4 Hours In …

Kuala Lumpur

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Reg­gie Ho


The most fa­mous struc­ture in Kuala Lumpur, this pair of 88-story sky­scrapers took al­most the en­tire 1990s to build, from con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion to grand open­ing.You may start your tour with a walk on the 750ton Sky­bridge, the world’s high­est dou­ble-decked bridge lo­cated on Level 41 at 558 feet above street level. Then as­cend to Level 86 at 1,181 feet above the ground and en­ter into the Ob­ser­va­tion Deck where cut­ting edge dis­plays and vi­brant multimedia ex­hibits un­fold the story of this mega project whose 500-foot-deep foun­da­tion took 17,265 cu­bic yards of con­crete and 54 hours to fill.You may have al­ready vis­ited this land­mark be­fore but the fa­cil­ity has been given a facelift in re­cent years. Open Tue-Sun, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM; tick­ets RM80 ($24.40) per per­son. petronast­win­tow­ers.com. my


Ad­ja­cent to the Twin Tow­ers is this 50-acre “city lung ”filled with 1,900 indige­nous trees and palms that rep­re­sent 74 species. Wa­ter fea­tures pep­per this ver­dant area, which also boasts other ameni­ties such as a chil­dren’s play­ground, wad­ing pool, jog­ging track, foot­paths and sculp­tures. There are also many benches and shaded ar­eas, so if you don’t have a lunch ap­point­ment, this may be a good spot to sit down for a light take­out lunch. A cen­ter­piece here is the Lake Sym­phony that com­prises two wa­ter foun­tains right out­side Suria KLCC mall. This fa­cil­ity is pro­grammed with 150 dra­matic an­i­ma­tions that al­ways at­tract crowds.



North of the Twin Tow­ers, turn left on Jalan Am­pang and walk about 15 min­utes to reach this fa­cil­ity. This is more than just a place to col­lect pam­phlets and ask ques­tions – a host of ser­vices are avail­able, in­clud­ing free In­ter­net, cur­rency ex­change, ATM and demon­stra­tions of top spin­ning – a fa­vorite ac­tiv­ity among lo­cals. The most in­ter­est­ing as­pect, how­ever, is that the main struc­ture is a her­itage build­ing: It was com­pleted in 1935 as the res­i­dence of Eu Tong Seng, a wealthy

min­ing and rub­ber es­tate ty­coon, and it re­flects the ar­chi­tec­tural style of Bri­tish Malaya. Also here is the Saloma Theatre Restau­rant, named af­ter a fa­mous Sin­ga­porean-Malaysian ac­tress from the 1950s-70s, which is pop­u­lar for its nightly tribal and tra­di­tional per­for­mances (8:30 – 9:30 PM nightly, RM90/ $27.50 per head in­clud­ing buf­fet). Al­ter­nately you can have a quick drink and snack in the court­yard, where the colo­nial sur­round­ings are jux­ta­posed with the view of the Twin Tow­ers in the back­ground.



Malaysian dishes such as roti canai, beef ren­dang, sa­tay and chicken rice are world fa­mous, as is teh tarik (pulled tea). If you need a caf­feine boost in the mid­dle of the day, a cup of this aro­matic brew is an ideal pick- me-up, es­pe­cially with a serv­ing of kaya toast. It is widely avail­able through­out the city, of course, but if you want to en­joy this hum­ble drink in a posh set­ting with ser­vice to match, the newly opened Grand Hy­att is worth con­sid­er­ing. The ho­tel is lo­cated south­west of the Twin Tow­ers across the park. There are in­door and out­door din­ing ar­eas, as well as three 55-inch LED tele­vi­sions that show sports chan­nels. A teh tarik costs RM8/$2.45 and kaya RM18/$5.50. Open daily 9:00 AM –11:00 PM. grand­hy­at­tkualalumpur.com


If you are into shop­ping or need to buy gifts, a sure­fire area to go is Bukit Bintang. A five-minute cab ride from the Twin Tow­ers, the area is an­chored at the epony­mous jalan (street), be­tween Jalan Raja Chu­lan and Pudu Road. On an­other side, there is also Jalan Sul­tan Ismail, which comes alive at night with many bars and clubs. About a 10-minute walk far­ther on, Changkat Bukit Bintang is flanked by yet more wa­ter­ing holes, many fea­tur­ing out­door seat­ing and bal­conies. For re­tail ther­apy the epi­cen­ters are Ber­jaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Fahren­heit 88, Starhill Gallery and Pavil­ion KL.


Four stops away from Bukit Bintang on the Mono­rail is Chow Kit, a sub-district named af­ter tin miner and mu­nic­i­pal coun­cilor Loke Chow Kit. If you like In­done­sian food this is where you will get your fix. Su­perb soto ayam (In­done­sian chicken soup gar­nished with caramelized onion and served with bean sprouts and rice) is avail­able here, and it costs less than you would pay for a McDon­ald’s burger. Bazaar Baru Chow Kit is the largest wet mar­ket in the city, and if bar­gain hunt­ing is your thing, there’s no bet­ter place to bag that trea­sure than the Bun­dle Chow Kit night mar­ket.


To the south­west of KLCC, about 10 min­utes by taxi from Chow Kit is an­other eth­nic district: Chi­na­town. This is a cen­ter of ac­tion, with shops sell­ing ev­ery­thing un­der the sun. Pi­rated goods are as com­mon as wa­ter – some­times the coun­ter­feits are bla­tant, other­wise, you can ex­pect to see “Tammy Hil­figer,” “Peter Smith,” and maybe “Prado.” Hag­gling is a must. If you are into bak kut teh (herbal pork soup served with rice) this is the des­ti­na­tion. Many old shop­houses have been pre­served – and some have been just ba­si­cally left alone for decades. While the over­all feel­ing is a lit­tle run down, it’s easy to ap­pre­ci­ate the au­then­tic fla­vor of this hus­tling and bustling area. BT








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