With temperatures rising to 37 degrees Celsius and above on most days, Singapore is experiencing a scorching Level 2 heat wave. How do you cool down? Switch on the air-conditioning all day and night. Take as many cool showers as you can each day. Indulge in icy cold beverages every hour.
However, there is a better way to cool down and enjoy a getaway at the same time. Simply take a trip to one of the many cool travel destinations in our neighbouring Malaysia.
PLACES TO VISIT IN MALAYSIA WHERE YOU CAN ESCAPE THE HEAT
GENTING HIGHLANDS: FOR COOL FUN & EXCITEMENT!
Casino. Cuisine. Concerts. All these make Genting a must-visit for any traveller to Malaysia.
- Located about 403km driving distance from Singapore, Genting is easily accessible by car or coach.
- Travel time takes 5 to 6 hours depending on traffic conditions.
Further, the roads ascending and descending the highlands are all part of the adventure for keen drivers. Love cool weather? Temperatures range around 20 degrees Celsius during the day. And at night, temperatures dip to a further 15 degrees Celsius. Here's a handy guide to popular attractions in Genting.
1. GOHTONG JAYA
Midway on the ascent to Genting is a lovely town called Gohtong Jaya in Bentong district. It's the perfect stopover for a lovely meal at the many restaurants that specialise in Chinese cuisine. Many customers also shop for fresh local fruits and vegetables at the stalls.
Somehow, the fresh produce here tastes sweeter thanks to fresh water from the highlands and cool temperatures.
2. GENTING STRAWBERRY LEISURE FARM
Love strawberries? Head for Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm located in Gohtong Jaya. It's a wondrous place to spend the day amidst flower gardens, rows of strawberries and blooming lavender. Great for kids to learn about how strawberries grow from bud to fruit, they can also explore the farm for friendly insects.
Everywhere you turn are blossoming daisies, hydrangea, ixora, anthurium and more. Strawberry and flower picking are prohibited to ensure that only trained hands pluck them. However, the merchandise store offers fresh fruits, flowers and knick-knacks from the farm. So, do make a stop at their little cafe and order their strawberry gelato made from their local strawberries.
All around the farm are decorative birdhouses to attract our winged friends. Equally attractive are the water features and pretty ferns that adorn the farm.
- Address: No. 1, Lot 3707, Jalan Jati 2, Bandar Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands, 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang
- Entrance fee: RM8 (S$2.60) (adults), RM5 (kids)
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Genting-Strawberry-Leisure-Farms-157150721552/
3. AWANA SKYWAY
Cable car rides are the highlight of any trip to Genting. Reach up high and touch the clouds as you ride past hilltops, waterfalls and acres of tropical rainforest. Simply board at Awana station located at Genting Premium Outlets and travel to Genting station.
- Travel time is about 20 minutes.
Further, the ride makes a complimentary stop mid-way at Chin Swee station to allow guests to explore the nearby temple. Stories say that wise travellers visit the temple for blessings before heading to the casino.
Beware of long queues during peak hours. And be aware that the last gondola leaves at midnight. Visitors can select the standard gondola which seats about 10 persons. For the brave-hearted, select the glass-floor bottom gondola to experience floating through the clouds. Moreover, the glittering lights of the highlands by night make superb photo shots.
- Address: Level 2, Awana SkyWay building, Genting Highlands
- Ticket prices: RM8 (standard gondola), RM50 (glass-bottom gondola)
4. CHIN SWEE CAVES TEMPLE
A cave. A temple. A must-visit heritage. Located 4,600 feet above sea level, the Chin Swee Caves Temple is one of the historical attractions in Genting.
Not just any religious site, this temple boasts an iconic 9-storey pagoda lit by lamps, Sky Terrace and a 15-metre high statue of Buddha. So, explore the hills around the cave and meet other sky-high statues of the Goddess of Mercy and Monkey God along the way.
For a cultural experience, explore the journey through the underworld with statues that depict the afterlife according to Chinese customs. Well-maintained prayer halls, pavilions, water features and stone decorations make the temple a scenic place. In addition to the breathtaking views, this temple has a Starbucks and restaurants for visitors to enjoy coffee and dining amidst the clouds.
- Address: Exit 68, Genting Sempah, Pahang, 28750 Bentong
- Entrance: Free
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChinSweeCavesTemple/
5. RESORTS WORLD GENTING
Right at the peak of Genting is Resorts World Genting (RWG). It's a haven for shopping, dining and entertainment. Further, RWG offers a choice of mid-range to luxury accommodation, family attractions and gourmet dining. Feeling lucky? Head for the Sky Casino for a winning time. Out of money? Just take a stroll across all the attractions and capture the spectacular sights and sensations all around.
