By Rebecca Fleming
Where else can you find a smiling hospitable people, a harmonious culture at its best, a multi-ethnic multi-religious co-existence, well planned cities and beautiful gardens superb cuisine, abundant natural resources chanelled condusively to promote a luxurious holiday -a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind? Well the answer is Malaysia.
Malaysia which is slightly larger than New Mexico is one of the leading countries in Asia with its age-old history, sound economy and rich culture and tradition. It is situated Southeastern Asia, peninsula and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia and the South China Sea, South of Vietnam. It has its border countries Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand. Its terrain consists of both coastal plains, hills or mountains. The lowest point elevation is at the Indian Ocean and it reaches its highest point at the famous Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 metres. It has a population over 28 million of ethnic Malays, Chinese, Indians, Murut and Kadazan or Iban. Islam is its official religion and Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Sikhism as other religions. Malaysia is blessed with natural resources like rubber, pepper, cocoa and timber and it is the largest producer of palm oil in the world today.
AirAsia- Flying dream maker
Boarding AK256 Colombo- flight at 8 a.m. I looked forward to the tour in Malaysia with mixed feelings of curiosity and expectation remembering a Malaysian journalist whom I met while covering the last Presidential Election in Sri Lanka saying "Whenever I come to Sri Lanka it reminds me of my childhood. Malaysia was exactly like your country 35 years ago". Well I thought I won't be disoriented and at least I will be able to see a development that we too can achieve. Thus remunerating I spent the three and a half hour journey when I was brought back to reality on hearing that we will be landing soon.
Glancing and checking my watch I realized we were 2.30 minutes ahead of Sri Lankan time, reaching LCCT airport (Low Cost Career Terminal) at 1.30 pm and we were warmly welcomed by AirAsia Commercial PRs, Mazlan Rasheed and Daphne Cheah Ui Jen representatives of AirAsia and Tourism Malaysia.
Genting, a world renowned misty highlands which we were going to reach through cable cars and its renowned outdoor theme park with coaster, space shot, corkscrew, wonderland and snow world and Guinness world record making hotel there. I packed up some essential for we were informed by Chang Keng Min, the elderly and friendly tour guide that we were going to spend the night on a hill at Genting.
Genting- Record breaking resort
The bus ride to Genting skyway station took us through familiar terrain reminding us of our own upcountry through misty mountainous and zigzag roads. Experiencing a ride in a cable car for the first time was a wonderful experience. More than a three hour journey cut short to a 20 minutes over a huge rainforest, we enjoyed the natural beauty of its surrounding; songs of birds and groups of orangutan and chimpanzees climbing tree top to treetop. Genting Skyway is also the longest cable car in Southeast Asia- spanning 3.38km from the mid hill at Gohtong Jaya to Highlands Hotel at the peak.
As we were reaching the peak of Genting, we witnessed Resorts World Genting with its luxurious high rise buildings, hotels, theme parks and gardens all on top of a mountain covering 38. 4 acres of land. Resorts World Genting has everything to offer - fun-filled attractions with entertainment combined with the luxury of international class destination to cater for diverse cultures and visitors from all walks of life.
Initially conceptualized as a retirement home in the mid-1960s by its much respected founder, the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, Resorts World Genting has since evolved into one of Asia's leading integrated resorts for entertainment, recreation, relaxation and conventions. Though unadulterated rainforest with variety of interesting flora and fauna was available for the builders they have made it a point to use only 4% of the total 10,000 acres for development of resort. Featuring six hotels including 'First World Hotel' which was once named World's Largest Hotel by Guinness World Book of Records, the group of hotels have over 10,000 guest rooms over 90 distinctive dining outlets, an alluring shopping paradise with over 80 stores, pulsating indoor and outdoor theme parks with more than 50 fun rides
One must not miss a visit to Asia's Leading Casino Resort which won 2006 World Travel Award at the Genting Resorts and Best Casino Operator in Asia by International Gaming Awards in 2008.
Our night was to be spent at Guinness recorded 'First World Complex' which consists of 6118 rooms. Facing misty mountainous the room was quite comfortable and affordable at 145 Ringit during shoulder season. Thus we could proudly say that we spent a night at "the world's largest' under the Feats of Engineering for Big Buildings and also the 'the world's largest hotel' by Ripley's Believe It Or Not in 2006. Together with world class facilities and its natural scenic beauty Genting Highland Resort makes the first choice destination for a vacation or convention in Malaysia.