Thursday, August 29, 2013

~ 3D2N Trip to Johor Bahru - Legoland (Part 2) ~

LEGO KINGDOM - Merlin's Challenge. High speed carousel that gave us some dizzy spell. The children love it still. 

Royal Joust - Our little knights hopped onto their horse and saddled their way through the kingdom. 

The Dragon & Dragon's Apprentice - The Dragon was too daunting for us looking at the amount of twists and turns. It will be thrilling if you are going for excitement. We decided to go for a milder rollercoaster ride at the Dragon's Apprentice instead and even that made us screamed our hearts out!

The Forestmen's Hideout - a nice treetop playground for the children. Daddies and Mommies can take a little break while watching them play. 

MINILAND - I'm always very intrigued with how the creators were able to piece every single bit of Lego blocks into masterpieces. Although we were in Malaysia, familiar sights like Riverside Point, Merlion and Fullerton Hotel can be found here. A great place to take family photos together.

LEGO TECHNIC - Lego Academy. Denver & Gladys were extremely disappointed when we were late in signing up for the acitivities at Lego Academy. All sessions were fully booked and we have to try our luck another time.

Project X - Another thrilling, crazy ride that we gladly gave it a miss. :)

Aquazone Wave Racers - There was a long queue at the Wave Racers and we skipped this ride as it is going to make us WET. To avoid further disappointment, children triggered the water jets from outside to attack the participants. Remember to bring an extra set of clothing if you are visiting Legoland.

Technic Twister - Another spinning ride that the kids had fun being in control. The more they turn the wheel, the crazier it spins! Luckily I was not sitting in the same saucer.

The deteriorating hazy condition forces us to end our trip early. Before we leave, we managed to cover most of the rides and catch all the 4D shows. The kids would love to be back again and when that day comes, they will be wiser to decide which are their preferred activity to go first.

Note: LEGOLAND Waterpark (next to LEGOLAND Malaysia) will be opening on 21st October 2013. It will be the largest LEGOLAND Water Park in the world and the first in Asia! Check out LEGOLAND website for more details.

LL Malaysia Taman Tema Sdn Bhd
Bandar Medini Iskandar Malaysia
79250, Nusajaya, Johor Darul Takzim

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

~ 3D2N Trip to Johor Bahru - Legoland (Part 1) ~

17th June 2013 - Our first visit to Legoland Malaysia on a hazy Monday morning since its official opening in September 2012. Denver & Gladys have always been probing us when we are bringing them to the themepark and we finally fulfill their wishes.

We are Ready to Play!

To avoid the long queues, it is advisable to visit Legoland during the weekdays and avoiding the school holidays. :) We were able to try out many rides within the day and even went for second round.

LEGO CITY - Driving School. The children queued up and went for their crash course on how to drive safely. Eager parents waited outside, with their cameras as the young ones hopped into their vehicles and ready to go!

Being an amateur, there were a few 'accidents' on the road. :) Denver was able to keep to his lane and observe the traffic rules to complete his circuit. Gladys had a little hiccups on the road but she too, manage to finish her rounds.

Boating School - After learning how to drive a car, its time to learn how to operate a boat. We had a bumpy ride in the waters, banging onto other boats and having a hard time making the turns. Definitely a dizzy experience for me allowing the children to be my captain. :)

Lego City Airport - It was a breezing experience in the sky with our cute pilots! The kids were able to choose their favourite aeroplanes and compete who can fly the highest!

Rescue Academy - Harmless as it may see, but it was our worst 'nightmare'! As the name implies, our mission is to put out the fire in the shortest time. 4 fire trucks lined up at the starting point and firemen has to maneuver the lever quickly to 'move' the trucks near the house of fire. It was followed by a series of fire-fighting before we made our way back to the starting point. The fastest fire truck wins and we were really EXHAUSTED after all the hard work!  

LAND OF ADVENTURE - Lost Kingdom. This place reminds me of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster in Disneyland, only on a smaller scale. Its another round of laser blasting hunt for lost treasure.

IMAGINATION - Observation Tower. The best place to get a bird's eye view of the entire LEGOLAND. Unfortunately, the panorama view was very much discounted by the haze.

Lego Studios. With lesser crowds in the weekdays, we were able to catch all the 4D shows! We went in and out of the studio until Gladys started to get really impatient as she wanted to go and play!

Kids Power Tower - This is a really cool ride and we LOVE it! After a strenuous exercise at the Rescue Academy, my hands were pretty weary already. At the Power Tower, our arm strength is again put to test by pulling the cable with all our might to reach the top and then releasing it for a drop fall. Whooo Hooo!

Build & Test - Another favourite area for our kiddos. We spent nearly an hour here building our fastest lego car model. Each model was placed at the starting line and challenged with the other cars for the fastest time to reach the finishing line.

