Thursday, December 6, 2012

Twin Towers, Elevators and Singing Top of the World

We were 86 floors above street level!

In my recent trip to Singapore,I couldn't help but include visiting Kuala Lumpur in our itinerary. Since we were out for almost a week due to the Thanksgiving Holidays in the States (since our clients are Americans, we also get to be off on those days), might as well hop to KL for 2 days. So off i headed to Jetstar website and booked a RT ticket to KL then back to SG the next day.

We really wanted to experience going up the Petronas Towers. Little did we know that it was really just going up the Petronas that is what we were solely going to do in KL-- that and shopping in Suria Mall just below the iconic twin towers.

I thought that KL was not as "friendly" as Singapore for first time international travellers like me. Please don't get me wrong on this but I think, it was also due to the fact that where we stayed at is not so friendly-looking for me. So instead of going around KL at night, we just stayed in the motel after the Petronas Tower activity.

When we arrived in Suria Mall, straight from the airport, we headed straight to the Concourse where the tickets for the Petronas tours are being sold and we were still lucky to get hold of the 8pm tour, second to the last for the day. The last group starts at 8:15pm. That's how much people line up for the experience. The ticket costs RM80, about 1040 pesos, $25 perhaps.

At 8pm, we assembled at the entrance in the concourse of the Suria Mall ready to go up the Petronas. We were handed with IDs in color coded lanyards, indicating the group where we belong to. We were greeted with an interactive presentation projected in what seem to be a smoke/vapor giving instructions and reminders before going up. After which, we headed to the elevator off to the Skybridge which is located at the 42nd and 43rd levels respectively.

Before letting us cross and take photos in the Skybridge, he first gave us a few information about the Skybridge and the structure itself. This is where I found out that the two-level bridge is not entirely attached to the twin towers. It can tilt, shake and move depending on the towers' movements. And yes, they do move! From a random website I read, on a really windy day, the towers could sway as much as 20 to 30 cm! And from experience, while on the suspended bridge, you can actually feel it moving!

The Skybridge serves as a stabilizer for the two towers as well. It is also, of course, famous for that movie Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones.

From the 43rd we were asked to head back to the elevator to bring us to the 86th. The Petronas actually has 88 levels but the last two and the pinnacle are off limits to its visitors mainly because those are their maintenance floors.

The elevator interior is made of LCD screen and while it is moving, a simulated view of the "outside at daytime is being shown. So while we were going up, we see a simulated scene of the neighboring towers slowly disappearing as we ascend. I thought it was an awesome idea.

The 86th floor greeted us with a visual representations of the tallest towers in the world, of course, Petronas still being the tallest twin towers. The hall is like an exhibit of The Petronas Company and the progress of Malaysia. There are also interactive TVs where it lets you flash your ticket, which by the way has QR codes in it, to show the "blueprint" of the building.

When you get there at the top, you will see the same thing as the photos I have posted here. But I cannot even tell you the feeling of "so this is how it is to be at the top of the world". I wish I can. But I think, when you can, whether it is Petronas or the Eiffel or the Empire State, we should all have to experience that feeling.

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