Being just a few hours drive away from Singapore, Genting has always been a very popular short getaway option for Singaporeans. It has been too for me and my family when we were much younger. I remember how my family would head up Genting together and us, the kids, would sleep as my dad would drive throughout the night. But as we grew older and with the inclusion of our partners, we could no longer fit into one car and hence, stopped driving up.
So when our Singapore Food Blog and Travel Blog recently got offered the invite by Resorts World Genting to head up with them, we jumped all over the opportunity. As a way to repay my parents for all the times they drove our family up, I even made special arrangements to bring my mum along for this trip.
We met up with the rest of the gang on Friday evening at Golden Mile complex. Aside from getting through the customs, memory of the actual journey from the point I boarded the coach was rather blurry (cause I slept throughout). Before I knew it, it was 5am and we have arrived at Genting’s first world hotel.
With over 7000 rooms, First world Hotel holds the Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Hotel. After the smooth check in to our rooms, we quickly turned the lights off for some well needed proper shut eye.
We re-woke up around 11ish and started to explore First World to get some breakfast. The great thing about first world is that it is suited right smack in the heart of the action. From the moment you take the lift down, you’ll be able to find cafes, restaurants and even do some shopping right at your hotel’s doorstep.
After our brunch (my assam laksa was really awesome btw), we were invited for an exclusive tour for a behind-the-scenes look at First World Hotel’s laundry department. As a hotel guest, you probably don’t think too much into it, but if you would just stop and think for a moment, how do people turn over 7000+ rooms’ laundries in a day. It was an eye opener to see all these big machines at work. The amount of manpower and machinery needed to sort the endless amount of bed sheets, pillow cases etc is just mind blowing. Hotels really weren’t kidding when they plead for guest to go Green and ask for them not to change their linings unless absolutely necessary.
We did a quick check out with thanks to their easy self check-out system (no need for long queue despite the 7000+ rooms) and it was off to meet Mr.Eddie, a super enthusiastic botanist and nature lover. It was here that we got to see first hand just how high up in the clouds we physically were. In a way a kid’s pupil would dilate when he talks about his favourite cartoon, it was the same for Mr.Eddie as he explained to us the various types of pitcher plants that can only be found in this region. Mum was selected to do a symbolic plant presentation to them and she experienced her one minute of fame as the rest of the the bloggers started snapping away.
Mr.Eddie’s presentation was cut short cause we were running late for our performance. Resorts World Genting makes it a point to bring in world class performance every few months to keep things fresh. From magic shows to concerts, they have them all. During the time of our visit however, it was the Live Ultraman Show that they have flown in from Japan.
Being slightly behind time, we were quickly ushered to our seats as we did our best not to disturb anybody. The good thing is that except for a photo taking opportunity (which we had another at the end of the show), we didnt miss much. And yes i get what you’re gonna say, Ultraman is for kids and what not. But surprisingly, the show was so much better than we initially expected it to be. Without giving away too much, the storyline was decent and the show was pretty interactive, this is one that we’re sure not just the kids but the parents would enjoy too.
After the appx 90mins show and our photo op session with the “ultra-stars”, it was off to check in at our next hotel for the night, Awana Hotel. Unlike First World Hotel which was more modern, Awana Hotel exudes a more traditional look to the entire hotel.
After checking in, we did a quick dinner and changed into our exercise clothes. It was then time for one of our most “dreaded” activity of the day cause we were going for Night Herping. Truth be told, we had no idea what night herping was prior to the trip and hence, did not have sufficient time to mentally prep ourselves. Night herping is the act of searching for reptiles and amphibians in the dark. When our guide explained that there is a chance of us running into snakes, that didnt help calm the nerves one bit.
After applying layers upon layers of insect repellent, we conquered our inner voices and went ahead with it. Slowly, the light from the hotel distanced and eventually looked like nothing more than a firefly as we ventured into the forest nearby.
Quickly we started bumping into frogs, toads and lizards of all kind. It was an educational experience as our guide would go into great detail in explaining various species that we chanced upon. He taught us how to use the torchlight to look out for animals on our own and that turned into a mini game between the both of us, trying to “out find” each other. We both found nothing in the end.
Hush, our guide went silent. He gazed into the distance while all of us tried to stare in his direction, unsure of what he was looking at. “Wait here”, he told us as he ventured into behind the trees. “Is it a snake?”, somebody asked. “Yup”, he replied casually.
The bushes shake as he emerged back out. “Stand back”, he said. He used his torchlight to shine on the snake and begun explaining details about the snake. While he was a walking encyclopedia going on and on about the facts of the snake, all my mind could register was “it’s venomous” and “stay back”.
Nontheless, aside from the mosquito bites, it was a great experience venturing into the wilderness. It’s not something we do everyday and it’s definitely not something we would do if we were alone without a guide.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early to head back to the same forest behind Awana Hotel. With light, the same forest now seems 10 times less as scary. This time however, we were back to do some bird watching. Long story short, here’s a tip for anyone whos going for bird watching, go get a binoculars and some good zoom lens. Birds, unlike snakes and reptiles, you can’t just grab them for a photo op. They fly around and usually do so high up on the trees. With our budget camera lens, we sadly weren’t able to capture the pretty ones on photo or video.
After bird watching, it was a quick tour of Genting’s very own Fashion Forest. It’s apparently the world’s first forest with wifi access. Who said you have to get disconnected from the world when you are connecting with nature? The fashion forest aims to educate and allow guest to explore Nature in a way that most of us have now lost touch with. Mr.Eddie also shared with us how he intends to build cameras around the forest so they’ll be able to monitor various animal activities at different parts of the forest. Guest then would also be able to decide if it’s something they would like to see, and head there. A much better option rather than trekking the entire mountain without any form of guarantee that you would be able to see any animals. Can’t wait for the end results when all the works are done 🙂
It was back to the hotel for lunch before boarding our bus back to Singapore. All in all, it was a great short getaway with my Mum, who as a teacher, thoroughly enjoyed learning so much about nature that she can now share with her students. A packed 2 day weekend itinerary, Genting proved how we all can enjoy a getaway without having to take leaves from work. Thank you once again Resorts World Genting for hosting us!