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2D1N Itinerary@Genting Highlands, Malaysia (2022 Update!)

Can you believe it has been four years since my last trip to Genting Highlands (excluding visits for work)? But then again, the last two years since the pandemic started have felt like a waking dream, so…yeah.

With that said, I think it’s high time for an update! A lot has changed in Genting since my 2018 visit (read my first 2D1N Itinerary post here), most notably the opening of SkyWorlds, a new outdoor amusement park, as well as dozens of cool restaurants and entertainment centres.

Buttttt we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, so let’s rewind a little bit.

It was a long weekend and I got a free room at First World Hotel, courtesy of a relative. It’s been ages since I’ve had a vacation (since before the pandemic, actually) – so even though it was ‘just’ Genting, I was super excited for the trip. The last time I went to Genting it was via bus from KL Sentral, but I’m officially too old for that these days (by that I mean travelling in public transport lol), so we rented a cab instead. Our cab for four cost us about RM30 each.

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You can choose to have the cab ferry you straight up to the resort, but I wanted to visit the Chin Swee Cave Temples which is mid-way up the mountain, so I told the driver to drop the Hubs and I off at Genting Highlands Premium Outlet instead. If you’re keen on buying branded goods from names like Coach, Armani, Burberry, and Michael Kors at discounted prices, then you might want to spend some time here.

We made a beeline for the cable car station. Tickets are priced at RM10 for a one way trip.

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We made a pitstop at the Chin Swee Cave Temples, where you can stop to explore the temple at no additional cost. Opened in 1994, the temple sits on forested land donated by the founder of Resorts World Genting, Lim Goh Tong. Combining Chinese Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, the temple is dedicated to Qingshui (Chin Swee in Hokkien), a deity in China’s Fujian province, Lim’s hometown. If you’re here on a sunny day, the temple affords panoramic views of the surrounding mountains as well as the base of Genting. To be perfectly candid, the sight of the towering skyscrapers (read: luxury holiday ‘condos’) mars the beauty of the area’s natural surroundings. But I guess that’s development for you.

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The temple is great for photo enthusiasts, thanks to its vibrant colours and beautiful architecture. Look out for the giant stone Buddha which sits against a backdrop of lush greenery.

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Another interesting highlight here is the ‘Journey to Enlightenment’ section, which is not quite accurately named as it’s more a journey through hell lolol. It basically depicts the various hells in Chinese/Taoist belief, and features some pretty gruesome statues ala Singapore’s Haw Par Villa.

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The temple’s pagoda is great for photography, seemingly ‘floating’ above the mountains and clouds when taken from certain angles.

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The story of the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) is carved into stone tablets near a section of the temple made to look like Flower Mountain, the legendary mountain where the deity is believed to have made his abode.
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Statues of the 18 Lohan, which in Chinese Buddhist belief were the 18 original followers of Gautama Buddha. Kinda like the Apostles were to Jesus, I guess.
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While the temple has not changed much since my last visit, there are a couple of additions.

There are now a couple of stalls next to the pagoda selling snacks and tidbits; the Hubs and I had some curry fishballs which was perfect in the chilly weather (it was pretty cold, despite the sun). Another fun fact: this temple is home to a Starbucks, which opened in 2019. It’s right underneath the shops near the pagoda, and offers scenic views of the mountains as well as the temple through the cafe’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Who says religion, culture, commercialization and capitalism can’t coexist peacefully? (Unfortunately we could not pop into the store as we were pressed for time).

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Continuing our cable car journey, we were fortunate to ride on a glass bottom gondola. Typically you’d have to pay RM16 for this, but the guy at the station allowed us to board this, so. Yay! The Hubs wasn’t thrilled though, and clutched me with sweaty hands with an increasingly stronger grip until we arrived at our destination.

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Resorts World Genting is a massive labyrinth of buildlings sprawled across a large area; so it was a long walk from the new SkyAvenue Shopping Centre to the First World Hotel Complex, where we were staying for the night. While many parts of the hotel have been renovated, the lobby has been virtually unchanged for decades – I still have photos of me as a kid in this sparkly tree corridor, so it was nostalgic to see it again.

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Our room was in the new wing, but we didn’t manage to get mountain views since it was sandwiched between corridors. No photo of the room because it was super ordinary – basically a bed with a TV – but here’s a photo of the exterior.

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Now we come to the fun part: what is there to do in Genting?

