Bali Travelogue – (Part 2): Turtle Island, Water Blow, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Ubud Art Market, Tegenungan Waterfall, Beachwalk Shopping Center and Transmart Carrefour

We woke up early for breakfast the next morning. The night before, we managed to find a driver from Carousell who arrived at 10am to pick us up at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa.

Turtle Island Bali Tanjung Benoa Tour

It is important to do your research before arriving to a country so that the trip will be fruitful. There were some attractions we would like to cover and some which did not appeal to us.

We were yearning to participate in baby turtle release programme. Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Center program aims to protect sea turtle eggs and increase hatching rates.You can join in the baby turtle release and release your own baby turtle into the ocean.

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Image Credit: Bali Sea Turtle Society (BSTS)

However the season of turtle release had just ended and we thought the other alternative was to visit the Turtle Island which was at Tanjung Benoa, about 5 km from our hotel.

After some negotiation of ticket prices, we boarded onto the glass bottom boat and made our way to Turtle Island.

We were wondering what was the purpose of the glass bottom when the speed boat was moving so fast and making it near impossible to see any marine life from here.

With a packet of bread given by the tour guide, we realised it was fish feeding time when the boat came to a halt in the middle of the sea.

What a beautiful sight! Schools of fish gathered near our boat and started snapping the bread crumbs hungrily.

A small infinity pool greeted us when we arrived at the Turtle Island.

A local guide at the Turtle Island brought us along the place to explore. This was our first stop. Tourists crowded around 2 big turtles and hauled them up to take pictures. Both turtles hardly had any time to rest before another group of tourists surrounded and picked them up for more photo-taking.
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Turtle conservation area where baby turtles were housed.

Small M’s first experience holding a real turtle.

This big turtle was residing by itself in a bigger pool where it was left untouched by visitors. We guessed we could be paying more and that was the reason why we were allowed to carry it.

Turtle Island, in fact housed several other creatures such as these…

We thought Turtle Island experience was just so-so. Not strongly recommended to visit. But still, we wanted to come as it was near to our hotel.

Address: Tanjung Benoa, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia

Water Blow in Nusa Dua

It was an amazing sight watching Water Blow from Youtube. Water Blow in Nusa Dua is basically large waves from the Indian Ocean constantly crash against the jagged limestone edges on the peninsula’s south-eastern cliff.

Entrance to this place is free.

An important thing to take note. It would be advisable to visit here when the tide is high. We came during low tide and it was a pity that we couldn’t witness the majestic effect of the large waves.

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http://www.gustibali.com

The Water Blow site was scenic and picturesque. Feel the breeze and pause to admire the beautiful sea views.

Video Credit – ClipClick

Address: Semenanjung Nusa DuaNusa Dua, Bali 80517Indonesia

Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud

Up next, we travelled up north to Ubud to visit a must-see attraction in Bali – Tegallalang Rice Terraces. The distance was about 40 km  but the ride took us about 2 1/2 hr to reach.

We took some interesting pictures along the way.

Tegalalang rice terrace opening hours are 07.00 am to 18.00 pm. It was raining when we arrived and we had to walk about 15 mins from the carpark to the rice terraces. The entrance fee is IDR 10.000/pax.

We were really impressed when the first sight of rice terraces beckoned us. Tourists were eager to catch the beautiful views although it was raining. If not for the rain we would have venture down to walk in the rice terraces.

Cafes sprouting in the vicinity to offer some of the best view of the rice terraces for tourists.

There were many shops along Tegalalang selling varieties of handicrafts, souvenirs and paintings.

We stopped by at this restaurant to have our lunch which also gave a panoramic view of the rice terraces while dining.

Some simple dishes for our lunch.

Getting up close to the rice terraces was one of our best experience so far in Bali. It was that surreal and brought a calming and therapeutic effect on us.

Our driver brought us to a nearby padi field where the farmers were harvesting the crops. This was an educational experience for Big and Small M which was important lessons as part of travelling.

The ducks were excited at the sight of water.

Many of them were swimming happily in the water.

Address: Jalan Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia

Ubud Art Market

Next we stopped by briefly at the Ubud Art Market where you can find hand-craft goods, handmade woven bags, clothings and accessories. We did not venture inside as it was raining.

