Guest Author - Teresa Coates
Reaching more than a quarter-mile into the skies above Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Towers look like rockets joined at the hips and ready to launch at any moment. Today, more than a decade since their construction, they are an icon of Malaysia and a draw for tourists from around the world.
The Petronas Towers are two separate building, both 88 stories tall, but connected at the 41st and 42nd floors by a skybridge that spans the gap between them. Built in the shape of the eight-sided star, the towers represent the Islamic arts that abound in Malaysia. When it was built in 1998, it was the tallest building in the world at 452 meters, but six years later it gave the title to Taipei 101 in Taiwan. That building is 50+ meters taller. (In 2009, the tallest building title was given to the Burj Dubai, a skyscraper that nearly doubles the height of the Petronas Towers, reaching 818 meters into the sky.)
Perched 170 meters above the city, the vista from the Skybridge is breathtaking. The city's wide roads, parks and skyscrapers that pale in comparison Visitors can marvel at the view from the skybridge six days a week (Tuesday through Sunday). Tickets are free, but are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 8:30 a.m. The towers are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., except on Fridays when they close for prayer from 1-2:30 p.m. and all day on Mondays.
The shining star of Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Towers are just one part of the sprawling KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center). Nearby you will find the Kuala Lumpur Aquaria, the Suria KLCC (an upscale shopping center), the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (a symphony concert hall) several hotels as well as a children's museum and water park. There are numerous hotels in the area, making day-long visitsto KLCC quite practical. With the various footpaths, reflecting pools, playgrounds and shopping in the area, there's no need to leave the area for several days as you explore the city center.
If you'll be flying into Kuala Lumpur, you can take the Express Rail Link to the Sentral Station before boarding the PUTRA Light Rail Transit to the KLCC station. If preferred, you can reach KLCC via taxi or bus, as well.
For more information on visiting Kuala Lumpur's city center, visit their official website.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Coates.