Aug 2015 - Explorers Outing to Sunway Resort City



Seven Explorers met in the only Starbucks in Malaysia that sits underneath a 28 high metre Lion Headed Sphinx at the entrance to a massive (over 4 million square feet) Egyptian-style pyramid shaped mall.


The Sunway Pyramid Mall built in 1997 is the first themed mall in Malaysia. It is the home of Malaysia’s first ice-skating rink and has a bowling alley, cinema complex and convention centre as well as over 1000 retail outlets.

Firstly we headed through the mall to get an overview of the 88 acre Sunway Lagoon theme park and read some interesting curated boards about the history and development of Sunway Resort City. Viewing the 150 metre deep Lagoon Park it is easy to appreciate how it has developed from an old tin mining area. Back in the 1800’s the mines of Bandar Sunway contributed to the production of tin which was one of the economic pillars of Malaya.  In 1986 the Sunway Group commenced operations to develop the Sunway Resort City township by rehabilitating the old mining area which was completely devoid of vegetation. 


At this point we also looked at the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa. Built in 1996 it is one of the largest single hotel developments in the Klang Valley.  Looking out over the Lagoon Park 256 of its 1234 rooms are below ground level. When we headed out on the 13th level Hotel Lobby, lo and behold we were at ground level.

Off up an escalator to the Sunway Lagoon Elevated Rapid Transport Busway (BRT) station where we boarded one of the “green” electric buses to see more sights of Sunway Resort City from our lofty seats above the roadways. 

As we left Lagoon Station looming above us was the 27 storey Sunway Pinnacle. Next we passed the Menara Sunway building built in 1993. It’s rather modest appearance belies its importance as the HQ of the Sunway Group which has become one of the most influential property construction powerhouses in Malaysia. It has 12 divisions including property, manufacturing, healthcare and education. Today the Corporation has businesses in over 50 locations worldwide with more than 13,000 employees.

Our bus then approached the Sunway Med BRT station. From here on one side of the road we could see the Sunway Medical Centre.  Built in 1999 this 760,000 was the first hospital in SE Asia to receive full accreditation from the Australian Council on healthcare Standards. 


Currently it is being expanded from a 360 bed to a 900 bed facility.  And on the other side of the road the first phases of the luxurious South Quay residential development have been completed around another old mine site. 


The condominiums are interspersed amongst rows of cranes as construction of Sunway Geo, a large mixed use development, is continuing at a frenetic pace. 

We got off at the second stop from the Lagoon – Monash University,based in Melbourne Australia, which was the first foreign university to establish a campus in Malaysia. Nearly 9,000 students have graduated from Monash University Malaysia since it was built in 1998.  It currently has over 5,000 students from nearly 70 countries studying in 7 Schools from Arts and Social Sciences to Engineering, Medicine and Pharmacy.


We left the bus platform and went along the elevated walkway linking Monash University to other institutions in the Sunway Resort City Education Hub. 


The Sunway Education Group has benefited from the philanthropic input of Sunway Group founder Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah. The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation is based on the principles of giving to society, quality education and a vision in perpetuity. It has already awarded in excess of RM165 million in scholarships to more than 20,000 students. 


Passing by the students playing football on the newly built astro turf pitch in front of Sunway University, we noted the appealing condominium style student accommodation on the other side of the walkway. Then the walkway goes from the hot, humid outdoors and into the icy cool of the Sunway University Graduate Centre which provided us with a handy comfort stop!


Out into the heat again, past the Sunway College and International School, we saw  underneath us in the wildlife park section of the Lagoon, – a live tiger exhibit!  


By now we have taken well over 580 steps and are spurred on by the healthy lifestyle homilies written on the walkway beams above us.  Sunway Resort City is the only integrated resort city in Malaysia and the first green integrated township in Malaysia certified by the Green Building Index.  It is home to nearly a quarter of a million people from more than 100 countries and receives 42 million visitations yearly.

We have come full circle as we head back into the Pyramid Mall checking out the mall’s new Asian themed shopping avenue, “from Tokyo to Taiwan”. Next stop Marrakesh – the Arabian themed avenue where 5 of us rest our weary legs and enjoy a massage session at the Arokaya House.


Two of us head off to the ice rink  where Maryann does Canada proud and flies round the ice.  The happily massaged Explorers emerge feeling like they too are gliding on ice.  We finish the outing with lunch at the Chinese restaurant Putien.  Some of us went for the set lunch some went a la carte. Between us we tried some interesting concoctions – pickled jellyfish, seaweed with mini shrimps, seaweed soup – some more palatable than others.


Sunway Group is still led by its founder, Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, AO.  Sunway Resort City fulfils his vision which is to “enrich the communities we build and serve through improved connectivity and accessibility, where people can live, work, learn, play, be healthy and safe.”

Hosted by

Sue Sawyer who also took the pictures