What can kids do? Bring them to Skytropolis, a mega indoor theme park that will get them screaming with happiness. From coaster rides to carousel adventures, arcade games to awesome snack bars, bumper cars to boat rides, there's so much to play.
Pay per ride tickets are reasonably priced for each attraction. Just be prepared for long queues at the popular ones.
Love a winter wonderland? It's snow day every day at Snow World.
The European-themed winter village indulges guests in a sub-zero environment for the coolest holiday. Moreover, the kids will love the life-like snowfalls, snowball fights, warm igloos and relics of Roman castles all around. Sledging and sleighing dreams come true on the Toboggan slide.
- Entrance fee starts from RM43 for adults and RM32 for kids.
- Address: 8th Mile, Genting Highlands, 69000 Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ResortsWorldGenting/
CAMERON HIGHLANDS: FOR COOL NATURE DISCOVERIES
Nature comes alive at Cameron Highlands, located about 563 km from Singapore.
- Travel time via the North-South Highway, takes about 5 hours by car or coach.
Located about 1,500 metres above sea level, the weather is cool at Cameron almost all year through. Not to be missed are these awesome attractions.
1. THE BOH TEA PLANTATIONS
Have a cup of tea at The BOH Tea Plantations' cafe and enjoy the sights of acres of tea gardens all around. Certainly, a sight to behold, many wedding couples actually do their pre-wedding shoot here. Stunning panoramic views make the perfect backdrop for picture-perfect photos.
Bring the kids to learn how tea is harvested and watch how tea farmers hand-pick the best tea leaves. Thanks to the high altitude, abundant rainfall and cool temperatures, BOH tea is one of Malaysia's favourite teas.
For the energetic, do the hike up the estate fields and reconnect with nature. After hiking, go explore the BOH Visitor Centre, an award-winning building designed to give guests the best views over the plantation. Before you leave. pick up the souvenirs and BOH specialty teas to take home tea-rific memories.
- Address: 39200 Ringlet, Cameron Highlands
- Entrance fee: Free
- Website: https://www.bohtea.com/about/home-of-boh/
2. MOSSY FOREST
Think Lord of the Rings. And Mossy Forest in Cameron will bring you on an experience close to Fangorn Forest in Middle Earth. Equally enchanting, this forest is the second highest peak in Cameron. It is home to abundant flora and fauna, from carnivorous pitcher plants to forest flowers in a moss-covered forest.
Further, the heavy mist and cool atmosphere during early morning treks will bring out the mystical marvels of the forest. In addition, this bird sanctuary is home to various species of bird life.
As the trails are windy and not well-marked, the forest is best explored with a local guide. Pack light and bring enough water for the trip. Plus wear good walking shoes as the mossy grounds can be slippery. Then, enjoy the cool temperatures and wondrous nature all around.
- Address: 39000, Brinchang, Pahang
- Entrance fee: RM10 (adults), RM5 (kids)
FRASER'S HILL: FOR A COOL TRIP DOWN HERITAGE LANE
Fraser's Hill takes visitors on a rich, cultural heritage trip with its natural landscapes and architectural attractions. Located at Titiwangsa Ridge in Raub District, Pahang, Fraser's is about 449km from Singapore.
- Travel time takes about 6.5 hours by car, and it's a scenic drive up the hill.
Bus services are available but they end at the nearest town of Kuala Kubu Bharu. However, private transport arrangements to Fraser's can be easily made in town. Things to see and do at Fraser's include nature trails and having fun outdoors.
1. FRASER'S HILL TOWN CENTRE
The best way to enjoy the charms of Fraser's is to stroll around the Town Centre. Explore the Clock Tower, the town's main landmark and its well-manicured lawns. Then, go bird watching, wildlife spotting, horse riding at the local stables, hiking, fishing and camping in the cool outdoors.
Thanks to the perfect weather, spending the day outdoors is Fraser's main attraction.
2. JERIAU WATERFALL
Located about 4km from the town centre is Jeriau Waterfall set in a tranquil setting. It is accessible by car to the venue' car park, followed by a short trek through the woods. The sounds, sights and scents of nature will greet you as the waterfall is a picturesque place for photos. Moreover, it's great for picnics with the family, nature treks around the waterfall or simply relaxing by the waters.
- Address: 49000 Fraser's Hill, Pahang
This article was first published in Shopback.