Jalan Bukit Bintang. the street that never sleeps


  • Focus
  • Saturday, 19 Dec 2015

A portrait artist painting a picture of a child.

JALAN Bukit Bintang, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, is a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.

The trendy shopping and entertainment district has no shortage of restaurants, bars and nightclubs as well as shopping centres and five-star hotels, all helping to draw in the crowds.

Aside from the usual heavy traffic during peak hours, shoppers carrying bags and visitors sightseeing are some of the typical sights in the area as night begins to fall.

Bright, almost blinding, neon billboards advertising the latest products light up the night sky, and the area only gets more vibrant as buskers and roadside traders take to the streets.

One must pay RM3 to take a photo of this couple who are covered in gold paint.
One must pay RM3 to take a photo of this couple who are covered in gold paint

Traders set up stalls to sell everything from home-made handicraft featuring Kuala Lumpur’s iconic landmarks to glow sticks.

Some are also seen making ends meet by displaying their goods on the pavement, calling for pedestrians to look at their products.

Taking a stroll down the crowded street on a Tuesday night, I saw creative artists and energetic buskers working hard to entertain the crowd.

A couple who had painted themselves in gold were a source of entertainment for the people near the Bukit Bintang Monorail station. Of course, one is required to drop RM3 into their coin bucket if you want to take pictures of them.

Disabled buskers in wheelchairs were seen carrying mobile speaker systems as they entertained the crowd with jazz tunes and oldies.

A portrait artist sketching a picture of a child.
A man selling handmade handicraft which make perfect souvenirs

Artists also took to the streets with pride, showing of their creativity in order to earn a living.

With only pencils and markers, portrait artists pulled off marvels, drawing portraits based on photos provided by customers.

Henna artists also featured a range of designs for customers to choose from.

To my surprise, I managed to find branded glasses and watches being sold at rock-bottom prices on the streets.

This is something that international tourists should take note of as some products are believed to be fake.

Because of the high volume of visitors to the area, one should be cautious of pick pockets and snatch thieves.

Getting to Jalan Bukit Bintang is easy with ground and rail transport.

Jalan Bukit Bintang is still crowded with people and traffic is heavy around 10pm.
Jalan Bukit Bintang is still crowded with people and traffic is heavy around 10pm.

Since some of the areas in Jalan Bukit Bintang are being developed, I found that the place was less lively than it used to be.

Some of the buskers and traders, whose usual location was taken up by development, had spilled over to Jalan Sultan Ismail and other smaller roads.

The street is busier during weekends with more buskers.

At about 11pm on a weekday, the crowd started to thin.

A trader selling glow toys at the roadside.
A trader selling glow toys at the roadside.
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