This is the best-hidden secret on Petaling Street. In fact – I bumped into this place by accident. I was not planning to go for this place but was just wondering around on Saturday morning. As I was walking around Jalan Panggung, I saw a bunch of tourists gathering around a particular area. To my surprise, it was an art mural area.
In fact, further research – Project Kwai Chai Hong is a restoration project of 10 shop houses along Jalan Petaling (Petaling Street) and Jalan Panggung. This particular art mural place is in between both streets. Please refer to the map below for the location.
The video below shows the art mural that was done by artists.
What is Kwai Chai Hong
Lorong Panggung is also known as Kwai Chai Hong, and apparently, in the Cantonese dialect – it literally translates to Ghost Lane.
Based on the article from Malay Mail:
The origin of the Kwai Chai Hong moniker is, however, not supernatural in nature, with at least two credible theories floated regarding this name.
One is that migrant workers from China who settled here used the colloquial slang of “kwai chai” (ghost children or little demon) to refer to mischievous children running around Lorong Panggung.
Another theory is that Kwai Chai Hong’s past as an area filled with gamblers, drug addicts, drunkards and those engaging in vice activities led to its nickname, while another story claimed that Lorong Panggung was the hideout of the “Dragon Tiger Clan” whose boss would call his members “Little Ghosts.”
This morning I had the opportunity to visit Segambut Dalam. Segambut Dalam is an area next to Mont Kiara, somewhere further up from Gardens International School and next to Kiara 1888 condominium.
I have passed by this place many times, but never had the inkling to visit as I don’t think it is any different from the kampungs that I’ve been too.
Moving into the kampung, I am greeted with a series of flags. I can sense the patriotism is very strong in this area. As we can see – there is a juxtapose of urban and kampung feel here.
As any other places – food places is an abundance here. This is the first restaurant that I’ve seen here. It is empty though. It is quite surprising that it is closed for Sunday morning. I would imagine that the restaurant will be filled with guests from both the kampung and outside.
The sewerage system in this place is rather non-existent. Honestly – I don’t know and too afraid to ask. The drains in between the houses are dirty and filled up with rubbish. I do not want to imagine the types of diseases one can be infected by such poor sanitation.
The picture below shows two male fixing a broken pipe. According to them the pipe was leaking and they had to break down the cement floor to reach the pipe. I guess they know what they need to do.
As I looked upwards, there was this lady who is hanging her laundry. By the look of it, it does seems like the house is big and spacious. I can attest that the house is bigger than mind. Thing to note is that the houses here are “temporary” and the land owner can take it at any time. Of course – we have heard so many stories on the “disputes” between land owner and the occupier. But I guess, time will tell whether such incidents will happen here. I hope not.
The photo below shows a middle aged man who has stayed in this kampung for more than 20 years. He is originally from Indonesia but has settled in Malaysia for that long. He holds a red IC – which is defined as permanent residence. I guess – he is still waiting for his time to get the blue IC. He did mentioned that his kids are all considered citizens as they are born here.
The scene is very typical, can see how close are the neighbours to each other.
The photo here taken right outside of their house. The lady invited us to a wedding reception – not far from this Kampung. I guess – it was too early before we can go there!
As we walked deeper into the Kampung, met this two females. One just “landed” in Malaysia (less than a year) while the other have stayed in this Kampung for more than 70 years. The older lady mentioned that she was born here and back in those days, the Kampung (and Mont Kiara included) are all rubber estates. Something that learnt. She also mentioned that she used to be a rubber tapper than but now there are no more rubber to tapped.
As we walked further in, bumped into this man. Very lively. Same as the lady – also born in the Kampung. He was sharing his experience on how he helped the father tapped the rubber back then. He also said that the big monsoon drain used to be a river, and he used to take a bath there before going to school. The river – of course used to be much more cleaner that what it is now.
We continued walking and boom – I saw a sundry shop. Saw a couple that was talking to each other. They said that they were from Keramat Permai before. A place not far from where my parents stayed. In fact – that place was just behind my primary school. That place no longer exists as development has taken place.
On the other side of the road, there were another bunch. It does looked like it was more “luxurious”, but that was just on the side of the road. As I ventured inside, I saw this guy who has a somewhat run down “hut”. He said that the house was used to be occupied by a whole bunch of Bangladeshi. He moved in to take over the house after the Bangladeshis left. He said that the water comes from the hill behind. Not sure how true is that!
As I walked in, I saw this chicken “farm”. Its just a whole bunch of cages filled with chickens. And of course there was a group of men who was just relaxing. I had a long chat with them. Most of them are from Indonesia and has settled in Malaysia for a long time. This is where they call home.
Following are just other photos that I took.
It was really a fun outing indeed. I had so much fun and of course sweat a bit given that I have not taken photo for a while. I need to visit this place again at night as I do like the effect of fluorescent lights. Will be very nice indeed 🙂
As you walk along the streets of Myanmar, you will be able to notice a whole bunch of condominium mushrooming everywhere. The place where I stayed (Dagon) – doesn’t really have any luxury condominium. In fact – the most luxurious place that I’ve seen is the hotel that I stayed – which is Park Royal.
The photo above – shows a typical frontage of a condominium along the back streets behind the hotel that I stayed. It looks like those old condominium that came from the 80s. One day I must try to go up and take some photos of it. Not so sure if its safe – but surely I need a local guide to help to do this.
Some of the condominium that I saw are duplexes. I didn’t managed to take a photo of it but it does seem that at some point of time, these condominiums were luxury accommodations.
In my trip back to the airport, I did noticed that new condominiums are being built. And these are the modern ones and I believe that as the country continue to develop, new wealth will continue to spur luxury developments. And the income disparity between the rich and the poor will be wider.