A large city on the Malaysian Peninsula, Petaling Jaya (known as “PJ” to the locals) was established by the British in the 1950s to alleviate overpopulation in the surrounding cities. It is now most well-known for its shopping, business districts, and areas for residents. One of the townships within Petaling Jaya is Kota Damansara, best known for its dining and chic cafes.
Below are the must-have experiences when you visit Kota Damansara.
You must. . Have a durian buffet.
Durian is a thorny, brown fruit with a distinctive taste and smell, which is native to Southeast Asia. It’s rumored that subways in Singapore banned people from eating it in the cars. Now that’s a powerful scent! The smell of durian has been likened it to sewage and onions. The taste, however, is said to be somewhat like ice cream or another sweet dessert. It is one of those foods you have to try for yourself to find out whether you enjoy it.
There are several durian buffets in and around Petaling Jaya, but they are often moving or closing based upon the season. The establishments are simple stalls, rather than brick and mortar buildings, so it is a casual dining atmosphere. One of the most reliable durian buffets is called Durian SS2 located at Jalan SS2/75, Petaling Jaya (North), 46300. For a certain price, many of the buffets are all-you-can-eat; however, the quality of the durian tend to be higher when you purchase them individually.
You must. . .visit chic cafes in Kota Damansara.
Just as in many other countries, the hipster style and trend is on the rise in Malaysia. Hanging out in cafes and hopping from one to another has also become a cool trend. There are a variety of cafes throughout Petaling Jaya that a fantastic coffee selection within an artistic, instagram-worthy setting.
If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee, this map of cafes in Kota Damansara will whet your appetite for the wondrous, artsy little nooks and the smell of coffee beans roasting in the background.
You must. . .visit a local kopitiam.
Southeast Asia is known for its kopitiam cafes. In Malaysia, such cafes serve Chinese cuisine and coffees. There are both traditional kopitiams and newfound cafes. The new establishments were created out of the Malaysian community seeking a piece of their past and wanting to reintroduce kopitiams as a cultural center for social gathering. Uncle Lim’s Cafe is a good example of a revival kopitiam and is located in many areas around Petaling Jaya and the local malls.
You must… stay where the locals are (because you’ll want to stay so long!)
There is a great variety of hotels to choose from when staying in Kota Damansara. Among the budget hotels are Best View Hotel, i-Hotel, Sun Inns Hotel, and one of the most preferred budget hotels in Kota Damansara, Tune Hotels. All offer free wi-fi and are convenient to restaurants, shopping, and other tourist activities. All cost around the $20 USD mark.
Overall, Petaling Jaya is a wonderful city filled with immersive culture, food, and activities. The question is, where will you start your journey?