from “Austin Powers – The Spy Who Shagged Me” soundtrack, Dr. Evil, 1999.
Surely one of the biggest (no pun intended) must-sees in Kuala Lumpur is the Petronas Towers. Until 2004 – when they were overtaken by Taipei 101 – they were the tallest buildings in the world and to date they remain the tallest twin towers in the world. At the base of the towers is the Suria KLCC, which is an upmarket shopping mall, and surrounding it all is the 17 acre KLCC Park.
With all that to see we headed off to the metro and were there in just a short three stop trip. First off when we arrived we decided to pop outside of the Suria mall and just check we were in the right place for the towers, and there they were!
But before we got too touristy it was lunchtime and we needed to fortify ourselves for the afternoon. And after just a minute of browsing in the Suria mall we spotted a place called The London Sandwich Co. Curious we looked inside and it was a indeed a sandwich shop very much like Eat and Pret back in the UK. With a good choice of very tasty looking sandwiches, as well as some interesting options for bottled fruit juices, we decided to try it out. And very good it was too, a reminder of lunchtimes out back at home.
Suitably fed and watered it was time to take a proper look at the Petronas Towers set against a glorious blue sky.
The KLCC Park around the towers is a very pleasant space with a lake, shady trees and spaces of grass to enjoy, and we had a pleasant stroll around although the sun was blisteringly hot so the shade of the trees was very welcome.
The park also affords some different views of the Petronas Towers.
We had planned next to go up to the observation levels to get our first high rise view of Kuala Lumpur but as we discovered when we went to the ticket office admission is timed, is in groups, and there were no slots available until later that evening. We um’ed and ah’ed for a few minutes and then decided that, as we also wanted to visit the Menara KL Tower, that we would give the Petronas Towers a go at night, especially as we wanted nighttime pictures of the building anyway.
Fast forward five hours and we were back for the Petronas Towers part II. And the towers do look amazing in their simple but highly effective white lighting as we saw when we arrived.
The observation levels come in two parts; first is the bridge between the two towers, and second is one of the uppermost floors of one tower. Each group is about twenty people in size and you are shepherded around and give about fifteen minutes in each of the observation areas, so really there isn’t that much time to look a leisurely around. And unfortunately while we were there the heavens decided to open and there was a torrential amount of rain obscuring the view 😦
Coupled with the fact that really the Petronas doesn’t offer the best view of the city – the upper deck is not really suited to 360 degree observation, and the building lights interfere with taking pictures – we did find that the Petronas Towers is not the best observation experience we have had on our travels so far. As we’ll cover in a later blog, the Menara KL Tower was actually a much better option for seeing Kuala Lumpur from above.
By the time we descended back to ground level the rain had pretty much stopped – typical! – and we had a last look at the impressively illuminated towers.
Despite the rain and somewhat lacking view we really enjoyed our visit to the Petronas Towers – both daytime and nighttime – and it is definitely one to feature on any visit to Kuala Lumpur.