Coffee, Concubine Lane, Eat, Education, Food, Ipoh, Malaysia, The Idea Box, Thean Chun, Vacation

Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 4): Coffeeshops, Street Food and Sights

Walking around Ipoh and can’t help but fall in love with these buildings and street scene. Nevermind about some of the charming but yet crumbling architecture; they only seemed to add to the allure.

Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong, a name synonymous among the locals, where a cup of white coffee and wanton mee would fill your soul. Located next to it is Kedai Kopi Sun Yuan Foong which offers one of the best chee cheong fun in town.

Many came and testified that Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng 怡保光興茶室 serves one of the best popiah, Kai si Hor fun and egg custard in town.

It is common to find Thean Chun being packed with customers throughout the day. From shredded chicken meat with hor fun, thick beans sprouts, caramel custard to chee cheong fun, everyone will be spoiled for choices.

If you find comfort in a bowl of sumptuous pork noodles, be sure to try Restoran CY Noodle, a corner shop at 26-9, Jalan Theatre, Ipoh.

Touted as one of the top 10 must-try confectionery shops in Ipoh, Biskut Lam Fong 南方饼家 freshly served Tambon cake, horseshoe cake, salty danwei, pork lotus cake, glutinous rice cake, and other varieties of biscuits.

For a moment, one wondered whether is this still a coffeeshop?

A traditional convenience store still plying its trade in the wake of online shopping.

Located next to Concubine Lane is the 90’s Classic, a local barbershop!

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Asia, Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Car, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Food, Gerbang Malam, Ipoh, Katong Kids Inc, Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple, Kellie's Castle, Kids Activities, Malaysia, Memory Lane Flea Market, Perak Guan Yin Tong, Photography, Restoran Sun Yeong Wai, Shopping, Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut, The Idea Box, Travel, Vacation, WEIL Hotel

Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 2): Railway Station, Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Memory Lane Flea Market, Perak Guan Yin Tong, Kellie Castle, Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple, Restoran Sun Yeong Wai, Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut and Gerbang Malam

Why you should visit Ipoh? When I arrived at the small-sized Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, I had the impression that Ipoh had nothing much to offer. But dwell in this lovely town and I realised this is one of the most rewarding destinations in Malaysia.

Come Day 2, I woke up to the beautiful and scenic view of the city and mountains from the WEIL Hotel. We had our itinerary planned and wasted no time to get to where we need.

Ipoh Railway Station

Most of the attractions are located in close proximity to each other, so travelling is easy. We hopped into our rented car and made our way to one of the historial landmarks – Ipoh Railway Station. Did we mention that it is just 3.5km away from the iconic WEIL Hotel?

Ipoh’s railway station was completed in 1917 under the British colonial administration. Along with the Old Railway Station in Kuala Lumpur, it is one of the most beautiful examples of colonial architecture.

The War Memorial right in front of the Ipoh Railway Station to honour the prisoners-of-war (POWs) who died building the Thailand-Burma death railway.

This railway station was once featured in the Hollywood film, Anna and the King, starring Jodie Foster and Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun Fat.

If not for this visit, I would not know that this grand old building houses the railway station and the now closed Majestic Station Hotel Ipoh which had up to 100 well-appointed guestrooms!

 

The Ipoh Railway Station served by the new, fast, KTM Electric Train Services (ETS). All passenger train services to/from Ipoh are on the new KTM Electric Train Services (there are no KTM Komuter trains from Ipoh).

Most ETS services run on the KL Sentral Railway Station, Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh route. Click here for the ETS timetable from Ipoh to KL.

The building seemed dated and affected probably by lack of proper maintenance but it is still worth a visit when you come to Ipoh.

Address:

Birch Memorial Clock Tower

The Birch Memorial Clock Tower (Malay: Menara Jam Peringatan Birch) is a clock tower situated in Ipoh, Kinta District, Perak, Malaysia.

Unveiled in 1909, the clock tower was constructed to commenorate James W. W. Birch, the first British Resident of the state of Perak.

The clock tower has been overlooked by many tourists who prefer to flock to touristy attractions. On closer look, it is well preserved and I feel it is necessary to visit this place and understand the cultural heritage of British colonialism.

