Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

KL’s Petronas Towers

It is with a heavy heart and a great deal of joy that I write this post about July 25th, 2010. It’s now the following day, and I’m in a Thai Airways 747 on the way back to Munich – the end of my around-the-world trip.

I’ve had an amazing almost-three-months, and learned more in this time than I’d ever dreamed I would. At the same time, I’m looking forward to my couch, a bit more predictability in my life, and being free from my (self-imposed) goal of writing a blog post each day during the trip.

Well, let’s not dally and get all sentimental. I promised you the Petronas Towers – at 452m, the tallest buildings in the world until Taipei 101 took that crown in 2004.

KL's Petronas twin towers

To ascend the towers, you must get a free ticket early in the morning in the base of Tower 1. I was in line at 7:30. Tickets were given out starting from 8:30, although it was 9:45 before I got to the front of the line. Max 5 tickets per person! I have to say, the view from the bridge between the towers (which is as high as you can go) was a bit disappointing. I’ll have a few shots of that later.

First, some amazing graffiti that I saw near a train station.

Cool graffiti in Kuala Lumpur

Petaling Street market is not just a place for hawkers to rip off tourists with a plethora of fake handbags. It’s also a place for locals to socialize.

Locals in Petaling Street market

Back to the towers. My ticket was for the last available time, 6:30pm. While waiting I checked out the displays in the lobby. I love the warning about lightning (when they explain that you are much safer inside a metal tower / Faraday cage).

Never be the tallest, nor the wettest when lightning is about as you will be the path of least resistance for the electricity of lightning current to be discharged over your surface. This will not be good for you.

I also saw someone making a handheld-cam video of the Petronas oil company advertising video that we saw prior to boarding the elevator. That cracked me up. Will this ghetto “Seinfeld style” cap of a 5-minute Petronas commercial be out in the street market DVD shops soon, or what?

Here’s the view from the bridge, which is about 1/3 of the way up the buildings at 170 meters.

View of KLCC  (City Centre) park from the Petronas Towers

Trust me on this one: don’t waste your time standing in line at 7:30am. Even if it hadn’t been raining, the view is not that great, and half of what you could otherwise see is blocked by the buildings themselves.

Spend the money to go up KL tower, which (although not as TALL) is actually higher, because it starts on a hill. Plus the viewing area is near the top, instead of being just 1/3 of the way up. You get a 360° view… which includes the Petronas towers. The beautiful twin towers are much better seen from a distance, rather than seeing the distance from them!

Rain streaking the window of the Petronas Towers viewing bridge

So. Here I am on a plane headed toward Munich. I can’t even begin to explain how much I learned, and what a valuable experience this was for me on about fourteen different levels. I’ve made a few friends that I still keep in touch with months later. And I can’t wait to go back to many of the great places I’ve touched on in my brief around-the-world adventure!

Rest assured, there will be a lot more blog posts about this trip and others. But I’ll probably revert to my normal format of a couple posts a week, instead of one every day. Have you enjoyed the ride? What do you want to see more of? Please let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best!

Posted 11 years, 1 month ago at 3:46 pm.

9 comments

Kuala Lumpur Streets

I’ve been to Kuala Lumpur (affectionately known as KL) several times before. But I never took any street photos, and never made it up the Petronas twin towers (the tallest buildings in the world, 1998-2004). On July 24th, I took care of the first of those goals. Let’s start with fruit!

Various fruits that Westerners have probably never heard of like rambutan and durian

Here’s the Royal Selangor Club, where the Hash House Harriers were born in 1938 – ushering in a worldwide revolution in drunken running around ever-changing mystery courses. The name refers to the wing where the participating Colonial British bunked, the “Hash House.”

The private Selangor Club where the Hash House Harriers started

Cool buildings around Merdeka Square, with the KL Tower in the background.

Merdeka Square in KL

Everywhere in the world, people are fascinated by Barack Obama!

Barack Obama, Malay graffiti-style

Corn in Cup is awesome. This is definitely a favorite Malaysian snack food! Plus, a good view of what many of the local Muslim women are wearing.

Corn in Cup - YYYESS!

KL is not lacking in beggars with outstretched arms and McDonald’s cups.

Begging the streets of Kuala Lumpur

What was I saying about Barack Obama earlier…?

Barack Obama on a $100 bill

Mmm, chestnuts.

Freshly roasted street chestnuts

Asia is all about shopping. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Malaysia: shopping malls are massive, and double as social centers, packed with restaurants. Tourists and locals alike pack malls, hawker centers, and street markets day in and day out.

Shopping indecision on Petaling Street

Here’s a view down the (food-oriented) side street of the Petaling Street night market in Chinatown.

Petaling Street Night Market

Tomorrow I’ll revisit the second goal: the stunning, steel-clad Petronas twin towers!

Posted 11 years, 1 month ago at 3:33 am.

4 comments

Straw Hat Woman

I’ve been trying to get a photo of someone working the fields in a straw hat ever since arriving in Cambodia. Finally, on July 23rd as I rode to the airport in a tuk-tuk, I managed it – and even got another motorcycle-family in the foreground. Keep in mind it was cloudy, and I was moving at a good 40 km/h.

Straw Hat Woman working in the fields

I also spotted this youth in a field. The contrast of the dilapidated house in the background with his mp3 player and headphones is great, and the dog is the icing on the cake.

Cambodian MP3 youth avec chien

After arriving in KL, I checked out some local (mostly indoor) sights, because I’d left my suntan lotion in a luggage locker. Oh, plus it was about 35C with high humidity.

Here’s a cool sculpture representing space and time in front of the Malaysian space agency, their equivalent of NASA. A Malaysian has made it into space!

Space and Time!

The planetarium was also worth the visit. For 3 RM (about $1 USD) I saw an Omnimax-style movie about the space race that first took Russians into earth orbit, then Americans to the moon. There’s a neat museum attached, with an anti-gravity room. Apparently blue light and a sloping floor are the keys to negating gravitational forces. Grab a blue light and a sledgehammer and try it in your own home!

Kuala Lumpur's mosque-looking planetarium

Only a few days left in my round-the-world trip. I wouldn’t say I’m homesick. However, I am ready to sleep more than two or three nights in the same bed, without having to spend hours a week planning where I’m going next and how to get there. What’s the longest time you’ve traveled?

Posted 11 years, 1 month ago at 3:32 pm.

4 comments

Solid Apartments

One thing I’ve noticed while traveling in Asia is that the nicer houses and apartments are very well built. My friends living there (businesspeople, expats, etc) live in solid concrete buildings with nice floors, high-grade appliances, security guards, and swimming pools:

DSC_6867

On July 12th I headed from KL to Singapore via bus, so I didn’t take a lot of photos. I’ll leave you with a beautiful view over city buildings, framed by distant mountains.

DSC_6869

Tomorrow, the bustling center of Singapore!

Posted 11 years, 2 months ago at 3:05 pm.

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