Maybe the least interesting destination of my thirty day adventure in Asia, the city of Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia, an independent country only since 1957, and my destination of number three, is a mixture of ideas that have not made sense to me so far. As surprising as that sounds, there’s a king here too, named by a group of nine monarchs who take over the position in an alternation scheme. That is news to me! I went to see this “guy’s” palace up close, it is one of the most recent palaces of the modern world, finished just in 2011, fantastic! Oh, and the twin towers, what a spectacle, you know I love architecture with an industrial twist. I took dozens of photos there. Besides all of it, KL, is a city where there’s lots of people with nothing – an extreme contrast to Singapore, where I was a few days before – but with a curious people. In Malaysia, also a few people asked for a photo with me. What I liked the most here: the culinary, so “delish”! Amazingly well prepared seasonings in dishes that challenge your paladar. Mainly for those ones who like the bittersweet. It was also here that I visited the largest cave I have ever been to, a true sanctuary of monkeys. Now, telling you more about the new palace, the Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur, it was finished in 2011 and costed about 270 million dollars. Anyone with a brain soon notices when looking around, the palace is the perfect representation of ostentation in a country with so many obviously noticeable problems everywhere. Public transportation of terrible quality, loads of homeless people, extremely poor people, lack of safety on the streets, anyway… so many problems. I can’t diminish the palace’s project though, really beautiful. The name Istana Negara means National Palace in Malaysian and substitutes from 2011 the old royal palace downtown KL.
The new one is built in an area of 97.65 hectares, has 22 domes, and is divided in three main areas: the formal rooms, the royal rooms and the administrative rooms. On the almost 98 hectares land, “only” 28 were utilized to the construction of the palace which displays architectural elements from the Islamic and Malay style, typically regional and local. Not a bit typical is the architecture of the Petronas Towers, also know and Twin Towers. It was breathtaking and made my heart beat fast. They have a cylindric shape with a tapered top and facades entirely in chromed metal. From down up you feel sent to the future, inserted in the perfect attention to details the argentinian-amercian architect César Pelli gave to every single element of this project. Well, that actually was the idea, to create a symbol of the XXI century in Malaysia. The Twin Towers have already been considered the tallest building in the world, that was between 1998 and 2004 and, they are still featured in that category as the world’s highest twin towers. The bridge connecting one tower to the other on the 41st and 42nd floors, besides being the highest bridge in the world, are also not technically connected to the towers, but projected to slide in and out, avoiding that they collapse under the action of the wind is increased. This bridge is 170 meters high from the ground level, has got 58 meters of length and weighs 750 tons. To be able to visit the skybridge at the Twin Towers in Malaysia was the high point of my visit, definitely worth every penny I spent. The city views from up there are amazing. The most fascinating fact though was to be able to see the aspect of one tower from another at 170 meters of height, once that you walk the bridge from one side to the other. A very distinct observation of all the other skyscrapers I’ve ever been to.