Entrapped in Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaIt’s true you can see them from almost every place in Kuala Lumpur. Even though they are no longer the tallest building in the World they are still very impressive (451.9 metres). I mostly associate them with Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones.

The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur’s race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres (200 ft) to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world’s deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres (200 to 374 ft) deep, were bored into the ground.

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Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves, Malaysia

KL Sentral Malaysia

Batu caves are located 13km North from Kuala Lumpur. It looked for me actually as a part of the city. We took a train (KTM Komuter) to get there from KL sentral. It took a bit over 30 mins and costs RM2 per person. We found the trains really cheap in Kuala Lumpur and during one day we stayed there we used them quite often. We had about 20 minutes to the next train and so we waited on a platform watching trains and people come and go. What caught our attention was a cart only for women (koc untuk wanita sahaja). koc untuk wanita sahajaAt the floor of the station were marks clearly showing where this cart is going to stop. The only thing is people seem not to care and on more than one occasion we saw men sitting together with women in the pink compartment. The fines for damaging the train are really high and there are rules of conduct displayed in every cart, so no kissing!

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Kuala Lumpur – one day in the captal of Malaysia

kuala lumpur panorama

We departed from Dublin with Etihad Airlines. The plane looked very comfortable. First time we not only had individual screens but also USB and network plug ins, charged plug in and a console to play the games. The movies were recent releases and offered wide selection of World cinema. Etihad AirlinesI have to say the flight attendants were very nice and made us feel welcome. For the first time I wasn’t cold on the plane, rather very warm. At some point during the flight one of the passengers in the row opposite to ours started to call for help. He looked like he couldn’t breathe. One of the girls came over but she seemed to be really frightened and did not know what to do. After a couple of seconds more staff came over and one of them took over. She loosened his collar and made someone to bring him water and oxygen mask. He refused the oxygen mask. More and more staff came and it began to be warmer and warmer and really hard to breathe for me as well. Then the temperature in the cabin dropped. They moved the passenger to business class so we only saw him looking much better by the end of the trip. On another note I have to say food was really good during this flight.

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Malaysia and Borneo

Flag of MalaysiaI just came back yesterday from my trip to Malaysia. As probably everyone coming back from holiday (unless you had a very bad experience) I have now a strange feeling. One hand it seems already like it was ages ago on another I can’t believe I’m back and have to go back to the regularity of my life.  Over the next week I will live my memories sharing them with you guys and I hope you will find them entertaining and maybe useful while planning your own trip.

Firstly I and A. left together with Etihad from Dublin to Kuala Lumpur (interchange in Abu Dhabi). After 3 days we were joined by our friends I. and D. When we were planning the trip we thought we will be travelling together and the plan was as follows:

Arrive at Kuala Lumpur, see Batu Caves, go to Kuala Selangor to see the fireflies, see Cameron Highlands and Taman Negra, then up to Langkawi, ferry to Georgetown in Penang, fly to Borneo and see Mulu National Park. Back to Kuala Lumpur and home. Our friends were supposed to go to Thailand to spend there two more weeks instead of flying with us home.

malaysia-map

In the end the trip looked like this: Kuala Lumpur and Batu Caves, train to Alor Star, ferry to Langkwai, flight to Georgetown, flight to Kota Kinabalu, bus ride to Sandakan, flight back to KK and back to Kuala Lumpur. Our friends flu from KK to Hongkong.

General information:

Malaysia consists of two parts: Peninsular Malaysia where majority of the people live and north part of Borneo. Malaysian Borneo had little to do with the Peninsula until arrival of the British. It was ruled by Brunei Sultanate. In 1841 as a reward for helping him to crush the rebellion Sultan of Brunei made James Brooke (British) the Rajah of Sarawak, the first of three White Rajahs. Sabah remained under loose control of Brunei, it was mostly rented to different people before finally in 1888 coming under British government protection together with Sarawak.

Malaysia prospers thanks to demend for its rubber, palm oil, tea and tin as well as oil and gas reserves. Malays form 51% of the country’s 28 million population. Chinese make up about 25% and people of India about 7%. Majority of Malaysians are Muslim but Sharia is not forced upon all of the citizens only those practicing Islam.

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