Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street - Halloween Night

Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street is one of our favourite hunt that we will not miss whenever we are in Johor Bahru. Apart from the traditional coffeeshops, theme cafes and unique shops, every Saturday evening, the street is filled with Chinese culture activities. This is the effort to revive and preserve the culture of the Chinese community.

When we arrived earlier this month, we were lucky to be part of the first Halloween Party. The quiet street instantly turns vibrant with lanterns, Halloween decorations and balloons. It was inviting to see the big net of balloons outside the Red House. The kids thought that it looks like the house in "UP", just that it wasn't going to fly away.

Crowd started to flow in to Tan Hiok Nee Street in the evening. 

Even a witch needs to descend from her flying broom and do her shopping.

Hanging photo frames along the streets - perfect photo corner for visitors.

While many arrived in their Halloween costumes, you can also be part of the party and get your make up at an affordable price.

The stylish group.


It was a refreshing combination of a Western tradition event setting itself on the Chinese Cultural street. While there was no Trick or Treat, it was heart warming to see the local community sending greetings to each other and having a great time taking photos together.

There's always something interesting happening along Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street every Saturday evening. Remember to pop by if you are near the area on your next visit.

Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street
Location: Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
GPS: 1.456578, 103.763839

Monday, November 24, 2014

Halloween 2014 @ Woodlands Woodgrove

It has been a month since we participated in our very first Halloween Party at Woodlands Woodgrove. Held on every 31st October, the residents will doll up their house in different themes and dress themselves to give the visitors a rare Trick or Treat experience that you will not forget.

This event has been running annually since many years back but it was our first time ever experiencing the traditional Trick or Treat session! Denver put on his Skull Bandana while Gladys had her red cape and cute Halloween suit. The children are ready to collect their candies!

We were impressed by the efforts Woodgrove residents have put in to decorate their gates and homes. Spiderwebs, skulls, pumpkins accompanied with creepy music is a common sight. I'm wondering if there is a best-dressed halloween house competition within the estate?

Initially, we were shy to enter the gates and collect our candies. The children were wondering if it was improper and rude to intrude private property. After much observation and seeing how others did it, we started to feel at ease and began our Trick or Treat session! Denver & Gladys were so excited and busy collecting candies from house to house. Very soon, it was half filled with goodies!

The crowd was HUGE and it was like a street party! Parents have to be sharp and keep an eye on your little ones as you can easily lose them in the crowd particularly so since it is dark. 

For a moment, I thought I was walking on the streets in Harry Potter.

Be wary of the 'creatures' in the night. You may find interesting individuals lingering along the streets. Some looked cute/pretty while others were really scary!

If you spotted them, don't be shy to take a photo. Each of them will be willing to present you their creepiest pose. 

Hmm.. Alice in Wonderland couple?

This one was so darkly dressed that I nearly missed him standing quietly on the streets.

While other residents prepared thousands of candies to be given out, there is only one resident that decided to give the visitors a Satay treat!!! What a unique way of celebrating Halloween in Singaporean style!

Our only Family Photo at Woodgrove  - Special thanks to Johnny for the lovely shot.

Our loot for the night. The kids collected so many candies that they decided to share it with their friends and neighbours. That is a very sweet and generous act from them.

Denver and Gladys had so much fun that they wanted to be back again for another Trick or Treat session next year! 

Halloween @ Woodlands Woodgrove
Date: 31st October (annually)
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Candies (*While stock last)
Admission is FREE!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

DIY Doodle Christmas Card

One month away from Christmas and I decided to turn my doodle piece into a Christmas card. :) I love DIY hand made cards as it is unique and you cannot find another similar piece elsewhere.

Started with a pencil sketch, I outlined my drawings with markers. Based on a theme of blue, white, black and pink colour scheme, I completed my very first Doodle Christmas Card for the season!

Love the blue and white combination which gives a calm and soothing feeling. A touch of bright pink adds colour, life and happiness.

Like my card? PM me if you like to send this to your love ones. ^_^


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Escaping from the Escape Room (Sutera Mall)

What can you do within 45 minutes? Have a meal? Watch a documentary series or drama? How about trying to escape from a locked room within 45 minutes?

Real life room escape games are the latest indoor entertainment adventure game where participants are locked in a room to find clues and solve a series of puzzles and riddles in order to escape from the room within a set time limit. It is a test of your logic, intuition, intellect and team work with your team mates to find the key and break out in the fastest time.

Since last year, there has been an influx of escape room games sprouting in Malaysia providing another entertainment alternative. We decided to be adventurous and go for the games in Escape Room which is conveniently located on the 4th level within Sutera Mall, where shopping, dining and entertainment are house under one roof.

Most of the game posters on the wall looked scary and we began to feel concern that the children may have nightmares or even develop a phobia of being locked up in a confined space. The helpful staff at Escape Room recommended their "UP - Bon Voyage" room, based on the comedy-adventure film by Disney-Pixar. It is family friendly, colourful and suitable for the little ones to participate. A great game room to start with especially if you are a first timer.

While there is no minimum age requirement for all the games, it is recommended for participants under the age of 16 to bring along an adult guardian.

During game play, no mobile phones or portable devices are allowed. Strictly no photo-taking, recording or disclosure of the clues and puzzles as this will spoil the fun for subsequent challengers.

To abide the rules and regulations, we kept our belongings in the locker provided before stepping into our first Escape Room!

