The iconic Petronas Towers located in Malaysia's capital are the tallest twin structures in the world and they make the 5th tallest structure overall. They are the vision of former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad and master Architect Cesar Pelli and are a depiction of Malaysia's ambitions and aspirations.
The towers feature 33,000 stainless steel and 55,000 glass panels, 29 double-decker high speed elevators which can transport personnel from the basement to the top in just 90 seconds.
If you can get there early enough, you can book yourself onto the massively popular walking tour. The tour begins with a holographic introduction to the tour, a feature that appropriately sets you up for what's to come; you're here to be impressed.
The tour continues inside the elevator. Not only is it amusing enough to watch the number above the door exceed that of any elevator you've ever been in, but the three adjacent walls are a particular treat, each a display of graphics depicting a rapid ascent. At first, the viewer is amused at the prospect of shooting up into the sky, until the doors open on the 45th floor and we realise the sky is exactly where we are.
Petronas Towers - view from 45th floor bridge
The connecting bridge on the 45th floor is the first stop on the tour. A golden photo opportunity, the tour allows more than enough time to get that perfect "Look! I'm flying!" shot. The views of the city in both directions are breathtaking; there is nothing but a sheet of glass between you and an endless horizon.
Surrounding skyscrapers in the area rise up to meet you, and you begin to appreciate the city itself in a new way; from here, you get a whole new perspective of Kuala Lumpur and appreciate its natural beauty and industrial progress simultaneously; a synergy the city is particularly proud of. This bridge is the reason you paid the extra 20 bucks for the fancy camera.
Petronas Towers - High speed elevator
The tour continues in the magic elevator to the sky. The numerical display above the door is, by itself, a photo opportunity. Before you know it, you're getting off on the 86th floor - the very top. We emerge in the Sky Lobby, or rather a sky museum.
A particularly impressive feature of this room has to be the interactive 3D screens; this is where your visitor's pass comes in handy. Holding up your pass to the camera above the screen unleashes a hologram of one of the tower's structures on the screen, seemingly in the palm of your hand! Whilst holding your unique hologram aloft, you can read yet more fascinating statistics about the towers and how they came to be.
Petronas Towers - View from 86th floor
Of course, the main event has is the view itself. Looking out onto the world from the 86th floor of the 5th tallest structure on the planet fills the viewer with more than just amazement; you can't help but feel proud that this has even been made possible. The striking difference between the views from the 45th and 86th floor is that the view from the top almost doesn't seem real. Take a look over at the adjacent tower and you realise just how high you are. Look to the horizon and the world fades away completely. You have to remind yourself you're still an inhabitant of planet Earth; after all, for most of us, this is the closest to outer space we will ever get. But it's close enough.