The wind in your hair, the ground far below and a balloon carrying you to an elevated sight of Putrajaya.
Trust us, the experience is like no other.
If hot air balloons are your thing, you CANNOT miss the annual Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
Going into it's 11th year this year, the festival will be held from 19 to 22 March at Monumen Alaf Baru in Putrajaya.
Just like previous years, international ballooners will be making an appearance and this year includes participants from Spain, Japan, Belgium, Thailand, South Korea, Italy, Taiwan and of course the local additions from Malaysia.
A sight to behold
If you think that all hot air balloons look alike, you're wrong!
There will be quite several unique shaped balloons decorating the skies, and they're all super adorable.
Here's a few of our favourites:
Minion from the United Kingdom
Little Pirate from the United States
Big Hug from Brazil
Owlbert Eyenstein from the United States
Light House from the United Kingdom
Can you imagine these unique shaped hot air balloons decorating the sky in Putrajaya?
It's going to be lovely!
An opportunity to propose to your better half?
Other than the special-shaped balloons, two heart-shaped ones will also be making an appearance at the festival this year.
AKA Balloon Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Nur Izzati Khairudin said that the heart-shaped balloons were from Taiwan and Japan.
"We're expecting special proposals to happen this year," she said adding that it would be such a special event for such an important moment.
She also said that another popular feature at the festival would be the Night Glow Show.
"The Night Glow Show has been featured in our past festivals and it is a very special event. Visitors will get to see the hot air balloons appearing in the night sky like large lanterns and dancing to the beat of the music," she said.
Covid 19 safety always in mind
On concerns on Covid-19, Nur Izzati Khairudin stressed that all measures were being taken to ensure the safety of attendees.
"We will provide sanitisers at key points and we are also advising our pilots travelling into Malaysia to be mindful. We are also encouraging all members to have sanitisers at their respective booths and to be more aware of their hygeine," she said at a recent press launch.
The launch event was also attended by former Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad and Putrajaya Corporation President Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim.
Dr Aminuddin also spoke about the safety aspect.
"We have more than 20 ministries in Putrajaya and Health Ministry is only a stone's throw away. We are constantly working together with them and have taken all measures needed to ensure the safety of the visitors," he said.
A total of 200,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year.
A little taste of the ballooning experience
The Rojak Daily team was given a chance to ride on one tethered balloon which was specially inflated during the press launch and boy was it an experience.
Although the balloon was anchored to the ground, it was still a memorable moment.
For first-time hot air ballooners, we suggest you wear pants (thank goodness this writer wore jeans) and proper shoes because there are no doors on the basket! You'll just have to climb in!
The basket is usually just below an average person's shoulder height, and there will be a hole or several holes on the side of it for you to place your foot on and climb in.
I had to try getting in a few times because well, I'm not really known for my gracefulness 😜 but our videographer Syamil, climbed in like a pro.
Upon entering, the usually smiling ballooner accompanying you will then turn on the burner, and up up you go!
I would have to say that I was a little nervous about the experience (a little meaning absolutely terrified because I'm afraid of heights), but it was not too bad at all.
You can hardly feel it as you ascend into the sky and as we reached our maximum height, I was actually left wishing that we could roam higher above.
A rare sight
For those of you who are saying "ehhhh been there, done that", stick around, enjoy the sights and watch as the teams deflate the balloons. It's an interesting sight!
We were the last ones to ride on the tethered balloon at the launch and just as we alighted, a member of the ballooning team, suddenly brought over a huge fan.
The fan blows cold air which helps eliminate the hot air within the balloon and slowly, it starts to deflate.
To keep the balloon as deflated as possible, two of the crew (who were waiting below) then jumped on the main deflated portion and basically wrangled it into its full collapsed mode.
It was quite an interesting sight!
So, unique experiences, beautiful sights and a wholesome family outing.
The hot air balloon fiesta is definitely going to be marked on our calendars this March.