Monday, October 8, 2012

Kuala Lumpur: Skybridge at Petronas Towers

R and I went to see the Petronas Towers on our first day in KL, but I wanted a closer look. Getting inside the towers is actually not at all straightforward. While public tickets are available, they are strictly limited (I think only 1000 daily total) and difficult to get: they are released every morning on a first-come, first-serve basis (meaning you must show up really early in the morning to queue), and only in person.

Luckily for me, we were staying at the Shangri La and thus had free concierge service. So I asked the hotel to arrange it, and they sent some poor person to stand in line for me at around 7 am. I got to waltz in after breakfast, and just pick them up. Win!

I had read online that tickets are free, but this is not true. They actually cost 80 ringgit/ person (around $26), very expensive for Malaysia (R was free, though). Everyone else in my time slot (you are given a designated time to show up, divided into fifteen-minute increments) was a tourist from a wealthy country--Japan, Dubai, Germany, Brunei, etc. Malaysia is a very popular destination for people from wealthy Middle Eastern countries on their honeymoons, being 1. Muslim and 2. tropical with nice beaches. It was weird to see so many women wearing burkas though (even head scarves are optional in Singapore).
R on the skybridge: work it!

Security was very tight (I think terrorism might be a concern). We had to go through a metal detector, and were not allowed to bring the stroller. We were also always escorted by at least one guide and an armed policeman. Seemed a little bit of overkill, but I suppose they have their reasons. On the plus side, all these personnel meant that even though R and I were late, we got a personal escort to catch up with the tour.

View of KLCC Park from the skybridge

R liked the view

Best picture of R and I in a long time, demonstrating why you should always
get geeky Japanese guys with big cameras to take your picture 
Previously tourists could only visit the skybridge connecting the two towers (on the 41st floor). Now a visit to the observation deck on the 86th floor is also included, giving a much more impressive view.
Observation level
The level was much smaller than I expected (about the size of my apartment): it seems really difficult to build up that high. It included a large scale model of KL, and some self-congratulatory placards. I suppose Malaysia has in general a very low profile internationally, so being the site of one of the world's tallest buildings is a bigger deal there.

The other tower
I enjoyed the views (and the thought that I was up so high, by far the highest yet, at least in a man-made structure). R enjoyed the views too but soon got bored, and even the adulation and admiration of her usual fan club did not please her. Thankfully (for her, anyway) the tour was only about 30 minutes.

R wondering why her mother always takes her to boring places
Are we going yet?
There might not be a lot to see (beyond the views), but I really enjoyed the whole experience. What I do regret, though, is that it's primarily a fantastic photo opportunity (the light was great thanks to all the windows) and I am a really bad photographer. A more skillful camera operator would have probably enjoyed it even more.
Cute too but you can see the difference! Sniff, sniff I miss you Japanese guy who didn't speak English
 And this is the end of KL recaps. I guess we have to take another trip now!

1 comment:

  1. That looks really neat! I think I'd be a little nervous up there, but I do always like going up to see the views from high buildings. I think your photos are good!