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Monday, September 24, 2012

Virgin Trip To The Genting Highlands: Day 2

Ah, the lovely thing about waking up in the morning on a mountaintop is the fresh air and cool weather, which are things I'm gonna miss after we leave the Genting Highlands later in the day. Now that I'm done showering, which is something I always do when I wake up, it's time to head out for breakfast.


My Lioness and me have no pre-determined plan as to where we should have our breakfast this morning and that won't be a problem at all, considering there are lots of eateries and restaurants all over the shopping mall.

We are walking around randomly and we see this Chinese restaurant called 'Shanghai 10' in front of us. Checking out the restaurant's menu placed at the entrance, we decide to try out the Dim Sum here for our breakfast, so off inside the restaurant we go.

Om Nom Nom moments later..

The Dim Sum here is ok, it doesn't taste any much different from any other typical Dim Sum place even from those back on home ground. With tummies filled, it's time for the both of us to go for a stroll outside and check out the famous outdoor theme park on this clear morning with great outdoor visibility.


I was hoping the mountaintop weather today would be cold but to my slight dismay, it's only cooling today. Even so, I'm telling myself that I'd rather have the current weather temperature condition any day than the hot and humid crap that tries to pass itself off as weather we have back home on ground level.

So quit the dismay, self, and consider yourself fortunate that you're on top of a mountain now enjoying the escapade from sweltering and stifling humidity that you will have to face again later in the day as you descend towards sea-level on your return journey home.

It would have been nice if the heavy mountain mist from yesterday was still around today for the continued Silent Hill touch, but the advantage with its absence is the perfect visibility range for terrain photo shots that I can have the opportunity to take later.

As for the outdoor theme park, some of its areas are actually undergoing renovation works and therefore, some of the rides and stations have been put on temporary hold for the time being and are currently not in operation.

However, what seems to be the most adrenaline-inducing station amongst all the stations still operating (judging by the fact that it's the only apparent source of velocity-induced loud terrified screams mixed with thrilled excitement) is this roller coaster-like ride where peeps are 'seated' not in the conventional seating position but instead, in the odd belly-downwards horizontally-suspended position.

Yup, it's the photo on the left of this paragraph there and you can spot the peeps riding it horizontally just below the middle and towards the right portion of the photo. I can imagine how being suspended horizontally belly-downwards like that makes productive use of gravity to facilitate the outpouring of torrents of puke in a more efficient manner. Physics done right. But brrrrr, no way are we gonna hop on this one and thankfully, I don't see cascading streams of mid-digested breakfast.

We've been considering all these while whether we should take the shuttle service to the strawberry park as well as the 煮炒 restaurant area that my nephew recommended to us, both place located just a short distance further down the mountain. We decided to drop the idea because even if we tried, it would have been too rushed for us to enjoy ourselves properly before we needed to hustle back on the double to catch the coach for our return trip later.

Given our situation, I suppose you probably need to have at least a 2 nights stay here at the Genting Highlands if you wish to enjoy at your own comfortable pace every location of tourist interest here. There is nothing else here at the outdoor theme park that interests us and after some more leisurely walk around the area, we decide to head back to our hotel room to pack up while the still on-going screams from the monstrous structure at the theme park trails off behind us.

Back at the hotel

Emerging from the lift on the 11th floor of the hotel where our room is situated, I stop in my tracks at the big window at the lift lobby while I whip out my phone. On this day with clear visibility, as opposed to yesterday when the mountain was enshrouded in heavy mist, I now have a far and elevated line-of-sight to take a photo of the mountainous terrain before me.

Studying the expansiveness of the terrain from my bird's eye view, it hits me once again just how gargantuan in scale Malaysia is. I actually expected to be able to spot lots of buildings and obvious landscape and structures of modern civilisation off in the horizon but man, am I blown away.. As evident in the photo, except for a thin horizontal stretch of man-made structures that you can spot if you zoom in on the photo, and except for the immediate vicinity around the hotel, natural mountainous terrain stretches allllllll the way to the edge of the far horizon as far as the eye can see.

I think there ought to be pockets of buildings nestled in-between the bases of the far off hills and mountains hidden from my view but still, the wow factor is there for me when it comes to nature on a grand scale like this. Every time Mother Nature makes me feel small and minute, she earns my respect and reminds me of the awesomeness of the Creator. Malaysia has its own natural resources and land is certainly one of them.

It's time to retrieve my mind back from the horizon and go back on micro mode as we walk back to our hotel room to pack up and prepare to make the journey back south towards home.

My Lioness spills the beans

Lugging our packed luggage out of the hotel and proceeding towards the coach depot area, we figure there is still enough time for us to relax and have a drink at the Starbucks here. This is the moment I've been waiting for, as my Lioness told me yesterday that she will reveal to me what actually happened in our hotel room that sapped the colours from her face once we have checked out from the hotel.

I wanted her to take her own comfortable time and pace to reveal to me and now that we are making our way to Starbucks and won't be going back to the hotel room anymore, she suddenly turns to me and says: "你知道昨天在我们房间到底发生了什么事吗?" Oh goody, just like having waited a long time in the theatre for the stage curtains to start getting drawn back so that the show can begin, my long-suppressed anticipation is giving way to excitement as she continues: "我现在可以给你揭秘了."

This was what happened according to her:

When we checked in to our hotel room yesterday, we opened the windows to let in the cool natural air from outside to freshen up and cool the room, considering there are no air-conditioners in First World Hotel's rooms; not like there's a need for them anyway on top of a mountain when the temperature ranges between cooling during the day to cold during the night. There's a ceiling fan though.

Next, I went to take a shower while my Lioness was resting on the bed. When I was done with my shower and came out of the bathroom, I noticed that the windows were closed and the curtains were drawn while my Lioness' face was all pale. Even though she smiled at me, I discerned an uncomfortable uneasiness behind her smile.

