A tour of the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur (Pictures)

Consisting of 88 floors and over 1,483 feet tall, the twin Petronas Towers are some of the tallest buildings in the world.

Geoffrey Morrison
Geoffrey Morrison is a writer/photographer about tech and travel for CNET, The New York Times, and other web and print publications. He's also the Editor-at-Large for The Wirecutter. He has written for Sound&Vision magazine, Home Theater magazine, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Home Entertainment magazine. He is NIST and ISF trained, and has a degree in Television/Radio from Ithaca College. His bestselling novel, Undersea, and its sequel, Undersea Atrophia, are available in paperback and digitally on Amazon. He spends most of the year as a digital nomad, living and working while traveling around the world. You can follow his travels at BaldNomad.com and on his YouTube channel.
Geoffrey Morrison
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A tour of the Petronas Towers

I think because there are two of them, plus some other tall buildings nearby, the Petronas Towers don't seem quite as tall as you'd expect.
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That bridge between the two seems out of place, yet at the same time, part of the overall coolness of these buildings.
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Details and details

Though made primarily of concrete, the steel and glass facade is impressive in its own right. You don't expect this kind of detail on a massively tall building.
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OK, now they seem tall

Standing at the bottom, looking up, offers a different perspective on their height. As in, they're really tall.
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I have no idea what this is, hanging off the bottom of the bridge. Something to do with window cleaning?
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The lobby

The lobby, while impressive, again isn't quite as big as you'd expect. Probably because the owners would rather use the space for areas they can lease. From here, you head to the left and down into the basement to start the tour.
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Safety briefing on smoke

Here are a few frames of the safety briefing that was projected onto some vapor. A neat effect. The bottom image, looking like the Recognizer from "Tron", is a gate. If you're figuring I made it a point to walk through the light-vapor gate, you would be correct.
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Going up

Vertically installed flat panels gave the effect of a glass elevator, showing what you would have seen if the elevator had windows...and been on the outside of the building.
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Bridge, IN SPACE

A rare image of an empty skybridge. There are actually two levels, one for tourists, one for those who actually want to cross over to the other building.
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Interestingly, the bridge isn't rigidly connected to either tower. Each tower moves slightly, due to wind and such, so the bridge was designed to float between them, with some give.
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Middle of the bridge

There are two spots in the middle of the bridge that jut out slightly, allowing for great views. Or they would, had there not been massive video displays mounted in them that show you computer-enhanced views of exactly what you’re looking at. There has to be a better way to do both.
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Side view

Here's a view out the side of the viewing nook. Sort of looks like ground floor looking up at a small building, right?
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Side view and down

Same position from the last photo, but here you can see some of the construction in the area. So much construction in Kuala Lumpur.
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Better view from the nook

Got vertigo yet? There are some fountains in the small park right in front, but these were blocked off. Too bad, as that would have been a great photo spot.
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Just kidding, this is vertigo inducing.
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Mall from above

This is the opposite side from the last photo. The area directly at the bottom is the massive mall that is the bottom few floors of the Towers. In front of that is a large park that has more fountains. These have a light show at night (more on this in a few slides).
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There's something comforting about these hefty support beams that help keep the skybridge a bridge in the sky.
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Restaurant in the round

Inside the top left of the tower, which that juts out (is there a name for that?), is a restaurant. I want to call it a tower nubbin, but that's probably not the technical term. Cue drooling Homer: "Mmmmmmh, tower nubbins."
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A view to a bill

It's got vaulted ceilings, and the walls are all windows. Now that's dinner with a view.
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I’m on top of the world!

The viewing floor is 86. As I mentioned in the article, this is quite a bit lower than some of the other "world's tallest buildings," but still cool, right?
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Multimedia in the sky

Here's the 86th floor. There's not much more up here than what you can see, since it's already up where the building starts to taper off.
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Nearest Neighbor

Obviously the most impressive sight is of the other tower. With everything else so much lower, there something incongruous about having another similarly tall building so close.
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Two Towers (OK, three)

In the distance you can see the Kuala Lumpur Tower, no slouch itself at 420m (1,381 ft.) including the antenna.
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Hazy days of endless summer

We were hoping to get a good sunset view with the time we picked, but alas. Also, due to some fires and what seems to be the perpetual Southeast Asia haze, it wasn't exactly clear.
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Next nearest neighbor

They're not nearly this close. Ah, the beauty of telephoto lenses. I dig the details of the Petronas Towers. The Kuala Lumpur Tower looks like just about every other tower in the world.
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Parks and construction

So much construction. Next to it, you can see the big park adjacent to the tower. Even in the incredible heat and humidity, there were lots of people running and exercising in the park at all hours. I guess you get used to it, but wow.
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Kuala Lumpur

Here’s a better view of more of KL, looking southeast.
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Kuala Lumpur South

A different window, more of a southerly view. You can see the other tower in the lower right of this image.
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Where am I?

Written in yellow is the indication that that's floor 60 down there. Good to know. Just in case you were wandering around the ledge and were curious.
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Spires and stuff

OK, so I know I’ve given no small amount of "meh" to the spire-counted-as-height stuff, but as far as the tops of buildings go, this one is pretty awesome. Almost steampunk in its metalness.
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Kuala Lumpur North

Looking north. Even though KL has "just" 6.6 million people, it spreads out quite a bit.
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Kuala Lumpur of the future

In this diorama you can see some of the buildings planned for KL. Fast-growing is an understatement. And look how tall many of them are, compared to Petronas.
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Almost sunset

Bet you didn't know that the Petronas Towers were on Tatooine. Nah, just kidding, of course they’re not. There's no way anywhere on Tatooine has this much humidity.
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LED + water = pretty

Back on terra firma, here's a closer look at the fountains. Not quite as impressive as the one in front of the Bellagio in Vegas, or the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, but due to some excellent color LEDs, it's still a great show.
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Lovely lighting

Even lovelier at night. Note the fountain light show. Would have been better with music, but beautiful nonetheless.

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