January 18, 2012

Malay Flavour...!!

 Petronas twin towers are definitely the face of the glittering city of Kuala Lumpur, but the city also does display some of the most beautiful buildings, architectural stunners and exciting places other than the twins.

The view from my hotel room was mind blowing as each time I looked through the glass pane all I could see were tall skyscrapers with the Petronas and the KL tower rising above the rest. That was indeed a  fabulous sight and it became all the more attractive in the night with the colourful lights. It was absolutely a memorable sight.
Glittering Kuala Lumpur

View from my hotel room
Standing 421 meters tall, Menara Kuala Lumpur which translates to Kuala Lumpur Tower or KL Tower as its better known as is the world's 7th tallest communication tower. This sky kisser is a big attraction amongst the visitors to the city. Situated in the middle of the city, this tower is also known for its cultural activities, nature walks, shopping and adventure sports. The day I visited the tower was the last of 2011. Heavily crowded with families, kids and tourists, this place definitely seemed like a much sought after tourist destination. The cultural show for that day was being performed by a group of young Indonesian children and the perfection of their movements made me awestruck.

Dance performance by Indonesian children

Visitors are taken up on an elevator onto the 3rd level which has the observatory desk. Visitors are allowed only up to level 3 on all days of the year except for two. And one of those days when visitors are allowed up to level 5 happens to be the last day of every year. How lucky was I? With special tickets that gave access to a higher level than the Observatory desk, I reached my view point after a few seconds of stay inside the elevator. It was quite windy as it is open to the sky and also a bit dangerous as the edges are only knee high tall. However the expansive views were breathtaking and mindbogglingly beautiful. The tall structures, massive flyovers and the distant hills looked miniature models from the 5th level of KL Tower. Definitely the best vistas one can get of Kuala Lumpur. It also gives a closer view of Petronas Towers which is not very far from KL Tower. On special days people jump off from this level as a part of adventure activities. That should definitely be one hell of an experience. After an hour of gawking and clicking I went down to the Observatory desk. This place is more commercialized and has a lot of shops selling miniature KL Tower and Petronas Towers. This floor is enclosed, had more crowd and also displayed pictorial descriptions of the fabulous views. KL Tower is definitely a must visit for all people travelling to Kuala Lumpur.

KL Tower

Expansive vistas of Kuala Lumpur as seen from KL Tower

Batu caves in the background

Petronas Towers as seen from the Observatory desk at KL Tower
 I was told that the best place in Kuala Lumpur to welcome the new year was the independence square or Petronas Towers. But, when I just had to push over the curtains of my room to get a fantabulous view of the fire crackers during the eve, I did not bother much to go to any of the above mentioned places. The fireworks began at exactly 00:00am and went on for about 20 minutes. The sky looked colourful and the lit up buildings looked all the more fascinating. A memorable experience. The last I saw such fireworks for a long time was at Thrissur Pooram during my childhood.

Welcoming 2012

More crackers
Traffic jam on new year's eve
The next day was set aside for a city tour of Kuala Lumpur and I began with a visit to the national museum. It is one of the best museums I have been to and it explains elaborately about Malaysia, its people, the rulers and the trades. I just ran through this huge museum which actually requires at least half a day to enjoy and go through every single article, statues, discoveries and creations. Another must visit.

Inside the National museum

Inside the National museum

Inside the National museum

Inside the National museum
My luck in Malaysia post KL Tower carried further as I was in time to witness the change of guard at the King's Palace. Though it wasn't an attractive display of honour, it did give me an insight about the Malaysian culture. The King's Palace did look magnificent from outside the gate and that is the nearest that visitors are allowed.

Change of guard at the King's palace

The King's Palace

The National monument commemorates the glorious soldiers and fighters who died for the country during the First world war(1914-1918), Second world war(1939-1945) and the Malayan emergency (1948-1960). The monument has huge bronze figures of soldiers with the Malaysian flag fluttering in the air.

 The cenotaph at the national monument
National monument
National mosque was another beautiful place that I visited. Shortage of time did not allow me to go inside the mosque and I had to be content with a couple of captures from outside. I also happened to see a couple of other famous buildings like the Sultan Abdul Sammad building in front of independence square and  the Old Railway station near the national mosque. I also visited the chocolate factory near the Malaysian tourism office and they do have a plethora of chocolates in various sizes and shapes. They also let the visitors taste each chocolate even if they have no intention of purchasing it. As my guide rightly said "Tasting is free!!"
Batik is a painting and textile dyeing technique which is famous in Malaysia and Indonesia and Malaysian culture and tourism promotes batik in a big way. I happened to visit one of their batik shops and was introduced to the way the batik is painted and dyed. It is a creative form of art and looked beautiful and elegant.

