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What You May Or May Not Know About KL’s Petronas Twin Towers

Without stating the obvious, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers is the most photographed object in Malaysia. Soaring to a height of 451.9 metres, the 88-storey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewel.

Inspired by former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s vision for Malaysia to be a global economic hub, the project came to life in March 1993 under the watchful eye of master architect Cesar Pelli.

Construction of the superstructure started in April 1994 with the jacking of the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 completed in March 1996.

After some six years, 160,000 cubic metres of concrete, 83,500 square metres of steel cladding and 36,910 tonnes of steel used, on August 31, 1999, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, officially opened the Towers.

Pelli, upon its completion, called the Twin Towers “a monument that is not specifically Malaysian, but will forever be identified with Kuala Lumpur”.

It is the world’s tallest twin towers and was the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004. It is now ranked 8th in the world.

The Towers are connected on the 42nd and 43rd floors by a double-decker sky bridge that stands 170 metres above street level, the highest two-storey bridge in the world.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.56.27 AMPavol Kmeto / Shutterstock.com

According to Dr. Mahathir, the building symbolises the courage, culture and advancement of the people of Malaysia, with the twin towers and sky bridge resembling the ‘M’ of Malaysia.

There are 32,000 windows, 29 double-decker high-speed passenger lifts, six heavy-duty service lifts and four executive lifts.

The executive lifts are the longest rise in any office building in Malaysia. It serves every floor from the basement car park to the top of the Towers in 90 seconds.

Apart from being an iconic tourist attraction, the tower is also a commercial hub, housing some of the world’s top companies such as Petronas, Al-Jazeera, Microsoft, Boeing and Bloomberg to name a few.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.59.05 AMKjersti Joergensen / Shutterstock.com

The Petronas Twin Towers gained immediate exposure with its appearance in the 1999 Hollywood action flick Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The film follows the thieves as they engage in a game of cat-and-mouse taking in iconic locations in Scotland, England and Malaysia.

In one scene, the duo sail down a murky river on the banks of slums with the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers seen in the background.

But the images of the river were filmed in Malacca, not Kuala Lumpur, and spliced with shots of the 1,482ft-high skyscrapers — displeasing then Prime Minister Mahathir and most Malaysians.

The iconic structure has also been scene to many daredevil attempts and stunts. On April 15 1999, Felix Baumgartner of the Red Bull Stratos project-fame, set the then Base jumping world record by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

French urban climber Alain ‘Spiderman’ Robert has made many attempts to scale the Towers; stopped and arrested on his first two attempts on the 60th floor in 1997 and 2007, before succeeding on his third attempt on September 1, 2009.

If you wish to visit the Towers in a more conventional manner, entrance is free but has a daily tourist limit of 800 people. The Twin Towers remain closed on Mondays and during prayer times on Friday.

To experience the Petronas Twin Towers first-hand or for more information, click here: http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/

 

 

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Why you should move to Malaysia in 2016

By Lloyd Green

Good news! If you’re thinking of relocating to Malaysia — maybe to volunteer, work at an NGO, study, join a big company, intern or simply enjoy your gap year — now is the best time. According to the 2016 global Cost of Living Index report collated by Numbeo, Malaysia is the 29th cheapest country to live.

Despite boasting one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant economies, Malaysia is an incredibly affordable place to live, retaining a Consumer Price Index of just 37.47. Remarkably, this is lower than neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

 So, if you’ve just graduated, have the time to do something life changing, or are looking for that extra zest in life, why NOT come to Malaysia? We’ll tell where you get cheap food, eat out for less and rent a house for next to nothing?

What’s Cheap In Malaysia?

Johor Bahru is Malaysia’s cheapest city on the Cost of Living Index table with a CPI of 40.61. A one bedroom apartment here averages MYR1,325.00, while out of the city it drops to MYR833.33. JB also has the third least expensive McDonald’s combo meal in the world at MYR10, which is equal to $US2.50. In fact, Malaysia is one of the cheapest places in the world for eating out with Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur all polling in the Top 50 on the Restaurant Price Index list.

blog2june1 - JB

On average you can get a meal at an inexpensive restaurant for MYR8 or $US2. Coffee is also cheap averaging $US1 in most places. Do expect to pay more at fancy shopping malls and outlets like Starbucks.

Is KL Really That Expensive?

shutterstock_150586619Kjersti Joergensen / Shutterstock.com

The cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is slightly higher compared to other Malaysia cities, but with a CPI of 44.48, it’s still 54 per cent cheaper than Singapore and has roughly the same CPI as neighbouring Asian capitals like Jakarta, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.

You will likely need at least $US400 to $US500 per month to cover all of your expenses in KL, with a room to rent as low as MYR800 ($US200) per month. This price can vary drastically depending on your location, with a one bedroom apartment in the city averaging MYR2400 per month, while out of the city the median drops to MYR1200.

Kota Kinabalu is the cheapest city in Malaysia for accommodation according to Numbeo, with its Rent Index at 7.63 (37th in the world), compared to JB at 12.24 and KL at 18.55.

The cost of transport in Kuala Lumpur is very competitive with a one-way ticket using the LRT or KTM less than $US1. If you commute every day, count on $25 per month for transportation.

Get Me Out Of The City

Transport between urban cities in Malaysia is also affordable, ranging between $5 and $15 for a bus ride, depending on the destination. A bus or train ride can take you to the green mountains of Cameron Highlands or the heritage listed cities of Georgetown, Malacca and Ipoh.

For Ipoh, catch the train as Ipoh Railway Station is located in the centre of town, whereas the coach terminal is some 15 minutes away. The tickets are MYR25 to MYR30 and you’ll only save five ringgit if you catch the bus.

The bus from KL to Penang is the best option as it takes you directly to the island and within five minutes of George Town. Tickets at MYR37 to MYR42.

Flying to Sabah and Sarawak can be expensive, but Air Asia offers deals all year round. Right now you can fly from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan for $US16 with the airline.

blogjun22Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 

Staying Long Term

Most people can enter Malaysia on a Short Term Social Visit Pass, which can be obtained upon arrival at the airport. Normally, this visa is valid for three months, but the visa conditions vary depending on your nationality.

If you plan to volunteer in Malaysia for longer than three-months, you might wish to apply for a Professional Visit Pass (PVP). This must be requested by the NGO you intend to work for while you are still in your home country

If granted, this visa is valid for up to 12 months and can be renewed for another 12 months, but only after a three-month break in between.

Contacting Home

Internet and mobile packages are also relatively inexpensive in Malaysia, with a minute of prepaid mobile averaging RM0.26 and 10 Mbps Internet with unlimited data priced at RM160.

So, whatever it is you decide to do in Malaysia, your time here be an exciting time in your life, and a great chance to stretch your own limits and discover your potential!

Check out the Top 30 Cheapest Countries to Live in 2016.

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