Petronas Towers Skybridge/Menara Tower
The Petronas Towers (www.petronas.com.my – click on “corporate,” then “company background,” then “Twin Towers”) are no longer the world’s tallest buildings, yet they continue to dominate the Kuala Lumpur skyline. The observation deck is situated in the skybridge linking the two towers at the 41st floor. Admission is free, but is restricted to 1,300 visitors each day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets are available from a kiosk on the concourse level from 8:30 a.m. on a first-come-first-serve basis. You’ll be allocated a visiting time, and will get to spend 10 minutes on the bridge. Avoid weekends, when the line for tickets can be exceptionally long. An alternative city panorama can be viewed from the 1,380-foot Menara Tower (www.menarakl.com.my), the world’s fourth highest telecommunications tower; open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, $4.
The Batu Caves
A visit to the Batu Caves, eight miles from Kuala Lumpur, during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam (late January/early February) is not for the squeamish. Over the course of three days, 1.2 million pilgrims converge on the cave complex, within which there are several temples. Many of the pilgrims inflict pain on themselves as an act of atonement — this can involve carrying a heavy shrine or, more gruesomely, driving hooks and skewers into their skin. For the rest of the year, visiting the caves merely requires strong legs: to reach the entrance, you must scale a flight of 272 steps. It’s a struggle on a hot day, but the caves themselves are blissfully cool. Getting there from downtown Kuala Lumpur costs about $5 each way by taxi.
Petaling Street is the bustling heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. Some of its seedy charm has been lost in a recent modernization scheme (including the construction of a futuristic glass canopy to shelter shoppers from the elements), but it’s still a great place to stroll, day or night — full of exotic sights, sounds and smells. You can find just about anything for sale here, though most of the logo items, from sneakers to Rolex watches, are counterfeit. You’ll also find a wide range of interesting local handicrafts, clothing and edible delicacies. The Chinese food market, just off Petaling, is especially worth experiencing. In the crowded parts of Chinatown, though, be on your guard against pickpockets and bag snatchers.
Lake Gardens is a sprawling, 230-acre green oasis in the heart of the city. It’s a wonderful place to take a walk, amid manicured lawns and tropical vegetation. Among the attractions here are an orchid garden, a hibiscus garden, a deer park (with free-roaming deer imported from Holland), an insect museum, a butterfly park and — perhaps the highlight — the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (www.birdpark.com.my), which boasts the largest covered aviary in the world. If you need to recharge your batteries during your visit to Kuala Lumpur, this is the perfect place.
The Royal Selangor Club
The Royal Selangor’s (www.rscweb.org.my) mock-Tudor clubhouse is affectionately known as “the Spotted Dog” — when the clubhouse opened in 1886, one of the members was in the habit of leaving two Dalmatians tied up outside the entrance, hence the nickname. Now, as then, the club is an important meeting place for Kuala Lumpur’s elite. The terrace overlooking the cricket field is a fine venue for afternoon tea and a good place to make useful contacts. Beyond the playing field stand the picturesque buildings of Merdeka Square, including the impressive Sultan Abdul Samad building, which combines Victorian and Moorish architectural styles. The club has reciprocal arrangements with clubs around the world, though you should also be able to arrange a visit through your hotel’s concier ge.
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This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.
PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.