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Are you planning to adopt a cat or a dog? Are you or your children afraid of cats or/and dogs? Do you know how to approach a cat or a dog? How would you respond to a big barking dog? SPCA Selangor has the answer for you!

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a non-profit organisation, based in Ampang, Selangor. You can adopt a cat or a dog here, rather than buying one. They have very frequent adoption drives all over KL. Check out their Facebook page for info on the next adoption drive. They also spay and neuture (stray) dogs and cats, lobby the government for better treatment of animals and investigate cruelty reports.

The SPCA has got several programmes:

  • Dog Training (Basic Obedience Course)
  • Pet Care Programme
  • Adoption Programme
  • Kitty and Puppy Pawty
Kitty and Puppy Pawty

I recently signed up for a programme in the SPCA Selangor called Kitty and Puppy Pawty and my kids loved it! It was a two hours programme for children, to learn more about puppies and kittens. Children under the age of 7 will need an adult guardian to be with them.

Besides learning the basics of how to handle cats and dogs, the kids also have the chance to play and spend time with the puppies and kittens, as well as tour the SPCA. Special mention to the house dog Dane (a Great Dane), as he is the size of a tiger, but super friendly! The SPCA organises Kitty and Puppy Pawties every third Saturday of the month.

Volunteering at the SPCA

You can become a volunteer at the SPCA, after attending the Pet Care Programme for which you pay a small fee. They always need help at the centre to feed the dogs, clean the cages (slightly smelly, yes…) and socialise with the animals. Volunteers under the age of 11 years old must be accompanied by an adult above 18 years old.

You can also just drop by to give a donation and say hello or perhaps spend some time with the puppies and kittens. They need some tender loving care!

The SPCA is open to the public from 10am till 4 pm from Tuesday till Sunday. The centre is closed on Mondays. Find out more about the SPCA here.

The SPCA is not alone when it comes to protecting homeless animals. Here is a list of a few other shelters and organisations in the Klang Valley who provide assistance to animals in need.

The post Learn about cats and dogs at the SPCA appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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Pulau Lang Tengah or Lang Tengah Island is a gorgeous hidden paradise on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia with pristine white sandy beaches and crystal clear warm water. This small island is located between Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian, hence the name Lang Tengah (the eagle in the middle). The secluded beaches with rich marine life are the reason some people call it the Maldives of Malaysia.

A highlight of Lang Tengah, besides its beautiful beaches, is the fact that there are no roads, only a few jungle paths to reach the beaches and the rocky side of the island. That means no noise and clean air – both rare nowadays, especially for families living in the city. The only way to get around the island is walking, by boat or canoe.

The beaches

The island has three stunning white sand beaches plenty of rich and colorful marine life to explore. Two of those, the bigger ones, are located in front of the resorts. The third one, turtle bay, is smaller and more recluse beach dedicated to the marine turtle conservation.

The kids were excited to snorkel amongst baby sharks, parrot fish, blue-ringed angelfish, big schools of colorful fish and clown fish living in sea anemones just close to the shore. Not to mention the bright corals in many sizes and colors and a bigger shark of about a meter long.

What we enjoy the most about the island is the fact that we can go snorkeling at any time of the day without the need to book a snorkeling trip. And every time we spotted something different!

The visibility is often great for snorkeling at all beaches with its crystal clear waters. There are almost no currents, so non-divers will enjoy the island without the need to go very far from the beach to see beautiful corals and colorful fish. In the afternoon, while enjoying the sunset from the beach, we could also see flocks of seagulls on the rocks near the beach at Sari Pacifica.

Lang Tengah Turtle Watch

The Turtle Bay (the main nesting beach) is the home of a conservation organization that does an amazing job not only protecting the sea turtles but also researching the reefs and marine life around the island. To reach the beach follow an enjoyable and easy path in the jungle among coconut and banana trees and occasional big monitor lizards. After a short hike (with ropes to help the way up) you will arrive at the beautiful turtle bay beach.

Lang Tengah Turtle Watch‘s team is formed from volunteers from different countries and relies mostly on donations, school visits and the selling of merchandise to support the project.

By contacting the project in advance we booked a visit with the kids. After a small tour, they explained us about the project, the turtle’s species and the struggle to preserve them by saving the eggs not only from the natural predators but also from poachers who sell the eggs for consumption on local markets.

Each evening during the nesting season the volunteers patrol two beaches, the Turtle Bay and Lang Sari to check if any mother turtle will arrive to nest, so they can safely relocate the eggs to monitor them at turtle bay. During our visit, we got to see the many protected nests on the sand waiting for the hatchling and the preservation done by ensuring they are not touched. Last time we visited the project we were lucky to see one of the hatchlings, and the kids were thrilled to look at the tiny turtles heading off into the ocean. This time, although we didn’t see any tiny turtles, we could witness one of the mother turtles coming to the Lang Sari beach at night to lay her eggs. Definitely a plus to our trip.

We visited Lang Tengah for the first time three years ago and since then all its beauty remains untouched. Every time we come back we fall in love again.

Lang Tengah Resorts

Tengah island has only three resorts (all clean and good overall, but none of them five stars). We stayed at Sari Pacifica because it’s located on the island’s most beautiful beach and our favorite spot for the kids to play or snorkel from while we relax on the lounge chairs under the dried palm leaves canopy.

The rooms are clean but need of renovation. The family rooms by the pool and at the beach front are the best. The rooms with two king size beds fit comfortably a family of four or even five (if the kids are younger). The restaurant offers breakfast and dinner buffet, but you can also order some snacks from the beach bar during the day. At the time of our visit the buffet was average: the choice for both for breakfast and dinner was limited, but the food was good. The budget triple rooms start from around RM300/night and the nicer pool villas from about RM600/night.

