For a change a change I woke up early, and with a vague idea of what I wanted to to. I had one full day in KL, and I wanted to make the most of it.
I left the hotel and walked straight into another rainstorm. That meant the walk around the gardens of the KLCC were immediately crossed off my list, unless the weather staged a dramatic turnaround.
It also meant that my number 1 thing that I wanted to do – visit the Petronas Towers may also be a washout.
I took the train to the KLCC station and wandered around searching for the ticket office to the towers. There is a mall directly below them, and all I knew was that the ticket office was somewhere on the 1st floor. What I hadn’t really prepared for was just how big this mall was, and just how identical all the wings looked.
It took me a good half an hour to find the ticket office, and I was given an entrance time of 1:15. This meant that I had a couple of hours to kill, and so I made my way to Aquaria, an aquarium in the KLCC. This was rated pretty highly, but I did not really enjoy it that much. The place was exceptionally crowded, more like a train at rush hour rather than a place of interest. This was mainly because around five or six huge groups had arrived at the same time. One was a school, and one seemed to be a sports squad. The others seemed like Chinese tour groups and the way that they pushed and shoved everyone, including the kids out the way would seem to confirm that.
The groups are a strange thing. All the members wear the same shirts, and with the scrum the place resembled a game of village football from the 1700’s.
The exhibits were alright. Nothing special that isn’t in any other aquariums.
I wouldn’t really recommend it unless as I was, you needed to kill time and the weather meant the gardens were unavailable.
Eventually 1:15 came around and I could go up the towers.
After a briefing, presented by projecting an image onto smoke to make a kind of false hologram a group of us were ushered into a lift and sped up the the skybridge at a speed of 5m/s. As we climbed out, our attention was drawn to a small gap in the metalwork of the wall. The skybridge it turns out is not fully attached to the towers. It has around 10 inches of play to allow the bridge to better cope with high winds and therefore reducing strain on the stucture.
With this new knowledge, we stepped out above the city onto a platform that wasn’t quite as solid as it had seemed 15 minutes earlier.
Despite the weather doing its worst, the view was still fantastic. We could not see for miles, but it was still fascinating to see the area surrounding with low clouds drifting around the buildings.
In fact the biggest disappointment was that the rain clung to the windows, making any kind of clean image impossible. Despite this, it was still worth the time and effort to get here and the best was still to come as we still had half the building to climb.
We piled back into the lift and continued onto the top of the tower.
In spite of the weathers best attempt to ruin things, the view to which I was treated upon exiting the lift was majestic.
The sister tower filled the the first window that I saw. Cloud covered the remainder of the building and obscured the ground below. However in the distance stood the KL Tower. The only other building tall enough to be visible above the clouds.
The area atop the towers is surprisingly compact for a building so vast. However, you are free to walk around and the views are fantastic.
I watched as the clouds rolled past me; occasionally parting to allow a glimpse of the city below. I was shocked at one point to find a large moth sheltering from the rain as it perched on the windowframe. This may well have been the tallest building in the world once. But this humble moth evidently had no trouble in scaling one of mankinds greatest engineering achievements.
The Petronas Towers are well worth a visit, even in inclement weather. I can only imagine how far and wide you can see on a clear day. Perhaps one of these days I will be able to visit one of these behemoths on a clear day. My track record in has been poor so far, but then again I have been lucky enough to visit so many of the worlds tallest buildings so it would be churlish to complain.
After my allotted time was over I stopped for a sandwich at one of the nearby mall cafes for hopping back onto the LRT and heading to KL Sentral.
My plan was to walk to the National Museum, but as soon as I stepped foot outside; the rain, which had slowed to a more normal pace, re-intensified and made walking impossible.
I still wanted to do something, so I waited and jumped onto the hop-on hop-off tourist bus. I thought that I would ride it until the rains mellowed, and then jump off somewhere interesting. However, the rains did not approve of this plan and kept up the barrage.
The bus took a circular route, and a full lap was supposed to take around 2 and a half hours. So I now thought that I’d just sit back, relax and watch the the city in all its sodden glory roll past my window as I completed a full lap.
For the first half this plan worked fine and I spotted a couple of places that I will come to the next time that I am here. But then we hit very heavy traffic and all progress came to a standstill. In the end I was on the bus for over four hours before I finally jumped off. We didn’t even complete a lap in that time.
I hopped out as we approached Chinatown, risking a soaking just to get off the thing.
I was starving by now, but I also had a splitting headache. I just wanted to eat and jump into bed as soon as possible. So I stopped at the nearest place I saw that was open. Incredibly, this turned out to be a Kenny Rodgers Roasters chain restaurant. They dealt exclusively in roast chicken, and I had a piece with salad and rice. Do you know what? It was fantastic. I never thought for one moment before this trip that I would eat something with Kenny Rodgers name on it, in Malaysia of all places! I wouldn’t make a special trip to go back, but if I’d quite happily eat there again.
I then braved the crowds and pushed my way through the market to the hotel where I showered and climbed into bed at the end of a slightly strange day.