Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Genting Highlands, Malaysia
Table of Contents
*Click on the link to jump
1. How to go Johor Bahru (JB) from Singapore?
2. Where is JB Sentral (for taking a train) located?
3. How to go to the Travel Agencies in Johor Bahru (JB)?
4. Where is Mushroom Farm Bus Terminal in Genting?
5. Miscellaneous Information
- Lobby Café
- Hou Mei Café 好味
- Western Food inside Resorts World Casino
- Good Luck Restaurant 鸿运
- Coffee Terrace
- 2nd floor of First World Hotel
- 3rd floor of First World Hotel – East Court 东庭
Top Travel Tips for Travelling to Genting Highlands Malaysia
How to Go Genting Highlands, Malaysia?
The first third of the page will provide various booking options from Singapore and Malaysia to Genting Highlands in Malaysia and subsequently, in Genting Highlands. I spent four days three nights in Genting Highlands from 14 to 18 April 2015.
1. By Plane to Kuala Lumpur
It takes 50 minutes to 1 hour of flight time from Singapore Changi Airport to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) whereas a coach/bus will take an average 5 to 7 hours of travel time.
You can check the website www.expedia.com.sg that also includes various budget airlines for comparison purpose. You can get a good rate for your air ticket and take a plane to save your time and energy from time to time.
Upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), take a taxi to go Genting and that would cost RM 200+.
2. By Train from Singapore or JB Sentral to Genting Highlands
If you have always been taking a coach to Genting Highlands, you may want to be more adventurous by exploring the train option.
a) You can buy online and state the departure point.
*How to use:
- If you are going from Singapore, select “Singapore” to “KL Sentral” (Kuala Lumpur Central Station).
- The departure point is at Woodlands Train Checkpoint. The street directory map is in the link.
- If you are going from Johor Bahru, select “JB Sentral” to “KL Sentral” (Kuala Lumpur Central Station).
- Take a 35 minutes taxi ride (36.45 km) to go up to Genting Highlands from KL Sentral or rent a car.
Alternatively, you may like to plan your holiday by spending a few days in Kuala Lumpur and then take a taxi up to Genting Highlands or vice versa.
b) You can also buy your train ticket directly from the counter in the hall after clearing your passport in Johor Bahru Checkpoint. Photo as shown below.
3. By Coach from Singapore to Genting Highlands
a) Book from any travel agency in Singapore. You have to ask about the pickup point because some travel agencies only have one or two pickup points which may be out of the way for you.
b) Book online to save you the hassle of going down to the travel agency. There will be many pickup points to choose from that convenient you. The ticket will cost around SGD (Singapore Dollars) 47.00 – 90.00 on a random check depending on the number of seats in the bus, date and time of departure. See the illustrations below.
There are many coach services to go Genting Highlands and many parts of Malaysia every day with different time slots. Choose a timing and price that you prefer.
Most of the coaches that depart from Singapore or Johor Bahru will stop in Yong Peng town in Malaysia for 30 minutes for a quick meal or toilet break.
*How to use:
- For departure, select “Any Location in Singapore” or the location that you want to depart.
- For arrival, select “Any Location in Genting Highlands”.
You will see a variety of pick-up and drop-off points in Singapore and Genting Highlands, prices for adults and children, types and availability of seats that will depart on that day.
Below are examples from www.easybook.com for the illustration.
4. By Coach from Johor Bahru to Genting Highlands
a) Book the ticket online.
*How to use:
- For departure, select “JB Merlin Tower“ or the location that you want to depart.
- For arrival, select “Any Location in Genting Highlands”.
b) Buy or reserve directly from the travel agency in Merlin Tower at Johor Bahru.
This time, I went with my family via this option. My father bought the tickets directly from the coach company, Transtar Express located in Jln. Siu Chin (Jalan Siu Chin) 10 days before departure.
You can save 50% of the cost by buying from the travel agencies in Johor Bahru instead of the travel agencies in Singapore. The sale of a ticket is RM 55.00 per trip with the exception that during Malaysia school holidays, the ticket price would be RM 60.00 or more.
