Posted by Amanda
I managed to go at full speed today and wear everyone out. I'm very proud. Well, actually, having the Malaysian heat on my side helped wear everyone out. It is really hot here!
We started the day with hotel breakfast--noodles and spring rolls for me--and an early morning cab to the Petronas Towers for one of the free tickets to the skybridge. They start handing them out at 8:30am and usually run out by 11am. We chatted with a nice Australian in line ahead of us. Our tickets told us to return at 12:30 so we discussed our plan.
We decided to get a drink and figure out our next move. We enjoyed some very milky tea at a little place and decided to head to the KL tower. It is ranked in the top five tallest communication towers. In the race to be tallest, whenever new buildings come along, the old ones just find new categories to fit themselves into. It had been the tallest building in KL until the Petronas were built. In any case, it is the highest you can get as the Petronas only gets you to the skybridge on the 41st floor.
We paid and hopped on the elevator almost immediately. There was no line to get up. The ticket includes an audio tour at the top. That was very helpful to get a view of the city and know what you were seeing. It also gave some history and trivia too.
KL and Malaysia has a large Muslim population and that has been very clear from the people we've seen. The women all have their head covered. Oddly, in an effort to be more plain they cover their head but then they have rinestones on the edges of their scarves and they use lovely sparkling broaches to hold them on. I mention all of this because these were the women who asked to take a photo of me. My first time on this trip that I was asked to have my picture taken. I had my hair all tied up in two buns so it wasn't that that sparked their curiosity. I imagine it was my sundress and bare arms that brought this on. They will probably go home and show the photo to their friends telling them of the wh0re they saw in KL.
Noah really liked that the big theatre building was designed to look like a Malaysian kite. Kites are popular as the are believed to help carry the spirit closer to heaven. All of that in relation to a theatre was good to Noah.
The KL tower is actually called the Menara KL which I imagine is deriviative of minaret. It as well as the Petronas Towers have Islamic influences to their architecture. KL tower is built in the middle of a forest with a promise of monkeys being all around. We walked through it but just got bitten by mosquitos.
Back to the Petronas for our 12:30 appointment. To kill a bit of time, we walked through the mall on the ground and lower levels. It was very posh but also had all the comforts of home including a California Pizza Kitchen, a Gap, and a Chilis. And, the bathrooms gave you the option of western style toilet or squatty potty.
The tour at Petronas is pretty nice. The waiting area includes a number of interactive items to show you the sway of the buildings, what happens if they are struck by lightening, etc. When our time came we went up in the elevator and got our 10 minutes on the skybridge. Even though we were only allowed 10 minutes, it was nice because our group was small. There was plenty of room to walk around.
Our next stop was Central Market. This is an air conditioned shopping area that has stalls rather than real stores. We hit the food court for lunch of noodles and rice. Once I added the tiny chilis, it was great. We ran into another RD, Leigh Ellen, who is trip leading the SAS trip to KL. She was having an awful time as her BofA card was turned off and she wasn't feeling well. This is when it is great to travel with a physician's assistant. Carrie gave her some meds, I gave her the number to BofA, and we all gave her a pep talk. She left to meet her group and knows where we are staying if she wants to get away.
We shopped hard at Central Market then headed out for a bit of a Lonely Planet walking tour of the area. We saw a number of lovely temples and did some more shopping. Noah and I were able to buy a replacement silk lantern for the one that has been crushed in our moves. We ended near our hotel much to the disappointment of Carrie who had been carrying her bag with her all day thinking we wouldn't return to the hotel before her evening departure. She caught a cab to the airport and we went to our room to rest.
After our rest we tried the Thai place in Central Market. It was so tasty. I particularly liked the very spicy beef rendang. I want more of that sometime soon. After dinner, we headed home and to bed. A very long and productive day.