Travel: One World Hotel (KL)

As mention in our previous post, we took the kids to Kuala Lumpur over the June holidays. To be exact, we were just at the outskirt of KL and we stayed at One World Hotel.

One World Hotel, was a recommended hotel at Kidzania KL website. Oh, I forgot to mention, our aim for this trip was to bring the kids to Kidzania and have a little staycation. Hence, that explain the short trip and why we are staying at One World Hotel.

Executive Deluxe Room (Two Queen Bed)

One thing for me when I’m looking for hotels, I always look for those that provide family suites or rooms big enough for our entire family this will reduce logistics issues. Hence, I was very surprise and happy to find out that One World Hotel offers Executive Deluxe Room that comes with two Queen-size bed.

img1498200580018
The executive deluxe room with 2 queen size bed.

Actually, I think the each bed is actually smaller than a queen size, probably a double bed, nonetheless, its big enough for one adult and one kid. No prize for guessing which kid went over to another room and sleep with the helper.

img1498200411513
Close-up of the bed to let you estimate the width. I think can put two pillows nicely side by side with no extra space. So definitely smaller than a queen.

The executive suite also comes with a decently size toilet, which has a bath tub and a standing shower. The kids had a good time doing their soak in the tub.

Free Shuttle Service

Another good thing about One World Hotel is the Free Shuttle Service. The shuttle service brings you to places like Kidzania, Sunway Lagoon, Petronas Twin Tower and KL Sentral Station. For those who didn’t drive up to KL or doesn’t like to brave the traffic yourself, can consider taking the free shuttle. However, there is only 1 time slot per day for most location. So do check out the timing and don’t miss the shuttle like us. We had to take a cab down to Kidszania. But it’s not expensive to take a cab, less than RM10.

Link to 1 Utama Shopping Centre

There is a direct link from the hotel to 1 Utama Shopping Center, which happens to be the world’s 4th largest mall according to CNN. So we just walk over to the mall for our meals and do our shopping. Though I must say they carry a lot of brands which are available in Singapore and after conversion is not much cheaper. But well, at least there isn’t a need to brave the heat, rain and traffic of KL.

img1498201021857
We spotted this very awesome indoor playground at 1 Utama on the last day. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the kids), the kids are happily chilling in the room and not with us.

Although the shopping wasn’t great, the entertainment were. Like the indoor playground we spotted (see above) and the cinema. Oh watching a show in Malaysia is so much cheaper than SG. It cost about RM13 for adults and only RM9 for kids! We are paying 3 times more in Singapore. There is supposedly an ice-skating rink too. But the mall is simply too huge, we didn’t cover enough ground to spot the rink.

Swimming Pool

Since it’s a “staycation”, we had to go to the pool right? I didn’t read up much about the pool when I was doing the booking. So I was pleasantly surprise that there is actually a slide at the pool!

img1498200651728
The staircase and slide at the pool. 

Though the pool is not big, but since there wasn’t many people, the kids have a good time going up and down the slide. The boy even mimic the pups in Paw Patrol sliding down to their cars. A smaller area also means its easier for us to manage the kids.

Verdict

Will I come back and stay at the hotel again? You bet. The location is good (next to shopping mall, coach stops at the basement and near to Kidszania) and the service staff are friendly. Even the littlest can recall his “holiday” at the hotel. So if you intend to bring your kids to Kidszania KL, do consider staying at One World Hotel.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. We paid everything out of our own pocket to enjoy ourselves to the fullest. We are just sharing it for the benefit of anyone planning for a trip to KL. Information was accurate at time of post.

Travel: Firstcoach

Over the June holidays, we brought the kids to Kuala Lumpur to have a short getaway. We had initially wanted to go back to Sunway Lagoon, but decided to forgo it as we did not have enough time.

