November 18, 2010

KooL in Kuala Lumpur (Part 2: Genting Highlands)

          We were supposed to start our second day in Kuala Lumpur by sneaking out of the hotel while the sun and the roosters were still experiencing REM. Unfortunately, our alarm clock wasn’t loud enough to kick us out of bed before the rest of Malaysia did. We usually rely on caffeine to shake the drowsiness away from our heads, but mild panic substituted for coffee that day.

Genting Highlands
          Resort World’s Genting Highlands was the highlight of our Saturday itinerary, so there was no way that we’ll allow ourselves to miss the 9:30 a.m. bus to the mountain resort. We took a bath as if there was a water ration and skipped breakfast in order to make it to the Pasar Seni station by 8:00 a.m. where we would be taking the LRT to Putra Gombak. Instead of taking the monorail interchange to the former, we decided to renege on our previous resolve not to take the taxi. Kuala Lumpur cab drivers are known to have Alzheimer’s disease when it comes to remembering that they have a taxi meter and that they are required to use it. As expected, our driver did not use his and just asked us to pay MYR5.00 for the 5-minute ride. Oh well…

Trouble in the Clouds

          We arrived at Putra Gombak 20 minutes before our scheduled departure. It was a good thing that we already bought our tickets a day before as the 9:30am trip appeared to have already been fully booked as early as 8:00 a.m. The bus driver seemed to be in a hurry. We left the terminal on time and sped off like crazy on the highway.

          After negotiating our way through the zigzagging road towards Genting, we finally reached the place where the passengers would board the cable cars en route to the theme park. Gin and I were very excited to board the world’s fastest cable car. Theresa, though, was less enthusiastic about it. I don’t know what prayer she may have mumbled the other night, but her wish to be spared of riding through the clouds were answered as we were informed that the cable cars were under maintenance. Bummer.

Indoor and Outdoor Theme Parks

          We were hauled to another bus that would take us to the theme park. The ride took around 20 minutes only. Upon alighting the bus, we noticed that it was much colder outside than it was in the bus! The outdoor resort was not as big as we had imagined it to be, but the indoor park, along with the highland’s row of hotels, were enormous. It was so big that it took us about 40 minutes just to find the restaurant where we were supposed to eat!

          Our MYR50 Go Genting tickets gave us an option to either have a free lunch buffet at the Coffee Terrace or have a free entrance at the outdoor resort. Since many of the blogs what we’ve visited suggested the former, we decided to appease our hunger thinking that we could still enter the outdoor theme park without making any payment.

          The endless rows of plates and pans did not disappoint us. We ate about almost every available dish from each corner that catered to a specific cuisine, missing only a few variety of sushis and, ironically, the Malaysian national dish.  After an hour of trying to gauge the capacity of our stomach, we finally waved the white flag.
          We again mimicked a lost hamster by going about aimlessly through the maze of halls and escalators towards the indoor theme park. Gin and Theresa wanted to check out if there were good bargains at some shops that sell signature items. Except for the MYR80 Diesel sandals that we saw earlier, there weren’t any good finds that could’ve graced our e-bay page.

Go Genting Boo Boo

          After circling the indoor resort, we decided to savor the cool Genting Highland breeze by strolling around the outdoor theme park. However, much to our surprise, we found out that we have to pay for an entrance fee! We thought all the while that we could freely roam around in any and every corner of the complex upon the mistaken impression that the stub or option was for the rides and not for the entrance. Had we been better informed, we would’ve definitely chosen the free outdoor theme park stub of our Go Genting tickets instead of the free lunch buffet! As the tickets cost MYR50, we decided to just go back to the city and scour through bargains at Chinatown.

          Before we boarded the bus to KL Sentral, we decided to fill our tanks with a few ml of caffeine. Gin and I have always talked about visiting a Starbucks branch in each and every country that we’ll find ourselves in. Lucky for me, it was Gin’s turn to pick up the tab. Our three venti mocha fraps cost her around MYR50 or Php700. Ouch! :)

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