The lady at the counter said it was possible to call and reserve the tickets over the phone without making any deposit. Collect the ticket 1 hour before the departure time on an actual day.
At this point of writing, Malaysian Ringgit depreciates its lowest at the exchange rate of SGD 1 to MYR 2.60. It is the best time to buy tickets directly from the counter or online in the Malaysian Ringgit.
My father recalled an incident where he purchased a ticket from Grassland in Merlin Tower at RM 60.00. He thought it was more expensive because Grassland is a reputable company in Singapore and usually cost a bit more.
When he went to pick up the ticket at Grassland on that day, he was asked to go to another travel agency – 707 for collection, located along the same stretch of street. He used to buy from 707 frequently at RM 55.00 until it stopped selling evening coach tickets from Johor Bahru to Genting Highlands.
My father has been buying the tickets from Johor Bahru for seven years because he goes to Genting frequently. He knows the coach ticket cost only RM 55.00 except during the school holidays and peak season.
Of course, at that time when he bought the ticket at RM 60.00, there might also be the possibility of buying it during the school holiday period. Therefore, the advice is to compare the prices among the few travel agencies along the same street before you buy.
I have highlighted various possibilities of transportation from Singapore to Genting Highlands. The same rule applies if you are taking a coach to other places in Malaysia.
If you are really on a tight budget, buy directly from the counters in Malaysia. But for convenience sake, it is easier to buy online with just a click of a button and print out the reservation ticket.
Quick Tip: Always play safe by capturing a screenshot of the purchased ticket from your phone or print immediately after ticket reservation online in case the email confirmation does not come in.
*All prices stated are subjected to change according to high and low seasons, public holidays and school holidays. It is correct at the time of writing.
1. How to take public transport to Go Johor Bahru (JB) from Singapore?
1b. Take MRT (North-South line – Red) and alight at Kranji MRT station. Cross the road to take Bus 160 or 170). 160 is a faster and shorter route to JB.
2. The bus will suspend its service temporary at the Singapore Woodlands Custom Checkpoint. All passengers will get off from the bus to go through the custom. Tap your card and the EZ reader inside the bus will indicate on the screen as “suspended”.
3. After clearing the custom, the passengers can take the same bus number to continue their journey without extra charge.
4. The bus will bring you to Malaysia Customs Checkpoint across the causeway in less than 10 minutes provided that the traffic is smooth.
5. Everyone will have to alight as this is the final destination.
- Bus Stop Code 46219 Johor Bahru Checkpoint for Bus 160
- Bus Stop Code 46211 Johor Bahru Checkpoint for Bus 170
2. Where is JB Sentral (for taking a train) located?
JB Sentral is located on the first floor towards the right side after clearing the custom.
3. How to Go to the Travel Agencies in Johor Bahru (JB)?
The travel agencies are on the ground floor of Johor Bahru Merlin Tower (map), about 300 metres of walking from the JB Custom. It is on the left side after exit. In another word, it is along the same street of City Square Shopping Centre on the left if you are facing it.
a) The stretch of travel agencies.
b) Our tickets bought from Transtar Express travel agency
c) Bus leaving for Genting at 9 am and 11 pm from Transtar Express.
d) View of the JB Checkpoint on the left from the shop front of Transtar Express.
e) Street of Jln. Siu Chin. One side of it is the petrol station.
f) On the street opposite the travel agencies. Hopefully, you will not get lost with these photos.
*Click the image to enlarge
g) You can take your meal on the street that is 1 to 2 minutes of walking behind the travel agencies. There are a lot of coffee shops nearby. You have choices of Chinese food and Malay food which are in a different area but near to each other.
We wanted to take our dinner in Jalan Siu Nam with a stretch of hawkers around 9.40 pm. At this time, most of the hawkers were closed or ending for the day.
h) The food that I had ordered cost me RM 5.50. It was cheap and good.
4. Where is Mushroom Farm Bus Terminal in Genting?
There will be free shuttle buses to take you from the hotels in Genting Highlands to Mushroom Farm Bus Terminal where most travel coaches stop.