The main attraction is, of course, the Genting SkyWorlds outdoor theme park, which opened its doors to the public just a few months ago, after a four year delay. The old outdoor theme park closed in 2013 (which means that the outdoor theme park was effectively closed for a decade). There was supposed to be a deal with 20th Century Fox to have a movie inspired theme park with rides from well known films, but they ran into licensing issues. What followed was a pretty nasty spate and several lawsuits, but they eventually settled with Fox granting Genting the rights to use their intellectual property for certain rides and sections. They still couldn’t call it Fox theme park though, so it was renamed SkyWorlds.

The park has nine ‘worlds’, and I can tell from the layout that its similar to the themed areas in places like Universal Studios and Disneyland. If I was a couple of years younger, I think I’d give the place a go, but I’m much older now and my heart can’t suffer from extreme excitement anymore lol. That, and the entry tickets cost close to RM200. But if you’re an adrenaline junkie, I think this would be a great place to spend your day at!

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Aside from the outdoor theme park, Resorts World Genting is also home to an indoor amusement park called Skytropolis. The rides are similar to what you might get at a funfair or carnival, albeit bigger and fancier. Unlimited rides cost RM90 per adult, but you can also choose to pay per ride. In total, there are about 20 rides that you can go on, including a rollercoaster, a pirate ship, a tomahawk thing that flips you upside down, a ferris wheel, and more.

I really like the design at Skytropolis, especially the neon pillars and the large digital screen on the ceilling which emulates clouds. It feels like a futuristic, cyberpunk world; like a place you can escape to for a couple of hours, indulge in entertainment, and just forget your worries for abit.

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The Hubs does not like fast rides, so I ended up riding the spinny thing on the right. It’s not too crazy, but is just fast enough to get the adrenaline pumping. Excitement in measured doses is the way to go for someone in their 30s, lol.

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We spent most of our time at the arcade upstairs, which has a decent selection of shooter games. RM30 netted us a complete playthrough of Jurassic Park. There are classic carnival games to play here too, where you stand a chance to walk away with giant stuffed toys.

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Of course, one does not come to Genting and not indulge in their lifestyle offerings, ie food, some of which are only available exclusively. Dinner was at Tampopo, a Japanese restaurant specializing in ramen. The Hubs and I shared a miso ramen, which had al dente noodles swimming in a rich and thick broth, topped with bamboo shoots and a half boiled egg. We also got crispy tempura, lightly battered and fried to golden perfection, and juicy chicken gyozas. If you’re in the mood for Japanese, Tampopo is a good choice. Course, most of everything in Genting is pretty pricey, but that’s to be expected if you’re coming here for a night’s stay – unless you’re okay with eating instant noodles or fast food.

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Highline is an area with a bunch of trendy bars and drinking spots. It is extremely lively at night, with each bar blasting live music, DJs spinning turntables and bands performing.

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We ended up heading up the escalator at Highline to a viewing platform, which imo, is the best spot in Genting. It’s cold and breezy up there at night, and you can see the entire theme park lit up with lights. It’s too bad they don’t have seats, because I’d bring a cup of Maggi + a packet of chips, and just sit there snacking and chatting with the Hubs.

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And finally, before we left Genting the next day, we stopped at the famed Five Guys for lunch. You can read the full review here.

Not pictured: We spent some time at the casino, because the Hubs has never been and he wanted to experience what it was like. It was crowded af on a Friday evening because apparently there was some oldies concert going on, and there were a lot of elderly folk. I think the last time I came here, there was a no smoking rule, but this seems to have gone out the window, as the casino stank to high heaven of cigarettes – pretty unpleasant. We weren’t in there for too long, but I still ended up losing close to 200 bucks on the slot machine. 😦

As they say, house always wins.

And that was our 2D1N itinerary to Genting! As you can probably tell, there’s a lot to do besides gambling – you can eat, shop, watch movies, explore the theme park, play at the arcade, and much, much more. Genting has really invested in making the resort a lifestyle destination, moving away from its ‘gambling’ image (although it’s still an integral part of the money-making machine – judging from the crowds). I think it’s a good place for a day trip or weekend getaway that’s not too far from the city.

Okay Genting.

See you again in four years?

Weekend Wanders: Revisiting SkyAvenue @ Genting Highlands

Even though Genting Highlands is a short one hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, part of the reason why I don’t go up often is because the roads are windy and I get terrible headaches, especially with my dad driving LOL. But it sure doesn’t stop the millions of visitors who throng the mountain top entertainment hub each year to enjoy the cooling weather.

