Jaffri’s PJ-KL Jalan-Jalan Cari-Makan Adventure Walk on 1st day of Chinese New Year for the last 20 years

Jaffri Amin (right) and walking buddy Jason enjoying the vehicle-free ambience at Dataran Merdeka

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13: For Jaffri Amin, an avid weekend walker, the first day of Chinese New Year (CNY) holds special significance for him: he has been walking from Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya where he resides to either Kuala Lumpur or Gombak for the last 20 years!

Why Day One of CNY?

“Because PJ and KL become ghost towns with few vehicles on this day,” says Jaffri, Managing Consultant at World Communications, KL, a public relations firm. “It’s so peaceful and quiet.”

Soaking in the sights at Masjid Jamek and River of Life near Jalan Tun Perak — it was all where Kuala Lumpur started

Together with some of his “Bukit Gasing” walking buddies, he would start before dawn when it is cool and breezy.

His route usually takes him to the Petaling Jaya entrance of Universiti Malaya before coming out through the other entrance at Jalan Pantai Baru in Kuala Lumpur. From there they would walk along Jalan Bangsar (with coffee pit stops) and walk by some places near Jalan Riong where some locations bring back fond memories for them.

They would then meander into the Brickfields area to have a bite or two before winding to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman for another pit stop.

A pit-stop for hot cakoi and ice cold black coffee is a must!

“Once I had nice kandar with piping hot rice just out from the kitchen at Restoran Ibramsha (a noted eating spot for nasi kandar connoisseurs along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman next to the old Coliseum Restaurant) and after that I still had room for another modest round of nasi kandar upon reaching Restoran Kudu (another nasi kandar mainstay along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman) further down the road,” he recalls.

When his late mother was still alive, Jaffri would continue walking along Jalan Chow Kit towards Jalan Pahang and then Jalan Genting Klang before ending up at Taman Ibu Kota in Gombak. These days Jaffri and his buddies would stop at Chinatown or Kampung Baru before taking the public transport back to Petaling Jaya.

“For us, it’s both exercise and therapy as we get to see and experience the sights which we can’t normally do under normal circumstances,” Jaffri explains. ”During our long walks, we also get to talk on a host of subjects when we pass some of the more important landmarks or places that happen to jog our memory on certain interesting things in the past.”

But this year’s walk was a little sad for Jaffri and his buddies as they lost one of their close friends, Indra Ramanathan, an architect, from a heart attack just three weeks ago.

The late Indra Ramanathan during happier times

“Despite losing our bro Indra, we still decided to continue with our annual ritual to remember him because we used to have lots of adventures together during our walks.

“Last year for example, Indra and I had loads of fun at the KTM platform 4 KL Railway Station, explaining to the guards how we got in for free to the platform due to a broken turnstile! We love the iconic architectural beauty of the KTM KL Station. The other gorgeous KL spots include areas surrounding Masjid Jamek, River of Life routes and of course Sultan Abdul Samad, where my late father’s DBKL parking department office was in the 1970s,” says Jaffri.

Enjoying the quietness at the old KTM Kuala Lumpur Station platform

And God-willing, Jaffri and his walking buddies would continue to persevere on January 29, 2025, the next Day One of the Lunar New Year! “InsyaAllah” he says.

All roads and tracks lead to Kuala Lumpur!