KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― It is Kuala Lumpur’s first fancy mall and to this day Ampang Park is still frequented by many despite its close proximity to retail giants like Intermark Mall, Avenue K and Suria KLCC.

Opened in 1973, this place has its own charm especially for those who grew up during its heyday. Going to the mall was an occasion in itself since it was the only multi-level shopping centre with a variety of retail outlets, elevators and escalators back then. So hip it was that it was the location of choice for local movies.

Now Ampang Park houses a grocery store, pharmacies, restaurants (Cozy House being the most popular), clinics, banks (Maybank and Bank Simpanan Nasional), hair salons, fabric shops and fashion kiosks.

The latter is a favourite of many since the items sold such as blouses, kaftans, men’s baju Melayu, baju kurung and headscarves are inexpensive and sometimes, bargainable. A plain cotton-mix tunic is tagged at RM45.

Tempted already? If you are, you can head to the mall in the most convenient way — by taking the LRT (Kelana Jaya line) which has a station just below it at underground level.

Located along Jalan Ampang, near the Jalan Tun Razak intersection, the Ampang Park LRT station is within walking distance of several prominent buildings including the foreign embassies of Singapore, France and the United States.

Menara Citibank, Bangunan Tabung Haji, Wisma MCA, The Troika, InterContinental Hotel, GTower Hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, PNB Darby Park, The Intermark and Platinum Park are among other notable buildings nearby.

The station has a few attractions of its own such as a mini rest area made friendly by a few shady trees as well as concrete benches.

Located above the station’s Jalan Binjai exit, the small park is a place where you can sit and have a quick bite or a cuppa. There’s the Optimist Coffee kiosk close by in case you didn’t bring your own snack or drink.

While the public area is a hangout for workers during their lunch break, it becomes a favourite space for young people to showcase their skateboarding skills in the evenings, especially during weekends.

 For something cold on a hot day, head over to Tutti Frutti for some frozen yoghurt. This outlet is located just above the station’s Jalan Tun Razak exit. Directly opposite the dessert kiosk is a bus stop where you can catch RapidKL buses to Bandar Baru Ampang, Ampang Waterfront, Ampang Point, Bangunan Risda, Great Eastern Mall and Gleneagles Medical Centre, among other places.

Financial institutions and ATMs are aplenty too — there’s a CIMB machine inside the station and above ground, you’d find Citibank, Maybank, Bank Simpanan Nasional and Bank of China.

For added convenience, there is a covered pedestrian bridge with escalators close to the station near the mini park.

Built by The Intermark together with City Hall, the RM15 million overpass which stretches across the busy intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak is directly connected to The Intermark and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

The pedestrian bridge also leads to the side entrance of Ampang Park.