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Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Review

Pesta Belon Putrajaya
The Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010 was the 2nd Balloon Festival held in Malaysia from the 19th to 21st March and the turn out was amazing over the weekend.

People from all walks of life and from all over drove down to witness this amazing balloon show in Putrajaya with 23 hot air balloons participating from around the world.

Fortunately for me, it was a coincidence that I was visiting Putrajaya for the weekend and took the opportunity to visit the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010.

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Review

Filling the balloon with hot air is no easy task

The Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010 at Putrajaya was indeed a success as over 100,000 people came to watch the balloons over the weekend.

The main highlight was the unique shaped hot air balloons like the Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon and a pair of Levis Jeans Balloon which the crowd absolutely loved.

It was really and eye opener for most people when they witnessed these unique odd shaped hot air balloons in Putrajaya this year around.

Levis Jeans Hot Air Balloon being fired up

For the record, if you plan to visit the 3rd Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta for 2011, you should be well prepared before you head there.

The reason being was through my experience at the current fiesta. Read more about this at the end of this article for tips and information.

Levis Jeans Hot Air Balloon at Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010

Vader Hot Air Balloon MalaysiaDarth Vader Hot Air Balloon, the much talked about balloon at Putrajaya

Video of Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon

Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon in Putrajaya hovering over some buildings

The general crowd at the Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya was held in the vicinity of the Millenium Obelisk or the Monument Alaf Baru which is the road of the main Putrajaya Boulevard in Precinct 2.

So, the inner roads around the main event area will be closed off to the public making it an open walkway for everyone.

However, you have to give way to the pick-up trucks bringing the hot air balloons back to the grounds from the hot air balloon races.

Video of the Putrajaya Balloon Fiesta

The general scene when I arrived at the Hot Air Balloon 2010 Fest in Putrajaya

Firing up the hot air balloon while others hold it down

Managing the hot air filled balloon and stabilizing it is not easy

Video of a hot air balloon being filled

A few people hold down the balloon as it is almost filled with hot air

Some of the hot air balloons used for rides

Preparing the hot air balloon at Putrajaya

A paraglider without his parachute preparing to gear up

During the event, there was the para-gliders team who were going around the Hot Air Balloon grounds in their little machines.

There must have been at least 10 of them taking turns to circle the area in groups of threes and fours. They were gliding pretty low too so this was a great photo opportunity for many people.

Video of paragliders landing at Putrajaya

Para Gliders landing and taking off at Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 Festival

3 Para-gliders doing a formation just above the fair

A para-glider making his rounds at Putrajaya

Look closely at the KFC sign and see what it actually says

Activities at Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Food was no issue at the Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya as there were all kinds of fast food, local food and international food being sold.

A hive of activities is provided throughout the hot air balloon grounds with informative tents to displays of light aircraft.

There were also Helicopter Rides where a 15-minute Helicopter Ride was charged at RM150.00 per person. For those with a healthy wallet or purse, this would be a great experience to fly in a helicopter around Putrajaya.

Balloon sellers having a field day at the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010

One thing that caught many children eyes was the cartoon balloon sellers which were abundant around the area.

I must have seen at least 20 balloon sellers walking around with helium-filled balloons. Most popular was the Sponge Bob Balloons followed by other Japanese characters like Hello Kitty Balloons and even Naruto Balloons.

A mother attends to her daughters Hello Kitty Balloon

View of the crowd at 9.00 am in the morning at Putrajaya

For this review, I was staying at the Pullman Hotel and Resort Putrajaya for the weekend and thought that I would go in early on Sunday morning to get tickets.

I eventually got there at about 8.00 am and there was already a terrible traffic jam getting into the parking at the grounds. After parking quite far, I had to walk to the main ticket entrance.

So, I finally got into a line for one of the Hot Air Balloon Rides which are RM10 per person and there were 5 Balloons for the rides.

