KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Located in the golden triangle, Kuala Lumpur’s shopping, entertainment and commercial hub, the AirAsia-Bukit Bintang Monorail station is arguably one of the city’s busiest with locals and tourists alike.
The elevated station has the budget airline’s presence all over including on the walls and columns. There is also a small AirAsia customer service office where bookings, seat selections and changes can be made.
Opened in 2003 as the Bukit Bintang station, it was renamed AirAsia-Bukit Bintang in 2015 when the low-cost carrier was given naming rights under the rail operator Prasarana Malaysia Berhad’s Station Naming Rights Programme. The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the scheme offers corporations a chance to acquire the right to “dress” a station and display their brand identities as well as name it after their organisations.
With three sheltered exit points ― one to the west of Jalan Sultan Ismail and two that take commuters comfortably into Sungei Wang Plaza and Lot 10 shopping centres, the urban station is also within walking distance of other malls like Pavilion KL, Starhill Gallery, Fahrenheit 88, Imbi Plaza and Low Yat Plaza. The latter two are known for shops selling gadgets, mobile phones and IT-related items.
Sungei Wang Plaza was one of the most notable shopping centres in town back in the late 1970s (it opened in 1977) right up to the 1990s. Although its popularity might have been taken over by its more upmarket neighbours, there is no doubt that it still draws in the crowds; its website states that it receives an average of two million visitors a month. The mall had undergone two massive refurbishment exercises, in 1992 and 2012.
The high-energy shopping and entertainment district that is Bukit Bintang is a fairly new development. The idea for what exists today ― shopping centres, dining options and cafes as well as boutique hotels and bars ― came about in the late 1980s when business tycoon Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay proposed a major shopping cluster in the heart of the city’s Golden Triangle. The rest, as they say, is history.
The area is home to the city’s first international-class hotel, The Federal Kuala Lumpur, whose opening coincided with Malaya’s independence from British rule ― it opened for business just three days before Aug 31, 1957, and hosted foreign dignitaries who were in the country for the occasion.
Right next to the hotel is BB Park, home to restaurants in a semi-open air setting. There’s also a bargain shop selling Japanese products from cosmetics to plush toys with prices starting at RM5 for two pieces of facial sheet masks here.
Another place of interest close to the station is Ain Arabia in Jalan Berangan. Dubbed Kuala Lumpur’s “little Arab”, this area is a place where you can find many eateries, mini markets and perfume shops selling all-things Middle East.
Shawarmas costs from RM5 each, a box of (18) dried figs at RM9.90 and a large bottle of oud fragrance is tagged at RM350.