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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Bali Travelogue – (Part 1): Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa, Bali Collection and Discovery Shopping Mall

This was our first family trip to Bali which is one of more than 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago and is located just over 2 km from the eastern tip of the island of Java and west of the island of Lombok. The island is currently home to about 4 million people.

We hopped onto an early flight and arrived early at Denpasar International Airport.

Upon checking out, we headed straight to get a SIM card at the airport which we strongly recommended against if you are intending to get one. It cost about SGD$35 for just a basic plan and we only realised the exorbitant price (in SGD) after making the payment. It would be better off purchasing one from trustworthy online travel sites.

To minimise any hassle of finding transportation to the hotel, we decided to book airport transfer before arriving here. It was a breeze as our friendly chauffeur from Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa were already right at the airport arrival hall awaiting for us.

Did we say the drive from airport to the hotel only takes 20 mins? You can find out everything about this family-friendly hotel in the previous blog here.

AddressJl. Pratama No.86, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

+62 361 894 7888

Bali Collection (Nusa Dua Shopping)

Our hotel offers shuttle services to Bali Collection which is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex located in Nusa Dua. This is a touristy mall featuring international and luxury fashion brands to traditional handicraft and souvenir outlets catering to the guests from nearby five-star hotels.

We did not purchase any items or dine here as it was pretty pricey. Nonetheless, we thought it was worthwhile to explore this mall within less than 30 mins.

Ole Ole restaurant, one of the various dining options at the complex.

Bali Collection opens daily from 10am to 10pm. Guests staying at one of the hotels in the Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa areas can take a free shuttle bus (from opening time to around 9pm) service.

AddressITDC area, Nusa Dua, Kuta Selatan, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80363, Indonesia

Discovery Shopping Mall

Getting a Grab car is possible in Bali but it does come with a hassle as it is not welcome among the community of taxi drivers. We managed to get into a taxi after negotiating a reasonable price with the driver. We learnt that travelling on Bali road wasn’t that straight-forward. Due to the fact that the roads were really narrow and coupled with heavy traffic, a ride could take us 40 mins instead of 20 mins even if Google map told us the distance apart was only 14 km.

Along our way, we noticed a little girl (on the right of the picture), all alone, peddling a couple of small items 😦

Next, we visited the Discovery Shopping Mall which was located along Kartika Plaza Street, Kuta. Visitors coming to Bali would almost definitely explore Kuta during their stay.

Truth be told – Discovery Shopping Mall is not new and looks dated to us. However, it is one of the largest shopping malls in Bali and the second largest shopping hub in Kuta after the newer Kuta Beachwalk.

This large three-storey mall houses some of the popular lifestyle and familiar F&B outlets such as KFC, Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut.

A visit to Bali is not completed without trying their local dishes.

Here were the dishes we ordered.

Finally tried the crispy duck, one of Bali’s most popular dishes which we were craving for. The meat was tender and skin was crispy. Coupled with Bali sambal, our dinner was full and hearty!

That’s all for Day 1 where we were exhausted by the time we returned to the hotel after a day of activities. More than just shopping, stay tune on our journey in this Island of the Gods which offers some of the most natural sites to explore and yes, they are picturesque as well.

Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 10:00 – 22:00, Fri – Sat 10:00 – 22.30

Address: Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta

How to get there: Jalan Kartika Plaza, opposite the Waterbom Bali and beside the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel.

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MyTaiwanTour: Taipei Culinary Experience

Bitten by the travel bug and can’t wait to explore Taiwan? Every visitor personal interests may differ but when planning your itinerary, MyTaiwanTour offers custom curated journey that is bound to make your trip even more enjoyable.

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Determined to bring to the best of 台湾小吃 from the ever popular Taiwanese night markets, Taiwan Culinary Experience tour aims to bring you the full sights, sounds, fragrances and flavors of Taiwanese cuisine.

Image may contain: textYou will get to start at a historical market where to sample various traditional Chinese delicacies before heading over to Taipei’s undisputed gourmet ghetto, Yongkang street and the surrounding alleys. With an experience guide providing valuable tasty tips around the neighbourhoods, visitors get to sample several dishes in some famous restaurants.

They will be sure and save enough room for the movable feast’s ultimate destination, a guided tour of the world famous Ningxia night market, where you will sample a variety of dishes prepared by some of the city’s top street chefs.

