Thursday, May 23, 2024
30 C
Brunei Town

A homecoming of sorts

Lyna Mohammad

Kuala Lumpur was like my third home before the COVID-19 pandemic. Having returned to the city after an over two-year hiatus, a lot has changed, but it remains welcoming.

I made it a point to treat this trip more as a retreat than the usual shopping spree or food hunting. Before leaving Brunei, I made a list of places to visit during the brief trip. On top of the list was the ever popular Genting Highlands.

The first day in Kuala Lumpur was a re-familiarisation of the Bukit Bintang area including visits to shopping spots and treating myself to food I had missed, accompanied by a travel buddy.

Our day began with a sumptious breakfast so that we did not need to stop for food on our way up to Genting Highlands.

Over the years, my trips to the highland would bypass Batu Caves. But this time around, I followed my friend’s suggestion to make a pit stop at the tourist spot and experience first-hand what it’s like to climb up the colourful 270 flights of steps to the caves. It was also partly a test of my endurance.

On arrival, we saw a crowd of local and foreign tourists in an open space facing the stairs leading to the caves. I took a few moments to enjoy the beautiful view and it didn’t take long to notice long-tailed macaques.

ABOVE & BELOW: Colourful stairs leading up to Batu Caves; and an overview of Genting Highlands. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

Surrounded by monkeys eyeing food items to snatch from visitors, I slowly made my way up the stairs holding my bag firmly and staying extra cautious. The climb was not too strenuous and did not take much time.

Reaching the top, I congratulated myself and took a few selfies and then made my way back to the bottom. However, it was not as easy as it was going up with the macaques distracting me, but I was able to go down with no incidents.

A tip for visitors here: the best time to visit is early in the morning or in late in the afternoon to avoid the midday heat.

We quenched our thirst with fresh coconut juice before continuing our journey to our main destination of the day.

An hour later, we reached Genting Highland Premium Outlet and hopped on the cable car that took us to the theme park. It was a terrifying ride as I have acrophobia. Most of the ride had me looking up at the sky or grabbing my friend’s arm hard instead of enjoying the lush greenery.

Fear aside, I felt excited as I walked out of Awana Skyway into the theme park building and into a food area. We decided to have a quick bite and then made our way to the new indoor theme park that has got many good reviews from local and foreign tourists.

It was when we arrived at the theme park that we realised we had less than an hour before we had to head back to the city. Disappointed, we agreed to return to Genting.

Fortunately, we met a theme park employee on a break who provided us with information about the attraction and gave us a tip on where to get a bird’s eye view of the park from the upper deck of the building where the old indoor theme park is located.

Seeing how excited visitors are, I suggest those frequenting Genting Highlands to not miss Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park for the latest adrenaline pumping rides or just wander around for selfies to post on social media.