A Tour of Kuala Lumpur With GOT7

I don’t know a thing about K-pop group GOT7 other than they have seven members and they are very new (I believe the technical term is “rookie”). So imagine my surprise when I came across their new video only to recognise what looked like my city, no matter how hard they tried to make it look like a generic urban wonderland. And then I vaguely recalled that GOT7 trended on twitter not to long ago and this must’ve been why.

I was tickled! And I whenever I’m tickled, I seize the moment and try to be productive.

So welcome to my brief introduction to life in Kuala Lumpur through the lens of GOT7’s ‘A’ MV.

Expect to discover a side of KL you’ll never see in our Malaysia Truly Asia ads. 

First, some basics:

  • Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. On a world map, we are located North of Singapore and South of Thailand.
  • Kuala Lumpur is shortened to KL colloquially. No one ever says ‘Kuala Lumpur’, unless you’re a tourist or a news broadcaster reading the news.
  • KL is also a catchall phrase to refer to the capital and it’s surrounding areas known as the Klang Valley, which includes the cities of Petaling Jaya (popularly known as PJ), Klang, Shah Alam etc. Think Metro Manila which encompasses a sprawl of enclaves such as Makati, Quezon City, Pasig, etc etc.
  • Wikipedia tells me the population of KL (and I mean the Klang Valley) is approximately 7 million–roughly the same as Hong Kong, but far less dense.

As an aside, people in KL tend to think that KL is the centre of the universe, as does anyone who lives in capital cities all over the world.

Now technically, from what I can see and what google tells me, GOT7 never shot anything in KL proper as they were all in Shah Alam. So the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer, but also not quite because catchall, remember?

So let’s begin.

Landscape

Let’s start where the boys shot what I think is their album cover.

GOT7

This is a lorong, or back alley in Malay. As far as lorong go, this one isn’t so bad. It looks like one of the cleanest lorong I’ve seen. But you won’t find many people who’d hang round a lorong like GOT7. Most people park their cars in the lorong and get out quickly.

Speaking of cars, that is a Perodua Kancil. Did you know Malaysia makes cars? Yes we do. This one’s made by our second carmaker (we have not one but TWO carmakers!) and it’s considered a starter car because it’s cheap (sort of) and cheerful. Come to KL and you’ll see Kancils everywhere.

There are more cars than there are places to park them, hence the parking crisis that leads to cars being thrown places they shouldn’t such as lorong. Double-parking is also way of life.

Transportation is a sore subject for Malaysians, but that is post for another day and probably another blog.

The other thing you’ll see in lorong, apart from cars and trashcans, is air-conditioning vents. That’s coz it’s very hot here in KL.

GOT7 A MV BTS

HE IS NOT KIDDING

If the lorong is the back-end of what we call ‘shoplots’, this is the front:

GOT7 A MV

This is a corner lot cafe in Seksyen 13, Shah Alam.

Shah Alam, as I mentioned, is the state capital of Selangor, and my experience of it is through its government buildings, universities and it’s famous Blue mosque. Apart from that, it’s leafy and suburban and famously alcohol-free (sort of). It used to be that if you wanted a cocktail, the only place you could get one was at the bar in the Concord hotel. I don’t know if that’s changed or not.

And my hubs tells me that the best char siew (roast pork) he’s ever had is in Shah Alam.

See these colourful posters and graffiti? This is set dressing.

GOT7 A MV still

More commonly you’ll find flyers for ah longs or loan sharks–a burgeoning business during these days of tightening credit and soaring prices–and ubat kuat lelaki (aphrodisiacs for men).

Loan shark flyers in Malaysia

I’ve never been to this cafe but from what I can read it offers a typical mix of Western and local dishes very common to many cafes.

Which leads me to…

Food

A subject near and dear to my heart.

Yes, we have Burger King here. This BK is huge! Look at the size of that car park. This one is also in Shah Alam, I believe.

GOT7 A MV Still

Fast food chains are everywhere in KL. If you’re too squirmish to try local food, don’t worry, you’ll never be far from an American fast food outlet. I once met someone whose first meal in the country was at McDonald’s because he wanted to have his first ever halal hamburger :).

