Walking on glass at Rainbow Skywalk in Komtar Penang

posted in: Asia, Cities, Malaysia | 74

Even if you are holding a railing on the 68th floor and you have some solid ground to stand on, you are bound to have a few butterflies in your stomach. Especially, if you are standing on a glass that shows you a vertical drop of 800 feet plus to the actual ground. Add to that the moving traffic that does not care who is going to crash land down…..Ok! That is me just winding you guys up. Hey, but you cannot deny those teeny goosebumps you might have got just thinking about it. And imagine – I did this! I not just stood on the glass that showed me a view 800+ feet below but also, walked on it – at the Komtar Penang.

The Komtar Penang
The Komtar Penang

The Rainbow Skywalk at Komtar Penang was literally, the first activity our Penang tour by Malindo Air And Penang Tourism Board. Frankly,  It was that perfect “kick start” to our tour with that teeny bit of adrenaline which set the pace for Penang – the place that we were going to explore over the next 4 days. What made it so – well, that is exactly the story that I am going to share in this post.

Introduction to Komtar Penang

There is no way that you see a tall building staring at you from every angle and you are not curious to know more. That is what exactly happened to me for I had this huge landmark building staring at me from the time I entered George Town. And it followed me to even my room for what I saw from my window was the 6th tallest tower in Malaysia.

KOMTAR actually is an acronym for  Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak. The building was named after the 2nd Malaysian Prime Minister who had commissioned it in 1974. Just as the Penang Street Art was done to add life to the heritage town, so was this building. It was completed in 1986 and was originally just 65 floors. Later, three more floors and Malaysia’s highest skywalk was added to it and this is what I was about to witness.

Arriving at The Top

The building that was called Komtar today has several shops, food joints, gaming and entertainment centers occupying it. And that is where our destination – The Top was. As you can guess from the name, it’s primary attraction was “The Top” on the 65th and 68th floor but that is not all that it had to offer.

The Top at Komtar Penang
The Top at Komtar Penang

The Top s an indoor theme park at Komtar Penang. It has several interesting sections like the Aquarium, A Jurrasic park, a 7D theater, mirror maze, Penang State Gallery and more. It is a perfect outing for families, kids and adults – who irrespective of age are bound to get their fun side out. I so missed my little minx here for guess who I met at the entrance- her latest heartthrob – Harry Potter!

My Minx Latest Heart Throb at Komtar Penang
My Minx Latest Heart Throb at Komtar Penang

Had she seen this, she sure would not have even budged until she was initiated into the Gryffindor house and had bought that cloak. It is good that I went there first. Now that I know, the next time, I will put her blinders on so that she can walk straight up to the elevators that take you to the skywalk – pretty much like what we did!

First taste of Komtar Penang Skywalk

As much as I would have liked to tackle the mirror maze or see the Aquarium, this time it was not to be. Straight up into the speed elevators, we reached the original topmost floor – 65th floor at Komtar Penang Skywalk. This is called The Observatory. The first thing that you are ushered to is a small video presentation of the history of Komtar Penang. And then, with a dramatic end, the rest of the observatory is thrown open to you.

The Map points etched on the 65th floor of Komtar Penang
The Map points etched on the 65th floor of Komtar Penang

It was as if even the experience leading to Rainbow Skywalk was being given to us in doses. The observatory had a solid floor and a roof on top – pretty much like a normal level. Our path was along the periphery of the 65th floor of the spherical building. This allowed us a 360-degree view of George Town, Penang. Mapped on the glass windows were pins of various landmarks that you could see from there – which I thought was quite a smart idea.

Enjoying the scintillating views of Penang, I thought to myself – hey, the skywalk seems to be a piece of cake- must be just a small area. This is when I got my first dose – the first taste of things to come. A glass-bottomed floor that showcased the busy lanes of George Town and hey, we were to walk on that!

The first dose of the glass skywalk on the 65th floor of Komtar Penang
The first dose of the glass skywalk on the 65th floor of Komtar Penang

When you actually look down, it seems ok but it is when you step on the glass and look down, suddenly, your tummy gives a jerk. And that isn’t the end of it. If the first step is a jerk, the 2nd step forward on that glass bottom is a lurch. Nothing can prepare you to walk on that see-through floor, some 700 feet above the busy intersections of Penang.