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Image Credit – http://www.bali-indonesia.com/ubud/ubud-art-market.htm

Address: Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Tegenungan Waterfall

Our itinerary brought us to the Tegenungan Waterfall where we needed to pay IDR 15.000 per pax as entrance fee.

The footpath towards the waterfall was lined with street vendors who were eager to get your attention to patronise with them.

There are 2 ways to experience the waterfall – either to view from here or make the effort to climb up and down 172 stairs. We chose the former.

Bumbu Asli restaurant in Tegenungan waterfall.

Address: Jalan Ir. Sutami, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80581, Indonesia

Beachwalk Shopping Center

We spent a lot of time on the road in Bali and we were pleasantly surprised we managed to cover quite a number of places within a day. Our next stop was visiting Beachwalk Shopping Center.

Beachwalk Shopping Center is fairly new and huge. We felt it was a nice mall to explore and dine, especially at the food court.

We had our dinner at Kafe Betawi.

Trying out Bali local delicacies.

The food court had many selections. Prices were akin to that in Singapore though.

The food looked so tempting that we had to try them.

Address: Jalan Pantai Kuta, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Transmart Carrefour

We even managed to squeeze in one last stop at Transmart Carrefour before returning to the hotel.

A mini foodcourt at the second level.

Authentic Thai tea In Indonesia!

If we were any fans of shopping, fruits would probably be one of the choices. We enjoyed discovering fruits which were not easily found over in Singapore. One such find was getting BIG dragon fruits over here.

Address: Sunset Road Building Lantai 3, Jl. Sunset Road, Kuta, Pemogan, Denpasar Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80221, Indonesia

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There’s just something about White Christmas Playland @ I12 Katong

Searching high and low for some Christmas fun? Your search could very well end here. Over at I12 Katong, your inner child will bound to come alive at the sight of this Epic Christmas Ball Pit.

From 1 – 24 Dec (12pm – 8pm), give your thrill-seeking little ones a kick with a plunge into the Ball Pit that set a new record in the Singapore Book of Records for the largest ballpit. With over 250,000 plastic balls and 2 giant slides, even adults will find it irresistible to take a dip into the pool of fun where every person will get 20-minutes of playtime.

The main draw of the Christmas Ball Pit to Big and Small M was the depth. They had a ball of time manoeuvring in the pit without feeling that it was too “babylish” for them.

Fret not for parents with toddlers – there is also a section especially set up for them to join in the fun.

Feeling thirsty after all the play? You can redeem a free ice slushy drink with your choice of Mango or Fruit Punch.

Hey, you had your fun but don’t forget to upload a photo/selfie in the epic Christmas Ball Pit with the hashtag #I12havefun on Facebook or Instagram.

Just spend a minimum $100 to redeem 1 entry pass to the Epic Christmas Ball Pit (inclusive of an ice slushy drink), a bottle of wine, wrapping papers and a gift tag, and a chance to participate in our Letter to Santa Giveaway Contest. To redeem an additional entry pass, simply present a receipt with a minimum spend of $20 from any outlet. 

Terms & Conditions apply and while stocks last. For more details on White Christmas Playland, click here.

For more information on the latest events, click here to get connected to I12 Katong at their Facebook page here.

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Finland Travelogue – (Part 7): Helsinki City and Christmas Market

Much has been said about escaping to the capital of Finland, Helsinki to be soaked in the atmosphere of Christmas. Just before we headed back home, we had the opportunity to explore Helsinki city and the Christmas market.

Come winter season, there are only few hours of daylight and it is not surprising to see most of the pictures taken were dark.

We took the train at the Rautatieasema Railway station from the airport.

The ride to the city took about 30 mins. After being acquainted with snow and forested surroundings, it was a refreshing feeling to be back to urban jungle again.

Helsinki is the capital of Finland. There are lots of attractions to explore and experience for tourists which you can find here. Since we had a few hours before catching the flight, we thought the best option was to head straight to the popular Christmas market and walked in the city, immersing ourselves in the nordic atmosphere.

With a single ticket you can hop aboard trams, busses, the metro and even the ferry to Suomenlinna. Single tickets can be purchased from ticket machines, R-kiosks and other HSL sales points or by using HSL mobile application. Tickets can only be bought from the driver on buses and trams.

Familiar food brands.

We were figuring out how to get to the Christmas market. With the kind help of the locals, we managed to reach there, finally!

