Fun with Kids – Our Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa Experience

Our flight to Bali might be a first-time experience but little did we realised there were so much fun we experienced there. As the school holidays beckoned, the kids were yearning for a break in a nearby country that they could travel less and enjoy more.

When it comes to scouting on the best family resorts in Bali that have it all in accommodation, entertainment for the whole family, well-equipped kids’ club, refreshing swimming pools and delectable food to indulge in, Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa could very well be the answer to your family needs.

We arrived early at Denpasar International Airport and apart from being greeted by the lush surroundings and beautiful building structures, our chauffeur was already right at the entrance waiting for us with juices and cold towels to freshen us up. All thanks to Bali Mandara Toll Road, the drive from the airport to the hotel only took us 20 mins.

Along the way, our friendly chauffeur took time to answer all our queries and introduced attractions which were worthy-to-visit.

The Lobby – Where You Find Cosiness & Space

The lobby of Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa was expansive and came with innovative designs. Sunlight radiated the open lobby and huge round sofas with colorful fabrics beckoned visitors to chill out at all time of the day.

We stepped into the hotel lobby which was designed with unique natural elements and that certainly helped to set the tone for the rest of our hotel experience.

There was no lack of seating places at the lobby area.

Where entertainment meets relaxation – pool games, table soccer, dart boards and such seek to keep us occupied.

Big and Small M were given welcome gift packs upon checking into the hotel.

Tanjung Family Adventure Suite

We done our research that this is a family-friendly hotel before we came. Our abode was the Tanjung Family Adventure Suite that came with a whopping 81sqm of space. There were 2 spacious rooms  – a parents’ room with our favourite contemporary decor and a colourful, themed kid’s room with twin beds and hey, with PS4 in the room, Big & Small M were literally glued to the screen!

Our big and comfortable king-sized bed.

We were pleasantly surprised that our suite came with a total of not just 2 but 3 TVs – 1 in parents’ room, 1 in living room and 1 in kids’ room. Complimentary wifi is available throughout the hotel (even at swimming pool area) which was crucial factor for us.

The bathroom and wardrobe are inter-connected and moderately sized. Though it did not come with a bathtub, the rainfall shower certainly made up for it.

Lovely balcony with backdoor seating over-looking the sparkling waterfront of Tanjung Benoa Beach where we get to catch sunrise and sunset without leaving the hotel.

The swimming pools were built near to the beach. Guests could just step out of the pools and walk onto the beach.

From our balcony, we could see the beach activities and sea sports in action.

Spacious lounge area with sofa seating leading to the kids’ room.

Mini-fridge and tea/coffee-making facilities corner.

Kids’ room for Big & Small M to experience. It comes with PS4 gaming console.

The bathroom came with bathtub. Neatly placed beside the sink were toiletries, toothbrush and toothpaste.

Take a Dip in the Pool!

A vacation couldn’t be completed without taking a dip in the swimming pools. Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa has a total of 4 swimming pools – shaded atrium pool with outdoor Jacuzzi, a fun kid’s pool with a slide and fountains, a pool with a swim-up bar and an infinity pool with plenty of sun loungers.

Here we were having a game of volleyball and making friends from other countries.

Big and Small M do not have special request. Just having great fun in the pool instead of shopping would be something they really enjoy. Their expressions represented a thousand words!

The special kid’s pool was equipped with a waterslide, fountains to play in and super-sized tipping water buckets.

Shaded atrium pool with outdoor Jacuzzi where we could rest and sip on refreshing beverages.

Stepped out onto the beach where you could experience watersports, seashell picking and playing with frisbee.

Kids Club

The Kids’ Club is open from 9am to 5pm and 6pm to 9pm daily. The staff were experienced and attentive to the needs of the children. With CCTV monitoring and locked door, parents would feel safe leaving their kiddos inside while they enjoy other activities.

The amenities included a slide, climbing wall, costumes, arts and crafts, and lots of toys to play with. There’s a computer zone, a ball pit, and a photo booth with playful props so kids have a fun memento to take home.

Click here to view the Kids Club daily activities.

Breakfast @ Pasar Market Cafe

We had our breakfast (between 6:30am to 10:30am) at the Pasar Market Cafe where we could choose either indoor or outdoor seating. The hotel offers an international array of food, serving up sumptuous buffet breakfasts with live cooking stations and a great selection of fruits, pastries, juices, cereals and hot dishes.

Quite a handful of selections so we will let the pictures do the talking 🙂

The air-conditioned indoor dining area.

We loved the little touch from the hotel as well. The staff would know our names (even though we did not mention which table we were at) and approached us to know how was our stay and asking if they could help in anyway.

Family Bonding Activities

How about some family bonding time? We know there are so many activities to do in Bali and one trip may not be enough. But over in Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa, the kids and family activities had us fully engaged that we just want to spend more time here.

Hey, we had our first attempt at Balinese Cooking Class where we made different dishes! We hope we did well though.

Soup Calon Ikan (fishball in seafood booth).

Sate Lilit Ayam (Balinese seasoning minced chicken in satay, served with mix vegetable urab and steamed rice).

Dadar Gulung (Fragrant grated coconut in palm sugar, wrap with glutinuous flour crepes).

Fruit craving activities where we learnt how to cut watermelons into beautiful designs.

Tea Tree Spa treatment.

Our short stay was nothing short of amazing – all credit to the warm and friendly hotel staff and activites that made our hearts full!

Thank you Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa for your warm hospitality and making our stay memorable in every possible ways. Stay tune for upcoming blog posts on our journey to Bali which give you more reasons why you should visit this island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs.

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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.

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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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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.

 

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

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.

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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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

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.

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.

 

 

 

Itinerary Compilation: Penang Travelogue in a Nutshell

One trip to Penang is never enough. All it takes is just a 1.5 hour flight to experience the best foods and charming landmarks that Georgetown, Penang has to provide. This is a compilation of my Penang travelogue in a glance. All you need to do is to click onto the individual blog title and it will direct you straight to the blog post. Happy sharing and reading 🙂

Penang Travelogue – (Part 1): Snake Temple, Lee Clan Jetty 姓李桥, Chew Clan Jetty 姓周桥, Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol, Joo Hooi Café and Ming Xiang Tai Pastry 名香泰餅家

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Penang Travelogue – (Part 2): Toh Soon Café 多春茶座, Penang Street Art Painting, Penang 70s Ice Ball, Khoo Kongsi and Lebuh Armenian Old Coffeeshop

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Penang Travelogue – (Part 3): Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, Kimberly Food Street, Kopi and Toast @ Gat Lebuh Chuliah

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Penang Travelogue – (Part 4): The Flea Market @ Lorong Kulit

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

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Penang Travelogue – (Part 6): The Gurney Resort Hotel and Residences

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If you enjoy reading our travelogue, do give a like on Katong Kids Inc Facebook Fan Page by clicking here.
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.