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KL's best bars to cool off

Where to drink to escape the heat

Photo: Hizwan Hamid

Beat the heat the old-fashioned way.



At the city slick SkyBar, you can take cover at one of their cabanas against the backdrop of the gleaming twins (towers, that is). It’s comfortably shady with an indoor pool but do note that pool access is only for in-house guests. Wear something blue and go on Mondays for happy hour.

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KL City Centre

Mai Bar

The tiki-themed Mai Bar at Aloft Hotel has the added comfort of an air-conditioned section. If you’re not a hotel guest you can’t really make a splash (in the pool we mean), but dipping your toes is fine. With the breeze, skyline and a glass of their signature Mai Tai in hand, who needs a dip in the pool anyway?

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KL Sentral

Nagaba KL

For something a little more street, skip over to Nagaba. Go right up to the rooftop on the third floor; it’s done up in a deliberate downtown-meets-shabby chic way – think alfresco settings, bare bulbs and potted plants – that will make you feel a little bit like you’re chilling at a friend’s courtyard. It’s never too crowded – most people make their way to the second floor for the dancefloor and raging music – so you can enjoy the light wind and pretend it’s still one of KL’s best kept secrets.

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Bukit Bintang


On the same note, the speakeasy HYDE at 53M is certainly no secret (or at least, not anymore). Located above The Good Batch, the joint is well-hidden behind a black sliding door. Once inside though, you’ll appreciate the quiet, under-the-radar glamour; it’s decked out in low lighting, sleek marble tops and plush cushions with classic jazz completing the Prohibition-era cool. Stay in the spacious air-conditioned section, sip on artisanal cocktails and craft beers, and hide from the heat at HYDE.

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Best beer promotions

It’s been said that beer cools down the body. So let’s get down to business: The cheapest beers in KL are chilling at Barfly, where a pint of Tiger costs RM12. It’s always beer time at GRIDiRON on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm; from 4pm, a mug of Tiger will set you back RM4, at 5pm, RM5 and so on.