MYSIN Trip 1 - KL - Petronas towers

It was a long time coming but it did came at last. The trip to the SE Asia is something we've been planning for the past few years and had to be postponed for one reason or other. And the destinations were also difficult to finalize, Hong Kong and Singapore or Singapore and Bali etc. But finally decided to look at it from the kids perspective and decided that Malaysia and Singapore would be the best for the kids. The locations, kid related activities and the host of amusement parks will ensure that the kids will not get bored and will have fun.

It is also one of our quirky customs to have the vacation trips coincide with our wedding anniversary which falls on August 24, to ensure that we were in a different location to celebrate it every year. With Vanathy's birthday falling on the August 25, it is twice the reason for doing the same. So the dates will be around that.

Also, we wanted to do it on a budget (to the extent possible!) since both me and the wife were big spenders. So things have to be planned around the budget and it means cutting down on a lots of things we usually go for in the vacations. Though we managed to stay within the budget, we still could find ways to splurge on the hotels, travel etc through various deals, early booking etc.

The preparations were to constantly scour for deals, finalizing the trip plan, where we want to go, what we want to do, how long to stay, maximize the time spent in places we want to go to, how to travel, travel logistics like visas, local transport etc. I did not want anything to be left out to surprise during the trip itself (though things did happen that threw the plans out of gear a few times as well, but it would be boring if it didn't happen that way after all!). Since we did not want to do a package tour (we never do!) the planning has to be extensive and through since we were traveling with kids as well. 

For me, the excitement of the trip is the planning. You have to read so may sites, learn, understand, go around searching for deals and think like a local to understand the travel in that area. The easy way out is to do a package tour but that wouldn't be a tour at all. There were a multitude of sites that I used to do the planning and some of which are Tripadvisor, Agoda, Malaysia Tourism, Your Singapore etc.

So it was all set.  

Day 0

Kuala Lumpur is a city which has some good memories for us. Its where we had our short honeymoon. It is a place I've visited multiple times (mostly on transit visits for a day or so). And the city itself reminds me of Chennai and other Indian cities and so you don't feel out of place even once.

We planned to use KL only as transit points this time as well and planned to visit Petronas towers and Batu caves only. The plan was to use it as the start point to go to Penang and beyond. But we will spend our first night on the trip here and visit Petronas Towers alone before taking off for Penang.
Where is our baggage?

So we landed in KL without incidents. The Air Asia flight was smooth and kids were all flutter with excitement on the trip and I slept through the flight as usual. One thing that always tries one's patience is the trip from KLIA to the city and it did this time as well. 

After checking in the hotel late evening, we decided not to visit Petronas in the night and instead walked around the Brickfields area. Our trip coincided with the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival and wherever we went we could see the festivities in full. So it started on our first night in KL.

There was a Chinese temple near the hotel and there was an endless procession of deities in decorated floats with loud music all around. Sibi was all excited and took to the spirit of the occasion and started enjoying himself.
There were priests in full dress with strange head gears and people were offering food on the road sides for their blessing. There was this full roast pig on the road which was 'blessed' by the priest by having it sliced with a butcher's knife in his mouth. There were fire crackers and in general a feisty atmosphere.

The next day was our visit to Petronas towers. It took some time while planning to find out whether to go for the Petronas or the KL tower but we finalized on the Petronas. We took the MRT from the KL Sentral and reached the Petronas towers for our 9AM visit.

The ticket queue is long and unless you're fine with the timing of visit being decided randomly, there is no reason to stand in it. Booking it online is much more easier to plan the visit for the day. The tickets are costly (though a limited free tickets are issued everyday in the queue) but the visit is worth it. 
The visit happens in two steps. First you visit the sky bridge which connects the two towers. It is a beautiful place with fantastic views of the city and then you are taken to the 86th floor for a view from the top. It is a fantastic place where you can feel the movement of the building under your feet and has again a lot of beautiful views. 

Huge skyscrapers have a way of exciting one's nerves. I remembered the visit to the other famous twin towers, which are no more, while visiting here. I happened to visit it 8 months before its destruction and though plain looking architecturally compared to the Petronas, was simply awed by the amazing views of Manhattan from its observation deck. 

May be because the sky scrapers remind us all of the ingenuity of the humans and our inherent competitiveness to build higher and higher only shows our thirst to achieve more and more.

We were off to KLIA again for the flight to Penang.

1 comment:

King Viswa said...

All the very best MPR.

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