Kuala Lumpur: Another Capital City

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patronas twin towers night shot

Kuala Lumpur: Another Capital City

It is always a nice change of pace to be in a SE Asian capital city. There are always lots of options for places to eat, great wifi, and modern public transportation. I took advantage of all three of these amenities while I was in Kuala Lumpur.

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I don’t like shopping and usually dislike big malls, but I find the malls of SE Asia very intriguing and a nice place to hangout in the heat of the day since they keep them nice and cool. They also seem to be much fancier than shopping malls in the US, at least the ones I’ve been to and really accentuate the differences between the rich and poor in these countries, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. One thing I have noticed in Malaysia though is the definite presence of a middle class which was not apparent in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia.

There are a few things I’ve been looking for since I left Bangkok that I haven’t been able to find, and I knew I’d be able to find them in a big mall with plenty of sporting good stores. So, after arriving and getting settled in to a disgusting room in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown I went to the mall realizing it was a much better place to spend my time than the guesthouse. I took my time walking through the mall, having a coffee at dunkin donuts, and choosing the right led headlamp among a few other things I bought. Later I decided to have a leisurely dinner at none other than Olive Garden. Ironically it is probably the most authentic Italian food you can get in Asia and tasted just like the one at home.

Sights of Kuala Lumpur

I only had one day to spend seeing the sights in Kuala Lumpur and there was a lot I wanted to see that was spread across the city. Luckily Kuala Lumpur has a great public transportation system in place, but I still ended up doing a lot of walking in the heat and humidity of the city.

My first stop was Sri Maha Mariamman, an intricately decorated Chinese Temple just a short walk from where I was staying. Built in 1873, this is the oldest Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur.

Sri Maha Mariamman

Sri Maha Mariamman

Next I walked over to the National Mosque which unfortunately was closed to non Muslims at the time of my visit, but it was still interesting to see from the outside. This mosque has a capacity of 15,000 people.

Still out of range of most public transport I took long walk up the hill by the National Mosque to The Orchid Garden.

orchid garden kuala lumpur

kl tower from orchid garden

View of the KL Tower from orchid garden.


After this I caught a taxi down to Merdeka Square. Overlooking the square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which housed the Supreme Court while the British were in power. In August 1957, Merdeka Square is where Malaysia declared its independance.

merdeka square kuala lumpur

Next I got on a train to the Kuala Lumpur tower. This is the single tower with an observation deck at the top, surrounded by the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. I wandered around and took some pictures of the tower and imagined what the view would have been like if I chose to pay $30 to get to the top. Afterwards I took a walk along the treetop canopy roapwalk through the forest preserve. It was a very cool jungle and nice to see something like this in the middle of a busy city.

kuala lumpur tower

Kuala Lumpur Canopy Walk

Kuala Lumpur Canopy Walk

Finally after a long day of walking and navigating public transportation I made my way over the the famous Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur. Designed by César Pelli and completed in 1996 they were, at the time the tallest building in the world. They are now still the tallest twin building in the world, and quite a sight. At 1,483 feet high and sheathed in stainless steel the towers glisten in the sun and make for some beautiful pictures, especially when it starts to get dark and they get lit up.

Petronas twin towers Kuala Lumpur


I went over to KLCC Park next door and set up for some time exposure night shots. Just as it was staring to get really dark and I was getting nice photos security came and informed me that real cameras and tripods are not allowed only camera phones. This doesn’t make any sense to me, but whatever. Enjoy the illegal photos of the Petronas Twin Towers.

petronas twin towers time exposure

I think the features image at the top is the better shot. What do you think?

Before heading back for the night I caught an interesting water show at the base of the towers. They were playing classical music and had lights and water features to go with the music.




I am traveling the world focusing on adventure and photography.


  • Kaely

    I saw those towers in a tv show once! They were talking about how the two towers move and how that sky bridge was built to withstand the movement! Crazy!

    February 9, 2016 at 7:42 am
  • Cara

    Oh there us so much beauty in this world. Thanks for sharing it all with us Brooks!!! What a busy day you had. I live the towers and the rope bridge. Very cool!

    February 9, 2016 at 8:19 am
  • Mom

    Brooks, some of us think it’d be a terrific idea for you to jump into a few pictures!! We’d get a chance to see you in your element and just plain old see you!!

    You’re a pro at navigating cities, jungles, small villages, malls, public transportation, and I’m sure everything else life throws your way!!

    February 9, 2016 at 9:49 am
  • Dad

    Well I’m happy to hear you finally got some Italian food on your journey. I think I like the second photo more, less busy foreground. I remember watching a tv special with you about the construction of the towers. Never thought you would actually be there, you?

    February 9, 2016 at 7:56 pm
  • Aunt Mary

    All I can say is that I am so impressed!! Not only that you have been traveling alone and navigating your way through the world for the past 6 months but your fantastic writing and photography! Stay safe and continue to enjoy this trip of a lifetime ( and likely a precursor of many to come!) Lots of love.

    February 17, 2016 at 10:26 am
  • Paul

    Wow Kuala Lumpur looks incredible! We love sight seeing around different cities and this looks to have tons of great things to see and do. That Chinese temple looks beautiful and the Petronas towers are somewhere we’ve always wanted to see up close.

    March 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm

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