Photo: Booking.com

Summer Bay Lang Tengah Island Resort is located at the right end of the same beach as Sari Pacifica. It’s the newest and the most crowded one, and seems to be popular with large tourist groups. The hotel has a jetty that’s bigger and more comfortable than the other ones. The rooms are well maintained, but the family rooms are smaller than at Sari Pacifica. We were told that breakfast now offers a wider selection of buns and pastries on top of their regular buffet spread.

D’Coconut Lagoon Resort is closer to the turtle bay and the quietest one, offering more of a feeling of staying on a private beach. We have never stayed there but as far as we could see some rooms are quite spacious and they have a few family rooms available. At the beach, the kids found a shallow reef right in front of the resort’s jetty and were thrilled to see a family of cute little Nemos in their real habitat.

All the resorts have a dive center offering daily snorkeling and diving trips, as well as kayak and canoe rentals.

The only downside compared to the neighbouring islands Redang and Perhentian, is that the only meal options are at the resorts. There are no other restaurants at the island, besides a small local kiosk on the way to the turtle bay selling fresh coconut and a few seafood dishes. On the other hand, Lang Tengah has fewer tourists, which guarantees a peaceful and quiet holiday

How to get to Lang Tengah islan

The best time to visit the island is between March and October, as by the end of October all the resorts close for the monsoon season. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the island with a speed boat from Merang Jetty, Terengganu.

We chose to travel by car from Kuala Lumpur, but you can also take a domestic flight to Kuala Terengganu. The resorts usually provide a land transport pick-up service from the airport to Merang Jetty for those not driving. The drive from KL to Merang Jetty takes about four and a half hours, and the roads are good with several places to stop on the way.

Once we reached Merang Jetty we left the car in a covered parking area for a fee of RM10 per night. The boats for Lang Tengah are usually scheduled to depart at 10am, 2pm and 3pm every day, but in case of larger groups, there’s also the possibility to pay for a private boat departing at any time, weather permitting.

The post Lang Tengah – a hidden paradise island appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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The trail climbed steadily, the path was somewhat overgrown but here I was, hiking with my two 3.5 year-olds, husband, a guide and a pleasant Japanese couple. What a highlight (our first hike as a family!) of our recent trip to Malaysia’s most popular hill station, Cameron Highlands. And I have the charming Strawberry Park Resort to thank.

Strawberry Park Resort is not only a very family-friendly, affordable place to stay but their tour desk located at their lobby makes it that much easier to see the sights here.

Rather than drive around this hill station on your own or try and book a taxi once you’re there, try making arrangements at the tour desk (more on this below). When you have two very young kiddos in tow, it’s good to have everything booked in advance.

Photo: Strawberry Park Resort Rooms at the Strawberry Park Resort

Located on a sprawling mountain landscape, Strawberry Park Resort has been around for some time. While it may not be a new and sparkly hotel, the upkeep is nothing short of exceptional.

Rooms are spacious with a nice large bath/shower area and comfortable beds. We had a Tioga Deluxe Suite for our family of four which had a gorgeous view of the surrounding valleys. There was a sofa in the room which my husband willingly slept in comfortably. I had a large bed to myself with the two kids.

Photo: Strawberry Park Resort

The rooms are not air-conditioned nor are there fans. We felt maybe if we were in the room during afternoons, it would be best to have the option of switching on fans. However we did not feel warm as the cool air (mainly in the mornings and nights) cooled the room completely. (Temperatures can hit a cool 19-24C in the mornings/evenings to even 16C overnight!)

They have a couple of Family Suites with two to four bedrooms, ideal if you’re planning a huge family vacation and looking for affordable accommodation.

A charming half-circle balcony offers up a quiet spot to just sit in bliss and sip your coffee before the kids wake up and, well…

Room Tips:
  • Request for a unit on the lowest level if there are any elderly guests in your group. Rooms are all walk-up only.
  • Check what type of view the room you’re planning to book has.
Tours by Strawberry Park Resort

The tour desk can save you time and the holiday stress you don’t need. For as low as RM25 per person up to RM135 per person, they will arrange it all. Depending on the tour, a minimum number of people of two to eight persons apply.

We joined the Mossy Forest Tour. It was a two-hour enjoyable hike, accessible from the resort itself (there are different trails into the forest). A bottle of water was provided for each person.

Surrounded by dense foliage and towering trees, we found the hike highly rewarding, thanks to our guide. Heaps of beautiful trees covered in moss, a pitcher plant species, herbal and medicinal plants, cinnamon barks – were all pointed out by him.

Other family-friendly tours you could opt for include those to the strawberry farms, butterfly garden, honey bee farm, the market square and tea plantations. If you have young kids, I would highly recommend to opt for half day tours.

More adventurous tours include the mountain biking tours and night forest walks. Do inform the desk in advance if you want to join.

Food at the resort

Western, Indian, local and vegetarian food is easily available at the restaurants in the resort. The breakfast options at Brasserie’ 85 are fairly moderate but good. Look out for the roti station that serves up piping hot local delights like roti canai. Other dining options like the more formal Tudor Grill and Mulberry India Restaurants only open in the evenings.

There is also a bar at the lobby and a large outdoor garden terrace with seating for dining options.

Location

The Resort is a few minutes away from the main towns of Brinchang and Tanah Rata. Attractions like the various strawberry farms, butterfly garden, rose and lavender gardens, cactus valleys and tea plantations are all located in proximity but are not within walking distance.

