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Chow Kit

Bazaar Baru Chow Kit
Ben van Wijnen

Bazaar Baru Chow Kit

The Bazaar Baru Chow Kit is a daily market and opened from 9am till 5 pm. Chow Kit Market is located at the Northern end of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman The market can be reached by KL Monorail easily. You'll get off the monorail at the station "Chow Kit" and you walk back for about 100 meters at the left side of the road.

This colourful market is called after the district Chow Kit.
It's the largest "wet market" in Kuala Lumpur. "Wet Market" is a market, selling fruit, vegetables, tofu, spices, meat and fish, as well as meat, fish, crabs and lobsters. But there are also food stalls and stalls selling clothes, silk, shoes, cassette tapes and fabrics. Here in Chow Kit most people do their daily shopping.

Although the market has a strong Malay and Indonesian character, in the vicinity are also a Chinese and a Sikh temple. At night, Chow Kit is the domain of drug addicts, prostitutes and transvestites.
 

 

It is named after the tin miner and municipal councillor Loke Chow Kit. Today the area features a large Indonesian community, and more recently, a small African community.
It is definitely the largest wet market in Kuala Lumpur.

It's not so busy, when we arrive at 10.30 am. Narrow walkways lead us through maze off stall laden with fish, fruit, spices, vegetables and meat.

Frequently there's water on the walkways, because they splash the fish with cold water to keep it fresh. Sometimes they use ice cubes.
Be aware that you put on the right shoes.

A kaleidoscope of colours and fragrances dominates the market. None of the sellers is insisting to sell you anything.
You can walk around freely and everyone wants on the photograph, or wants to make a photograph of you.

Beside the chicken, fish, beef, spices, vegetable and fruit, you can also buy silk and shoes.
There are also hawker stalls with lovely food, like nasi lemak.
At the market of Chow Kit you will meet NO tourists.

 

Chowkit
Een hele grote vrucht: de Jackfruit

Chow Kit

 
This man in the white T-shirt makes santen (photograph left). He takes at his left side a coconut and beats these with a knife very skilled into two equal pieces. He spills the coconut milk simply on the floor.
It has obviously no value. Pity!

When he has opened several coconuts, he holds the half of  the coconut note against a type scraper, for which is a type washing-up bowl to prevent the splattering and loss of santen.
The scraper scrapes all flesh from the coconut. The empty coconut will be sold later.
For him counts only the santen. This will soon be sold in small plastic bags.


The scraped santen falls down in another washing-up bowl and he takes another half coconut. The laughing man in the back will soon take his place..
They love to be on the picture, because there is never tourist coming to the Chow Kit Market..


However everyone likes it, when you show interest in their stall. They will offer you all kind of fruits to taste.

Santen Coconut is used, in the preparation of curries, ice cream, milkshakes, desserts, cocktails (pina colada) and many other dishes.

At the left: The Santen Man

 

 

 

Photo at the right:

There is an open spot on this coloured market. . You will feel the heat immediately on your head.
The narrow walkway between the stalls offer you coolness. The sun can't reach you here, because the walkways are mostly covered by canvas.
Pay attention to the coloured parasols, which are standing on the market.

Much of the clientele at the market is Malay or Indonesian, a reflection of how the area has become much less Chinese over the years. What has not changed is Chow Kit's reputation as a red light district, although this is now mostly confined to the shadier back streets.
For anyone who enjoys the sights and sounds of a busy bazaar, Chow Kit is a real blast.
The bazaar is shaded by funky ceilings, sometimes draped with cloth and oversized, colourful umbrellas.

Itís an olfactory overload at this lively and culturally-enriching market as you wind your way past rows and rows of packed stalls. Fresh produce, exotic fruits, tofu, an abundance of gorgeous chilies, bags of spices, piles of eggs and a staggering array of weird and wonderful things to eat.
 
KL-monorail runs along this market. Get off at station: Chow kit.

 

Chow Kit

 

Chow Kit

  Photo at the left:

The narrow walkways of Bazaar Baru Chow Kit are mostly covered by canvas to protect you from the sun. At the right they are selling eggs and at the left spices.
The floor is wet!!

Major hotels located here are The Grand Seasons, Best Western Pacific, The Legend Hotel, & The Regency. A popular backpackers hostel "Hostel Cosmopolitan" is situated on Jalan Haji Hussein just around the corner from the Monorail station.

 

 

Stay duration on the market:
approx. 1 hour

 

 

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  Ben van Wijnen

 

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