GOT7 A MV Still

And no, you won’t find Korean boys dancing in front of what look like classic American cars in car parks here. In fact, apart from the Beetle, I’ve never seen cars like these on the roads.

But you will find blue skies 🙂

GOT7 A MV Still

Let’s turn to local food. This restaurant caters to Cita Rasa Utara aka Northern tastes, of which laksa (a spicy, fishy noodle dish–yummeh!) and keoy teow kerang (fried rice noodles with cockles–to die for!) are favourites.  Mee hoon sup is thin, rice noodles (vermicelli) in a chicken-based soup.

See what Yugyeom is drinking here? If you buy drinks from a street vendor or a coffee shop, it’ll be served in plastic bags like this. I think this is limau ais (iced lime juice), my drink of choice.

GOT 7 BTS MV

 

If you’re planning on coming here, be prepared: Malaysians are passionate about food and we feed visitors to death.

Shopping 

Next we move on to an important facet of modern KL life: grocery shopping in a hypermarket.

GOT7 A MV Still

This looks like a Tesco, the UK-chain. These monstrosities are relatively new. Growing up, we bought our groceries from the market and the neighbourhood sundry shop. Supermarkets weren’t mammoth warehouses the size of football fields.

And no, you won’t find Korean boys whizzing by in shopping carts if you shop in a hypermart. You’ll find regular people, families with kids.

There’s another quick option. See in that upper right hand corner–a pasar mini aka minimart chain called 99 Speedmart that’s quickly becoming as ubiquitous as hypermarkets.

Got7 A MV screencap

Competitive prices–it’s where I get my supply of Shin ramyun.

Shopping, or more accurately, mall-crawling,  is a time-honoured weekend pastime in KL. Mostly because we need to escape the heat.

Language

GOT7 A MV screencap

If you’re going to shop here you’ll need to know some basic Malay. Like Korean, many words in Malay are simply phonetic equivalents of English–farmasi is pharmacy; kordial is cordial; aiskrim is…guess? 

Makanan laut is sea food, and promosi hebat is “awesome promotion” aka “great deal”.

If you want to say thank you in Malay, it’s terima kasih which translated literally means, receive love. Isn’t that lovely?

People

We are multi-cultural country and we also home to a sizeable community of foreigners, including white expats, Koreans, and most recently, Africans who come here to study in our burgeoning private education scene. There’s a growing community of Africans (mainly Nigerians I believe) who manage to thrive despite facing a lot of racism and discrimination here. (I’m going to assume that the extras I see here are from these communities.)

GOT7 A MV screencap

African eateries are sprouting up too and I had my first taste of fufu and jollof recently–spicy and delicious!

And thus concludes our tour! Please exit safely to your left and don’t leave any belongings behind ;P

P/S Some additional footage here:

 

 

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15 thoughts on “A Tour of Kuala Lumpur With GOT7

    • OMG YOU ARE RIGHT!! It’s a VIVA!! Maybe it’s coz I drive a Kancil?? But ubat kuat lelaki is everywhere, amirite?

      I think they probably cleaned the lorong before they shot there la, it does look too clean isn’t it.

      OMG TONY AHN! And the went to penang and ate all my favourite things!

      Like

  1. Omo omo omo, what were they doing around my hoooooood????? When was this shot? I’d kill myself if it was shot when I was around… Jakun, man! And seriously ROFL at ubat kuat lelaki. Also, air limau ais…. I’d kill for a glass of that awesome drinks right now even though I can make it myself. Nothing best when it is made by gerai air… Hehehehe I suddenly feeling patriotic!

    I’m glad they chose our country to make their MV. Seriously, they are putting us on the map again. Yippee! Go GOT7!

    Like

    • Yes they were in your hood! And I think they were here in May, before you came back? But it’s true right, it’s either ubat kuat lelaki, ah long, or ads for property!! I’m happy that I quite like this song, instead of their “Girls” one which I didn’t care for, so thumbs up for location and song 😀

      Like

  2. “If you’re planning on coming here, be prepared: Malaysians are passionate about food and we feed visitors to death.”
    LOL this is so true! Even as a Malaysian myself, I feel like there are lots of food that I haven’t tried yet >.< I would like to hear what tourists think of the variety of drinks sell at a street vendor, of so many colours and taste.

