GENTING HIGHLANDS • With the thick fog and the mist curling from your breath, you would think you are visiting Europe in winter.
But it is not Europe. It is Genting Highlands, a Malaysian hill resort just about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur.
Visitors and tourists flocked to the resort over the weekend to get a taste of "winter" in a tropical country - and for some shopping.
With the temperature dropping to as low as 14 deg C in the highlands, many Malaysians also took the chance to don winter clothing that they would otherwise never have the chance to wear in the lowlands.
Accountant Alan Kua, 32, who was visiting from Kuala Lumpur with his wife, Hui Nee, 32, and their three-year-old daughter, Laeticia, said they loved the cold weather.
"We love the cold weather and it will be easier for us to shop and walk around. And since Chinese New Year is just around the corner, we are also doing some shopping," he said on Saturday.
Last Thursday, the Klang Valley experienced its coldest weather in months, with temperatures dipping to 21 deg C.
I really like the cold weather and we can finally use our winter jackets. However, my son kept complaining that it was too cold.
POLICE OFFICER MOHD FARHAN JAMION, who drove from Ipoh with his wife Suhanita Hussain, 32, and their seven-year-old son, Muhammad Izz Ferriz.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) said this was due to the effects of the North-East monsoon, which brought with it overcast skies, incessant rain and cold winds.
Police officer Mohd Farhan Jamion, 35, drove to Genting Highlands from Ipoh with his wife Suhanita Hussain, 32, and their seven-year-old son, Muhammad Izz Ferriz. "I really like the cold weather and we can finally use our winter jackets. However, my son kept complaining that it was too cold," he said.
Engineer Al-Firman Zahari, 34, from Johor, who brought along his extended family from Jakarta, said: "Now, we do not have to travel so far to get this... beautiful weather."
But not everyone was "cool" about the weather.
Housewife Siti Zaleha Abdullah, 53, from Kuala Lumpur, said the damp weather makes it harder to dry clothes outside.
"It's always rainy and cloudy. I need to ask my daughter to take me to the launderette to dry our clothes," she said. "This will add extra cost to the family's expenses."
Fitness enthusiast Mohd Razif Abdul Karim, 29, said the rain made it harder for him to jog. "Usually, I can jog in the park after work but now, it is slightly more troublesome," said the Petaling Jaya resident.
A self-service launderette in Petaling Jaya, is enjoying brisk business, with many customers coming in to use the dryer.
Mr C.K. Wong said he spent RM4.50 (S$1.40) to dry his clothes for 23 minutes in the machine. "Otherwise, there is a musty smell on my clothes in this type of weather."
Meanwhile, MetMalaysia has dismissed as fake news a social media message that said a change in the monsoon winds from the Philippines has brought heavy rains and caused the cold spell in Malaysia.
In a statement, MetMalaysia's director-general Alui Bahari also denied the advice in the same message telling Malaysians to wear warm clothing at night to avoid a drastic drop in body temperature that could lead to high fever.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK