Noko RM2 Store @ Batu 14 Puchong – Everything For RM2 !

Let me just start this off by saying, videographers / video editors – I admire your skills.  Having worked with people in video, I know how much effort goes on behind the scenes to make that nice little vid that most people would watch for like, a minute or two.

That being said, I had some free time over the weekend and decided to put together a simple ‘video’ for this blog post – it took me like three hours of editing for a 1.40 min vid lol.

I stumbled across a ‘dollar’ store (okay more like 2 dollars) when I was at Hero Hypermarket in Puchong to get my new frames – where everything was going for just RM2 (USD 0.50). That’s insanely cheap! They carry everything from toys and cutlery to snacks, accessories such as sunglasses, gift boxes and wrappers, and other household items.

Watch the video:

**You know how you listen to your own voice on recordings and just go like ew is that me? Haha! 

 

I enjoyed exploring the food section which had brands I’ve never heard of. The instant noodle corner products were roughly half the size of regular instant noodles, and there were all these cheap biscuits and cookies you don’t normally see in groceries and hypermarkets like Giant, Tesco or Aeon Big. The plastic mugs, containers and jugs were all RM2, although like I mentioned in the video, I don’t think they’d be good for the environment because people are more likely to break them / throw them away without a thought owing to the low price. Also, they had these ‘stainless steel’ knives (also RM2) which had me questioning their authenticity and safety.

On the pro side, I guess having these shops would be extremely helpful for lower income communities as they’d be able to get all these household items for cheap.

 

**Video made with Windows Movie Maker. Opening template made with Canva. 

Travel Blog: Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur – Once Upon A Chinatown

You’re probably wondering why I chose to call it ‘once upon’, like it’s not anymore.

Well, that’s because it’s not. Not really.

Tourists may know it as Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Chinatown’, but the truth is that Petaling Street has long ceased to be one. The grand archway may have tiny red lanterns and a curved green-tiled rooftop, but the authenticity of the place ends there; having made way for a cheap flea-market-esque atmosphere. Bangladeshis, Myanmarese, Indian nationals, etc., are employed by Chinese bosses to peddle their wares. Some of the food stalls are still manned by the Chinese, but even these are slowly being replaced by foreign labour.

I’m not saying its a bad thing per se – many of Chinatown’s businesspeople have worked hard over the years and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labour in their twilight years, since many youngsters no longer want to continue the fam biz – but it is still sad all the same that this once glorious Chinatown’s culture and spirit have been eroded in favour of commercialisation.

Listen to me rambling! That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t drop by Petaling Street – there’s plenty to see and do if bargaining and shopping for (overpriced lol)ripoffs are your thing. And the place does have a rich history. You just have to dig a little deeper.

Before Kuala Lumpur became the metropolis it is today, it was just another muddy ol’ spot with rich tin deposits. Seeking riches, the Chinese (mostly Hokkien and Hakka clansmen) came to work as coolies in the tin mines in the late 1800s. They were governed by Kapitan Yap Ah Loy, a rich Chinese businessman and prominent figure in the early founding days of KL. It was around this time that Chinatown was founded, playing host to tradesmen, farmers, restaurants and other businesses. If you go hunting around, you might still find some hidden gems like the Yook Woo Hin dim sum restaurant, which was founded in 1928 !

Lots of stalls set up all along the pedestrian pathways sell ‘bargain’ bags, clothes, toys, handphone accessories, etc.

This shop that sold fancy fidget spinners for RM15 uncle nei mou hui cheong

For me, the only authentic part of Petaling Street left are the food shops, which sell various local and Chinese favourites, like pastries, biscuits and baked buns. There is, of course, the famous air mata kucing shop (literally cat’s eye tears) which is a blend of monk’s fruit juice with longan.

Stalls selling bakchang (glutinous rice dumplings) for the Mid Autumn Festival.

An old uncle still making a living from his pushcart selling ‘dai gau meen’ (big face dough?) or apam balik, filled with bits of peanut and sweet corn.

Fresh sugar cane juice and coconuts.

So is Petaling Street worth a visit?

If you’re a first timer to KL, the place is within close proximity to all the attractions like Pasar Seni (Central Market) and Kasturi Walk (similar concept to Chinatown, but with more Malay traders). Bargain hunters or people who like to shop for cheap imitations might find a few gems here, that or food hunters, might also find the place good for a visit. If you’re looking for a slice of Chinese culture though, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Opening hours: 10AM – late

Getting There 

Convenient if you’re taking the train; just alight at Pasar Seni LRT. Petaling Street is about 5 minutes walk away (next to Central Market).

Also read my other Chinatown experiences in: 

Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 

Singapore

Los Angeles, California 

San Francisco, California 

Binondo, Manila