National mosque

Petronas Towers is definitely the most imposing and prominent structure in the whole of Kuala Lumpur and it out rightly is the face of the city. The fascinating architecture and the glazing outer surface makes this twin tower a gorgeous one too. Standing 452 meters tall, this was opened in the year 1999. The interesting fact is that one tower was built by the Japanese and the other by the Koreans. Presently one tower has the petroleum company, Petronas and the other has been let out. My lady luck did not favour me this time as I visited the towers on a Monday and supposedly the towers are closed on all Mondays. I will have to wait for my next visit to go up the Petronas Towers. A big reason to visit the country again. :).
A passage through the ground floor of the towers led me to a massive shopping mall called Suriya KLCC. A huge mall that showcased numerous brands, massive outlets and a huge number of shoppers.

The stunning Petronas towers
Since my areas of interest were limited to the city center, I found mono rail to be the best mode of commutation. My hotel was a 5 minute walk away from the nearest mono rail station and that helped me a lot. My visits to KL Tower, Petronas and shopping malls were all done by taking the mono rail. Its comfortable, cheap and transports you quite fast.
A mono rail station
Like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur is also known to be a shopper's paradise. Bukit Bintang is the place which every shopper should head to in Kuala Lumpur. Its an area where there are loads of street shops, all kind of eateries, big hotels and shopping malls like Lot 10, Fahrenheit 88, Sephora, Sungei Wang, Berjaya Times Square and Pavilion. The choices are numerous suiting every need and budget. Malaysian tourism promotes this place as The Bintang Walk. If you love being in the crowd with beautiful people and fancy shopping centers everywhere, this is the place in Kuala Lumpur. A walk here in the evening would absolutely be awesome.

Inside a shopping mall

Bukit Bintang

Paved roads at Bukit Bintang

Crowd at Bukit Bintang

I found Bukit Bintang to be a very exciting one in Kuala Lumpur with people from all parts of the world busy walking down the lanes, haggling with the sellers, families and kids enjoying the long walks inside the malls, a Malayalam film unit busy shooting a new film, youngsters happily lazying away to glory and the street sellers inviting every one inside their shops. The celebrations of the new year had not died down and the place still had the decorations intact. The people were also yet to get out of their holidays. Surprisingly I found Japanese to be a major chunk amongst the tourists. Wherever I went, I found them to be omnipresent. Certain malls even had a Japanese section where all kind of Japanese brands were sold. I also witnessed a Japanese cultural show at one of the malls. A splendid performance by them.
I had to miss out on a couple of places like Petaling street, China town, pubs, discotheques, night life etc due to time constraints. 
There is always a next time. ;)
Japanese section inside a mall

A Japanese cultural performance welcoming the new year

Happy New Year 2012
Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful metropolitan city which will sweep you off your feet with the attractions that it offers to its visitors. The tall skyscrapers, cosmopolitan culture, multi cuisines and exciting places definitely makes Kuala Lumpur stand out on the destinations to visit.

Signing Note- Exciting, Exotic and infinitely Entertaining...!!


  1. Awesome pictures ,,,, Really inviting ...

  2. great photos and narration on wonderful trip

    thanks for sharing...

  3. Thank you for the excellent virtual tour of Kuala Lumpur!

  4. That is am amazing travelogue!

  5. Looks like had fantastic trip & a grand, exciting,fun filled,explosive & fiery entry into the New Year. Incredibly awesomw pics

  6. Yes, had an amazing trip. Thanks a lot. :)

  7. when we were there, from our hotel room twin tower was on left, KL tower on right.. I guess you stayed on the opposite site of city

  8. Lovely photos, Niran. And what a perfect way to greet the new year!!

  9. @ Shrinidhi- Thats nice, you too would have got awesome views.

    @ Ashwathy- Thanks dear. :)

  10. atleast in the 1st pic, the KL tower looks taller than petronas! luved all the pics.

  11. Thanks Sandeep. It definitely is taller. :)


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