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Originally used as a form of transportation, shipping containers have evolved into restaurants and hotels, popping up across the country in recent years.

While these steel boxes aren’t necessary ideal to make great houses, they can be utilised for many cool commercial purposes. As such, these containers have been modernised and infused with functional elements to create a unique experience for urbanites.

So whether you’re looking for somewhere cost-effective for a quick getaway or maybe someplace unique to hangout and catch up with your friends on a weekend, here are several container cafes and container hotels that might pique your interest.

1. Chaiwalla & Co 

Chaiwalla & Co
Source: Yelp

Believed to be Klang Valley’s first container café, Chaiwalla was originally launched in Johor Bahru in 2013 before making its way to The Curve. Founder Mr Nazrul Hakim Putra was a sailor for 13 years before he decided to venture into this business of selling “honest tea”.

Chaiwalla serves up the standard coffee but seem to specialise in cold beverages such as their signature drink, the Thai Milk Tea. Pastries and brownies are available on its menu too if you’re deciding to have some food.

Note: Chaiwalla & Co’s original outlet is located at Tan Hiok Nee Street, Johor Bahru.

  • Address: Ground Floor (outdoors), The Curve, 6, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya 47810
  • Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
  • Tel: 018-9430769/ 011-18969676
  • Facebook

2. Bxie Blonde

Bxie Blonde
Source: Cassandra Khaw

Although the food and beverages at Bxie Blonde are so-so at best, the 2-level shipping container café uses its cutesy charm (notice the eye-catching yellow sculpture with wings?) and photogenic atmosphere to lure the hip urban youngsters over for some Instagram-worthy moments. Besides, who wouldn’t want to experience the novelty of eating inside a refurbished container at least once?

  • Address: Publika Square, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
  • Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm

3. The Garage KL

The Garage KL
Source: The Garage KL

The Garage KL, or Gaffe and Co, is situated at Jalan Hillview (beside the intersection of DUKE and MMR2 highways). This container street market houses several F&B outlets that are affordable and delicious, boutiques offering a variety of apparel, and a barbershop. Additionally, Star Wars memorabilia, vintage trinkets, as well as automobile detailing are also available here. Besides providing ample of free open parking spaces, it helps that this place is also a Pokestop.

  • Address: Lot 841, Jalan Hulu Kelang, Hillview, Kuala Lumpur
  • Opening Hours: 12pm – 12am (Monday to Thursday), 2:30pm – 1am (Friday), 9am – 1am (Weekends)
  • Tel: 03-42669776
  • WebsiteFacebook

4. The Port

The Port
Source: Eat Drink KL

Looking for a place to “dine, chill, and swag”? The Port reminds us of a large food court thanks to its extensive selection of Asian Fusion, burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, seafood, Italian, Middle Eastern, and Thai cuisines. The open and airy container themed setting is the perfect space to host your everyday mamak sessions until the wee hours. If you’re interested, there are also small aisles provided with shisha stands.

  • Address: Jalan Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya
  • Opening Hours: 4pm – 4am
  • Tel: 016-266 6986
  • Facebook

5. Le Gardenz Café

Le Gardenz Café
Source: Le Gardenz Café

Since making its debut in October 2014, Le Gardenz Café has flourished thanks to the word of mouth from its customers. The container-built café cum restaurant offers various dining sections. Upon entering, you’ll feel as if you are walking into someone’s garden as the compound is filled with flowers, shrubs, and lots of greenery. The hipster outpost also has a red London bus replica and an open-air deck that gives you the full view of the surrounding vista. Recommended dishes include chicken skewers, seafood pizza, and pasta dishes.

  • Address: Lot 24646, Jalan KPB 5, Kawasan Perindustrian
    Kampung Baru Balakong, 43300 Seri Kembangan
  • Opening Hours: 9:30am – 10pm
  • Tel: 019-301 0108
  • WebsiteFacebook

6. Container Hotel KL

Container Hotel
Source: Oyster

Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre, the eco-friendly Container Hotel takes inspiration from the Japanese concept of “Kyosho Jutaku” – which translates to living large on a tiny footprint. The stylish container rooms come in 2 sizes –   Container Deluxe Room and Container Suite. The strategic location allows guests easy access to several main tourist attractions including Pavilion Shopping Mall, Berjaya Times Square, and Sungei Wang Plaza.

Note: Container Hotel also has other branches in Ipoh as well as Penang.

  • Address: 1 Jalan Delima, Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
  • Tel: 03-21104388
  • WebsiteFacebook

7. Capsule by Container Hotel

Capsule by Container Hotel
Source: TripAdvisor

With the introduction of Capsule by Container Hotel in 2014 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2), transit passengers have been taking advantage of the minimalist accommodation to grab a few hours of rest comfortably. The CapSpace is where containers are divided up into smaller capsule spaces – there’s the male section, female section, and mixed section. Patrons can opt to stay up to 6 hours (cost RM80), 9 hours (cost RM100), or 12 hours (cost RM110) per day.

  • Address: Level 1 (CP1), Lot 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5, gateway@klia2, 64000 KLIA, Sepang, Selangor
  • Tel: 03-76102020
  • WebsiteFacebook

8. The Kabin

The Kabin
Source: Kaki Sini

Looking to spend some time close to nature yet still nearby the city? The Kabin (the Malay word for cabin) is a unique family-run boutique resort located at Remis Beach in Kuala Selangor. The venue has a total of 17 furnished containers and can house up to 78 adults. To pass time, there is a 50ft swimming pool, a games room in a tree house, karaoke, kayaks, bicycles, and barbecues. Visitors can also purchase fresh seafood at the wet market situated by the beach.

  • Address: Lot 2984 Jalan Jati, Pantai Remis, 45800 Jeram, Kuala Selangor
  • Tel: 017-678 3825
  • WebsiteFacebook

9. Container Gardenstay

Container Gardenstay
Source: The Rakyat Post

If you’re traveling to Johor, you can experience living in a container hotel by making your way to Taman Desa Tebrau. Container Gardenstay is situated right next to Bangkok Village, the famous Thai food restaurant (we’ve heard good reviews about their green curry!). This place is also remotely near to several hotspots such as Aeon, Tesco, Johor Jaya, and Kota Tinggi Waterfalls.

  • Address: Block 3, Bangkok Viilage, PTD 93547 Jalan Harmonium 3, off Jalan Kota Tinggi, Taman Desa Tebrau, Johor Bahru
  • Tel: 010-887 8879
  • Facebook

10. Farm Ville Café and Homestay

Farm Ville Café and Homestay
Source: Wonderlist Property

Swimming pool? Check. Golf course? Check. Breathtaking panoramic view? Check. The Sekinchan Container Hotel, or Farm Ville Café and Homestay, at Site B, Sekinchan is a countryside hotel that is uniquely designed with stacks of bright red containers overlooking a beautiful landscape of the paddy fields. It’s a great place for those who are on a budget.

Oh, and do request for rooms that faces the sunrise. The view is spectacular!

  • Address: Lot 11304, Kampung Site B Tambahan
    Jalan Tepi Sawah, 45400 Sekinchan
  • Tel: 017-206 8666
  • WebsiteFacebook

Sources: KL Now, Discover KL, Kaki Sini, Hungry Go Where, Yelp.