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The Taipei Culinary Experience is fairly omnivorous, but with advanced notice we can customize the tour to accommodate specific dietary needs. To learn about more MyTaiwanTour’s Taipei Culinary Experience, click here.

ITINERARY

  • transportation

    16:30 Meet your guide at MRT CKS Memorial Hall Station Exit. 2

  • transportation

    16:40 Taiwanese traditional market

  • transportation

    17:20 Explore Yongkang Street

  • transportation

    19:00 Night Market Experience

  • transportation

    20:00 Drop off at MRT Shuanglian or Zhongshan Station

    Inclusions

    • A professional English speaking tour guide
    • Food and beverages
    • Goody bag with a bottle of water and surprise gifts

Planning a trip to beautiful Taiwan soon? Click here and here to read our blog on 10 tips before visiting Taiwan.

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Disclosure: 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.

The Changi Village Story: Eat, Play and Explore

Tucked away at the far eastern coast of Singapore is a small and yet well-known neighbourhood by name of Changi Village. Those who love photography, cycling and sight seeing would inevitably hop into a bumboat and head to Pulau Ubin. Even if you are not “that” adventurous, Changi Village can also offer you as the ultimate destination to experience some of the best-kept treasures in Singapore.

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Just the mention of Changi Village Hawker Centre would remind everyone of some of the popular Nasi Lemak stalls there. Personally, I feel that the Nasi Lemak tastes largely the same and I have no preference of any particular stall to patronize.

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If you get to travel to this far eastern side of the country, remember to come with an empty stomach. The lure of irresistible Nasi Lemak – rice cooked in coconut milk, mixed with some slices of cucumber, fried ikan bilis and peanuts, fried egg and chicken wing or drumstick and lastly, smeared with delicious sambal is sure to win everyone’s heart.

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You can call this place super ulu but it is not going to stop hip cafes and eateries from opening here. Chocolate Origin specializes in chocolate cakes and confectionaries. It uses the finest ingredients to get the cakes tasting oh-so delicious, ensuring all goodness when you take a bite.

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Crepes & Puffs is a quaint cafe boasting a wide range of delicious confections for all taste buds. On weekdays, it even attracts loyal customers dressed in their office attire who come for its artistically created crepes, puffs, pastries, cakes and other treats.

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Delicately prepared by Shanghainese chefs, Tang Tea House is famed for the freshness and authenticity of its halal dim sum ranging from chicken pau, har kow, siew mai and steamed chicken dumplings.

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Stepped into the corridors of these blocks you can find traditional shops selling…

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Chap Huay Tiam certainly brings us back to the old school days. Myriad of tidbits, old school biscuits and customized goodie bags for all occasions are what you can find here.

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Photo Credit: chaphuaytiam
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Photo Credit: chaphuaytiam

Not heading to Pulau Ubin? Try renting a bicycle here and explore the vicinity!

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ST Bakery serves a variety of fresh bread and cakes. The prices are reasonable and affordable too.

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Johor Bahru Pau / Tim Sum [新山手工包點]  selling unique assortment of delicious paus which includes black sesame pau, chicken, pork big pau, braised pork pau, Amy Yi’s Jumbo Pau, Sured-Win Jumbo Pau and other dim sum items.

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More shops around the blocks.

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If you are feeling adventurous, take an exploratory trip down at Changi Point Coastal Walk which stretches 2.2km.

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Also referred to as the Changi Boardwalk, you may even catch views of the waters out towards Johor. Last but not least, remember to bring along your insect repellent and sunblock when you are here!

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Fun with Kids in Perth – (Day 3): The Core Cider House (Fruit Picking), New Moon Dim Sum Restaurant, Fremantle Markets, Cicerello and Kings Park

Hello Perth! It is always good to self drive in Australia as car hire is affordable. The last thing you want to try is taking their taxi. In fact, we rarely come across any Singaporean visitors not self driving when visiting Australia.

Day 3

We fondly remembered the sumptuous dim sum breakfast we had the day before and on our final day, we drove out to Northbridge again to try a new Chinese Dim Sum Restaurant but not before we had a mini-tour of Chinatown in our car.

We patronized New Moon Restaurant which served steamed dishes from the steamed trolleys.

Although the outlet had space constraint it was made up by the quality of their dishes.

