Sunday, May 30, 2010

Royal Kedah Inaugral Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010

Teethered Balloon Rides
We went back to Taman Jubli Emas for a second day! It was not quite planned and I guess that's where half the fun is. We did talk about it but I half expected Daughter to sleep through. Son had wanted to go to see the sunrise from City Point with his friends... He's been the sort who has difficulty waking up. So, when I heard his alarm clock go off at 5.30 a.m. I decided to make sure he got up.... Daughter soon got up as well and asked whether we were going. How to say no to a kid like her????

So we got all our stuff (read that as cameras) and went. Got there at 6.35 a.m. but already there were people. The guard was kind enough to let us drive right in... and guess what? At that unearthly hour (it's a Saturday morn) there were already people waiting. So, the Ma joined the line.... what wouldn't parents do for their kids, huh?
Royal Kedah International Hot Air Balloon Fest
There were already 7 people in front of me. So we waited and waited... for almost an hour before I could purchase the tickets. We were under the impression that they would start selling the tickets at 6.30 a.m. We were wrong! The line was real long and a lot of people were disappointed cos there were only 120 tickets available. And selling them didn't take very long. Each person was allowed a max of 4 tickets.... 30 people were all that was needed!
Hot Air Balloon Basket
In the meantime, Other Half wondered around the main field where they were setting up the balloons.
These trucks are mighty useful... they carry the balloons and their paraphernalias, act as weights so that the balloons don't fly off on their own, pick up the balloons from their drop zones.... real workhorse.
Royal Kedah International Hot Air Balloon Fest
This is the fan they use to inflate the balloon before heating it up. What they'd do would be use these super strong fans and inflate the balloons. Once the balloons are filled up, they'd fire up the heat. The rest is physics!
Hot Air Balloons
They were very kind to these photographers wannabes. An announcement was made that all those with 'real' cameras were allowed to wonder into the field where the balloons were being prepped to lift off. People like us who carry p&s cameras had no such privilege.

After we got the tickets, we had to wait for the skies to be cleared of air traffic (as in real planes) and for them to get ready. That took another hour. Punctuality is not their forte, that's for all to see.
Royal Kedah International Hot Air Balloon Fest
Then another hour before Other Half and Daughter lifted off.... for 3 minutes of a tethered balloon ride which took them up about 20 feet! 3 hours of waiting for 3 minutes of thrill. But our gal was a very happy girl. But at least they had erected a tent with chairs for the people waiting. People had to stand around to wait the day before.
Royal Kedah International Hot Air Balloon Fest
Then we went again at night for the 'night glow' display.... that despite the fact that the place was jammed with cars and we had to park more than a kilometer away from the park. Son and his friends joined us later. Again our little girl walked the distance with us. But the 'night glow' show was a disappointment. First the MC kept telling us the show would begin at 9 p.m. Well, the time came and went but there was nothing new... I mean, the balloons had been 'glowing' on and off the whole time we were there at the park! The musical fountain had a good sound system, though!
Royal Kedah International Hot Air Balloon Fest
Second, he would have done better if he had used the opportunity to give some information about hot air balloons. There seemed to be this intention to make the public stay back since Tunku Putri Intan Shafinaz was supposed to show up just before 9 p.m. She was slightly late. And they wanted the people to hang around to see her go up in the hot air balloon......

But on the whole it was still a positive experience for the people here who are starved for interesting events and activities. But sad to note that the rubbish mentality is very prevalent here. All over the park, people simply threw their rubbish on the ground.... we're not that civic still.

As for the organization of the event, I feel it's not well publicized. Even for those of us who went, we were in the dark as to what programme will be carried out. There are some posters in town but simply just not enough. The quality of emceeing leaves much to be desired too.


Anonymous said...

drove there for almost 2 and half hour and reached there by 520pm. NO PARKING PROVIDED!! although there's still lot of space inside the park. Lousy organiser. Have to park at the road side, beside the paddy field, dont know 2km away!!!!! The security and policeman traffic in charge also not friendly at all like we owed them money..... mentang mentang kita rakyat biasa. left there and went to menara alor setar. staff there are extremly friendly and helpful. thumbs up for them at menara alor setar.

Dino said...

We have it here but i never took the time to check it out. I think it costs about $150 per session

PreciousPearl said...

eh wah, all that and then up & down 20ft only meh? I'd feel cheated.....

AJ7 said...

The official site stated 15-30m but they say cannot go higher because of the strong winds... but yeah! you do tend to feel cheated!!

Anonymous said...

It's only RM10... The same as Putrajaya..
It's not RM150..

Anonymous said...

If you feel cheated..why go? There's lots more people line up for the ride..
It's not how high u want to experience but experience the hot air balloon ride.. If u want height, go up menara alor setar or go to fun fair..hahahahhahaha

AJ7 said...

Anonymous... read the comments properly. $150 as in USD not MYR... as a price comparison between Malaysia and the US.

autocity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Die, die also hers....

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