If you separate the word into Petro-nas, you get an idea of the industry behind the building of these towers.
Petro – Petrol – Petroleum – Oil.
I didn’t know that Petronas was one of the national oil companies of Malaysia, or just how large and successful the company (and oil exploration/sales) have been for Malaysia.
Petronas Towers were made famous in the west by the movie Entrapment, a movie starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, in which a heist requires breaking in to the Petronas towers just before midnight at the dawn of the new millennium.
If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out. (I liked it – there’s a particularly great scene where Catherine Zeta-Jones shows how flexible she had to become for the movie.)
Visiting the Petronas towers, it is possible to take the elevator tour to the skybridge (at about level 41) for 10 MYR (currently about USD$3.25).
If you’d like to visit the skybridge and the observation deck (at level 86), that will set you back 40 MYR (currently about USD$13).
We opted for both (at $27 for the two of us), and I’m really glad to have done it. The tour included a video showing all the good works of Petronas in Malaysia (building children’s playgrounds, funding a museum and symphony, working with a university, etc). Of course it was heavy on the good work and light on the “we’re sucking millions of barrels of oil from the earth every year” side, but maybe if there wasn’t so much demand for oil… anyway, not going down that road at this particular time).
Going up to the top of the Petronas towers was worth it because it afforded such a wonderful view of everything around Kuala Lumpur, even on a somewhat overcast day. It was interesting to learn about the construction of the Petronas towers, how they were the largest building on earth for a number of years, and how the design of the construction reflects the core values of Islam, which (not surprisingly), are quite similar to the core values of Christianity, Hindusim, Judaism, and Buddhism.
If you go to the Petronas towers, go early. As in… get there by no later than 7 AM. The line starts forming early, but even getting there at 7 AM, we didn’t get our tickets until 8:30 AM, and we weren’t able to go up the towers until 11:15 AM. (We got our tickets and came back.) When we got back at 11:15 for our time to go up, they were booking the last tour of the day, though we understand some days it’s completely sold out by 8:30 or 9 AM.
Go to the Petronas towers when In Kuala Lumpur. They’re definitely worth the visit.