Date: 1st October 2010
After two wonderful days in beautiful Langkawi, it was now time for the last leg of our journey. We reached Langkawi airport for our morning flight to Kuala Lumpur. After having our breakfast at Kenny Rogers Roasters (not a whole lot of options at the airport), we checked in and waited for our 11:45am flight.
We all sat together but Ramesh chose the window seat. The following are his photographs.
We landed at Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Terminal nearing 1pm and was out in 30 minutes. There were plenty of buses from KL LCCT to KL Sentral, which is the main transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur city.
After reaching KL Sentral, we then hired a taxi to where were staying.
After a 15 minute journey, we reached Berjaya Times Square. There is a metro service from KL Sentral to Berjaya Times Square, but with our luggage, we decided to just take a cab.
We chose Irsia after much deliberation and researching on the location. We made our booking for a triple room.
After freshening up and making our payments, we headed to Berjaya Times Square for lunch.
Berjaya Times Square is relatively old but still remains one of Malaysia’s biggest and popular shopping destinations. It’s pretty huge, with 7 floors of shopping — high ends brands in the lower floors and more affordable stuff in the higher up floors. There’s also a 5-star hotel, Berjaya Hotel — among other things.
We headed all the way up to the 10th floor to the food court. We chose our meals from a place selling ‘mock non-veg’ food.
By that I mean, stuff that looks like chicken and fish but are actually vegetarian because they are essentially soya-filled made to look like non-veg items.
When I mentioned “among other things” earlier…
We chose to stay at Irsia because it was close to a lot of places we wanted to go. One among them being Low Yat Plaza, Kuala Lumpur’s famous IT mall.
After crossing the road, it was a short walk to Low Yat
I couldn’t get to spend much time in Singapore’s IT malls to pick up the things I wanted, so I consoled myself assuming I could get them at Low Yat.
Sadly, the selection of camera tripods weren’t very exhaustive and I couldn’t really find everything I wanted. Also, more importantly, the prices we found for some items were far more than what we saw in Singapore. There isn’t an incentive for tourists either via a tax refund scheme like Singapore has with its GST refund and Thailand has with its VAT refund scheme.
After lingering around for nearly 30 minutes, we left.
We walked into Suria but there was a sign saying at certain sections of the mall, photography is prohibited. So we just kept our cameras in and walked through the mall and out the main entrance of Petronas Towers.
The reason why we we didn’t want to go up to the skybridge is because, one, we were already late as the skybridge closes at 5pm and two, there is a particular method to which you need to get the tickets to visit the observation deck — which I’ll get to in a later post.
We attempted a portrait shot of all three of us in front of the Petronas Towes, but because we didn’t have a tripod with us, Ramesh fit the tripod on his camera and used his Kata bag to stand the camera.
The Petronas Towers are a symbol of modern day Malaysia. Just like Burj-Al-Arab signifies Dubai, and now Burj Khalifa, the Petronas Towers are an architectural icon. Inaugurated in 1998, even to this day, the Petronas Towers design stands as ‘modern’ – and yet, truly Asian in its influence as it can be. No visit to Malaysia is complete without having seen what was once the tallest building(s) in the world.
Even though Taipei 101 took over the throne of “Tallest building in the world” in 2004 (until Burj Khalifa did the same in 2010), the Petronas Towers are still one of the best looking skyscrapers in the world in my opinion. It shows how important good architecture is in creating a true global landmark. You can play the game of attempting to build the tallest structure in the world, but unless it looks good, the investment is futile.
If you disagree, just go around and ask people if they are aware of ‘Taipei 101’.
We walked back and through some of the malls in Bukit Bintang district.
While myself and Loiyumba found enough options for dinner, as was the norm on this trip, Ramesh didn’t. So I ordered what I wanted to eat, so that we could head to some place Ramesh could get his dinner.
Once I got my takeaway, we headed back to our rooms only to stop at the 24-hour Subway store on Bukit Bintang where Ramesh picked up his dinner. (There’s also a 24-hour KFC on the same road)
We also pick up a few drinks from a convenience store on the way and had our dinner outside our hotel, where Irsia had put up a few tables for its guests.
Dinner over, we hit the bed early. Our plans were to go see the famous Batu Caves tomorrow, which we knew were on the outskirts of KL… which meant getting up a bit early.
So what was our first impression of KL? Not so good, to be honest. In fact, after a whirlwind 3 days in Singapore during a buzzing F1 weekend, it’s understandable we were a bit disappointed with Kuala Lumpur. But the fact is, things are a lot cheaper in KL, so it’s no surprise Malaysia’s capital city isn’t as glamourous as glitzy Singapore. Unfair comparison I’d say.
Oh well, we still had two more days in the city to change our minds about the place.
Other posts in this series: