Petronas Towers at Night | Photo Essay

The Petronas Towers at night - photo essay from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

When I first set my virgin eyes upon the Petronas Towers, as a novice backpacker way back in 2008, I was quite simply blown away. I had never seen anything so astonishing in my entire life. Having spent time in major Asian Alpha cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai I had witnessed some phenomenal modern architecture impressively illuminated at night; however, the Petronas Towers located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia dwarfed everything else in comparison. The sheer scope of the towers in tandem with its futuristic design make it appear to be something extraterrestrial. I’ve taken a lot of photos of the towers whenever I’ve been in Kuala Lumpur, but I’ve spent many more hours just starring at these two behemoths in total awe. ¬†Visiting the towers is one of my favorite things to do in Kuala Lumpur at day or by night.

From 1998 to 2004 the Petronas Towers (known locally as Menara Petronas or simply Twin Towers) held the distinction of being the tallest building(s) in the world until recently being surpassed by Taipei 101.

Designed by an Argentine architect and a Filipino-Malaysian Engineer, the 88 floor towers were designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion.

The twin towers include a skybridge on 41st and 42nd floors, which holds the impressive deistinction of being the highest 2-story bridge in the world.

One fascinating piece of information revolves around French urban climber, Alain “Spiderman” Robert, who used only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices to scale to the top of Tower Two in under 2 hours back in 2009.

The towers are an impressive 451.9 m (1,483 ft) in length with an estimated completion cost of 1.6 billion dollars.

One cannot visit the top of these towers and are limited to only the skybridge. Recently visiting from Tuesday to Sunday (9am to 5pm) was free but now costs RM10 ($3.30 USD)

This shot was taken in between the towers and showcases the skybridge in the middle.

This shot was taken in between the towers and showcases the skybridge in the middle.

This photo is skewered towards the one tower.

This photo is skewered towards the one tower.

As a travel photography tutorial sometimes look for objects such as branches that can be used to frame the the shot.

As a travel photography tutorial sometimes look for objects such as branches that can be used to frame the the shot.

This is a photo that emphasizes the skybridge - the only area where the general public can visit.

This is a photo that emphasizes the skybridge – the only area where the general public can visit.

This is a close-up zoomed shot offering a glimpse into the various offices located in the buildings.

This is a close-up zoomed shot offering a glimpse into the various offices located in the buildings.

I intentionally underexposed this shot to give a more metallic feeling.

I intentionally underexposed this shot to give a more metallic feeling.

A travel photography tip for taking shots at night is to always carry your tripod which allows you to take longer exposures.

A travel photography tip for taking shots at night is to always carry your tripod which allows you to take longer exposures.

This shot was taken from a distance using my telephoto lens to capture the top portion of the towers.

This shot was taken from a distance using my telephoto lens to capture the top portion of the towers.

This photo was taken from the Kuala Lumpur Tower which is actually considered to offer to the best views of the city.

This photo was taken from the Kuala Lumpur Tower which is actually considered to offer the best views of the city.

I took photos of the Petronas Towers at sundown and then quickly scuttled over to the towers to capture some shots at night.

I took photos of the Petronas Towers at sundown and then quickly scuttled over to the towers to capture some shots at night.

There are a number of different areas one can wander around to capture the towers from a unique vantage point.

There are a number of different areas one can wander around to capture the towers from a unique vantage point.

The Petronas Towers are certainly one of the highlights of visiting Kuala Lumpur and one of the wonderful attractions in Malaysia that makes it such an under-rated country to visit for first time backpackers, travellers or tourists.

I’ve enjoyed showing some night photography of late and for those interested in more photo essays when the lights are turned on bright, check out my Chicago at Night & Khao San Road Night posts.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Micamyx|Senyorita February 22, 2012 at 9:55 am

I love Petronas Towers! Made me miss it more with your photos :D

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:10 am

Thanks Mica :) It’s quite amazing isn’t it?

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Bodlagz February 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

I remember watching a documentary about the building of the towers, they had some problems with the bedrock on the site, either the bedrock wasn’t level or it was very deep, the outcome was very deep or very wide foundations, can’t remember which.
Nice photos Sam, do you mind telling what camera you use ?.

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Laurence February 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Wow, they look like something out of science fiction :) Great shots, as always!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:11 am

Laurence, that’s exactly what I thought when I first saw them! Am I still on earth? HA

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Jeff February 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Beautiful!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:12 am

Thanks Jeff! They really are spectacular.

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Brock - Backpack With Brock February 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Unbelievable photos! Those buildings are beautiful at night.

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:12 am

Thanks Brock, I agree with you – at night they truly shine.

