Malaysia Family Getaway Ideas

  There are many great places for a Malaysia family getaway, but one thing that is a challenge for a family with kids is finding accommodations that could accommodate the whole family in one unit.  After all, a family vacation is about spending time together. While some hotels do offer adjoining rooms, they might not guarantee it at the time of booking.    We’ve stayed in hotels where our family was split into two rooms that were not even on the same floor! Here are ten Malaysian getaway ideas that our family have tried and enjoyed.  All are located in different parts of West Malaysia and offer different experiences for the family.   An Over-Water Villa Getaway in Sepang Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort is a resort in Sepang that has fabulous two-bedroom over-water villas. We loved the romantic 4-poster bed (top picture) and the big sunken bath tub.  The resort provides free use of water sports equipment and bicycles.  The seafood at a nearby restaurant were also extremely fresh and yummy that we dined there two nights in a row. Read more about our stay at Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort.  Check rates for Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort.   A Cool Getaway in Cameron Highlands Copthorne Hotel is the highest resort on Cameron Highlands with sweeping views of the surrounding valley.  We loved the fresh cool weather and the natural attractions like the Boh tea plantation, rose valley, lavender garden, vegetable, bee and butterfly farms, and the night market.  We could also pick strawberries at a farm just outside the hotel.  My favourite part was the stunning sunrise from Mount Brinchang.  Read more about places we visited in Cameron Highlands.  Check rates for Copthorne Hotel Cameron Highlands.   A French-themed... read more

Colmar Tropicale, Berjaya Hills Resort

  Colmar Tropicale is a French-themed village located within the Berjaya Hills Resort in Bukit Tinggi, Pahang, Malaysia.   We visited the resort during the school holidays as part of our Malaysian road trip. It was the girls’ first trip there. The rest of us visited the resort more than a decade ago.   The resort had various room types including a two-bedroom French-themed suite that could accommodate families with 4-5 members.   The suite had a large living area, a kitchenette and a fabulous view of the hillside from the balcony.  We booked the room through   After settling in, we headed out to explore the resort area.  Colmar Tropicale was modelled after the beautiful 16th century Colmar town in the Alsace region of France.   It was a good way to get a taste of France without actually going there.     From knights’ shining armours and horses to swans gliding gracefully around the moat in front of the resort’s entrance, the resort exudes the charm of the medieval European city.   As the resort was 2,700m above sea level, the weather was much cooler than most parts of West Malaysia.   Clouds were hanging below where we were.     There was a tower at the end of the resort that provided a good view of the resort.   When night fell, the resort was even more charming with strings of light stretching from one end of the resort village to the other.   What to Eat There were several dining options available at the resort, from simple French Boulangerie to romantic French fine dining.  In a French-themed resort, it was only fitting that we try out the famous French cuisine.   We tried... read more

Penang – 10 Things to do with kids

  Penang, also known as Pulau Pinang in Malay, is a popular island in Malaysia known for its food culture, beaches, and the old world charm.  The island got its name from the betel nut palms that used to line its beaches. We spent 2 full days in Penang as part of our Malaysian road trip. Here are 10 things to see and do with kids in Penang that we managed to do in 2 days.   1. Penang Bridge When driving to Penang from mainland Malaysia, visitors will have to cross one of two bridges.  What’s so great about the bridge?  Well, one of it is the longest bridge in Malaysia and South East Asia with a total length of 24km!   2. Batu Ferringhi Beach Batu Ferringhi has been a popular beach in Malaysia for years. It was popular when I visited as a kid, and it is still popular when I visited with my kids. It has a long stretch of white sandy beach along a windy road called Jalan Batu Ferringhi.  Most of the resorts in Penang were located along Batu Ferringhi.   3. Penang Hill Penang Hill, also known as Bukit Bendera, offers fabulous views of Penang island.  We took a funicular to get up the hill. The best time to go up Penang Hill was in the late afternoon where you can enjoy panoramic views of Penang island by day and by night.   There was a 3-storey food court called Cliff Cafe just outside the train station.  The Penang laksa from the corner stall was the best laksa we have ever tasted.  A must-try when visiting Penang Hill!   4.  Georgetown Georgetown is the most popular attraction... read more

