Get ready to switch to beast mode because the 21st FIFA World Cup is right around the corner. It’s that one time every four years that sports and even non-sports fans gather to cheer their favorite country as World Cup contenders.
Beginning 14 June 2018, expect the spirit of global footie to be full in affect across Malaysia as 32 nations battle it out over cup supremacy. Get ready for bleary eyes that tell a story of victory or defeat. And if you’re travelling across Malaysia, check out these top five areas for the best camaraderie to root your favourite teams on.
The key to identifying an ideal spot to catch all the action is to seek an international crowd of spectators. It is, after all, a momentous affair that’s all in tune to the world through sport.
In the southernmost tip of the Malay Peninsula is the state of Johor. Often overshadowed by its modern and glitzy neighbour across the causeway, it is also home to Legoland where ‘everything is awesome’. But beyond being the overlooked cousin to Singapore, its capital city of Johor Bahru is in for a radical transformation with major developments underway. In fact, Danga Bay, where Tune Hotel is conveniently located, is set to be a financial and commercial centre. For now though, enjoy the Waterfront City Development with its largest recreational park in the city, and come night time, kick back with the company of a nice cold brew and fuel the fan boy/girl in you while you catch the World Cup at the following recommended places.
About a 15-minute drive away from Danga Bay is the Zenith Lifestyle Centre on Jalan Trus. It’s a lifestyle centre in Johor’s city centre with bars, restaurants, retail outlets and the like. Inside this newly completed hub is MacGregors, a traditional Irish pub that boasts great value for draught beers, delicious food, good live music, and sports of course!
If you’re looking for something more on the cheap, Tebrau Hawker Centre in Taman Sri Tebrau is highly recommended too.
Sarawak may be a haven for all things jungle and sea. But after all said and done, it’s time to gather for another kind of excitement – the World Cup 2018!
To accommodate your live football needs, the place to be is in the capital city of Kuching. A local favourite for sports, and with a recent feature in The Borneo Post , check out the sports-themed restaurant Porkies by Flavours at Jalan Song . Restaurant owner and football aficionado, Billy Lee, has literally spent months to prepare for the event by collecting scarves of all 32 participating countries – so the least you could do is admire his effort and feed your World Cup fever with their six TV screens, plus a 16-foot screen for those sitting outside.
For a variety of other options, the Kuching Waterfront is always a sight to behold with an endless amount of things to see and do. Tune Hotel Waterfront Kuching, located on Jalan Borneo off Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, has all your needs for 5-star comfort that’s convenient and of value. It also happens to be a 3 minute walk from the RMH Astana Wing Sky Lounge – the highest open-to-public sky lounge in Kuching, with its best view of the city plus its nightly viewing of the World Cup.
The liveliest of spots on Malaysia’s northwestern coast can be found on the island half of the state. Most tourists can be found where the beaches are in Batu Ferringhi. Favourites there to catch a game would be Hard Rock Café, but ideally, just walk around on the main strip to find out who’ll be televising the games.
You’ll find even more options in the capital city of Georgetown. A popular spot among the backpackers is Chulia Street and Love Lane. Look out for tourist favourites like Micke’s Place, Hong Kong Bar, and Dadz Pub on Jalan Muntri for sports.
Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas
The heartbeat of the country that is endearingly called KL to the locals, is without a doubt spoilt for choice with places to watch live football. They are all also sparsely dispersed across the city and in suburban neighbourhoods. Time Out Kuala Lumpur even has a piece on the Best Sports Bars in KL. To help you narrow down that perfect spot for a fun football finish, let’s break it down into popular areas:
Bangsar – Expats, locals and tourists gather at this popular area just outside of the city centre. Jalan Telawi is lined with bars and pubs that are guaranteed to be booming with sports action. Finding the location is easy too – simply tell the taxi drive “Bangsar baru” or “Bangsar Jalan Telawi” and let the lights, music and people will let you know you’ve arrived. For your typical sports bar setting though, check out GRIDiRON Sports Cafe & Lounge on Jalan Telawi 2.
Speaking of international, you can’t get any more diverse than the airport. So if you’re already stationed near there or are looking to get away from the usual hustle of the city, head over to Makan KLIA2 . Enjoy its all day dining 24 hours a day and 7 days a week and catch all the excitement on the big screen.
Good to know:
- All the above information was based on recommendations and you should always call ahead to find out if the above mentioned venues are telecasting the games.
- The time difference between Malaysia and different parts of Russia varies between 3 to 6 hours behind Malaysian time. So if a game starts at 6 pm over there, it could air live anywhere between 9 pm to midnight depending on where in Russia the game takes place. Is the timing confusing you? Fret not! This site gives you the match schedule for all 64 matches so you can plan ahead.