. From a traditional barber who awaits his customer with a leather seat to a landlord lady who awaits her next month's rent, the walls are bursting with vibrant murals by homegrown artists Khek Shin Nam, Chan Kok Sing, Chok Fook Yong, Chew Weng Yeow and Wong Leck Min ?

Credit: @asianflaneur on Instagram

Credit: @omgosh_v_bye on Instagram

Credit: @omgosh_v_bye on Instagram

Credit: @shinta_veronica on Instagram

The Instagram-worthy laneway is also dotted with QR codes where you can scan easily with your smartphones to get interactive with the murals. It's definitely a great way to appreciate the old and new elements of Kwai Chai Hong. If you're looking for something to eat around this secret laneway, there's one cafe that's worth a visit! ?

Halal food nearby

Credit: Merchant's Lane on Facebook

After walking down memory lane, enjoy a 3-minute stroll to Merchant's Lane that's just as Instagram-friendly as the other places you've seen in Petaling Street. Decked out with weathered walls, wooden furniture and indoor plants, every corner is great for the 'gram.

Credit: @merchantslane on Instagram

After you've found a spot, head over to the counter for a quick look of the menu. For something with a distinctively Malaysian name, go for the Port Klang (deep battered calamari, Dori and prawns), Kg. Sg. Tua (grilled salmon with sweet potato mash) and Kalau Aku Kaya (brioche-style bread balls with a side of kaya). While the restaurant is not halal-certified, it uses ingredients from halal-certified suppliers and the menu is strictly pork-free.

P.S. Planning a cafe-hopping adventure? Check out our 2019 guide to the best halal cafes in KL

With a picture-perfect laneway to explore and a well-decorated cafe to dine, looks like we'll be seeing you at Kwai Chai Hong this weekend ?

Address: Kwai Chai Hong, Lorong Panggung, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: Daily, 9AM-6PM

Admission: Free

Directions: Alight at Pasar Seni LRT station and walk for 4 minutes to Lorong Panggung where Kwai Chai Hong is located

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