Gosh, it has been sometime since my last visit to Genting Highlands.
The last time I went there, was probably when I was still in Standard 3 (sometime in the 80s). I can still recall going up there with the family in my Dad’s old car one fine Saturday morning. Me and my siblings spend most of the time at the theme park and video arcades (our favorite place) whilst my Dad hopped over to the casino to try his luck. It was just a day trip – we returned in the evening.
Ever since then, I have been missing out on an opportunity to go there (yah, excuses, excuses). So when my company decided to have a company trip and annual dinner at Genting Highlands, I did not want to waste the chance and was one of the first to sign up. The offer was too good to refuse anyway. Can you imagine this? Transportation cost (from the office parking lot to Genting Skyway and from Skyway to hills and back), hotel accommodation for two people (deluxe room) and breakfast only cost me RM100.
* The view from the bus – there was less traffic on the highway and the traveling was slow but smooth. There was a pirated movie shown whilst we were traveling – it was terrible, we heard people laughing whenever something funny was shown on the movie
We were at the office, quite early – about 10.30 am due to the excitement and we do not want to be late. We left the office for Genting a bit late – at about 1.00 pm because the bus that we chartered had some difficulty locating our office. We were not worried though – our check-in time at Genting was at 3.00 pm. “Don’t worry there was plenty of time”, I keep telling myself. I was with my wife and we opted to leave our 2 year old son at home – mainly because we were worried about him catching a cold (ok, that was not the only reason but whenever he catches cold, we run through hell). The trip from the office to the Skyway station in Genting was smooth and we managed to reach it before 2.30 pm although the bus was struggling at some parts of the hill from the Genting entrance. It almost stalled at one point but our bus driver was an experienced guy and he managed to squeeze enough juice to push the bus up to the Skyway station.
* Queuing up for the cable car – it is rare to see Malaysians queuing up but then again, there was less Malaysians in the crowd. For every few seconds, a cable car reaches the station, so there was no less waiting time at the station.
The journey from the station to the hill resort took us about 20 minutes – it was fast, true to its reputation of being one of the fastest cable cars in the world (ya, Malaysian Boleh!). Despite the height, distance and the speed (don’t forget that), the cable car did not rock much and it was comfortable all the way up. As we were moving up, we could feel the cool air blowing into the cabin (as if someone switched on the air-conditioner to our faces) and the air was getting a bit thin – we had to adjust our breathing pace.
* The cable car going up from the station. It was almost looked and feels like a roller coaster with nothing much holding us except for one thick steel cable.
Our accommodation was at the First World Hotel, so there was a short walk from the Skyway station at the top to the hotel lobby. It was a good exercise though. As we were walking, we could see the roller-coaster at the outdoor theme park – we couldn’t wait to try it out tomorrow after breakfast but for now, there is only one thing in our mind – to quickly settle down in our rooms. We were tired and hungry.
* Very attractive rooms keys – what a better to promote the facilities of the hotel than having it on the hotel keys. We were tempted to walk away with one as a souvenir but did not do so (all the sudden want to be good guy pula).
When we reached the hotel lobby, there was a long queue for the check-in counters (they actually have numbering system to manage the queue but it does not seem to help much). To make it worse, there was several tours groups from China (some of the people were noisy and looks rude) & India (it was funny to see an Indian uncle casually wearing his dhoti at that cold temperature) arriving at the same time. At first, we felt daunting to be queuing up with these people but we were “saved” by a separate arrangement for group check in. We immediately went to the counter 32 and to our relief, our room keys were waiting for us and there was no need to fill up any forms.
* This TV is damn small! Just compare that with my wife’s fingers
The room was big and had a good view of the valleys below. It did not have any air conditioners – there was no necessity to have one. The room was cold enough without one. My only complaint was the size of the TV. It was too small to be viewing from the bed and it did not have any remote control (never provoke a man by having a TV without a remote control). The annual dinner was scheduled to start at about 6.30 pm, so we had about 3 hours to kill time. First thing that we did after settling down in our room was to go down and grab something for lunch. There was a good selection of fast food and restaurants but somehow was a bit pricey. We took a quick lunch and spend the rest of the time walking around and taking photos.
Genting have really changed since the time I last visited.
* The view from the room – the mist already attacking the valley. It was too cold to open the windows especially towards the evening.
Next Part 2: The “drunken” dinner
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