After waiting in line for about 10 minutes, one of the personnel approached everyone asking about their tickets and when it came to me, I did not have one and asked him where can I get one, he told me they were sold out since 7.00 am. No kidding. The event starts at 7.00 am and they were sold out at 7.00 am!

This was my most favorite balloon shot!

Buying Tickets for Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Ride

Apparently, people were seen lining up at the balloon ride ticket counter from as early as 5.00 am on Sunday.

By 6.00 am, the line had stretched to over 200 meters long and by 7.00 am the tickets were sold out, so you can only imagine how popular this ride is. 

So, unless the management of the Balloon Fiesta works something out for any future Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people.

Tickets were limited to 300 a session where there were two sessions a day and each hot air balloon could only go for 60 rides, meaning 60 tickets per balloon.

Maybe next year, they can have 10 Hot Air Balloon for Rides for Putrajaya. There are no pre-buying the balloon ride tickets so you need to be there before the event to buy your tickets.

You should have seen the sad faces of hundreds of people when they found out there were no tickets available.

Armed and ready with a zoom lens

What came as a shock to me during the event was not only the balloons but the crowds which came armed with DSLR Cameras and high-end equipment.

Many came to capture the moment armed with tripods, monopods and all kinds of zoom lenses. Some lenses even the price of a small compact car!

Well prepared for the Hot Air Balloon pictures

Seriously, I must have seen one in five people using a DSLR Camera during the Balloon Festival in Putrajaya.

Times must be good this year in 2010 or the big camera companies like Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Fuji are having a super sale on DSLR Cameras.

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010 was a success from the turnout and hopefully, for 2011, we will see more unique shaped hot air balloons. See you next year and congratulations to the Team for organizing this amazing event in Malaysia!

Contact details for the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta;
2nd Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010
No. 50, Jalan 3/108, Taman Salak Jaya, Salak Selatan,
57100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone: +6 03 7981 8769 / 7981 8712
Fax: +6 03 7981 8697

Email: info@myballoonfiesta.com

Final Thoughts to the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

After the first few events held, the organizers opened up online ticket booking for entry passes and also the tethered hot air balloon rides. 

This means that those interested should book their tickets online when they are announced. Overall, it is great fun, especially for kids. 

If you have never been on one of them, I highly recommend you attend the next Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. 

Post a Comment


araleling said…
Wow, the Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon is very awesome, look kinda heavy to me @_@ can fly up somemore.

The Naruto small balloon kinda cute :D

LOL at the KFC sign, hahaha, later got sue like last time Mcd >_<''
Malaysia Asia said…
Araleling, the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010 was really full of excitements for everyone as they had a good variety of balloons. Any the KFC was really funny. Thanks for the visit.

eunice said…
so happening! Is it held every yr in March? Goodness, Darth Vader is always the popular choice in any event!

Kelantan Fried Chicken, does it taste better? LOL
fufu said…
wow darth vader!! awesome!! i wanna go there in 2012 :)
Anonymous said…
You guys seemed to have lots of fun out there!
Too bad, the weather was a bit gloomy.
shloke said…
Event starts 7 a.m.---> tickets sold out 7 a.m. LOL! Lining up since 5 a.m. for a tethered balloon ride? That's insane!!! Malaysians are getting real kiasu :)

I think the organizer needs to bring in more balloons. PPJ (Putrajaya Holdings) admitted that they received over 60 requests from world renowned balloon pilots. But it was narrowed down to less than 20 balloons due to space constraints. The moral of the story? Find a larger space in Putrajaya + increase the number of public tethered balloons.

Whoah! You were staying in Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside?? What is the daily rate???

LOVE Picture 3 ---> 'PANTS ON FIRE!'LOL!

Those pictures look really beautiful. The "Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010" was really amazing and we really enjoyed there. This is the most favorite family entertainment.

Best Regards,
Malaysia Asia said…
Eunice, yes, this is the 2nd Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta so next year there will be a 3rd. Hope you can make it to try the KFC :)

Fufu, why 2012? Not next year?

