Tokyo with Kids

Tokyo is a city that needs little introduction. As part of our 10-day free-and-easy Japan trip, we spent half of the time in Tokyo with two days at Disney parks, two days exploring the famous city and one day side trip from Tokyo to Mt Fuji.   The first thing we realised when we were in Tokyo was how big the city was. Getting from one area of the city to another can take more than half an hour, so it is a good idea to plan the itinerary according to the different “zones” as defined by Tokyo Metro. The zones from east to west are listed below: Cultural Fusion – This area includes Tsukiji Fish Market, Kabuki Theatre, Akihabara (for electronics), Sumo Hall, Ueno (Park, Zoo and Ameyoko Shopping Street), Asakusa (temple and shopping) and Tokyo Skytree. Metropolitan Luxury – This area includes luxury shopping near Tokyo station, at Ginza, and Marunouchi. The Imperial Palace is also within this “zone”. Night Life – Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Tower, and Tokyo Midtown. Cool Tokyo – This area centers around the latest fashion, with plenty of eateries. It includes Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku and Takeshita Steet. We went to the Cultural Fusion zone on our first full day, and the Cool Tokyo zone on the second.   Day 1 – Tokyo’s Cultural Fusion The two most interesting places to visit in Tokyo were the Tsukiji Fish Market and Asakusa. These two attractions can be covered in one day. Tsukiji Fish Market Tsukiji Fish Market is the world’s biggest seafood and fish wholesale market. Those willing to wake up early to be the first... read more

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea theme parks were the girls’ favourite places in Tokyo.   With popular Disney characters, parades and fun rides, a day out in a Disney theme park will definitely excite most kids, and even adults. Even though it was not our first time at a Disney theme park, we did learn some things during our trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea that we didn’t experience at other Disney theme parks.   10 Things you should know when visiting Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea   Tip #1: Buying tickets There are a couple of Disneyland theme parks around the world, but there is only one DisneySea, and that is the one in Tokyo.  We highly recommend going to DisneySea in addition to Disneyland. It is not possible to cover most of the attractions in both parks in a day. In fact, you cannot even complete all attractions, parades and shows in one park in a day.  You need at least 2 days to cover both parks. It is also cheaper to buy a 2-day pass than buying two 1-day passes. The catch is that the dates will be consecutive and fixed for both parks.  It is highly advisable to buy tickets online.  This does not only save you precious time queuing, but it guarantees you entry.  My friend tried buying tickets when she was already in Tokyo but couldn’t get tickets.   The Mediterranean Harbour at DisneySea was where we could enjoy a gondola ride just like the one in Venice, Italy.   The Mermaid Lagoon was an underground section of DisneySea with rides for young kids and an entertaining acrobatic show at the Mermaid Lagoon Theatre.  ... read more

Must-try Halal Food in Tokyo

Halal food used to be difficult to find in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, but recently, there has been a growing number of halal food in Tokyo making it easier for Muslim visitors to find food.   Here are the top picks:  1. Saishoku Teppan Ippin in Ebisu Saishoku Teppan Ippin serves a variety of halal-certified Japanese food including succulent wagyu beef, chicken karage, bamboo rice and many more.  The restaurant got its name from the popular Malaysian cartoon Upin dan Ipin.  It is a 10 min walk from Ebisu Station.  When we visited, the staff sent someone to fetch us to the restaurant. Address: 3 Chome-16-11 Nishiasakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō (10 min walk from Ebisu Station) Tel: 03-6452-5860 Hours: 11:30am – 3pm (every day), 5-11pm (Mon-Sat); 5-10:30pm (Sun, PH) Website      2. Gyomon in Shibuya Gyumon is a small restaurant in Shibuya serving halal-certified Yakiniku.  With flavourful and juicy beef, don’t plan on showing up there on weekends without a reservation.  It can be reached in 5 minutes from the south exit of Shibuya JR station  If you face the Hikarie shopping centre from the road, head to the right along the road, cross the overhead bridge and head straight until you see the shop with a yellow banner (below). Address: 3 Chrome-14-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to Hours: 5pm-4am (Mon-Sat ); 5pm-12am (Sun, PH) Phone: +81-3-5469-2911       3. Naritaya in Asakusa Naritaya is a small restaurant serving halal Japanese ramen noodles.  It is also a place where you order and pay for your food through a vending machine before going to your seat.  It is located in Nishisando Shotengai arcade (pictured below) which is to the left of the famous... read more

