Early to rise today. Well, early enough for a holiday. We breakfasted and applied our sunscreen cream, as per usual, before meeting the bus service in the lobby to be taken to our tour departure point. Today was our first full-day guided tour and it was to be of the Genting Highlands.
What is it? A resort world at the top of the Titiwangsa mountain range.
Location: 50 km north east of the centre of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Age: Originally established in 1965, there have been constant developments and expansions since then. The newest is to be opened in 2016, Fox Outdoor Theme Park.
Why is it special? It hosts Malaysia’s only casino. Until 2005 the First World Hotel in this integrated resort was the largest hotel in the world. It has an indoor theme park, outdoor theme park, Snow World, a multitude of resorts to stay in. It is also ‘cold’ here, depending on the cloud cover. On a clear day you can see Kuala Lumpur from the windows, vice versa from Kuala Lumpur outskirts you can see the Highlands.
We knew prior to booking the tour that Outdoor world and parts of Indoor World would not be accessible. However, I had heard good things and we were both interested to see if there were any ‘rural’ Malay sites on the trip. On our drive up the mountain we stopped at a Pewter Store which showcased artwork, jewellery and crockery made of Malaysia’s Pewter by their craftsmen and artisans. There were also black stones, which were native and significant to the country, much of it breathtaking to view but none enticing enough for me to purchase.
When we arrived a short half hour later at the top of the road leading up to the mountain it was a cool 22 degrees Celsius. A welcome change and so much missed, even after only a few days! The peak of Gunung Ulu Ali mountain was 6000 ft high and could be reached by a tunnel road or a cable car, the latter of which we would be taking. An incredibly long and steep 3.4 km ride over the jungle and we were in the Genting HIghlands. Such a joy to wander and wonder at all the novelties available to the short term residents who came to stay at these resorts, Gallowe and I enjoyed ourselves just by walking around and eating until it was time to take the cable car back down the mountain. I can definitely say this place would be amazing when the Fox Theme Park and Outdoor World reopen next year.
It was dinner time when we arrived home and it was a decidedly smarter affair than usual. We dressed in our nicer things and made our way down Changkat Bukit Bintang. I cannot recommend enough taking a stroll or five down this street at night. The place we chose was Opium, a Thai/ Chinese/ Myanmar fusion restaurant decorated to the theme of 1930’s China. As we dined on mind blowing food delivered in such an artistic way (ALWAYS try the Chef’s Special!), our slow steamed vegetables oozing out of a bamboo shoot onto a twice cooked fish, prawns and soft shell crab, a Chinese woman played a traditional stringed instrument I cannot recall the name of for the life of me.
Can you guess I would recommend this place in a heartbeat?
Can you guess also that I ever so enjoyed this night?