PETALING JAYA: Bukit Damansara has joined George Town and Ipoh on Lonely Planet's wall of fame.
The trendy suburb in Kuala Lumpur has been named by Lonely Planet as one of the "10 world's coolest neighbourhoods to visit" alongside suburbs in great world cities like Lisbon and New York City.
"One of the richest addresses in Kuala Lumpur, this neighbourhood has retained its personality despite its recent revitalisation," Lonely Planet writer Kong Wai Yeng wrote in the description of Bukit Damansara, also known as Damansara Heights.
She continued to name several popular eateries in Jalan Batai that has developed the neighbourhood into a "community-focused street replete with eateries and cosmopolitan conveniences".
When contacted, the Kuala Lumpur-based writer told The Star she nominated Bukit Damansara when she learned that the travel website was on the lookout for an exciting neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur.
"Kuala Lumpur is teeming with neighbourhoods with a lot of backstory and Bukit Damansara has a very rich story in terms of its history, appeal, and how it has been revitalised," Kong said.
She adds that in addition to the commercial offerings, Bukit Damansara has a slightly nostalgic edge attached to it and at the same time, a strong community spirit that makes it an interesting neighbourhood.
Bukit Damansara is the only Southeast Asian neighbourhood in the list.
The other neighbourhoods named are Borgo San Frediano in Florence, The Triangle in Lison, Vesterbro in Copenhagen, Sunset Park in New York City, Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro, Frelard in Seattle and Tooting in London.
The two other Asian neighbourhoods in the list are Seongsu-dong in Seoul and Business Bay in Dubai.
Bukit Damansara residents are jubilant over the honour but are also worried that it will now attract the boom of more upscale establishments.
"I think it's brilliant that Damansara Heights is on par with big cities around the world. As a community we do try to keep the neighbourhood pleasant, safe and lively to ensure that we all enjoy a good quality of life living here," said Elaine Zarina Zainur-Lamb, 42.
However, 32-year-old Aimran Ghazali saw this as a curse.
"Damansara Heights will now attract more pretentious eateries and establishments. It is already saturated with them," he said.