Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park

Nearly 9 years in Melaka and this was my first time to this tourist site even though I have been to the zoo countless times. We were aware that due to Covid-19, stringent measures are in place.

There were plenty of parking space when we arrived and upon entering the taman, we could see the traditional houses of the different states beside each other. To me, it was a great place with tremendous potential for more visitors. Even without the abandoned mini theme park and petting zoo. It is starting to look like something out of a horror movie.

The place needed its maintenance activities in check. The original houses were so beautiful but some parts of it were wrecked. The ASEAN part was technically ruined and risks being a breeding site for dengue. We have been bitten by Aedes Aegypti so many times there.

Of course, I wouldn’t know exactly what is required to keep the place up and running but if you’re a person with money and keen eye for entrepreneurship, perhaps this is one project you might consider taking up.

I loved the Sarawak longhouse best. It was the most vibrant, colourful and different as compared to others. Followed by the Sabah house and perhaps the Terengganu one after.

It took us just about an hour to finish walking around the whole place with minimal photo taking. It is good exercise. We then headed to the Big Bowl Ice branch at MITC to have a cold beverage and light lunch.

The milk pudding with fruits is more toddler friendly, I suppose. Haneem had that. These cold serves goes well with its fried food options. We love the paratha.

The Lace Boutique Hotel

The long weekend is here. PKPP is extended till the end of the year. Malaysians are saying bye bye to their passports already. I have decided that we will not go back to Kuching this year for our annual trip. Instead, we will just go for short trips in Semenanjung Malaysia. And that was what we did.

It was a 3D2N stay in Johor Bahru. Mr Husband booked our staycation abode at the Lace Boutique Hotel he stumbled upon Agoda at a very good price. On the first night, he chose a one bedroom suite priced at RM130/night and on the second night a 2 bedroom suite for RM 150/night. Both without breakfast options. It was a huge price drop having seen it’s original price at the website. Perhaps the CEO was being benevolent and wanted more Malaysians to travel interstate and stay at the hotel. Stimulating the economy, they say.

Lace Boutique Hotel is owned by a YB Datuk Paduka Hjh Rokiah Hj Omar. From what I gather online, she is an entrepreneur with an impressive portfolio. Such as in the motoring business, hotel and saloon. All branded under the name Lace.

Lace Hotel is covered in gold-ish decorations. It gave me the Las Vegas & Empire Classic vibe. I was honestly surprised that both rooms that we booked has a bathtub.

The boutique hotel has a terrific location. You will never go hungry as there are loads of eateries at the area of Kpg Melayu Majidee and is of walking distance. The hotel is also in the heart of the city near the main road making trips easy for anybody outside of Johor.

The rooms were clean. The amenities they provided were plenty and enough. There was a microwave, kettle, plates, cutleries and even a complete set of teapot to make our own coffee and tea. The rooms were spacious and the bed was comfy. The air conditioning was wow!.

This location is also FOOD PANDA and GRABFOOD friendly!!! I know cause that was one the things I checked first. The riders can deliver your food to the hotel as it is so accessible. Of course you can always go out in your car and get food or take a walk.

The swimming pool was at the rooftop and the kids loved it. I was not sure where the cafe was as we did not have breakfast there. It was generally a wonderful stay despite a few small bumps. By that, I mean:

  • On the first night, the WIFI was not working at our floor. The TV was also not getting a good reception as they were using some sort of internet TV. The shows keep on buffering.
  • The bathroom could use an additional ‘ambience’ light. I know moms or ladies would appreciate soaking in the tub at night while watching the night sky through the big window with that sort of light in place.
  • Enough shower/bath gel. As opposed to 2 bottles of shampoo and conditioner without the shower gels. Texture dia rasa lain. Oh well, maybe for my future trips I should consider bringing my own travel-sized bath gels. Although I really love the hotel ones especially if they have nice bottles.

That should be it. Very minor problems.

For this trip, we were very relaxed. We did not even go to Legoland. Instead, we spent most of the time in the room (since husband has things to sort out about work), goofing around & sleeping. We only went out twice to go to the Johor Zoo and Ikea Tebrau.

Ended our Johor trip at Tanjung Piai. Took a few photos as momento.

If I was a Johorean, this would definitely be high up on my list for a mini weekend getaway with the girls or something. It does look high-end exclusive yet a bit abandoned from far. Probably because the glass windows have not been regularly cleansed for some time. Or maybe it has but it still looks stained with mold. Otherwise, the interiors are truly Instagram-mable and worth checking out.

Staycation at The Shore Hotel & Residences, Melaka

Our residential area has been affected by the recent water rationing measure due to the low water level in our dams. We have been on an alternate day roster since early February. Our water supply is dependent on the little tank on days without water. Hence it is a mandi burung, berak perpada kind of affair. On days where water is supplied, we get to do the laundry, do some exercise (hence able to wash hair) and other cleaning chores. I have never took cleaning so seriously until this happened. Rajin plak tetiba nak menge-mop.

Interestingly, last weekend Mr Husband booked a hotel room at The Shores Hotel & Residences, Melaka for a 3D2N stay there. He was surprised to see price plunges and placed a booking for a Studio Suite Room since hotels are not affected by the water rationing schedule. The Shore is not to be mistaken with Swiss Garden Hotel despite towering beside each other.

Our room was facing a beautiful skyline at night. We have a mini fridge, the usual amenities with complimentary beverages (upon checking in only) and spacious single beds. The bathroom was not kid friendly because of the near transparent glass windows and so I preferred to shower at night. Good for me though as I get to shower longer and scrub down my dirt. The shower gels had a lovely scent to it.

