Our main purpose in stopping in Kuala Lumpur may have been to get Mark’s visa, but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t make time for sightseeing. To celebrate our first night in Malaysia we headed to the Menara KL a tall tower with a killer observation deck. The Petronas Towers, KL’s true claim to fame, were the tallest towers in the world in their day, and now clock in at number 5. But the observation deck is actually quite low and very hard to get a ticket onto. Not really being the competitive types, we settled for Menara, currently the eighteenth tallest freestanding tower in the world, but with a high standing observatory and amazing views of the Petronas.

Petronas Towers at NightPetronas Towers

Inside Menara KL Towerpineapple garbage cans, beautiful interiors and cheesy poses

Our tickets bought us entrance to a little zoo on the grounds as well as a racecar simulator. Also free of charge was viewing this poster in which national monuments were turned into corn. I love Asia.

Menara KL Zoo

Malaysia Corn AdvertisementMenara on the left, Petronas Towers on the right

The views really were amazing. Standing up there I felt the same swells of urban energy and center of the world-ness that have led me to choose New York City as my home. Truly a great experience that I recommend for any visitor to KL.

Menara KL View At Night

Now. I have a confession. A very shocking confession that will come as no surprise to anyone who has known me for more than a week. I promised Mark I would never tell anyone, a promise I intended to keep, with the exception of telling The Internet. Our first night in Kuala Lumpur, we dined on the international delicacy known as McDonalds.

McDonalds Kuala LumurThey even deliver!

While I might believe something like this needs no defense, I know there are some people who would find eating at a chain restaurant in an exotic land to be blasphemy, so let me set the scene. We were walking home from the Menara tower when severe hunger struck. Considering it is evening in a large cosmopolitan city, I didn’t expect this to be a problem. But street after street, every eatery we passed was filled with leering full bearded muslim men, and not a woman in sight. Suddenly the streets seemed dark and not so friendly. While we both purposely avoided shorts and went for pants and a long skirt, we were both baring our shoulders in tank tops, a move I thought would be acceptable in a large city but probably would avoid if I could have a do over. Just when it seemed we were going to have to join the boy’s club or starve, McDonald’s glistened in the distance, a beacon of nourishment without judgment.

McDonalds Kuala LumurYup.

After stuffing ourselves and regrouping with Lonely Planet, we found out there was a backpacker reggae bar not two blocks away! Our people! We belined over and spent the rest of the evening with the Bob Marley crew.

Kuala Lumpur Reggae Bar

Kuala Lumpur Reggae Bar

  • Kathryn
    June 27 2010

    Al, I love the urban energy line. Who taught you to write so well? 😉

  • Chris
    October 26 2013

    When we made it to KL on the way back from Vietnam, Petronas at dusk was high on my list.

    I had read how difficult tickets can be to get if you aren’t there to queue of a morning, but stumbled on a solution.

    We found a gentleman online offering a service to arrange tickets and deliver them to our hotel, in advance of our arrival (and without any pre-payment)

    It worked so smoothly (I was amazed) and the sunset views were spectacular!

    • Alex
      October 26 2013

      Good to know! We must have lucked out… we walked straight in and didn’t have any trouble that I recall (though this was many years ago!)

Leave a Comment