    Somehow I pity the GOT7 boys for coming during the drought season..hopefully they won't hesitate to visit again and spread the good words about Malaysia! 🙂

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    • Yeah, you can really see them sweating their lil buns off, and I can’t imagine them shooting all day and dancing and stuff, in the blazing heat!! I’m indoors mostly, and I’m ready to pengsan! Ahjusshi Fan just shared this link of Tony Ahn eating in Penang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAXMmAm8DWg. No subs, but since you can understand, it will give you an idea of what he thinks about ais kacang and goreng pisang 😀

      I know! I’m underexposed to regional specialties! One day I feel like I’ll just go on a food tour and eat my way across the country. Sabah & Sarawak especially!

      Like

  3. What a humorous and informative post, DDee!! 😀 LOVE IT! Y’know, I used to drive a Kancil, once upon a time – this one looks totally different than what I had, tho 🙂

    I couldn’t help wondering if that Sunsilk thing was PPL and if Sunsilk sponsored or part-sponsored their trip! XD

    Like

    • DATS COZ ITS NOT A KANCIL!!! It’s a Viva, the Kancil replacement. Which I totally should’ve known, but I think my subconscious affection for the car reared it’s head and wanted to give some props to the thing. I still drive my Kancil see, although it’s on it’s last legs & it’s due to be replaced at any moment :(. You must’ve been somewhere in M’sia at some point to hv driven this Milo tin can!

      Yes Sun Silk probably was a sponsor judging by how many close-ups there were in the MV, right? I vaguely recall seeing an ad for a fan meet here or something along those lines, so yeah, I imagine they were paid to come shoot here. Maybe it’s cheaper too than in SK?

      Like

      • I owned my Kancil in Singapore, actually!! It was when Kancil was just being launched in Singapore & I bought a “silver” one. When I collected the car, a pale purple baby rolled out, HAHA! XD Pale purple was definitely cuter than a straight up normal silver, but I was definitely puzzled at the way the color was named 😛 Anyhoo. I loved my little Kancil. Good fuel economy and decent pick-up (I got the stick shift). Only downside was it really was lil tin can 😉

        Interesting that these boys already had an international fanmeet! So they aren’t so rookie then?

        Like

      • Hurh?? I didn’t know they were sold in Singapore!! And purple was first gen and RARE, so you were something special. Subsequent iterations weren’t as good IMO. Zippy little thing wasn’t it? I can’t believe I used to zoom up to my hometown and back in that thing! Oh the folly of youth.

        I dunno if it was a fanmeet or some little meet and greet thing? No idea, but if they’ve only been around since Jan this year, that counts as rookie in my book!

        Like

      • Wow, I was sumthin’ special without even realizing it! XD I grew to love that silvery pale purple hue on my car and was sorry to say goodbye in the end. And yes, they were sold in Singapore! The Kancil was a fairly common sight for some time (not as common as in Msia, of course), until COE prices went sky high and it no longer made sense to own a car that small.

        The boys debuted in January? Well that definitely makes them rookies for sure! Guess it can’t be a fanmeet then, it’d be too soon. I’d buy that it was a meet ‘n greet tho. To drum up interest & awareness 🙂

        Like

      • Wait it was SILVERY purple?! I don’t even think that colour existed here. Maybe it was an export colour, coz the purple I know of is like purple purple, as purple as my icon! Wow, this just elevated you to SUPER SPECIAL 😉

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      • That’s me – super special, LOL! 😉 I had a nail polish in the exact same shade and finish as my car, and that nail polish color was called Silver Lilac, and it was spot on. The people naming the nail polish color did a more accurate job than the people naming the car color, haha! XD

        Like

      • LOL how cute! Matching car and nail colours! This has nothing to do w the car, but I had gold nail polish a lifetime ago. I facepalm at my fashion choices.

        Like

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