Tuesday, May 18, 2010

route to and from Genting Highlands

The 40 highway KM out of KL may be interesting by anybody's standards, but the final stretch to the top is something else again. This, the 20 KM Genting road proper leads to an 1800 meter high plateau, on which is located the Genting resort. Initially proposed as a "simple" retirement center, it has grown since 1971 to a major hotel and family amusement complex, with over 10 000 guest rooms, catering to the Malaysian and Singaporean tourist trade, notably their large Chinese communities. The resort is situated on a stunning location, on the Mountain range between Genting Sempah and Gunung Ulu kali, and with a distance of 58 Km, is within easy striking range from the capital Kuala Lumpur. The entire complex, with hotels, two cable cars and road and all is a private development, realised with mostly private funding and the brainchild of one of the Country's most powerful and visionary entrepreneurs. It has also put his Genting Company on the world's map.

It remains a stunning sight, and some 10 to 15 degrees cooler than at sea level. Hence its popularity with the K-Lites. The road itself, took years to construct through almost pristine rainforest, and demanded serious engineering. The final hairpins leading to the top are actually flyovers and bridges hung against the cliffsides.. But you won't notice, you'll be way to busy negotiating the twists and turns...

The Genting road is easily the most fun biking stretch ever constructed near a major city in this Country, or in Asia, or in the world, for all I know. It is essentially a couple of dozens of nice and tight, and ever steeper hairpins leading up and down two hills, a minor and a major one, with a bit of a reprieve in the middle. there you drive to a nice cool valley of Gothong Jaya that links both hill ranges. Time to take a breather, or stop for some food. It is Asia after all. Or play golf, if you are into that and happen to have a sidecar handy. By the time you reach the top it takes a lot less than 4 wheels to stay near a decent bike...

You get to ride this twice, as there is only one way up the hill. But its worth it, you'd want to do this a dozen times, at least, it is that much fun. As a matter of fact you can do a loop, that only does the the last half dozen hairpins, endlessly. Some people are believed to have lost themselves there!

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