While the name Genting used to be associated with casinos and gambling, they’ve done a pretty good job at branding themselves in recent years as a more family-centric destination, with shopping, exclusive F&B brands and the upcoming FOX theme park (scheduled to open in 2018).

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It’s already been a year since I last visited Sky Avenue, GH’s lifestyle mall, when I went up for a media review of their restaurants, Burger & Lobster, Motorino and Cafes Richard. It was pretty empty back then; the concourse area wasn’t even open.

Since then, the mall has welcomed a over 70+ tenants, from F&B outlets to clothing and luxury goods, as well as entertainment outlets, gaming centres, members club, casino, and more.

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The concourse area is where the mall stages an impressive light show every hour, featuring balls of light that bob up and down in rhythmic patterns, accompanied by music. It’s called the Sky Symphony. Video below:

Bubble lights

A post shared by erisgoesto (@erisgoesto) on

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Wandered around the mall and came across a family entertainment centre. There was a playground for the kids complete with animatronic dinos, train rides, vending machines, and a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum.

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The parents can probably enjoy a nice relaxing massage / fish spa while the kids have fun.

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Then Pops and the Bro went to play slot machines, while the Moomikins and I went shopping at Padini. My worries about the place having higher prices was unfounded; prices are standard, and they have a nice selection of clothes too.

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Cute outfit. Too bad I’m broke af atm.

Tbh, there wasn’t much to do apart from shopping since I don’t gamble and the theme park isn’t open yet. It didn’t feel much different from a mall down in KL, since you only get to feel the fog and cold weather when you step outside. We thought lunch at the food court-esque Malaysian Food Street would be cheaper, but the Roti Canai costs RM14!?????? Probably targeted at the foreign tourists, but come on… seven times the price is too much. I’d rather pay that amount for a meal at a nice Japanese restaurant.

There also seems to be a lack of seats. They probably want you to walk around or pop into a cafe so that you’ll spend more money.. Moomikins and I ended up sitting on the floor (we weren’t the only ones) while waiting for my dad and bro to finish their casino session. (they won seven bucks. still not enough to buy that roti canai).

Welp. Just a quick update on a weekend trip up to Genting! I’m actually looking forward to the theme park opening. Til then.

 

 

 

 

Travel Diaries – Genting Outdoor Theme Park

Every kid my age must remember growing up to at least ONE visit to this iconic theme Malaysian theme park : Genting! It has been 8 years since my last visit. Went up with the fam over a weekend. I was really excited coz I needed the holiday to escape from mounting stress at work. x__x Also coz they were revamping the place so it was a timely excursion before they shut it down for a couple of years. Apparently they’re building a FOX theme park here!

To those who don’t know, Genting Highlands is a theme park atop the mountains of Pahang, about an hour’s drive from KL. Going up with a car can be really taxing for the engine, so some people take the bus/taxi up or the cable car. Recently there was a huge bus crash here – a bus driver lost control of the vehicle and it plunged down the ravine.. more than 2/3 of the passengers died. So I’ve officially sworn off taking the bus up here even if it means taxis are more expensive lul.

Apart from the theme park(s) (there’s an indoor one too), what Genting is most famous for is definitely their casinos. But more of that in another post.

The weather was absolutely lovely. Bright, clear but cold. Reminded me of English summers.Despite being a weekday, there weren’t many people – probably coz we caught the place in it’s last legs – they’re closing it down soon for renovations. Most of the rides have been there for ages.  The place recently celebrated it’s 48th anniversary, so you can imagine how old it is. The entry for both outdoor and indoor was RM70 (pretty pricey! Considering that they closed down most of the rides already. The price we paid was purely for ‘nostalgic purposes’, imo.  :x)

This was probably the last time I would get to ride on these creaky old attractions. They were REALLY old. I don’t remember them being so forlorn and worn down from my last visit. The mechatronics made screechy metal noises, like they’d fall apart at any minute. It’s sad that this once most-sought after theme park has fallen to this dilapidated state, while everyone else goes for newer attractions. Good thing that they’re revamping it then!

On the Ferris wheel! Moo was absolutely terrified of heights, she closed her eyes through the entire 10 minute ride lol.

Wei, pops and I went on the ‘Space Shuttle’ ride (right). Which is basically a really tall tower-like structure where guests are strapped in, taken up about a 100 feet and plunged down at high speeds. The ride slowly takes you up and suspends you there for a few seconds before taking the plunge, whereby your butt literally flies off the seat. So awesome.

