Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cameron Highlands (29-30 May 2016)

We continued our journey from Ipoh to Cameron Highland via the Simpang Pulai exit. Took us about 1.5 hours to reach the top. Weather was good, not to hot and not to cold. Since we arrived in Cameron early, we made a few stops before checking in the hotel

First Stop : Lavender Hill

There's another Lavender Garden further up the hill which is bigger and famous. We opted for this because there's less people = more parking :) They also offer free entry, which is a plus. The park is not big but it is more than enough to amused my children. There's paddle boat ride, rabbits and ducks on exhibition. Fruits and vegetables are also on sale. You can also buy homemade ice cream in the park which was quite tasty. They even had lavender flavored ones which we didn't try because we were too chicken :p

Second Stop : Cactus Point

After Lavender Hill, we continued our journey up the highlands. It was barely 1pm at the time so we decided that we should make another stop and explore. We stopped by cactus point to look at the cactus. If you love plants as much as I do, this is a must go. There's plenty of selection for cactus, flowers and edible plants on sale.  We bought some munchies and cactus to bring home.

Third Stop : 3D Art Museum, Cameron Square

We received free tickets from the hotel to visit the 3D museum in the same building. The kids had a lot of fun and since there wasn't a lot of people around, we managed to spend quite some time taking fun photos together.

Fourth Stop : Pasar Malam Brinchang

Bored of restaurant food, my mum decided that we should go food hunting at the pasar malam for dinner. Gosh there's a huge selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of yummy fried snacks :) My comot girls enjoyed the chocolate covered marshmallow and refused to eat the strawberries. We (read I) went a bit nuts buying the cute animal hats for the kids, which Iman and Ryan refused to wear :p It was quite cold but the kids was too excited running around it didn't even bother them much.

Fifth Stop : Strawberry Farm, Brinchang

A trip to Cameron Highlands will not be completed without making a stop at the strawberry farm for some strawberry picking activities. There's plenty of farms to choose from, just our luck that we choose the most "hilly" one. Try negotiating steep hills, with 3 little kids while wearing wedges. Thank god no one was hurt haha. It is a new experience for the kids, though they got a bit annoyed that they did not manage to pick fat strawberries like the ones they see in books.

Final Stop : Cameron Valley Tea Plantation 

Another must go when you're in Cameron is its tea plantations. My dad did not want to drive up to the Boh plantation so we settled for Cameron Valley. Oh well, tea leaf is tea leaf, right. Iman was asleep so we took turns going down to buy tea and take pictures. Ryan and Ranya was already tired by now and was not at all appreciative of their surroundings. So we got them some scones and cakes and headed home.

Alhamdullilah it was a good trip and I was thankful that we managed to spend time with my parents and the children.

Nova Highlands Resort and Residence, Cameron Highlands (29-30 May 2016)

We chose Nova Highlands Resort because of the good reviews given on Booking.com. The location is great as it situated on top of a small mall with a few restaurants like Teh Tarik Place, a mamak shop and a bakery. For entertainment there's an indoor playground and a 3D Art Museum (for which we received 4 free tickets). There's also some stalls selling fruits/flowers and vegetables across the road, Watsons and shops selling jackets/clothing items nearby. The pasar sayur is also nearby and within a walking distance. The famous pasar malam in Brinchang is also just about 15 minutes drive away

The hotel is quite new, plenty of indoor parking space. Checking in was a breeze and the service was quite fast. The staff is also quite friendly and chatty. 

We booked the 2 bedroom apartment for one night. The space consist of a small kitchenette, living room, one bathroom and 2 bedrooms. I find the space to be adequate to fit 7 people. The living room is quite big but the bedrooms are quite small. My issues was with the sliding glass door they use which I find to be pretty impractical and quite dangerous for small children. Other than that I have no other issue with rooms. 

 View from our the room is pretty nice, breakfast is not bad but with limited selection.

To me the best thing about this hotel is its location. There's a lot of attractions nearby and some within a walking distance so you don't have to drive and fight for parking so much. All in all I rate the room at 7/10. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Impiana Hotel, Ipoh ( 28 May 2016)

We decided at the very last minute to bring the kids on a short break during the mid-term school holidays. We managed to keep the plan quiet until my parents accidentally spoiled the surprised. The munchkins ended up announcing our plans to everyone while making promises to get them strawberries haha. We also dragged our parents along for this trip so that we can all spend some quality time together.

