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Malaysia and Tall Buildings September 7, 2009

Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings, Travel.

Canberra is not only the capital of Australia, a fact not particularly well known outside our shores, but it’s also one of the most fabulous cities in the world in which to live. This last fact is not particularly well known within Australia either 😉

It’s a beautiful, peaceful city that offers a wonderful standard of living, with generally lovely weather wrapped within four distinct seasons. Yes, the winters can be a little cool and the summers a touch warm, but having lived in Manchester, England for quite a number of years, the weather isn’t too far from perfect most of the year round.

Another “charm” with Canberra is that it isn’t a big city “Metropolis” with large crowds, big traffic problems and tall buildings. In fact, because of Canberra’s strict building restrictions,  the tallest actual building in Canberra is the somewhat unimpressive Lovett Tower, at just 26 stories and 93 metres in height.

When I visit a “big” city, I therefore get easily impressed by tall buildings and usually walk around staring upwards, walking into passersby and lightposts on a continual basis. I love New York for example and can spend the whole day just walking the streets, staring up at all the fantastic tall buildings.

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the first time, presenting my Index Internals seminar. I only had a few days but I made sure I had time to walk around and have a good look at the very impressive and oh so tall Petronas Twin Towers. At an incredible 88 floors and at almost 453 metres, they’re the tallest twin towers in the world and were the tallest buildings until surpassed by the Taipei 101 in 2004.


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What’s so spectacular though is the skybridge that connects the two buildings on the 41 and 42 floors. It just seems to hang there suspended in the middle, with what looks like a few fragile legs holding the bridge in place. Although impressive during the day, the buildings seem to sparkle to life in the evenings as the buildings light up in spectacular fashion, like a pair of huge exotic Christmas trees.

I resisted the temptation however to actually go up the towers. Having been up the World Trade Centre in New York, I still get a little nervous about such things.

Shopaholics would also I’m sure be impressed by the 6 levels of shopping available in the massive Suria Shopping Centre, at the bottom of the Petronas Twin Towers. Fortunately, I already had all the David Bowie albums on offer and resisted the temptation to spend too much 😉 I particularly loved this view of the towers from within the shopping centre:


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I had a great time during my brief visit, ate some “interesting” food and met some lovely folks during the seminar. Kuala Lumpur is well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.