Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Melaka

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We booked a Studio during our stay at this resort. It has 2 single beds which we pushed closed together and towards the wall to accommodate the 4 of us. Mr Husband paid RM293.50 for a 3D2N stay including breakfast , tax and 2 adult entrance ticket to the waterpark for FREE. We still have to pay RM20 tourism fee upon checking in. 

3D2N = RM 293.50

The hotel was understandably packed as it was the long holidays. Our breakfast on the 1st morning had to be held at the convention centre because of the huge number of people. It was only the second day did we get to sit in the coffee house.

Breakfast selection was acceptable for the price you’re paying. You have the rice/noodle option, toasts with jam/ butter, porridge, fruits, basic cereals and coffee/tea. It was OK. 

Checking in was a breeze. This resort uses a ticketing system to serve their customers. Service was fast. Our room was located on the 8th floor in the Amari Villa. Despite the large volume of people staying in the resort, there was no difficulty (for us) to get into a lift. Bayou Lagoon has an in house convenience store just in front of the elevators which was convenient when you’re desperate. Otherwise, replenish your supplies elsewhere. 

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Our room has a strong WIFI connection, a mini fridge and complementary beverages. To us, having a fridge is a blessing. We are not allowed to bring the room towels to the water park, so either bring your own from home or rent one in the park itself. 

Our tickets came with the price of the room. Otherwise, the fees are as below;

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As you can see, there are other attractions available but because of time constraints ( we still have a few houses to visit for Eid), we just went into the water park. 

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Bayou Lagoon is a relatively small water park compared to the bigger ones out there. Families with young kids would enjoy this place. Teenagers and young adults? Maybe, depending on what thrill you’re looking for. What I loved about the place is that they don’t scrutinize your swimwear. Meaning, it is ok to wear a clean T-shirt and pants. One need not wear a burkini for instance. Janji pakai baju. 

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This place does not have lifeguards. So swim and play at own risk. There is an eatery inside. You can reload your tag with RM50 at the entrance and once you’re in the park, transactions are scanned through your bracelet. I am not sure if you could collect any balance from the counter once you’ve exit the park. That perhaps, is a question other visitors can answer. 

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Ee enjoyed going down the water slides. He is a lot more braver the last time we brought him to play in a park. Ninie on the hand, occupied and entertained herself by scooping water into her little bowl. Occasionally, I would give her duck float a little push around the ankle pool. In case, you’re wondering, she is not butt-nàkéd. She is wearing a diaper. But we don’t let her take a dip into the pool for hygiene purposes. 

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If I could improve my trip experience any better, I would consider the following;

  • buy own bottled mineral water in advance. their convenience store is expensive. A bottle of 2L drinking water costs a freaking RM6.
  • bring a few extra blankets cause my kids, being self-centred (lol..egoistic lil brats HA HA) like to keep the blankets to themselves. They ain’t wanna share. And while you’re at it, bring personal towels that you can use inside the water park too.
  • diffuse the room with EOs of your choice. the room does smell a bit musty when we first arrived. It got better but the experience could be enriched with my doTERRA oils preferably the Wild Orange/ Peppermint. 

A daytrip to Universal Studios Singapore from Johor Bahru

We are a family of 4. I have a child in primary school and a toddler just over 14 months during the trip. We went for this short excursion during the Melaka public holiday long weekend in April.

We initially drove from Melaka and then stayed at the Hotel Sentral in JB where our bus was scheduled to pick us up the next day.

I wrote about the hotel here.

And these are the ticket prices I mentioned before in the similar blog post.

uss price

I packed my bag light but with enough supplies to keep the kids happy. Some of the things in my tote include;

  • Small thermos for hot water to prepare Ninie’s milk
  • Few empty bottles for us to drink and istinjak. There are loads of water coolers all over the place. InsyaAllah, dehydration would be the less of your worries
  • But mind you, the sun can be really hot. So bring along a mini fan or hat to cover your face
  • Apply sunscreen religiously
  • Lots of wipes.
  • Snacks for babies. Although they did not perform a bag check on us at the entrance, we thought we’d be safe and not smuggle in too much outside food. Furthermore, there are halal certified eateries inside the theme park.
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Bubble play toy. Bought those mini ones at Eco Store. 4 for RM2.10. It was a bargain.

On the day itself, we had breakfast at 7am in the hotel restaurant. I also made sure our son relieved himself as many times as he can before we got on the bus. We departed by 0815 am at our stop. To be honest, the trip from JB to USS itself is less than an hour BUT what kept us waiting were the pit stops at both Immigration offices. Malaysians getting out of Malaysia is easy, its getting into Singapore that begs a longer queue. Thankfully, our bus for that day was not full. So the wait took less than 30 mins at each stop. We were able to arrive at USS by 10am ish.

There were numerous tips online on how you wish to make use of the time there. But with kids, everything can be unpredictable. There is no order. You just venture in and pray for the best. Most of the rides have height requirements for children and Ee is at an age where it is possible to get on almost all of them.

