The most recognizable symbolic landmark of Malaysia, the Petronas Twin Towers stand as the beacon of modern urbanization of Kuala Lumpur. The 88-storey twin toppers hold the title for 12th tallest skyscrapers in the world, and to date are the only twin towers to do so, making them number one in that category. The iconic Skybridge that links the two together acts as a tendon of sorts, keeping the sisters from swaying too much during high winds. The towers were constructed during the administration of the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who set the building of each tower as a competition between the constructors from Korea and Japan. The Koreans won, finishing both their part and the Skybridge a week earlier. Like most other notable buildings, the towers sport a prominent Islamic influence; their bases are shaped to be of eight-pointed stars.
Not to be thought as a second to the twins, Menara Kuala Lumpur holds its own pride as the seventh-tallest free-standing tower and the seventh-tallest communication minaret in the world, a superstructure that is also another immediate signature feature of Malaysia. The second-tallest tower in Asia, it enjoyed some fame as a featured landmark in Amazing Race Asia 1 as a pit-stop and marker. More than just a pretty structure, the KL Tower also serves as an Islamic falak observatory to time festivals by the crescent moon sightings. Its notable dome holds Iranian design influence and hosts Atmosphere 360, a rotating elevated restaurant above its public observatory deck. During certain times of the year, a race up its 2,058 steps is held, with the winner earning cash prizes.
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While considered by some to be an overcompensating monolith, Kuala Lumpur’s international airport – abbreviated as KLIA – remains top-ranked among all the airports of the world. A major station in Southeast Asia, KLIA has the world’s 23rd-busiest airport transit traffic. It replaced the former Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, and is near to the high-tech headquarters of the nation’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) development project, which is designed to attract global businesses through tax breaks and proximity to the airport. Being the first thing most tourists see when they touch down, this airport also sports Islamic-influenced domes and star-like lights in its wooden ceilings.
The largest religious devotion of Hinduism in Malaysia, and the second largest Hindu deity statue in the world, the golden towering effigy of Lord Murugan, God of War marks the starting point of the steps leading to the Batu Cave Temple. While the main objective of the trip is for the cave, this statue is popular for being an attraction to many devout visitors, the most of which you can see during Thaipusam, a Hindu festival celebrating Lord Murugan’s birthday and the bestowing of the celestial spear he carries.