“Shine Bright Like a Diamond”; nope, not reminiscing one of Rihanna’s Songs, but just what you feel when you roam around Kuala Lumpur at night on a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus.
I have always thought of exploring a city on a HOHO bus but never got around to it. Now that I was standing in front of a HOHO bus with the ticket in my hand, I was committed to enjoying every second of this 2-hours ride through the ‘City of Lights.
The trip started from a kiosk at Bukit Bintang; I climbed the roof of the bus, took out my camera, and was ready to be amazed by this dazzling metropolitan city. There is something enchanting about the roof seats of HOHO buses; it feels like every picture frame in front of your eyes is zoomed in a bit, and you have become a part of the imagery!
Let me tell you this, Kuala Lumpur looks very different at night when you compare it to mornings; no wonder it is called the “City of Lights”. Also, you can minus the crowd at night, which is just the icing on the cake.
HOHO bus covers all the hotspots that this city has to offer. In a single ride, I visited Chinatown, Little India, KL Tower, Istana Budaya, National Palace, Dataran Merdeka, and of course the show-stopper, ‘Petronas Twin Tower’.
The first spot that I got down at, was KL Tower. This is one of the tallest telecommunication towers in the world, and a perfect spot for a bird’s-eye view of the city at night. I got access to the sky deck where I could capture the beauty of the city, with the cool breeze flowing around me. Again, it was enchanting! (Though, if I would have come here in the morning time, I would have been able to get a glimpse of Genting Highlands as well).
Next, it was time to check out the National Palace (aka Istana Negara). This is the King’s Palace and is known for its architecture done in Islamic style and its golden dome. At night, the golden dome shines even brighter. It is worth watching.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
After the National Palace, it was time to get off at Sultan Abdul Samad Building. This is a colonial-style building that comes alive at night, because of its lighting. I walked up to the bridge between the Masjid Jamek and the colonial building; the word is, if you want to bask in the whole of Kuala Lumpur at night, this is the spot to do it! Even Dataran Merdeka (a historical architecture just beside Sultan Abdul Samad Building) looks beautiful because of the lighting of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building falling on Merdeka’s ground.
Petronas Twin Tower
As we were about to close the night ride, it was time to visit Petronas Twin Tower (of course, you save the best for the last!). I did not visit the Sky Bridge inside the towers, I just stood outside the building, trying to see how tall actually the towers are (Well, it really is huge!). The light bounces off the glass and metal surfaces, on the exterior of the building, and lit- up the whole structure in a beautiful way. I will tell you this, you would not help but just stand spellbound because of the magnanimity of the structure standing in front of you. I was thankful that I was able to actually see this magnanimity with my own eyes!
As soon as got down from the bus, the light & sound show at Lake Symphony was about to start. This is a man-made lake and has Petronas Twin Towers (and other high-rising buildings) in its backdrop. When I sat down to watch this uniquely beautiful musical fountain, which by the way was programmed to show 150 unique animations, I would say it was soul-captivating; when bright lights dance on the glass surfaces of giant buildings, it is inspirational & beautiful. It was a perfect closure for one of the most amazing night rides of my life. Although one might feel this experience is a bit expensive, you can always use coupons to make it pocket-friendly.
I never knew that a short 2-hours experience on a HOHO bus would make me hooked to this way of traveling and exploring an unknown city. It was like skimming through the whole city in a flash and enjoying the cool breeze flowing at night. It felt like the city was welcoming me, in its own way. I would obviously check out Kuala Lumpur in the daytime as well, to visit all those spots that I could not cover in this night ride, and also see how different Kuala Lumpur looks in the daytime!
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