Nearby Dino Park was still open, but badly maintained. The river was dirty and had clumps of i-dont-even-know-what floating in them. The dinosaur animatronics were creaky, and I think T-Rex had an exposed robotic claw, with skin peeling off it’s sides. Also their roars were not synchronised with jaw movement, so it seemed as if it was roaring with it’s mouth closed lol.

One of the worst rides was probably the ‘haunted house’. A complete RIPOFF. They should just call it ‘Dark house’ coz you couldn’t see shit inside. It was dank, smelly and there wasn’t even a fake mechanical ghost to pop out at us.

Another thing that was still open was the bumper boats and boat rides where you have to pedal to make it move. Didn’t go on those coz didn’t bring change of clothes in case we got wet.We also went on the roller coaster ride, which was a lamefest as well. Idk if it’s coz I’ve been to the ones in UK and Disneyland, so the local ones are unexciting in comparison.

Overall I was rather disappointed with the outdoor theme park. It brings back a sense of nostalgia, but they’re definitely not up to grade for today. Most of the rides were squeaky and looked like they had since the 1970s, some were closed for maintenance. It’s just sad to see such a nice theme park that used to be so grand in such a dilapidated state. Oh well. Hope the renovations are for the better!

Macau Day 3 – Home

Really sorry for the lack of updates.. been sooo lazy lately and no mood to blog ^^ Busy gaming and reading Ranma (407 chapters! And I’m only at 50, lol). It seems not many people visit this blog anyway.

This is my third post about Macau, so enjoy!

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Woke up a little later on the last day of our visit to Macau island. Flight would be in the evening so we decided to do some more sightseeing.Walked around to this temple/monastery near our hotel and took a few pix, then walked back to the hotel again. Lol

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The famed casino in Macau : the Venetian!
Wanting to save on taxi money, we foolishly decided to walk to the place, since our hotel’s pretty receptionist told us we could get there on foot.
OMG it was so frickin’ far! We walked for over half an hour, until our legs nearly broke. Lol.
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We finally made it!
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The Venetian is a 5 star hotel/casino/shopping centre and it is themed on Venice and European grandiose. The interior is decorated with mock buildings in an old European style.
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Quaint lamps decorating a ‘street’.
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The whole ceiling was painted to resemble a blue sky with white clouds. They also have deep blue water canals where gondoliers will take you around and sing, just like in Venice (for a price, of course).
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The mock buildings were really beautiful and elaborate. Makes me want to go see the real Venice!
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Bro remembering his gf back in Malaysia and acting emo… just kidding he doesn’t have one
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Soaring columns of gold in the shopping center. Felt like I was in a palace or something!
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Pinocchio puppet. It looked so life like with its intricate costume and beady eyes that seem to look at you.
They had this whole shop selling dolls such as these with costumes straight out of the renaissance era. They also sold beautiful masks of gold, silver and every colour imaginable, such as those you see in movies and costume parties. The mysterious stranger with the mask asks the heroine for a dance.
I couldn’t take pictures though because the salesperson shooed me away (rather rudely) when they saw me trying to.
The sight was so beautiful and mysterious: all those lovely masks arranged neatly on the wall, of every shape and colour and hues imaginable.
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A gondolier on his rounds
And man, can these guys really sing ! With their soprano voices that ring clear and loud, the whole stretch down the canal could hear their melodic voices.
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Souvenirs on sale
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Ceiling with beautiful paintings. Bro was like ‘Yer why so many naked people one’ lol.
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Even the toilet was super grand
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One of the gondoliers was kind enough to pose for me, but it was hard to get a good shot becoz the boat was moving and my camera sucks and the light was bad. T__T
But OMG the guy was like, SUPER HOTTTT!
Dark hair, fair skin, dark dark eyes, deep soprano voice. (not to mention hot bod and muscular arms ;P)
Even hotter than jared leto if i may say so… *nah, jared’s always the hottest * ^^
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Time for lunch! There’s this famous row of shops here that sells good food. I think it was called Rio de Cunha, or something along those lines. Road names here are a mouthful.
Nothing like a piping hot, fresh out of the oven glazed egg tart on a cold day!
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The lane that sells so many goodies and delectables. I wish I could’ve tried every shop ( and regret it later when I tip the scales) but even the glutton-est part of me could’nt stuff so much in one day. There was just too many to choose from.
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My last ever pork chop bun here.
*sobs*
I’ve fallen in love with you, pork chop bun !
When will I ever see or taste you again?
T__T
And so, ends my holiday. I enjoyed it, short though it was. 😀