Helsinki Christmas Market is the oldest and largest event of its kind in Helsinki. Taking place in the centre of Helsinki in the Senate Square the Christmas Market attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. One of the main draws of was the hugely popular and old-fashioned merry-go-round offering free rides to children and others who are young at heart.

So many Christmas stalls here. There are over a hundred vendors selling traditional handicraft, the latest design and utility products, as well as produce from primary producers and farms.

Trying out some delicious traditional Finnish Karelian pasties to bring into our flight back home.

Helsinki Christmas Market is open from early December until Christmas Eve week. Events such as Finnish Independence Day (6 December) and many other free smaller events during the run-up to Christmas, regulate the everyday life of the market.

Our dinner 🙂

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Phuket Luxury Hotel Stay @ MAI HOUSE Patong Hill

 Ensconced in the lush tropical hillside overlooking Patong Beach and the sparkling Andaman Sea, MAI HOUSE Patong Hill’s exotic 79 rooms offer peace and tranquility to every guest.

In this trip to Phuket, our family planned to “travel less and enjoy more”. We were not keen to do much walking along the streets (as we have been to Phuket before) and wanted a hotel that is away from the hustle and bustle of Patong streets. It is no wonder then that MAI HOUSE Patong Hill become the accommodation of choice for us.

To make it even sweeter, MAI HOUSE Patong Hill is a new hotel that opened in Apr 2017.

Mai Lobby – A Sanctuary of Light and Retreat

As we entered the hotel, we were warmly welcomed by the peaceful atmosphere of the lobby. Subtle traditional touches such as the round sofa with wooden furnishings reminded us of the hotel’s locality. Checking in was a smooth and pleasant affair. It was a nice touch by the hotel manager who came out and reminded us not to leave our belongings in the taxi when we arrived from Phuket International Airport.

We were impressed that MAI HOUSE thoughtfully created ample thick and luxuriant sofas within the lobby area and harness the natural lights to allow guests to chill out and relax while enjoying their privacy.

A perfect spot to chill out while gazing out over the tropical report pools and out to the distant horizon. We loved to plonk ourselves on these couches while awaiting for the hotel’s shuttle service.

The Opium Den or “Libation Lair” is the heart of MAI HOUSE. Inspired by the Opium dreams of Hokkien pioneers of Phuket, this open-air sanctuary of relaxation and refreshment is where we love to while away during the day.

These vintage fans provided much cooling for us when we returned to the hotel!

 

It is often said that the first impression last. What we admired about MAI HOUSE was the warm professionalism of its staff. While exploring the picturesque lobby, we were provided with warm towels and welcome drinks to freshen up.

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We noticed MAI HOUSE has thoughtfully designed the hotel to be child-friendly. There is a baby-changing room in the lobby area that also comes with a toddler toilet bowl which is not often you can find in most hotels.

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Mai Family Room – Our Abode

Our accommodation was The Family Room, a spacious 34 sqm chic and whimsical-themed room. Specially designed to easily accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids, Big and Small M’s eyes brightened up when we stepped into the room. Thrills and excitement added to the atmosphere as they explored the room with much expectancy.

The Family Room consists of a king-sized bed and 2 x bunk beds. Each bunk bed was tastefully placed with colourful pillow, enough to draw the little ones to dwell there peacefully before they ran riot. In between was a colorful bean bag suitable for kids to chill out.

Our king-sized bed was huge and comfortable. Lying down on it was akin to sleeping on clouds!

We have stayed in many hotels and the beds in MAI HOUSE are one of the best we have experienced thus far.

Disney channel coupled with such comfortable bed was total heaven for them! They loved to snuggle up in the bed and watched cartoons all day long.

A mini kitchenette that comes with microwave oven.

We thought the cups were really cute and eye-catching!

Coffee-addicts would be happy to brew HockHoeLee’s coffee – Phuket’s first & historic coffee roaster, with a coffee-maker. HOCKHOELEE masterfully roasts its own coffee on island for Phuketians for decades. Using premium coffee bean in the country, HOCKHOELEE craftly create a unique, rich and beautiful coffee.

As part of our hotel package, all the drinks (soft drinks, fruit juices, beer and milk) in the fridge are free for guests to consume. They are replenished on daily basis for free.

Although bathtub was not built in The Family Room, it was made up with a rain shower, which was Big and Small M’s favourite. Toiletries and basic essentials are also sufficiently provided.