Londoncalling, yeah the weather was not in the photographers favor this time around. Maybe next year?

Mylo, yeah, I hope nest year they arrange for more tickets and balloons. Anyway, Putrajaya HAS a lot of space, just if they want to use that larger space. I hope someone from PJH sees this posting.

Pullman was excellent and it was a review I did there.

Shenandoah, thank you and you should attend next years one. Bring the family as well if you can.

MsXeRoZ Nicole said…
Hi David, i came across this forum, that says the electrical junction box is open in Putrajaya. here's the link. http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/printthread.php?t=29887

I'm not sure whether this is true, because im not there. Anyway, precaution is always the better measure. Hope the organizer would improve this in future.
louisebah said…
The balloons look great, esp Darth Vader.

Can imagine the crowd though, which I doubt I would enjoy.

I think I'll enjoy the next balloon fests the same way I'm doing now :)

You just gotta love photoblogs :)(esp with all the DSLRs running around! hahaha)
Malaysia Asia said…
Nicole, thanks and I will check that out.

Louise, Well, the crowd was large but it wasn't chaotic and it was quite spacious so it was pretty alright overall. Yeah, I was really shocked to see so many shutterbugs in one place. The last time I saw this was at the Joe McNally Photography Workshop in KL.

Anonymous said…
I was at the event last Sat. I was only after the fireworks display...which didn't disappoint at all. It was awesome.

As for the balloons, the tethered rides were not great. They should have allowed people the option of paying for the real hot air balloon rides.
Anonymous said…
Another sad part is no point in calling up the numbers of the company organising the event as either no one picks up or it's busy. I emailed them and till today, no reply.

I wanted to find out the times and venue of the fireworks. So much for trying to get info.
Catherine said…
so wanted to go but unfortunately, I have job that weekend. Sigh! next year must go
Malaysia Asia said…
Mei, Yes I absolutely agree with you on letting people to go for actual rides. Maybe next year they would look in to this matter? I guess they should also have a proper hotline system improvement next year too. Again, I hope someone from the organising team sees this posting and thank you for your honest feedbacks to the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Catherine, I hope next year you get to make it there and also they have more balloons.

CathJ said…
urghhhh missed it again... T______T

Very nice la.. I really wanted to see.. hehehe
Malaysia Asia said…
Cath, where were you on that weekend? Your kids would have loved it!

Ciki said…
hi david, great looking blog you've got here and i really love the vivid colors of the balloons that you captured so well! I've just added you to my blog roll. (kindly feel free to add us if u like what you see :)) cheers
Malaysia Asia said…
Hi Cumi and Ciki, thank you for the kind words and yes, I will add you to my blog roll. Hope to catch up with you at the BlogforFT dinner tonight.

gbeejipp said…
Missed it. Flew into KL Sunday evening but I was too tired to stop by. At least I can see the pics that you posted.. Thanks.
Pablo (yo) said…
Great blog!!
If you like, come back and visit mine: http://albumdeestampillas.blogspot.com

Pablo from Argentina
Nicholas Leong said…
Lots of people now using DSLR, its almost crazy! Throw a rock in the street and you will hit one :P

I heard the turnout was massive-er than last year but the rain also washed out a few of the anticipated events.
superwilson said…
U got the Darth Vader picture while I'm finding the parking. :)
Malaysia Asia said…
Pablo, thank you for your visit to my Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 article. Will check your site out.

Nicholas, yes, almost everyone with DSLR. Young, old and all races! Amazing and I wonder why the big camera companies were not involved. Yes, crowd was massive and the skies were horrible!

Wilson, to be very very honest - YES! :)

Unknown said…
Ken Wooi said…
i wanted to go as well.. but.. cant!.. maybe next time! =)
Malaysia Asia said…
Ken, maybe next year's Balloon Festival will be double the fun? I hope so.