*Look out for our upcoming post on places worth visiting in Cameron Highlands with kids.

What you need to try
  • A steamboat dinner is one of the best experiences in Cameron Highlands. Thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, seafood and tofu are all cooked in a simmering hot pot which is placed at your table. For RM70 per nett, the resort can prepare a steamboat set for two persons with advance notice.
  • We heard the scones here are very fresh, buttery and light accompanied with yummylicious homemade jam. We tried our scones at a cafe outdoors but if short on time you can try them at the resort.
  • Also for RM70 try out their hi-tea set for two at the Garden Terrace from 3-6pm. Sipping hot tea in Cameron Highlands, now that’s doing it right!
  • The resort has a full service spa but what I found most interesting was the outdoor jacuzzi with a view of the glorious mountain range!
Photo: Strawberry Park Resort Weekdays or weekends?

The most important tip if you’re planning a trip to Cameron Highlands would be to come on weekdays. Traffic on the narrow and windy roads on weekends has been frequently described as nightmare-ish. Thankfully the resort has awesome weekday promo rates going from RM240 for a studio room to RM590 for the bigger suites.

Final Tips
  • There is a mini playground in the resort property perfect for little ones to have some play time after breakfast!
  • Lovely landscaping around the resort for perfect photo opportunities with the kids.
  • Go for breakfast early to avoid big groups getting ready for their tours which usually begin at 9am.
  • If you’re coming from Kuala Lumpur, a great stop along the way to Cameron Highlands would be Ipoh’s Lost World of Tambun which you can read about here.
  • Look out for our upcoming post on the best places to go in Cameron Highlands for a family with young kids and if you think they can take the drive from KL!

You can check the latest prices and book your stay here.

This post contains affiliate links. From bookings through our links, we get a small commission with no cost to you.

The post A cool stay in Strawberry Park Resort, Cameron Highlands appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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Happy Go KL by Happy Go Kl Partner - 1w ago

For many schools in and around Kuala Lumpur, the big summer break is coming up soon. Have you got plans already to entertain your children? How about registering them for a summer camp?

The American Summer Camps have been a long-standing tradition that has started since the late 18th century. The primary purpose of summer camps, which span over 2-7 weeks, was to encourage children to go out and enjoy the nature and to pick up skills such as independence, basic survival skills and problem solving skills.

For the first time ever in Malaysia, Camp MAE is proud to present the very first Summer Camp in Malaysia. Organised by the Mad About Education Group, the Summer Camp is a 1-2 weeks camp that comprises a variety of well-structured and organized activities such as sports (golf, dodgeball, volleyball, swimming, canoeing, ATV ride, obstacle course), nature and life-skills classes (animal care, jungle trekking, first aid, rope courses, outdoor science), arts (baking, cooking, woodworking, arts and craft) and many other challenging activities. 

These activities are designed to encourage children to pick up a variety of skills such as teamwork, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, leadership skills and good values such as perseverance, integrity, determination, build courage and overcome one’s fear. Best of all, children get to make new friends and learn about each other’s cultures and values. 

Summer Camp @ Camp MAE

Dates: 3 – 16 August 2019 (choice of 1 week or 2 weeks)
Venue: Camp MAE @ Amverton Cove Golf and Island Resort, Carey Island, Banting
Age group: 7-17

For more details, contact Beverley at 012 2094 262 or Debbie at 016 5530 325 or email them at enquiry@madabouteducation.com. You may also visit their homepage  or go to their FB page.

The post MAE Summer Camp appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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Happy Go KL by Spanglishmama - 1w ago

Boarding our plane to Tokyo, we had high hopes for our holiday. The children wanted ninjas and robots, my husband wanted gadgets galore and I just wanted to not lose anyone whilst negotiating Japan’s vast capital city, home to over 13 million people.

Like every major city it has an overwhelming amount of attractions to amuse and delight overseas visitors, the question is which ones to choose. Especially in a city where even the toilets are far from bog standard, with its heated seats and musical melodies. Our list was long and our time there was limited, below are my top Tokyo attractions for families visiting Tokyo:

Ninja Restaurant

In the battle to be crowned Tokyo’s top tourist attraction for families, the Ninja restaurant would be very hard to beat. It had robots, fancy food served in a frivolous fashion, a personal show from a master ninja magician and buckets of dry ice.

It’s no mystery that you need to book a table there a few weeks in advance and they also require you to pay a rather large refundable deposit. There are two ninja restaurants in Tokyo, one in the central Shinjuku area and one in Akasaka.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

They say the best things in life are free. Remarkably for a city that will have you haemorrhaging cash, a trip up the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is indeed free! Once you arrive at the tower follow the signs to the lifts that will take you to an observation deck, 202 meters above the ground.

Generally the North Tower is open between 9.30am and 11pm, but you will not be allowed up after 10.30pm. Before you go check the website to make sure that it’s not closed for the holiday season. The Tocho-mae Station, on the Oedo Subway Line, is located in the basement of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Alternatively, the building can be reached in a 10 minute walk from the west exit of JR Shinjuku Station.

Shibuya crossing

It has been said that Shibuya’s iconic crossing is the busiest crossing in the world and it’s not hard to see why, with up to 1000 people scrabbling across the intersection every time the lights change. You might want to take a trip here as an opportunity to grab a coffee in one of the many cafés overlooking the crossing. You can rest your fatigued feet whilst watching everyone else do the hard walk below.

Harajuka Street

A short metro ride away from the crazy crossing is Harajuku Street, home to quirky Cosplay play characters, crazy fashion, creamy crepes and deep fried cheese. However you may want your hotel to be nearby as there is every chance you may fall in to a deep fried carbohydrate coma after indulging in either of these.