With such a beautifully furnished Family Room, who doesn’t want to stay for an extra night?

Mai Grand Deluxe – Our Abode

Our next few nights is to stay at Grand Deluxe Suites with connecting rooms. 🙂

The size of each Grand Deluxe consists of 35 sqm of earth-toned luxury that can accommodate up to 3 guests. As MAI HOUSE is a relatively new hotel, every feature we see is just so sparkling clean and new. This room also comes with a writing table, relaxing rain shower, free-standing bathtub and an outdoor balcony.

We have the option to choose from twin beds or a king-sized bed. Either of which still assures you to a restful slumber.

Since we had 2 connecting rooms, Big and Small M also got to enjoy their own mini-pool in the form of this jacuzzi tub, all in the comfort of our own hotel room.

The opium daybed became a little sanctuary for us to watch TV together.

Stepped into the balcony and it gave us the view of the Mai Sky (sky desk) and hilltops.

Mai Kids Play

MAI HOUSE has a range of activities to keep us occupied throughout our stay. One of the first games that aroused Big and Small curiosity in the lobby was the shuffleboard. They were amused as they had never seen such games before. Table shuffleboard  is a game in which players push metal-and-plastic weighted pucks (also called weights or quoits) down a long and smooth wooden table into a scoring area at the opposite end of the table.

Knowing how to play the game was so easy and parents wouldn’t need to fuss over how to teach them to play correctly. We lost count how many times Big and Small M played the shuffleboard. They were simply crazy over the game and kept running back and forth to restart a new game after each ended.

MAI HOUSE has its own infinity pool and a toddler pool. Lush views of Patong Hills and sweeping views of the Andaman Sea coupled with surroundings of flora and fauna made our swim ever more relaxing.

The jacuzzi section is in the toddler pool area.

The toddler pool was not deep and we felt safe relaxing by the poolside watching them frolicking. We were blessed that the weather was not scorching. In fact, it was quite cooling when we were in Phuket and we wouldn’t mind dipping longer in the pool!

The infinity pool was deeper and we, too, had more serious swims there.

Big and Small M had a whale of their time playing frisbee in the infinity pool as well.

While they were playing in the pool, I headed back to the hotel room to retrieve few cans of beverages 🙂

Head over to the “Pirates’ Playhouse” that has indoor and outdoor spaces designed especially for lively kids (4-12 y.o.). Featuring scheduled arts and crafts activities, climbing wall, sandpit of buried treasure, the pirate fort and much more!

A play area with slide and climbing feature suitable for younger children below 6 years.

There is an indoor kids’ club that is air-conditioned and child-friendly. It also comes with a TV screen that kids can catch their cartoon shows. Big and Small M were having a ball of time playing.

The fitness room is more suitable for adults but Big M is now old enough to have a decent round of exercise on the threadmill.

Small M was amused with the boxing gloves and both of them were training for err…MMA?

We also visited the Four Elements Spa for Big and Small M to experience…

Menicure and Pedicure.

The kids having a whale of their time styling their hair and trying out bracelet braiding.

Mai Breakfast

One of our favourite past time is indulging in the breakfast buffet. The presentation was lovely, however buffet spread could have been better…

It has a cold dish section.

Pastry section for the sweet tooth.

Cute cylinders used as beverage dispensers.

We love the aroma of gourmet coffee prepared by the friendly hotel staff.

Yummy pork porridge.

Our favorite egg omelette.

All in all, our stay at MAI HOUSE Patong Hill couldn’t have been better. See you soon, Ms. Patong.

Click here to get connected to the Facebook of MAI HOUSE Patong Hill

Click here to get connected to the main website of MAI HOUSE Patong Hill

Click here to book your accommodation.

MAI HOUSE Patong Hill
5/5 Phrabarami Road
Patong, Kathu,
Phuket 83150
Thailand

Phone: +66 (0)76 637 770
Skype: maihousepatonghill
Email: info.patonghill@maihouse.com

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Fun with Kids in Perth – (Day 2): Canton Bay Chinese Restaurant, Crawley Edge Boatshed (Blue Boat House), Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre, Neil McDougall Park and London Court

We did a lot of walking the day before and were totally exhausted. However, we woke up early the next morning as beautiful rays of sunlight shone into our room.

