Northbound

This is an overdue entry, but I’m posting it anyway. 🙂

I spent my long Vesak Day weekend traveling up north with my fellow PCS mates. We took a coach and left for Genting Highlands on Thursday night. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of traveling at night. The dark hinders me from appreciating what’s out there.

We had several pit stops to stock up on snacks and fuel, pray, freshen up and, in my case, relieve the frustration over not being able to sleep because the guide wouldn’t stop yakking about PRU13. On the way up to Genting Skyway after breakfast, we passed by Gohtong Jaya. It was early and temperature was falling, so as a huge fan of winter wear, I was quite excited to see how the people were dressed.

There were two options to reach Genting Highlands: 1) Continue with the bus ride or 2) take the monocable gondola lift. As a sane young lady with full of energy (despite the lack of sleep), no movement difficulties, lust to take on adventures and excitement to see something different from the city skyline here in Singapore, I picked the latter. It was one of the best decisions I made during the trip. 🙂 We got off the bus, paid for the tickets (RM 6/pax), and hopped onto a gondola.

Up there, we were surrounded with lush green slopes and white foggy clouds. The view was breathtakingly beautiful. We even had a bird’s eye view of what lies below. I didn’t want the ride to end. In simpler words, I was so mesmerized, I became a paparazzi to my surroundings. Here’s the evidence:

Once we reached the top, we were given till half past two to do whatever we want – shop, movies, bowling, theme park, chill, etc. A couple of friends and I bought entry tickets to Genting Outdoor Theme Park right after the counters were opened. I had a cup of coffee to keep myself awake, telling myself it was a need to take everything in so as to remember the enjoyable time I had away from home.

The theme park was not fully operational when we went in since it was still very early and some of the rides were under maintenance. Plans to take “warm up” rides failed terribly when we were left with no choice but to take the Space Shot, which is a shorter version of Dreamworld’s Giant Drop in Gold Coast. Going all the way up was fine. It was the sudden butt-lifting drop that got me screaming. The whole time I could only think of “Why the hell am I doing this to myself?” I mean, who wouldn’t, right? Hahah.

After that first ride, I had a fair dose of adrenaline pumping with the caffeine I consumed. And with that, I went crazy. My level of excitement was off the roof, which helped a lot since we tried to cover as many thrill rides as possible. We took the Corkscrew (which led to a mild concussion but nevermind about that since I’m okay now :D), the Spinner (pictured below!), the Pirate Train (lamest ride ever, seriously :(), and the Pirate Ship (my nemesis but I nailed it so yay!). We wanted to ride the Flying Coaster, but it was under maintenance. 😦

We left for KL once the guys were done with their Friday midday prayers. The long and bumpy ride down managed to knock me out for a couple of hours. We stopped by a restaurant for lunch and shopped for some tidbits after that. At that point in time, roomie and I could barely wait to check into the hotel. Distracted by exhaustion and need to wash up, I had trouble keeping up with the history of KL told by the guide. The only thing I remember clearly till today is how the Gombak and Klang rivers converged to give rise to a muddy confluence.

After many long roads and buildings later, we reached AnCasa Hotel. And hey, take a look at our room! 🙂

I let roomie enjoy her bath while I unpacked. After a while, I gave up, got up and drew the curtains. And whoa, check out the view from our room, you guys!

It’s not as scenic as Genting Highlands (duh), but it’s always nice to view the city from above. Roomie left the bathroom a tad too early. Otherwise, I could have tried to recall my urbanization notes from the human geography topics back in JC. Like they say, once a geographer, always a geographer. 🙂

After sunset, we left the hotel and walked to Berjaya Times Square. It was quite a long walk, but I had no reason to complain since I enjoyed it. Like any other mall, Berjaya Times Square has almost everything. I had a scoop of Baskin Robbins’ blue raspberry sherbet before working on our mission to lose some cash in exchange for unnecessary, but pretty goods (i.e. shopping, hahah). After passing by a couple of stores, browsing through many racks of clothes, looking at countless price tags, the girls and I have come to a conclusion that..

Malaysian women have no excuse for their lack of fashion sense.

I mean, seriously, the hijab-friendly clothes are pretty and affordable! The girls and I bought a few pieces before heading to Subway to get dinner. Of all makan places in Malaysia, why Subway? Because almost everything in Malaysia is halal, even Subway! Happy Singapore citizen here is happy. 🙂

Something interesting happened on the way back – we got lost. We took the train and alighted at Pudu, thinking it was the nearest train station to the hotel, which is located along Jalan Pudu. We thought wrong. Alighting at Pudu would require one to walk a long way. Stuck somewhere along Jalan Pudu, but still far away from the hotel, we stared hard at the map and took some time to decide between walking and taking the train back to Plaza Rakyat. I love map reading. I feel that it is an important skill to have while traveling. However, mine refused to function that night. My eyes were dry from the start of that week, my vision blurred and I was blinded by the headlights of passing vehicles. Each time I tried to read the map, I had to walk away in frustration. In the end, we picked the quicker option and managed to catch the last train. Apart from the monocable gondola lift, getting lost that night sure made it to the list of highlights for the trip.

Roomie and I took our time to pack and get ready before heading down for breakfast the next morning. Once we were in the restaurant, I noticed how sparse it was. The staff were starting to clear the buffet trays when we were just settling down with our food. Either we were late (we can be such divas at times, but in my defense, it was only 10.15 am  heh :P), or the others decided to have breakfast outside. Anyway! Nevermind about that. Look at what we had!

I had a bowl of plain yoghurt with peach slices too. Obviously gobbled it down before I could take a good picture. Hahah. Lots of carbs and protein to get the energy up before checking out of the hotel and start shopping.

Shopping along Jalan Masjid India sure felt like walking around pasar malam  on the streets back home. Except that it happened in broad daylight, which was pretty awesome since it gave me the chance to actually see how colourful the shops really are. We bought a couple of cheap goods and street food after trying our hands at bargaining with the vendors.

After that, we went to KLCC to get proper lunch. I had Subway again. While waiting for the others, I sipped on Boost’s King William Chocolate with soy milk and let my eyes wander.

Once we were done with lunch, we had our group photo taken before hitting the road again. This time, it was to have dinner at Umbai.

The sun was already setting when we alighted from the bus. The lights were glowing against the approaching darkness. It was such a pretty sight, I had to take a picture.

We had seafood for dinner at Ikan Bakar Parameswara. The dishes were freshly prepared, so it was all good. I loved how we were seated so close to the waters by the way. 🙂

We headed home after that. To tell you the truth, although it was a really short trip, I had a good time. Thank you for making it possible, PCS mates. May we have another good one next year, insyAllah. 🙂

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