Yoyogi Park

A word of warning: Harajuka Street was packed with people when we visited on a Sunday, so afterwards you may want to escape to the nearby serenity of Yoyogi Park. If you visit this peaceful place and home to a significant shrine at the weekend you may be rewarded with witnessing some weddings. However my kids were mortified that we had taken them to a park without an actual play area in it.

Mirakan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

If like us you have an encounter with robots to tick off from your holiday programme, you may want to head over to Odaiba Island. A short train ride from the main island using the Yurikamome train will take you to this high tech entertainment hub which is home to the Mirakan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Although I felt that most of the exhibits were aimed at older children and adults, we enjoyed a couple of hours here sheltering from the rain. The highlights were our conversation with a very lifelike robotic woman and a robot show that included some pretty impressive soccer skills.

The museum is closed on Tuesdays, unless it’s a public holiday and opens from 10am – 5pm. They even have a café if you are mega hungry and fancy a byte to eat. You can find more information here.

The ones that got away …. Senso-Ji Temple

We ran out of time to tick off everything on our extensive list. But if you have the luxury of longer than a few days, you might want to head over to the Senso-Ji temple to experience a quintessentially Japanese temple and maybe even ride on a traditional rickshaw whilst you are there. The temple is a few steps from Asakusa Station, but it is slightly away from the usual tourist stops.

Teamlab Borderless

Based on the same island as the famous Daikanransha ferris wheel and the Miraikan Museum is a brilliant interactive lightshow instalment. If you have teenagers in tow or your Instagram account is desperately in need of some images that spark joy then head to Teamlab borderless. This came highly recommended to us, but it does sell out some days in advance and I was just too late to get tickets. If you like the sound of this innovative place visit their website for more information and to buy tickets.

The one I wished had gotten away!

First on our itinerary was Robot Park or Sakuraka Park in Roppongi. I thought this would be a quirky fun start to our holiday, allowing the kids to burn off some energy whilst seeing robots and cherry blossom at the same time. It was no more that a small park with a few robot statues and we did not need to make a special trip to see cherry blossom as we saw bursts of it all over the city. The family were not impressed and it led them to question every other activity I suggested after that.

Before you get there

I highly recommend downloading the free Tokyo Subway Navigation app to help you get from A to B in the quickest way possible, it will also tell you how much you need to pay for a ticket to get there.

There is so much to do in Tokyo and if like us you have only a little time you really need to plan ahead and also agree as a family what you most want to do and see. We received the great gift of the City Trails – Tokyo guide book which is produced by Lonely Planet and aimed at children and really helped ignite the kids interest in the trip.

The cost of train travel in Japan will make your eyes water more than a spoonful of wasabi. So, if you are planning to travel on from Tokyo you may want to invest in a Japan Rail pass or JR Pass. This is a very cost effective rail pass for long distance train travel in Japan. The pass can only be used by foreign tourists and offers unlimited use of JR trains for one, two or three weeks for a fraction of the normal price.

You will need to pay for it in advance and collect it when you arrive. I received recommendations for the following two Malaysian travel agents that can help organise a pass for you: JTB Malaysia and H.I.S. Malaysia. Using one of the many online JR pass calculators will soon tell you whether investing in a pass will pay off.

Finally pack your most comfortable walking shoes, as we were ranging between 10 and 15km a day. I would also advise packing lots of layers especially if you’re not used to colder climes. We experienced frozen fingers and sunburn within the space of 24 hours.

Where to stay in Tokyo

Tokyo is vast, so it is wise to stay somewhere central, otherwise you will spend half your stay travelling to where you need to be. We stayed at the Toshi Center Hotel which was conveniently located next to a bunch of cafés that served breakfast and three metro stations – Nagatacho, Kojimachi and Akasaka – Mitsuke.

The downside of staying near the centre of the city and the main attractions is that you don’t get much bed for your buck. The rooms had everything we needed, but it was probably the smallest and for its size the most expensive hotel we have ever stayed in, especially as we had to have two rooms for our family of four. My daughter said the hotel corridors reminded her of a hospital and the room reminded her of a tree house because it was so tiny, I have to say that I think it also smelt like a tree house too and not in a lovely alpine fresh way.

How to get to Tokyo

We flew into Tokyo Haneda airport from KLIA with Air Asia X and flew back from Osaka also with them. If you also choose this airline you will need to provide your own on board entertainment to make the approximately seven hour journey fly by. There are a number of other airlines that also fly directly to Tokyo including ANA and Malaysian Airlines.

Our flight landed at 10pm so we thought instead of lugging four suitcases and two tired children across Tokyo on an unfamiliar public transport system that we would treat ourselves to a taxi. Half way through the cab ride we started to question this decision. The 30 minute journey cost an eye watering RM350, thankfully we were able to pay the driver by bank card!

They say you can’t put a price on happiness, however I can confirm you can put a price on unhappiness and for my husband it was forking out that amount of cash for something that would have cost a fraction of the price in KL.

When is the best time to visit Tokyo?

It’s best to avoid a hot and humid summer sightseeing in the city, so try and not travel during late June to August. If you visit during spring and autumn months of March to May and September to November you’ll enjoy a much more pleasant temperature for exploring. We visited in early April and were lucky enough to see the cherry blossom in full bloom during Sakura season.

Like most vibrant cities Tokyo is most spellbinding at night. When we were there in the spring time we were lucky enough to see snow, which just added to the magic. If you are looking for a ski trip, check our post on Furano here.

