Monday, October 12, 2015

Missing Genting Highlands

As far as overseas travel is concerned, the past two years have been fulfilling with visits to Taiwan, South Korea, Maldives, Kota Kinabalu, Perhentian Islands, Batam Island and Bangkok.

Despite travelling quite a bit (even though they are concentrated in Asia), there are a few unforgettable places that remained etched in memory for a few reasons; those that i frequented with friends when i was younger (by that, i meant before my 30s).

One of them was Genting Highlands; as part of my very first tour package out of the country, it was also my virgin encounter with temperature below 20 degrees celcius and there's only one simple word to describe my feeling then. SHIOK ah!!! 

Since then, i frequently took the coach to the highlands and have seen its developments over the years; including the building of First World Hotel which offered incredibly cheap accommodations for poor teenagers like myself then. 

The key draw then was the indoor / outdoor theme park and back before Universal Studios Singapore was operational, this was the only decent theme park near enough for Singaporeans! As of now, redevelopment is in place for a new amusement park that is scheduled to open in another year's time! 

Blessed by clouds surrounding the hills and mountains, the scenic environment also makes the area extremely therapeutic for those seeking a quiet solace from urban life / noisy, smoky casinos. 

Raised as a Taoist / Buddhist, i am no stranger to monasteries and temples and find religious abodes a suitable place to clear one's mind. The Chin Swee Temple value adds by imposing on visitors the impression that heaven can be experienced even before we die! 

Maybe that's why most Taoist temples in China are built as high up in the mountains as possible.

At Chin Swee Temple, foreigners would also enjoy the statues on display, including those from Chinese legends and folk tales. One section even featured a 10 courts of hells; similar to the one at Haw Par Villa yet without the eeriness. 

The humongous Buddha never fails to bring me to a moment of silence when i will pray sincerely for my parents' good health, and hopefully a substantial increase to my bank account. 

Sometimes, you see foreigners doing funny things.

Yes, it is disrespectful but they don't understand our culture and it's really hilarious to see them mimicking the actions. Anyway, do climb up the 10,000 Buddhas Pagoda if you have the time, and energy.

By the way, take a copy of the "journey to the underworld" which was an interesting read for those who wants to know more about hell in the Taoist context, especially in the multi-racial, multi-religious age we are in now. 

The highlands are too boring? Go ahead and take the old fashioned gondola or modern skyway to the mid-highlands where you can visit the strawberry farm or the bee farm, if they are still operational since the last time i went was in 2013!

Visit the local foodstuff market too to get some delicious snacks for your friends back home! Best thing, just open one bag and slowly walk the long walk back to the skyway station in that marvelous weather.

Yes, i miss Genting Highlands! 


  1. Hello , love all your posts on trvael, keep them coming! Anyway just wish to point out that Awana Skyway has ceased operations since last year!

    1. Thanks Wesley for your support! Awana Skyway has ceased operations?!?! So how do one get down to mid highlands, via a shuttle?? That reduces the fun.. by a mile! I also read that the new theme park would be delayed... :( maybe i should consider popping by cameron highlands instead.


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