Bertemankan angin sepoi-sepoi bahasa, sedikit demi sedikit gondola yang dinaiki terapung di udara. Terasa tubuh makin tinggi dari permukaan bumi.
Ada kalanya gas yang mengeluarkan api untuk menegangkan belon mencetuskan bahang panas, namun pemandangan yang disajikan di kala itu menyejukkan suasana.
Takut? Sudah semestinya walaupun ia bukan penerbangan kali pertama buat penulis. Namun, keindahan panorama pagi nan indah di Putrajaya dari udara cukup mengujakan.
Hati terpesona melihat keindahan secara terbuka pada jarak ketinggian maksimum yang mampu dicapai belon udara panas.
Saat sudah berada di udara, sinaran matahari pagi yang memancar ketika itu secara tidak langsung memberikan perasaan damai dan tenang yang tidak dapat digambarkan dengan kata-kata.
Bagai seekor burung yang sedang terbang, keseronokan melayang di udara pasti mengujakan ibarat hidup bebas tanpa ada yang menghalang.
Kecekapan kapten yang mengendalikan belon udara panas itu juga mengujakan tatkala melihat cara dia menerbangkan belon itu.
Itulah yang dirasai penulis ketika diberi peluang merasai sendiri penerbangan selama 45 minit menaiki belon udara panas di Putrajaya dan Cyberjaya, baru-baru ini.
Sebelum ini, belon udara panas hanya dilihat terbang di ruang udara Putrajaya sekitar Mac setiap tahun sempena Fiesta Belon Udara Panas.
Kini, atas permintaan ramai yang ingin merasai pengalaman manis bersiar-siar di udara, MyBalloon Advanture melancarkan penerbangan harian belon udara panas sejak November 2015.
Pengarah MyBalloon Adventure Izzati Khairudin berkata, banyak maklum balas diterima pihaknya bertanyakan mengenai penerbangan harian belon udara panas selain ketika Fiesta Belon Udara Panas.
Bagi memberi peluang kepada orang ramai merasai sendiri pengalaman bersiar-siar di udara, penerbangan harian belon udara panas diperkenalkan MyBalloon Adventure.
“Ketika Fiesta Belon Udara Panas Putrajaya, pengunjung ditawar merasai sendiri pengalaman terbang tetapi bilangannya terhad.
“Berikutan permintaan ramai dan MyBalloon Advanture sendiri mempunyai Sijil Operasi Udara (AOC) daripada Jabatan Penerbangan Awan, kami melancarkan penerbangan harian ini,” katanya.
Penerbangan harian ini juga diperkenalkan bagi mengembangkan lagi industri belon udara panas di Malaysia selain menjadikan negara sebagai destinasi pengangkutan itu.
“Malaysia destinasi pelancongan yang cukup terkenal di dunia. Ramai pelancong datang untuk bercuti termasuk di Putrajaya.
“Dengan adanya penerbangan belon udara panas, makin ramai pelancong datang untuk merasai pengalaman itu.
“Ia secara tidak langsung turut mempromosikan Malaysia sebagai destinasi belon udara panas yang unik kerana ia terapung di tengah pusat pentadbiran negara, bukannya di kawasan lapang seperti di kebanyakan tempat,” katanya.
Terbang setiap hari jika cuaca mengizinkan, MyBaloon Adventure menawarkan empat pilihan pakej iaitu Standard (RM850), Full Board (RM1,000), Premium (RM1,150) dan Private Flight (RM3,400 ke atas).
“Setiap pakej disertakan dengan minum pagi sebelum penerbangan, selepas mendarat dan sesi sarapan di Cyberview Resort and Spa Hotel serta sijil,” katanya yang merancang menawarkan penerbangan harian di Melaka dan Pulau Pinang.
Pakej yang ditawarkan MyBallon Adventure bermula di Presint 2 Putrajaya apabila penumpang disajikan minum pagi ringkas dan sesi taklimat keselamatan sementara menunggu belon udara panas siap untuk diterbangkan.