Address:

Memory Lane Flea Market

I reckoned many of you may not consider visiting a flea market, giving the excuses of sweltering weather and old and filthy goods.

I do not agree.

As we approached Jalan Horley, we just couldn’t help but thankful to have the opportunity to travel and mingle with the locals.

We had a hard time finding a parking lot after driving a few rounds and finally managed to find some spaces in an old estate located behind Memory Lane.

Open every Sunday morning, it is known as “Memory Lane” or fondly referred to as “Loken” or “Pasar Karat” (rustic market) by the locals.
Located in Jalan Horley, it is the place to go to for rare and secondhand items at reasonable prices.
A stall selling cold drinks, a perfect respite from the blazing sun!
The life of the locals. The kids enjoying their self-invented game while the folks working hard for better days ahead.
Cute tote bags with different themes and designs going at RM10 each.
Yes, we remembered these old school, childlike games that will not break the bank.
What a place for collectors to purchase rare stamps dating as far back to Straits Settlements period. An interesting visit to Memory Lane for us. We could find many second hands and used items that we thought were well extinct. Definitely the place to visit on a Sunday morning to trigger memories of the old days.
Address: 
Jalan Horley, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Perak Guan Yin Tong

On our way to Kellie’s Castle, we chanced upon Perak Guan Yin Tong.

Built beside a limestone hill, this ancient Buddhist temple honors goddess of mercy Kwan Yin Tong. This would be a place for believers to visit.

And kids could entertain themselves feeding the ever hungry fishes.

Address:

Lot 3851, Sungai Pinang Besar, Pangkor, Perak

Kellie’s Castle

We drove a little further up and arrived at Kellie’s Castle.

Kellie’s Castle is a castle located in Batu Gajah, Kinta District, Perak, Malaysia. While it may look complete on the outside, the ruined mansion was unfinished on the inside.

It was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie-Smith either a gift for his wife or a home for his son. Work on the castle started in 1915, but was unfortunately halted a few years later with Kellie’s sudden death and the castle was never completed.

Nevermind about the hot and humid weather. Kellie’s Castle is one of the most Instagram worthy spots in Ipoh.

It was an interesting experience exploring the castle’s hidden rooms. Be prepared to climb flights of narrow stairs to reach the top where you could get a panoramic view of the plantation and castle ruins.

We came across the locals fishing along the river outside Kellie’s Castle!

Opening Hours : 9.00am – 6.00pm
Admission Fee :
* RM 5 (foreigner)
* RM 4 (adult)
* RM 3 (secondary school students)
* RM 2 (primary school students)
* FREE (child aged six and below)

Address:

31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia

Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple

The Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple is a tourist attraction situated in the natural and picturesque area of Gunung Rapat in the south of Ipoh – the capital of Perak state in west Malaysia.

We heard so much about Ipoh being famous for its limestone hills and we could finally see it right in front of us!

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period. It was believed that one would get smarter praying to Confucius. What do you think?

Although there is a lot of marble tiling, there are still lots of natural large statactites.

This place features golden statues of Buddhist and Chinese mythological deities.

Take a walk here to experience the calming ambience of this lovely cave.

Address:

Pesiaran Sepakat 3, Tmn Endah Jaya, 31350 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

 

Restoran Sun Yeong Wai Roasted Duck Ipoh 新扬威烧鸭饭店

We love roasted duck and if we were ever to visit Ipoh again, we are 1000% sure to visit Restoran Sun Yeong Wai again!

Passed down from father to son and established in Ipoh for more than twenty years, Sun Yeong Wai is now a brand closely synonymous with Roasted Ducks, barbeque and roasted dishes.

The menu for your archive when you visit Ipoh.

Yummy!

Address:

63, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, 30300 Ipoh Perak

Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut

While we were dining, we wondered what was happening behind us.

Started in 1961, Sin Eng Heong is one of the oldest biscuit shop in Ipoh.

Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut was attracting a long long queue of customers despite the overwhelming heat. They have the best kaya puff in town, so popular that you have to be prepared to queue up to 2 hours.

We got into the queue while the family was still eating. Impatience got the better of us and we walked out after 45 mins.

