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12 Best Things to Do in Genting Highlands - Travel Guide & Itinerary

Located amidst the mist-shrouded peaks of the Titiwangsa mountain range not too far from Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands beckons travelers with its promise of exhilarating adventures and cool mountain breezes.

Renowned as the “Malaysian City of Entertainment,” this hill resort destination features thrilling theme parks, world-class casinos, clubs, shopping outlets, concert halls, and a diverse array of experiences to suit every traveler’s desires.

For most of us Malaysians, Genting Highlands holds a cherished place in our memories. It’s rare to find a Malaysian who has never been to Genting Highlands, whether as a wide-eyed child being taken on their first carousel ride, or as a young adult enjoying their first taste of freedom with college mates, or as a doting parent taking their family out for a day of fun.

Allow me to take you on a virtual journey to this place, where endless excitement awaits.

Fun Facts About Genting Highlands

  • Genting Highlands is situated approximately 1,800 meters above sea level. On a clear night, it can be seen from Kuala Lumpur and looks like a majestic kingdom in the sky!
  • Genting Highlands was developed by local entrepreneur Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong in the late 1960s, who turned it from an unexplored hilltop into one of the world’s most successful casino resorts. He soon became the 3rd richest man in Malaysia.
Genting Highlands theme park. Credit: Jetsun / Wikimedia Commons
  • The economy of Genting Highlands is primarily driven by tourism and hospitality. The resort complex features hotels, casinos, theme parks, shopping malls, and entertainment venues, attracting millions of visitors each year.
  • Additionally, Genting Malaysia Berhad, the company behind Genting Highlands, operates various leisure and hospitality businesses both domestically and internationally.
  • The Genting Skyway cable car currently holds the title for the longest cable car ride in Southeast Asia, spanning 3.38 kilometers.
  • The presence of casinos within Genting Highlands has sparked debates about the social and moral implications, especially in a Muslim country.
  • In 2019, Genting Malaysia was involved in a $1 billion dispute with Disney and Fox after the U.S. companies pulled out from a deal to build a Fox World theme park in Genting Highlands.

Best Time to Visit Genting Highlands

Generally, the months of March to September are considered the best time to go due to the dry season. Temperatures are mild and there is little rainfall. However, during this time, visitors can expect larger crowds and longer queues at attractions, particularly on weekends and public holidays.

For those who prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds, the months of October to February offer a more tranquil experience. However, it’s important to note that this period coincides with the rainy season, which is not ideal for the outdoor theme park, as it will be closed during rain. The mountain roads leading to Genting Highlands can also be treacherous when there is heavy rain or mist.

How to Go to Genting Highlands

Genting Highlands does not have its own airport; the only way to get there is by land. The most common route is from Kuala Lumpur, but there are also direct buses from other major cities in Malaysia including Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, and Johor Bahru.

Genting Skyway cable car. Credit: Calvin Teo / Wikimedia Commons

By Car

The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Genting Highlands takes approximately one hour via the Karak Expressway. The winding roads offer scenic views of the surrounding mountain range and greenery. If you’re driving, make sure your vehicle is in good condition for the uphill climb and the steep descent.

You can either drive all the way up to Genting Highlands, or stop at the cable car base station at Gohtong Jaya and continue by cable car.

By Bus

For those without private transportation, several bus services operate to Genting Highlands from various locations in Kuala Lumpur and beyond.

The buses depart from major bus terminals in Kuala Lumpur, such as KL Sentral, Pudu Sentral, TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan), Terminal Putra LRT Gombak, and Jalan Pekeliling. There are also direct buses from Klang, Shah Alam and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA1 & 2). The journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Bus fare is around RM10.

Genting Skyway Cable Car

Express buses will only take you up to Awana Bus Terminal, and you will have to continue the rest of the way on the Genting Skyway cable car.

If you’re driving, you can also opt to park at the base station and take the cable car to the summit. Currently the longest cable car ride in Southeast Asia, with a length of 3.38 kilometers, the Genting Skyway ride offers breathtaking views of the rainforest canopy and surrounding mountains.

Ticket price for a one-way journey in a normal gondola is RM10 per adult, and RM30 per adult for the glass-floor gondola. It’s advisable to check the operating hours and weather conditions before planning your ride.

With a Tour

A more convenient alternative is to take a shared or private tour from one of the many tour providers. Some may include theme park tickets and/or excursions to other attractions along the way such as Batu Caves. Private tours typically include pickup and drop-off at your hotel.

How to Get Around in Genting Highlands

If you’re planning to see other attractions beyond the resort complex, driving offers the most flexibility and convenience. However, do note that parking can be limited and roads can be congested during peak periods.

You don’t have to worry about transportation within the resort complex, as the shopping malls and theme parks are connected by sheltered walkways and escalators. Shuttle bus services are complimentary for in-house guests and run hourly from Resorts World Awana to Awana SkyCentral / Genting Highlands Premium Outlets and vice versa.