This time round, we did not drive up as my SIL is not willing to drive for 5 hours so we took a coach instead. It was the kids first experience on the coach.

img1498615397804

At the recommendation of a relative who travels frequently between Singapore and KL, we decided to try out Firstcoach. And we are glad we made the right choice! Here are the reasons why:

  • Safe.  When travelling to KL, hubby got to take the first row of the coach and he monitored the coach driver throughout the ride (as much as he can). He noticed that the driver never exceeds 100km/hr. It may seem slow, but for such a big and heavy vehicle with so many passengers, I will rather be slow than not reaching my destination at all *Choy!*. We also noticed that there were 2 drivers each time on both our rides (to and fro). And they took turn to drive the coach ensuring they are not tire out from the long journey. (P.S. This is the first time we took this coach and this is what we noticed, we are not sure if it is the same for all the drivers and rides.)
  • Clean.  We also noticed that the coach was quite clean and neat, which is very important when you are trapped in that vehicle for so many hours.
  • Entertaining.  Each of the seat comes with their own entertainment system but you have to bring your own ear phones. Compared to airplanes, the selection were definitely lesser. There are about 6 shows in each category. And there is a category for “cartoon” and another for “family”, enough to keep my elder 2 entertained.
  • Thoughtful.  I noticed 3 pin power socket below the window for each row of seats. This means you can plug your charger in and charge up your devices anytime. No worries of running out of “juice”.
  • Friendly Drivers.  You know how you travel with young kids, a moment ago you asked them if they need to pee, they say no. And like an hour later, they told you they are very urgent. Well, it happened to my SIL and she had to asked the driver if he could pull over at the next resting point. Which they gladly did without much complains. But we feel bad for causing delay to other passengers.
  • Convenient.  It happens that this trip we are staying at the Bandar Utama area. The drop off point for the coach happens to be the hotel that we will be staying. So its really convenient for us.

Of course there are disadvantages:

  • Slow.  It took us a whopping 7 hours to reach KL! The bus left Novena at 8am, and we only reach KL like 3pm. There was queue at the Singapore and Malaysia customs but I think we manage to clear both within an hour. However, we probably chose a bad time to take the coach and was caught in heavy traffic along Singapore expressway while trying to get to Tuas Second Link. On our return leg, we left KL at 8am and cleared the Singapore custom by 12pm. That was really fast but unfortunately we waited at the custom for an hour because of an irresponsible passenger who left without informing the driver (another downside of taking coach).
  • No lunch break.  As our coach ride to KL was 8am, we had thought the coach will stop for a lunch break in between. We were wrong. The coach only stop for a short toilet break and there was no decent food for sale at the area. However, when we were coming back from KL, the coach did stop at an area with hawker and fast food. But we were given only 20 mins, which isn’t enough for us to go for toilet break and eat, especially with the kids. So Chubby actually da bao (packed) KFC on board. He wasn’t stopped by the driver but I felt a little pai seh because of the smell.
  • Reclining affects other passengers.  The chairs can be reclined to an angle where it will be diffcult for the passenger behind to get in and out of their seat. Fortunately for me, the kids were infront of us, so we are not affected. And I tried to be considerate and not recline my chair too much. I have taken a coach many years back to Genting, where the seat was really comfortable and the the reclining does not affect other passengers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available in this coach.

At the end of the trip I asked the kids if they prefer to take a car or coach to KL. The answer was obviously coach as they can watch to their heart content. For me, I still prefer the car. Maybe because I’m not the driver. But I feel its easier to manage the kids, especially the littlest as he could be belted to the car seat. And the interaction while in the car is part of the family bonding for road trips. Besides, the time saved would mean we have more time to explore KL.

How about you? Do you prefer to drive up or take a coach? Share with us your views.

 

Melbourne: Enchanted Adventure Garden (2)

Previously I shared about the mazes in the Enchanted Adventure Garden. In this post, I will be sharing about the Tree Surfing that we sign up the boy for.

In tree surfing participants are hooked up to some safety mechanism and are asked to cross over from one tree to another. Of course the path is not that straight forward, there maybe ropes or planks that tests your balancing and coordination skills. It’s definitely a fun sport that trains the kids to be more courageous.

The boy (@ 4 y.o) with Chubby all belted up for safety.
For this kiddy course at Enchanted Adventure Garden, the recommended height is below 1.35m. However, parents or caregiver can follow the kids up to help and give them an emotional boost.

Chubby with the boy on one of the obstacle. Chubby claims that certain obstacles may be a little tough for him as he is too big. LOL.
Upon reaching one end, the kids can take a breather before continuing.

img_5232
The little platform at each end of the obstacle course.
More different types of obstacles.

