We took an early bus (RM8) from Melaka to KL to take us back to where we started. After installing ourselves in another hotel in KL, we set off to see the definitive landmark of KL that can be seen wherever you are in the city, and we had glimpsed on many occasions transiting through, but we had not yet visited – the Petronas Towers. We took the Putra line metro to KLCC station and nothing can prepare you for what you see when you step out from below ground into the shadow of the towers. You are first met with the wide curvature of glass and steel of the base of one of the towers, and that was just the back view. The eyes are automatically drawn upwards and it is at first difficult to comprehend the scale of the tower before you…coming from the UK we don’t have a culture of big skyscrapers, so I guess we are easily impressed.
Crossing a busy road to walk round to the front of the towers, the other tower comes into view. In front of the towers is an avenue of trees and seating where one can relax, admire the perfect symmetry of the towers and try to photograph the huge structure…which is no easy feat to do justice to the sense of scale. Unfortunately we had arrived too late to go up to the walkway or ‘skybridge’, (on the 42nd floor and not even half way up the full height of 88 floors). Finding out where to get these tickets was also a challenge in itself.
On entering the building you realise that it is actually a working office building with people in suits going about their everyday business (the towers are home to many multinational companies). Continuing through to what is effectively between and behind the towers you emerge in one huge shopping mall. If you love to shop, then here must be your idea of heaven, with every brand from high street to designer all under one roof. There’s also a massive food court on the ground floor serving any cuisine from around the world – perfect for a lunchstop, if you can decide what to have from a complete choice overload.
We decided it was time to leave the Petronas towers when we noticed an ominous grey stormcloud brewing. I’m sure that the towers get hit by lightening rather a lot and it is perfectly safe, but all the same we headed back to the Chinatown area where our hotel was. Since we were leaving the next day, we decided to give ourselves one final treat – An ais kacang, a shaved ice dessert similar to cendol but with fruit and syrup instead of beans and jellied noodles. Antony chose the durian one since he seems to have acquired the taste for the pungent fruit. But I will not forget the look on his face when half way through his big bowl of dessert he came across the layer of sweetcorn?! It just goes to show that like traveling around Malaysia, just when you think you understand the culture and know what to expect, it throws up something surprising and gives you another revelation from the cultural mixing pot of Malaysia.