Day 2

Our apartment had swimming and club facilities which we did not explore much. While some parts of the day were warm, the weather turned chilly during the night. We had a good sleep in such a cooling weather condition.

< Some readers enquired about this apartment. We wouldn’t recommend this as the unit was quite dusty (contrary to the nice pictures in the Airbnb ad. Not suitable for kids or elderly with common asthmatic problems > 

We stayed at Perth City as it was near the Chinatown. Many Chinese restaurants are concentrated along Roe Street at the suburb of Northbridge. We estimated the distance was about 4-5km from our apartment. We wanted to try the push cart dim sum and visited Canton Bay Chinese Restaurant. Parking is available beside the restaurant.

The queue started to form outside Canton Bay. We did not research much and chose Canton Bay by our instinct. It turned out to be a good discovery!

We like dim sum serve from push cart as it gives a “Hong Kong” style feel. Canton Bay specialises in Cantonese cuisine, prepared by traditional chefs from Hong Kong.

These are some of the dishes they serve. Yummy!!

Address: 130 Mounts Bay Road, Perth, Perth, WA.

The dim sum breakfast was sumptuous and we were really full. It was a blessing that the carpark was just beside Canton Bay was the sky started to turn dark. We were praying that it would not rain else our itinerary would be affected. Next on our travel plan, we drove toward the Crawley Edge Boatshed (Blue Boat House).

Built some time in the 1930s, the Crawley Edge Boatshed has undergone various repairs and renovations over the decades after storms and floods.

The blue boat house is situated along a stretch of busy road. There is no nearby carpark and we had to turn into this private neighourhood to park temporarily there.

Crawley Edge Boatshed is a lovely place to take photos. There are periods when the jetty is structurally unsound and visitors are not allowed to step inside to take photos. We were blessed to have the opportunity this time.

Excited visitors will be queuing up so don’t be shy to ask them to take photos for you. This picture was slightly blurred as the sky began to drizzle.

Address: Perth WA 6005, Australia

The weather turned inclement and started to rain heavily. We were to be back to our vehicle in time. Next, we drove up to Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre which was non-touristy and what we were looking for. Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre is the shopping and social hub of Karawara. It is located on the corner of Kent Street and Manning Road Karawara.

One of our favorite pasttimes is visiting supermarket – Coles & SUPA IGA!

Old Chang Kee in Perth! The items are more expensive than in Singapore.

Address: 230 Manning Road (Cnr Kent Street), Karawara, WA 6152

 

Fun with kids is our theme for this Perth trip. We brought the kids to Neil McDougall park as it has a flying fox which is hard to find in Singapore. Big and Small M had so much fun here!

This is a looking web inspired playground where there are slides, climbing nets, balancing poles, spinning platforms, stepping stone areas, suspended tunnels and monkey bars within the structure. The nearby big trees provided natural shade during a warm day.

This is a non-touristy playground where the locals play and some have their picnic. We enjoyed our time here as it gave us a local feel.

A beautiful lake in the middle of the park with a walkway all the way round.

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Address: 18 Ley St, Como WA 6152, Australia

 

 We had a chance to really explore Perth City this time. The kids had enough of playing at Neil McDougall Park and we returned to the city to mingle with the crowds and admire some of Perth’s elegant architecture in the city.

London Court is a three- and four-level open-roofed shopping arcade located in the central business district in Perth, Western Australia.

Night comes early in Perth. We headed to Chinatown (Northbridge) for dinner.

Old Shanghai is a family-run food court with retro Chinese decor and outdoor seats.

The food stores were pretty much the same from our previous trip.

Address: 123 James St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia

We had simple dinner at the Uncle Billy’s Restaurant. The food wasn’t that fantastic though.

Address: 9/66 Roe St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Fun with Kids in Perth – (Day 1): The Fruit Corner, Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm, The Margaret River Chocolate Company, The House of Honey and Twilight Hawkers Market in Perth City

We love Perth. So much so that we don’t think we will get bored going back again. We can’t be more thankful to settle on Perth in our travel plans as it takes just a mere 5 hours flight for us to experience a totally different culture. We were there in 2013 and this time round, we did our homework and knew where to explore before arriving in Perth.

I would like to recommend readers to download Perth’s local app – Buggybuddys. This app gives us the latest information on what’s on in Perth, including knowing the upcoming events, family activities, playgrounds and attractions to visit. It’s very useful in helping us to plan our itinerary.