Address:

64 & 66 Jalan Mustapha Al-BakriIpoh 30300, Malaysia

Gerbang Malam

Come the night, I took a walk down Gerbang Malam. While the pasar malam was smaller as compared to Memory Lane, there was a food street at the other end.

It was nice walking down the street looking at the stalls and cheap products.

Where cables were going for as cheap as RM1 each.

The salted-baked chicken is one of Ipoh’s most famous delicacies. The chicken is marinated with ginger, rice wine, and other Chinese herbs such as female ginseng and wolfberries, then it is wrapped in paper and baked with salt.

Many visitors come to Ipoh to taste none other than their kai see hor fun, consisting of super smooth flat rice noodles (kuey teow) produced in Ipoh, shredded/sliced poached chicken, chopped spring onions, boiled shrimps, and garnished with chopped red chillies.

Another version..

I finally settled for this stall.

They produced tasty chicken and bean sprouts. A must-try dish in Ipoh!

My order.

All these for RM21!

So what to do in Ipoh? Simple travel and eat is the way to go 🙂

Address:

Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Click here for Ipoh Travelogue (Part I) – WEIL Hotel, Concubine Lane, Ipoh Booth Cart, Thean Chun Coffee Shop (天津茶室), Kong Heng Square, Burps and Giggles, Yum Cha Tea Bar and Tong Sui Kai 糖水街

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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.

Cafe, Eat, Food, Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert Shop 金玉满堂甜品, Joo Chiat, Katong, Kids Activities, Singapore, The Idea Box, Travel, Travel Blog, Vacation

Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert 金玉满堂甜品 – The Flow @ East Coast

Katong’s little known world of desserts is quietly gaining popularity. Just when you thought the area is all about the famous 328 laksa and Katong throws out a little surprise.

Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert 金玉满堂甜品 which serves up local Chinese, HK, and Taiwan-style desserts is located at The Flow.

As it is facing Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn Express, it is a convenient place for tourists and locals to check out.

Customers can choose to dine at the second floor.

A cute little swing for photo-taking.

Apart from desserts, Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert 金玉满堂甜品 also serves light food in the likes of snacks and noodles.

Their menu includes:

Snacks 小吃

Noodle

Double Layered Milk Pudding Series (Cold / Hot) 双皮奶系列 (冷/热 可选)

Peach Gum Series (Cold / Hot) 桃胶系列 – 孕妇慎用(冷/热 可选)

Gum Tragacanth Series 雪燕系列 – 孕妇慎用(冷/热 可选)

Fried Custard Series 炒蛋奶 ( 新鲜美味 / 即点即炒)

Sago Milk Series (Cold / Hot) 西米露系列 (冷 热 可选)

Chinese Herbal Jelly Series 龟苓膏系列

Grass Jelly Series 凉粉系列

Taro Ball & Grass Jelly Series 芋圆仙草系列

Mango with Mini Rice Ball Series 芒果小丸子系列

Milk with Clear Jelly Series 牛奶水晶系列

Hot and Cold Desserts Series 糖水系列( 冷 热 可选)

Tea / Drinks Series 茶 / 饮料系列

The Flow

66 East Coast Road 01-03

Singapore 428778

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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.

America, Axiom Hotel, California, Christmas, Food, Growing Up, Katong Kids Inc, Kids Activities, Photography, San Francisco, The Idea Box, Travel, Traveler Wifi, Vacation

California Travelogue – (Part 1): San Francisco Cable Car, Powell Street and Fisherman Wharf

After our New York trip, we took a 6.5 hour flight to San Francisco.

San Francisco, in northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It’s known for its year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses.

Our first impression of San Francisco was its cleaniness. The tram was really clean and a big contrast to NYC in which it was not crowded.

Thanks to our friends staying in California, we were recommended to take the BART train to Powell Street.

So clean and fresh!

We would be staying at Axiom Hotel, which was just located above the Powell Station. It took about 2 to 3 mins walk to the hotel.

The reason we chose Axiom Hotel was it’s close proximity to the train station. The place was centralised to every tourist activities but we were cautioned that it was near to the Tenderlion neighbourhood where the streets were shady and you wouldn’t want to bump onto people you wouldn’t want to meet. Glad that there was a right soul who walked up and told us not to cross the street, else we would be venturing into the neighbourhood. Yes, the google map did fail us at times.

