Category Archives: Overseas Travel Locations

Room with a view

Here we are, last post from the trip to Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur city view

[Click on the image to see a larger version]

This post contains a selection of photos taken from my hotel room looking out across Kuala Lumpur city centre. In my previous post, I pointed out the location of the hotel room where I was staying and asked readers to remember the location.

As a reminder, in the photo to the right (or possibly above if you are using a mobile device to view this), look for the two identical tall brown buildings in the middle distance. My hotel room was around three quarters the way up the right hand tower. Image taken from the 86th floor observation deck of the Petronas Twin Towers.

Now you know where I was, here’s some of what I could see.

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Petronas Twin Towers

Ok, I’m on a roll here, two posts within the one week.

A trip to Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers is today’s subject.

One of the world’s most recognisable buildings, the Twin Towers are in central Kuala Lumpur and a tourist ‘must see’ attraction. At 452 metres tall (a smidge under 1500 feet), the Twin Towers held the record for the world’s tallest building from their completion in 1998 through to 2004. The Twin Towers featured extensively in the 1999 heist film Entrapment starting Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery which had some great stunt scenes involving the Skybridge joining the two towers.

Tours of the Towers are available, but numbers are strictly limited so it pays to book in advance on the Internet for a specific tour time. If you just turn up at the Towers, you may find the day’s tours are booked out.

If travelling to the Towers by the KL monorail, Bukit Nanas or Raja Chulan are the two nearest stations. I got off at Raja Chulan and about one street away from the station found the entrance to a mixture of covered walkways and basement tunnels that take you all the way to the Twin Towers. Bit of a maze but the signage is more or less reasonable. Drop breadcrumbs regularly on the way in and you should have some hope of finding your way back to where you started. The walkways and basements are air-conditioned which was a blessing with KL’s heat and humidity.

Enclosed Walkways, Kuala Lumpur

Ok, hands up, who can remember the 1960’s TV series “Time Tunnel”? One of the enclosed walkways between Raja Chulan monorail station and the Twin Towers.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Depending on where you exit the walkway and basement maze, you may end up in this corner of Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park (aka KLCC) and get your first close up view of the Towers. Alternately, continuing along the basement walkways will eventually take you straight into the lower ground floors of the towers.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

View of the Twin Towers main foyer entrance which is on the northern and opposite side from the KLCC Park.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia hosts a round of the Formula 1 racing series and Petronas, Malaysia’s state owned oil company, sponsors the Mercedes AMG team. Petronas is headquartered in the towers and holds the naming rights on the Towers. Here we have a little product placement in the foyer.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

First stop of the tour is the Skybridge linking the two towers at Level 41 and 42. The benefits of visitor numbers being restricted is apparent here – lots of room to move about to take in the views. The Skybridge sits on rollers at each to allow the towers to move independently of each other when swaying in strong winds.

KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur

Looking down on the KLCC Park from the Skybridge. The park and the immediately surrounding buildings including the Twin Towers was once KL’s horse racing track until redeveloped in the 1990’s. We are 170 metres (558 feet) up at this stage.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

On the observation floor at Level 86, 360 metres (1170 feet) above the ground below.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

The view out to the north east of KL. Earlier in the day we had been to the Batu Caves and the rain that started there had just cleared in time for our Twin Towers visit. As a result the view was initially remarkably clear and free of haze and smog.

The Intermark, Kuala Lumpur

The Intermark development comprising two office towers, a hotel and a shopping centre. My day job is with a superannuation fund (pension plan) and the portfolio I manage has a financial interest in the Intermark development, hence my interest here.

Menara Public Bank, Kuala Lumpur

Headquarters of the Menara Public Bank. Looks a bit like the Lego space rockets I used to build (a long time ago).

Kuala Lumpur city view

Greater Kuala Lumpur is home to some 7 million people, and looking south Kuala Lumpur sprawls for miles down the Klang Valley. Kuala Lumpur translates from Malay as ‘muddy confluence’ referencing its location at the junction of two muddy rivers.

Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur

The twin brown towers connected together is Berjaya Times Square. The right hand tower is a hotel and our room was about 3/4 of the way up in a corner room on the right. Remember this for the next post coming to Photo Morsels.

Old Kuala Lumpur

The city centre area of Kuala Lumpur is still modernising. In among the modern concrete towers and shopping centres, pockets of the old Kuala Lumpur remain.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

You really need to be up close like this to appreciate the towers’ fabulous detailing. The design looks to integrate Malaysia’s Muslim religious identity with its long and rich tradition of pewterware manufacturing. Hence the minaret inspired spires and cladding in stainless steel panels. The tower in the background is the KL Tower, located about 1 kilometre away from the twin towers.

Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Back on the ground now and a quick look at the Suria KLCC shopping complex which is integrated into the base of the Twin Towers. Suria KLCC clearly looked to be KL’s best shopping centre and all the big international brands were there. If you want to indulge in some serious retail therapy within Malaysia, this is the place to go. In addition to lots and lots of shops, other attractions include a cinema complex and a Petronas sponsored art gallery.

Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur

Towards the end of the day, the steps out front of Suria KLCC are a pleasant place to stop, chill out for a bit, and watch the ever-changing fountain display in the lake.

Twin Towers and Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Camera Gear

Pentax K-3, mostly with the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8, but the Pentax 10-17mm fisheye zoom was popped on for the shopping centre interiors and some of the outdoor images.

To Learn More

The Twin Towers are in the area of central Kuala Lumpur known as the Golden Triangle. Most of the upmarket shopping centres and nightlife are in this general area.

Twin Towers tour information can be found at the Petronas Twin Towers website. This site is also were online bookings are made. You book for a specific time and them simply turn up 15-20 minutes before your tour.

Ticket cost (as at January 2015) is 80 Malaysian Ringgits for adults  and 30 Malaysian Ringgits for children. For a family of two adults and two children this works out to be around 75 Australian dollars, so not exactly a bargain. However the tours are very well managed and with limited numbers in any tour group you have plenty of room to move around the observation areas and never feel like you are jostling with others for a view. Very different to the Empire State Building in New York where a ‘cram the punters in and let them queue for hours’ approach is adopted. And the Twin Towers and the view from them are impressive. Overall, it’s worth the money.


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Batu Caves

Happy new year dear readers!

Where did the last few months go? After returning from my overseas business trip in mid-November I found myself needing a break from staring at computer screens during the evenings (probably related to the fact that I stare at them all day long at work as well). But with a bit of post-Christmas R&R, the push is on to get on and finish the Malaysia posts. After all, the trip there was last April!

This post covers a day trip from central Kuala Lumpur to Bata Caves, a limestone outcrop that holds a series of caves and cave temples 13 kilometres (8 miles) north of central Kuala Lumpur. It takes its name from the Batu River, which flows past the outcrop. ‘Batu’ in Malay translates to ‘stone’.

Batu Caves was/is also the name of a nearby village, but today the northern edge of greater Kuala Lumpur has reached the area, so it perhaps better to now describe Batu Caves as an outer suburb.

Batu Caves is a popular tourist destination and easily reached by the KTM Commuter train system.  From KL Sentral, take the Bata Caves train out to the far end of the line. KL Sentral station itself is located adjacent to the south western terminal of the mono rail that runs through the centre of Kuala Lumpur.

The largest caves within the limestone outcrop form a Hindu temple dedicated to the Lord Murugan, the Tamil God of War, and is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India. Several hundred thousand worshipers may visit Batu Caves during the Tamil Thaipusam festival (around the full moon of January/February), so you have been warned if you are visiting KL at that time of year.

With that intro, onto the photos.

KL Monorail

The KL mono rail at the KL Sentral terminal. The mono rail station was undergoing construction works (April 2014), and although I believe there is an easy walking connection through to the KL Sentral train station, we failed to find it and sent a good few minutes aimlessly roaming about the streets below the mono rail station. Que sera sera.

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Greetings from Lucerne

Interrupting my efforts to complete the Malaysia travel series of posts, I find myself overseas again, this time for work. Right now I’m in London drying off after viewing the Lord Major’s annual fireworks show. The rain arrived right on cue, just as the fireworks started. Who would have though such a thing would have happened in England.

But for now, I’ll post a couple of images from the one nice day seen since arriving a week ago. To do that, I must jump countries and go back to Switzerland where the prior weekend was spent.

Lake Lucerne from Mt Pilatus

Fabulous views from the peak of Mt Pilatus looking down on Lake Lucerne. Pilatus is 7,000 feet high, the peak seen on the other side of the lake is Rigi, itself 6,000 feet high.

Lucerne at night

Lucerne at night. The old town area of Lucerne must be one of the more photogenic places anywhere.

KL Bird Park

Recent posts have explored the island of Langkawi, located off the western coast of Malaysia near the Thai border.

After a week on Langkawi, the next stop was Kuala Lumpur.

While seascapes dominated the Langkawi posts, this post provides a complete change of genre and features birds – the birds of KL Bird Park to be precise.

The bird park is centrally located in Kuala Lumpur and is a roughly ten minute taxi ride from the city centre’s tourist hotels. Buses and the local commuter trains also get you close to the park. The park is very well set up and I would have to say is a ‘must-do’ for visitors to Kuala Lumpur.

Set in 20+ acres of landscaped gardens, the park features large aviaries through which visitors can roam yet provide birds with a natural free flight environment. The majority of the park’s 3 000 or so birds live in these large aviaries. Many of the birds are native to Malaysia, although there are a few ring-ins like the park’s collection of flightless birds – African ostriches and Australian cassowaries and emus.

So, let’s get going…

Peacock, KL Bird Park

No bird park would be complete without a few peacocks strutting about, and KL Bird Park was no exception.

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