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‘Chow Kit Road, di tengah bandaraya orang merata-rata. Dari segala bangsa tua atau muda. Ada yang berkereta ada yang jalan saja. Ada yang cuci mata,’ – the opening verse to the hit song ‘Chow Kit Road’; despite being penned by Sudirman Arshad in the ’80s the lyrics still ring true till this day.
Named after Loke Chow Kit, a miner municipal councillor and public official, the Chow Kit area encompasses a relatively large chunk of KL from Jalan Putra to Jalan Dang Wangi. Parts of the neighbourhood are currently going through a facelift – Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Putra are developing at rapid speeds with a Monorail station, multi-storey hotels and high-end residences like the Regalia Residence – while sections along Jalan Haji Hussein and Jalan Sri Amar are bits of Chow Kit that seem to be stuck in a time long past.
With a town this busy, you’re bound to find a vibrant mix of characters which lend to Chow Kit’s chaotic charm. Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is where pedestrians trudge along looking for bargain goods from the many stalls and shops thanks to the famous Chow Kit Market and nearby shops; The Row at Jalan Doraisamy draws in a more affluent crowd with its cool cafés, restaurants and shops; and along Jalan Putra you’ll find shoplots and office spaces which breed a nasty traffic during peak hours.