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.

Hotel MetraSquare

The tourism industry seems to suffer a big hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. Hoteliers are resorting to various ways to boost their sales and such. Hence, I think the best that we could do is support them by holiday-ing close by.

Metrasquare is a 3 star premium hotel (recently upgraded), 30 mins drive from our home and located strategically in Ayer Keroh. That is where all the attractions are – Zoo Melaka, Taman Asean, Taman Botani, Mydin, MITC , Melaka Wonderland etc.

Mr Husband booked a One Bedroom Apartment Twin priced at RM130/night. We stayed there for 2 nights.

Complimentary breakfast and Wifi 

Room with two single beds, a balcony and separate seating area. Each apartment is air conditioned and has a flat-screen TV with Satellite channels, bathroom with shower, wardrobe, in-room safe, refrigerator and coffee/tea facilities.

I loved that it has WIFI because I really needed to get my assignments done over the weekend. The table was comfortable to work on and there were plenty of space for the kids to run around and make a mess.

Breakfast was served as an a la carte menu at the neighbouring hotel, Ames Hotel (4 star hotel). You will need to walk a bit to reach the banquet area but it is worth the visit. It makes you want to book your next stay cation at Ames hotel , simply because of its beauty. We get to choose from the 4 breakfast options. We had American breakfast and continental most of the time with juice, hot beverages and fruits on the side. The breakfast was charged at RM15/pax. If you’re not keen for in house menu, visitors can also head over to the Old Town White Coffee Kopitiam, situated at the ground floor of MetraSquare Hotel. It opens as early as 0800H.

It was a very rooming in sort of stay cation as we only headed out once to Mydin for fresh air. Most of the time it’ll be like husband go out, buy the food whilst the 3 of us laze around in the room watching a movie or kids playing while I work. If I brought my sport shoes, I might be tempted to jog at Taman Botani which is like 5 mins away, depending on how fast you walk. By that I mean, less than 2 mins by car.

Generally, it was a comfortable stay. If only they had night lights in the room. Otherwise, it was almost perfect. Perhaps you are now wondering, where are the photos? Unfortunately there is none as the phone I used to capture the images is not functioning anymore and none of them had been uploaded to a cloud.

Lesson learnt.

Pictures are important to capture a moment that happened at one particular time, that will not repeat itself again. It is so you can live in that moment again and reminisce on the nice things that went on that day. Now, it is only a not so distant memory in my head which I hope to remember for as long as I could.

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

Minci Travels Macao 2019. Spending the day in Cotai

Cotai spells out Luxury, Prestigious, Posh etc. It is a center where the buildings are huge, expensive and casinos are just everywhere. We felt a bit under-dressed walking underneath the glittering chandelier the size of our sofa at its shopping area. Perhaps next time I’ll wear a nice dress with heels. And a fashionable shawl to match. With a pair of classy sneakers in my posh backpack, just in case.

We managed to visit 3 places there. The place is so huge that we managed to lose our sense of direction even though the map for the area is readily available. Perhaps we were hungry. Even then, we couldn’t find the Indian restaurant that we badly wanted to go and try. I think they have the Peacock Restaurant there at The Venetian.

The Venetian Macao

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In short, we wanted to see the much talked about San Luca Canal. Indeed, it was a beautiful place. We did not get into the gondola. We only took a picture.

The Parisian Macao

This is a separated building that houses also many shopping brands, hotel and casino. It is however connected with a bridge that you can walk through. The highlight of this particular hotel is the replica of the Eiffel Tower. You can enjoy the scenery at the observation deck if you stay at the hotel. But we weren’t guest. And we were also not members (of god knows what). So we paid for our tickets. The building was breathtaking with its tall, magnificent features but the view, was a tad disappointing.

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Tickets were

MOP $108.00 for adults, MOP $85.00 for children. 

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It is because constructions were still happening on the Cotai Strip. So, it is not that ready yet with all the cranes, lorries and sand.

Studio City

This has got to be my favourite place. This is also a hotel and casino resort but more cinematic in appearance. The design of the external building was very Gotham city with the statues on the roof. Their collaboration with Time Warner ( which means they are also friends with Warner Bros and DC Comics) enables visitors to enjoy DC character features such as the Batman Dark Flight. We could not enter because Ee had height restrictions.

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We did however enjoyed the Golden Reel, a figure 8 ferris wheel. Walking to the entrance of the elevator to the reel felt like walking to an Academy Award Show. They were playing the OST of Jurassic Park and gosh, it felt so majestic to walk through the glittering, sparkling hallway. Again, we felt under-dressed. Haha.

This is also the part where it got interesting. The guy at the counter asked if we brought our boarding passes to which my husband fortunately had. He said for any passengers boarding the Air Asia flight which flew directly to Macao can benefit from a discount to the entrance fee. So keep your boarding passes people! I am however not sure which other airline also has this perks.

By the time we finished our 15 min ride on the wheel, we were really really tired from all the walking. Yup, you can actually walk from one resort to another. It burns the calories but kills your feet. Especially with Mr Husband having to carry our 12kg Ninie.

it was only nearing 4 pm but totally exhausted. So we took the cab back home to Metropole Hotel and retired quite early to bed that day (lights out by 9pm) as we have another full day the next morning.

Take home messages :

Prepare snacks kids are familiar with. They might not want to try something new.

Wear, comfortable (fashionable, if you must) shoes

Bring a fold-able umbrella, just in case.