Busy Street of Penang from Komtar Penang Skywalk
The busy intersections of Penang Street as seen from the glass skywalk on the 65th floor of Komtar Penang

There was a family attempting their walk and I saw the kids crawl along the glass. I thought maybe, that would be easier, but actually, no, it is even more airless!

Me? I thought I would tackle it with my head held high. Looking straight ahead, I walked along the length of that glass floor and then stopped in the center, to look down. Boing! Nope- not any better! There was no stopping those butterflies from creating havoc in my gut.

Rainbow Skywalk at Komtar Penang

Eventually, logic took over to tell me – “Woman! There is Solid ground, it has already taken your weight and the glass is not cracking! There is a handrail – if you need to hold it and even more solid ground if I move to the right.” Ah well, they all settled down – the butterflies and I finally enjoyed the view below. Now I was confident of tackling the actual Rainbow Skywalk that was on the 68th floor. I mean – 3 more floors above was going to be easier to conquer, right?

The Rainbow Skywalk at Komtar Penang
The Rainbow Skywalk at Komtar Penang

I thought I was acclimatized to the height but wait,here came in the next dose. Not only was the Rainbow skywalk has no roof, it was far out into the SKY – away from the building floor. Glass all through and no scope of moving to solid ground if the glass cracked!!!

Ah well, once you get comfortable at the skywalk of Komtar Penang
Ah well, once you get comfortable at the skywalk of Komtar Penang                                                   PC: Jyotsana Ramani

The butterflies returned. However, this time, I got courage from two facts – one that I was not that heavy as compared to the combined weight of the 7 people who were already on the skywalk. Second, I had done far more adventurous stuff than this. Resolved and determined, I stepped onto the glass.

 sitting on that glass on the 68th floor, Komtar Penang
A piece of cake, sitting on that glass on the 68th floor, Komtar Penang                 Pic Credit: Jyotsana Ramani

It took me a few glides before I started walking normally. I reached the center to take some shots of the beautiful city views from here and within a few minutes, it just felt normal to be there. I finally, put those butterflies to rest as I posed for some beautiful pictures that are now going to be my memories for life!

The views from Komtar Penang

When I was on the 65th floors, the views seemed lovely through those glass windows. However, they sure were the best from the 68th where you could see past those glass windows. Zooming in with my camera, I saw plenty of interesting places in Penang. Like this floating village or the Chew Jetty – a settlement that was built on stilts.

Zooming in to the Chew Jetty atop Komtar Penang
Zooming in to the Chew Jetty atop Komtar Penang

What was particularly charming was the evident old-world charm that coexisted with the modern establishment in George Town. The old houses amidst those well-designed, smooth roads was what made Penang stand apart!

On the Wishing Chair at Komtar Penang

The Top restaurant for Fine Dining at Komtar Penang
The Top restaurant for Fine Dining at Komtar Penang

The 68th floor was not just about the Sky view but had a lovely Fine-Dining restaurant. With an indoor and outdoor seating, it seemed to be that perfect place for a romantic evening. I could so imagine how magical it would be with the city lights at night while you sat across a candlelit table.

Wishing with a coin at the Komtar Penang
Wishing with a coin at the Komtar Penang

Sigh! This was one of those times where I wish Ash was with me. We could have taken a penny and thrown it across to the cauldron at the end of a rainbow – just like what you see my blogger buddies do. I mean there is always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right?

The world's luckiest chair at Komtar Penang
The world’s luckiest chair at Komtar Penang

Or maybe taken a picture together on this lucky horseshoe chair! Maybe he will be – the next time I go to Penang again. They say that this is the “Luckiest Chair in the World”. Maybe I will get lucky with my wish 😉 (Sshh! Let’s keep that a secret for now – shall we?)

Ah well – for now, I will leave you guys to drool over the whole walking on glass experience. I know that you guys are completely game for it!  Hey, it really isn’t so scary – I was being the Drama Queen – but you know that, don’t you? 😉

Komtar Penang

Getting here

  • The Komtar Penang tower can be found here on the maps. You can see it from most places in George Town and reaching here is extremely easy. You can either walk it here if you are staying close by or just take a cab or a bus to it
  • You can reach George Town through convenient flights from Kuala Lumpur or even the rest of the World. Malindo Air has several flights that get you here.
  • Alternately, you can drive to Penang from Kuala Lumpur.

