Genting Highlands

220px-First_World_Hotel_Genting_+_Theme_park

The company’s annual dinner was held at a resort in the Genting Highlands, 35 kms from KL, last Saturday night. We had a very pleasant evening, with a delicious dinner and lots of good company and laughter. The next morning we decided to drive further up the hill to the highest  point, where there is “an integrated resort, with a casino, hotels and a theme park” to quote one tourist website. In my view it is the Malaysian 21st century version of Dante’s Inferno. The picture above is of just one of the high-rise hotels that scar the landscape. With 6000 budget rooms, the First World Hotel is by far the ugliest, its brightly coloured paint job now marred by huge patches of mould. Everywhere you look, there is more construction and the whole area is full of earth-moving equipment, piles of construction materials and dumping sites filled with detritus. You have to turn your back to the buildings and the noise and look out at the green, densely vegetated hills to get some idea of the beauty there once was on these highlands. I saw a lonely hawk circling some distance away and then landing on a discarded piece of machinery – it seemed a symbol of what this area could have been and what is has now unfortunately become.

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