Another rope obstacle with bigger holes to increase the difficulty level.

An obstacle course that trains the kids spatial awareness. When the boy attempted the course, it was a little more difficult for him as his legs are not long enough to leap from one plank to the other.

A test of the kids balancing skills.
A test of the kids balancing skills.
The course ended with a a zip down from the tree. There is a total of 3 different courses. However, the boy only attempted the first two. This is because Chubby mention that the courses get more difficult as it progress. And the boy is not tall enough to handle most of the obstacles so they went back to play the first course twice instead of proceeding.

The boy “graduated” from zipping down with Chubby to zipping down by himself. He sure enjoyed himself at the park and requested to come back again when he is taller. (We did bring him to another tree top surfing in Singapore. Check out the post here.)

The boy all drench with sweat after the course.
Affiliated Links: Looking for hotels for your next vacation? Let HotelsCombined help you get the best deal by searching through leading travel sites such as Hotel.com, Bookings.com, Expedia.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links but is NOT  a sponsored post. We stumble upon the park by ourselves. All opinions, fun and laughter are our own.

Linking up to:

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum

Melbourne: Enchanted Adventure Garden (1)

The Enchanted Adventure Garden was a star find for us in the trip. There were a number of activities at Mornington Penisular, I can’t remember the exact reason why we chose there. Maybe because it promises a lot of activities. And yes we had so much fun that I think it’s fair I split the place into 3 posts. Hopefully it’s easier for you all to digest.

 

The pretty view that welcome us as we enter the garden.

 

We reached there in the morning after our breakfast. We had intended to spend just half a day there, but we took longer than we expect as there were too many activities. We sign up the boy for the “Tree Surfing Nippers” which happen at a certain time. So before he gets his tree surfing, we went to try out the mazes.

The mazes comes in all sorts of manner. Those at the front requires you to really walk through it to find the exit. But it is not so simple, you are expected to find some things along the way. There are instructions sign just outside the entrance.

Buddha head that we are suppose to find in the maze.

For example, we are required to find a few (can’t remember the exact number) Buddha head before we can find the final location. It’s not easy as you have to recall which ones you have previously found. It’s certainly easier to play maze on paper. Lol.

The final objective might not be to get out, but to find a nice place like this.

 

There are also mazes that brings you walking around with no objectives.

This maze brings you to the center to see the dragon and out. You choose at the starting point to see if you go the longer or shorter route. Suitable for young kids as instructions are simple.

 

Apparently, there is also a children’s section. But we didn’t go as we were not ready for a picnic. A big mistake we realize later. 

After you have enough of the big mazes, you can take a break and lookout to the pond to calm your mind.

There is a “dinosaur” at one part of the pond. Loi was trying to press the button to make him roar. Kids just love buttons, don’t they. Mine had some fun just pressing the buttons.

 

After you have clear your mind, you will reach an area with IQ maze. These mazes are small but requires some thinking. I recalled a maze with ropes of different color. You need to wear a belt and hook to one of the colors, then find the way out to unhook yourself. Not easy, but not too difficult.

This was the maze that took us a fair bit of time to solve. 

For this maze, if you try enough, you will still reach the objective. But we wanted to look for the shortest path, hmmm, let’s just say we got lost trying to trace the steps. It was fun though.

If you walk further up hill, you will see some mini obstacle course, but we didn’t really try it as we were looking for something else. The indoor spooky maze. It’s a little like haunted house, but not as scary. I recall there were lots of mirror to make you confuse. But it wasn’t that difficult to get out actually.

So this is part one of the post. Dedicated to the mazes. In the next post I will share on the tree surfing the boy did.

PS: Oh I forgot to mention, if you are going there, remember to pack your own picnic basket. They have a nice picnic area. Forget about the food in their cafe. They only serve finger food like nuggets, fish and chips.

Have you been to a maze garden before? Share with us your experience!

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum

Melbourne: Moonlit Sanctuary

After we left Phillip Island, we make our way to Mornington Peninsula. We did somewhat a down and back up trip so that we can take the Great Ocean Road back to Melbourne city. It was a little de-tour, but we make stops in between to make the ride better.