By the end of our time in Tokyo our feet were sore and our bank account was considerably depleted but our souls and minds were enriched with lots of memorable, entertaining and eye opening moments. The trip was well worth every yen.

also check out our review of the universal studios japan

The post Top Tokyo attractions for kids appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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Happy Go KL by Durianmama - 2w ago

Pulau Ketam is a great destination for a day trip from Kuala Lumpur – it is only a 45-minute drive from the city. Why not bring the family, some sunscreen and your camera, there is plenty to see and do on this island! The kids will love it.

Mud. Muuuuudddd. Mud.

Pronounce this word ten or so times and it will start to sound weird. It’s a great substance though.

At a stone’s throw from Kuala Lumpur, on Pulau Ketam, there is mud in abundance. Pulau Ketam means Crab Island. But Pulau Lumpur (Mud Island) would have been a more suitable name. Does the island even deserve the suffix ‘land’? The island is actually one big mud hill, barely raised above the surface of the Strait of Melaka. Okay, enough mud throwing at Pulau Ketam. Let’s take a look at the things that make Crab Island a fun place.

How huts turned into a village

In the olden days, Malaysian fishermen of Chinese descent came regularly to the mud hill, to fish for crab. Halfway through the 19th century, a few of these fishermen thought that it would be useful to build a house there, to occasionally spend the night. More and more Hokkien and Teochew Chinese followed and 30 years later almost 100 fishermen lived on the island between the mangrove forests.

The Second World War broke out and what was then Malaya was taken over by the Japanese. As a result, many people fled from the main land to the island and the population of Pulau Ketam increased tenfold. This was good for the economy. The collection of houses could now started to call themselves a village and the first regular ferry service was opened. You can read more about the history of the island here.

Nowadays, the stilt houses that are connected by concrete dykes and bridges have got a hospital and a school, there are shops and restaurants and even a number of hotels on Pulau Ketam, for the real adventurers among us.

Perhaps the fishermen eventually got bored of the grey and brown colours of the mud. Maybe that explains why they painted many of the wooden houses in the most beautiful bright colours with blue, green, yellow and turquoise. Very Instagrammable indeed!

Dykes and bikes

Peaceful and very quiet. That is the first thing you notice when you set foot on ‘land’. A bit later, we understand why. Just behind the harbour you can see some shops, renting out electric bikes. They are the only means of transport allowed on Pulau Ketam. 

The electric bikes cost RM20 per hour, but you could bargain if you want to ride them for more than two hours. There don’t seem to be too many traffic rules and helmets are not available, but you do get useful advice for free: always stay on the left hand side of the road.

You can cross a good part of the island with an electric bicycle. Watch out for the bumps on the street that are meant to slow down the speed devils among us. Another tip: about 100 meters before you get to a bridge, just speed up a little bit. If you don’t, you will be standing still halfway the bridge climb and will have to work both legs to prevent yourself from sliding back down and to peddle your way up. An awkward sight indeed (speaking from experience…).

Snake Temple

Pulau Ketam has its share of nice Chinese temples, of which the Snake Temple was my children’s favourite. The name already gives it away: a giant snake is being kept in front of the temple. There are several smaller jetties around the island, with very nice views across the water. People respond friendly toward the matsallehs buzzing around on their bikes with their children.

Are the bicycles suitable for children? Yes, certainly! From the age of 12, children can ride the bikes themselves. Until that age, they can simply sit on the back seat. My 14 year old son and his friend had no problem riding a bike by themselves, while our 10 year old daughter had fun sitting behind dad and watch the island life go by.

Le pièce de résistance: crab

We came to Pulau Ketam with the intention to fill our bellies with this delicacy and yes, we did succeed. Especially at the harbourside you can find many restaurants, all of which sell a wide variety of seafood. Choose a place with a crowd and you are guaranteed to a good meal.

Pulau Ketam seafood: chili crab, pepper crab, steamed fish and shellfish, it is all deliciously prepared and easy to wash away with a cold drink.

How to get to Pulau Ketam

Coming from Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Ketam is a great destination for a day trip. If the traffic is good, you can reach Port Klang by car in 45 minutes. You can also take the KTM train from KL to Klang. The ferry to Pulau Ketam leaves from Port Klang’s passenger terminal. There is paid parking available in the parking garage next door.

We went with Alibaba Cruises and paid RM18 for adults RM10 for kids, for return tickets. The trip to Pulau Ketam takes approximately 40 minutes. Get out at the second jetty. For the curious reader: there is nothing to see at the first jetty. Except grey mud.

For the departure times of the return trip back to the mainland, it is best to inquire at the Alibaba counter. Boats depart every 30 minutes during peak times.

Selamat jalan!

click here for more ideas for day trips from kuala lumpur

The post Pulau Ketam day trip appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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Hari Raya is about spending time with the family, but if you find yourself in the city without plans, there are a few things happening in the malls. Some have cultural programme and many run suitably themed crafts workshops for kids.  

Festive perfomances at the Pavilion
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 14 – 16 June plus Raya Open House with the Turtles on 15 June Centre Court, Level 2
  • Raya Performances at Centre Court, Level 2
    • Malay fusion music: 1 June, 5pm
    • Riang ria dance: 2 June, 5pm
    • Contemporary gamelan music: 5 June, 5pm
    • Colour of Malay dance: 6 June, 5pm
    • Cak lembung music: 8 June, 5pm
    • Aidilfitri dance: 9 June, 5pm
    • Raya Stroller Band: 9 May – 13 June, 8pm (except 11-13, 18, 20, 26, 27 May, 3 & 10 June)
Hari Raya Performances at Suria KLCC

Silat performaces, kids’ traditional dance and more colourful performances as well as the lamps illuminating the Esplanade. Full schedule here.

