I haven’t posted anything in days as we have been busy putting the condo together. And now, I am quite glad to report that we’ve made substantial progress. We now have couches in the living room, the TV is off the floor and finally on its own chocolate brown stand, and our 6-seater dining set is now in place.

We even got curtains up on the sliding glass panels that open to the balcony yesterday and our cooker (with an oven!) was delivered today. I can’t wait to start cooking. Maybe we’ll look into buying pots and pans this weekend. I’ll share photos of the condo in a couple of days but for now, I’d like to share a fun activity we did here in the city a couple of days ago. It’s something I’d recommend to families with children. We don’t have our own – yet.

We’re more like children at heart (not childish, I hope) and we enjoy activities like going to theme parks and checking out toys like Lego Star Wars sets and robots. So for one of our weekends, the husband and I went over to the Planetarium Negara (National Planetarium). I personally love Planetariums and reading about space programmes in other countries (so is my husband but I honestly think he’s nerdier than I am when it comes to this).

I would pretend I was an astronaut or a member of the Rebel Alliance back when I was a kid. Yep, Star Wars geek through and through. We took the train to Pasar Seni station (Kelana Jaya Line) and walked towards the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens – a huge complex that houses several KL attractions such as the Bird Park (which we plan to visit when my Mom and her boyfriend come over), the Butterfly and Deer Parks (these are reserved for my grandma and my parents-in-law).

The National Mosque and Islamic Art Museum is are also in that area and we plan to visit them in the next couple of weeks. After getting off Pasar Seni, you would have to go through the Old Railway Station (which still works, serving a different line) and walk towards Jalan Lembah then Jalan Perdana.

View of the Old Railway Station from the LRT’s Pasar Seni station.

Don’t worry, there are lots of signs that will point to your destination from the train station all the way to the National Mosque. Once you see that, you’re quite near.

Side entrance to the Planetarium.

Do wear comfortable walking shoes. It’s a must. The area is a bit hilly and you will find yourself doing a lot of walking. It can also be very hot so wearing thin, comfy clothes will also do you good. Don’t forget to bring water for the long walk! You will have to leave your tumbler with security before entering the Planetarium but you can get it back after. There’s transportation within the Lake Gardens that can take you from one park to another in the form of electric cars. They cost around RM0.50 (Php6.83, US0.16, EUR0.12) to take you around the whole of the gardens. However, we hardly saw them when we were there. The intervals were long so we opted to walk.

The Planetarium Negara’s pretty facade

Entrance to the Planetarium Gallery is free but if you want to watch some of their informative shows in the Space Theatre, you will have to pay RM12 (Php163.87, US3.75, EUR2.81) for adults and RM8 (Php109.25, US2.50, EUR1.87) for children. One show is aired every hour from 10am to 4pm. Here are some photos of what we saw in the Gallery.

Lots of interactive displays
Models of ancient devices used to study the sky such as sundials.
Displays specifically for photo-ops. Hello, husband!
An anti-gravity room which isn’t really void of gravity but a lopsided room which can give you a feel of what it’s like in a spaceship. (READ: Dizzying)

There’s also a mock up of the International Space Station’s (ISS) Interior where you will ‘experience’ how astronauts live (sleep and poop) in space. Minus the zero gravity, of course. Took photos but they all came out too blue cos of the lighting. Did you know that Malaysia has their own, real-life astronaut? So jealous! Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is an orthopaedic surgeon who went to the ISS in 2007 on board a Russian Spacecraft. He went there through a special agreement with Russia. He even used his time in space to study live cell cultures.

I also read somewhere on the internet that this Malaysian astronaut is also a part time model. So much cool for one person.
The special Batik that Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor wore in space (while doing his experiments on cancer and leukaemia cells) was on display.

To know more about Batik, click here. How do they eat in space? Astronauts get specially packed food for their journey. Being Malaysian, Shukor brought some delicacies from his country to share with the other astronauts such as chicken satay.

What’s for lunch?

Shukor also celebrated Eid in space – one of the most important holidays for Muslims. It is important for them to pray 5 times per day and prayer is done by bending down and placing your head, knees and hands on the floor towards the direction of Mecca – which can be very hard if you’re floating. Right? So the Islamic Council had to draw up a manual for him on how he can follow his religion while in the ISS.

One of the devices used to train Shukor was also on display. But we weren’t allowed to try it out. 😛
There was also a model of a Viking Rocket Engine…
… and various spacecraft.

All in all, it was pretty enjoyable and we’re pretty sure that kids will love it there. As for adults, unless you’re a hardcore space fan, it might not be as thrilling as it was for us but it’s a good way to spend your afternoon and refresh your knowledge about the universe. 😉 Planetarium Negara is located at: Jalan Perdana Tasik Perdana 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia For a map to the place, click here. Entrance is free. Love, Carol