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Malaysia’s Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers SkybridgeEveryone’s favorite British, err, Scottish actor, Sir Sean Connery brought Western acclaim to the towers in Entrapment. Perhaps the world’s most recognizable twin towers after New York City’s late World Trade Center, the Petronas Towers demand notice in Kuala Lumpur’s skyline. Bukit Bintang, Masjid Jamek, Tuanku Abdul Rahman; no matter where we ventured the steel and glass icons were always within sight. After seven grueling years of construction, the Petronas Towers were introduced to a world audience in 1998 and were the tallest buildings in the world until 2004 when Taiwan’s Taipei was completed.

Petronas Towers At Dawn Petronas Towers View From Underneath

Petronas Towers from Masjid JamekAsh preferred a scheduled morning conversation with her Mom over sitting in a basement lobby with hundreds of others waiting for tickets to the skybridge. So on the tile floor, I read the Pulitzer winning Angela’s Ashes for ninety minutes then secured a ticket up to the 41st floor glass expanse. With another ninety minutes to kill, I surveyed the beautiful structures from several aspects: underneath, between my legs, through trees, or our camera’s zoom. I was awestruck. The double decker bridge seems to connect architectural brilliance. The shape of the Petronas Towers creates a menagerie of shapes, slants, and shadows that is pleasurable to the eye. If that weren’t enough, the shape of each tower resembles the Islamic Rub el Hizb, and eight-pointed star. Malaysia’s national oil and gas company’s namesake certainly hit a homerun with their headquarters. Finally, 10:00am rolled around and I stood among other giddy tourists in the freight elevator up to the skybridge. The bridge’s design invites much daylight and invokes a feeling that one can reach from one tower to the next. From this vantage point, you are provided an intimate opportunity to investigate the intricate design of each skyscraper. Looking down, I easily spotted the comfortable park from which I admired the buildings moments before. My fifteen minutes on the skybridge were up in a flash and I discovered no suitable hiding places. Kicking and screaming, I was shuffled back into the dull freight lift.

Skybridge View From Skybridge

Petronas Towers from Sky Bar at Traders HotelSpending time between the steel and glass was certainly worth the wait. However, the real majesty of the Petronas Towers is seen best from afar. I arrived back at the small 27th floor apartment we had rented dripping with sweat after a leisurely walk singing the tower’s praises. As the sun retired for the day, Ash and I morphed from disheveled backpackers into your average tourists as we readied for a night out in a swanky hotel bar. Ash looked like a million bucks, as always, and I debuted my latest garment, a short sleeve collared shirt. It was a big moment. We waltzed into Trader’s Hotel and clumsily took the express lift to the 33rd floor Sky Bar. Gasping at the price, Ash and I nursed a Kiwi pinot noir and a three olive vodka martini, respectively. After waiting patiently, a two-top became available with a windowless view of the Petronas Towers. Tapping our feet to the rhythmic house music, an even better vantage point on a plush couch was vacated by some Euro hipsters. The drinks and setting were top notch, yet the Petronas Towers was this evening’s MC. Once again, the detailed creators knocked the ball out of the park with artistic lighting. Contrasting magnificently with the sky’s black veil, the towers were nothing short of stunning. Precisely at midnight, the glistening white lights switched off starting from the lightning rod capped pinnacles to the shared base. It was reminiscent of the Times Square new year’s eve countdown.

A Costly Vodka Martini Skybridge at Night Ash Loves Her Some Pinot

Malaysia continues to search for an identity among other developing South East Asia countries. In today’s world of bigger, taller, and risque skyscrapers, Kuala Lumpur’s skyline is blessed with the Petronas Towers. It justly targets its place in tall building conversations while marrying function with flash.

- Greg and Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

1) Petronas Towers skybridge passes are free, first come, first serve (1,700 people per day). Get to the towers early in the morning and bring a book for the inevitable wait. Depending on your position in line, you choose a 15 minute time slot. I had to wait 1 1/2 hours, which was easily passed walking around the structures and being fascinated by the info center in the base of the towers.

2) Some people were cursing the Petronas Towers skybridge as a waste of time, while others, like myself, reveled in getting closer to the icons. If a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur is what you are solely after, visit the KL Tower. However, if you are remotely interested in architecture or find the towers enchanting, get your behind out of bed early and get in line.

  • http://www.thejetpacker.com/ The Jetpacker

    I love how the towers look like futuristic temples. We always like to overlook a new city from the top of the tallest buildings, but I imagine this one being more exciting. Good to know it's free to cross the bridge too!

  • fofs

    Jetpacker – City views from the top are almost always stunning. And the free ones are always the best! We spent some time at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building a few days ago, what a view. And again, free… though the pricey drinks atop the Tokyo Park Hyatt were worth it too.

    Thanks for reading!

    - Greg and Ash

  • Steve Boots

    Yeah, but does it cashflow? After you wrote up a PCA did you get the financials and rentroll for a quick Argus run.

    I hope I didn't induce any cold sweats or mind-numbing flashbacks. Great job on the blog. Enjoy the rest of your journey. And if this story doesn't end with an exchange of rings your non-paying audience will be very disappointed (Ooopps more cold sweats).

  • fofs

    Steve – I cranked through the ARGUS run in record time, reviewed the financials, and made a Price Is Right bid of $1. Surprisingly, my offer was declined.

    Thanks for reading and invoking Ashley's constant whining about not being engaged!

    - Greg

  • fofs

    Steve – I cranked through the ARGUS run in record time, reviewed the financials, and made a Price Is Right bid of $1. Surprisingly, my offer was declined.

    Thanks for reading and invoking Ashley's constant whining about not being engaged!

    - Greg

  • fofs

    WanderTrader – KL is a city with many faces, certainly the type of place

    with something for everyone.

    Cheers,

    Greg & Ash

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