They would eat, sleep and play in PJ all their life if they can!
The running joke about PJ people is that their biggest nightmare is heading into KL. They would much rather eat, work and play in PJ rather than head into the ‘big bad’ city. Granted, there is some truth to this joke – you’ll find out why below.
Since its establishment in 1954 as a satellite township for KL, Petaling Jaya has been playing the role of a counterpart to the bright lights of KL. While KL represents a more fast-paced lifestyle with its towering skyscrapers, constant traffic and buzzing energy; PJ has come to attract people who prefer something more chilled. This gap has closed quite a bit over the years with the amount of development in PJ, but this notion remains largely the same.
So here are some reasons why PJ people seem to love PJ so much. (KL people can start rolling their eyes now.)
1. The slower pace of life
The truth is, even though PJ has gotten a lot busier in recent years with many business districts popping up all over the township, the pace in PJ is still evidently slower than KL’s. People tend to dress a little more casually on weekends and take their time – be it dining out or running errands.
It’s this laid-back lifestyle that keeps folks comfortably planted in PJ. Most of them would consider city life just a little too stressful. And with public transportation such as LRT and bus services heading into the city becoming more convenient, PJ folks won’t feel that they are losing out on much.
Fun Fact: Petaling Jaya was only granted its city status in 2006 with Dato’ Ahmad Termizi Puteh becoming the city’s first ‘Datuk Bandar’.
2. Less traffic
Yes, we know the traffic in PJ can get rather unbearable at times too – but there are periods where PJ at least sleeps, unlike KL. There are periods over the weekend when driving around PJ can be pleasant and quite a breeze. Parking tends to be less of an issue as well, unlike in most parts of the city.
PJ also has close access to other neighbourhoods such as Subang Jaya, Sunway and Desa Park City – making it easy for PJ folks to get their swimsuits out over the weekend and head to a theme park like Sunway Lagoon or take their furry companions to the dog park at The Waterfront (and have a cuppa at a pet-friendly café nearby).
Fun Fact: Contrary to common belief, the ‘SS’ that classifies the different neighbourhoods in PJ is not an abbreviation of the word ‘Seksyen’ but as the short acronym for Subang-Sungai Way.
3. You don’t have to travel far to eat the best anymore
There was a notion a long time ago that for PJ people to eat the best food, they would need to travel out of PJ to taste them. Not anymore. Popular KL restaurants such as Super Kitchen Chilli Pan Mee have two outlets in PJ now, so PJ folks don’t have to travel out of PJ to get their fix. Even the legendary Ipoh noodle house Tuck Kee has opened a branch in Uptown PJ, ensuring that PJ folks don’t have to drive for two hours to dig into a delectable plate of ‘Yut Kong Hor’.
On top of that, there are PJ-only restaurants that have earned their popularity over the years, such as Fatty Crab in Taman Megah which after being in business for decades, continues to have a long line outside their restaurant on weekends. There is also the famous Acha Curry House, a banana leaf joint in Jalan Gasing, which is reputed to be one of the best around.
PJ is also gentrifying at a great pace with many hipster cafes popping up all over the place. There is a café in business centres of most major neighbourhoods in PJ. Popular areas that people would head to, to get their coffee and brunch fix include The Hub in SS2, Empire Damansara and Damansara Kim.
Fun Fact: There are more than 25 colleges and universities within Petaling Jaya alone – These include IACT College, Segi University College, Brickfields Asia College (BAC) and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC).
4. There are plenty of green lungs and recreation spots
Granted, PJ has gone through a lot of development in recent times, however, the reality is that the city is still greener than KL. Recreational spots such as the Bukit Gasing Forest Park and Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve offers PJ residents a convenient and accessible way to get back into nature and to experience some time away from city life. On weekends, throngs of people can be seen heading into these beautiful parks to hike, bike or just stroll leisurely while taking in gulps of fresh air.
There is also the sprawling and impressive Bukit Kiara Park in TTDI, which while technically situated in KL, is actually more accessible by PJ residents considering its location.
Not to mention, there is the Secret Garden located in One Utama Shopping Mall – Said to be one of the largest rooftop gardens in the world, this 30,000 sq ft green enclave boasts over 600 species of carefully curated tropical and temperate plants.
There have also been many green initiatives run by the Petaling Jaya City Council such as the PJ Eco Recycling Plaza which aims to move PJ into a more sustainable low carbon city. In 2019, it introduced an initiative to provide assessment rebates for homes that practice green living in its township.
Fun Fact: Petaling Jaya currently has four sister cities – Guangzhou in China, Bandung in Indonesia, Miyoshi in Japan and Asan in South Korea.
5. The sweet suburban life
The suburban life can be quite fulfilling for people looking for a quieter life. The idea of being able to build a lifestyle around a suburb – like bringing your kids to the nearby playground, or going for an evening run at a nearby park after work or hitting up smaller neighbourhood shopping malls – is an appealing one to most.
Neighbourhood malls such as Jaya Shopping Centre in Section 14, Curve at Mutiara Damansara and Paradigm Mall in Kelana Jaya offer residences in surrounding neighbourhoods a no-fuss access to plenty of amenities in a less crowded setting.
There is also the comfort that comes from living in established neighbourhoods with sprawling landed properties and stores, night markets and facilities that have been serving its residences for decades. Even religious establishments such as St Francis Xavier’s Church and Wat Chetawan temple have been in existence for so long in PJ, that they have become iconic historical testaments to the longevity of this popular city.
If you are intrigued with the prospect of living in Petaling Jaya after this article, you would be happy to know that PJ offers a huge range of living options across its length and breadth, from affordable housing to stylish city stays, there is a home for all requirements.
For those looking to buy into some of the more affluent neighbourhoods in PJ, a two-storey terrace house will minimally set you back by slightly above RM1 million but there are more affordable neighbourhoods as well, which will be perfect for a starter home. For example, in Kota Damansara, you can get a landed property for just RM650,000.
Home seekers looking to purchase a high-rise property have a wide range to consider, especially if price and location are flexible. The larger units in a favourable neighbourhood like Uptown Damansara can go for as high as over RM 2 million but can also go as low as just above RM500,000
So as you can see, there is a home for you in PJ no matter what your budget or requirement is. Time to dive into the kind of lifestyle that PJ folks have been going on about since forever. Happy home hunting!
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