At Mornington Peninsula, we paid a visit to the Moonlit Sanctuary wildlife reserve. This is our chance to get up close and personal with Kangaroos, Wallabies and Koala Bears. 

This was what greeted us when we enter the sanctuary.
 

The Sanctuary is pretty big. We took half a day and cover about 3/4 of the grounds.

Some animals like this emu are kept in cages.

Apart from the emu, we also saw enclousures for the Wombat and Dingo. For some of the animals, write up were also provided.

  

Some animals are free ranging.  

We also saw some Kangaroos in an open enclosure. We got quite close but didn’t dare take photo as they were quite huge and we were scared. LOL.

The highlight of the visit was the feeding. Feeds are available for purchase at the visitor center at the front when purchasing the tickets.

Zai feeding a Wallaby.
 

While we are scared of the Kangaroo, we had lots of fun feeding the Wallaby. They are in some enclose areas but the wallaby are free to come out, as they were fence out by ropes. We have to use the feeds to attract them over. 

Zai was initially scared of feeding them. So he threw the feeds into their enclosure. But upon some encouragement, he finally took the courage to let the Wallabies eat from his palm. And he likes it. 

Zai feeding a goose.
 

We also tricked him into using his palm to feed the free ranging goose. He found it ticklish to have the goose beak feeding directly from the palm and wouldn’t do it again. LOL.

We ended the visit with a photo taking with the Koala bear. They were sleeping all the way when we were there and woke up briefly for the photo taking. We won’t allowed to carry it, but just sending next to it while they remain on a branch specially for the photo taking. But Zai took the opportunity to pat it though.

  
I’m sure there are many wildlife sanctuary in Melbourne. But this is our first time visiting one, and we pretty much enjoy ourselves. When you have kids who love animals, it certainly make these visits more memorable.

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum

Melbourne 2014: Churchill Island Heritage Farm

When people talked about visiting Australia, farm stay are kind of like a must. So initially when we decide to visit Melbourne we also thought of doing a farm stay. Especially when the boy loves animals. Unfortunately, due to procrastination, we didn’t manage to find a farm stay, so we decided that at the least we should have a farm visit.

So during the planning, we came across Churchill Island Heritage Farm which is in Phillip Island and a short drive from other attractions. We were also very fortunate to be offered a package pricing when we bought the Penguin Parade tickets.

We went out early that day, but we didn’t check out the activities happening on the farm before hand, so we were there too early. The farming activities only happened in the afternoon! Which was why we ended at Panny’s Chocolate Factory. Fortunately, the drive was short and we manage to have our lunch over at the Churchill Island Cafe. Just to mention, the view at the cafe is nice and the food is decent. Price wise definitely not cheap, but is an option if you don’t want to drive out.

The interesting souvenir store at the farm that is beside their cafe.

After we had our fill, it’s about time to start exploring the farm. It is quite a big place to explore, but we were rushing for the activities, hence we didn’t have time to look at the gardens, what a pity.

Zai milking the cow.

The first activity we manage to catch is cow milking. And yes, we get to “hands on”. The boy was a little apprehensive at first, but he manage to pluck some courage and tried it. I asked him how it was after he finished. He told me it felt warm. He was referring to the milk coming out of the cow.

Sheep waiting to be sheared.
Sheep waiting to be sheared.

After another mad rush to the sheep shearing area, well a short 1 minute walk actually, we arrived and saw a crowd already gathered there. The farmer was explaining something, unfortunately we were a little too far to hear. Chubby mange to let Zai sit on his shoulder to watch. While I join the uninterested Loi in some photo taking.

Wagon with no horse, but kept Loi entertained for a while.

There were also some free roaming animals which can entertain the kids in between the activities.

Free roaming animals at the farm.

Next was the whip cracking activity. Basically they showcase how they can use the whip to make crackling sound. It was not easy as they did got some visitors to try it out. And well this didn’t catch Zai attention either. Instead, he was more interested in this handsome horse near it.

Horse at he whip cracking area.
Horse at he whip cracking area.

The last activity was working dogs. Where the farmer dog whisperer explain to us how he train the dog to work in the farm and explains from which age can a dog be trained. It was definitely more interesting then the whip cracking.

