Setapak is one of the major suburbs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This district is positioned in the north-eastern part of Kuala Lumpur and has an area of 160 km2. It is comprised of Gombak, hot spring new village (Kampung Baru Air Panas) and several other villages.


This suburb was a former tin-mining and rubber-plantation area. The Malay word “Tapak” means “step” and “Setapak” means “one step”, a likely reference to its close proximity to the locality of Kuala Lumpur City Centre. The origin of Setapak’s name also traces back to its historical roots, according to another explanation.

The aborigines and the Minangkabaus were the earliest inhabitants of Setapak. Frank Swettenham, the Resident of Selangor back in 1884, pleaded for the re-appointment of Batu Tapak as the headman of the aborigines living in the area on April 12th that same year. Thus, the name “Setapak” was formed, to honour the headman.


The Wangsa Maju township is located in the middle of Setapak, whereas south of Setapak is the Titiwangsa Recreational Park. Gunung Bunga Buah is at the northern limit of Setapak; Gunung Bidai to the north-eastern; Bukit Dinding to the east; and Rifle range is at the south-eastern limit. It is also situated close to other places such as Ampang, Sentul, Gombak, Petaling Jaya and Batu Caves.

The nearest LRT station to Setapak is the Wangsa Maju LRT Station. There are also bus services running across the district.

Residential Areas

Setapak consists of landed properties along with high-rise properties. Among the residential spots around Setapak include Taman Air Panas, Setapak Jaya, Desa Setapak, Taman P. Ramlee, Taman Danau Kota, Prima Setapak Condominiums, Platinum Hill Condominiums, Platinum Lake Condominiums, Setapak Ria Condominium, Lake City Condominium and Genting Court apartments.

Facilities and Amenities

There are many shops in Setapak, as well as neighbouring areas for the convenience of Setapak residents and visitors to run errands or carry out their grocery shopping. In Wangsa Maju itself, one can visit Carrefour or Jusco. For food lovers, there are many options to choose, from fast food outlets to restaurants to mamak stalls.

There are also a number of primary and secondary schools within the vicinity for parents to send their children for education, namely SJK (C) Mun Yee, SMK (C) Chong Hwa, SMK Tinggi Setapak, SMK Ayer Panas and Sri Utama School. For higher learning institutions, the Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC), University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and International Islamic College are available nearby.

For accommodation, there are a few hotels in Setapak and its neighbourhood. One can stay at Vistana Hotel, Grand Seasons Hotel, Dynasty Hotel, Elegant Inn Hotel and Grand Pacific Hotel, all near Jalan Ipoh.

Features and Attractions

Setapak and its surrounding areas feature a few attractions to residents and visitors alike. For example, the P. Ramlee Memorial which is located in Taman P. Ramlee (previously known as Taman Forlong), the Ayer Panas Hot Springs where one can rest and relax there, as well as the Yayasan Seni Art Gallery and Cultural Craft Complex for those who love arts and craft.

Not only that, other interesting places to visit are Zoo Negara; Royal Selangor Pewter factory; Market Square; and not to be missed, the famous Batu Caves where Hindus hold a grand celebration of Thaipusam each year, and one of the well-known tourist spots in Malaysia.

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