The name Mont Kiara has become synonymous with a modern, high-end neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur. Spanning across more than 450 acres of land, Mont Kiara has established itself as a major residential and commercial hub in the city.
The landscape of this thriving township has dramatically changed from 25 years ago, when it was known as Segambut Dalam Rubber Estate. It all began when real estate investor, Datuk Alan Tong, bought 12 parcels of land and had a vision for a high rise ‘city within a city’.
Over the next two decades, Mont Kiara grew to become the darling of homebuyers and investors. In the beginning, around 90 percent of homeowners were Malaysian, with the rest from Singapore. As the township began cementing its reputation for luxury living, Mont Kiara also became popular with expatriates, given its proximity to the city centre and boasting world-class amenities right on its doorstep.
Today, Mont Kiara is a mature neighbourhood that boasts hospitals, international schools, shopping malls, supermarkets and a variety of other retail options, from restaurants and bars to laundry services and dentists within its vicinity.
“The neighbourhood is beginning to look especially attractive to those who work there. The convenience of residing in an area where one can work, shop and socialise cannot be underestimated,” says Shawn, Director of a real estate agency.
From the perspective of residents, Mont Kiara goes beyond excellent convenience. Community living has proven to be an important criterion, with many citing the township’s culture of openness and mobility.
“Unlike most of the ‘gated’ residential communities commonly found in Malaysia, Mont Kiara offers you the opportunity of community living, where walking or biking to places is commonplace and preferred,” says David, a Malaysian father of three, who has lived in Mont Kiara for nearly 10 years.
“It’s not just about the diversity in ethnicity itself but the diversity of consumer profile that makes the landscape extra special,” he adds.
For the growing expatriate community, living in Mont Kiara provides a good transition when adapting to life in Kuala Lumpur.
“Getting to know local friends and learning about their culture and the actual diversity of Malaysia has completely changed my experience living here. I have also explored so many other areas too now,” says Gilmary, a Venezuelan who has lived in Mont Kiara for 6 years.
Undoubtedly, a big part of living in Malaysia involves embracing the country’s passionate appreciation of food, whether local or international fare. Residents in Mont Kiara are spoilt for choice in this aspect, with the proliferation of top-class Western, Korean, Japanese and Indian cuisines available within Mont Kiara or nearby.
“Even with an abundance of restaurants offering global cuisines, you only need to venture close by to explore the local sundry shops, coffee shops and night markets to get an authentic Malaysian experience,” David says.
Apshy, who works for a nongovernmental organisation, agrees and points out that just a few kilometres away remains Segambut Dalam, a vibrant district that has retained its more traditional charms.
“If you drive a little further into Segambut Dalam, you can find lots of yummy local snacks and street food,” Apshy says, as she describes the classic Malaysian past-time of feasting out in the open, which thrives here, with many roadside stalls providing a host of local flavours that draw crowds of friendly Malaysians.
“You can also find lots of fresh fruit and vegetables from small business owners,” she adds.
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