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Friday, 1 August 2014

Menara Kuala Lumpur offers visitors a variety of experiences

Guests at the observation deck trying to get a bird's eye view of the city  despite the haze.

Guests at the observation deck trying to get a bird's eye view of the city despite the haze.

MENARA Kuala Lumpur has a lot more to offer than just an impeccable view of the city’s skyline.

The world’s sixth tallest telecommunication tower, standing at 421m, also has other attractions that not many are aware of.

Located at the top of the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, it is best not to walk up as it can be quite a tiring uphill climb and not advisable, especially for those with young children or senior citizens.

As I went around looking for a parking space, one thing I noticed was all the service staff were ever ready with a smile and made me feel welcomed.

Before embarking on the lift-ride up to the main attraction, which is the observation and open deck, visitors can go on a walkabout at the 1Malaysia Cultural Village set in a 21,840sq ft area of the KL Tower Terrace.

Participants had to run 800m uphill from the starting point at the open parking space, then climb 2,058 steps to reach the finish line at KL Towerâ¿TMs Mega View Banquet Hall.
The tower is located at the top of the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.

Facade replicas of traditional village houses found in every state in Malaysia are lined on both sides leading to the main registration counter.

The “village” also provides a perfect place for photography opportunity as one will never have guessed that it was taken at the heart of the city. Entry to this area is free.

Some tourists who do not want to go up to the observation or open deck can find a good spot to take a snapshot with the KL Tower as their backdrop.

Admission to the open deck was RM69 while for the observation deck it was RM29 per adult and RM19 for a child.

I was told that there were three other activities that I could try, which were the XD Theather, F1 Simulation Zone and the Blue Coral Aquarium for RM18 each.

With a budget of only RM60, I was advised by the staff to opt for a “combo” set which entitles the ticket-holder entry to the observation deck plus one other activity for only RM39.

I chose the package with the XD Theater experience for a 6D motion-simulated thrill ride and decided to buy another ticket to try the FI Simulation Zone.

Experience an exhilarating ride at the XD theater.

Before making my way up, I paid a visit to the mini theatre that screened a 15-minute clip on the history of KL Tower and how it was constructed. There were many souvenir shops and kiosks here selling snacks and trinkets, like a typical tourist area.

While waiting for the lift, be sure to look at the ceiling. The dome-shaped arches decorated with glass are illuminated like giant diamonds, arranged according to the form of the traditional Islamic “Muqarnas”. This design is said to be from Esfahan in Iran.

At the observation deck, people were busy looking out for familiar sights in the city although the haze restricted visibility.

Some were also seen trying to get a closer look through the binoculars set up at intervals around the deck. Even at this point, there are souvenirs available for purchase.

Back at the base, I headed for the XD Theater experience. I was given a selection of eight short movies and I chose the Safari Adventure Ride.

It was a bumpy ride across the safari, chasing zebras, switching between vehicles, escaping from an angry lion, getting in the way of an elephant and driving through narrow roads were just some of the thrills in the five-minute adventure. It was an exhilarating ride, to say the least.

Village houses replicas at the 1Malaysia Cultural Village set in a 21,840 sq ft area of the ll Tower Terrace is a suitable place for photo opportunity.
Village houses replicas at the 1Malaysia Cultural Village is a great photo opportunity.

Then I headed for the F1 Simulator Zone. The deafening sound of the engine as you press on the accelerator and the replicated atmosphere of the race track make you believe you are really an F1 driver for the five-minute duration of the race.

For me personally, I did not think it worth the RM18 price I paid.

As I made my way out, I spotted three parrots on a hut. A cockatoo was sitting quietly on a swing while two macaws were playing gleefully much to the amusement of onlookers.

Menara Kuala Lumpur is open every day from 9am until 10pm. The ticket prices mentioned in the story are applicable only to MyKad holders.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , kl , shoestring , kl tower , tourism


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