Sepanjang penerbangan yang mengambil masa 45 minit hingga sejam mengikut keadaan angin, penumpang akan dibawa melihat keindahan Putrajaya yang sememangnya terkenal dengan reka bentuk bangunan unik.
Penumpang turut berpeluang melihat keunikan susun atur, jalan terancang serta jambatan yang memiliki keunikan tersendiri.
Apabila berada di udara, selain melihat pemandangan dan merasai sendiri pengalaman terbang dengan belon udara panas, penumpang juga berpeluang belajar dan melihat sendiri bagaimana kapten mengendalikannya.
Sampai di kawasan mendarat, perlahan-lahan kapten mula bersiap sedia. Apabila gondola sudah menjejak tanah, perasaan puas cukup terasa kerana berjaya mendarat dengan selamat.
Sebaik mendarat, penumpang disajikan minuman sejuk dan tuala basah. Menerusi penerbangan ini, penumpang bukan hanya dibawa terbang dan melihat pemandangan indah tetapi turun melihat belon udara panas itu di kempis dan dilipat.
Ini kerana penumpang digalak turut sama melipat dan memasukkan belon udara panas yang siap dilipat ke dalam bekasnya.
Selesai semuanya, penumpang dihidangkan dengan air soda berperisa epal sambil mendengar penerangan mengenai sejarah penerbangan pertama belon udara panas yang terbang kali pertama pada 21 November 1783.
Sesi penerbangan pagi itu diakhiri dengan sarapan di Cyberview Resort and Spa Hotel dan penyampaian sijil yang menjadi bukti penumpang sudah terbang bersama belon udara panas itu.
Sementara itu, pasangan penyanyi Mizz Nina dan Noh Salleh turut teruja menaiki belon udara panas.
“Ini kali pertama saya menaiki belon udara panas ini dan ia cukup mendamaikan.
“Dengan pemandangan yang cantik, ia nyata pengalaman yang mengujakan dan dalam pada masa sama memberikan ketenangan,” kata Mizz Nina.
Artikel ini disiarkan pada: Khamis, 11 Februari 2016 @ 11:07 AM MyMetro
(CNN) — As the ground grows distant, its small details are no longer visible and the earth begins to resemble an abstract painting. Swathes of green forest are flanked by the curved navy lines of a river, while cutting-edge architecture is reduced to miniature art, its bold patterns contrasting with the subtler designs of nature.
Floating high above Malaysia‘s administrative capital, Putrajaya, these beguiling sights have silenced the five occupants of our hot air balloon, a quiet broken only by the occasional roar of its fire release.
“I just love the peace up here,” says our pilot, Jonas Van Doorsselaere, a 30-year-old Belgian and co-founder of My Balloon Adventure, the first company in Malaysia to offer certified commercial hot air balloon rides.
“Put me in the air and I’m very happy,” he says. The stability of the basket coupled with its silent, smooth movement through the air has a swift calming effect. The basket doesn’t shake or tilt whatsoever, making it feel reassuringly safe. It’s also a great comfort to know the person piloting the balloon is an accomplished pilot. Doorsselaere’s life rotates around ballooning. For half the year he resides in Belgium where he operates a separate ballooning company.When the weather becomes less favorable for ballooning in Europe he heads down to Malaysia. Doorsselaere hopes that ballooning will become a popular activity for travelers to Kuala Lumpur, which received about 12 million tourists in 2016.But very few of those tourists visit Putrajaya, despite seeing it out their window as they travel on the highway from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Malaysia’s administrative capital
Putrajaya took over as the country’s political hub from Kuala Lumpur in 1997 and is, to a large extent, a purpose-built capital city.Its greatest appeal is its impressive architecture. The striking Seri Wawasan and Seri Saujana bridges span Putrajaya Lake, beside which are the towering Millennium Monument, and Islamic architectural gems like Istana Darul Ehsan, Perdana Putra, Putra Mosque and Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque. Capturing these structures from the air is a wonderful experience for photographers, whether amateur or professional, and is the highlight of the balloon rides.