Can babies enjoy USS?

 

Absolutely, even though they lack the memory of it. Ninie was able to enjoy the Shrek 4D cinema. In fact, we entered the premise twice. More for the cool, air conditioned surroundings. Even then, Ninie had fun experiencing the jerky movements of the chair and ‘special effects’ which complemented the short movie.

She could have also enjoyed the merry-go-round but she was fast asleep then. So only Ee and I went on the ride.

In the New York section, there is a mini behind the scene ( BTS ) cinema that Ninie could enter too. This place basically shows how , for example , a natural disaster is emulated and designed for a movie. I thought the scene presented to us LIVE was so realistic. Storm, fire, ship.. everything!

Lunchtime at Oasis Spice Cafe

This is one of the food premises certified as halal in USS. It is located just in front of The Mummy ride. Although the interior is Egypt looking – it serves briyani and the briyani reminds me of the one I had when I was a student in Manchester, UK. It was that delicious. I could actually cry because I really miss this briyani recipe.  Unlike the ones we have in Malaysia. Price kena tutup mata though.

This particular site is fantastic as it listed other Halal eateries you can try too in USS.

Here is my attempt using the Remove Unwanted Content of Photo app. Yes, the name is that long. As you could see, there are a few irregularities in the picture above.

This above photo is taken during my long queue for The Revenge of The Mummy ride in the Ancient Egypt section. The waiting line was long but the wait was fun nonetheless because the design of the area was awesome. I really did feel like I was in a lost tomb and that The Mummy could attack this mummy anytime. The ride did made me feel a tad nauseous especially after my briyani.

Prayer Room

Its a small building located between Ancient Egypt and the SciFi City. Just behind the locker area. There is a partitian for men and women. Of course visitors must be considerate of each other as each space could accommodate about 3-4 people only at one time. They provide prayer garments, mats and ablution facilities there. Telekung dia warna warni and it is a very clean space.

Scheduled Shows

We managed to enjoy the Sesame Street Anniversary Show. Unfortunately my kids do not recognize these characters since local animations have a stronger fan base in Malaysia. We have Boboiboy, Upin Ipin and Didi & Friends to name a few. If you’re not Malaysian, you should consider checking em out. Especially the 1st Boboiboy movie and the recent Upin Ipin Siamang movie.

At the Hollywood area, there was a wonderful singing stage show. They sang from melodies coming out from the jukebox. I was in awe to see those very Hollywood sort of old school cafes you see in the movies with the neon lights and big high up in the sky signboards. Those diners la where people get pancakes and coffee. Or a quick lunch.

We departed from USS at about 1730H ( I think). It has been a while. We had dinner from the food trucks near the hotel. The trip left us feeling elated and rejuvenated in a way. I have never had so much fun in a theme park. Would really want to go again. Time for another piggy bank.

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Hotel Sentral Johor Bahru

We stayed at Hotel Sentral Johor Bahru. This is not to be confused with JB Central Hotel as this is a different place altogether.

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Ours is a budget, 3 star hotel with just enough facilities to bring about a restful day. It is at Tanjung Puteri and a few minutes walk away from the R&F Mall JB. The hotel is a comfortable place for you to have a quick breakfast, a comfortable bed to sleep in after a tiring day at USS. If you find this hotel not to your liking, then there are nearby hotels – practically a doorstep away such as Erica Hotel, Erya by Suria and GBW Hotel.

We booked a Family Room for 2 Nights. It came to a total of just below RM 350 without tax. Breakfast included. The room has a single bed and a double bed.

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I specifically mention these hotels because they are walking distance from each other and are in collaboration with Pakej USS dot Com (yes, the name of the agency is that straight forward) in terms of pickup and group movement.

The day trip is done daily and it offers ticket prices as below; (as of April 2019)

Adult   : RM 265 / Children : RM 215/ Senior : RM 175

This will include the entrance ticket for USS as well. Nice, right? Will write about USS later.

Back to the hotel, it was OK. At night, they have food trucks near the lobby and the food sold there were great. We really enjoyed the Mac & Cheese. Breakfast at the hotel was adequate. You have the toast section, noodles, nasi lemak (of course), cereals, fruits & salad and your juice with beverages. Kira OKlah with what you pay.

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Then, there is a swimming pool located on the second floor. Unfortunately, the changing room was not open, so you kinda have to wipe yourself really dry before entering the lift or find a spot and change to a drier outfit.

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The toiletries were at its minimum – meaning no toothbrush or toothpaste. So bring your own – it is not that difficult if you are a frequent traveler. The hot shower was great, water pressure nice.

Most importantly, every floor has a Cuckoo water dispenser machine. Imagine the joy of free flow hot and cold water. Especially when the machine  is standing just 2 doors a way. No need for boiling hot water for Ninie’s milk.

Since this hotel was booked by Mr Husband, I will put any small discomforts to rest. Like the broken furniture, limited parking space and ragged looking towels. If it was up to me though, I’d probably upgrade my room or choose another hotel. However since we were tired after a long day at USS, these small glitches just doesn’t matter anymore as it was drowned in our snores.