Kyoto in 2 days

Kyoto is one of the most fascinating cities in Japan rich in history and tradition dating back centuries.  It was once the capital city of Japan and home to the emperor.  As a city that was spared from destruction during the world war,  Kyoto is where you will find beautifully preserved traditional villages, imperial palace, and ancient buddhist temples.  Kyoto is also where you will find geishas, traditional tea ceremonies, refined Japanese cuisine, and sublime gardens. We spent two full days exploring Kyoto by trains and buses.  It took a while to plan the two days as we had to figure out how to get around.  It didn’t help that the instructions and maps online were mostly in Japanese. Day 1 We spent our first day around the Higashiyama area where we visited famous Kiyomizudera temple, and explored the preserved historic streets of old Kyoto. We purchased a two-day bus pass from the bus interchange above Kyoto station, then took bus 100 or 206 and travel about 15 minutes or around 8 stops to Kiyomizu-michi bus stop.  The buses had monitors indicating clearly the various bus stops and which stop we were currently at.  Thankfully, the bus stop names appearing on the monitor were both in English and Japanese.  We were also given a bus map which you can also download from here – Kyoto bus map in English.   Yasaka Pagoda After crossing the road, we walked along the historic street towards Yasaka Pagoda and Kiyomizudera.   Kyoto Pottery Along the way, we passed by Kyoto Pottery Center selling pretty Japanese-style potteries.   My girls were interested to try out this 100-year-old craft, and since the... read more

Yuzanso Ryokan – A traditional Japanese Inn experience

A ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn featuring tatami-matted rooms.  During our trip to Kyoto, we wanted to experience staying in a ryokan to experience the Japanese culture and hospitality.  The ryokan that we selected was called Satoyumukashibanashi Yuzanso Ryokan, a hotel located in the Ogoto-Onsen area that is famous for its hot spring.  It is about 20 minutes by train from Kyoto station.   The room was intended for a maximum of 2 adults and 3 children, but it was actually big enough to accommodate 7 people with 5 on Japanese-style futon beds and 2 on normal single beds.   Our hotel room had a private outdoor onsen bath overlooking Lake Biwa.  It is great for guests who want to enjoy the traditional Japanese bath but are not keen on sharing it with other guests.  An onsen bath is definitely a must-try when visiting Japan.  We get to enjoy the cool breeze from the lake while soaking in the onsen, and unlike normal bath tubs, the water in the onsen bath stays wonderfully hot even after an hour!   When walking around the public area of the hotel, and going to the dining area, we had to wear the traditional Japanese slippers and robes called the yukata.  A staff came to our room when we first checked in and measured us for the yukata.   Enjoying Halal Japanese cuisine Yuzanso Ryokan is the only big Japanese style resort in Kyoto that serves authentic and halal-certified Japanese cuisine for its guests.  We had a private dining room that was solely for our use during our stay. On our first night, we were served a multi-course Kyo Kaiseiki dinner which was truly... read more

