x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Kuala Lumpur for kids

"This can't be Kuala Lu-mpur," said Calvin, our eight-year-old, as we stepped out of the airport into the Malaysian capital. "Why can't I see the Petronas towers? You've tricked me! Where are we really?"

'This can't be Kuala Lu-mpur," said Calvin, our eight-year-old, as we stepped out of the airport into the Malaysian capital. "Why can't I see the Petronas towers? You've tricked me! Where are we, really?"

He went on in this fashion for the entire 40km ride into the city, until we turneda corner and the twin towers suddenly appeared.

"There they are," said my husband tiredly. "Happy now?"

Calvin had been hankering to go to KL ever since he turned three and was given a copy of The Most Amazing Buildings in the World. He'd been quoting facts at us ever since, and I can safely say we know more about those dang twin towers than the architects who constructed them.

Five years later, finally in the city of my son's dreams, I quickly realised that our four-day holiday was going to disintegrate if we didn't get Petronas out of the way first.

"Go find tickets," I hissed at my husband as we arrived at around midnight at the Corus Hotel. So while Calvin and I inspected our Paradise Cabana suite - it opened onto the pool which had an unobstructed view of the towers - my husband wandered out in search of tickets. He returned 20 minutes later. "Turns out you can't buy them," he said. "They're distributed free of charge at the Tower Two office at 8.30am every day. I'd better get there really early tomorrow."

The next morning he left at six and returned at 8.37 with three bits of paper in his hand and raccoon eyes. "Ha! I was the first in line! We have to be there at 10am. Out of bed, sleepyheads!"

We got there early - the walk took exactly seven minutes - so we tried the interactive exhibits in the main gallery on the ground floor. A security check and a short queue later, we took the lift to Level 41 for our Skybridge tour.

Despite being conducted with military precision ("stay behind the yellow line"; "you have 15 minutes on the bridge"), I think it was totally worth the two cold hours my husband had spent outside the towers that morning.

Suspended 170 metres above the ground, I enjoyed the fantastic views, while Calvin and my husband inspected the bridge end to end, throwing statistics at each other and anyone who cared to listen (lots of people did; apparently I was the only one who found it irritating).

Afterwards, we were handed 3D glasses and made to watch a "how the towers were built" video with a strong self-congratulatory tone. Then we stopped at the gift shop for a (grossly overpriced) T-shirt for Calvin.

We fell into bed that night - the tour of Petronas finally behind us and three days of relaxation in front of us - only to be awoken at 4am by Calvin, the towers on his new T-shirt glowing weirdly in the dark.

"Get up, get up," he shouted, shaking my husband. "You've got to get back out there now and find out if you can get tickets for the Skybridge tour today, and tomorrow, and the day after!"

 

ciyer@thenational.ae

 

Visit www.petronastwintowers.com.my for more information.