According to her, when I went into the bathroom earlier and right at the very second when I closed the bathroom door, from outside our 11th storey room's window, a woman's voice started singing and repeating a particular verse from some old Mandarin song. The same verse was repeatedly sung over and over and over again ad nauseam and it stopped abruptly right at the very second when I opened the bathroom door after I was done with my shower.

Questions, questions and more questions. Questions like: How her voice sounded like (rather lethargic and lacking in energy), whether it came from another hotel room (my Lioness couldn't tell but it was really close by from outside our window but who would continue to loop only a particular section of a song non-stop instead of playing a song in its entirety in a hotel room?). And why did its timing and duration coincide to the dot with my time and duration in the bathroom?

I don't have the concrete answers of course but my Lioness thought: "也许你杀气够重, 所以当你不在场的时候, 它才敢比较这么的明显暴露自己吧?"

So my Lioness thinks that it was probably because of my vibes that the 'entity' only exposed itself in such an aurally obvious manner when my presence wasn't around in the immediate area - which means my Lioness is inclined towards the thought that the incident was a spiritual encounter. She went to close the windows and she drew the curtains - but not before she actually popped her head out one of the windows to see if she could spot anything out of the ordinary. Gosh..

Trouble was, albeit muffled, she could still hear the singing coming from outside even with the windows closed and the curtains drawn. Like I've said above, it only stopped when I opened the bathroom door.

Anyway, whatever it was, I took a photo from right where the hotel room's windows were earlier before we checked out. The photo shows the exact view of what's directly just outside the windows. Gimme a holler if you happen to spot anything out of the ordinary:

Leaving Genting

Having processed for our return trip at the Five Stars Tours booth within the coach depot area, we are now twiddling our thumbs while waiting for the coach we've been assigned to to arrive. There's a big crowd here as you can tell from the photo there. Well, it's a Monday, so the folks here are the accumulation of the peak weekend crowd now heading off. I sure hope none of them are heading home penniless from gambling sprees at the casino.

After some waiting, our double-deck coach finally arrives. As is customary for me whenever I'm leaving a place with cool or cold weather, I begin to take a moment for a deliberate deep breath of the cool air while the pores on my body feel the cool sensation of the atmosphere in an extra mindful way before I enter the coach. My Lioness and me take our seats at the upper deck where we can have a better view of the scenery outside.

A while later after everyone has entered the coach and settled down, the driver shuts the coach door and I bid sayonara to the lovely atmosphere and weather outside. I'm finding the thought of the humidity waiting for us at the base of the mountain particularly irksome and loathsome.

Stopover for Ipoh snacks

After some time cruising along the highway, the coach turns into an area comprising of small warehouses and shophouses. We alight from the coach and are being directed towards this shop selling Ipoh snacks and goodies like the famous Ipoh white coffee.

Not being a snacks person, after a cursory look at the merchandise in the shop, I went outside to check out the immediate vicinity and warehouses. I wonder why I'm always glancing back at our coach this time to make sure it's still where it is.

Done with my little discovery trip of the warehouses and shophouses outside, I am now back inside the shop selling Ipoh snacks, helping my Lioness carry her purchases and the both of us head back to the tour coach. When everyone else has come back, the driver revs the engine and our fleet of tour coaches begin to head back to the highway to continue our journey south.

I figure it ought to be late afternoon or early evening by the time we reach Yong Peng later, which is where we are now heading towards.

Back at Yong Peng

Sure enough, now that we have reached Yong Peng again, the late afternoon is already starting to give way to early evening. The timing dictates that we have to have an early dinner here now or we could only do so at night back on home ground, considering there will be no more rest point stopovers after Yong Peng and the remaining distance of the rest of the journey home from here is still a rather lenghthy one. I do not know how accurate I am in saying this but Yong Peng to me is the midpoint of the entire journey.

Remembering the rather awful lunch I had here yesterday, I gave the same stall that sold me lunch yesterday a wide berth and decided to try some hot plate noodles from another stall instead. Hmm, it looks like even though my noodles dinner tastes more palatable than yesterday's lunch, it's nothing to write home about. In fact, it's actually below average according to my taste buds.

The driver is giving us about an hour's time for our free & easy dinner and we figure we'll have enough time to walk around Yong Peng a bit after we eat, probably getting some snacks or dessert from the outdoor stalls outside later. After that, it will be a one straight ride further south till we get to the customs and cross over the causeway back to home ground. From there, once our coach reaches back to the same premise where it picked us up for our trip to Genting yesterday, my Lioness and me can just walk a short distance home from there.

Concluding Thoughts

So, will I recommend anyone to go for a trip to the Genting Highlands? I will, if the following 2 conditions are met:

  • The person I'm recommending Genting to is not a gambler - that's despite the fact that the casino there is the focal point of tourist attraction. I just don't want anyone's blood on my hands. There are the indoor and outdoor theme parks and the lovely weather one can enjoy instead.

  • The person I'm recommending Genting to is either looking for a short 2 or 2-and-a-half days getaway, or a stopover before going someplace else in Malaysia like Kuala Lumpur, for example.

For my Lioness and myself, we might go back there again to visit the places we've missed, like the strawberry park, for example, if an opportunity presents itself again. That being said, I don't think we will make a deliberate special effort to rearrange for another trip just to go back there. Instead, it ought to be a very casual decision or just a 'along the way' plan if we should go back to the Genting Highlands again in the future.

Thanks for having sticked with our 2 days Genting trip blog entries thus far, dear gentle reader. Should you plan to make a trip there yourself, may I suggest that you close the windows and draw the curtains in your hotel room before the sun goes down.

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