My Hot Air Balloon Ride @ 4th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

I know the 4th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012 event happened nearly 2 months ago but I still want to share my hot air balloon ride experience with you guys. Remember my blog post last year and my rants about some miscommunication from the organizer who wasted my precious time? Finally this year I get to ride the Hot Air Balloon. Not just any hot air balloon but the one that takes off from Launching Site A at Monumen Alaf Baru, Precint 2 and lands at another place. Yiiiha!

I was so happy to get the message from @myballoonfiesta few weeks before the event (shows they remember their promise last year) and was informed that my scheduled day is on Friday, March 16th, at Monumen Alaf Baru, Precint 2, Putrajaya. So, in order to NOT repeat last’s years problem, my brother and I arrived at Monumen Alaf Baru at 6.45am even though they said the balloons will only take off at 7.40am. *kiasu mode* :lol:

So, how was the ride? I only have one word for it – Wow! :)

Filip (pilot) and myself

It was an awesome experience to fly with Filip Audenaert, our pilot from Belgium in the Michelin balloon. Filip didn’t talk much but I have a feeling he is a very competitive guy. His balloon was the first to take off that morning because he wants to win the “Hare & Hound” game that is happening every morning throughout the event schedule. How does the “Hare & Hound” game work?

  1. Pilots must fly to a spot marked “X” at a point after the Putrajaya lake.
  2. Pilots will have to throw their own marker at the “X” point.
  3. Marks are given according to the distance of the marker and the “X” point.

Filip said that he won first place the day before, which is the first time they tried the “Hare & Hound” game. So, even though the balloon was quite far from the “X” spot on that morning, he still threw his marker so that he can collect the points. At the end of the four-day Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, the balloonist that collected highest point in the “Hare & Hound” game will win. Although Filip does not know what the prize is, what matter to him is to win.

I managed to take a video of some of our flying moments including when we were so high up (we went as high as 750ft) and also when we were only inches above the lake surface. I felt a teeny bit of fear when we were so close to the water and this was what I said :

Me : Filip, we’re so close to the water. Is this safe?

Filip : Can you swim?

Me : No.

Filip : Uh-ohhh..

LOL! Cheeky pilot.

Filip is a very skilled pilot. He wanted us to see Putrajaya as he sees it. He even pointed out the Prime Minister’s house (which I, as a Malaysian, didn’t even know!). Since pilots of this event can only depend on the wind to manoeuvre the balloon, I am especially glad that Filip is my pilot. I certainly do not want to crash into the trees or something. He landed the balloon smoothly and easily.

Although we had to wait quite a long while for the pickups to come to us at our landing spot, I was happy to experience this. I wish the ride was longer and the hot air balloon was bigger. Filip says piloting hot air balloons is his full time job and in Belgium, he pilots hot air balloons that can carry 10-12 people at once. The Michelin balloon and all the other hot air balloons at the Putrajaya event can only take 4 people at once.

Unexpectedly, after we have landed, Filip actually handed 2 certificates for my brother and I. I was surprised at this additional goody and was so pleased to receive it. It would be a great reminder of our awesome experience! I hope next year’s Hot Air Balloon Fiesta will open balloon flights to the public. I will surely find my way to the fiesta again then. :)

Other Activities @ Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Festival

There are other activities at the 4th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta too such as zorbing, helicopter rides, paramotor and so much more. So, if you missed out on this year’s event, make sure you join in on all the fun next year guys!

P/S : Finally met Mye at the fiesta that morning. Hope you had as much fun with the flight as I did sweetie! ;)

Bella Enveeus

A Batwoman who wishes she is Sleeping Beauty instead. A small scale entrepreneur. A dreamer, a thinker, a blogger. Love to write about things that she sees, things that she touches, things that she thinks of, things that she experiences herself. Currently having itchy feet syndrome and finding the need to travel and see the world regularly. Read more about her and her achievements at the "About Me" tab.

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13 Responses

  1. Emila says:

    Awesome experience! I takut naik balloon, I have height phobia.
    My recent post Postcard for Bain & Insyirah

  2. foongpc says:

    Wow!! You went for a balloon ride!! And it flew places! Not that balloon that let you fly up in the air and then come down! Awesome!
    My recent post The Summit At Ocean Park Hong Kong

  3. foongpc says:

    LOL! Dunno how to swim? Me too!! Sure panic in such a situation!! But luckily the pilot was just being cheeky and not really in trouble haha!!
    My recent post The Cable Car Ride At Ocean Park Hong Kong

  4. Thanks for the nice article !! We are glad you have been a passenger with us. And for your info we won the competition !!!

  5. No a big trofee ! You can check the picture on : http://www.facebook.com/Filvaballonvaarten :-)
    Warm regards from cold Belgium !

  6. rudy says:

    Nicely written. Glad you have a memorable flight. Filip ….the splash and dash would have been good for her.

  7. Mye says:

    Bella!! I just saw this! Awww, what a memory. Hope you'll have fun in the upcoming fiesta. I wouldn't be there *boohoo* but I'll be stalking the updates for sure!

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