Stretching a staggering 452 metres into the clouds, the Petronas Twin Towers have become a national symbol of an ambitious Kuala Lumpur. Designed by the eminent architect César Pelli, the futuristic architecture has the power to intimidate and inspire visitors in equal measure. Centrally located on the Jalan Ampang road, and easily accessible with public transport, it’s no surprise that these twin towers have become one of Malaysia’s top tourist attractions.
The towers were the tallest buildings in the world up until 2004, when the Chinese Taipei 101 snatched their crown. Fortunately, this has done little to stem the tide of visitors that flock here every year.
Designed to launch Kuala Lumpur into the 21st century, this postmodern masterpiece took over seven years to construct and cost USD$1.6 billion. Comprised of 33,000 stainless steel and 55,000 glass panels, the twin skyscrapers have been built using intelligent technology systems which control their environment.
Visitors will note that Malaysian culture is subtly threaded throughout the architecture of the towers. This is evident in the interior design, which features traditional Malaysian handicraft and weaving patterns as well as the exterior structure, which resembles the letter ‘M’ for Malaysia.
The impressive 88-story twin structure has 29 double-decker lifts to ferry visitors to the skybridge and observation deck. The skybridge measures 58.4 metres across and is a heart-stopping 170 metres above street level. Bear in mind that this is a movable structure designed to sway in high winds. Tickets to the skybridge are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis so get there early to avoid disappointment. From here, continue up to the observation deck on the 86th floor where the most spectacular panoramic view of the city awaits. This is one photo opportunity that you won’t want to miss but at a dizzying 370 metres high, it is not for the faint hearted.
Visitors will be pleased to know that the towers are conveniently located on the site of the Suria KLCC shopping centre, which has shops and restaurants in abundance as well as an aquarium, cinema and an art gallery – so something for everyone!