After eight consecutive years of hosting the event in Putrajaya, MyBalloon Fiesta (formerly Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta) annual event has finally found itself closer to the heart of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur! Nestling itself in the scenic neighbourhood of Desa ParkCity, about 25 minutes from Kuala Lumpur city centre, the 9th MyBalloonFiesta was back with its aptly themed “Balloon in the Park” as the hot heat rose March 10th to 12th this year.
It was early morning when I made my way to Desa ParkCity – http://desaparkcity.com – a lovely green residential area developed around a lake. It was a Saturday, and residents jogged, walked dogs, took kids for walks or enjoyed coffee at the local shopping area. The sun rose and a few of the balloons were being tested, ready to take people on tethered rides from 7,30 am.
I got to ride on a colourful red and pink balloon, and when the pilot started the fire to inflate it, heat came to my head and warmed my scalp so much I had to duck! Two huge gas tanks fueled the balloon from inside the wicker cabin, and up we went. The feeling was great: we were lulled by a fresh breeze during the soft ascent, and from the top the view of the surrounding area was incredible. I only got to ride a mere 10 minutes, but it was enough to understand the enjoyment of flying on a hot air balloon!
Down at the park, I enjoyed a gourmet buffet breakfast while listening to a quality live jazz performance. Small tents were provided for media, VIP and balloon club members who enjoyed the sight of balloon inflation, as well as activities like zumba classes and a challenging limbo dance.
As I had a second serving of the amazing breakfast, I got to meet with Atiqua, one of the balloon sisters. I have been one their fans for so long, and I have followed all their rides online! SEE: http://asianitinerary.com/around-peninsular-malaysia-balloon/ – http://asianitinerary.com/surfing-clouds-pahang/ – http://asianitinerary.com/paddy-fields-kelantan/ – http://asianitinerary.com/breezing-through-terengganu/
The day got warmer by the minute, and by 9,30 am the balloons had to be taken down as the sun was so strong there was a chance that it would damage the balloons liner.
In the mean time, my colleague Cato was covering the show at Putrajaya, which started at 6,45. Converging at the park were seventeen balloons from eleven countries comprising of special shapes and colourful designs: teardrop-shaped balloons, as well as some outrageous, quirkily-shaped ones including the special-shaped balloons such as the Rooster from Thailand, Tako II and Happy Chan from Japan, a hatching egg balloon as well as Dexter the Happy Flame from the Netherlands.
Back at Desa ParkCity, general admission for the public started at 4pm. The Fiesta attracted a diverse crowd of local and foreign tourists attending this annual event, some bringing their own picnic mats, cozying up while feasting upon the scrumptious food available at the http://www.foodgasmfest.com.my – various food trucks and tents serving hungry patrons.
Those not keen on the idea of going up in one of the balloons did not need to worry as this three-day festival entertained in a variety of ways: besides hot air balloon rides there were activities including cultural performances, balloon workshops and more. Jordi Enrich, an artist from Spain who recycles old hot air balloons, presented balloon igloos large enough to cater people and activities inside like the ‘Silent Disco‘ and an outdoor cinema featuring movies with hot air balloons themes. VR 360 video was present with an interactive viewing of wide-angle panoramic video, encompassing a 360-degree circle spherical view, experienced through the use of special goggles, for an incredibly ‘like real’ feeling of riding a hot air balloon.
The evening session included an amazing Hot Air Balloon Display and Night Glow Show display, the perfect photo shooting opportunity as well as the chance to meet and greet the pilots of these amazing balloons.
Endless fun we had at the MyBalloon Fiesta 2017 – don’t miss the chance next year, check their schedule on www.myballoonfiesta.com