The Petronas Towers in Black and White

With the aid of their spires, the Petronas Towers rise 451.9 meters (1,483 feet) into the heavens over Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur (KL). For six years, they held the title of being the tallest buildings in the world, until they were surpassed by Taipei 101. Today, they are still the world’s tallest twin towers. They have 88 floors.

The towers’ glass and steel façade’s design incorporates Islamic art motifs, reflecting Malaysia’s Muslim religion. Their skywalk is a dramatic element. Of it, architect César Pelli said:

“According to Lao Tse, the reality of a hollow object is in the void and not in the walls that define it. He was speaking, of course, of spiritual realities. These are the realities also of the Petronas Towers. The power of the void is increased and made more explicit by the pedestrian bridge that … with its supporting structure creates a portal to the sky … a door to the infinite.”

Whether seen towering over KL’s skyline by day or twinkling brilliantly at night, the structures are sleek and elegant. Alas, they were closed for renovation during our visit to KL. Someday, we hope to return to Malaysia and see what must be a marvelous view of the city. We won’t, however, be taking the same route favored by a French daredevil climber, who, on several occasions, has been arrested ascending the towers using only his bare hands and feet!

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

6 thoughts on “The Petronas Towers in Black and White

  1. FANTASTIC images Tricia!! Tell me, what settings did you use for the night shots? It’s so different to see these urban scapes since Bali’s green and nature – and it’s so great as I do love streetscapes etc! Excellent work! So impressed :)

    1. Hello, Marina. Glad you enjoyed the Kuala Lumpur shots. You’re so right in that it was really different transitioning to such an urban environment following the slow, island-pace in Bali. We were experiencing a bit of environment shock upon landing in bustling KL! I’m pretty certain that I took the photographs in ‘night setting’ mode, sans tripod. Just play around with the ‘scenes’ dial on your new camera and you’ll find some great settings. I’m looking forward to learning how to take pics in ‘manual’ mode, but think such evening pics would then likely require a tripod. We’re now in a different spot of Malaysia (Georgetown) and I’ll be posting soon.

      1. Thanks Tricia – I have yet to attempt nightshots so will use the night setting mode and see how I fair with it :) Looking forward to your next post … ohm and as for the tripod. Can you imagine traveling with that?!

      2. Believe it or not, my hubby’s been traveling with one! It spends more time in the hotel room than out on excursions, though. The heat here in SEA makes it a challenge carrying too much – I’m always impressed by the seasoned locals who carry things with grace and ease. (On a side note, once you’re out and about at night and taking pics with subjects in them, try the ‘night portrait’ setting.) Happy shooting!

      3. I can understand why the tripod is a more a permanent fixture in the room than under your husband’s arm! Impressive though that he brought it along as you can always stake out some great spots to return to in the evening, tripod in tow :) Yes, I feel to live in Southeast Asia, one would need a high tolerance for heat and humidity. Bikram Yoga hasn’t cured me of that intolerance as yet – but I think I’m getting there! Thanks for the night portrait tip! Ah, so much to learn :) Enjoy your day today!

      4. Marina, thanks for your wishes for a happy day! Indeed we have – stopping in at a night market here in Penang for some wonderful traditional fare. Now, here’s hoping I can muster up the energy for some Bikram-esque yoga in the morning. The temp’s always right here! Looking forward to your next round of inspirational quotations and pictures. Until then!

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