Denver & Gladys were extremely excited as we put all our brain juice to work trying to look for clues all around us and solving it. Initially, we thought it would be a piece of cake but our confidence started to shake as we found ourselves not progressing and precious time is dwelling away!

Since every game is entitled to 2 helplines, we decided to call for HELP! It was a nerve-breaking experience as we were competing with time! After our combined efforts and using up all our helplines, I am ashamed to say that the outcome was 'disappointing'. Our group of 7 FAILED to escape from the room. Sobz!!!

Attempt to escape from UP room - FAILED!

Fine.. Maybe we lacked of some experience on our first round. To proof our worth, we decided to go for Round 2 - The Abandon Factory. Each room has a different theme, layout and scenario but our kiddos are loving it so much that they decided to go another round even though the upcoming room is not as cute and lovable as compared to the first one!

Once again, we were led into another locked room feeling totally clueless! This room felt even harder than before and soon enough, we used up our 2 helplines. It is funny that once you got the hints from the staff that you start to fill the gaps and see the puzzles fitting in nicely. However, it was too late as precious time has been wasted.

YES! We FAILED to escape from the abandon factory within the 45 minutes time limit.  

Despite losing on both rounds, we had a great bonding time. A time without mobile devices and handhelds, a time away from the outside temptations, a time where I find myself not busy taking pictures and a time where we are talking to each other, cracking our brains to solve every single piece of puzzle. A 45 minutes WELL SPENT! Will we be back again? Sure! We hope to hold the WINNER banner on our next challenge! Are you game to give it a try!?

Address: L4-029 Sutera Mall, No. 1, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300. Johor Bahru, Johor
GPS: 1.517663, 103.671464


Normal/Weekend/Public Holiday: RM36
Offpeak: RM32

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mini Kuso Trick Art - First in Johor Bahru

Have you visited the Alive Museum Singapore (Suntec City) or the Trick Eye Museum (Resorts World Sentosa)? We had a fun-filled experience at the Alive Museum Singapore where we took many wacky and fun shots then. Hence, when we were planning for our vacation across the border, we were thrilled to learn that there is a 3D Trick Art gallery in Johor Bahru!

Mini Kuso Trick Art (KUSO迷你错觉艺术馆) - the FIRST and only (*to date) 3D gallery is hidden within the quiet streets of Taman Mount Austin. Comprises of 5 different theme (Be Funny, Excitement Scene, Horror Room, Romantic Love and Sweet Moment), Kuso aims to bring hours of ultimate fun entertainment to their visitors with their 3D paintings and interactive sessions.

Do keep a good lookout of the banner along the shophouses as it is not very prominent (particularly for first time visitors). Kuso Trick Art is located on the top floor of the 3 storey tall shop lot. Initially we were confused if we arrived at the right destination as the shop front is a Home Deco shop selling selling kitchen and sanitary ware! Hmmm.. Is that suppose to be a Trick Art too? :)

Prior to entering, we have to remove our footwear and place it outside the shop. We would suggest visitors to bring along a pair of socks (unless you do not mind walking around bare footed). Walking through the shop, we were directed to the stairways to Kuso!

Kuso Trick Art - Ticketing Price

Compared to the ones in Singapore, it is of a smaller scale over here. Since it was a weekday, there was no crowd and our group was the first to arrive. Upon purchasing the tickets, we sat down, watched a video and had a 10 minutes briefing by the staff where he guided us on the gallery and shared tips when we are taking photos with the 3D paintings. Visitors are encouraged to use the props and magnetic boards to fit to the different theme and settings in the gallery. I do appreciate the personal touch and service given so that we will not feel lost. 

Let the FUN begins! I adore Gladys' expression whenever she poses. Always so rich and creative.

Friends from Monsters Inc are also here to join in the fun but look who is stopping them!?

What's so FUNNY?

This one is Soooo Interesting! The kids LOVE to play with the magnetic boards filled with different types of wordings. It adds flavour and humour to our pictures!

Hmmm.. Now then you know???

This is so FUNNY! Denver picked his "crime" for his entry to Jail!

"I'm so sorry Mommy.... I'll study hard!!"

Just because your face is BIGGER doesn't means you are LOUDER!

After having fun... Now it is time for some EXCITEMENT!

WAIT!!! I am not a piece of CHEESE!

Why are there so many knives here? 

How DARE you to steal my eggs!

Steeeeep climb...

KIDS! No FIGHTING in the house!

 WoW! Daddy is SO STRONG!

Children.. do not try this at home. :)

Moving on into the HORROR ROOM... you get a chance to be "Headless" and creeepy...

LOVE is in the air at KUSO! Show your ROMANTIC LOVE to that significant other. See how happy Gladys was!

While this is supposed to be a romantic scene, Denver decided to be the "knight in amour" by holding a sword. His expression seems so gutsy yet vulnerable.

Capture that special SWEET MOMENT

Eh.. Why is the Monkey helping us to take pictures?

We had a great time at Kuso Trick Art spending the entire morning posing. It was value for money (~SGD 8 per pax) and we had heaps of fun. Although it was tiring and bone breaking but we are happy to bring back with us lots of family moments. :)

Check out more photos on BPDGTravels facebook page.

Address : 83 & 85 Jalan Mutiara Emas 10/2, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
GPS : 1.550728, 103.785274

Adult : RM20
Senior Citizen : RM15 (Above 60 years old)
Child : RM20 (Free entry if the child's height is below 110cm)

Opening Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 11am - 8pm (Last entry: 7pm)
Friday to Saturday: 11am - 9pm (Last entry: 8pm)