Must-try Halal Food in Kyoto

Muslims around the world now have more reasons to visit Kyoto, Japan. Of late, there has been an increase in the number of halal food in Kyoto and in other parts of Japan, giving  muslims an opportunity to savour a variety of authentic Japanese cuisine. One of the Japanese cuisines every visitor must try in Kyoto is the Kyo Kaiseki cuisine, the most refined cuisine in Kyoto dating back over over a thousand years ago. The cuisine places emphasis on the use of the freshest seasonal produce delicately presented over several courses.   Minokichi Restaurant One of the places that serves muslim-friendly Kyo Kaiseki cuisine is Minokichi, a traditional restaurant located in Hotel New Hankyu (or Shinhankyu Hotel) across the road from Kyoto station. The restaurant offered three options for the Kyo Kaiseki dinner (1) Chicken Sukiyaki (2) Beef Shabu Shabu and (3) Fish Shabu Shabu.   Other dishes included assorted appetiser, grilled fish, tempura prawns, assorted vegetables, rice and noodles.   Everything served was lightly flavoured so that we could taste the freshness of the food.  Even the simple cut of honey dew was extremely juicy and sweet.   Green tea in its most authentic and traditional form was the last item served along with a traditional  Japanese sweet.   Tips:        Reservations are required at least 3 days in advance Address: Hotel New Hankyu, Kyoto basement 1F, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto Salt Alley Shinmachi Higashiiru, 600-8216 Website: Tel:          +81 (75) 343-5327 Open:       11:30~21:30 Hotel New Hankyu also has family rooms. Click here for details about Hotel New Hankyu from   Yuzanso Ryokan Another place to try authentic Japanese cuisine is at Yusanzo.  It is... read more

Shirakawa-go and Takayama

  Shirakawa-go is one of the most scenic villages in the world.  Located at the foot of a mountain in Gifu, Chubu, Japan, this UNESCO World Heritage site is famed for its traditional farmhouses with thatched-roof, called Gassho-Zukuri.   Takayama Shirakawa-go can be reached by taking a Shinkansen (bullet train) from Kyoto to Nagoya, then a wide-view Hida train to Takayama, and finally a Nohi bus. While waiting for the next bus to Shirakawa-go, we took a walk along Takayama’s beautifully preserved old town. Takayama’s Old Town is lined with an art gallery, a museum, eateries and shops selling traditional Japanese arts and crafts and clothes.  Visitors also had the opportunity to be pulled on traditional rickshaws.   Shirakawa-go The hour-long bus ride from Takayama to Shirakawa-go took us through the mountainous region in Gifu.   Upon arrival, visitors must first cross a long suspension bridge above, and pass through the gate below to enter the village. The beautiful Gassho-zukuri farmhouses was built in the Edo period more than 200 years ago. The architectural style is unique to the area and the roofs were designed to withstand heavy snowfall in winter. The village subsisted on the cultivation of silkworms.   It was a great thing that we planned to stay overnight, because by 5pm, most of the day-trippers had left the village, giving us the opportunity to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the village without the crowds. Take a look at the picture on the right below.  Have you ever seen a drain so clean that fishes could survive? Surrounded by mountains (pictured below), the area is cool even near Summer.   Farmhouse stay While most people made a day trip to Shirakawa-go, we... read more

Snow Wall Japan

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a destination worth visiting while in Japan.  The route passes through stunning landscapes of Mt Tateyama in the Japanese Alps.  The main attraction on this route was the snow wall, an attraction only available in Spring.             To reach to the peak,  we first took a 1-hour train ride from Toyama to Tateyama on the Toyama Chiho Railroad, followed by a 7-min ride on the Tateyama Cable Car up to Bijodaira and lastly a 50-minute Highland Bus ride.   The Highland bus ride up to the alp started with scenic green landscapes with cedar trees and a view of the highest waterfall in Japan.  As we went higher, we started seeing bits of snow, and then more snow, and finally at the peak, a beautiful mountain top capped with snow.  Since our visit was in June, the Japanese alps were not fully covered in snow, but it was beautiful nonetheless.   Despite being surrounded by snow at 2,450m above sea level, the weather was surprisingly warm.  Our warm clothing seen in the picture below was actually unnecessary. My youngest daughter had never experienced snow, so she was extremely delighted to be able to play with snow for the very first time in her life.  As she was having so much fun, hubby stayed with her and my other daughter while my son and I headed to the main snow wall.  The picture on the left is also a snow wall, but not the main one along the road.   Snow Wall Japan It is important to know that the snow wall does not open the whole day. On the day that... read more

