Saturday, October 5, 2013

Location: Petronas Twin Towers - a view from Malaysia

Location: Petronas Twin Towers - a view from Malaysia

The glass looking towers illuminated at night
Kuala Lumpur, the vibrant and colorful capital of Malaysia, is the home of the world famous Petronas Towers, double skyscrapers that holds the title of the tallest twin towers in the world. The towers are 88 stores high and 452 meters above sea level. Although they were completed in 1998, after seven years of construction, they were officially inaugurated on August 31, 1999.

The Sky bridge gives tourists a great view of the city
The building is spectacularly beautiful and at night, it resembles pointed spires of a giant glass castle. The lights are usually turned off around midnight. It is breathtaking to take a peak at the city from the towers, and visitors can go to the observatory platform on the 41st floor, half way through to the top, where a sky bridge unites both towers. Besides being an observatory deck, the sky bridge also serves as an escape route in case of emergency. The ride used to be free, and you had to spend a considerable amount of time in line waiting for a chance to get a ticket. For that, you had to go to the underground level of the Suria KLCC shopping mall, a high class shopping mall at the foot of the towers, the biggest in Malaysia, where you find the booth that distributes the daily tickets. Lines used to form as early as 6 am on the weekends, as the tickets were distributed on a first came, first served basis to 1,000 tourists per day.

Interior of the Suria KLCC Shopping Mall, located at the foot of Petronas Towers

The 20 elevator trips to the sky bridge are still distributed to the maximum capacity of 20 visitors per ride, with the last ride being around 4 or 5 pm. If you are traveling by yourself, you have a higher chance to fill one of the earliest rides. For example, when I got there around 8 am, the line was already curving around the corner of the room, and by 10:45 am, although the next available slot was not until 3:15pm, I was able to score one at 1:45 pm, because I was by myself and they needed one more person to fill the elevator to its maximum capacity. For the last two years, the tickets are now being sold to the public, however the touristic demand to go to this architectural masterpiece is high and queues are still an issue. 

It's advisable to stay around the area waiting for your ride,so don't go wandering around too far. If you get there late for your elevator slot, you won't be able to take your tour and will have to try again the following day. You can enjoy your time walking around the shopping mall, browsing through the hundreds of specialty shops or finding a place to eat and have a fresh fruit smoothie while you wait.

Another beautiful view of the magnificent skyscrapers
The ride is fast and non stop. Once at the sky ride observatory, you get the chance to walk around and take breathtaking pictures of the city down below, which is well worth the wait. No trip to Kuala Lumpur would be complete without visiting the towers. It's a must see in the Malaysia capital, and probably the most famous attraction, since the towers symbolize the city and the country.

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