Monday, 12 November 2018

A very impromptu trip to Genting Highlands, Malaysia

Nothing but clouds and mountains

The plan

Last week, when my wife told me our son's preschool was closed the coming Monday and Tuesday (over Deepavali)  I decided it was the perfect opportunity to go for a quick getaway over the weekend.

For the longest time, I had wanted to go make the road trip to Genting and experience a new environment. The hustle and bustle of Singapore often get to me sometimes, with buildings as far as the eye can see. 

A fair warning for those planning to make the journey to Genting by car, be sure to send in your vehicle for a quick check at your regular mechanic to make sure everything's is functioning well before heading off.  We found ours to have a slight water leak but thankfully it was a quick fix. Make sure your tires and brakes are in good working order. Whilst the road conditions are generally excellent with good lane markings and appropriate speed bumps, expect that your car will be stressed to a degree because of the uphill climb with various twists and turns. It's definitely not something a Singaporean driver experiences on a daily basis. Drive safe.

Arrival 

Causeway Jams are just not fun.

Our holiday started off in trying circumstances. Despite reaching the causeway at around 8:30am, we encountered the dreaded weekend jam which set us back a total of 3.5 hours. Thankfully, with a combination of pre-downloaded videos, snacks and in-house car games, we were able to keep the kids from a complete melt-down. The weather conditions weren't favorable as well. A constant downpour greeted us when we got to KL which meant even slower traffic. By the time we finally reached our hotel, we had spent a total of 10 hours in the car with 2-3 breaks in between. Needless to say, I was glad to be able to stretch my legs and enjoy the crisp mountain air that evening.  Special thanks to our family car, who handled the road journey (including the twists/turns in the mountainside) admirably.

Accommodation

A warm bed, a quiet room, and a hot shower. What more can anyone ask for?

Our accommodation in Genting was the aging Hotel Genting Amara resort. Honestly, despite all the negative reviews I've read over the internet, I found the hotel to be sufficient for my needs and keeping in line with the hotel rates that I paid. (It's relatively cheaper than most of the hotels up in the mountain resort)  Quiet clean rooms/beds/toilets with hot water together with functioning air conditioning is all one can ask at the end of the day. Breakfast was palatable with the usual mix of western and local food but nothing fancy. Service was overall so-so. The hotel staff was generally responsive when asked for help if a bit slow at times. One thing I didn't quite like was the lack of free hotel parking. Sure, the rates weren't that expensive (when compared to Singapore CBD's prices) but couldn't they give that privilege to hotel guests? 

Anyway, I digress. We spent very little time in the hotel anyway, only checking in for the afternoon 'half-time' naps and the evening slumber.

Genting Highlands

Genting's landscapes are beautiful. I got what I came for. Fresh mountain air away from the city and a chance to see endless greenery. Peace and quiet, except for the occasional high pitched laughter coming from my 2 toddler boys in the background.
An example of The 'fog'


 The cable car rides offer a breathtaking view of the mountainside and remind me that the world is so much more then what we're used to seeing in Singapore. John absolutely loves cable car rides. Oh, the strawberry farm was pretty cool as well.
A really nice trip up the mountain.
Check out my stash!


The best family photo shot for the whole trip.


Food

Food was generally above average. Thanks to our relatively cheaper accommodation, we had a lot more to spend on food and shopping. The most memorable meal was eating at Lobsters & Burger, a world-famous restaurant chain dedicated to serving the best lobsters on hand. Now, I'm not a big lobster fan, but my wife testified that the lobster served was delicious. Another highlight was eating at 'Eighteen', another restaurant located at the (you guessed it!) 18th Floor of Hotel Maxim with breathtaking views of the mountainside. However, there are many many good restaurants up there in the mountain resort with an endless variety so foodies like myself won't be disappointed.

Eating. Singaporean's favorite pastime.
Another tick off the bucket list.


Check out John's new camera pose. (I wonder where he learned it from?)


the kitchen of 'Eighteen'


Shopping

The Genting Premium Shopping Outlets offer some significant discounts on certain branded goods as my wife would testify. =p

The main shopping center up at the main resort is pricey and I wouldn't recommend shopping there. You won't get much difference in prices compared to Singapore (especially if you compare online) 

We bought some clothes and Christmas presents for our family and friends but nothing much. The main budget was spent mainly on food and amusement rides for the kids.


Check out my ride, Dad
View from the cable car.

Conclusion

Genting is a pretty nice retreat for those looking for a change in scenery. Plenty of good food, great views, cool weather, and even some shopping. Kids can occupy themselves with the various amusement rides. There's also plenty of chances for walks in the various nearby parks. (When the kids are older for sure) 







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