Sunday, 24 July 2016

KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur

The KL Tower, also known as Kuala Lumpur Tower is a 421m communications tower based right in the heart of the city. It has just marked its 20th year anniversary for allowing tourists go to the the observation deck, and how could we miss a chance on that to see all of Kuala Lumpur below us. As we approached the tower its clear to see it built on an unusually placed hill in the city centre. Now if you have been to Kuala Lumpur before you know the city is fairly flat but apart from this mount of land that sticks up unusually at this area. It kind of makes sense really if your going to build a tower, build it on a hill ha.

At the base of the hill we saw what looked liked like the typical tourists there with backpacks on there back, the famous hiking boots with water bottle and the city map clutched to their hand (bit like us really) waiting for what looked like maybe a free shuttle bus that took you up to the top of the hill where the base of the tower starts. We was not to wait to see if there was a bus as we saw climbing this hill as a challenge and who knows how long we would wait. Wish we had of waited now as the hill is steeper than you think and it was around 35°C and so much humidity in the air it was harder than what we thought. We eventually made it though and was approached by a member of staff who we asked gasping for breath where we could buy water from. He kindly shown us a little shop where you can buy drinks from and we sat there looking spat this enormous tower.

The clouds in the sky looked like it was going to rain but in the distance we could see the blue skies coming towards us with little clouds which gave us hope we was not about to get really wet. After our drink and a cool down, we approached the ticket booth and was given lots of different ticket options, within the grounds of the tower there is a mini aquarium, a little petting zoo, a F1 simulator experience and a 4D movie experience to explore. We opted for the ticket to just go up the tower to the Sky Deck and Observation Deck (105RM each), this was more expensive than going up the Petronas Towers but hey your on vacation and its a one off right, so we paid and made our way to the elevator.

As you step out on the sky deck the wind hits you to take the edge of the heat and there is nothing more than a 4ft glass wall from you and a 335m drop to the ground (the 421m height i mentioned before is the height from the top of the antenna) and it literally is awe-inspiring.

This is a 360° view of the city and as you walk around the last floor where the antenna is etched to we saw a line emerge, must be the line for the exit we though, we was so wrong! This was the line to walk out onto a glass booth overlooking the city with a glass bottom floor to give you the ultimate adrenaline rush.

After joining the line which took forever which is totally understandable as people have paid a lot of money for this experience and want to have it privately for themselves to take there best or worse photos of themselves. it was our turn, off with the shoes  and slowly creeping onto the platform looking down at the sheer drop to the ground. In all honesty the first 2-3 seconds is quite nervous and a bit scary but once your on, your on and its all fine. Of course the usual selfies, silly and posing pictures was taken and we then left the glass booth to look and laugh at the pictures we had just taken. as we proceeded anti-clockwise around the tower, there was another glass booth to go in but with less views as the first one was over looking the financial skyscraper district. And of course we had to go in this as well.

We must have spent a good 2 hours up there, honestly we didn't want to leave as we was enjoying the views and having so much fun. but looking at the time, we knew it was closing soon and we still had the observatory to go to, we proceeded by walking down around 8 flights of stairs to the Observatory Deck and you guessed it... we was bitterly disappointed. It was not due to the fact that the views was poor, there was just as good, it was due to the fact you seemed to have lost your freedom and the thrill behind the glass and the excitement of stepping out onto a glass booth was not there, we took our last pictures of the sunset over Kuala Lumpur.

This attraction is pricey but priceless at the same time, we would really recommend this to anyone as a must do in Kuala Lumpur and in our opinion it was abetter experience than going up the Patronas Towers, (but we are not for one minute saying don't go up them), we left with smiles on our faces and a memory we will never forget, thank you KL Tower.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

As we landed from our flight quite late in Kuala Lumpur, we both decided to do our own walking tour of the city as everywhere was shutting down and the night life was about to begin with the bars and pubs slowly filling up with people relaxing for the evening. We found ourself after walking for what seemed ages (mainly due to the fact we stopped by a nice pretty bar ourselves  for a cocktail and a beer) in the main financial district of the city. All the tall office buildings where shut at this point and it was quite eerie as there was little traffic on the road and few pedestrians walking the street. For some reason we said to ourselves we will see what is around the next the next corner and if there is nothing there we will find the LRT (Metro/Subway) station to take us home and thats when we saw the Petronas Towers up close.