 

 

 

Pic taken with Samsung A7

Review : Grand Blue Wave Hotel, Shah Alam (2018)

Posh, Modern, Islamic hotel

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I booked a room in this hotel because I had a conference there. Furthermore it was walking distance to the mall, several restaurants and the famous Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah blue mosque.

My pre-conference forum was at the mosque and I was in awe of not only its majestic structure but also how imarah it was – bustling with activities in the early hours of the morning. And I am not talking about just acts of worship like performing the Dhuha or attending a tajwid class at the mosque – there was in fact a CPR workshop taking place there, alongside other beneficial classes including my forum.

The mosque felt so welcoming to all as it celebrates knowledge  of all kinds that mankind could learn and benefit from. And it should be – if only we all see it that way!

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I arrived Shah Alam by bus at 10 pm. My initial plan was to hail a cab to bring me to the hotel but I couldn’t find any. Plus the area was very dark. So, I frantically downloaded the Grab App on Google Playstore, booked a ride, muttered millions of alhamdulilah because my driver was a lady and I arrived at the hotel safely. And boy, were the reception so friendly despite the sudden top-up transactions I had to do that night – mainly the SST and Ee’s breakfast buffet. Yes, we have to pay for him now.

The room has the standard amenities I prefer : mini fridge, a kettle, free WIFI, a bath tub, sejadah, complimentary daily English newspaper, many sockets to charge your phone and stuff. I am puzzled that they do not have an in room iron though. Tak cukup mahal lagi kahhhh ini bilik.. maybe it is a safety issue.

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The breakfast buffet spread was wonderful. Loved the nasi lemak rendang and pastries. I had to stay alone and have breakfast alone for the 1st two days as Ee still had school and my husband his work. They came later on the Friday evening to lepak2 at the hotel. I honestly missed them a lot. I don’t think I have ever said that enough.

I did not get the opportunity to visit the hotel’s spa. At the 4th floor. Or the pool. But I did get to soak in the bath tub during the nights when my kids were not there yet. I was also glad that the hotel had this mini poster of suggestions of places to go around Shah Alam. I thought that was a good touch. The malls are within walking distance. Otherwise, you could always hop on the FREE BUS or use GRAB.

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This hotel also has a certified halal japanese restaurant. I did not get to try that as well since the conference itself fed me well. Maybe next time.

I spent RM550 for the conference and the forum.

My room in the hotel was a Deluxe Room. As usual, booking platform is Agoda.Com. It was a 5D4N stay amounting to a total of RM1,146.20 minus tax. YUP. One of my biggest spends this year. For knowledge. InsyaAllah – may Allah be pleased with my efforts.

Krabi 2018 : Timber House Ao Nang

Previously, we stayed at Ananta Burin Resort (2014) and Ibis Styles Hotel (2016) for our Krabi getaway. this year we tried Timber House Ao Nang. 

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Timber House is a 3 star family friendly resort with commendable facilities and staff. It is walking distance to the beach and most importantly, near Halal eateries for Muslim tourists.

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Things we loved about the place;

  1. The Room – we booked a family room which has 1 King Size bed and 1 single bed. Each unit has a private terrace complete with chairs and a table that overlooks the pool (in most places). I wished I had brought my HoboMinci for it would be an ideal place to do some journaling. Each room has the basic amenities like the fridge, hot shower, room and pool towels, daily complimentary bottled water and beverages, a kettle, a microwave (bonus!) and basic toiletries although I would recommend you bring your own shower gel.
  2. The pool – kids loved it especially when the management left a floating alligator in the pool for the kids to enjoy swimming. Pool opens from 7AM – 7PM.           wp-1535267001793..jpg
  3. The FREE BREAKFAST package – there were online reviews from fellow visitors that did not enjoy the choices. We personally think that it was alright for a 3 star hotel. Although the spread was not fully HALAL, there are safe options like the vegetarian fried noodle, the bread and HALAL butter, the fresh fruits, juices, lovely coffee from the machine. I had my fix of mocha and cappuccino almost every morning.
  4. The mini playground – the entrance is at the car park. The kids enjoyed playing the swing and the slide        wp-1535266900385..jpg
  5. Walking distance to the many places to eat – the HALAL pancakes, ice cream and hot meals are just around the corner. Take the turn up the hill towards 7 Eleven and voila, its like a Muslim street up there. It’s different from the street near the mosque but the options are just as varied and great.

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The resort did say we have access to FREE WIFi but I find the connection to be awful. So I resorted to my very own DIGI Roaming Package. It’s an RM25 package which has a 4GB Internet + 60 mins call for 3 days. Interestingly I could still settle my bills online and receive my TAC number for my transactions in Krabi.

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Would I stay here again? Yes. I think we paid for our rooms for less than RM 120 per night. And it was for 3 nights. Of course it would depend on certain variables like the season, the deals available and the number of people joining the trip. Still, it was a nice stay.