Our Malaysia Trip…Genting highlands

We had been planning this trip since last 4 years but it could never happen. Every time due to some reason or the other either the bookings could not take place or if that happened they had to be cancelled for some reason or the other. So till we boarded the flight, we could not be sure that this trip was actually happening! But it did and we finally reached Malaysia!!! As we entered the Kuala Lumpur Terminal, there were n number of officials lined up wearing masks and scrutinizing us for any symptoms of H1N1 and it did jitter me a little coz it seemed stricter than the routine security checks on our airports. Well crossing that hurdle with strange people staring right into you with absolutely rude faces, we were lost looking for our way. The direction boards are confusing and most of them using malay adds to the difficulty. It was at the airport itself that I got a sense of unhospitability in the people be it the airport staff or the sales people at the duty free shops.

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We figured the way out and reached the monorail as we realized that all the co-passengers were boarding the same. As the monorail sped out of this terminal…it was a delightful sight.

The airport has two terminals far across from each other and it is the monorail that carries passengers from one terminal to the other. So as we moved from terminal one, the monorail crossed the sparkling runways mid air. It was a sight to see. Two airport terminals, run ways,traffic control tower, monorail and lush greenery of rubber plantations surrounding all of this….a lethal combination of technology and natural beauty. I was delighted and thrilled and felt ashamed deep inside for the condition of our airports.

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We reached the other terminal, where we went in for the immigration check and all other formalities. The airport did impress me because of its hugeness as well. The waiting time spans just a few- few minutes be it the immigration counter, money exchanger, conveyor belt….anywhere. I never felt I had to wait anywhere!! Coz we are used to standing in loooong queues… Everything is done so swiftly and is so well managed. They have so may counters and facilities and so much of space that it seems so empty. You feel as if there are only 8-10 people around who are queuing up behind you for the immigration check and the rest have just vanished! Their conveyor belt system was great with luggage being placed on it smoothly and very very efficiently. It was later that I came to know that it has the world’s tallest air-traffic control tower and the longest baggage conveyor belt system. It is truly a world class airport.

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Our travel agent was waiting in the lounge area and he further guided us on our 4 day trip to the country and handed over the necessary papers. From the airport we boarded a bus for KL city. Like in most other countries, this airport too was located outside the main city ie Sepang and it took us one hour to reach KL City. On the way we had our first glimpse of the Petronas Towers.At the destination, we were picked up by a driver who took us to Genting which is an hill station- one hour drive from KL. It does sound exhausting but we weren’t exhausted. We couldn’t take our eyes off the view. Well the truth is that Malaysia does not have any exceptional natural beauty which our country doesn’t have. Its all about how well it is being maintained. Maintenance and appropriate use of technology changes the whole picture. Roads are well maintained and spic clean. Flora has been meticulously planted where a row of smaller size tress are followed by bigger ones and then the denser ones. On the road dividers only shrubs are planted so that signals are clearly visible from afar. All of this is nonetheless but pleasing to the eyes. For them speed-breakers imply laying narrow wooden planks on the road that actually decelerate the speed rather than the jerkful ones that we are used to!!

I was amazed to see 4 lane and wide roads carved out in mountains. I need to mention that during my 4 day stay there, I did not hear people honking on the road, nor anyone overtaking other vehicles the wrong way. People there have an amazing road sense.I actually loved the road journeys in the country so I can just go on talking about it!!! After all this road appreciation we finaaaally reached Genting Highlands.

Our Cab Driver dropped us infront of a shopping mall and gave us the passes for the ropeway and told us that we would meet us at the other end of the ropeway along with our luggage. We went ahead and occupied a brightly coloured gondola. The Genting ropeway is known to be the world’s longest and fastes ropeway and in deed it was. As it started moving, initially it was scary.

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We were moving above thick and dense Malaysian forests!! The ropeway had poles at hills far away from each other and as we moved from one hill the rope would go steep down and it was scary. But within a few minutes we started enjoying the scenic beauty around . and yes the ropeway was reeeallly long and we were actually moving upwards. As we approached an hill, we thought it would stop but no, there was more ahead. It took us about 10-12 mins on the rope way but it was fun and exciting!!!

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Located at an altitude of 1800 meters, Genting is known as the city of entertainment. It has a theme park and the only legal casino in Malaysia. We checked in at the hotel and after a rest of about two hours headed to the Theme Park. The climate here is very unpredictable. It just rains anytime and can be a spoil- sport. The theme park shuts down and it gets realllly chilly. We had passes for the park and could be used only once so we were confused whether to go in today or postpone it for the next day as we could see the clouds rolling in. We asked the local people there about the weather but he said that it is might rain heavily or the clouds might just float past…UNPREDICTABLE!! We decided to take the risk and go in since we had a pick up to the KL City next day at noon. So we wouldn’t have much time. We went in and started enjoying the rides. The park came out to be a disappointment since most of the rides weren’t so great except a few ones.