Gladys, praying hard that her car model will win and it did! Her car was so nicely constructed that she beat all her competitors, winning the best timing of completing the race track in less than 4 seconds. :)
Denver & Gladys with their car models.

The kids LOVE their creation so much that they were very disappointed to learn that they have to return the wheels upon exiting. Nevertheless, it was a fun experience!

More rides and adventures in Part 2

Friday, August 23, 2013

~ Morning Walk at Tampines Eco Green ~

During the Hari Raya - National Day long weekend, we met up with the Tan family for a morning walk at Tampines Eco Green. :) It was our first visit to the park and we were welcome by the rain.

There was a light drizzle and the grass was wet. Nevertheless, that did not dampen our determination to 'venture' into the park and hopefully to find some interesting wildlife. 

The refreshing morning air lifted my spirit and I was thrilled to spot the butterflies and bees fluttering among the flowers, collecting pollen.
Attempted to take a good shot of the bees but I was too frightened and didn't managed to get close enough.  :( 

Beginning with the Diversity trail, we spotted a couple of Baya weaver bird nests, ant nests, fruits, flowers and of course lizards!
This is a pretty one - 'hanging' onto the wood stump and enjoying its morning climb.

Its really challenging to capture photos of dragonflies since they are always fluttering around but I was lucky to spot one whom seems to be 'resting'. 

We were equally as pleased and excited to find not one but TWO eagles, hovering in the sky. 

Our journey continues into the forest trail, and the children had fun chit-chatting while trying to see who can spot another natural habitat. 

Unlike the other parks, Tampines Eco Green carpet the walkway with grass patch instead of the usual concrete pavement. Occupying 36.5 hectares, the eco-friendly park is a haven for biodiversity. Its natural, un-touch setting blends in very nicely within the HDB estates. Many avid runners also come here for their morning and evening jog.

We enjoyed our morning walk and looking forward to bring our kiddos for more walking trails. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

~ 3D2N Trip to Johor Bahru - Meldrum Walk ~

It's DINNER TIME and we decided to try out the local delicacies at Meldrum Walk. Located within the bustling streets of Johor Bahru, it is about 5 minutes walk away from City Square Shopping Mall. The moment we turned into Jalan Meldrum, we were pretty impressed by scale and variety of the food stalls that was being setup in the open space within the back alleys. If I am not wrong, it could be one of the biggest in Johor Bahru.

Name: Meldrum Walk
Location: 1-35 Jalan Meldrum, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
(GPS: 1.458943, 103.765652)

It is a food paradise and we were spoil with choices. After roaming through the streets for awhile, we decided to find a table near the stalls that were selling our favourite food. Being frequent diners at hawkers and street markets, we are quite accustom to dining in open space where the environment may not be that clean or pleasant. However, that is also the uniqueness and atmosphere of Meldrum Walk to indulge in. Denver & Gladys complained about the heat and stuffiness but they got over it as soon as the cooling drinks and yummy food arrived on the table.

Sweet and refreshing coconut drink for all to share. It was a pity the coconut was a bit too young and we cannot savour the coconut meat within.

Hubby ordered a Popiah roll (薄餅and I like it when the skin is soft, thin and there's a lot of turnip, bean sprout, shredded omelette fillings and chopped peanut. We enjoyed the crunchiness of the vegetables and sweetness of the sauce, particularly stuffing the entire slice of popiah into my mouth to relish its flavour.

Char Kway Teow (炒粿条) is a common local dish in Malaysia and Singapore. The mixture of beansprout, cockles, fish cakes and flat rice noodles fried in dark soya sauce, sweet sauce, garlic, eggs and chives is a heavenly combination and all time favourite loved by adults and children.

BBQ-squid and stingray is the main highlight for the evening. We randomly picked the stall near our seating area and placed our order. Just looking at the seafood made us hungry!

BBQ-Stingray with sambal - Seeing the sambal sizzling on top of the stingray accompanied with the captivating aroma, was enough for us to dig our chopstick into its juicy, tender meat. Despite the spiciness, that did not stop our kiddos from digging in too. 
Squid has always been Gladys' favourite and even though she cannot take hot and spicy food, she would rather have us 'filter' all the sambal off the sotong before she pampers herself in the feast. She loves it so much that we ordered 2 plates of BBQ squid to satisfy her cravings.

Now its my turn! Fried oyster omelette (蚝煎has always been one of my favourite local dish and definitely a not to be miss for me. Spotted a few people crowding near this stall and we went forward to make our order. We were surprised to learn that there were already so many orders before us and it was so popular that the waiting time is 1 hour!

Is the wait worthwhile? The question that ponders me was what's so special about this little plate of fried oyster that everyone is willing to hang around for? After a long wait, I was thrilled to see my pipping hot fried oyster delivered to our table. One glance at it you can see that it has a softer look and different texture. The oysters are big and I can smell the fragrance almost instantly.

