We visited the Planetarium Negara Kuala Lumpur on 3 July 2010. It was a half hour drive, so it's considered not too far away from where we live. It was near the KL Bird Park and the Lake Gardens.
Steps leading to the entrance of the National Planetarium
When we arrived, we walked up a long staircase. When we reached what we thought was the top, there was no signage informing us where the entrance was. We walked around, trying to find the entrance. Finally, I asked a school teacher who was supervising her students where the entrance was, and she pointed upwards. So, we climbed up another flight of stairs. There, the woman security guard at the bag deposit counter, asked us for our bags.
We paid RM3.00 per adult for the space movie: "Journey to the Universe", which was about to start any moment. The cashier pointed us into the direction of the theater. There was no signage telling us whether the theater was. However, when we reached what we suspected was the theater, hubby walked past it. We backtracked and found that it was locked and a sign on a metal pole was put in front of the closed doors to prevent people from going in. We thought that we were at the wrong entrance. So, we went to the toilet first. After that, I asked the cleaner in orange uniform where the theater was, and she just pointed to the front. When we got to the front, we couldn't find the door again, so I asked a security guard this time. He brought us to the entrance, but said that it's locked and that the movie has started and we were not allowed in. I told him that we had already paid for the tickets. He asked us to go back to the entrance where the ticket cashier was. So, we did. This time, she led us into the doors which were closed, which had the metal pole with a stand in front. She opened the doors and asked us to watch into the pitch black darkness to find our seats. We used our mobile phones as makeshift torchlights. We managed to grope our way in the dark and found some empty seats. They were reclining seats and we lay down looking up at the universe with it's many stars and planets above us.
Sitting inside the capsule
The "Journey to the Universe" was marvellous, despite the challenges in finding the theater, so I was thankful that we got to view the movie at all. Apparently, they started before the stated time. The children were nervous at first and E started crying. Later, they both calmed down and got to watch the 3D movie. It was a short one of 20 minutes. With the planets and stars moving, we really felt as though we were moving in space. However, I doubt that most people or students could understand the English language spoken due to the accent, speed and the high quality of the English language of the narrator.
After the movie, we spent the next 1.5 hours exploring around the area. It wasn't a large place. I found many orbs in my photos. I was surprised to find that despite being a planetarium, many things that I expected should be in a planetarium were not exhibited. The upstairs portion was under renovation. The anti-gravity room was quite interesting, though. When we stood at that part, we felt lightheaded and weightlessness.
When I went to collect my bag, I had to wake up the woman security guard behind the counter, as she had fallen asleep. Anyhow, as the children had a good time exploring the place, I will just close an eye to the inefficiency of the people working there as well as the lack of proper signages. Near the car park, we collected some giant leaves that had fallen onto the ground for some art and crafts work.