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We chose to take up the thrilling rides first in case it rained. We had just taken 3 rides and it started pouring. And it rained like cats and dogs. The visibility came down to zero. There were clouds all over around us. Thankfully we were carrying a sweater each the bags were empty as all the pullovers were on us now. But it was of no help. It got so cold that all of us were shivering even with the sweaters on! I am someone who just makes the most out of rains but that day I was really- really irritated and pissed off coz rains was one thing that I just did not want.

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The rides were closed down and we were trying to save our selves from getting drenched. It rained for almost 2 hours.

There were lots of Indian people there. And we will be us no matter where we are!!! As we were waiting under a shelter. An Indian couple passed by enjoying the rain. And then my eyes caught that I had least expected. Both of them were wearing shower caps on their heads!!!!! OMG! Couldn’t they have a better way to protect themselves from the rain than by using shower caps stolen from the hotel!!!
Well this was not enough when I saw two very well dressed Indian men pulling out huge plastic bags (well the black garbage bags that we use!) and tore it off to cover them selves. We just couldn’t stop laughing….. makes me wonder how could they carry shower caps and plastics bags to the theme park??? The creative and the jugaadu us!!!

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The rains stopped but the clouds did buzz away. So only some of the rides were opened. The best was the Space Shot which takes you up to height of 185 feet and then with a sudden force brings you down with all the shouts and shrieks and a bizarre feeling of weightlessness. It was good fun!!

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After the outdoor theme park, we headed to the indoor theme park. The indoor theme park is built inside Hotel First World and its huge. I don’t know how to describe it. Its like a mall where you have the brands, it has mini theatres, its has pool parlours, it has innumerable video game parlours, bars, its has restaurants and in the middle of all this, it has amusement rides like bumper cars, gondolas, giant wheel, trains etc. you name anything that you would want to splurge your money on and the indoor theme park has it!!!It has Malaysia’s only legal casino and people from far away come here to gamble. I had seen casino’s only in movies before and had expected lot of noise and unruly people. But as I went inside I saw that it was quiet and all the people were seriously concentrating on the moves that they were making. I understood it was serious business for them as they were putting in huge sums of money and wanted to concentrate to choose the right numbers and moves. Huh!!

Its nice to go in there and you feel as if you are into another world where there is money flowing all around, luxury, revelry, laughter, lights, fun and frolic. For once it is good to see all that is there, the plazas,the parlours and the casino….whether you want to indulde in all that is upto you. Because everything in the indoor theme park involves play of money and is expensive.

This indoor theme park is magnificent and built in a huge expanse not only horizontically but vertically as well!! The escalators are unending. And unless you follow the direction boards you can sure to loose your way. And if you have lost your fellow members, its really difficult to find them. So its important to keep together coz we ourselves couldn’t figure out where we were and how to reach our hotel from there. The theme park is connected to all the surrounding hotels through escalators and walkways but its tricky and it can take you about 20 mins to reach the hotel.

We slept after an exhausting day and lazily woke up next morning and explored the nature around and basked under the sun enjoying the weather waiting for the cab to take us to KL. Well the skies next day were clear blue with the sun shining brightly!!

8 Comments

  • Tanya, I loved your post for its honesty! You have put words as they came to your mind, unaltered and wonderfully woven to bring out this story. Appreciate it!
    I second your thought about India and its true worth being more than what we showcase. And , cant agree more with you when you say that good use of technology, some more attention to cleanliness is what might make India much more famous among global tourists.

    We have huge population and slightly weaker system to manage that, resulting in queues and long waits. I bet no other country could manage as much as we are doing if they had the “issues” we have within the country. When I visit new places, I love it instantly. But I love India more.. It is definitely doing its best to handle everything possible :) Did I sound too patriotic? Haha!

    We love to read more from you!

  • Shweta Gupta says:

    Beautiful travelogue !I especially love the scramble in the rain part…hilarious! I can’t wait to get to Genting! I’m actually heading down Singapore via http://bit.ly/MYSing for a holiday! Hope to enjoy as well!

  • Pradeep says:

    Tanya,
    Good description of your tour.
    Thanks

  • tanya says:

    @ Patrick

    thanks for your suggestions n yeah i agree the pics havent been too good this time……

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Plain facts are easily accessible in our times of internet but personal experiences and observations is what make a blog different and immensely enjoyable. Even though some of the pictures didnt turn out well, you compensated it with your eye for details. A more careful editing would do wonders to the post.

    We Indians preach against aping the West but the East Asians adopted their positive aspects and the result shows.

    Keep writing.

  • tanya says:

    @ nandan

    well..when m writing i need to share a lot of my experiences….otherwise the writing process doesn’t satiate me!!

    and yeah i took that off and combined the two posts into one here.

  • nandanjha says:

    there you come again, detail detail detail, what an eye. While Mahesh’s log was like lonely planet, yours reads like engaging web of experiences a traveler went to.

    Seems you took off the other story.

    right ?

  • Mahes Semwal says:

    Nice Description of KL – Airport , which I missed in my Post.

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