Travel Tips

  • Komtar Penang is one of the must-visit places in Penang. You can find the various entrance tickets and other fees on its official website here.
  • Carry a light shawl if you are going in the evening as it tends to get a little chilly then.
  • To walk on the skywalk, you will either have to remove your shoes or wear the temple socks that they offer at the counter.
  • Stick to the instructions given by the guide and do not attempt to lean over the railings or the skywalk
  • Remember to check my travel guide to Malaysia for additional tips.

 

 

Share the Thrill of Travel

74 Responses

    • Ami

      It is fun after you get used to it. And frankly, the views are amazing. Thanks for fluttering by 🙂

  1. docdivatraveller

    This looks wonderful! I have been to Malaysia twice but never to Penang 🙁 Hopefully I would visit someday 🙂

  2. Doreen Pendgracs

    What a fun post, Ami! I love this kind of venue, and really love that photo of you sitting on glass on the 68th Floor! It looks like there is plenty to explore on the Rainbow Skywalk in Komtar Penang.

  3. sumit

    hi

    such a lovely article and presentation and now what would happen if there is no supports on the side as one walks .. now tht be actually be big butterflies 🙂

  4. Juliette S

    An insane experience! We have the SkyTower in Auckland that has glass panels you can walk across too – and do the SkyWalk – and the SkyJump! It’s pretty crazy being so high and looking straight down through a glass panel to everything below. Even though you know it’s safe, it doesn’t quite seem right does it!

  5. Lisa

    I’ve only visited Kuala Lupur on stopover, so would like to see Penang one day. The skywalk looks so cool, yet a bit scary too. Good tips about bringing a shawl; I can imagine it gets very windy up there!

  6. Sara Essop

    The Rainbow Skywalk looks amazing. I don’t think that it was in Penang when I visited in 2013. The closest thing I’ve done to this was walking on the glass floor at the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai. I’d love to sit on that lucky horseshoe chair too.

    • Ami

      Thanks Sara. The Skywalk might have been under renovation or something for it had been around for some time. Maybe now when you visit again you can try it
      .

  7. Lois Alter Mark

    Just looking at those photos makes my heart skip a beat! What a thrill! I love that there was a whole theme park inside The Top for those (me!) who might not be so adventurous.

  8. Erin

    Oh wow that does a look a bit adrenaline raising! I like your detail in the post to help future would be skywalkers! Seeing your booties and your description of gliding in them makes me think this may be a good technique for not falling over the edge of this open air walk! How scary but fun! Thanks!

    • Ami

      It’s not really open. There is a Glass side to it but then it’s all glass… So well. Fun. And safe!

  9. Jyotirmoy Sarkar

    First of all…the captures are lovely and secondly i eally have big doubt whether it will be possible for me to stand there with all my consciousness.
    Amazing and thrilling experience..

    • Ami

      Ooh, you will get used to it. It’s not so scary after a while . Just initial jitters. Thanks Jyotirmoy for dropping by

  10. sunsetscribble

    The skywalk looks amazing! The views are incredible, and I can only imagine the rush of feelings when you’re standing out there!

  11. Al Kadam

    oh! you did it. I have been to georgetown three times but never thought of going up there. it doesn’t look appealing to me from the outside even though it is the tallest building in the area. oh wow i am so envious, the view is amazing.

  12. Tania Mukherjee

    I would have felt just like you had I walked on a glass floor so much ‘on top of the city’ with bustling traffic below who don’t care who falls off!! Also, that Harry Potter model is quite lifelike. You had one lifetime of experience here!

  13. Nisha

    Oh my! The butterflies ! Ask me how difficult they are deal with. 😀

    First time I went to any glass bottom floor in a high rise building was in year 2000 in New Zealand. Have been to a few more but not this one. When we last visited Penang, the top 3 floors were not operative. I think they were not there. So, a visit to this town is due again.

    P.S. Loved your photos. 🙂

    • Ami

      Possible that the top floor was being done. But now it is ready and it is time to go again 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Nisha.

  14. Swati & Sam

    Reminds us of our skydeck experience in Chicago. Somehow we have missed this one being in Malaysia a couple of times. Seems to be a good touristy place.

    • Ami

      It is a lovely place, especially for the views of the city. A perfect kick start to exploring the rest.

