89. Losing My Religion

from “Out Of Time”, R.E.M., 1991.

Kuala Lumpur had one other museum we were quite keen on seeing in addition to our visit to the city’s Muzium Negara, namely the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM). Opened in 1998, the IAMM is the largest museum of Islamic arts in South East Asia with more than seven thousands artefacts from the Islamic world.

A quick car ride and we were back in the environs of the Perdana Gardens, bought our tickets and were soon ready to explore the IAMM.

Kuala-Lumpur-61
IAMM – bright, spacious and full of interesting things, hurrah!
Kuala-Lumpur-64
IAMM – one of the domed ceilings inside the museum.

The museum is spacious, bright and clean; really quite a pleasure to tour as despite there being other visitors, it’s not really crowded at all and you can view the exhibits at your complete leisure. There is plenty to see and it is well organised so you can view any of the galleries that take your interest, including jewellery, textiles, ceramics, glassware, metalwork, and our perennial favourite: arms and armour.

Kuala-Lumpur-62

Kuala-Lumpur-63

Kuala-Lumpur-65

Kuala-Lumpur-66

Kuala-Lumpur-67

Kuala-Lumpur-68

Kuala-Lumpur-69

Kuala-Lumpur-70

Kuala-Lumpur-71

Kuala-Lumpur-72

Kuala-Lumpur-73

Kuala-Lumpur-74

Kuala-Lumpur-75

Kuala-Lumpur-76

Kuala-Lumpur-77

Kuala-Lumpur-78

You really do need a whole morning or afternoon if not more to do the IAMM justice and we spent a very relaxed afternoon touring the museum.

This is definitely one of the most pleasant new museum buildings we’ve visited on our travels and with all the interesting exhibits and artefacts means the IAMM should feature very highly on anyone’s visit to Kuala Lumpur.

88. A Different Point Of View

from “Very”, Pet Shop Boys, 1993.

One of the first of Kuala Lumpur’s sights that we saw was the Menara KL Tower, mainly due to the act that it was visible from the hotel room. As it had an observation level it of course earned a place on our itinerary, though the Petronas Towers were a higher priority. But with the Petronas Towers done, and with the slightly disappointing views from there, we decided that the Menara KL Tower was going to be a much better option for getting a proper look from above at Malaysia’s capital city.

Kuala-Lumpur-48
Menara KL Tower – as seen at sunrise from our hotel, the Sheraton Imperial.

The Menara KL Tower is the seventh tallest in the world, and is located in the midst of the KL Forest Eco Park, a place we visited a little later in our time in Kuala Lumpur. Despite the tower’s relative proximity, we still got a car there as the only approach was up a long winding road after firstly braving the very busy and not so pedestrian friendly local area. And so just a few minutes later we arrived at the Menara KL Tower on a very bright and sunny morning.

Kuala-Lumpur-49

We were amongst the first of the day’s visitors to the tower and as the tower wasn’t too busy either so we had bought our tickets and were whisked up to the outdoor observation desk almost before we knew it. This deck provided an almost 360 degree view although there was a section of it that was out of bounds for some reason. And, as part of the observation level, are two Sky Boxes: glass cubes that extend beyond the level of the deck – you know, with glass floors to look at the ground far below!

Kuala-Lumpur-50
Menara KL Tower – one of the two Sky Boxes, situated on opposite sides of the outdoor observation deck.

Thinking that the queues for the Sky Boxes would only get longer, we decided to do both of these first before spending more time looking at the overall view of the city. We were obviously in experienced observation deck company as there didn’t seem to be anyone ahead of us baulking at standing on the glass floor. Rather the main delay were those taking endless selfies, many of whom seemed barely to even look down through the glass floor once inside. Of course we preferred pictures of our feet and what was below.

Kuala-Lumpur-51

Kuala-Lumpur-52
Menara KL Tower – all together now in a high pitched voice: “We’re walking in the air!”

With the glass floors suitably walked on, it was time to wander around the observation deck and get a good look at Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala-Lumpur-53

Kuala-Lumpur-54

Kuala-Lumpur-55
Menara KL Tower – in the distance you can see the rocky outcrop that is home to the Batu Caves.

Kuala-Lumpur-56

Kuala-Lumpur-57

Kuala-Lumpur-58

Kuala-Lumpur-59

Inside the tower amidst the gift stalls and other information was a map of towers across the world that are part of the World Federation of Great Towers (website here). Looking at the featured towers we can see we’ve done a fair few of these already but there’s evidently plenty more awaiting us on the road ahead.

Kuala-Lumpur-60

The Menara KL Tower was definitely one of the best observation decks we’ve visited on our travels, and the gorgeous clear day only made this a better experience. If you really want to see Kuala Lumpur properly from above, we think you should visit the Menara KL Tower not the Petronas Towers.