Putrajaya’s remarkable beauty from above is one of the reasons it was chosen as the location for Malaysia’s first annual balloon festival. According to Doorsselaere, the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which started in 2009, was created with the help of Malaysia’s first hot air balloonist, the late Captain Khairudin Abdul Rani.Capt. Khairudin’s daughters, Atiqah Khairudin and Izzati Khairudin, are part of the My Balloon Adventure team, along with fellow balloonists Sobri Saad and Filip Audenaert. The company has been offering flights over Putrajaya for three years now and plans to expand their services to other locations in Malaysia. Like the Khairudin family, Doorsselaere has a lifelong passion for ballooning, which is very popular in his home country. He was only 16 years old when he earned his balloon pilot license and two years later he was flying commercially. Even after an estimated 1,000 flights, he says his job never gets tiresome. “Every flight is different,” says Doorsselaere. “Every day we meet new people from all over the world with interesting stories. For most people it’s their first balloon experience. It gives me a great feeling to see them smiling and enjoying their experience like I did with my first ride.”
As new hobby, sport and tourism attraction, Hot Air Balloon Rides in Malaysia is now one of the things you can do in Putrajaya and no, I am not talking about the yearly Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta but about the daily flights done here now. A new company called MyBalloon Adventure has launched their commercial hot air balloon rides in Putrajaya in 2016 and having experienced this first hand, I have to say that this is one incredible experience, especially if you have never flown on a hot air balloon.
This adventure is very much suitable for just about anyone, meaning young kids are able to go for this experience. In general, it is also a great tourism tool for any visitors to Malaysia, or even for those wanting to do a unique wedding proposal, honeymoon, birthday or anniversary present. Currently, you can only do this in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Hot Air Balloon Ride in Putrajaya
Many pass judgement on the price of this ride trying to compare the Cappadocia Balloon rides, but speaking the the captain Mr Filip Audenaert, he told me that he has been flying all over the world and Putrajaya gives passengers an entirely different experience overall, including the pilot too.
The other hot air balloon rides take you through natural landscapes in the open country, but for the hot air balloon rides in Malaysia, you actually fly through a city, passing skyscrapers, rivers, condominiums and homes and this is a more difficult scenario compared to flying out in the open. So this has been a challenge to the pilots which are now accustomed to the route.
In total, the entire process of this ride will take you about four to five hours, from the time you arrive and depart.
What is Included in the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Ride?
In your hot air balloon ride package, you will have a light breakfast before departing, drinks along the way, refreshments and some really cold towels when you land and to complete the journey, a full serviced buffet breakfast at the Cyberview Lodge in Purajaya.
After landing, you will be transported by a tour van from the landing spot to the buffet and back to your car. The tour does not include pick up from your hotel in Kuala Lumpur, but it could be arranged if you contacted the organisers before your flight. The standard practise is for guests to make their way to the hot air balloon departure area and park there as there are designated parking lots here.
Malaysian Hot Air Balloon Experience
First: You make your booking through the website or simply contact MyBalloon Adventure for your desired date.
Second: Make your way to Precinct Two of Putrajaya, near the Millennium Tower, the open area where they usually have the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. There is a parking lot at the back area. You will be told to arrive here by 6.45 am, therefore it is advised to leave KL or PJ at about 5.45-6.00 am.
Third: A light gourmet breakfast is served while they set up the hot air balloon and you can walk around to check out how they inflate the balloon. This is then followed by a briefing done by the balloon pilot before you board the basket for your flight.
Fourth: Enjoy the ride as the balloon takes off and flies past the many interesting buildings and structures underneath you. One of the best views is the sun rising over Putrajaya from the back of you, so keep a look out for that. You can also wave to the people from the high rise condominiums as you pass by.
Fifth: Landing is usually done at an open field where you will be reminded to bend your knees. After a smooth landing, you exit the basket and will be asked if you would like to participate in assisting to pack the hot air balloon. Finally, a cold towel and cold refreshments are served before you get whisked away to your buffet breakfast at the Cyberview Lodge in Cyberjaya.