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Anthony February 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Bet you had a sore neck taking these! Great pics mate, I have a few from the sky bar over yonder :)

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:13 am

Thanks mate, I sure did! The things one does t get a photo :P

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Andrew - The Unframed World February 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Most awesome shots! Now I want to see one from the top!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:13 am

Thanks Andrew! I’d love to somehow get special access to go to the top :)

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

These photos are phenomenal! Loved your photography tips!!!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:14 am

Thanks Andi! I’m glad you found those useful :)

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Johanna February 23, 2012 at 12:02 am

Wow, some amazing photographs. They make the towers look surreal – and made me really want to visit and see for myself. Some great photography tips too :)

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:15 am

Thanks Johanna, hope you get a chance to do that and I’m glad the tips were useful :)

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The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) February 23, 2012 at 12:29 am

SO BEAUTIFUL! I usually don’t say that about modern man-made objects, but these are incredible. My husband works for the company that made the elevators they use :) He’s really excited about that! Thanks for sharing!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:20 am

He must have been proud to contribute to such an amazing project!

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Cam February 23, 2012 at 3:30 am

I miss KL – it’s been way to long. You’ve captured this dazzling building very well!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:21 am

Thanks buddy, I’d love to go back to see them again.

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Aileen February 23, 2012 at 11:01 am

Great photo..Looks awesome…You really did perfect capture here..

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:22 am

Thanks Aileen, appreciate you saying that :)

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Amer February 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

oh wow..those photos are awesome! will do a post on the towers too one day!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 12:23 am

Looking forward to seeing you post Amer! I have another gallery of day time shots I might show soon as well.

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Harald February 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm

That’s my gym building! That’s where I work out when I’m in KL! :)

And these are fantastic photos, these are some of the best I’ve seen of the towers – and I’ve seen a lot (and I’m also there pretty much every day when I’m in KL – my apartment is just a few minutes away in Buking Bintang).

And I still find that building astonishing… One of the most amazing man made constructions in the world in my opinion.

Great job, Nomadic Samuel! Liking the site a lot!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 1:06 am

Thanks Harald, I totally appreciate you saying that :) It sounds like you have a great gym in the building.

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Harald February 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

Yeah, the gym is good – I’ve met some great people there too.

And I’ll be back here for sure, Samuel. Great site.

Just re-read my first comment… how on earth did I manage to write “Buking Bintang?!?!?!” That’s scary. It should obviously be Bukit Bintang.

Anyway, keep up the great work! :)

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Josh February 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm

The Petronas Towers what made me want to visit Malaysia in the first place! Nice Pics!!!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 1:07 am

Thanks Josh, they’re a big draw for a lot of people!

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Christy @ Technosyncratic February 24, 2012 at 4:48 am

Wow, these towers are stunning and huge!! Great night photos, Samuel – very crisp.

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 1:08 am

Thank Christy, they truly are enormous!

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Amanda February 24, 2012 at 5:57 am

Wow, awesome shots!!!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 1:10 am

Thanks Amanda :)

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Kae Lani | A Travel Broad February 25, 2012 at 1:15 am

Love the pics! Although, I would be horrified if I had to walk across that tiny bridge between those towers. It’s so high up!

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Nomadic Samuel February 27, 2012 at 1:11 am

Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. I don’t like height much either myself.

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Natasha von Geldern February 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

Beautiful pics! I especially love the views from the Kuala Lumpur tower, makes the city look very romantic. I agree the towers are truly spectacular.

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Cathy Sweeney February 28, 2012 at 4:40 am

Your photos are amazing. Love the diversity of your shots and the architectural detail of some of them. I’d love to walk on the skybridge someday. What an experience that would be.

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Glen Webber Wildlife Photos February 29, 2012 at 1:21 am

Stunning set of images mate. Really well done!

Glen.

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Cal February 29, 2012 at 2:47 am

These are remarkable photos! They have put mine to shame. Well done indeed!

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Justin February 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Nice! The close ups are fantastic. Like seeing a totally different building.

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lara dunston March 1, 2012 at 6:52 am

Truly spectacular photos. Well done! Reminded me of why they used to be my favourite buildings. Haven’t been to KL in years. Must return. Thanks for these!

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Nomadic Samuel March 2, 2012 at 5:07 am

Thanks Lara, I’ve often felt the same way. I get excited to be in KL to see the towers although there are other draws to the city as well. I really enjoy being based in the Chinatown area near Jalan Petaling.

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Kurt March 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Terrific, terrific shots. Wow. Awesome structure made even more visually captivating by your photos. Wasn’t this building used in some action movie?

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Nomadic Samuel March 2, 2012 at 5:06 am

Thanks Kurt! I’m not sure about the movie but I can’t believe the guy scaled the entire building with no support system!

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Kurt W March 3, 2012 at 4:26 am

Wow, these shots are unreal.

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cheryl March 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Once again, lovely photos. Really hope I get to see these towers for myself one day! And you got a sore neck trying to take these photos!? Ha ha ,.. hope you didn’t injure yourself. :)

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Steph | A Nerd At Large March 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Magnificent photos! I really must make a point of using my tripod. These night shots are so crisp and vivid. That takes skill!

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