Trending hobbies in KL

We take a look at KL's latest crazes and obsessions
By Time Out KL editors |

Looking for a new hobby? Find out why these obsessions are the latest craze among KLites and how you can get in on them. 

Photo: Stickerrific


Remember that Japan trip (or that visit to the dentist)? You'll remember it better if you meticulously note things down, instead of uploading them to Facebook, then forgetting about it. Also, it provides a legit excuse to be creative and stock up on cat stickers. You can use a mixed media of photos, calligraphy, illustrations, stickers, washi tapes and miscellaneous items like ticket stubs. Anything goes.
At journal and craft specialist store Stickerrific, we witnessed people calling to reserve newly stocked limited edition travel journals. Also, there are folks who carry not one but five journals with them wherever they go, so that's how bad the obsession is.

Feed your obsession at: Stickerrific and My Paper Projects.

Bryan Chin
Photo: Rizki Maulana


Most of the collectors in the thriving Malaysian sneaker community have collections numbering up to the hundreds of pairs and counting. Names like Lim Kok Kean and Azuwan Zulkifli come to mind. But then, there’s Bryan Chin, also a magazine editor by profession. Though his collection is relatively small with a rough estimate of about 90 pairs, he likes it that way as it allows him to constantly update his collection with new steals. His very first pair was a limited edition New Balance 574 from his mother on his 19th birthday (he’s been collecting for ten years), which kick-started his collection. However, it was only in the past five years that he started diving deeper into the world of sneakers in terms of learning more about the shoe and its history. Starting out with limited editions and flashy sneakers, Bryan soon began to prefer the monochrome palette. His three current favourites are the Undefeated x adidas Consortium Superstar 80 ‘10th Anniversary’, adidas Ultra Boost and Nike Air Footscape Woven Chukka Freemotion. Read our interview with Bryan Chin

Feed your obsession at: Sole What, Crossover, Hundred% and 17 Gallery

All Aboard Community Gaming Centre
Photo: All Aboard Community Gaming Centre

Board games

You’d think a nerdy endeavour like playing board games would’ve been squashed by the internet or Xbox by now. But no. If anything, games like ‘Settlers of Catan’, ‘Five Tribes’ and ‘Carcassonne’ are both fostering and destroying friendships at board game cafés. ‘People can get very competitive,’ quips Boardgame Depot owner Irene Siow, who used to run Book X-Change for more than 20 years in Bangsar. Her books now share the same space as more than 150 game titles in Boardgame Depot, also co-managed by her son Lucas Tho. But why are people obsessed with board games these days? ‘It’s a brain-teasing social activity. It’s the camaraderie, face-to-face experience that can never be replaced by video games,’ summarises Irene. ‘And of course, winning. Who doesn’t like to win against their friends?’

Feed your obsession at: Boardgame Depot, The Border City and All Aboard Community Gaming Centre.

Little Habitats


These gardens in glass are bang on trend in KL interiors at the moment – cacti, ferns and floral centrepieces gracing dinner parties, table tops and windowsills are still hip houseplants, but the terrarium, aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance, is the plant for people who love nature but hate the outdoors. It’s a glass container for growing air plants, cacti or rooted plants; hang them in geometric cases or porcelains from the ceiling, or keep a kingdom on your shelves in globes, mason jars or even wine bottles.

The basic components of a terrarium – a clear container, greenery and soil – stay the same, but the end result can vary from fairy tale gardens to romantic and rustic, or Zen minimalist. You can start your own terrarium – Snackfood for instance, hosts workshops (from RM180) on the regular but if you’d rather buy, here are three more to try: Ficus & Jars, Little Habitats and Potheads.

Colouring book
Photo: Hizwan Hamid

Adult colouring books

It’s safe to say that colouring books have brought a new lease of life to the publishing industry; publishing houses are chasing the colouring books trend, printing colouring books almost as fast as they fly off the shelves. There are colouring books of the animal kingdom, there’s one for fans of ‘Game of Thrones’, another with hip hop artists, plenty of options for the modern art snob (‘The Modern Art Doodle Book’ for example, imitates the styles of famous artists), and pages after pages of sophisticated, swirly patterns.

For more, see our list of the best colouring books for adults.