(Please excuse the photos, we used point and shoot cameras here)
I’ve been to Malaysia twice, first was in march of 2007 as a side trip of my 9 day Singapore stint. I traveled 870 kilometers from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur just to see one thing–the Petronas towers. Who wouldn’t want to see something as majestic as the structure once tagged as the tallest in the world? The world’s spotlights all focused on it when it opened in 1998. KL became popular overnight, a must visit destination among tourists and backpackers alike.
It’s an entry on my 1000 things to do before I die–to have my picture taken with the twin towers. I was too excited to do that. That’s why when I first saw the towers few meters away, I couldn’t help but sprint my way to it, barely feeling that my skin was burning from the scorching heat of the summer sun. I literally dropped my jaw and talked to myself dreamily “so this is the building with a floor plate design based on basic islamic geometry of two interlocking squares creating an eight pointed star…. yada yada yada….”
I stood in front of it for like an hour, wide eyed, like an autistic child staring at a spinning object. And then all around me was silence, deafening silence….
I decided to go to the mall under/below the towers. Yes, there’s a mall-The Suria KLCC to kill time while waiting for the Petronas night lights to turn on. By the way, the building is best photographed at night.
Thrift Tips: The shops in Suria KLCC is a bit pricey as compared to Glorietta, so wardrobe shopping is not advisable. Chocolates are cheaper though (they make Cadbury in Malaysia, FYI). You may also want to try the food court. They serve good authentic and affordable cuisines like sambal, nasi lemak, nasi goreng and oh, try their bread talk, the hints of malay flavors are quite interesting.
A popular “must do” when visiting KL is going up the skybridge. that’s the shaft walkway connecting the two towers. What’s good about the skybridge is that it’s FREE. The bad news is, there are only 1,300 timed tickets a day and it’s given out on a first-come, first-served basis. First time I went there, the queue started at 7:30 AM, and they didn’t gave out tickets until around 8. And if you are visiting the Petronas Twin Tower Skybridge during a weekend, you will probably need to stand in line 30-60 minutes. Also, after having waited all that time for a free ticket, you only get to ascend to the 41st floor (170m) and you can only stay inside for 10 minutes.
Due to time constraint, We never dared queuing up the lines, it’s just way too long. I went to the KL Tower instead. It has far better views and it hardly gets overly crowded even on weekends. It’s not free though (RM8 per adult) and it’s harder to get into (the LRT doesn’t go there so you’ll have to take a cab). But unlike the obstructed view from the skybridge, KL Tower got a 360 degrees panorama and you may stay for as long as you want. And you get to see Petronas on a bird’s eye perspective. YES it’s technically higher than the twin towers because it is on top of a hill.
TIPS: the Petronas sky bridge is open every Tuesdays to Sundays, 9:00am – 5:00pm (except for Fridays, they don’t operate from 1:00 – 2:30pm). You may also check it out during Public Holidays, except the days around Eid Al-Fitri (end of Ramadhan) and Eid Al-Adha. . Basically if you want to go on a Monday, call ahead of time to check.