In its heyday, Petaling Street was a bustling hotspot for good food and cheap goods that attracted both locals and tourists alike
However, Petaling Street today is a far cry from the Chinatown we used to know, as local tour guides are now discouraging foreign tourists from stopping by the iconic spot because "it is not worth visiting"
"Local tour guides will not recommend visitors to go there," said Kuala Lumpur Tourist Guides Association immediate past chairman Wong Hin Tuck, adding that the iconic spot is no longer the shopper's haven it used to be."We are not condemning the place, but basically we are honestly telling people, notably Chinese tourists, that it is not worth visiting."
Wong added that "there is nothing Chinese about Chinatown anymore", as the place had long been overrun by foreign workers
Wong, who is also the second vice president of the Malaysian Tourist Guide Council, estimated that at least 60% of the traders in Chinatown are foreigners.
He added that the association met with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) a few years ago to discuss the situation, but nothing came out of the meeting.
The NST report also cited disappointing reviews of Petaling Street on travel website TripAdvisor. Some complained about the "overpriced" pirated goods and pickpockets...
... While others complained that the traders were "rude" and "aggressive". Some even recommended going to Central Market across the road instead.
However, Petaling Street also had its fair share of positive comments from tourists who highlighted the cheap bargains and street food
Have you been to KL's Chinatown lately? Let us know how the experience was like for you in the comments section below.