While we were in our taxi driving from the airport to our hotel in Kuala Lumpur we were literally straining our necks to get our first glimpse of the famous PETRONAS Twin Towers and we were not disappointed when they came into view, especially at night as they glow, they tower over all the surrounding buildings and as there are two they cannot be missed, they are lit beautifully all the way to the top, every floor shines.
Unfortunately we had no view of them from our first hotel but once we moved into our apartment that we rented for the month we could see them every day from our bedroom window and used them as a visual barometer for the weather , the storms that moved in every afternoon would hide them from our view, once the towers disappeared it meant the rain would start soon.
We set off early the next day to explore and as our hotel ran a free bus to the KLCC we took the offer, we got to the front of the towers around 9.30am and made our way to get our tickets to go up the towers. We had checked online for prices and while we did think it was a bit pricey at the equivalent of 40 pounds for foreigners we couldn’t not go up, which is where they have you, everyone wants to go up there, if you are Malaysian though it is a fraction of the price, something that happens all over Asia, I would love it if the British received discounts in Britain for just being British but that would never happen as someone would say it was racist, anyway, the website also warned that it gets very popular so get there early.
After wandering around the large impressive foyer and seeing no obvious place to get our tickets, we eventually asked security ‘where?’ and we were directed downstairs, so we took the elevator down and Chris joined the queue, myself and Izzy went in search of a toilet, this sounds straight forward and I wouldn’t normally mention in a post about toilets but bare with me, in nearly every mall we went to in KL we found it really difficult to find public loo’s, maybe they are embarrassed about bodily functions but there are very few obvious toilets, the ones downstairs especially hidden, I even asked for directions and still had problems finding them, all levels of the KLCC had hardly any loos and 2 out of 5 floors even charged you to use them, we even found that the bars and cafe’s including Harrods don’t have their own toilets, you have to search out the public ones. anyway I digress, but it is annoying.
After queueing for a good 15 minutes we couldn’t get a ticket until 6 that evening, that meant killing 6 hours before we went up the tower, so we went to the shopping mall area and had a wander around. There are many good quality shops, Versace, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci are all there and four floors of shops and restaurants, the top floor has a science museum and the biggest book shop I have ever been in. There is an art gallery with work displayed by local artists, a multi screen cinema, a food court and even a large aquarium. In the large central area there was enough room for big companies to show off, we saw a fashion show by L’Oreal and a huge Mercedes exhibition on further visits.
We wandered around a while and got our bearings then decided to watch a film, we saw a kids film that had not been released in Europe at that time and for the four of us in it was six pounds, seriously, why are films so expensive in Europe and bloody extortionate here in Oz where I am writing this post from, $40 dollars for two adults last week, why can the rest of Asia manage to keep it so cheap, drives me mad.
Anyway, we then took our time with dinner and had a noodle dish on a sizzling platter that was ridiculously cheap also and then went back down to the basement to join the queue for the towers. They only take up parties of about twenty people at a time and you have to watch a safety video first explaining procedures in case of an emergency, then a quick x ray of your bag and metal detector and your in. Everyone presses a little close into the lift which cleverly makes you feel you are on the outside of the building with screens showing a rolling view but your definately well inside the building. Quick as a flash your on floor 41 which is the sky bridge floor, we all wear color coded badges and have 15 minutes to stroll around and marvel at the view, the sky bridge has two floors and the staff at the towers use the corridor above. it is quite bazaar to know there is nothing beneath you except a few girders, then we bundle in to the elevator again and shoot up to the 88th floor, this is one floor from the top and the view is impressive and far reaching. There is lots of information about the buildings scattered about and you cant help but be impressed. Again the time goes quick as a flash and they are calling our colour, your down to the bottom again and out into an extremely over priced gift shop, my advice would be don’t buy anything in there after paying a hefty price to basically shoot up in an elevator and look out of a couple of windows, there are lots of other places selling images of the towers and whatever else you can fit in your suitcase at much more competitive prices.
Over the next few weeks we returned to the KLCC on numerous occasions especially as we found a Nando’s in the basement floor, we also met some friends in the aquarium which was lovely and this well equipped aquarium has a super long shark tunnel and trained otters. We even watched Lewis Hamilton and the Formula one team mate ripping Mercedes cars up and down the street outside as part of the warm up to the Malaysian Grand Prix, as Petronas sponsors the team. We attended the event but I will write about that in another post.
The gardens around the towers and centre are big and kid friendly with a splash pool and waterfall for the kids and a big play area, lovely lakes and a running track, then there are the fountains that dance to music every evening at 8pm.
We did pretty much everything there was to do in the KLCC, we spent a fab morning in the science museum and started doing our grocery shopping in the supermarket there as it was the freshest produce that we found. We did go to a few other malls but none offered the same variety as KLCC, Asian capitals like Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok certainly know how to provide large air conditioned malls and there are plenty of them to choose from and new ones springing up all the time, but not many can beat KLCC.