Kuala Lumpur Trip: Petrosains Discovery Center

Whoever thought learning isn't fun has probably never been to a Science Center. We immensely enjoyed the Science Museum in Hong Kong (I think it still is my favorite to date) so we made it a point to visit Petrosains Discovery Center at the KLCC Suria Mall, right next to the Petronas Twin Towers.

Petrosains is located on one of the top floors (4th or thereabouts) and it is divided into two: there's the Fun Zone and there's the Discovery Center. We spent almost RM100 for the four of us to get into both attractions. Staff will tell you that you should allot about 1 hour for the Fun Zone and 2 hours for the Discovery Center. Not enough. More like a day, probably. 1 hour and 2 hours -- will leave you feeling rushed and moving so fast from one exhibit to the next. In our case, we didn't actually catch the 3D theater anymore at the Discovery Center with the last showing at 4pm. Oh well, reason to come back in the future.

The Fun Zone is more suited to younger kids where they can enjoy the interactive science exhibits. Adi and Ali had a blast with the following, among other things: making sounds (e.g. hiccup, laughter)with light sensors (in nice, bright colors); seeing themselves very tall, upside down, short with the convex and concave mirrors; seeing their heads on a plate; etc. The staff in the Fun Zone are quite friendly and they give your kids balloons, allow your kids the chance to walk on stilts, etc.

The Discovery Center, on the other hand, also offers various science exhibits -- but the focus is really on the making of petroleum. The Discovery Center was actually set up (if I remember correctly) by Petronas also. Just like the Hong Kong Science Museum, there are numerous exhibits that it can be quite overwhelming. The variety in the Hong Kong Museum, however, is better.

We enjoyed the Dark Ride which begins and ends your journey to the Discovery Center. The "car" twists, turns, goes forward, upward in the dark -- as you enjoy very good and colorful visuals, narration, and music about the earth, its resources, and Malaysia's people. Of the exhibits, we particularly enjoyed lying down on an actual bed of nails; making colored shadows (my personal favorite!); making a tornado; feeling different types of mud without getting your hands dirty; seeing how oil permeates different kinds of solid matter; and we even went on a simulated helicopter ride! I think you'll have to be a certain height or age to get on this though so we just took turns so someone would always be watching Ali.

The kids really enjoyed themselves. They actually want to go back to KL just to be able to visit Petrosains again. They also have a gift shop by the way where we got Ali a yellow and orange dinosaur with long and curly hair whom she now calls Brachy Brachy(with the "ch" pronounced the same way as in Brach's candy?)

So when in KL with kids, visit Petrosains. They'll be glad. :-)

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, May 20, 2005]

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