MyBalloon Adventure Contact Email: [email protected] Phone: +(60) 12 365 0380 Website: http://myballoonadventure.com/ Price Per Person: RM 850.00 (about US$200.00) Total Time Required: 4-5 hours, done by lunch time
Once again, a huge thank you goes to Atiqah and Izzati of Myballoon Adventure in making this unique experience possible for me to share with the world. I have flown in a various types of planes, helicopters and now, this is my first time flying in a hot air balloon. For the record, this flight experience was introduce in November 2015 and now in January 2016, the company is aggressively promoting this as one of the things to do for Visit Malaysia 2016.
For those reading this, the balloon ride is very safe and even kids can do this. Even disabled people can have the opportunity, just that you need to make special arrangements with Myballoon Adventure for this. Price wise, it may sound a little on the high side, but if you look at the overall value, I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is worth every penny.
Additionally, for someone who wants to propose to his bride to be, this would be one of the ultimate experiences to do up in the air, and for those wanting to surprise someone for their birthday or anniversary as a present, this is a great opportunity to let them remember for life. Families can also have a group experience up in the air and all this is made possible by Myballoon Adventure, the pioneer company in Malaysia that offers these special rides. Now, hot air balloon rides in Malaysia are no longer a myth as anyone can do it here and not wait for the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2016.
KUALA LUMPUR – February 11, 2016: It is only after almost 300 hundred years since Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d’Arlandes manned the first hot air balloon flight in 1723 that we Malaysians can finally enjoy it on a daily basis.
Belated we may have been but as the saying goes, it is better late than never.
Launched by the country’s first commercial hot air balloon company, MyBalloon Adventure, starting up your morning while gliding above Putrajaya is no longer a mere wishful thinking.
Weather permits, the balloon will be fully inflated latest by 6a.m and passengers will be nested in a large wicker baskets, claimed to better than any first-class cabin seats.
“Don’t worry,” said Captain Filip Audenaert, “The weather is beautiful, calm and you are in safe hands,” as he reassured passengers who rode the hot air balloon during the company’s launching yesterday.
The pilots will constantly radio air traffic controllers from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) before every single takes off to ensure that the department is aware of their presence in the sky.
“Hot air balloon number 1 – Oscar, Oscar, Bravo, November, Whisky – are ready to take off from Putrajaya on a forty-five minute to one hour flight,” radioed Captain Filip.
So, for those whose coffees have grown stale and tired of the usual route taken during their morning jog, gliding on a hot air balloon as sunrise peered over the horizon might not seem like a bad idea to spice-up your morning.
MyBalloon Adventure is the only company in Malaysia to have received an ‘Air Operating Certificate’ (AOC) from DCA and it is the only active ballooning experience company in the country.
The company offers ballooning experience starting from RM850 per person including a 45 minutes to 1 hour flight, pre-flight refreshments, a delicious breakfast line-up post-flight and a completion certificate.
For those looking to pop up the question to a loved one up in the sky or raise a toast with colleagues in mid-air, MyBalloon Adventure can make it happen.
Shahirah Hamid Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore 16 March 2017
While we all know that hot air balloon rides are popular in destinations such as Turkey, Dubai and in nearer countries such as Australia and Myanmar, very few Singaporeans know about the ones available just across the border.
Malaysia’s first commercial hot air balloon rides company, My Balloon Adventure, offers picturesque 45-minute journeys across the country’s administrative and tech capitals, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, respectively. Their basic package, which includes pre-flight refreshments and a breakfast spread, is priced from RM$850 (S$270).
My Balloon Adventure is run by sisters Izzati and Atiqah Khairudin.
“If you look at hot air balloon prices in other countries, we are quite reasonable. Most would do their own research, and they find that [in] places like Bagan, Myanmar, the hot air balloon packages are about US$300 (S$420); or in Cappadocia, Turkey, it’s about the same or maybe slightly cheaper,” said Izzati.
She added, “However, theirs are not as intimate as ours. We still want to have that intimacy between the pilot and the passengers. At the end of the day, it’s a novelty ride that we take seriously and we want passengers to have that one-on-one communication with the pilot (as well as) the hands-on experience.”