All I can say is this is probably the softest fried oyster that I have ever experienced. It has a very different taste as compared from the ones we have in Singapore. Singapore's fried oyster is crispier and stronger in flavour whereas I find the version here smoother, slightly blender and with more moisture. It's worth to try if you are willing to wait and you like your Oh Chien to be soft.

Chicken BBQ was our final 'dessert' of the night. It was finger-licking good and the kids enjoyed it. Too bad our tummies were pretty full already and we decided to call it for the day. :)

Total Spending at Meldrum Walk
Popiah - RM2.50
BBQ Squid and Stingray - RM57
Char Kway Teow - RM4
Fried Oyster - RM11
BBQ Chicken wings - RM9
Sugar cane drink - RM4.50
Coconut drink - RM4
Grass Jelly drink - RM1.30

Saturday, August 17, 2013

~ 3D2N Trip to Johor Bahru - Day 1 ~

We revisited Johor Bahru again during the June holidays. This time exploring other parts of JB in search for more yummylicious food. Hubby has always been a great fan of Kuay Chap and thanks to JohorKaki's recommendation, we drove slightly further up to experience the famous kway tiao kia stall which has been in business in the area for more than 30 years.

Name: Guo Tiao Zi Tasek (果条仔)
Location: Jalan Tasek, Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 7am to 2pm
(GPS: 1.485385, 103.722567)

Hubby ordered quite a lot as the trays of pig's skin, sausages, pig intestines, braised eggs were really tempting. 7 dishes + 4 bowls of kuay tiao cost us RM$34.20 (~SGD$13.60). The pig's skin is smooth and tender and the children LOVE the sausages most. The preserved vegetables is not too salty and I like the kway tiao soup where the taste is milder and more refreshing. Compared to the other kuay chap stall, the aroma and flavour of the various dishes prepared here is not too strong and just nice for my liking.

Later in the day, while we were on our way to the hotel, we tried another bowl of kway chap from the kway teow kia stall in Multi-mart (满地好). It is a small stall within the kopitiam, located near KSL City Mall.

Name: Unknown - Kway Chap stall in Multi Mart
Location: Junction of Jalan Harimau and Jalan Harimau Akar, Johor Bahru
(GPS: 1.485037, 103.760108)

For a bowl of kway chap, it only costs RM5! The soup is darker in colour and has a, thicker flavour. Pig's skin is tender and hubby seems to have a preference for the stronger taste.

Although we are not staying in JB for many days, it certainly help to have phone and data service. After reviewing from the various providers, hubby felt it was more worthwhile to get from Digi. RM25 for each starter pack with all-in-one internet+call+SMS plan.

This time, we are staying in Grand Paragon Hotel which is situated not too far away from KSL City Mall. Another important reason for our stay here is we can visit the weekly Monday night market at our convenience. 

Name: Grand Paragon Hotel
Location: 18 Jalan Harimau, Taman Century, Johor Bahru 80250, Malaysia
(GPS: 1.480929,103.761813)

Bigger lobby with more resting area.

Although Grand Paragon may not look as new or glamorous, it has bigger room and beds to offer! Their deluxe room comes with 2 super duper single beds. Each bed size is about 4.5 feet which is only slightly smaller than a queen size bed. It can comfortably accommodate 2 persons per bed. Definitely a big plus for our family with our size!

The room is carpeted and comes with a bigger toilet with bathtub facility. Our room is clean and we did not experience any issue with the air-conditioning.

View from the room

Other facilities within Grand Paragon includes Gymnasium, Steambath, Foot & Body Massage Centre and a swimming pool. 

Located on the 11th floor of the hotel, the swimming pool overlook the heart of Johor Bahru. Although the semi-circle pool is pretty small, and did not come with jacuzzi, Denver & Gladys had a great time swimming and splashing water in the pool.

I like the view of the scenery from the top, while watching the kids enjoying their time in the waters. I believe it will be another sight and enjoyment when the night falls and the weather gets cooler.

After having a good swim and rest, we drove out again in the evening for more food hunting. We found ourselves back at Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street and roamed around the little stalls in search for our 'appetizer' before dinner.

After our first fruit rojak experience with the Penang Rojak man, we are more than happy to try tasting it again from another stall. Love the combination of freshness and sweetness from the fruits and the children finished the whole plate without any hesitation.

Name: Fruit Rojak (Kin Wah Kopitiam 锦华咖啡店)
Location: 39-67 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000, Johor Bahru, Johor
(GPS: 1.45657, 103.763873)

I heard the Nasi Padang stall is also very famous for its home-cooked food. Would love to be back to try on our next visit. 

Check for our food galore in Part 2.