The coach bay area in First World Hotel is on the opposite left side of the hotel which a big signboard states “Shuttle Bus to Mushroom Farm Bus Terminal”.
5. Miscellaneous Information
- Condition of the Coach
The coach from Five Stars arrived at 10.50 pm. I have a very positive image on the coaches from Five stars because they had well-maintained, thick cushioned seats which resembled new and very comfortable. The interior was clean and pleasant looking. The inclination of the seat can be adjusted to very low, giving plenty of leg rest.
- Stopping at Yong Peng for a 30 minutes break
Most road trips to other parts of Malaysia from Singapore or Johor Bahru usually stop 30 minutes at Yong Peng after 1 hour 30 minutes of travelling from Johor Bahru for a quick meal or a toilet break before continuing the journey. After 30 minutes of break, an announcement on the coach number would be made for all the passengers to proceed back to the coach immediately.
Arrival in Genting Highlands
The coach departed at 11 pm and took 5 hours to arrive in Genting Highlands First World Hotel at 4 am because the driver told me that he would not stop in Yong Peng for his driving style which led to an earlier arrival.
In fact, many coaches have the same practice now by not stopping in Yong Peng. Expect about 1 to 2 toilet break. It would take longer to arrive at the hotels during the daytime due to heavier traffic.
We had booked the room in First World Hotel for one extra night in advance and hence, we would be able to check-in immediately on arrival. Unfortunately, for the rest of the hotel guests who took the same coach with us, they were told to come back at 10 am that morning to get their room because the hotel rooms were fully booked.
If there were rooms available, the hotel staffs might be able to give them a room immediately. Such practice was performed in the past but expect it to be always full house during peak season at First World Hotel.
Hotel Room in First World Hotel at Genting Highlands (Standard Room)
We had both the Standard and Deluxe Room for three nights stay in First World Hotel. The one night stay in Deluxe Room was given free to my parents as a voucher. Additionally, they used their Genting Reward Points to deduct 11 points per night to book another two more nights of Standard Room.
The hotel staff was not able to upgrade all our three-night stays to Deluxe Room since we did not want to pay for better rooms, they decided to stick to Standard Room. The staff informed us that it would cost RM 15.00 for any room request such as staying on the same floor, connecting room or room with a view, the cost would be RM 15.00. For specific request for a room number, expect to pay RM 30.00.
The Management knew how to reap their profit from us. Other hotels that I have stayed before never requested to pay additional charges for special room request. The Standard Room that my auntie and I stayed were my mum’s birthday voucher. For many years, the Standard Room has been changed to a better room.
The Management of First World Hotel had either changed their policy by not wanting to upgrade those birthday voucher’s room or because it was fully booked. One lady that we met at the reception counter also told us that she did not have her room upgraded with her birthday voucher and this was not the same the previous time.
I think Genting Highlands has been a very popular resort over the years looking at the demands of their rooms and they no longer can maintain the high standard of services for their members.
i) Reception and self-check kiosk. Instructions on the usage and timing.
j) Notice to charge RM 15.00 for request of a room change.
Facility in Standard Room of First World Hotel
I believe that First World Hotel has upgraded their room. The room looks nicer now than many years ago to my impression. One thing remained unchanged in First World Hotel was that they never have any hooks or equivalent inside the toilet for hanging clothes while showering.
Even though Standard Room is the most economical room of all and one shouldn’t be expecting too many facilities, it is not unreasonable to expect that the shower room must have some hooks for hanging clothes or some other ways to solve this problem because this is the most basic equipment that a shower facility must have.
One can hang clothes outside the shower metal bar but the bar was so short that if you hang a towel at the bar, you have not much space to hang other clothes. One has to open up the door to take the clothes. Imagine staying with someone not close or an opposite sex friend, how awkward will that be with a system that doesn’t protect the modesty of a person. How ridiculous can that be!
The hotel staff explained that the toilet and shower room in Tower 1 were separated and hence, constructed in such a way. The shower room and the toilet in Tower 2 were built together so the problem was eliminated by not being seen by someone while opening up the shower room.
