A Malaysian morning’s colourful scenes and culture are great, but sometimes, a city’s or country’s best secrets are revealed only after sunset. Apart from the nightclubs and Mamak restaurants (Indian-Muslim cuisine) that stay open to the early hours of the morning, here are a few other ways to experience this country’s nightlife.

Coffee and board games in Selangor

The Meeples European Boardgame Cafe will be right up your alley if you like game nights. The cafe is located in SS15, Subang Jaya, and has over 2000 board games to choose from. Call ahead to make a booking for you and your friends.

Address: 64-1, Jalan SS15/4D, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Phone: +603 5633 8033
Operation hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 5pm to 12am; Closed on Mondays

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A late-night Vespa tour in Kuala Lumpur

Explore Kuala Lumpur’s (KL) nightlife on a guided Vespa tour of the city after dark. Visit local night markets, try Malaysian-Indian cuisine in Brickfields, and end the evening with live music.

Contact: +6012 473 5920
Operating hours: 7pm to 11pm

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Midnights at a bookstore in KL

If watching the Beast present Belle with a library got you excited as a kid, the newly opened BookXcess store at RexKL will take your breath away. Over 80,000 books fill this space, including selections of fiction, non-fiction, young readers, boxsets, and more. The bookstore stays open till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, perfect for some late reading for you bookworms!

Address: 80 Jalan Sultan, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Tuesday to Thursday & Sunday, 10am to 10pm; Friday & Saturday, 10am to 12am; Closed on Mondays

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Late-night foodie excursions around the country

Penang Nite’s Ate-Ventures with Vespalicious Tours, Penang

Book a guided Vespa tour around George Town — exploring pre-war buildings, stopping for street food, riding along the waterfront, and ending the night at a local speakeasy.

Operating hours: 7pm to 11pm

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The Paddock, Petaling Jaya

Head to X-Park Sunway Serene, and you’ll find a lively open-air establishment, Hawkers Avenue, serving food and drinks from over 20 different vendors. Accompanied by live music, an adjoining skatepark, and an indoor go-kart race track, The Paddock is excellent for a night out.

Address: X-Park Sunway Serene, No 1, Jalan SS 8/6, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +6012 209 7073
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 4pm to 3am

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Gridiron Sports Cafe & Lounge, Kuala Lumpur

A large part of Malaysia’s nightlife pre-pandemic days resulted from our love for sports. This sports bar in Bangsar is a great place to watch football matches on high-def screens with your mates. Order anything from hearty meals to easy-to-share grub.

Address: 11 & 15 Jalan Telawi 2, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6012 332 4820
Operation hours: Monday – Sunday, 4pm – 1am

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Sing the night away at one of Malaysia’s myriad karaoke joints

Loud Speaker Family Karaoke, MyTOWN KL

Offering rooms to accommodate large groups and music selections appropriate for every age, Loud Speaker is good for families. You and your loved ones can sing your favourite Whitney Houston hits at affordable prices. Their a la carte menu isn’t too shabby either!

Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 11pm to 1am

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REDBOX Karaoke Bar

With outlets all over Klang Valley, Penang, and Seremban, REDBOX is perhaps one of the more well-known karaoke joints. It’s great for big groups and parties, and offers a buffet-style dinner. But if you’re looking for something more low-key, they also provide smaller rooms. Check out their website for a complete list of rates and outlets.

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The Zoo Limited Edition Karaoke, Johor

This karaoke bar is playful and adorned in decor that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bring out your wildest side and sing your heart out in the jungle, safari, and circus-themed karaoke rooms.

Address: No 81 & 83, Jalan Harmonium 33/1, Taman Desa Tebrau 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Contact: +607 351 2211
Operating hours: Monday to Thursday, 5pm to 2am; Friday & Saturday, 12pm to 2am; Closed on Sundays

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Have drinks at a trendy speakeasy

PS150, Kuala Lumpur

Hailed as Chinatown’s first cocktail bar, PS150 is worth a visit. From ingenious drink crafting to its sophisticated interior, it’s definitely one of the coolest speakeasies in town — and one worth visiting after the sun sets.

Address: 150 Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 7622 8777
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 6pm to 12am

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The Locker & Loft in Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Good food and good booze are what you’ll find at Locker & Loft. Along with some classics, they have drinks infused with local flavour — perfect for a nightcap with loved ones.

Address: 40A Jalan SS 20/10, Damansara Kim 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +6017 377 3766
Operating hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 5pm to 1am; Friday & Saturday, 5pm to 2am; Sunday, 12pm to 1am; Closed on Mondays

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Suzie Wong, Kuala Lumpur

Hidden along the streets of Jalan Raja Chulan, Suzie Wong is a themed bar inspired by the orient. The magnificently decorated rooms and live entertainment transport you to a different time. Reservations are required here, so be sure to book in advance.

Address: Wisma Lim Foo Yong, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6017 226 6480
Operating hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 6pm to 1am; Closed Sunday to Tuesday

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Experience the Malaysian outdoors in the dark

Blue Tears Experience in Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Bioluminescence is like nature’s own light show. It’s a natural phenomenon caused by marine organisms that emits blue light into the water when stirred. The results form a natural chemical reaction that produces light within these organisms and can only be seen at night. Purchase this experience on Klook.

Stargazing in Kota Belud, Sabah

Often easy to miss in brightly-lit cities, Kota Belud is an excellent spot for stargazers who appreciate quieter nights. Being one of many stargazing spots in Sabah, visitors can contact local guides who will advise on the best times and spots to catch the stars.