Petronas Power

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I really wasn’t prepared for the Petronas Towers. Having done some research I knew that on their completion in 1998 they spent a 6-year spell as the tallest buildings in the world, at 452 metres, until they were overtaken by what was once the Taipei World Financial Centre, now Taipei 101, in 2004. I’d also read that while they’d been knocked off the top-slot they still retain the title of the tallest twin building in the world.

Reading up on the towers and Kuala Lumpur as part of my preparation for our city break there on the way to Borneo, I’d also discovered that the towers were designed by an Argentinian architect, César Pelli, with a reputation for designing some of the world’s tallest buildings and major urban landmarks.

I’d had the “ooo, ahhhh, that’s impressive” moments browsing the array of facts and figures on the Petronas Twin Towers web site. So I’d expected to be impressed by the scale of the towers and the engineering achievement that went into building them, and so I was.

As the city skyline rose out of the surrounding countryside on our taxi ride in from the airport, I was gripped by a sense of excitement both because it was, indeed, very impressive and because I love exploring the world’s cities and use every opportunity that vacation time and budget will allow to take city breaks to do just that. I suppose I’m a city boy, rather than a country lad, at heart!

Our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, was situated right next door to the Petronas Towers and our view at breakfast looked out to the Skybridge joining them so I had plenty of time to be impressed by the scale of the towers and their very pleasing design.

On our first evening there, we showered to freshen up after our transfer flight from Bangkok and stepped out of the hotel to go and find dinner. Turning round to look up at the towers, I had my breath taken away by just how beautiful they are at night.

Impressive, yes I was prepared for that, but beautiful? I wasn’t prepared for that. I stood rooted to the spot in the public park at the base of the towers gawping up at them developing a crick in my neck and, dare I say it, getting a little emotional. I really did find them that powerful, up-close-and-personal.

They really are stunning; with spotlights in the ground and on top of the Skybridge lighting them up all the way up their 452 metre height. The picture at the top of this post was taken on a small “snapshot” camera and while it’s the best the camera could produce under those night-time conditions it really doesn’t do justice to the towers. Now that sounds like the start of a very good excuse to go back, with a better camera, and take some more pictures … !

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Filed under Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Travel

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