Amongst the 30 degree heat in Kuala Lumpur I’ve found a new oasis of peace and tranquility. The Berlin KL was exactly what this tired blogger needed after a gruelling Chinatown trip. (Haggling is thirsty work!) Searching for the best countries to retire cheap isn’t easy, but great bars make it so so much simpler. The Berlin Kl is a little locals/backpacker bar tucked into the the Chinatown area. At first I was a little scared to go in. The entrance infused with a glowing red neon sign, looked more like the entrance to a seedy neo Nazi German sex club than a friendly neighborhood bar.
Overcoming my trepidation, and being promised $6 (18rm) for a gourmet hot dog and a beer (from its flyer) I wandered into this subterranean space. (Seriously I just realized how easy it would be to kidnap me) I’m glad I did.
Not even officially open yet (they’re launching after Kuala Lumpur fashion week on Thursday), this is a gem of a space.Since it wasn’t officially open yet I got to chat with the owner, Natalie K. (A half German, half Malaysian woman with a great smile).
A 30 something lady she had worked in radio for 10 years. With no bar experience but sick of the monotonous pace of life (which of you my loyal readers aren’t?) she’s trying to start a new bar amongst the new cocktail bar phenomenon in Kuala Lumpur. According to her, “You never know if you don’t try.” I love her philosophy and her attitude! You go Natalie!The Berlin KL is a gorgeous place with black and white photos, tons of sitting space and dedicated smoking/non smoking areas. (It’s actually one of the only bars I’ve seen in Kuala Lumpur like this.) Non smoking bar goers can avoid the ubiquitous smoke here. (It also has western style bathrooms for those of you who hate squat toilets.)
Since it wasn’t officially open yet, I was the only customer in the space at 7pm on a Friday. It was a great experience. I’ve been to a few bars (ok a lot of bars) and I can tell you this one is a winner. Close enough to the myriad of backpacker hostels, yet still catering to the locals, the Berliner KL is a bar in the right spot at the right time. Natalie told me “If you concentrate too much on backpackers you don’t get locals.” (Which makes sense sense since most backpackers are smelly hippies. Totally kidding only 46% of them are snoring dreadlocked gap year 19 year olds). I asked Natalie how hard it was to open a bar in Muslim dominated Kuala Lumpur. She told mePROS
- Connections make it faster and better
- Red tape and a lot of government to deal with
- A lot of licenses, which aren’t the clearest
- On paper as a foreigner (which she is), it’s fairly simple they don’t discriminate, nothing too painful
- Alcohol license in a Muslim country? You’ll wait a while and you can’t be Muslim.
- You’ll have to get a music license and separate entertainment license if you have DJ
- Liquor licenses are not approved quickly. You can sell beer, but not liquor without this license.
She also told me that there are people who will offer liquor licenses for faster under the table, but “we are super legit and trying to keep it super legit”Even though they aren’t officially open they have a local crowd Friday/Saturday. (If you can’t get in ask for Natalie and tell her you’re a fan of this blog).And again I love promos, (as you all know) here’s what they have running
- 5 beers for $17 (55 rm)
- Cocktails buy one get one $7 (28 rm)
- Beer or milkshake and a hotdog for $6 (18 rm)
One comment (Although their hot dog was less meaty than a vegetarian yoga teacher, I still heartily recommend the Berlin KL) If you’re in the Chinatown area you should 100 % check it out.My bill was $17 (55 rm)for the hot dog and a whole bunch of beers. (Seriously one day I’m going to get some free beers from blogging!) The Berlin KL is on Facebook and Instagram so give them a visit there.I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best country to grab a beer and retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!)Also if you want a checklist for retirement in Asia go here LINK TO CHECKLIST