Hard Rock Hotel Penang

Hard Rock Hotel Penang is a fun and cool hotel that kids will love. It has a Li’l Rock Suite with a king-sized bed, a single-bed and a trundle (pull-out bed) that is perfect for a family of 4-5. The single bed and trundle were in a separate kids’ room that had its own TV, a comfy bean bag to sink into, and a shelf with story books and toys.   The toilet was also unique with a peek-a-boo portrait of the king of rock and roll.   I loved how the toiletries were perfectly organised in a lavish frame.   There were lots to see around the hotel.  There were even more than one Hard Rock gift shops.   The hotel had direct access to Batu Feringghi, the most popular beach in Penang.   The huge hotel swimming pool area was definitely a crowd-pleaser and the highlight of the hotel.   With a water playground and multiple water slides, the kiddos just didn’t want to get out of the pool.   The swimming pool area was also a great place to have an evening walk.  From the picture below, you can see that several units had direct access to the pool from their hotel rooms.   While there were plenty of local food options outside the hotel, the Hard Rock Cafe was worth a visit if you like western food.   If you are planning to visit Penang with kids, Hard Rock Hotel Penang is definitely one you should consider.  The only bad thing about staying in Hard Rock Hotel Penang was that the kids loved it so much that they didn’t want to get... read more

Penang Street Art

Penang Street Art has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years and it is a fun way to explore this UNESCO World Heritage city.  Some tourists rented bicycles, some took trishaws, while others, like us, just strolled along the streets. For the kids, it was a bit like treasure hunting because they had to figure out where the street arts were.  It was also a great way to get them to learn how to read a map. There are three main types of Penang Street Art.  They are: Street Art by Ernest Zacharevic –  Ernest is a Lithuanian-born artist that made street art popular in Penang.  His art work is the most popular with people queuing up to take photos with it. Marking Georgetown – These are iron-welded sculptures that describes the history of the street in a fun way. 101 Lost Kittens – You will find paintings of kittens all around Georgetown.   If you have limited time, head to Lebuh Armenian (Armenian Street) where most of the street arts were found.  If you have more time, try the route below. See the graceful ballerina on Love Lane.   Head to Lebuh Chulia (Chulia Street) and walk towards the T-junction on Pengkalan Weld street.  You will find a picture of two kids on a real swing to your left just before the T-junction. Turn right on Pengkalan Weld, then right again on Gat Lebuh Armenian. You will find several street art including the first picture above of “Kids on Bicycle”. “I want Pau!” below is one of the popular street art at the junction of Lebuh Victoria (Victoria Street), in front of a Chinese pastry shop.   The picture below... read more

Kampung Dorani Malaysian Homestay

A Malaysian Homestay in a traditional village, called Kampung, is the best way to get to know the real Malaysia. We stayed in  Kampung Sungai Haji Dorani, in Sungai Besar, Selangor  one of several villages that has been selected by the Ministry of Tourism to provide a Malaysian homestay experience.   The kampung house that we stayed was big enough to accommodate 10-18 people with 3 air conditioned bedrooms, a kitchen and a large living area.   There were also smaller units like the one below.  According to the host, Kampung stay is very popular amongst visitors from Singapore, Europe and Japan.   For my kiddos who are very much into computer games, Xbox, and Disney TV channels, the kampung experience gave them the chance to enjoy the simple rural life like playing with the kampung cats, and chasing after the rooster.   With a backyard as big as this, there was so much room to roam freely.   As part of the homestay, the host can arrange for several activities for guests.  This included kite flying and fishing by the river below.   Walking through the rice padi fields and the surrounding kampung area was a great way to unwind and enjoy the peaceful and quiet rural area.   At the time of our visit, the rice padi was almost ready to be harvested.   There were also indoor activities available like the traditional malay game of congkak.   Our favourite was the lesson in traditional batik painting. Check out our batik masterpieces below.   There were several local factories near the village selling local snacks that are worth a visit.   Dining at one of the little kampung coffee shop is a... read more

Japan 11-day Itinerary

My family went on an 11-day free-and-easy trip to Japan covering Tokyo, Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Shirakawa-go, and the alpine route. The itinerary is suitable for families with children as it covers many aspects of Japan, including its history and culture, its stunning gardens and alpine landscapes, its ultra-modern bustling capital city and its world-famous theme parks. We get to savour a variety of Japanese cuisine and even stayed at a traditional Japanese farmhouse in one of the most scenic villages in the world,

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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