LAST TIME: During their adventures that morning in KL, our heroes had made their way past Lord Murugan into the Batu Caves only to confront his monkey henchmen! Later, the mysterious spirit-guide reappeared to recharge them for their journey through Merdeka Square and Masjid Jamek. All along, KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers haunted them in the distance. As they continue, what new adventures await our heroes?! *ahem*
Finding Souvenirs and Doctor Fish at Central Market
After Masjid Jamek, we found Kasturi Walk and set off down the street, noting the different shops we saw. Soon, we rounded the corner and found what we were looking for: Central Market, a multi-level mall full of vendors selling all manners of goods. If you want something in Kuala Lumpur and you can’t find it in Central Market, then either you’re not looking hard enough or what you want isn’t in KL.
The light blue facade of the building looked inviting, so we headed in. Shops were plentiful and we found candies, figurines, clothing, furniture and so on. While Cara and I settled on getting candies for students to try on return, Danny got a sarong made of batik clothing. Later that night, he tried many times to put it on, finally succeeding. If you ever get to buy your own tube sarong, I recommend you just visit WikiHow’s guide, though it was a joy to watch him in his attempts. You heard it hear first: The sarong is coming to America.
Before exiting, we stumbled across a spa that was offering a doctor fish pedicure. We joked about it for a moment, but I don’t think they realized I was being completely serious: It was time to have these little “suckers” make our feet smooth!
Danny, of course, is ticklish, so he naturally gave a show to everyone who passed by. The sensation was altogether disturbing and wonderful all at once; even for someone not ticklish, it really makes you squirm at first. And perhaps because we were guys and so don’t work on exfoliating much, but those fish SWARMED me and him. At least they got a good meal? We made friends with another American couple coincidentally there also from Korea. (Fast-forward to late-January and we would bump into them again at the National Museum of Korea! Small world!)
Examining my feet at conclusion, they were for sure silky smooth, my calluses gone — but a word of warning: Don’t try to keep your feet in for too long; those fish are greedy punks and may actually bite through your skin if you’re not careful.
Visit Menara KL for a Great View
The sun was beginning to make its descent so it was time we arrived at Menara KL. Standing at 421 meters, this is actually the 7th tallest free-standing tower* in the world. From the observation deck, you stand above even the Petronas Twin Towers since it sits atop a hill. Going up was easy, and it’s not too expensive at about RM52. If you have children, other attractions can be paired with this, including a zoo, restaurant, and education center.
At the top, we had such a pretty view. The day was clear and the twin towers stood nearby, a great sight. The most entertaining part was the glass sky-deck that allowed you to look out over the city with nothing underneath you. As I grew up just outside Chicago, I find it strange that this was the first one I ever got to see, since Willis Tower has one. Either way, while I wasn’t scared, looking down and knowing you have (almost) nothing underneath you is a strange thought. Now it was time to see the Petronas Twin Towers up close, though.
*Since there is so much debate about what towers in the world are actually tallest, the term tower here denotes a structure that is not a building, such as the Eiffel Tower or Tokyo Skytree.
Nighttime Fountain Show at Petronas Twin Towers
The entire time we walked, the Petronas Twin Towers grew larger and larger. This sheer feeling of awe just washed over us. Having something so huge before you just makes you feel small and different — a similar feeling to being on top of a mountain. Human innovation and construction blows my mind sometimes. These were the tallest twin towers in the world before me! If standing on the sky-deck atop the Menara KL made me nervous, I can’t imagine what it must be like to stand in the Skybridge, the pair’s wind damper. It is the world’s highest 2-story bridge on the 41st and 42nd floors, and it is actually not connected to either tower, sliding back and forth between them since each tower sways several feet.
The Petronas Twin Towers are 88 stories high, and I suppose I should be angry at them for having stolen the title of “World’s Tallest Building” from the Willis Tower back in 1998. But with their Islamic art influence, these towers more than lit up the night sky. On the other side of the entrance lies KLCC Park. Within, a tall Christmas tree was beautifully lit as well; nearby, a stage played pop music over its loudspeakers. People sat around, watching a nighttime fountain show.
Though I can’t truly compare it to anything else, the show was colorful, entertaining, and one of my favorite parts of the day. It was enjoyable sitting by the lake and merely watching these spouts of water dance high into the sky before showering back down in technicolor beauty. The music added “mood lighting,” and the Christmas tree made it all festive. It was just a grand night sitting beneath those towers. I couldn’t help but think about how we had watched the sun set behind Taipei 101 just a few nights earlier.
We walked back, enjoying the cool night air after exploring more of KLCC Park. We ate at another Indian place called Sangeetha nearby our hostel. I’ll just say, the naan was delicious and so was everything else. Moreover, this restaurant was entirely vegetarian; I know so many people in the States who, when they think about “vegetarian meals,” they put up their noses thinking it could never satisfy. But these Indian dishes are entirely filling and incredibly delicious. I could very enjoyably be a vegetarian if I ate food like this daily. For the rest of our time there, though, we enjoyed the company of a family at the next table who talked to us about traveling. I decided that I’ll never grow tired of meeting people in different countries.
Back at BackHome KL, we rested before the start of our last full day in Kuala Lumpur.