Day 1

We aimed to get the maximum mileage from this trip and we arrived early in Perth at 7:40am to collect our rental car, Hyundai iMax from Avis. We chose an MPV as it was spacious enough to contain our luggage and let the kids sleep when they were tired during the road trip.

This trip was almost everything about kids. As such, we planned many activities that they could be involved and learnt at the same time. We love anything that has to do with fruits and farm visits. So, here we were at The Fruit Corner for an attempt at fruits picking for apples, plums, cherry tomatoes etc.

It was the autumn season in which the weather was supposed to be cooling. However, it was not what we expected. We could feel the sun blazing down on us when we arrived at the orchard. We were thankful that we did not bring much thick clothing after some deliberation.

The Fruit Corner has a little shed that show-case its home-grown fruits for visitors to purchase.

Gigantic pumpkin!

We had to pay an admission fee to enter the orchard where we were given a pull cart to store the fruits that we picked. Big and Small M had so much fun plucking sweet plums. They were so fresh and sweet and we were allowed to eat it on the spot.

The plums were ripe for harvest. They could be seen everywhere on the trees.

 

We originally planned to bring our harvest back to our Airbnb apartment before trying them but the sight of these plums tempted us so much that we gave in. Look at how juicy it is!

The owner brought us to sight apple trees. We came at the right time as the green apples were ripe for harvest as well.

Most of the apples were well-grown and we didn’t need much effort to single out which of them were suitable for harvesting.

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The weather was warm that day but we were oblivious to that as we were engrossed in exploring the orchard.

Big M having a hands-on experience in apple picking.

She had her share of fun too.

The cherry tomato orchard. It is a rounded, small fruited tomato thought to be an intermediate genetic admixture between wild currant-type tomatoes and domesticated garden tomatoes.

We did not try them though as we were not used to eating cherry tomatoes.

Fresh local grown fruit and veggies. The Fruit Corner is a family owned and run since 1953, this is a great place to visit where you can even pick your own veggies. Take a drive down and see the freshest produce direct from the farm gate.

Address: 1 Bracken Rd Pickering Brook, Western Australia, Australia

Opening Hours: 9am to 3pm

 

We had a fruitful time doing fruit picking and next we brought the kids to get up close and personal with farm animals at Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm. Every visitors would have visited Caversham Wildlife Park during their visit to Perth and since we had been there, we thought it would be good to give it a miss and visit a “less commercialized” farm place.

The picturesque Swan Valley is well-known for the many vineyards, restaurants, cafes, boutique breweries, chocolate factory and art galleries. However, little has been known that there is a small animal farm here. While it may look dated, it does give visitors the local feel of what an Australian animal farm looks like. We paid $18 per adult and $13 per child.

What to do here? Animal feeding! It may sound so boring to the adults but it does give so much excitement to the kids. Cuddly Animal Farm has prepared many buckets of animal feeds at the entrance for us to pick up and feed the animals and hey, you can feel free to feed as many rounds as you like.

When we were there at Cuddly Animal Farm, we did not come across any tourists. The visitors were all locals. Without driving far out to Margaret River, we could also experience animal farms near to Perth City.

For the first time, we had a chance to see how the farm animals in the likes of chickens, ducks, hamsters, guinea pigs, lambs and piglets live together in these cubicles. The experience was especially surreal for us as it was akin to seeing the story of Charlotte Web comes alive right in front of us with how these cute creatures living together in harmony, albeit some occasional squabbling.

Stepped out of the shed, we were greeted by varieties of birds in the aviaries.

Restless piglets pacing up and down in their sty.

Little Billy Goat?

A carousel or merry-go-round amusement ride for the kids (unlimited play).

A large outdoor farm to meet and greet the “Aussie” animals such as llama, horses, cows, deer, lambs etc.

The sheep were in high need for shearing.

Deer can be found around the world. They are native to all continents except for Australia and Antarctica. There are about 100 types of deer, including the whitetail deer, reindeer, elk, moose, mule deer, blacktail deer and caribou.