Mama Beach Residence on Phi Phi Island

We found a fabulous place to stay on Phi Phi island that was about an hour’s ferry ride from Phuket or Krabi, Thailand. With a sweeping view of the Andaman Sea and a private beach right in front of our room,  our stay at Mama Beach Residence was one of the highlights of our Thailand island-hopping vacation.   We loved the fact that the beach was within a minute’s walk from our room.   We also loved the fact that Phi Phi island (Phi Phi Don to be exact) had a laid back feel to it.  The island had no roads, no public transportation, and hence no sense of hustle and bustle.   Shops and restaurants on Phi Phi island could be reached on foot.   Mama Beach Residence was a mere 10-minutes walk from Phi Phi island’s Tonsai Pier.  There was a porter sending guests luggages from the pier to the hotel and vice versa.     I have read many good reviews about Mama Beach Residence on various booking sites, and part of the reason I chose it was because it was far away from the loud music and chatter at the pubs that could go on until the wee hours of the morning.   The room itself was modern with standard amenities, but what we remembered most about the room was the unique fragrance of the liquid shower gel and shampoo.  One had a sugary scent and the other had a fragrant pandan (screw pine) scent.  All of us smelled like Thai desserts after showering!   Waking up at dawn to the sounds of crashing waves, I could enjoy the cool breeze blowing at my face while sitting... read more

Phi Phi Island-hopping without the crowd

Krabi has over 150 islands, stunning limestone rock formations, clear emerald water and beautiful beaches like the ones on Phi Phi island, but many came and left these islands feeling utterly disappointed.  Who could blame them when throngs of tourists fill almost every inch of the beach.  Those who wanted to take a dip in the waters of the Andaman Sea barely had any area to swim with countless boats lined up along the beach.  Don’t believe me?  Just google “Phi Phi crowded” and look at the photos from other visitors. Well, what if I tell you that there is a way to enjoy these stunning islands without the crowds? Take for example Maya Bay, a gorgeous beach made famous by Leonardo Di Caprio in the movie  “The Beach”. Situated on the island of Phi Phi Leh,  Maya Bay  is sheltered by tall limestone cliffs, giving you clean and clear water with gentle waves.   Wouldn’t you love to enjoy the talcum-soft sand on the beach at Maya Bay, and the oh-so-inviting warm waters without the crowd?   When you visit Maya Bay at the right time, you will get to enjoy the full stretch of beach that would otherwise be occupied by speedboats.   Pileh Lagoon is also another great place to swim when it is not crowded.  Located on the same island as Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon has a majestic entrance with tall and lush limestone cliffs surrounding the lagoon.   As the boat ventured further in towards the lagoon,  we were amazed by how clear the water was. We could see details of the corals without even getting out of our boat.   Within the bay area,... read more

i-City Malaysia

i-City Malaysia is a family park which offers several attractions like Snowalk, Trick Art Museum, Red Carpet Wax Museum, Space Mission, Submarine, Waterworld and City of Digital Lights.  Located in Shah Alam, it takes about 30 minutes to drive to i-City from Kuala Lumpur.   i-City Snowalk Our first stop was to visit Snowalk – the biggest snow themed park in Malaysia.   Walking around at below 5 degrees celsius, we went through an ice tunnel and an ice house, saw ice penguins and other ice sculptures. There were also a number of different icy rides to try.  The kids went on the rides  a couple of times until their hands got too cold.   Ice Adventure There was an Ice Adventure which was within the same building as Snowalk, but the ride was too short that it wasn’t really an adventure.   i-City Space Mission We visited i-City Space Mission next where we saw characters from Sci-Fi movies like the Transformers, Aliens and Avatar.   The kids liked the part where they got to shoot enemy targets while on a moving vehicle with the backdrop that looked like a scene from the movie Avatar.   Don’t fancy a shooting game?  How about being sucked in the space tunnel?   i-City Trick Art Museum At the Trick Art Museum, two-dimensional exhibits looked three-dimensional when seen at certain angles from the camera lens.   i-City Red Carpet i-City also had a wax museum called Red Carpet with characters like Jackie Chan and Mr Bean.   Submarine Fancy riding in a “submarine” and looking at underwater sea creatures? Apart from the submarine, there was also an attraction where you can experience what it would be... read more

Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort

Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort is a beachfront resort located on Pantai Bagan Lalang which is about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur and a 3-hour drive north of Singapore.  It features over-water villas that, together, form the shape of a palm tree. See the above picture courtesy of Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort.   This was the exterior of our villa.   Our two-bedroom villa was very spacious for the five of us, with a gorgeous master bedroom, a second bedroom with twin beds, and a living area.       There was an extra room to chill out and enjoy the seaview.  The master bathroom with the sunken bath tub (pictured on the right) was so huge and probably as big as the master bedroom itself.   The extra hour waiting at check-in to get a unit on the outermost trunk with an unblocked view of the sea was well worth it. We had a terrific view of the sunset from the balcony of our room.     The resort provided buggies to shuttle hotel guests from the hotel lobby to the centre of the “palm” where the club house and swimming pool were.  Bicycles were available all around the resort for hotel guests. We could just grab any bicycle we see and cycle as much as we wanted.     Fun Activities for the Family Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort had lined up free daily programs to keep guests busy such as Yoga, Power Walk, Bicycle tours for beginners and adults, Zumba for kids, beach soccer, beach volleyball and a Zumba Live party.  There were also other free land and see activities available throughout... read more

Angry Birds Activity Park Johor

Angry Birds Activity Park Johor Bahru, Malaysia is Southeast Asia’s first Angry Birds theme park.  Located on the third floor of the new Komtar Johor Bahru City Centre (JBCC), this 26,000 square feet indoor park offers fun activities for the whole family.   Playground for the Little Ones The first area near the entrance was an activity area for young kids.  There was the Red Bird Sona where kids were given simple maths questions and they had to run to the correct answer.  Definitely more fun (and more tiring) than doing it on a PC or tablet. There was also Captain Black Bird’s ship which was a mini playground for toddlers.                         The Cinemine had seats for us to watch Angry Birds shows on TV.   At the Balance Bike Lagoon (below), my daughter tried balancing herself on a bicycle with no pedals while sliding down the slope. It was not as easy as it looked.     Birds Nest Climbing Track and GO! Kart Right next to the toddlers play area was the Birds Nest Climbing Track which was a larger-scale children’s playground with slides and ropes to climb.   Below the Climbing Track was the Angry Birds GO! Kart Track, something definitely fun to try out.  The GO! Karts came in two sizes  – one for the younger ones and one for teens and adults.               Next to the Climbing and Go Kart Tracks was another area with activities more suited for older kids and adults.   One of it was the Space Drop Airbag where you have to jump off from a platform onto the airbag.  Would you dare to jump?  ... read more

Malacca – Exploring a World Heritage City

Malacca (also locally known as Melaka)  is one of the most fascinating cities in Malaysia.  Colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and British for over 400 years over its strategic location for maritime trade, its rich history has earned itself the title of Unesco World Heritage City in 2008.  It is probably the only place in the world that has ruins of both Asia and Europe. With my son learning History in school, I thought it was a good idea for him and the girls to learn a bit about Malacca’s history in a fun way.  We explored the historical sites on a trishaw, toured the city and the Straits of Malacca on a “duck”,  cruised on the Melaka River, and explored the Peranakan heritage on foot.   Exploring the World Heritage City of Malacca by Trishaw A fun way to explore Malacca’s historical sites with kids is by taking a Trishaw Tour.  My 5-year-old girl loved riding on the trishaws. She selected two trishaws for us, both adorned with pink flowers, Hello Kitties and topped with a huge pink butterfly. Hubby and son didn’t actually do the cycling.  The rider-cum-tour-guide let us take a picture in front of the historical buildings before we started our tour.   Our Trishaw Tour started from Dutch Square with its bright terracotta-red buildings built during the Dutch occupation of Malacca in 1600s.    The Stadhuys and the Christ Church is perhaps the most photographed subjects in Malacca.  Too bad The Stadthuys was undergoing renovations when we were there.     Our next stop was at A’Famosa Fort, which was amongst the oldest surviving European architectural remains in South East Asia. Built by the Portuguese, it once housed the... read more