I think this for us both took our breath away literally, not due to the sheer size of these towers but mainly due it was all lit up and showing off all of its steel and glass in a beautiful and powerful manner, This is one building you can just stand there for ages and admire and of course take lots of pictures and selfies with, like we both did with a surprisingly small amount of tourists in the area. At this point we both knew we was to come back tomorrow and go to the observatory deck to stand on top of the worlds tallest twin towers.

The next morning we decided we was in no rush getting to the Petronas Towers so we had a nice Malaysian fried chicken with rice breakfast and went to Mo's favourite coffee shop (Starbucks) for our early morning coffee, we arrive at the ticket office just after lunch around 2pm and guess what? Sold out for the day! Luckily we was flying out at 4pm the next day and managed to get 2 tickets (85RM) for the following day at 9am.

So 2 tips for the Petronas Towers

1. They are closed on Mondays
2. It is a tour with a number of limited places for the day so if your on a small vacation like we was get there early.

So the next day we arrived very early just to make sure we was there for 9am and not to miss our slot as like i said before our flight was at 4pm and we had no time to waste, this gave us a chance to take some nice pictures from the outside but in daylight this time as the day was sunny and a few nice but picturesque clouds in the sky. For us in the daytime it didn't seem as bold and powerful and seemed smaller than seeing it in the night, don't get us wrong here for one minute, it was still impressive and still gave us a sore neck as we looked up from the bottom, it was just lacking something than what it looked at, at nighttime 

We went inside just before 9am to join the line of people who also had a ticket for 9am and was then seperated into smaller groups and was given a different colour lanyard which seeing as this was going to be a tour (as the lady described to us as we purchased the ticket) this made sense. Our colour was red and reds was picked to go first which was lucky as we had a flight to catch later in the day.

We was all crammed into the elevator like tinned fish and there was no room for anybody else, so we was both politely stepped out and waited for the next elevator to give everyone room. As the elevator returned there was just us 2 the big space that was to take us to the Skybridge connecting the two towers (which Sean Connery and Catherine Zita-Jones run across in the movie Entrapment) and got to watch the small video displayed on the walls of the elevator which we would have not seen if we was in the previous elevator with everyone in it.

When we arrived we was guided out and led towards the Skybridge which was longer and wider than i thought it was going to be, but sometimes looking down looking up it can look a lot smaller, we was told we was on the lower lever on the Skybridge on the 41st floor and this was the highest 2-story bridge in the world.

After around 10 minutes of taking photos and admiring the views we was politely told time is up and we are to make our way to the elevator to proceed to the observation deck at the top of the tower, this time the lift was smaller than the last ones as we was going up closer to the peak of the tower so it took a few turns to escort everyone to the top. As the elevator door opened you was met wit glass panel windows surrounding you, overlooking the city, we both went to the nearest window to take a look at the incredible view of Kuala Lumpur from the 86th floor at the height of just below 459m tall, and what a view it is, absolutely stunning views and Kuala Lumpur being a small city you can see right across it to the countryside and the mountains in the background and knowing at one point this was the tallest building in the world was an incredible feeling for both us.

After around another 15-20 minutes we was asked to take the elevator to go down again to go the gift shop which we could have spent more time in the observatory in my opinion as most of us don't buy anything for the gift shops anyway, just sometimes have a nosey then walk away empty handed, then we proceeded to the elevator and then to the exit.

Overall we was both disappointed in the fact that you was on a time schedule on how long you can take pictures, admire and reflect on the view and where you are, before being rushed off to somewhere else, and we where both disappointed that we was told it was going to be a tour but you did everything yourself, you could of course have asked the staff there for information if you wished but there where no tour guide. The question is... Did we enjoy it?... YES we loved every minute of it and are wanting to go back up the towers again one day in the future, it is one of the most famous iconic buildings in the world and we are so glad to have seen and gone up it.