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.

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

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

Day 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Address: Perth WA 6005, Australia

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Address: 18 Ley St, Como WA 6152, Australia

 

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

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

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

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

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

Address: 123 James St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia

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

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

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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.

Image may contain: plant, fruit, tree, outdoor and food

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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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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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.

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.

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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

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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.