Central Market Kuala Lumpur

Cultural dance: 1 June at 1.30pm

1 Utama
  • Thomas & Friends and their exciting Holiday Adventure at GF Centre Court 25 May – 9 June 2019. More info here.
  • Rainforest Wonder Festivatl at LG Rainforest 1 Utama on 7 & 8 June 2019, 10.00am – 6.00pm. Over 100 rainforest trees and Rainbow suspension bridge, eco-workshops, petting zoo and a Gardening. More info here.

The Curve

Kenangan Manisku – performances and traditional games like Lompat Getah, Baling Selipar, Ting Ting, Congkak, Guli, Batu Seremban and Tarik Upih. Performances happening every weekend at 2pm and 5pm until 6 Jun. Full schedule here.

The Starling

Performances and activities for the whole family:

Bangsar Shopping Centre

Tapestry of Traditions celebration offers traditions, arts & crafts activities, cultural performances, Ramadan Bazaar and much more until 2 June More info here.

Great Eastern Mall

Batik painting, gamelan performances, Full schedule here.

Sunway Putra Mall – Bunya-Bunga Raya Celebration
  • Arts & crafts workshops every weekend & Public Holiday at 2pm and 5pm
  • Flower Arrangement Workshop by Petals2U on 1,2,8,9,15,16 June 2019 at 4pm
  • Full schedule here.
Sunway Pyramid: PJ Masks

6-23 June, the superpowers of PJ Masks heroes take over Sunway Pyramid’s LG2 Blue Concourse. More info here.

 
 
 

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“Please, please can we stop at the Lost World of Tambun”, pleaded the kids when they heard we were going on a road trip North. Despite being lost, we had no trouble finding it – Daddy’s favourite joke of the trip. The kids did not find funny, I may add.

We visited the park on a busy day, but despite the full car park the vast grounds didn’t feel overly crowded. As soon as we walked through the gates, the kids were eyeing the pools but we started with the attractions on dry land, thinking the heat of the afternoon would be the best time to soak in the water.

The park has several areas with different activities – there is a fair bit of walking so do bring a stroller if you have little ones.

Tin Valley, Adventure Valley and Tiger Valley

We first headed to the direction Tin Valley, past the haunted house (extra entrance fee applies), stopping by at the cat house, where you can pet the resident cats. We were lured in by the odd look of a hairless cat but found the cats a bit weary of visitors so made a swift exit.

The Tin Valley is set amongst the beautiful limestone hills and has information about the history of Ipoh as a tin mining town along the walkway. We tried our hand at looking for tin by the “river”. The kids thought it was fun, but we wouldn’t make fortunes in this!

Adventure Valley is an are next to the glamping site, but it was closed when we visited. The are at the end of the path is the zoo section. It is quite small, but the animals seemed to have a decently sized enclosures. You can feed most of the animals – the kids enjoyed feeding the deer but the zebras were a bit too pushy for us. We admired the giant hippo from underwater peeking window but swiftly moved on to more exciting areas.

The petting zoo

We are generally weary of all attractions to do with animals, but we found the petting zoo area at Lost World of Tambun just great. The guinea pig and rabbit enclosures were possibly the coolest ever and ingeniously at the right level for the kids to feed them, but also providing space for the little critters to get away from all the grubby hands if they so wish.

This whole area was well shaded and relatively cool thanks to the huge fans. Further along you can meet some more unusual animals, like the mara and capybara. There was staff at hand to answer questions and to make sure the animals were treated nicely.

The water park

For us the pools and slides were the main attraction at the Lost World of Tambun. The water park is not huge, and the slides are of the gentle type rather than huge thrill-rides, but we enjoyed soaking away the rest of the afternoon.

We first visited Tambun water park when our children were toddlers. They enjoyed the sandy “beach” and the kids’ pool then, and now, five years later, they particularly liked the lazy river and the slides.

The toddler pool is a lot of fun, and has is partly shaded to protect the little ones from the sun – a big thumbs up! Bring a bucket and spade for the sandy “beach” if you have toddlers!

There are lockers for rent (RM20-40 depending on size), that you can access throughout the day with your wristband. To use a tube in the lazy river, you will need to pay RM28,of which RM10 you’ll get back when you return the tube.

The hot springs are more geared towards the adults (they are very hot!) and stay open until 11pm. We saw lots of local teens and young adults arriving in the evening to enjoy the wave pool and the hot springs.

Rides at Lost World of Tambun

There are a few rides at Lost World of Tambun, but generally they are very small and more like fairground rides than an amusement park as such. The one roller coaster was closed on the day we were there, but the kids had a blast at the carousels, the swinging ship and the other few small rides, but agreed that the rides were more like an add-on.

Food at Lost World of Tambun

For a theme park, there is a fairly good selection of food options. At the main food court you can find both the typical fries and burgers section, as well as quite affordable local dishes, though the selection is very limited for vegetarians.

Ipoh Food street has stalls selling local specialties, mostly snacks and drinks. In the end of the row you’ll find Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt, always a hit. Dulang Tea House on the way to the Tin Valley is set in a cave and offers your typical Ipoh Kopitian fare, like toast and kaya, soft boiled eggs and so on.

We wished we were staying in the Lost World Hotel next door, so that we could have returned to the park after dinner and a little rest to see the fire show and the Luminous Forest, night lights in the hot springs. There would have also been shows during the day, but we were not organised enough to catch any. If you are keen to see the shows, ask for the timings before you head out to the park to make sure you don’t miss them like we did.