Entry includes:

Farm Animal Interaction | FREE Tractor/Train Rides | FREE Bouncy Castle (Under Cover) | FREE Bottle & Bucket Feeding | FREE Playground | FREE Merry-go-round RIDE per child | FREE Tea/Coffee from the Farm Urn for ‘grown ups’ | FREE BBQ & Picnic Facilities

Address: 128 John Street, HENLEY BROOK 6055 Western Australia

Opening Hours: 9:30am to 4pm

 

Time for a short break. It is not surprising to know that Australia produces one of the best tasting and quality chocolates in the world. In Perth, there are 2 popular chocolate outlets to visit – Whistler’s Chocolate Company and Margaret River Chocolate Factory. We chose to visit the latter for some reasons. Firstly, we had already visited Whistler’s Chocolate Company during our previous trip and secondly, we could try some of the chocolates in Margaret River Chocolate Factory for free. Did we say it correctly?

Welcome to the world of chocolate. These 3 big bowls of chocolates are free for visitors to taste as much as they can. We are not big fans of chocolates and welcome this free-tasting.

Hundred of delicious chocolate products are on sale.

Chocolate products include hand made truffles, bars and pastelles, chocolate coated delights, specialty chocolates, chocolate sauces, sugar free chocolate and more. There’s a corner called Chocolate Window where you can see how they make the chocolates too.

Ice cream.

We had our lunch at the cafe. Chips are very much a popular item on their menu.

Located next to Margaret River Chocolate Factory in the Swan Valley is Providore which is housed in a spectacular, purpose built facility on West Swan Road.

They had a vineyard and we saw fresh green grapes growing on the trees!

Address: The Margaret River Chocolate Company – Swan Valley ( 5123 West Swan Road, West Swan WA 6055 )

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm

 

Bees and honey are very much a part of Aussie culture. Next on our itinerary we visited The House of Honey. The House of Honey proudly specialises in raw, pure, unpasteurised and unadulterated varietal honeys. They practice harvesting honey only when their bees have capped the cells allowing the honey to fully ripen and mature into an exceptional taste.

If you are expecting to see beehives everywhere you might be disappointed. There is a box mounted to the wall with with real bees sealed by a glass panel inside the cafe and that’s all we get to see. We guess The House of Honey is seeking to offer more experience in terms of honey tasting.

With many varieties of honey, visitors can get to taste them for free.

Small M couldn’t resist trying the honey again.

Have you tried honey ice cream before?

The Sticky Spoon Cafe offers some nice cakes, pastries and beverages for visitors to dine in the indoor or outdoor area.

Address: 867 Great Northern Highway (Corner of River Road) Herne Hill, WA 6056

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm

 

Much of the day was spent exploring different places. We finally checked into our Airbnb apartment. We chose Perth City as our accommodation as it was central and accessible to most places in our travel plan.

This was the 2 bedroom apartment that we stayed.

With a spacious balcony area.

We spent the first night exploring Twilight Hawkers Market in the heart of Perth City.

The Twilight Hawkers Market is Perth’s original & biggest Street Food Market bringing the tastiest street food from around the globe to the heart of Perth.

Held in Forrest Place from 4.30pm – 9.30pm this is the place to be on a Friday night over summer – meet with friends after work, grab a bite to eat pre-show or bring the family into town to enjoy the ambience of this wonderful market serving up authentic, delicious street food with live local music to add to the atmosphere.

We really enjoyed checking out the different stalls and trying the different delicacies.

 

It was a memorable sight to see the crowds congregate and dine at the city square.

And we joined in the fun as well 🙂

 

Address: Forrest Pl, Perth WA 6000, Australia

Opening Period: Every Friday night from October – April each year

We love to travel! Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Finland Travelogue – (Part 5): SantaPark, The Home Cavern of Santa Claus in Lapland

A visit to SantaPark offers an exciting glimpse into the secret going on of Santa’s elves at the Elf School. How about decorating ginger biscuits made using Mrs Claus’s recipe, romping around in the Angry Birds play area (did I say correctly?) and joining other activities in the cavern?

Entrance of Santa Claus’ grotto SantaPark in Rovaniemi in Lapland
Image Credit: Santa Television
Related image
Image Credit: FamilyWithKids.com

Entrance tickets can be purchased online in this website or/and also at SantaPark ticket booth. Take note that each ticket is valid for two consecutive days. So when planning your itinerary, make sure to include SantaPark before the last day of your trip to maximise your ticket mileage.

A creepy and spooky long tunnel leading to the main entrance greeted us when we stepped into SantaPark, heightening our anticipation of encountering the elves!