My Balloon Adventure is owned by parent company AKA Balloon, which is a family-owned business launched in 1994. The sisters, who are also well-known in Malaysia for being the country’s first balloonists, took over in 2013 after the sudden demise of their father. AKA Balloon has been the pioneer in commercialising and organising two of Malaysia’s annual hot-air balloon events, namely the My Balloon Fiesta and the Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
Izzati, 30, and Atiqah, 28, started My Balloon Adventure in 2015 and currently the duo have set their eyes on expansion to Borneo, once resources allow.
“For international tourists, it’s good value for money for them especially now with the weakening ringgit. Also, there are not a lot of hot air balloon rides available in this region so it is something different,” Izzati said. To date, My Balloon Adventure has flown more than 250 passengers.
Passengers can also expect to fly with experienced hot air balloon pilots, assist the pilots with the packing of the balloon, and walk away with a certificate of flight completion signed by the pilots themselves. According to Izzati, 80 per cent of their passengers are made up of tourists, with 10 per cent of them being Singaporeans.
“For My Balloon Adventure, I think it’s really picking up. Malaysians are not familiar with the pricing of a hot air balloon flight, while for tourists, they are not aware that such attraction is available. But word really got out that hot air balloon ride is available in Malaysia now all year round. Our Tripadvisor reviews are getting stronger as more people are aware of the service we offer,” said Izzati.
Keeping the business aloft
“All of us take turns because flying can be tiring. We wake up at 5am and after every flight, we still have to go back to our office. So, it’s a long day and tiring day for us. Like the end of last year, we were flying so much, non-stop from Christmas to New Year’s Eve, so it’s a good thing we have a pool of pilots we can rotate,” reveals Izzati. Including Izzati and Atiqah, My Balloon Adventure has a total of five balloon pilots.
Currently, My Balloon Adventure has four sets of balloons, which can carry between two and 10 passengers at a time.
My Balloon Adventure operates almost every day except on Wednesday and every first Monday of the month. For customers with special occasions to celebrate, such as a wedding proposal, they can also assist with the arrangements.
Popular for wedding proposals
Atiqah, who also manages AKA Balloon’s public relations and marketing divisions, has been the go-to person when it comes to wedding proposals. “I have arranged easily three to five proposals every year. Before my customers want to pop the question, my first question to them is ‘how long have you guys been together? Does she know you guys are getting married?’,” said Atiqah.
“The most recent one we had, this guy actually blindfolded his girlfriend and asked her to wear a VR headset so she can’t see or hear where she is. He carried her in the basket and their friends were on the ground and each friend held one letter saying ‘Will you marry me?’. The guy removes her goggles so she could see her friends holding the placards. We were not so high, I think we were at about 100ft. He got on one knee and she said ‘yes’!”
“I think I have arranged too many proposals on the balloon basket,” quips Atiqah.
Best way to conquer your fear of heights
While people’s fear of heights has caused them to shun away from enjoying hot air balloon rides, it’s not the case for passenger and marketing manager Karen Yap. She conquered her fear by going on a hot air balloon ride – twice.
“I’m afraid of heights, but I enjoyed the hot air balloon adventure. I love the scenery and watching the sunrise while looking (at) the horizon. I love every bit of the experience!” said Yap.
“I decided to try it out again and this time, I had to share (the) amazing experience with my cousin, and her fiancé,” explains Yap.
Her cousin, Isabel Lau, also conquered her fear of heights on the ride. When she discovered that no safety gear was provided, she became worried, but ended up enjoying it.
“It was something I have never done before. It was very exciting! The entire trip was pretty smooth. It’s very chill and the weather was perfect too,” said the 29-year-old bride-to-be.
“I wouldn’t mind going on the ride again! I really appreciate what Karen did for both my future husband and I, for treating us to this wonderful opportunity,” she gushed.