Authentic and traditional dim sum dishes are the highlights of New Moon. The staff were responsive and would initiate to approach diners to try out different varieties of dim sum dishes.

Some of the yummy dishes.

The sight of BBQ pork buns made us hungry..

Mango puddings.

We will visit New Moon when we return to Perth again.

Address: 63 – 65 James Street, Northbridge

 

How about more fruits picking? We didn’t get enough of fruits picking in The Fruit Corner at Pickering Brook and ventured back the same place to explore another orchard by the name of The Core Cider House (which was about 1-2km apart).

The moment we stepped out of our vehicle, the sight of big apple trees greeted us. They were just right in front of our car where we could reach them easily 🙂

It was a weekend and many locals gathered here for picnic and let their kids played. There is also a restaurant located upstairs which has a full view of the orchards.

How good is this to laze in their beautiful setting and enjoy the spacious grounds where kids can play and run about safely. What a feel of countryside that is just half an hour drive from the city.

Our experience at The Core Cider House was much better than The Fruit Corner. We heard that there is an admission fee to enter the orchards but we weren’t sure about that. At least we weren’t charged during our visit. We would only need to pay for the fruits we picked. We reached there just in time before the owner closed the orchards. The friendly staff there shared with us about their knowledge of fruits and the apple picking process. Remember to BYO bags!

Looked at all these red galaxy apples on the ground!

Rows after rows of red juicy galaxy apple trees in blossom.

The kids could reach for the apples and picked them easily. There is nothing like picking fresh fruits straight from the trees – a simple and educational experience for the kids to remember!

Green apple trees.

Pear trees.

This was the best fruit picking experience we had so far.

The Core Cider House has a apple shed markets that were open at weekends from 10am – 4pm selling fresh fruit, mixed fruit hampers, Core jam and chutney, freshly squeezed orange and apple juice as well as ice cream.

Address: 35 Merrivale Road Pickering Brook, Western Australia, Australia

Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm

 

Fremantle was next on our travel bucket. The Fremantle Markets only operates from Friday to Sunday. Finding a parking lot was difficult and we eventually found a spot at the highest level of a multi-storey carpark. Be prepared to spend at least half a day when visiting Fremantle and much walking is expected.

We felt nostalgia and visited the Lolly Shop. Everything was still the same!

We made a beeline for the ever popular Fremantle Bakehouse and tried the all day breakfast.

An all day breakfast, famous fluffy pancakes, homemade chunky steak pies and sausages rolls, range of sandwiches filled with local fresh product and tempting rolls are just a few items on offer.

 

Next we visited the Fremantle Markets, a busy indoor market dating to 1897 with stalls selling food, local produce, clothes & handicrafts.

Crowds thronged the Fremantle Markets on a busy weekend.

The shop owner did not mind that we did not buy anything and happily dished out different variety of juices for us to sample.

There was an inexplicable joy in us just browsing the market and seeing the fresh fruits and vegetables.

Address: Corner South Terrace & Henderson Street Fremantle, Western Australia 6959

We bought a huge bag of bread for $2 from the Fremantle Markets and headed to the park to feed the sea gulls.

Big and Small M had a ball of time playing in the park and mingling with the locals.

The Tourist Wheel has been in Fremantle since April 2013 and provides unprecedented views of Fremantle town and harbors.

We visited Little Creatures Brewery which was opposite the park. Little Creatures is an Australian brewing company based in Fremantle, Western Australia, originally established in 2000 by the original brewers of the Matilda Bay Brewing Company.

Next to Little Creatures Brewery is the Fishing Boat Harbour where we visited Cicerello’s to try its fish and chips.

We had so much leftover bread which the kids used it to feed the sea gulls.

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We like the concept of alfresco seating overlooking the scenic Fishing Boat Harbour.

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Ordered some simple dishes to try.

Why spend $1 to buy fish food packed in a small container when you can buy a big bag of bread for $2?

This bag of bread for $2 at Fremantle Market.

The kids continued feeding the sea gulls and fishes after the meal.

Address: 44 Mews Rd, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia

Opening Hours: 9am to 8:30pm

The sky was beginning to turn dark and we visited a neighbourhood playground.

Before visitng Kings Park and Botanic Garden to enjoy scenic view of Perth City at night.

Address: Perth WA 6005, Australia

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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

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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.

