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Quiet KL: Where to relax in the city

Is the noise driving you mad? Escape to these calm and quiet places in KL

Written by
Wai Yeng Kong
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Hushed libraries and food courts during non-peak hours aren’t the only places in KL for you to sneak in some quiet time: If you’re looking for a spot free of the city’s hollering kopitiam uncles, loud mall rats and honking taxis, retreat to these quiet spots in KL for a calm hour or two of relaxation. It won’t beat a long spa session, but you’ll be free from the chatter and din for a while.

  • Things to do
  • KL Sentral
The around-the-clock construction at KL Sentral can make one feel like they’re living next to a jackhammer. But it’s still possible to zip into a moment of quiet within the area. The smack of green just outside FINAS Content Malaysia Pitching Centre at Platinum Sentral – hemmed in with trees and dotted with concrete benches – provides some serenity without having to remove yourself from the din of the city. You can’t eliminate the noise around you completely, but it can be muffled with the company of earphones and a good book.
  • Art
  • Hang Tuah
We have homegrown arts consultancy OUR ArtProjects to thank for forging a link between our languishing heritage and the city’s art scene. Located in a row of restored 1950s interconnected shophouses in Kampung Attap (that once housed the Selangor Zhongshan Association), OUR ArtsProjects converted an entire building of 12 units into a creative hub, roping in other tenants such as Malaysian Design Archive, Tandang Store, The Ricecooker Archives and more. The monthly art exhibitions (the gallery debuted with Nirmala Dutt’s ‘Great Leap Forward’) as well as activities are sure to inspire an afternoon of creative meditation.
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  • Art
  • Print rooms
  • Bangsar
You don’t have to travel far to duck out of the city grind. The deafening F&B crowd at APW is bound to shred some nerves, but you only need to dally across to the pocket park next door – decked out prettily with light installations – for temporary relief. It’ll be hard to unplug yourself completely from the internet (ie, Instagram) because the cafés there are, indeed, very pretty. So, here’s a great chance to practise some self-restraint and strip all our rehearsed social behaviours away.
Ilham Gallery
  • Art
  • KL City Centre
On weekdays, the hushed gallery halls permit a tranquil scrutiny of arts (the crowd remains formidable over the weekends; a good sign for the local art scene surely). ILHAM is responsible for bringing contemporary artists, whose names may not resonate with KLites today, to the light while embracing thrilling works of experiential art occasionally. Don’t stop there; interact with their public sculptures – Ai WeiWei’s ‘Divina Proportione’ and Pinaree Sanpitak’s ‘Breast Stupa Topiary’ – in the glorious sun.
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  • Things to do
  • Sentul
The whir of espresso machines and caffeinated chatter at Three Little Birds in D7 provide just the right level of background noise to stimulate creativity. Even if you’re not there to work, the large glass panels of the cafés there – including tea purveyor Someplace Beautiful – turn people-watching into major entertainment. When the weather cooperates, a quiet moment at the landscaped courtyards provides an instant dose of vitamin D.
X coffee
  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • KL Sentral
  • price 2 of 4
X coffee is very Japanese – not just because they’re a multi-roaster coffee bar featuring beans from Fuglen, Glitch and Maruyama. Even the design of the space has a Zen-like aesthetic. The coffee stand’s secluded location, hidden on the 12th floor of the Q Sentral office tower, is super minimal; a clean, white bar without flourishes. There’s also the limited seating: only four tables, to be exact. But the coffee is good. While they do offer espresso-based coffee, you should go for the filter coffee, where you choose your preferred bean and choice of filter.
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