  15. Louiela

    whoah!!! You got me on the 1st paragraph of this post… My weakened knees feel like trembling,,, fear of heights 🙁

    As you said, this is Rainbow Skywalk…but don’t be surprised if you’ll see me crawling on glass floor here :))))

  16. quirkywanderer

    My gosh!!! This looks super thrilling. Like you said the perfect start of the trip. The views are super gorgeous!! 🙂 Reminded me of the Burj. I can understand the goosebumps! your pictures of the skyline are so good!! HP is my heart throb too. See?! Great minds think alike (I told you!)

  17. SANDEEP PANWAR

    हालत खराब होने में देर नहीं होती ऐसी रोमांचक जगहों पर,
    शानदार जगह से परिचय कराया।

  18. Ha

    What a great experience! This place looks really nice with the view of the city. I’m not sure if I will walk on these glasses, because I’m afraid of height…

  19. Thu Nguyen

    Though I’m a little bit scared, I really want to try that skywalk once in my life. It’s amazing and interesting. You must be very brave. Thanks for your sharing

    • Ami

      It takes a few minutes to get used to it but when you do, you will love it. Thanks for reading through Thu

  20. Anonymous

    This seems an interesting place to spend some time at. I am thinking that I wont get scared since the vertical side of most lifts are glass and you can see how high you are, and as a result my feeling is that I wont get scared. But you never know 🙂 Its interesting that they give a cover for shoes too. I am guessing this is for keeping the glass clean?

    To come to think of it, these skywalks are good ideas for any city to influence tourism and places within the city. I remember seeing something like a watch tower in KL called Menara Tower, which helped me discover more places in the city

    Kartik

    • Ami

      The shoe socks are to ensure that we don’t scratch or dirty the glass. This is a fascinating experience alright and a fun one too. Thanks for stopping by Kartik

  21. swatisinha09Swati

    Does it help if you walk with your eyes on the horizon ! Ha ha. I would love the experience though. Might start with a crawl but will make it upright in time 😉 . I see it was fun and why you liked it so much. Here’s to more such adventures

    • Ami

      It does help to look straight and walk till you stop and look below 🙂 It is fun anyways. Cheers to you trying that.

  22. thatguywithstories

    Heights intimidate me. I would have jumped down from that place. Seriously. But I am wondering about the technology used in putting up that Mount Everest of Penang.

    • Ami

      Pretty sure you would have been fine after sometime. It is not so bad after you get started with the handrails.

  23. Indu

    Panorama is always amazing when look below through sky walk and you have so beautifully captured all.

  24. Kirstie

    The view from the tower must have left you breathless. There’s also that kind of thrill when you look down from a glass floor. I bet my tummy will turn but will enjoy it regardless!

  25. Ly

    I love going on heights! For sure, this place will be one of my list when I visit Penang, hopefully next year. I am also looking forward to the indoor theme park, especially the aquarium and the gallery.

  26. Neil Alvin

    I’d probably be a scaredy cat there. The glass looks so clear unlike fort siloso skywalk.
    Thanks for sharing this informative blog.

    • Ami

      Thanks Neil. It takes a little while to get used to it but ultimately when you know it is safe, you are cool.

  27. asoulwindow

    It must be so exciting to step on this skywalk. The sweeping views from here also look great. I can only imagine how it must feel like to dine at 68th floor. This destination is one of its kind.

  28. Ryan Biddulph

    Becoming slightly ill seeing you sit on that glass Ami LOL. Awesome though, good for you, you fearless one. Loving the shots. We spent so much time in Georgetown and also at Queen’s Bay Mall in Penang during our month long visit in 2012. Definitely adding the Rainbow Skywalk to the list.

    Ryan

  29. Sandy N Vyjay

    The Komtar is definitely a place that would trigger the thrills as you experience its pleasures. Tall structures have a fascination of their own, wherever they are and I really love these modern structures that seem to literally rise to the skies and climbing the top again gives you a high, so to say. I was reminded of the Macau skywalk looking at the Komtar skywalk. Hope to visit this and see how different the experience is as compared the the Macau Tower.

  30. Kevin Del Prado

    When I went to Singapore, the only thing that I regret is not going to Malaysia. Maybe next time I will probably be booking direct flight to Penang or Kuala Lumpur to check these things out to myself.

  31. Bhushavali

    Wow! This is awesome! To be able to stand there and literally have the world beneath your feet is just awesome!!! 7D theatre? That too sounds great!

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