Sunday, April 1, 2012

Putrajaya - 4th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

I'll stop my Langkawi post for a quick detour to the 4th International Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta which was on the 15th - 18th March 2012. Two words that were constantly playing in my mind throughout the whole time were disappointed and overrated. However, if someone were to ask me to go again next year, I might still consider it. Contradicting, isn't it? Well, I'll explain it in details.

Hot air balloon
When I first heard of this festival, it was few years back and the responses for it were quite unbelievable, according to what I had read. And since this year, I'm working in Kuala Lumpur, the opportunity to go for a fun trip there presented itself and it felt like such a waste not going at least once.

So, on that Saturday, me and my friends gathered at 1U for lunch first before taking the KL Rapid bus to Putrajaya Sentral which took about an hour journey. Left at 2.45pm, reached around 4.30pm, and that's the famous Malaysia's time punctuality for you guys. Our friends from Ipoh reached about the same time as us.

Helicopter ride for aerial view of Putrajaya for the loaded 

When we reached there, we were disappointed (at least I was) that there was practically zero hot air balloons floating up in the sky. Apparently, the balloons are only being inflated for two sessions, one in the morning while another in the evening. We were obviously too late for the morning part while too early for the second one which starts at 6pm. Even the people queueing up for the tethered hot air balloon rides were already exceeding 300, so our hopes of going airborne evaporated into thin air. Well, nothing to do but to explore around while waiting for 6pm to come.

Crazy shit the queue...

Views of Putrajaya from the bridge

There were a lot of activities catered to every walk of lives for people to play throughout the whole day. Extreme games such as zorbing, paint ball, and so on were available at the compound as well as kiddie attractions for children. Kids were gathered around clowns gleefully watching them making balloon animals.


...and weird zorbing

Wall climbing

Clowns and balloons for the kiddies

If nothing entices you, you can just sit and relax

By the time it was 6pm, there were a lot of hoo haa going on, signalling the hot air balloons were about to be up in the sky. But 15 minutes had passed by and yet there were no visible one up there. A lot of satu, dua, tiga! (one, two, three) were heard from the emcee but still there were nothing to be seen. At this point, we were still quite some distant from the launching ground and we decided to move closer to see better.

Indeed, they were inflating the balloon up one at a time and there were some which were about to be done inflating only to go back airless. The whole process was best described with this:

Satu, Dua, Tiga, Angkat (One Two Three, Lift)
Empat, Lima, Enam, Tolak (Four Five Six, Push)
Tujuh, Lapan, Sembilan, Lepas (Seven Eight Nine, Up)
Sepuluh, Jatuh! (Ten, Fall)

It was like this for almost 20 minute before a balloon finally lifted up and flew off. Some didn't even manage to get off the ground even with all the efforts poured on it. It's depressing seeing it.

The first one up in the air

Some of the designs for the hot air balloons

As for the Night Glow and firework show, well, the Night Glow itself was still quite a sight to behold but it took quite a long time for them to be synchronized perfectly with the songs being played. What was supposed to be an 8pm event ended up being 8.30pm or later. As for the firework display, we were in a very terrible spot where all the trees and some of the tethered balloons blocked the display. Disappointing to say the least. 

Night Glow

Blocked view of the firework display

Which bear the question, if I rated it so poor, why do I still want to go again next year if given the opportunity? Well, for one, I would have headed there a bit early, like 6am-ish kind of early, for the morning show as well as going for the tethered ride. I saw a lot of people actually went inside the launching compound and I want to enter and be up close with the balloons. It seems like a good photo-taking moments, to be inside the area. However, if I were to go next year, for sure I'll drive there.

Group shot

Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.

Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon is an annual event usually held during the week long school holiday in March. It is a perfect opportunity to bring your kids there to enjoy outdoor activities as well as going for the tethered hot air balloon rides. While Putrajaya is reachable with public transportation, it is better to drive there but be warn for it will be packed with cars during the event. Now that the fiesta is over for this year, start planning for 2013! For more information, go to the official website


  1. oh my goodness, u still rmbr the "angkat" thing!

  2. LOLLLLLL it's so funny the angkat, tolak, lepas and jatuh thing. Hahaa I like that caption 'crazy shit the queue'.

  3. Audrey: Of course la...told ya that I'll use it in my blog...

    KPY: it's only funny for those who were there and knew the whole story...were you there???

  4. Hahahaha were u there pui yee?? were you?? =P

    LOL jeff, the other readers might think its some super weird balloon show u went too xD

  5. I think last year was way better from friend's FB album

  6. i went too. tired after playing lots of games there.haha.

  7. Audrey: I doubt so la since this event is damn famous for unknown reasons...

    Nath: Is it? Then I went on the wrong year...

    Alive: You were there? I guess a lot of people were there too...

  8. interesting coverage of the hot air balloon fest at Putrajaya!
    Thanx for sharing. Would appreciate if you can show us larger photos :D

  9. I'm using free wifi to upload and loading photos takes ages to, have to resort to medium sized photos...