I brought my laptop with me and did some studying on my uni portal. The FREE WIFI speed was awesome. We did not choose the breakfast option in our stay as Mr Husband preferred to buy roti canai at the nearby 24 hours mamak just underneath the hotel. You will never starve in Melaka. InsyaAllah. The 24 hours convenience store is also of walking distance.

We played tourist and had lunch at Dataran Pahlawan. We ate at Johnny’s. I really loved the sauce they serve with the meal and of course the tomyam. I am salivating (again) as I blog of this.

The kids enjoyed the swimming pool on Level 23. There is a gym aesthetically placed over the pool with a connecting bridge. It is so Instagrammable but I did not bring my shoe. There was a tragedy though in the pool less than a year ago where a young boy drowned. It made headlines in the local paper for a few days. I hope the family is coping well.

You could get to the SkyDeck if you want at the 43rd floor but we didn’t do that. We were lucky that during our stay, there were not many visitors. Maybe because of Covid-19. Cause I couldn’t imagine how 4 lifts are going to serve the whole tower. It would be a very very long wait on each floor.

It was a short and memorable staycation. Although I was a bit pissed at first for the abrupt getaway (cause I love a planned vacay), I was glad that we went ahead with the rush anyway. Sometimes you just gotta let the wind take you to where it wants to blow. I felt rejuvenated. I was able to bathe without a time restriction and water quota. I get to apply a facial mask while studying in an air conditioned environment for hours without having to think of skyrocketing bills. I get to see the moon and stars in the night by just stepping out into the balcony. And I get to have my husband with me over the weekend with the kids in one room at most times. LOL.

Thank you Mr Husband

The little princess. NINIE

Hotel Seri Malaysia Pulau Pinang

We booked a one night stay at this hotel because we were flying back to Melaka from Penang using Malindo Air.

We took a 2 hour 45 min ferry ride from Langkawi to Penang. Once at the pier, we booked a Grab ride to bring us to the hotel.

This is a 2 star hotel which gives off a 3 star vibe. Eventhough the lobby was small, they provide Welcome drinks to guests which is a nice touch. They even had cute Christmas decorations with freaky little dolls in the main space.

Without a doubt, Seri Malaysia is an old hotel. Not to the extent of having dilapidated facilities but more to its design and crowd. Service is impeccable although Mr Husband did have a minor glitch at the reception. The lady handling our check in was unable to relay basic guests information.

We get to check in 30 mins earlier and coccooned ourself in the hotel compound. It was after all New Years eve and to have our meals outside could be challenging with all the traffic. We also fear of stumbling upon drunk people.

Mr Husband booked 2 Family Room through Traveloka. Our room has 1 double bed and 1 single bed. It was priced at RM142.56 per night including tax. The room fee came with FREE WIFI & FREE breakfast for 3 people for each room. In a way, Ee is covered. Each room has a mini fridge, hairdryer, towels and basic toiletries.

We ordered the steamboat buffet ‘lunch’ at its restaurant for our meal. It was priced at a flat rate of RM18/pax. The portion was huge. We couldn’t finish the noodles. The seafood and marinated poultry seemed fresh. The juice were refillable. Later at night, Mr Husband tapau-ed some food for his parents dinner. I was still full from the steamboat meal.

After the steamboat meal, Ee and Mr Husband went to explore the pool. It’s very small. Ee could fit the kiddie pool just by his length (height). But it is adequate as long as you’re not training for the olympics.

Breakfast was commendable. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the options they had for a 2 star accommodation. Refills were prompt and tables were cleared swiftly. We checked out by 12 noon and took a Grab to the airport for our flight. Location wise , this is a good place to bunk in as there are a lot of eateries within walking distance.

I would definitely consider Hotel Seri Malaysia again in my future visits to Pulau Pinang.

Greenish HOtel Langkawi

This is a 3 star hotel located in Kuah, adjacent to where most Malay Malaysians love to shop – Haji Ismail Group shopping mall & hotel. It is only about a 25mins drive from the airport and roughly 10 minutes from the jetty. Room rates are at a range of RM135 – RM185/night.

EE at the lobby with the grandparents
Basic toiletries, hairdryer, mini fridge, free coffee & tea, hot shower.. lurvly..
View from our room. The pool. Petronas ( you can do the 10 000 steps everyday there and shop at Mesra. LOL).

All rooms have a balcony with different views of course and has free high speed WIFI. What I loved most about the hotel was the very friendly staff that genuinely helps you with the bags and the superb pool with its mini cafe that opens at night.

The guests here are thankfully not from those big tour groups. It can be a nightmare to be in the same hotel with big groups as they tend to hoard the breakfast food. Some even muka tak malu go and tapau to eat in the bus. We did however spot few guests that sneaked the breakfast buffet food up to their rooms! Mentang2 ko warga asing boleh plak buat suka hati.

If there was anything to improve regarding the service and facilities here, it would be ;

  1. The breakfast selection. I acknowledge that one should not expect selections like the ones served at 4 or 5 star hotels. But if a 2 star Seri Malaysia hotel can serve good food and fast service (clearing tables) – guests tend to have higher expectations. In Greenish Hotel, the best food was mi goreng ( serius sedap) and the omelette. I was disappointed with the coffee. Although I am not a coffee connoisseur, it still felt difficult to gulp down the beverage.
  2. Housekeeping need to be mindful in the small details. Pay attention to the depleting complementary beverages, the full rubbish can etc.
  3. Ventilation in the lobby. Perhaps it was an effort to conserve energy and electricity but when you have a lot of people waiting to check in and out – the heat does get to you.
  4. Parking space is free but limited. If you don’t mind walking, you could park at the gas station beside the hotel or even at HIG shopping mall and walk a bit. Perhaps the hotel will decide on expanding depending on the demand. LOl.

Despite the shortcomings, it was a pleasant stay on a budget. Definitely my go -to- hotel in the future.