The initial plan was to drive to Cameron Highland on Sunday and spend one night there. 2 days before our trip and looking at our planned itinerary, we changed our minds and booked a one night stay in Ipoh. We figured that it would be better to break the travel time so that the trip won't be so rushed. I don't think we would have been able to enjoy Cameron much after a 4 hours drive with the kids :p

We managed to get our hands on 2 deluxe rooms in Impiana Hotel, Ipoh at the very last minute. The location is right smack in the middle of the town and it is about a 1.5 hour drive up to Cameron. 

Source: Google Pic
The rooms are comfortable with the usual amenities. The furniture is quite dated and when we first arrived our TVs are without cable. The hotel managed to remedy the problems within 20 minutes of our complaints.
We managed to secure adjoining rooms and the rooms that were given to my parents are the spacious corner room. You can imagine all the fun the munchkin had running from one room to another. Drove the adults nuts, I tell you :p 

The pool were under renovation and was closed when we were there. The munchkins had to make do with the tub. Irregardless of the source, give my children water and they'll be more than happy for hours. 
Breakfast is part of the room package. The choices are adequate though the nasi lemak could do with a tad more santan. The kids also ate for free.

Left:  The buffet spread. Right: One of nenek, daddy and Ranya for the album

The hotel is good for day trips. Go for it especially if you're planning on being out the whole day to visit Tambun or go on an Ipoh Foodpedition. The town is about 15 mins drive out and Tambun is less than 20 mins away. I rate our stay here at 6.9/10. Not bad but not super awesome either. 

We brought my parents to try out Nasi Lemak Ayam Kampung.  Service was a bit slow and the lamb was overcooked and tough. The nasi lemak is still tasty but it does put a damper to the whole experience. Note to self:  do not come here during peak season. Anyway Day 1 of our road trip went well, alhamdullilah. Will blog about our stay in Cameron soon. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Golden Sands, Penang (17-19 March 2016)

Reading this people would automatically think of "overseas" destination. However, I've come to realized there's plenty of  places in Malaysia that I've yet to explore with the munchkins. This year we choose Penang. The last I've been here was 25 years ago and this is Ryan, Iman and Ranya's first trip to the Island. 

Passing through the new bridge :)

We've decided to stay at Golden Sands Penang @ Batu Feringhi. A good choice in terms of location. There's plenty of eateries and stalls within walking distance and the night market starts from the entrance of the hotel every evening. Plenty of things to do if you don't want to be cooped inside your hotel. 

Having said that my children were more than happy to laze around in the hotel for 3 days. The facilities is awesome. There's a few pools for kids and adults, a playground and an activity center. The hotel is also very child friendly. Upon arrival, my kids were welcomed with balloons, sweets and drinks. 


The room is very spacious and comfortable. The room came with a king bed + a single bed, so all of us can happily sleep without having to squeeze much :) There's plenty of nooks and space for the munchkins to make a mess with all their toys. The balcony offers an awesome view in the morning and evening. 


 As you can see plenty of fun for the munchkins. The weather was very hot in Penang, so all they wanted to do was to hang around in the pool all day. One of the pool is covered, so it is possible for the children to take a dip in the afternoon without being overheated. 


The hotel also gave complimentary RM50 food vouchers per day to their patrons. We managed to  order 3 types of kids meals for under RM45 :) we also enjoyed the ice creams available at the pool side cafe. Obviously this "extra" gesture was a plus point for Lan and I :)

The breakfast spread was also quite good. There's nasi lemak, dim sum, pancakes, waffles, cereals and a selection of pastries every morning. The food served from room service was also tasty. The cafe is also quite generous with condiments ( seeing that we've been to some 5 star hotels that don't even have chili sauce :p) 


The hotel come with its own private beach . The wave is a bit strong so we didn't go in the water but played with the sands instead. My girls are not a big fan, so we had to drag them to the beach everyday *duh* what is the point of a beach holiday if you refused to spend time at the beach? *sigh* There's also plenty of lounge chairs set up around the hotel facilities, so you can also choose to relax and read a book or sun tan if you want. 

As usual, my booking was made at Booking.com . We had a good time here minus one incident where there's a blackout in our room for about 20 minutes on the day of arrival. Other than that no complaint and we will make a point to come back again one day InshaAllah :)

We rate our stay here at 8.5/10