Cute robot to attend to our needs.

Burger King was beside our hotel.

We were glad that the cable car station was outside our hotel. During peak hour, the queue could linger till late into the night. The ticket cost $7 each.

We are going to the Fisherman’s Wharf. Fisherman’s Wharf, on the northern waterfront, is one of the city’s busiest tourist areas. Souvenir shops and stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls appear at every turn.

The streets of San Francisco was just amazing. It would take a lot of energy just to walk up the slopes and they were appearing at every junction we stopped.

Slopes again. How to survive without owning cars here?

No experience is more uniquely San Francisco than a ride on a cable car. A must-try experience here!

It’s convenient to travel here and we don’t really need to drive.

The Ross store is a great place to find cheap stuff.  

Love these laundry buckets so much (only $13) but how to bring back home 😦

The crab meat and prawns were very juicy. It cost about US$70.

Spent the afternoon exploring the streets.

If In-N-Out Burger comes to Singapore, it will beat all the fast food restaurants hands down.

Our favourite pasttime. Buying a loaf of cheap bread when visiting the harbour to feed the birds.

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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.

Asia, Life Hacks, Singapore, Singapore Products, Sleepwiz ErgoLush™, The Idea Box

Sleepwiz ErgoLush™ Gel-infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

In one of the earlier blogs, we shared about the usefulness of SleepWiz™ eye masks which has become one of our must-bring essential items during travel especially for long distance flight to London and United States.

This time round,  we have an opportunity to try out  ErgoLush™ mattress topper which has a positive effect on allevating back pain.

The first of its kind in Singapore, ErgoLush™ mattress topper is a gel-infused memory foam mattress topper that does not retain heat like traditional memory foam. Small M tried and it made her such a happy girl by giving her a soft comfortable feeling akin to sleeping on a giant marshmallow, which molds into the shape of your body like a supportive cradle.

So we realised there are actually air vents promoting airflow within the memory foam to let your body remains relaxed and cool for a good night’s sleep.

ErgoLush™ provides other great benefits:

  • With the viscoelasticity of our memory foam, it absorbs kinetic energy from movements, so you remain blissfully asleep when your partner climbs into or out of bed.
  • Relieve bodily pains as it molds into a supportive cradle in the shape of your body, preventing excessive load-bearing by your hips/shoulders and diffuses this supportive pressure evenly along every square inch of your body.
  • Protects your existing mattress from everyday wear and tear, and cost a small fraction to replace

Direct purchase of The ErgoLush™ mattress topper can be made here.  Apart from FREE shipping within Singapore, they even offer a 7-day free trial for all our customers!

ErgoLush™ Gel-infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Website: https://mattresstopper.sg/shop/memory-foam-mattress-topper-gel-infused-ergolush/

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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.

 

Cafe, Camden Markets, Christmas, Christmas Markets, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Education, Food, Growing Up, Harrods, Katong Kids Inc, Kids Activities, London, London Tube, Oxford Streets, Photography, Review, Singapore, The Idea Box, Travel, Traveler Wifi, United Kingdom, Vacation

London Travelogue – (Part 4): Camden Market, Stables Market, Oxford Street, Hamleys and Harrods

When searching for quality markets to visit in London, the name of Camden Market will inevitably appear in the most recommended places to explore. We heard there were few hundred stores here and thought it would be a nice place to have our breakfast in the morning.

We walked about 15 mins from the London Tube to reach Camden Market.

Anything that is colourful and bright will capture the kids’ attention. Camden High Street is lined with shoe stores, leather shops and vintage clothing and vintage vinyl.

Being a tourist attraction, do not expect to find cheap stuff here.

Finally reached the market!

The labyrinth of shops led us to various food vendors.

Craving for Asian food, Thai delicacies were just so yummy.

It didn’t take long before these furry friends were in front of us yearning for little treats. Bad idea to toss some crumbs, only to invite more of them to come.

Next to Camden Market lies the Stables Market. Over here, there were many boutiques and pop up shops.

Venturing into the narrow alleys was fun in itself as we browse through the apparels and home goods.