What is SantaPark About?

SantaPark is a Christmas-themed amusement park that is located just 8km from Rovaniemi and 2km from Santa Claus Village. It is a portion of a 12,000m2 population shelter so it is all underground in a large cave with 40m of rock overhead as you enter. Good to hear that it is the only place in the world that you can undercross the Arctic Circle is at SantaPark.

Image: FamilyWithKids.com

The activities you can expect to discover here:

Santa’s Office

Elves’ Post Office

Toy Factory Shopping Area

Elf School

Elf School Diploma

Elf Trainee Hat

SantaPark Magic Show (3 times a day)

Magic Train

Elf Workshop

Angry Birds Activity Area

Visit to Ice Gallery, Ice Bar and meeting with the Ice Princess

Undercrossing of the Arctic Circle

Mrs. Gingerbread Bakery

… and, you can take as many photos and videos with Santa, Elves, Ice Princess & Mrs. Gingerbread as you like!

Santa’s Post Office was the first stop when we entered in the amusement park.

This is also the place to shop for souvenirs and see how the letters were being sorted before mailing. The souvenirs were mainly Christmas themed which were attractive to browse.

Visitors can purchase greeting cards and send it to their friends/loved ones overseas. As you can see, the Christmas concept is pretty much the same in SantaPark and Santa Claus Village which we blogged here. Since you have flew all the way here, it is still worth to give it a try.

SantaPark Activities

This is the point where you undercrosss the Arctic Circle to be greeted by a beautiful Ice Princess outside the Ice Gallery.

Exploring the ice sculptures.

The making of Santa Claus figurines at the Elf Workshop. The popularity of Arctic Circle has certainly travelled far and wide. We met fellow Singaporeans over here too!

This was the part where we re-visited the Elf Workshop again after the crowds were cleared.

Let’s display our masterpiece here.

Mrs Gingerbread Bakery is the sweet spot for kids to decorate gingerbread cookies.

We visited Santa Claus in his office. SantaPark trip was really valued for money as we can take as many pictures we liked with Santa.

Just with Big and Small M 🙂

SantaPark Café offers lunch in winter and mouthwatering delicacies. A friendly elf volunteered to take pictures with us. Did you notice anything special about her nose?

During our visit to SantaPark, we noticed that they had Chinese-speaking elves on duty. This is definitely a life-saver for those visitors who do not speak English.

Spacious café with plenty of sitting areas.

A slide leads you up to the Angry Birds activity area.

We believed we are not the first to ask. Why is Angry Birds activity introduced in SantaPark? Seems to us that it is out-of-theme…

This part of SantaPark is more suitable for younger children, especially toddlers. More relevant to Big and Small M is the slide.

The Magic Sleigh Ride was the part where we enjoyed the most. It was unfortunate that the magic sleigh was down when we arrived and the staff had a hard time trying to fix the train. Just when SantaPark was nearing to closing time, we received a good news that the magic sleigh was up and running. You can imagine how excited we were, including the visitors there, rushing to queue up for the ride.

The magic sleigh takes around six minutes to complete each circuit of the 150m-long track where excited passengers pass through winter scenes and vistas, meeting elves and reindeer along the way.

Photo Credit: http://www.parkworld-online.com/santas-got-a-brand-new-sleigh/

Special video credit due to Korean Broadcasting System(KBS). They did an excellent job capturing the spirit of SantaPark. Watch the clip of the magic sleigh.

Ticket is valid for two consecutive days.

17.50 €/adult, 15.00 €/child (3-12 yrs), free for children under 3 years old. A trip to SantaPark is definitely worth it!

Winter Season 2017

Opening dates

18th November 2017 to 13th January 2018

Opening Hours

18.11.2017 – 30.11.2017

Daily from 10.00 to 17.00

01.12.2017 – 07.01.2018

Daily from 10.00 to 18.00
*Exception: 24.12.2017 from 10 to 16!

08.01.2018-13.01.2018

Daily from 10.00 to 17.00

Location & Distances

SantaPark, the Christmas theme park is located right on the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi – Finland.

SantaPark – Rovaniemi city center: 8 km (approx. 15 min. journey with bus line number 8 – Santa’s Express)

SantaPark – Rovaniemi Airport: 2 km.

We offer free parking for all guests.

Interested to visit Finland? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.
All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.