More amazing places to go in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Resembling twin silver rockets plucked from an episode of Flash Gordon, the Petronas Towers are the perfect allegory for the meteoric rise of the city from tin-miners' hovel to the 21st-century metropolis. Half of the 1500 tickets for 45-minute tours – which take in the Skybridge connection on the 41st floor and the observation deck on the 86th floor at 370m – are sold in advance online. Otherwise turn up early to be sure of scoring a ticket to go up.
Even though completed back in 1998, the shimmering stainless-steel-clad towers, designed by Argentinian architect César Pelli as the headquarters of the national oil and gas company Petronas, continue to epitomise contemporary KL. The 88-storey twin towers are the tallest pair in the world at nearly 452m and their floor plan is based on an eight-sided star that echoes arabesque patterns. Islamic influences are also evident in each tower's five tiers – representing the five pillars of Islam – and in the 63m masts that crown them, calling to mind the minarets of a mosque and the Star of Islam. They look particularly impressive when illuminated at night.
Menara Kuala Lumpur
Although the Petronas Towers are taller, the 421m Menara KL, rising from the crest of Bukit Nanas, offers the best city views. The bulb at the top contains a revolving restaurant, an interior observation deck at 276m and, most thrilling of all, an open deck at 300m, access to which is weather dependent. Here (if you dare) you can take your photo in the sky box, which puts nothing but glass between you and the ground below (no young children allowed).
Surrounded by a pocket of primary rainforest, this lofty spire is the world's fourth-highest telecommunications tower. A free shuttle bus runs from the gate on Jln Punchak, or you can walk up through the KL Forest Eco Park and its canopy walkway.
Thean Hou Temple
Sitting atop leafy Robson Heights, this imposing multistorey Chinese temple, dedicated to Thean Hou, the heavenly queen, affords wonderful views over Kuala Lumpur. Opened in 1989 by the Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association, it serves as both a house of worship and a functional space for events such as weddings. In recent years it's also become a tourist attraction in its own right, especially during Chinese festival times and the birthdays of the various temple gods.
There are great views from the temple's upper decks, where you can also get close-up views of the mosaic dragons and phoenixes adorning the eaves.
To get here, take a taxi from Tun Sambanthan.
KL Forest Eco Park
KL's urban roar is replaced by buzzing insects and cackling birdlife at this forest of tropical hardwoods, covering 9.37 hectares in the heart of the city. One of the oldest protected jungles in Malaysia (gazetted in 1906), the park is commonly known as Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill). Don't miss traversing the lofty canopy walkway.
The canopy walkway is easily reached from the Menara KL car park; signposts display walking routes. For longer forays, pick up a basic map to the trails from the Forest Information Centreon Jln Raja Chulan (trails lead directly from here).
Hope you enjoy your stay in Malaysia.
For more Places to visit, please return to our front page.