An interesting spot for photo-taking. We had a hard time waiting for the right moment to take pictures 🙂

The popular Pret A Manger sandwich chain that are scattered all over London. This time trying it and we ended up dining there for at least three times during our stay.

We found ourselves at Oxford Street, a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus. It is the Ochard Road of Singapore and jam-packed with people everywhere we went.

Where you can find the sleek lines of Apple’s products here.

Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world and one of the world’s best-known retailers of toys. With Christmas round the corner, they were showcasing all performance to bring in the crowds.

The streets were awashed with buskers singing or playing musical instruments.

Finally we had the opportunity to take a photo here at the main Oxford street.

As night fell, we were treated to a magnificent Christmas lights extravaganza with a dazzling array of fairy lights and decorations. Everyone was soaked in the joyous mood, holiday spirit of London.

London underground station Marble ArchBond Street & Oxford Circus, Central Line, Zone 1
At Oxford Circus station you can also use Bakerloo Line and Victoria Line.

Next, we explored the Harrods. This is a department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London. It is owned by the state of Qatar and no wonder everything here was so, so expensive!

Our favourite section was the food halls on the ground floor which were the most popular departments at Harrods. This is where you can find a wide range of fine delicacies is offered in 4 huge halls.

Although items were way too expensive, the effects of Brexit weren’t felt at all. The mall was filled with so many shoppers that one would not see any spirit of recession.

To get here, look out for London underground station Knightsbridge, Piccadilly Line, Zone 1.

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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.

 

Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Christmas, Christmas Markets, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Education, Europe, Hyde Park, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Katong Kids Inc, Kids Activities, London, London Eye, London Tube, Photography, Playground, Review, St James's Park, The Idea Box, Travel, United Kingdom, Vacation, Westminster Abbey

London Travelogue – (Part 3): Big Ben, Westminter Abbey, London Eye, St James Park, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

A visit to London is never complete without sighting the Big Ben. Well, we knew that London’s Big Ben has stop chiming as it is undergoing major renovations from now till 2021. But still, it is a mandatory stop for every tourist.

 A brief walk down appears the Westminster Abbey, London church that is the site of coronations and other ceremonies of national significance. It stands just west of the Houses of Parliament in the Greater London borough of Westminster.

We did not enter though as sunset was nearing and we had a fair bit of itinerary to cover for the day.

Caught the view of London Eye from the other side of the river. London is fairly concentrated and there are many visitors at these major attractions. When taking pictures or pausing by, it is best to find a ‘safer’ spot as you never know when pickpockets will appear.

It was an never ending stroll to Hyde Park to immerse ourselves in the christmas market and amusement park. Stopping by along the way of interesting sights.

St James’s Park includes The Mall and Horse Guards Parade, and is surrounded by landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Whitehall.. It is a beautiful place to take a breather and for kids to get up close and personal with nature and creatures.

Big and Small M are growing up and akin to their peers, they are thrilled to achieve the insta-worthy shots.

The animals were so tamed, making the experience so surreal. When did we see birds and squrriels coming up to you for treats in Singapore?

The key takeaway for us about Buckingham Palace is that it is recognised around the world as the focus of national and royal celebrations as well as the backdrop to the regular Changing the Guard ceremony.

The Buckingham Palace flower beds, also known as the Memorial Gardens, were created in 1901 as part of Sir Aston Webb’s overall design for a memorial to Queen Victoria after her death that year.

Situated in London’s Hyde Park, which spreads over 630 acres in the centre of the capital, entry to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is free. It is located in close proximity to London underground tube stations including Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch and Green Park.

We did a lot of walking just to reach here and did not go away disappointed. This place was really, really huge and it would be wise to remember prominent spots in case you get lost.

The weather wasn’t that cold but the firepit did add to the christmas atmosphere.

The kids were just like “WOW” everywhere we went and they did had their share of fun in riding the roller-coaster. On a fair note, while the park was huge many of the entertainment and rides were actually replicates.

Visiting this free-to-enter event in winter, you will have lots of fun and you can do many activities there, including ice skating, ice bar, circus shows, an observation wheel and a traditional German Christmas market. Check out this place when you drop by London during winter.

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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.