The items below are inside a Standard Room of the First World Hotel. Bring your own if you need more:-
- 2 Towels (medium size)
- 1 Soap Dispenser
- 4 Hangars
If you can afford, please upgrade your room at First World Hotel to the next better one. Having no hook in the toilet is rather inconvenient, at least for me and some others.
k) First World Hotel and the Standard Room.
l) 22nd level lobby view.
With Genting being such a popular resort and earning much revenue from the casino, what a shame that they still do not have free WiFi provided in the comfort of our room and the vicinity around it.
The rate for WiFi is RM 10.00 for 1 hour and RM 15.00 for 24 hours of usage. The hotel paid WiFi is ONLY restricted to the hotel lobby area nowhere else. Genting, please upgrade your WiFi technology to give a better service to your guests!!
Free WiFi is available at McDonald located along the linkway of First World Hotel and Resort Hotel. It is not necessary to purchase any food. Just register with your gadget and use. There is one KFC restaurant beside McDonald. You can even tap the network standing outside Mcdonald and maybe inside KFC too.
⇒ Starbucks Coffee
Starbucks Coffee café is another well-known WIFI hotspot at the far end corner outside First world Hotel. You purchase something from Starbucks and it comes with a wifi password on the Starbuck receipt. The Wifi connection will last for 2 hours. After 2 hours, you can request for a new password from the counter.
Do note that one password can only log into one mobile or another gadget at a time. There is no way you can log out from the first device and use the password on another phone or gadget. If that happens, the first user cannot use back the same password anymore.
In another word, you cannot cheat with one password sharing on two gadgets no matter how. I had verified with the staff that technically it was not possible. He gave me a new password to log in again because I logged into two gadgets and failed.
At the main entrance of First World Hotel, walk towards the right of the photo and Starbucks Coffee is located at the end of the corner.
Food Reviews in Genting Highlands
⇒ Lobby Café
m) Lobby Café is at the lobby area of First World Hotel. We ate Wonton Noodle, Steamed Chicken Rice and Nasi Lemak. My family reviewed that the food was not nice because there were a lot of MSG added. I tried one wanton and the meat had not much taste either. It will be our last time eating in this restaurant with lousy food standard.
n) Please see the list of food and prices of Lobby Café by enlarging the image.
⇒ Hou Mei Café
We patronised Hou Mei 好味 café located near to the shopping and the indoor theme park area of First World Hotel for dinner. We ordered Chicken Noodle 鸡丝面, Assam Noodle (also known as Penang Assam Laksa), Prawn Noodle, Fishcakes and a plate of bean sprout. It cost RM 19.00 for a bowl of noodle. Their servings were huge and two people can share.
I have been eating Assam noodle frequently from the same café for the past few years. It is my favourite of all times. However, assam noodle is not the type of taste that everyone would accustom too especially non-Asians.
The chicken noodle also tasted better as compared to the food standard in Lobby Café described above. Prawn Noodle is my best recommendation as it has a rich flavour. I highly recommend this restaurant for trying out local cuisine without burning a hole in your pocket.
On the second and third morning, we went to a food court called Eat@B5 on the first floor beside Resorts World Hotel area because my father said the food was inexpensive and good. The food court was at the left corner beside a taxi company and Transtar Express company. Refer to Photo q) below.
My auntie had roasted duck and the portion of the duck was very generous and delicious. Highly recommended! I had nasi lemak again and it was not too bad. Better than Lobby Café that I had on the first day. My parents loved the fish ball noodle soup and they had the same food for two mornings!
⇒ Western Food Inside Resort World Casino
We had western food inside a food court in the Resort Hotel Casino for dinner on the second night as my father said that they served nice western food. I ordered salmon. In the midst of hunger, I gobbled down my food and forgot to take a photo. The salmon was a bit over fried and tasted dry. The mushroom soup was creamy and yummy.
⇒ Good Luck Restaurant
We had dinner in this Good Luck Restaurant 鸿运 located inside the Resorts World casino. I took my first photo and was told by the staff no photography was allowed inside the casino. I wouldn’t want to argue on that point even though it was the restaurant that I was taking.
I had a salted vegetable with duck soup and jackfruit for dinner. The soup tasted average. There was a variety of food inside but the menu was more or less the same.
⇒ Coffee Terrace
Coffee Terrace in Maxims Genting Hotel is my top choice in Genting Highlands. No matter how many times I have dined in Coffee Terrace, the food is always so good over the years. The classy restaurant serves international and local buffet so you can try all of them if you can stomach them down. What’s more, the cosy ambience is a huge plus for remaining there longer.
I paid RM 40 for my brunch during the recent trip in March 2016. This buffet restaurant has my vote for a must-have if you want to try a variety of sumptuous food.
⇒ Second floor located within the shops and Indoor Theme Park
There are not many food courts and restaurants on the 2nd level. Most of them were shops. I spotted one QiQi Taiwanese cuisine and Hot Pot at the corner beside the lift but did not try them.
⇒ Third3 floor – East Court 东庭
I tried another Chinese restaurant – East Court 东庭 one year later after the published date of this article. Their method of cooking some dishes caught us by surprise. The Clay Pot Tofu was in a soup form instead of the thick sauce which we were familiar. The minced pork was a disappointment because it had a strong disgusting taste that implied that it was not that fresh. My favourite was the custard puff 流沙包. There were three inside the basket. All of us loved it!
o) There is also one food court – Kopitiam (literally means “Coffeeshop” in English) that has a variety of food stalls such as the famous Malaysian food – Lok Lok, Taiwanese Cuisine and many others that are worth to try. With a large concentration of food courts and restaurants on the first floor, you are spoilt for choices just by walking around.
p) The view of the Indoor Theme Park taken from the 3rd floor. There were not many people on the third level due to lack of activities.
q) The Eat@B5 food court is on the left end corner of the photo. There was a Transtar Express bus company and a Sri Highlands taxi company.
- Transtar Express
r) A single trip ticket from Genting to Johor Bahru Merlin Tower where we took the coach on the first day cost RM 40.00 during the non-peak period and RM 45.00 during the peak period for this particular company shown in the photo.
It was cheaper to purchase the ticket from the Transtar Express company as the departure point is also at Mushroom Farm Bus Terminal. My father bought our single trip tickets back to Singapore on the first day of arrival from a coach company in Mushroom Farm Bus Terminal at RM 50.00 per ticket.
- Sri Highlands Taxi
I enquired some rates from this taxi company. It cost RM 90.00 from Genting to KL Sentral and RM 180.00 from Genting to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). It may cost more to take a taxi from KLIA to Genting as told by one staff – around RM 200 plus. All prices quoted are one-way trips and can take up to four passengers per taxi.
t) We went to Rico Galleria, a shop in Genting Grand. I bought two accessory watches at RM 20.00 per piece. Before buying, a man took one pink watch for his wife which I wanted to buy. I told him I was buying it. He repeated two times that I had made a good judgement. Later, he chose another design in pink colour for his wife. I was pleased with my cheap purchase.
Most shops were in First World Hotel as compared to the other hotels there. Click on Shopping Directory to find out the shops there.
You can watch some shows or concert from your favourite celebrities all over the world. Check out the event page to see who will be showcasing their talent, the dates, location and ticket price. I watched Jolin Tsai performance many years ago in Arena of Stars.
u) Times Square inside the Indoor Theme Park has free entertainment and shows from time to time. At the end of the performance, the performers will ask for tips from the audience. At this time, the crowd disperse quickly. It is a hilarious sight, very “Asiatique”.
v) The man pulled up his pants on purpose to reveal the Chinese word “谢谢” (meaning “thank you”) tattooed on each leg. Unfortunately, my phone camera could not capture that shot.
I have travelled to Genting countless times over the past two decades. I always felt that three days two nights stay is ideal if you are not crazy about the theme park and casino. Any vacation more than three nights there can get kind of boring especially when you are not into shopping and gambling.
With global warming on the rise, the temperature is higher now on average and is no longer as cooling as before. I would not stay there longer for the sake of enjoying the weather not as cooling as before.
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Now is Your Turn to Say…
Let me know about your experience in Genting Highlands or if you need other additional help, ask me