Lost World of Tambun tickets

Lost World of Tambun ticket price is as follows:

  • Entrance ticket includes entry to ALL parks (on weekdays: 11.00am – 6.00pm and weekends: 10.00am – 6.00pm)
    • Adults RM117 or RM85 with MyKad
    • Children (12 and under) RM 110 or RM77 with MyKad
  • Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park Rates Ticket access to Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park only (on weekdays: 6.00pm – 11.00pm and weekends: 6.00pm – 11.00pm):
    • Adults RM76 or RM66 with MyKad
    • Children (12 and under) RM64 or RM55.50 with MyKad

More info on ticket prices and extra fees can be found here. You can also check ticketing sites like Klook to get a better deal or a good Lost World of Tambun package.

Tips for visiting the Lost World of Tambun:

If you are looking for a nice water park in Ipoh, with added extra attractions, Lost World of Tambun is for you. You can check the ticket prices here. Here are a few tips before you go:

  • Not all activities are included in your ticket price: haunted house, zip wire and a few other things like tube rental cost extra.
  • Officially bringing outside food to the park is not allowed
  • When we visited there was a DJ at the wave pool at certain times: if this is your thing, find out the timings. If not, do the same.
  • Come early if you are going to explore the whole park, especially if you have little ones – the park is quite large. Bring a stroller for toddlers.

read our review of glamping at the lost world of tambun here!

We received free entry for this review. Opinions are our own, as always.

The post A fun day out: Lost of World of Tambun appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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We all know that a good photo holds the power to take us back in time. It lets us remember the things that inevitably get hazy in our minds. I think all parents can identify with this, and for us parents who move often, it can be hard to separate ‘here’ from ‘there’. Changes happen so quickly, it’s sometimes hard to keep track. 

Studies show that our feelings of happiness towards an experience grow with time. Photos serve to strengthen that memory. So, of course it makes sense to document all of the things that make up your life and your experience here and now. Both for us to share a bit of our lives with families and friends back home, and to be able to show our kids a bit of what made their childhood in Malaysia so special.

Documenting our lives through photography has never been easier. We live in an age where we snap photos of our meals to share with the world on social media. We snap just for the sake of snapping and often take thousands of photos that get lost in the digital cloud never to be looked at again. It can become tedious to comb through them to see what we really intended to capture.

Here are 5 simple tips to help document your life thoughtfully:

1. Slow down and take notice

What are the little things that define your life at the moment? The row of tiny flip flops outside your door? The annoying pool noodles that you always seem to trip over? The leaves of the same palm tree hanging out your window? The smile of the guards outside your home? The way your kid’s hair only curls in the humidity?

Curls, only in Malaysia.

What are the big things? Friends that make up such a big part of your life? Or helpers that become part of the family and make up a big part of your children’s lives? The way you thoughtfully decorated the children’s room? Or that balcony that you drank your coffee on every morning? What does your home actually looks like? Often we forget to capture these things which seem obvious.

2. Think about how would you like to tell your story

How will you capture these details? Get high, get low. Get close, go far. Use an unconventional angle. Experiment. You should think of the lens as the eye of the viewer of the photo. Is the viewer peeking in on a scene? Are they down on the floor playing with your kids? Are they on the kitchen counter with you while you and your kids are baking?

Perspective is a big piece of telling the story and determining what the viewer sees. Spend some thought considering the elements of your daily life that you want to record and remember. While tempting, try not to only take cute photos of your kids in close up. Zoom out and take in the whole scene. The beautiful along with the mess. That is real life. That is what you don’t want to forget. Take photos with intention. Not just chance. 

Kids room from above. A beautiful mess. Capturing the daily routine An unconventional angle can more your photos more interesting Zooming way in can help tell a story by capturing the details 3. Light can make or break a photo

Take notice of the light around you. In Malaysia, being so close to the equator, we often get short periods of soft lighting in the early mornings and late afternoon. Soft lighting is best to capture photos without too much shadow and the tones are nice and warm. Window light is your friend. The mid-day sun can be quite intense and can often blow out your photos. That said, it can also make for interesting shadows and when the clouds do come out, which they often do here, it is a blessing as it diffuses that harsh light and makes it nice and soft.

Backlit photos can create beautiful light, but create a silhouette on the subject. If you want the nicely lit up face, then face the light, or if you want half shadow, try standing beside the window. Play with different options to understand the results. Mastering lighting will make a big impact on your photos. 

warm window light A cloudy afternoon 4. Practice,practice, practice

Keep you camera or phone handy. The best photo does not necessarily come from the best camera, it comes from the one that you have with you and that you know how to use. Many phone cameras have very powerful lenses and now many even have the ability to allow users to manually adjust some of the settings (exposure and aperture). Learn how to use what you have and practice, practice, practice. Photos below were taken on an iPhone:

5. Print your photos

Photo books, prints to frame, art prints. Get them off of your devices onto beautiful paper to look at, admire, share and reminisce about. There are so many printing options online these days. The biggest problem is gathering the photos you want to print. Printing is the step we most often overlook (myself included), but who doesn’t love to hold a beautiful moment of their lives?

Photos are meant to be looked at

And finally, don’t forget to jump in there as well. Because, you were there too!

Patricia, Happy Go KL’s Cameramama is a professional lifestyle photographer based in KL. If you would like to book a session with her, she would love to help you document these moments to look back on and treasure for a lifetime. You can see her work at www.patriciakrivanek.com or on instagram @patriciakrivanekphoto.