Malacca Jonker Walk Night Market

The Jonker Walk Night Market is one of the top attractions to visit in Malacca. Every Friday and Saturday evenings, Jonker Street comes alive with a flurry of street stalls showcasing local food, clothing and a variety of souvenirs.  My family and I visited the night market and found it to be rather interesting.   Located in Malacca’s Chinatown,  the start of Jonker Walk is  near this big Chinese junk boat.  You can’t miss it when standing in front of  Malacca’s  Hard Rock Cafe.   There were so many quirky knick-knacks on sale throughout the Jonker Walk Night Market.  One shop that my girls liked was the one that personalised names on pretty little wooden keychains.  My son liked the metal wire figurines below.   There was even a Chinese man playing his instrument to entertain guests.   Apart from the make-shift stalls, there were also permanent shops along the same streeet, but not all items were cheap as compared to other shops in Malaysia.   Apart from shopping, Jonker Walk was also a great place to see the illuminated historical buildings and the brightly-lit trishaw.   The restored old buildings exudes charm of historic Malacca.   There was a small little garden with a statue of a man posing like a bodybuilder.  It was the statue of Datuk Wira Dr Gan who was the father of bodybuilders in Malaysia. Food was perhaps the main attraction of Jonker Walk.  The variety of local street food drew throngs of locals and tourists to the night market.   The restaurants near Jonker Walk were also alive and buzzing with people even after 10pm.   The Hard Rock Cafe near the entrance of Jonker Street was also a popular... read more

Melaka River Cruise

The Melaka River Cruise is a great way to spend an evening in Melaka (a.k.a. Malacca).  The 45-minute long cruise is available from 9am to 11:30pm and departs roughly every 30 minutes.  While the sights are easier to see during the day, the nice part about cruising in the evening is that you get to see colourful illumination of the buildings, bridges and other attractions along the river.  The evening breeze is nicer too.   The Melaka River played a big role in Melaka’s history, but in the past, the waterway was not clean and the buildings along it was never maintained.  In recent years, the river has undergone a major revamp. The waterway has been cleaned up and quite a lot of effort has been taken to preserve many of the historic buildings and bridges along the river.   The cruise starts at Muara Jetty near the easily recognisable replica of the Portuguese ship, Flor de la Mar. It first passes by Casa del Mar (first picture) where the lights reflect beautifully on the river. After which, the cruise passes Jonker Walk, a Pirate Park with a ferris wheel, and many nicely illuminated buildings.   In addition to the illumination, we enjoyed looking at colourful murals painted on the the buildings along the river.       The Melaka River Cruise also passes by new houses as well as a Malay village called Kampung Morten (picture on the right below).  Through the commentaries, we learnt that Kampung Morten is available for a home stay.  It can be booked online through   At RM15 for adults and RM5 for kids, the Melaka River Cruise covering a distance of 9km long is definitely... read more

New York City – 10 things to do with kids in 48 hrs

New York City is a city that needs no introduction.  It is famous for so many things like Broadway, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, and the Empire States Building.  I planned the trip to include places that my kids would be familiar with like the Central Park Zoo from the movie Madagascar and the American Museum of Natural History from the movie Night at the Museum. You might think that we were crazy to spend only 48 hours in New York City after travelling 18 hours halfway around the world, but the trip to the Big Apple was part of our New York and Orlando vacation.   Not surprisingly, there were a lot of things to see and do within 48 hours in this vibrant and famous city.  We were there from Saturday 12 noon to Monday 12 noon. 1.  Grand Central Terminal Our first stop was the Grand Central Terminal, one of the most popular historical landmarks in New York City and the busiest train station in the country.  My kids remembered this terminal from the first Madagascar movie. 2.  Broadway and Times Square At the heart of the Big Apple is Times Square, the most bustling square in New York City.  With its huge electronic billboards, broadway shows and cinemas, it comes as no surprise that it is one of the most visited places in the world.  I wanted to bring my kids to watch and experience a Broadway show there, but unfortunately, my youngest did not meet the minimum entry age of 4 at that time. 3. Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour We purchased a Hop-on-Hop-off pass that was bundled with a harbour cruise to see the Statue of Liberty,... read more

