First time I went to Genting Highland probably about 9 years ago, I was instantly spell-bounded with its cool climate and fresh air for its location on a mountain peak (around 1860 m above the sea level). On the way up, the green forests are deployed adorning its panorama. Although the wind blew rapidly sending some shivers to the bones, cool climate never blew me away (unless it’s below 5 degree Celsius! Well, it is not called cool but freezeeeeiiinggg!!).
It’s hardly seen the Sun up there, haze would soon appear most of the day engulfing the entire landscape. To me, it was not an indefinite state at all, in fact I enjoyed every little bit of it considering that I come from a tropical land which is always enriched with the sunshine. I was told that I should bring some proper wraps or thick sweaters/jackets, well I did…but it was not thick enough, because I thought it wouldn’t be that cold. So, I was wrong and as a consequence I wore 4 layers of clothes!
To get to this magnificent land, there are three ways by cable car, taxi, or bus. The most enthralling experience I’ve ever had was when I took the cable car for the first time. The tracking from its downhill to the mountain peak is really unforgettable experience. It is proclaimed to be the highest and the longest cable car track in South Asian. So, can you imagine?
Arriving in the spot central, I was prompted to First World Hotel lobby. But actually there are 5 other hotels in that area which are managed by Resorts World Genting, they are Maxims Genting, Resort Hotel, Highlands Hotel, Theme Park Hotel, and Awana Genting Highland Golf & Country Resort. Since it was a peak season, the rooms were all fully-booked. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any room in those hotels since I didn’t make any booking. So I walked around asking some local people if there was a room for me to rent. They recommended the apartments or budget hotels nearby. The closest apartment I went was Pangsapuri Kayangan which is only a walking distance from the entertainment central. There is another apartment, Pangsapuri Ria, a bit further down next to Kayangan. According to a food stall staff there, each apartment is hosted and run by some local tenants. She gave me options to rent based on room or bed, whichever convenient to me and my budget. I looked inside the room one by one, and I found out that most guests were originated from Indonesia, Taiwan, China, India, Singapore, Philippine, and some locals. Per bed, it costs only RM10-15/day, while per room it ranges about RM40-60, depends on how many beds inside the room. There were only left bunk-beds instead of rooms, so I had no choice. Each bed was covered by a spread-sheet to maintain guest’s privacy. There was no cabinet available that I had to put my backpacks under my bed. What else can you expect from a RM10 accommodation?
The next day, I began my tour around the landmark. My friends recommended me to always bring my passport for security reasons, especially if you want to go inside the casinos. Resorts World Genting is famous for its casinos and amusement parks, but from what I see, people come there usually for its casinos.
Before entering the casinos, there was a standing banner outside the gate to notify that backpacks, cameras, and sandals are strictly prohibited inside these casinos. People above 21 y.o. are allowed to enter, except for Moslem-Malaysians. I asked one security guard if there was any locker for me to rent. He pointed several spots around the place. I went to the nearest spot which was just below the First World Cineplex. I rent one locker (RM5 per hour) to make sure that I kept my belongings in a safe place and wear proper shoes (mostly for guys). After everything in place and locked in, I entered Star World casino located inside First World.
Then I took a free shuttle bus to Highland Hotel where there were 5 big casino spots (which are open 24/7) such as International Room, Hollywood, Monte Carlo, Circus Palace, Latte. From the book I read, inside these casinos there are a total number of 3140 gaming machines and 426 table games. Whoa, sounds like Vegas, doesn’t it? I could see that people were lining up in front of the World Card Center desk. I asked one of them about what they were lining for. They said that we could apply for RW Genting membership by showing our passport to the World Card Center. When we received a membership card, we are entitled to get one free room as a complimentary (*conditions apply) just by presenting it to any hotel receptionist.
That night, after I got my membership card, I went to First World hotel to make a room reservation using the room voucher issued by the Cashier. The next morning, I checked in to a Standard Room in First World hotel. It was not bad, the room was cozy enough. After taking some rest and shower, I walked around to see what else in store there. For family vacation, there are plenty entertainments and amusement parks which are Genting Outdoor Theme Park, First World Indoor Theme Park, Arena of Stars, First World Plaza, First World Cineplex, Chin Swee Caves Temple, and many more. Inside the theme parks, I could see there were so many people from various ages and origins enjoying the adventures of Flying Coaster, Genting Sky Venture, Haunted House, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Snow World, Space Shot and so on. The RW Genting management also provide their guests a free shuttle bus which are scheduled 24/7, except for the tour to Chin Swee Caves Temple. Well, if you are interested to take the tour, you can proceed to the Information Center Desk at any hotel lobby if you have queries regarding this bus schedule and where the pick-up/drop points are, etc.
Night life in Genting is not as “cold” as its climate. For the party-goers or clubbers, there are 4 bars available namely Safari, Cloud 9, All Sports Bar, and Patio Bar & Lounge. Inside the Safari Club which is designed like an exotic jungle, guests can enjoy R&B live music with more upbeat musics played by the in-house DJ when the night is closing in. I went out to get a relaxing atmosphere in Latte cafe. From all of these places, they serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. If you are not an alcoholic drinker, you still can enjoy your night by sipping your favorite coffee from well-known cafes like Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and many others, or Tea Leaf for tea lovers. Most of them are open 24-hours every day.
Genting also serves their guests with assorted cuisines in restaurants such as Coffee Terrace (Asian and Western buffet), The Olive (Fine Dining Western cuisines), Penang Food Village (Malaysian cuisine), Genting Palace Restaurant (Cantonese cuisine), Hainan Kitchen (Hainanese cuisine), Imperial Rama (Fine Dining Thai-Chinese cuisine), VIP Restaurant (Thai-Chinese cuisine), Spice Garden (Indian cuisine), Ming Ren Restaurant (Xinjiang cuisine), and Bakery (Pastries, sandwiches & desserts). Well, there are also chain-restaurants available that your children are familiar with which are McDonald’s, KFC, Kenny Roger’s, Burger King, and Mary Brown. So many choices available that I would surely not get starved in there!
Before going back to my country, I looked around to purchase some souvenirs or gifts for my loved-ones back home. Inside First World Plaza , I found various kiosks selling merchandises with competitive prices. It was a perfect getaway for me. So, what are you waiting for? Start packing now!