Anyone who books a session before July 1st will receive a 20% discount by mentioning this Happy Go KL post.

The post Life is in the details: 5 tips to capture your family life appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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“Please, please can we stop at the Lost World of Tambun”, pleaded the kids when they heard we were going on a road trip North. Despite being lost, we had no trouble finding it – Daddy’s favourite joke of the trip. The kids did not find funny, I may add.

We visited the park on a busy day, but despite the full car park the vast grounds didn’t feel overly crowded. As soon as we walked through the gates, the kids were eyeing the pools but we started with the attractions on dry land, thinking the heat of the afternoon would be the best time to soak in the water.

The park has several areas with different activities – there is a fair bit of walking so do bring a stroller if you have little ones.

Tin Valley, Adventure Valley and Tiger Valley

We first headed to the direction Tin Valley, past the haunted house (extra entrance fee applies), stopping by at the cat house, where you can pet the resident cats. We were lured in by the odd look of a hairless cat but found the cats a bit weary of visitors so made a swift exit.

The Tin Valley is set amongst the beautiful limestone hills and has information about the history of Ipoh as a tin mining town along the walkway. We tried our hand at looking for tin by the “river”. The kids thought it was fun, but we wouldn’t make fortunes in this!

Adventure Valley is an are next to the glamping site, but it was closed when we visited. The are at the end of the path is the zoo section. It is quite small, but the animals seemed to have a decently sized enclosures. You can feed most of the animals – the kids enjoyed feeding the deer but the zebras were a bit too pushy for us. We admired the giant hippo from underwater peeking window but swiftly moved on to more exciting areas.

The petting zoo

We are generally weary of all attractions to do with animals, but we found the petting zoo area at Lost World of Tambun just great. The guinea pig and rabbit enclosures were possibly the coolest ever and ingeniously at the right level for the kids to feed them, but also providing space for the little critters to get away from all the grubby hands if they so wish.

This whole area was well shaded and relatively cool thanks to the huge fans. Further along you can meet some more unusual animals, like the mara and capybara. There was staff at hand to answer questions and to make sure the animals were treated nicely.

The water park

For us the pools and slides were the main attraction at the Lost World of Tambun. The water park is not huge, and the slides are of the gentle type rather than huge thrill-rides, but we enjoyed soaking away the rest of the afternoon.

We first visited Tambun water park when our children were toddlers. They enjoyed the sandy “beach” and the kids’ pool then, and now, five years later, they particularly liked the lazy river and the slides.

The toddler pool is a lot of fun, and has is partly shaded to protect the little ones from the sun – a big thumbs up! Bring a bucket and spade for the sandy “beach” if you have toddlers!

There are lockers for rent (RM20-40 depending on size), that you can access throughout the day with your wristband. To use a tube in the lazy river, you will need to pay RM28,of which RM10 you’ll get back when you return the tube.

The hot springs are more geared towards the adults (they are very hot!) and stay open until 11pm. We saw lots of local teens and young adults arriving in the evening to enjoy the wave pool and the hot springs.

Rides at Lost World of Tambun

There are a few rides at Lost World of Tambun, but generally they are very small and more like fairground rides than an amusement park as such. The one roller coaster was closed on the day we were there, but the kids had a blast at the carousels, the swinging ship and the other few small rides, but agreed that the rides were more like an add-on.

Food at Lost World of Tambun

For a theme park, there is a fairly good selection of food options. At the main food court you can find both the typical fries and burgers section, as well as quite affordable local dishes, though the selection is very limited for vegetarians.

Ipoh Food street has stalls selling local specialties, mostly snacks and drinks. In the end of the row you’ll find Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt, always a hit. Dulang Tea House on the way to the Tin Valley is set in a cave and offers your typical Ipoh Kopitian fare, like toast and kaya, soft boiled eggs and so on.

We wished we were staying in the Lost World Hotel next door, so that we could have returned to the park after dinner and a little rest to see the fire show and the Luminous Forest, night lights in the hot springs. There would have also been shows during the day, but we were not organised enough to catch any. If you are keen to see the shows, ask for the timings before you head out to the park to make sure you don’t miss them like we did.

Lost World of Tambun tickets

Lost World of Tambun ticket price is as follows:

  • Entrance ticket includes entry to ALL parks (on weekdays: 11.00am – 6.00pm and weekends: 10.00am – 6.00pm)
    • Adults RM117 or RM85 with MyKad
    • Children (12 and under) RM 110 or RM77 with MyKad
  • Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park Rates Ticket access to Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park only (on weekdays: 6.00pm – 11.00pm and weekends: 6.00pm – 11.00pm):
    • Adults RM76 or RM66 with MyKad
    • Children (12 and under) RM64 or RM55.50 with MyKad

More info on ticket prices and extra fees can be found here. You can also check ticketing sites like Klook to get a better deal or a good Lost World of Tambun package.

Tips for visiting the Lost World of Tambun:

If you are looking for a nice water park in Ipoh, with added extra attractions, Lost World of Tambun is for you. You can check the ticket prices here. Here are a few tips before you go:

  • Not all activities are included in your ticket price: haunted house, zip wire and a few other things like tube rental cost extra.
  • Officially bringing outside food to the park is not allowed
  • When we visited there was a DJ at the wave pool at certain times: if this is your thing, find out the timings. If not, do the same.
  • Come early if you are going to explore the whole park, especially if you have little ones – the park is quite large. Bring a stroller for toddlers.

read our review of glamping at the lost world of tambun here!

We received free entry for this review. Opinions are our own, as always.

The post A fun day out: Lost of Word of Tambun appeared first on Happy Go KL.

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