Brickfields is a medium sized town and residential area just outside central Kuala Lumpur. This area is also known as Kuala Lumpur’s second Little India (after Jalan Masjid India) due to the high percentage of Indians living there. This town is said to derived its name from the word “brick”. A long time ago, it was the centre for making the best clay brick in Kuala Lumpur.
This town is one of the pioneer settlements of Sri Lankan/Ceylonese in Kuala Lumpur that is now rapidly growing from being a residential to a very commercial extension of downtown Kuala Lumpur. Apart from KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur’s modern transit hub, the area now boasts hotels, condominiums, and shopping complexes.
There are a lot of history attached to this part of Kuala Lumpur. You will notice that the whole stretch of Jalan Tun Sambanthan (formerly Jalan Brickfields) and Jalan Thambipillay are scattered with old colonial structures.
This KL suburb is also tagged as a Divine Location as many famous religious structures, some almost 100 years old, are concentrated in the area, particularly Jalan Berhala. Among the famous religious structures such as the century old Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple, the Arulmigu Sree Veera Hanuman Temple, the 56 Sakthi Vinayagar Temple, the Lutheran Church and even the 50-year old Three Teachings Chinese Temple.
You may want to have a closer look at the Sri Kandaswamy temple which is a famous Sri Lankan Tamil or Ceylonese Tamil temple at Jalan Scott. It is huge and showcases rich Sri Lankan Tamil architecture and has become a popular tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur. This is temple is about 105 years old.
In Brickfields, you will notice that there are many blind people walking around the area. This is because it is also the place where the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) is located. Many of the blinds have become familiar with the area and thus rarely encounter much problem walking around. Most of Brickfields is equipped with tactile guided pathways designed to aid the blind in walking around the area.
Brickfields is popular for its Indian food delights especially the unique banana leaf rice and thosai (Indian pancake made from fermented rice flour). There are also delicious Inidan snacks such as vadai, stringhoppers and appum, all freshly made on the spot. You can also find Punjabi food stalls with authentic, freshly made chappati, prata and sweetmeats.
There is a night market or pasar malam at Jalan Berhala which is held every Thursday. You can also get your favorite Malay and Chinese food fix with delicious char kueh teow, yong tau foo, tau foo far and nasi lemak.
Walking around Brickfields is indeed a sort of entertainment by itself. While Indian music blasts away on the street, you can soak in the colourful sights on the street. If the heat makes you tired, you can go for a relaxing interlude at one of the many massage centres that employ blind therapists. The Blind Master Massage Center located at Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, opposite YMCA is highly recommended.
Brickfields is another unique Kuala Lumpur shopping area. There are boutiques such as Mumbai and Preet’s at Jalan Tun Sambanthan where you can get intricately beaded and sequined clothings.