Malaysians love discounts. But what do we love more than discounts? Freebies. As more people tighten their purse strings to save and not spend, the Poskod.MY team brings you 20 things that you can do in KL for free. That’s the best kind of four letter word.
EAT AND DRINK
1. Grow your own. It may sound hard to believe, but groups of urban gardeners like the TTDI Edible Project have been using allotment space to grow and harvest their own vegetables and herbs. The Free Tree Society also gives out free plants. Instead of buying expensive packets of herbs from the supermarket, take home a pot for free.
2. Free birthday burger at myBurgerLab. Bring a group of five friends to myBurgerLab and the birthday girl/boy gets a free Heart Attack burger (has to be on the exact date of their birthday). The heart attack burger is a huge tripled layered burger, but you can also exchange it for any other burger. Valid until 31 December 2015.
3. Booze hounds can sniff out free drinks. Ladies nights are usually on a Wednesday or Thursday night at many of KL’s bars. One of our favourites is at SkyBar, where you get breathtaking views and free cocktails for ladies every Wednesday from 6pm – 9pm. SIX cocktail bar in Bangsar also offers free cocktails for ladies on Wednesday night.
4. Take a bus. Instead of haggling over city centre taxi fares, try the free city bus service. GO-KL operates on four main routes (Green, Purple, Red and Blue Line) around the city centre with KLCC, Bukit Bintang and Chinatown among some of its stops. The newer lines (Red and Blue) link with the existing Green and Purple lines and take you to as far as Dataran Merdeka and Chow Kit. PJ residents also have a free bus service that covers over 28km of PJ.
5. Cycling has moved up a gear in KL, thanks to a growing group of people who have been promoting two wheeled travel. For beginners, try the bi-monthly “Go Green Car-Free Morning” where 5km of the roads around the city are closed for cyclists and skateboarders every first and third Sunday of the month. There’s also a newly opened bike lane that connects the Federal Highway to Dataran Merdeka. If you’re ready to go off the beaten track, grab a cycling map.
6. See some art at one of the many free galleries around town. The newest free public gallery to open is Ilham. Among the more established ones are Bank Negara Museum and Gallery, Galeri Petronas and Wei-Ling Gallery, but there’s also White Box, Galeri Chandan and Interpr8 in Publika. The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre also has free entry, so you can learn more about the history and craftsmanship of pewter.
7. Listen to writers at Readings@Seksan. A monthly literary event held at Seksan Gallery (usually the last Saturday of the month) in Bangsar, it was started by Bernice Chauly and is now run by Sharon Bakar. Every session will feature six writers from different backgrounds and genres and sometimes live music. So drop by, mingle and talk books.
8. Go to an open mic. Often, gigs will have a cover charge, but open mics rarely do. One of the most established is Feedback at The Bee. Merdekarya has an open mic almost every night of the week (but you’re encouraged to tip the performers, and there is a one drink minimum policy). Piring-Piring at Barlai is a vinyl market that also features local musicians and DJs every two months.
9. Exchange ideas at UndiMsiaChats. The youth platform aims to educate and inform on social issues, law and policy. There are regular talks with politicians, lawyers and journalists at the MCCHR Pusat Rakyat LB in Bangsar, all free and open to the public.
10. Take a guided walk. Rakan KL is run by volunteers who do guided walking tours highlighting the local heritage of food, shops and architecture in Malaysia. Badan Warisan has recently launched free This Kul City Discovery Walks with the first to start in April 2015. The Tourism Unit of Kuala Lumpur City Hall also has a Dataran Merdeka Heritage Walk and Jalan-jalan@Kampong Bharu which are held every alternate day.
11. Watch a movie. Every Monday, Publika turns its open-air square to a cinema showcasing local film talents as well as international films. For a lesser known cinema, head to the Majestic Hotel’s screening room. Tucked inside the colonial era hotel, there’s a screening room where black-and-white era films play on loop all day.
12. Read a book. If you’re looking for some new reading material, KL Book Exchange in Taman Desa and Subang Jaya Book Exchange encourage readers to bring their old books in exchange for other pre-loved ones in their collection. This way, old books get to travel and readers get to save money. You can also head to a library, of course – like the Kurau Community Library in Bangsar.
13. Watch a performance at Central Market. There are cultural dance shows every Friday at 8pm, martial art demonstrations every Saturday at 8pm and busking musicians performing every Sunday afternoon at 3pm. A complimentary shuttle bus service is also provided every 90 minutes from three locations (Berjaya Times Square, Jalan Sultan Ismail HSBC bus stop and Radius International Hotel) to and from Central Market.
SHOP AND STYLE
14. Get a haircut. Every now and then, hair salon academies such as Toni & Guy, Snips, L’Oreal and various other hairstyling academies hold events or graduation shows for their students in which they are in search of models. Sign up and you can have your hair cut, dyed and/or styled for free.
15. Shop at a free market. For the last few years, Pasar Percuma has run a free market where people can bring anything to give away, and others can take the goods for free. No trading, no sales: just re-use items instead of discarding them.
16. Get into sewing. At Hobby n Coffee in TTDI, you can use the sewing machines in the café for free when you purchase a drink. Perfect for altering clothes and even sewing some accessories. If you need to master the skills first, sign up for sewing classes.
17. Play quidditch. We’re not kidding. Malaysia has its own quidditch team – the Damansara Dementors – and even muggles are welcome.
18. Dance the night away. Learn the steps from swing dancing, lindy hop and blues dancing. Lindy KL offers a free beginners’ session on Fridays and the Blues social dance club has free taster sessions on Wednesdays (with purchase of a drink).
19. Find your public park. The Lake Gardens is a beautiful spot for jogging, cycling or frisbee. You can “go fly kite” at Kepong Metropolitan Park, or walk your dog at the popular Desa Park City park. Other nice public parks include TTDI, Taman Jaya and Titiwangsa.
20. Trek. From easy strolls to hardcore hikes, we’ve got a bukit list here of hiking trails around the Klang Valley. Most of these are free, so pack a good pair of boots or sneakers, a bottle of water, and prepare to take in the view from the top.
Words by Lyn Ong, Kathryn Rao, Ling Low and Syahir Ashri.
First published March 2014, Updated April 2015.
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