The sheep that the dog has to chase back to the pen.

We were suppose to walk back to the front area where the visitor center is after the activities. But Zai wanted to see the animals a little longer, so we went back to the horse and we saw someone feeding the horse with hay. Zai tried to pick up some hay that has fallen on the floor to feed, but was too scared as the hay was too little.

Fortunately we venture further and saw a barn. We went in and sneak out some hay and the boy was happily feeding the horse away. 

When we run out of hay, the boy reluctantly left and we make our way back to the front area. And much to the boy delight, they were having a proper feeding session there. The boy manage to feed an apple to the horse and even got to brush the horse hair. It certainly was a very good experience for the boy.

All in all, I think the farm is still worth a visit for city kids like us. There were hands on experience and the huge area can definitely let the kids dispense their energy, especially after visiting the chocolate factory.

Linking up to:

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum

Melbourne 2014: Pannys Chocolate Factory (Phillip Island)

Back in 2009, when Chubby and I was having our honeymoon at New Zealand, we visited the Cadbury Chocolate factory. Well, it’s some kind of experience but we weren’t really impressed. Maybe because it’s very technical explaining how chocolates are made.

So when we visited Melbourne Phillip Island last year, we were contemplating whether to visit the chocolate factory there, since it’s much smaller in size then Cadbury we thought maybe it’s not worth the visit. However, a sharp eye Zai spotted the factory when we drove pass it while going for the penguin parade. He asked what is it and when I told him it’s a chocolate factory, he requested us to go the next day. And coincidentally we were too early at the farm we wanted to visit the following day, so we decide to just drop by the chocolate factory for a quick look. And I’m glad we did, cause we had fun!

This tour is unguided, so you can spend as much time as you like inside the factory and areas that you like.

The display greeting us when we stepped into the factory. And yes we are sold just by looking at how pretty this thing is.

The first section of the factory show cases some exhibits made entirely with chocolates.

A town made entirely with chocolates except for the train track where a few toy trains run on.

I was quite impress with this town already until I see this display.

Pardon the bad lighting. I filmed it with my iPhone so its quite bad. you will be more mesmerize when you see the actual product. Even the kids couldn’t help but watched it a few times.

After being awed by their craftsmanship, it’s time for some educational “tour”. You guess it, the process of making chocolates. They tried to make it more interesting by adding in some “interaction” to the exhibits.

The kids get to pound on the chocolate powder to “make” chocolates.

After all the educational tour, you reach the Tikam Tikam section. Basically there were a few un-man game stalls. If you manage to complete the game, a small ball will drop out. If you collect enough of such balls, you can exchange for a small packet of chocolate balls at their retail outlet. And yes, we spend most of our time there. Even the kids have fun trying out the games.

Zai trying out a game to win some chocolate balls.

After we ensure each adult gets a pack of chocolate balls, we decide it’s time to move on (LOL). If I didn’t remember wrongly, it’s a continuation of the making of chocolates. And in one of the chambers, you will find a machine that dispense out different flavor of chocolates. For free! I tried the dark and milk chocolate I was delicious. The kids kept on wanting to go back to the machine. But was stopped by me. I really do not want them to go on a sugar rush.

After the chamber with free chocs, it’s their “machine” room where they mould the chocs into different shapes and patterns. There is also a large machine in the center that allow you to “write or draw” some pattern using melted chocolate. The chocolate will then pass through a conveyer belt to harden and you can collect it at the end of the belt. It was not easy to write with the machine and takes quite a while to reach the collecting end. And when it finally did, if you didn’t catch it in time, it might fall into the bin and break. So we weren’t really successful in our attempt. But the boy was very happy picking up the broken pieces and stuffing it into his mouth. (Yes, we spend sometime there as we took turn to write and waited for the end product. So the boy had many chances to sneak chocs into his mouth).

Our “handwritten” chocs passing thru the conveyer belt. iIts suppose to be Zai’s initial, but it failed terribly.

There is also a retail shop at the end often tour. You can get some of their chocs home.

Some special chocloates you can get from their retail shop.

All in all we found the visit quite fun with the interesting displays and games. We spend half a day there before proceeding back to the farm for lunch.

You can check out more from their website.

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum