Officially known as Resorts World Genting and a self-proclaimed City of Entertainment, Genting is Malaysia's low-budget, family-friendly, sanitized attempt at Las Vegas. The primary draw is that Genting is the only place where you can gamble legally in Malaysia, but there's also a theme park to keep the kids amused. The resort offers six hotels with 10,000 rooms, over 50 fun rides, 170 dining and shopping outlets, shows, business convention facilities and entertainment options. As a plus, being located up in the highlands means it's cooler than the steamy lowlands. Genting attracted 19.2 million visitors in 2008.
But before you get too excited, tone down your expectations a bit. Genting is cheap and tacky, and not in a good way: nearly everything is overpriced and a bit run-down and since 2010 it is also facing competition from neighbouring Singapore's two new Intergrated Resorts with Casinos at Resort World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands. Those of an environmentally conscious disposition may want to skip the Genting Highlands altogether, as the sight of vast concrete structures and day-glo coloured theme park rides set in the forested highlands could be positively traumatic.
Orienting yourself in Genting is simultaneously easy and difficult. There are no "streets" of any kind; instead, all the gigantic buildings are connected with a vast warren of linkways, underground tunnels and escalators, all filled with enough signage to stop you from getting lost. Figuring out the fastest route from A to B is not always easy though, because the signage is designed to lead you into the hotels and their casinos!
Located at an altitude of 1800 m (5900 ft), temperatures in Genting are a good 5-10°C lower than in Kuala Lumpur, generally staying in the 15-25°C range. On a clear day, there are stunning views down into the valley — but when it's raining in Kuala Lumpur, Genting is swathed in rolling clouds and visibility drops to zero. Thanks to the walkway system, you almost never need to venture outside, but hotel rooms are unheated and can get chilly at night.
The nearest airport is in Kuala Lumpur. Skybus  used to run direct buses, but seems to have stopped; the fastest way is thus to KL Sentral by train (28 min) and then connecting to the bus from there. Alternatively, if you're feeling flush after hitting a jackpot in the casino, Sabah Air (tel. +60 3 62578604) will be happy to charter a helicopter for you (30 min).
There are frequent buses operated by Go Genting Express Bus from various points in Kuala Lumpur (first bus at 8AM or 8:30AM), including the Puduraya bus terminal (every 30 min), KL Sentral train station (half-hourly and hourly), Hentian Pasarakyat (hourly) and Gombak (half-hourly and hourly). There are also less comfortable buses from Pekeliling Bus Station to Genting Highlands (every 20 to 30 mins, first bus at 7AM). Booking in advance is advisable as services can sell out, especially on weekends.
All buses take around one hour and cost around RM 5 one way, with most terminating at the bus terminal beside the Skyway cable car base station, from where it's an 11-minute ride up to the summit of Genting (RM 5 one-way; the top cable station is in the Highlands Hotel). You have to wait more than 45 min for the next cable car. It is slightly cheaper to buy a combined bus and cable car ticket, costing less than RM 10. Buses departing at 8PM and 9PM on Fri, Sat and Sun head directly to the First World Bus Terminal, making it unnecessary to take the cable car up. The buses that depart at 9PM, 10PM and 11PM on Fri, Sat and Sun for KL Sentral from Genting leave from the First World Bus Terminal, making it unnecessary to take the cable car down. A direct non stop bus departs from Genting to KLCC, the last bus departing at 8PM ( RM 35 one-way; travel time 2 hrs, reservation available at bus counter no:3 )
You may also consider buying the so-called Go Genting Golden Package (valid for one day only; RM 47, (RM 4 more on national public holdiays) from the Genting ticket office on the second level of KL Sentral. This package includes the return bus journey (same day only) between KL (KL Sentral and three other points of departure) and Genting bus terminal, the return cable car ride (same day only) and buffet lunch at the Coffee Terrace or Outdoor Theme Park day pass. You have to decide on what time you want to return from Genting when you purchase the package.
Transtar  operates one daily superluxury "Solitaire" bus direct from Singapore (S$87/77 one-way from/to Singapore). Other companies running direct buses include Five Star Tours, Grassland, Konsortium and Easibook.
By car and taxi
Genting can be reached by car from Kuala Lumpur in about 1 hr on the Karak Highway. An executive taxi from the centre of Kuala Lumpur to Genting costs RM150-RM200 whilst a regular taxi from the centre of KL to Genting costs around RM60-RM70.
All hotels in Genting (except Awana) are connected by sheltered walkways and escalators, so you never actually need to go outside. The entire complex is, theoretically, wheelchair accessible.
See & Do
Let's face it: if you aren't into theme park rides, the only thing to do in Genting is gamble. All casinos are open 24 hrs, although you must be over 21 and, if Malaysian, not Muslim to enter. A notional but widely ignored dress code applies, prohibiting T-shirts, shorts and sandals, and while there are theoretical non-smoking zones here and there, all casinos are wreathed in dense smoke. One final difference to Vegas: not only are there no cocktail waitresses, but you can't even buy a drink inside.
Table games of choice are roulette, baccarat and Chinese games such as tai sai and pai gow, with poker barely registering. There are also countless slot machines, but they all require signing up with Genting's WorldCard  system if you want to withdraw any winnings.
No bags are allowed inside, but lockers are available (RM 3), as well as a manned deposit point for more valuable goods like laptops. Photography inside the casinos is strictly prohibited.
Food in Genting is generally overpriced and mediocre. Local, Western and fast food are available, but prices are often twice or more what the same meal would cost in Kuala Lumpur. Most restaurants are halal to cater for the large number of Muslim visitors.
There are a number of fast food chains like McDonald, Burger King, KFC, and Marrybrown. All these restaurants charge about 50% higher than what they charge elsewhere in Malaysia. Try Marybrown's Nasi Lemak meal as breakfast: one piece of chicken, a hot tea/coffee, and other Nasi Lemak condiments for RM ~10.
Herbal soup near Genting Skyway- It's just a small shop selling herbal soup from RM8.80++. You can add rice for RM2++. Tasty soup and affordable price. One of the cheaper food options in Genting.
There are some decent Chinese restaurants like the Causeway Bay (FW Plaza Second floor) and Shanghai 10 (FW Plaza Main Atrium). They serve good food and a meal for 3 (1 main course, side dish and a drink per pax) should not cost you more than RM 60.
Nightlife in Genting is very limited. There are four (4) bars of any description in the entire complex, three of them (Safari, Cloud 9, All Sports) in the lower level of the Genting Hotel and one (Patio) on the second floor of the First World Hotel.
There are several cafes around such as Starbucks Coffee and Coffee Beans & Tea Leaf available in the First World Hotel.
With 10,000 rooms to choose from, there are usually plenty of beds at Genting. On weekdays in the off-season, rooms can be very cheap indeed (under RM 20), but demand is highly seasonal and the hotels fill up fast in November and December. Note that all rooms are unheated and can thus get chilly at night!
All hotels are run by Genting and share the same reservations center, reachable online or by phone at +60 3 27181118.
There is cheaper accommodation available a couple km down the slope from the cable car base station, such as Hotel Seri Malaysia.
Both Genting Hotel and First World Plaza have Internet cafes. There is also a post office on the lower level of Genting Hotel.
Kuala Lumpur - the capital of Malaysia, just 45 minutes away