 

 

 

Penang Travelogue – (Part 5): Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera), MoonTree 47 @ Muntri Street, Chocolate and Coffee Museum and Pinang Peranakan Mansion

It was a short 3 days trip but I was contented with the places I managed to cover. On the final day, I am determined to cover some important landmarks to pen down in my travelogue.

Penang Hills / Bukit Bendara

If you feel that the weather in Penang is hot and humid, try beating the heat by taking a tram ride up to experience the cooling environment of Penang Hills. I booked a Grab from Gurney Hotel and the 9.5km distance took me about 10 mins to reach.

Penang Hill or affectingly known by locals as “Bukit Bendara”, is one of the most popular tourist attractions.  Setting on a hill with elevation of about 833 m (2723 ft), you would need to take funicular railway. From my experience, it is better to plan your visit here by 10am as anytime later would require you to queue up pretty long before you can hop onto the tram. I guess that is the time when most tourists have taken their breakfast in the hotels and coaches would be sending them here.

If you are an adult tourist, a 2-way ride would cost you RM30.

The ride took about 10 mins before reaching the peak. Along the way, the funicular railway would make intermediate stops for locals (who are staying up the hills) to alight.

Look at the crowds!

The first point that greeted me was the “Sky Walk”.

The Sky Walk is a suspension bridge hanging over the treetops. It is opened daily with no admission charge. It’s time to pause here and see the breath-taking view of beautiful Penang.

Surrounded by pines tree, the serenity of the hills will provide a much needed breather and relaxation from the hustle and bustle of city life.

From the Sky Walk, I also caught the view of the famous 13.5km long Penang bridge. What a majestic sight of an eagle hovering over and greeting us!

There are some notable changes to Penang Hill since my previous visit 3 years ago. I noticed they have included additional “attractions” within the hills such as Little Village, Love Lock and Owl Museum.

The Little Village is a beautiful spot to take wedding shots. Take a walk in and you will find the Love Arch, Dwarf Village, Rabbit Garden and the green surroundings of Mother Nature.

Just a 2 min walk up the hill would bring you to this attraction called the Love Lock. This is an adaptation of the popular love lock concept around the world, in the likes of Rome’s Ponte Milvio and Germany’s Hohenzollern Bridge, which has found its place atop the scenic Penang Hill.

Launched on Valentine’s Day of 2014,the lover’s promenade hosts the promises of eternity for couples who seal their affection with creatively-decorated padlocks.

Padlocks of various sizes are available for you to purchase and profess your love before sealing it at the wide fence.

The Owl Museum might be an activity you would like to look out for. The museum open daily from 9am to 6pm and it is South-East Asia’s first museum dedicated to owl-themed art and craft. It boosts a fascinating collection of over 1,000 exotic and unique arts and craft artefacts collected from 20 countries including Japan, South Korea, Uruguay, China, Vietnam, Thailand, England, Indonesia and France.

The museum’s owls are made from a myriad of materials such as wood, stone, metal, glass, clay, plastic, buffalo horn, seashells, beans, plant fibres, crystal, porcelain, earthenware, paper and recycled items. Special collections on loan from private collectors are also on display.

I did not visit the Owl Museum as I was short of time.

Penang Hill Owl Museum
Photo Credit: Penang Trails

The famous David Brown’s restaurant at Strawberry Hill.

Exploring the flora of Penang Hills which houses some interesting plants such as Dipterocarp forest, parasitic plant, Exorhopalia Ruficeps, Hazel Maingaya Malayana and many more.

Climbed up the flight of stairs and I made some interesting discovery…

Located on Penang Hill is a 32 counder cannon that is not short of historical value. It is made of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin commonly used in 18th and 19th century artillery. This cannon was probably transported from town to hill as an ornament or to warn the presence of pirates.

A children’s playground and on the right is the Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan, or better known as the Penang Hill Hindu Temple, is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Penang. I did not dwell here for long as I vividly remembered we were badly bitten by mosquitoes in the previous trip.

The other end of Penang Hill houses some eateries for me to satisfy my hunger pangs. Astaka Bukit Bendera is a 2-level food court at Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera), within a short stroll from the upper station of Penang Hill Railway.