Taxis and Grab are also readily available.

12 Top Things to Do in Genting Highlands

1. Enjoy thrill rides at the theme parks

Genting Highlands indoor theme park. Credit: Stefan Fussan / Wikimedia Commons

Genting Highlands boasts two main theme parks that promise endless fun and excitement for visitors of all ages.

Genting SkyWorlds Outdoor Theme Park encompasses 26 acres of excitement, featuring 9 distinctively themed worlds and a total of 26 rides and attractions.

Thrill-seekers can soar through the air on heart-pounding roller coasters, brave dizzying heights on towering rides, and test their skills at carnival games.

Opening hours: 11 am – 6 pm daily.

Meanwhile, Genting Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park provides a 400,000 sq ft climate-controlled haven filled with over 20 whimsical attractions, interactive games, and family-friendly entertainment.

Opening hours: 2 pm – 9 pm (Monday to Thursday), and 2 pm – 10 pm (Friday to Sunday).

2. Be amazed at Ripley's Adventureland

Ripley’s Adventureland, Genting Highlands. Credit: Frostpolar / Wikimedia Commons

Step into a world of wonder as you explore a fascinating blend of interactive attractions, from optical illusions and mirror mazes to quirky exhibits showcasing oddities from around the globe. Test your senses and challenge your perceptions as you navigate through themed zones filled with surprises at every turn.

With its eclectic mix of entertainment and education, Ripley’s Adventureland promises a one-of-a-kind adventure that will leave you marveling at the wonders of the world.

Opening hours: 10 am – 10 pm daily.

3. Shop at Genting Highlands Premium Outlet

Shopaholics will delight in exploring the Genting Highlands Premium Outlets, which feature a wide selection of designer brands, international labels, and discounted merchandise. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, accessories, footwear, or homeware, you’ll find plenty of bargains to indulge in.

Opening hours: 10 am – 10 pm daily.

4. Try your luck at the casinos

Genting Highlands is renowned for its world-class casinos, offering an exhilarating blend of gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and electronic gaming machines.

With its reputation as a premier gaming destination in Southeast Asia, these casinos welcome visitors with their opulent interiors and sophisticated ambiance that caters to every level of player, from seasoned gamblers to novices looking to try their luck.

Beyond the thrill of gaming, guests can also indulge in fine dining experiences, live entertainment, and exclusive VIP services.

5. Admire butterflies at Butterfly Wonderland Genting

Credit: McKay Savage / Wikimedia Commons

Conveniently located within Bandar Gohtong Jaya, Butterfly Wonderland Genting is a vast butterfly garden boasting over 100 species of these beautiful creatures, including Swallowtails, Lacewings, and the rare Rajah Brooke’s Birdwings.

Alongside the butterfly conservatory, visitors can explore the insectarium, the hummingbird aviary, and the aquarium. Additionally, the Butterfly Emergence Gallery offers an interactive experience, allowing guests to witness the magical transformation of butterflies from chrysalis to their fully grown form.

Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm daily.

6. Watch a live performance

Genting Highlands is not just about theme parks and casinos; it’s also a vibrant hub for live entertainment. With world-class venues and an impressive lineup of performances, Genting Highlands offers something for every taste and preference, including concerts by international artistes, dance, theater, and acrobatic performances.

Within the resort complex itself, the Arena of Stars Genting is a state-of-the-art entertainment venue with a seating capacity of up to 5,000.

7. Indulge in an immersive cinematic experience

Movie buffs can catch the latest blockbusters at the cinemas located within the resort complex, offering state-of-the-art facilities including wider screens, and seats that use the latest motion technology — a two-axis configuration that can tilt you left, right, front, and back, with customizable intensity.

8. Pick strawberries at Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm

Credit: Sujit Kumar / Wikimedia Commons

The Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm is a charming agritourism destination specializing in hydroponic strawberry farming. Located in Gohtong Jaya, the sprawling compound also features a lavender garden, flower nursery, shopping alley, and mini gardens lined with rose bushes.

When in season, visitors get to pick fresh strawberries, which will be weighed and charged accordingly.

Opening hours: 9.30 am – 6.30 pm daily.

9. Visit the Chin Swee Caves Temple

Chin Swee Caves Temple. Credit: Shesmax / Wikimedia Commons

Perched on a sprawling 28-acre plot of rocky forested land on top of a hill, this Taoist temple was constructed as a tribute to the esteemed Reverend Master Chin Swee, renowned for his ability to summon rain and dispel malevolent forces.

At the heart of the temple lies its focal point: a black statue of Chin Swee housed within the entrance hall, serving as a cherished photo opportunity for visitors.

Opening hours: 8 am – 7 pm daily.