If you’re looking to soar high up in the sky but don’t want the hassle of learning how to fly a plane, take a ride in a hot air balloon. MyBalloon Adventure lets you ride a hot air balloon without being tethered to the ground, and a trained pilot will guide the balloon over the Putrajaya landscape and several landmarks such as the Wawasan Bridge, the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, Persiaran Putra and more. Your session will begin just in time to catch the sunrise; and because the balloon flies wherever the wind takes it, everyone has a slightly different experience. The standard package includes pre-flight refreshments, a postflight breakfast and a time-lapse video.
Even wondered what was the hype about HOT AIR BALLOONS? Vasenta Selvanayagam reveals how this hour-long ride made her see and experience a whole new side of Klang Valley that she never could imagine seeing.
Floating in a hot air balloon 800 feet above Kuala Lumpur is a spectacularly serene way to experience Malaysia’s bustling capital.
Two feet on the ground, that’s how I’m happiest. I’ve never been comfortable with flying. My artsy head battles to trust the mechanics of planes, particularly when turbulence is involved, and I regularly check the flight route map to assess the feasibility of rescue possibilities, should a rescue be needed.
Yet here I am: The sun’s just rising over Kuala Lumpur and I’m about to climb into a hot air balloon and take flight for … well, no one is quite sure where.
“As balloon pilots we can control our height, but when it comes to the direction we go in, we’re at the mercy of the gods,” jokes captain Mohammad Sobri Saad, who’s been flying hot air balloons since 1996.
Really? My grip tightens on my camera as I try to appear calm yet interested; we’re chatting while two balloons inflate, the baskets lying on their sides in the grass. “So, we’re going up, and that’s about as much as you know?” I ask.
Sobri chuckles. “Ballooning is all about safety. I’ve already released a helium balloon so we know what the wind is doing. It rained last night, so conditions are good today, and we’ve done a thorough check of the envelope. It’s going to be a lovely flight.”
“Envelope” is ballooning-speak for the 21,500 square meters of fabric that, along with a gas canister and burner, is responsible for the flight.
It’s not rocket science: Hot air balloons fly on the principle of hot air rising, just as they have since 1783, when they were invented. The pilot regulates the hot air that fills the balloon to an average temperature of 220 degrees Fahrenheit and, as long as the air in the envelope is sufficiently hotter than the air outside, it will fly.
“Wind is air moving from high pressure to low pressure areas,” explains Sobri. “The greater the difference, the faster the wind blows. In Malaysia the temperature differences are smaller, so conditions for flying balloons are calm in the mornings. However, because of our hotter temperatures we can only fly until around two hours after sunrise.”
Nur Atiqah Khairudin — one of only two female hot air balloon pilots in all of Malaysia — and two associates inspect the “envelope,” the term for the balloon fabric. Photography by Narina Exelby
When Moon, the name given to “my” pink balloon, has inflated and pulled the basket upright, I clamber in next to Nur Atiqah Khairudin, captain of my flight.
With a whoosh of the burner, Moon gracefully lifts us up and the ground slowly drifts away. “So, you don’t know where we’re going?” I ask as casually as I can muster.
“No,” Atiqah smiles. “It’s actually what I love most about flying, that thrill of not knowing where you will land. No matter how often you fly, every day will give you a different experience.”
Atiqah is one of the pilots at My Balloon Adventure, a family business started by her late father, one of the first balloonists in Malaysia. As well as organizing the MyBalloonFiesta each spring, every morning they take guests into the airspace near Kuala Lumpur, taking off from different places depending on conditions and regulations. Sometimes they fly right over Putrajaya, a city just 15 miles south of the capital that’s known for its beautiful late 20th-century architecture. Seeing the pink-domed Putra Mosque, surrounded by a lake, from the air is utterly breathtaking, says Atiqah.
Today, however, we’re lifting off from the equestrian center at the Universiti Putra Malaysia; we’ll be flying over farmland and palm plantations, looking down on cows, as well as commuters heading into the city.
“I really like for things to be in my control, but flying forces me to let go because I cannot control the wind direction,” explains Atiqah. “When I fly in the mornings, the rest of my day becomes calmer.”