Penang Hill Lily Ice Kacang is one of the stalls at the lower deck. Worth to give it a try if you have a sweet tooth! Penang Hill’s opening hours are everyday but you need the train to go up there. The train service is from 6.30 am – 10 pm on Monday to Friday. On weekends or public holidays or school holidays, the train operates from 6.30 am to 11 pm.

Address: Perbadanan Bukit Bendera, Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera, Air Itam, 11500 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

MoonTree 47 Cafe

I read much about Muntri Street that it is famed for its wide range of themed cafes in Penang. Situated along the Jalan Muntri in Georgetown Penang, Moon Tree 47 cafe makes it a cool place to chill out with friends while enjoying the Peranakan styled interiors and old school settings.

I thought MoonTree 47 has the “instagram worthy” factor. Just the whimsical setting at the entrance was enough to draw me in.

Alas, the staff did not allow me to take pictures of its interiors without ordering anything. I was not a nice touch and thumbs down to the customer service. Nonetheless, I ordered some light snacks and took the opportunity to take as many nice shots I could of this place.

There was an open courtyard with water feature which I loved to hang around while enjoying the sight of aquarium fishes vying for feeds.

Image may contain: table, plant and indoor

Nothing much to say here but pictures are certainly worthed more than a thousand words!

A dated Dumex tin.

A local resident of MoonTree 47.

This is my order – 3 spicy chickens with lemon tea. It looked so appealing to me. Time to treat my tastebuds with delicious snacks. My expectations of MoonTree 47 were high. While the interiors met my expectation, the customer service fell short. Very short. One of the spicy chickens was uncooked and tasted cold (supposed just taken out of the fridge) when I took a bite. I feedback to the owner nicely and he offered to cook it again but I politely declined as I needed to make a move. The outcome – no discount was offered to me and I had to pay for the uncooked chicken. 😦

Address:47 Muntri Street,10200 Georgetown,Penang, Malaysia Penang, Malaysia

Chocolate & Coffee Museum

I continued walking and chanced upon Chocolate & Coffee Museum which was previously known as The Chocolate Boutique on Leith Street, in George Town, Penang. It specializes in retailing branded and high-end chocolate products, mostly to foreign tourists who arrive by tour coaches. The boutique occupies a double storey bungalow that was formerly the New China Hotel.

Admission to the Chocolate & Coffee museum is free. The best part of this museum, to me was the air-conditioning.

Usually there will have a tour guide who will explain to you about the history of chocolate and how they are manufactured.
The museum was quite small and I completed the tour within 10 mins. Near the exit was a chocolate section where you can purchase many varieties of chocolate. I find them quite pricey and did not buy any since I am not a fan of chocolate too.
Address: 22, Leith St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Next on my itinerary was the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. I have a knack for anything that has to do with Peranakan and what’s more, visitors are allowed to take pictures here. I heard there is another Peranakan Museum in Melaka which does not allow visitors to take any photos.

The Peranakan is a prominent community in the Straits Settlement particularly in Penang, Melaka and Singapore. I thought Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a must visit for all to experience a glimpse of to have a glimpse of their rich lifestyle and of their many customs and traditions. Many well-known personalities have visited the mansion and one of them was Ho Ching.

Fancy to have a trishaw ride?

This Chinese courtyard house was much like a typical large Baba home of eclectic style, incorporating Chinese carved-wood panels and English floor tiles and Scottish ironworks.

In Straits Eclectic and Chinese homes, the front hall or parlor is typically separated from the rest of the house by an ornately carved wooden screen. It was said that this timber divider acts as a ‘ spirit wall’ to prevent evil spirits from entering by obstructing their straight paths.

The main staircase incorporates the use of both local and imported materials in its construction, handrail with balusters of cast iron, from Glasgow, Scotland.

At the second level of the mansion, the space was prominently occupied by over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles. This Baba Nyonya museum is also housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansion of eclectic design and architecture.

A traditional bridal room with typical Nyonya matrimonial bed. A perfect place to take wedding photos.

I don’t remember there was a section selling jewellery collection in my previous trip.

A complete tour of Pinang Peranakan Mansion would take between 1 to 2 hour. The admission fee for an adult is RM20 while it is free for children below the age of 6.

I was amazed that I was able to cover that many places in Penang (there was not much trace of fatigue in my legs).  This trip was packed with many wonderful memories and the local street food of Penang would definitely be a strong draw for me to return again.

Address: 29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

Interested to visit Penang? 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.