Located just an hour away from downtown Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands is a cool retreat for many locals, especially over the weekends. Many years ago, a wealthy Chinese businessman called Lim Goh Tong made a gamble to turn the then unexplored hilltop into a casino/theme park. The bet paid off, as Genting is now a popular tourist attraction and entertainment center, right in the heart of the mountains.

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There are many hotels at Genting, but the parents wanted somewhere quiet, so we stayed at the Chin Swee Cave Temple Hotel, about 10 minutes from the hill top. The hotel/temple is built into the hillside, with some parts designed to follow the natural contours of the cave.

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We entered through the back entrance, through a small shrine. The lobby is on the 12th floor.

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View from lobby. The rooms were very basic, with no TV. We had to cram into a triple room (one double, one single bed) coz they didn’t have any more rooms. Reception was bad, let alone Wifi… this is truly a place to ‘get away’ from the city.

A quick rest and shower later, we drove up to First World Plaza, which is part of Resorts World Genting at the hilltop. The theme park has been closed for renovations and will reopen sometime next year as FOX Studios (wow!). For now, guests can enjoy the busy world-themed shopping center and numerous casinos within the complex.

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Why ‘world-themed’?Well, the complex has various replicas of landmarks from around the world, such as a stage with Times Square and a statue of Liberty in the middle. Some restaurants are also surrounded by a moat, like the canals of Venice, with bridges and arches running through them.

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Food in Genting is expensive. The cheapest options are the food court on the top floor, or fast food chains such as McDonalds. I love the fried chicken from Marrybrown, which is a homegrown fast food chain. They don’t have many branches in KL, so I have to have this while in Genting! :) The chicken was fried to crispy, golden brown perfection and had salty, crunchy skin wrapped around juicy, tender and piping hot meat on the inside. The fries are well-salted, and I like that they have gravy to go with the meal. Idk why but Malaysians don’t seem to like gravy with their fried chicken. :x

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There are loads of entertainment ‘centers’ in First World Plaza. You can get on rides, such as a mini reindeer ‘coaster’ and colorful flower ships on rails that give you a birds eye view of the place. There is also a Ripley’s Museum, a haunted house, Snow World, bowling center, and numerous arcades. The prices are all jacked up. Would be a nice place for youths, but since the parents weren’t impressed, we didn’t go for anything lol.

Bought some snacks to munch on at the hotel later, then headed back.

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It rained, so the weather was really cold. Temperatures regularly dip below 12C at night, so its a nice place to sleep.

How to Get There 

From KL Sentral, there are many buses/taxis that go up to Genting, and they shouldn’t cost over RM100. The ride takes about an hour. Alternatively, you can take a cab to the Skyway (cable car station) at Gohtong Jaya and ride it up the top.