10. Learn about Bee Farming at Happy Bee Farm

Happy Bee Farm Genting provides visitors with an opportunity to explore beekeeping in Genting Highlands firsthand. Alongside its butterfly farm, cafe, and retail outlet offering affordably priced bee products like bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis, and natural honey, the farm also hosts live demonstrations throughout the day.

These showcases allow guests to observe a bee colony’s activities through transparent encased panels, from constructing honeycombs to gathering pollen and nectar from the farm’s diverse flora. An experienced beekeeper then demonstrates the harvesting of raw honey from beehives amid a swarm of buzzing bees.

Opening hours: 9.30 am – 6.30 pm daily.

11. Get inspired at Lim Goh Tong Memorial Hall

Lim Goh Tong Memorial Hall. Credit: Chongkian / Wikimedia Commons

The Lim Goh Tong Memorial Hall provides an opportunity for visitors to be inspired by the remarkable life journey of Tan Sri Dato Seri (Dr.) Lim Goh Tong, the visionary who transformed Genting Highlands from a remote hilltop into a globally renowned casino-centric destination.

Through a curated display of exhibits, the Memorial Hall narrates Lim Goh Tong’s life story—from his modest beginnings as a small-scale contractor to his ascent as the founder of Genting Group.

Opening hours: 8 am – 10 pm daily.

12. Learn about local culture at SeniKome Peng Heng

SeniKome Péng Hēng East Coast Arts & Cultural Centre is an essential destination for history enthusiasts and those eager to delve into local culture.

Showcasing a diverse assortment of artifacts, textiles, traditional games, and handicrafts originating from the east coast regions of Malaysia, it also provides family-friendly activities, exhibitions, live performances, and workshops throughout the year.

Opening hours: 12 pm – 7 pm daily.

How Long to Spend in Genting Highlands

The ideal duration to spend in Genting Highlands largely depends on your interests, preferences, and the activities you plan to indulge in.

Due to its proximity to Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands is a common day-trip destination from the capital city and other nearby areas. You can easily visit key attractions such as the theme parks, casinos, and temple within a day. Aim to arrive early in the morning to maximize your time as queues for the attractions can be long, and do plan your activities strategically to cover the highlights.

For a more leisurely experience, consider staying overnight to allow yourself more time for additional activities and entertainment options. With a longer stay, you also get to experience the nightlife, including live shows, concerts, and dining options within the resort.

However, if you’re a true gaming enthusiast, then by all means, stay for as long as your budget allows!

Where to Stay in Genting Highlands

Genting Grand Hotel. Credit: Chongkian / Wikimedia Commons

Resorts World Genting: The Genting Highlands resort complex features several hotels and resorts, catering to different budgets and preferences. These include:

Resorts World Awana: Another popular accommodation option in Genting Highlands that offers comfortable rooms and recreational facilities, such as a swimming pool, an 18-hole golf course, and tennis courts.

There are also plenty of guesthouses and serviced apartments available.

Practical Tips

  • Be mindful of weather conditions, especially during the rainy season, and plan accordingly for any outdoor activities or transportation needs.
  • Before planning your trip, check for events, festivals, or promotions happening in Genting Highlands during your intended travel dates.
  • Weekends, holidays, and school vacations tend to be busier, with larger crowds, more traffic on the road, and longer queues at attractions. If possible, plan your visit during weekdays or non-peak hours to avoid congestion.
  • Book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak periods, to secure your preferred choice and enjoy any promotions or discounts available.
  • If you plan to visit the casinos, remember to bring your passport or other valid identification, as entry is restricted to patrons aged 21 and above, and proof of age may be required. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the casino rules and regulations, including dress codes and gaming etiquette, to ensure a pleasant and hassle-free experience.

What to Wear in Genting Highlands

Due to its higher altitude, Genting Highlands enjoys cooler temperatures compared to Kuala Lumpur and other lowland areas. During the day, it can be quite warm outside. However, do bring a light jacket if you visit during the rainy season or in the evening.

Despite being a Muslim country, Malaysia is not ultra conservative, especially in urban and touristy areas like Genting Highlands. Therefore, shorts, skirts, and sleeveless tops are acceptable.

Read: What to Wear in Malaysia: How to Dress Appropriately for Malaysian Weather & Customs

Final Thoughts

Genting Highlands has always been the go-to destination for local tourists when the desire for cool mountain air and a thrilling theme park experience meets budgetary constraints. But not only that — now it has also garnered recognition among international visitors as a destination that caters to diverse interests.

Whether you’re seeking family fun, romantic escapades, or adrenaline-pumping adventures, Genting Highlands has something for everyone. Come discover the magic of this hill resort destination and create memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t wait any longer — plan your visit to Genting Highlands today and let the adventure begin!

Have you been to Genting Highlands before? What has been your most memorable experience there? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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