Disney Hollywood Studios

Disney Hollywood Studios is a theme park in Orlando, Florida that is well worth a visit.  With the Backlot tour,  Extreme stunt show, and the delightful Fantasmic show, my family thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite the hot weather.  We were lucky to see a Star Wars Parade when we were there.   Star Wars at Disney Hollywood Studios Star Wars’ Darth Vader, R2D2, Chewbacca, the storm troopers and many others made a special appearance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when we were there.       Of course, since it was a Disney park, Mickey and gang also got into the action and dressed up for the parade.   After the parade, the kids wanted to make their own Star Wars light saber.  They could pick and choose the various parts of the light saber and fully customise one for themselves.   Studio Backlot Tour The Star Wars attraction was not the only reason we were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  There were lots of attractions to enjoy like the popular Studio Backlot Tour where we could experience the special effects of earthquake, fire and have flood.  Check out the amount of water that came right at our windowless tram.  Amazingly, we didn’t get drenched!     Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show Another fun thing to watch was the extreme stunt show featuring amazing car stunts.     Power Rangers The Power Rangers also made their appearance with cool stunts… … and an even cooler car!   Fancy having a pizza at the Pizza Planet Arcade from the movie Toy Story?   Or dining in a Sci Fi Dine-In Theatre indoor restaurant? There were other great attractions at the park... read more

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands in Pahang is the biggest and arguably the best highland resort in Malaysia.  Popular amongst both locals and tourists, it provides a cool respite from the sweltering heat of the lowlands.    The sprawling lush valleys about the size Singapore has much to offer nature lovers.  My family stayed 2 nights in Cameron Highlands and did a full day local tour of the beautiful countryside.  We visited tea plantations, strawberry farms, Rose Valley, Lavender Garden, Bee and Butterfly farms, the Brinchang night market and more.  Here are 10 places to visit or things to do in Cameron Highlands.   1.  Tea Plantations Visiting a tea plantation is the top thing to do in Cameron Highlands.  We visited the Sungai Palas Boh Tea Plantation which offered an educational tour of the tea factory. No visit to a tea plantation is complete without sipping a cup of tea while enjoying the view of the plantation.  We had a lovely English-style breakfast with aromatic tea, scones and pastries at the Boh Tea Centre at Sungai Palas.   Here is a better view of the stunning vistas of rolling hills where the tea plantations are tendered.  Did you know that Cameron Highlands got its name from a British surveyor called William Cameron back in the 1800s?   It is also worth exploring the scenery just outside the Boh Tea Centre. There was another Boh Tea plantation in Cameron Highlands which was further away from other attractions and where you have to traverse a windy road to get there. Definitely not suitable for my kids who would throw up or get a headache.  Apart from Boh Tea,  there were... read more

Cameron Highlands Butterfly Farm

The Cameron Highlands Butterfly Farm is located near Kea Farm and has a large enclosure with hundreds of butterflies fluttering freely. There is a variety of butterflies each with stunning-looking wings.  Here are eight of my favourites.   My daughter was happily touching all the butterflies within her reach.   Check out this amazing picture of a spider eating a butterfly.  How is the spider going to swallow the butterfly?   Butterflies were not the only thing at the Cameron Highlands Butterfly Farm.  There were also other animals outside the enclosure like beetles, chipmunks, snakes, bull frog and many more.  We found coins on top of a bull frog and surprisingly the bull frog just sat still and didn’t do anything about it.   Here’s sharing with you my favourite butterfly photo of all.   Venue: 43rd Miles, Kea Farm, 39100 Brinchang, Cameron Highlands Entrance: RM 5 for adult     Bee Farm Apart from the Butterfly Farm, there is also a Bee Farm in Cameron Highlands, but if someone were to ask you whether you want to go to a Bee Farm, would you go?  How about if I tell you that the bees were flying freely, without any enclosure whatsoever and without a bee keeper?   How about if I tell you the Bee Farm had the soldier bees? Luckily my kiddos and I gave the Bee Farm a miss.  Hubby went and it flew straight to his eye!  Fortunately, he was wearing glasses and was unharmed.     Other Attractions in Cameron Highlands:              ... read more