A drone’s-eye view of Kuala Lumpur courtesy of a hot air balloon flight. Photography courtesy of My Balloon Adventure
I begin to understand what she means. There is something incredibly peaceful about moving with the breeze and I settle into the flight, thrilled to watch mist rising from dips in the land and to have a drone’s-eye view of trees, pastures and grazing cattle.
The flight is so smooth, so serene, that I wonder whether the ballooning industry has any necessity to innovate. It turns out, they do: While a wicker basket will last a lifetime, the life span of an envelope is limited to around 450 flying hours in cooler, drier climes, and just 250 hours somewhere hot and humid like Malaysia. “Manufacturers continually try to create a fabric that can withstand higher temperatures and allow for longer flights,” says Atiqah.
The sun’s rays are strengthening, so our air time is almost up. We’re flying lower now as Atiqah looks for a place to land. Treetops become larger; we fly over a train and the driver looks up at us, blows his horn and waves.
Atiqah spots a clearing on the side of a hill. “When we come in for the landing, bend your knees in case it gets adventurous,” she cautions.
She nudges a lever that controls the burner, pulls on ropes that control the parachute valve — a vent at the top of the envelope — and we slip gently down between some trees. With a light shudder the basket touches the earth and, for the first time in my life, I’m slightly disappointed to have my feet back on solid ground.
The administrative capitol of Malaysia, Putrajaya, has a new attraction to add to its long list of things to do there. At and exclusive media launch recently, more than 12 passengers were given the opportunity to experience an unforgettable hot air balloon ride, organized by MyBalloon Adventure, the first and only commercial hot air balloon company in the country.
The location is above the beautiful grounds of Putrajaya and the mode of transport is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology in the world – the hot air balloon. In 1723, the first manned hot air balloon flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes. Today, it is a common item on the bucket list of many.
The journey takes approximately 45-minutes or up to an-hour of flight time for a journey of a lifetime to most. Adhering to very strict guidelines, the pilots of MyBalloon Adventure radios the Department of Civil Aviation every single time a flight takes off. “This ensures that the Department of Civil Aviation is aware of our presence in the sky. This is a must-do safety measure for us here at MyBalloon Adventure,” assures Captain Sobri.
As the balloons begin to ascend above the vast cityscapes of Putrajaya, the passengers are greeted with a beautiful sunrise with the bright orange sun beginning to peer over the horizon.
Nestled in large wicker baskets below huge balloon-shaped envelopes, the naturally air-conditioned 360-degree view seats beat any first-class cabin seats on board a plane.
As the ground below continues to get farther away, all the passengers can hear is the occasional sounds of the on-board gas cylinders which are used to heat the envelope and keep the balloon afloat. The mood is calming, the air is silent and the views stretch as far as the eye can see. In the distance, one can see the Twin Towers and not too far from there, the KL Tower.
For the many passengers on flight, the experience is a ‘first’. For the three pilots of MyBalloon Adventure, this is part of their daily routine and this is their ‘office in the sky’. With more than twenty years of ballooning experience and thousands of flying hours under their belts, passengers would be rest assured that they are in the good hands of the FAA-Certified hot air balloon pilots.
Weather permitting, MyBalloon Adventure operates daily. It is the only company in Malaysia to have received an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Department of Civil Aviation and is the only active ballooning experience company in the country.
“Once you are up in the sky, the feeling is more therapeutic than ‘edge-of-your-seat’,” shares one of the passengers.
As the balloons glided and soared gracefully in the sky for at least forty-five minutes, the passengers took plenty of picture-perfect moments; taking in the stunning and breathtaking views from 500 feet in the sky.
Myballoon Adventure offers bespoke ballooning experiences starting from RM850 which includes a stunning, breathtaking 45-minute to 1 hour balloon flight conducted by their vastly-experienced FAA-certified hot air balloon pilots; light pre-flight refreshments; a delicious breakfast line-up post-flight and a completion certificate to top off the wonderful experience. For passengers looking to pop the question to a loved one up in the sky or raise a toast with colleagues in mid-air, MyBalloon Adventure can make it happen.