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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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.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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A mini kitchenette that comes with microwave oven.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Mai Grand Deluxe – Our Abode

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The jacuzzi section is in the toddler pool area.

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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!

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

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

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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?

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

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Menicure and Pedicure.

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

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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…

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It has a cold dish section.

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Pastry section for the sweet tooth.

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Cute cylinders used as beverage dispensers.

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

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Yummy pork porridge.

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Our favorite egg omelette.

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

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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 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 > 

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We stayed at Perth City as it was near to 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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Gigantic pumpkin!

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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.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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She had her share of fun too.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Restless piglets pacing up and down in their sty.

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Little Billy Goat?

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Bouncing castle.

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

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

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The sheep were in high need for shearing.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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Hundred of delicious chocolate products are on sale.

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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.

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Ice cream.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Small M couldn’t resist trying the honey again.

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Have you tried honey ice cream before?

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

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With some uninvited guests at times 🙂

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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.

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This was the 2 bedroom apartment that we stayed.

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With a spacious balcony area.

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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.

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

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Eclairs and macarons..

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German Sausages.

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Spanish paella.

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

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And we joined in the fun as well 🙂

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Address: Forrest Pl, Perth WA 6000, Australia

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

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

 

 

 

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

A man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I have a penchant for exploring flea market. Early in the morning, I took a Grab car and made my way down to the flea market at Lorong Kulit which is located next to the City Stadium.

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Lorong Kulit operates from 6am to 1pm daily. When I reached there at 8:30am, only half of the stalls were opened. By 10am, most of the stalls were set up for business.

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This place was pretty rundown and may not strike a chord with people. Before arriving in Penang, I read up on blogs introducing Penang and I thought most of them were quite “commercialized”, mostly sharing on the main attractions which I thought would not bring justice to many unloved spots in town.

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It was said that Lorong Kulit had a reputation for being a thieves’ market. There are times when you may chance upon stolen goods among other used goods on sale. But seriously, how would anyone be able to differentiate?

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This van was literally filled with junks!

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As time passed by, Lorong Kulit roared to life. Curious onlookers would gather and browse for any interesting goods they could buy at bargained prices.

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Old watches, hand-held games, necklaces and books.

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A friendly uncle greeted me while reading his newspapers. He might not have much products to display but his countenance exuded self contentment and happy with a simple life 🙂

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Electrical, hardware stuff, old shoes and luggage on display.

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Old mobile phones in which some of them belonged to the first generation!

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I was really tempted to buy a used mobile phone here but decided against it as it would be a hassle to find charger and battery separately.

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Mobile phones of many brands and surprising, not a single iphone could be found!

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Old kettles, pots and clocks of which some of them could be antiques.

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Stones and old krises.

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Pirated DVDs as well.

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Household pets on sale too!

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Hamsters and mice.

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Sugar gliders which were prohibited to be kept in Singapore..

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Tropical fishes (swordtail).

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Budgies (Budgerigars) which are an extremely popular pet bird. My parents allowed me to keep them when I was young as they were quite cheap (about $15). I kept a pair but it did not last long as they were smart enough to open the cage and flew away.

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They even sell used stuff toys. I would be surprised if anyone buys them for their children.

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There is no guarantee what you would unearth at Lorong Kulit flea market. Even if you leave this place without buying anything, I am sure that the experience of browsing through the stalls would be greatly pleasing to your eyes.

I had an interesting encounter as well. After exploring Lorong Kulit, I wanted to book a Grab car to bring me to Lebuh Armenian only to realize that the earlier Grab trip was still in transit. I was puzzled and messaged the previous driver to end the trip (in which he did). When I tried to do a fresh booking, that previous driver accepted my booking immediately. It dawned on me that this Grab driver was actually waiting for me and to prevent me from booking another driver, he deliberately chose not to end the trip so that I could make a booking through him again. Something new I learnt. What an experience!

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Address: 625, Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town, 10460 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Interested to visit Penang? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog post.

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

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

Some advantages of staying at The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residence are the accessibility to shopping malls (Gurney Plaza & Gurney Paragon) and Gurney Drive Hawker Centre where there are galore of food options.

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

The Gurney Drive Hawker Centre is currently situated at the northern end of Gurney Drive, just next to Gurney Plaza. It comes alive when evening beckons and transforms into a food paradise.

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This hawker centre is quite similar to Singapore’s Newton Food Centre as it caters mainly to tourists. As such, do expect the food prices to be higher. However, it is a convenient location for visitors to try out delectable local fare without needing to travel too much. Some of the famous Penang food you can find here include wanton mee, fish meat noodles, lok-lok (as shown), prawn noodles, satay, char koay teow, rojak, seafood and many more.

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The halal corner of this hawker centre was packed with customers!

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The soup base of this bowl of Penang prawn noodles tastes spicy.

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The version of Penang Ice Kacang – shaved ice topped with red beans, sweet corn, attap seeds, glass jelly, syrup and evaporated milk.

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After your meal, take a walk along the street at Gurney Drive to visit the pasar malam.

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Address: 172, Solok Gurney 1, Pulau Tikus, 10250 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Kimberly Food Street

Lebuh Kimberly is a popular food street in Penang. Having heard of many good reviews of the legendary Kway Chap at Restoran Kimberly, I thought I should give it a try.

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I am not sure whether it is a culture for food vendors to use their hands to handle the food. I did feel uneasy when I witnessed that.

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This bowl of Kway Chap comes with sliced duck meat, pig intestines, pig ear and pig tongue.

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A taste of their signature dessert – Si Koh Soup (filled with ginko nuts, longan & lotus seeds).

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If you are not a fan of Kway Chap, there are other food choices down the street.

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Lor Bak stall.

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Duck noodles.

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Penang laksa, Hokkien mee and roasted delights.

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Address: 137 Lebuh Kimberley, 10100 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Kopi & Toast @ Gat Lebuh Chuliah 

Kopi & Toast at Gat Lebuh Chuliah is a cosy café which serves simple breakfast for you to start the day. It is pretty near to the Weld Quay clan jetty and wall murals are also within the vicinity.

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The boy and girl on a swing is just next to the café.

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Reminds me of old school days.

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Butter and kaya toast with black coffee.

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The toast was very much similar to what I had tried elsewhere though. What I like about this place is that it provides a good spot for you to rest while scouting for wall murals.

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Address: 63 Gat Lebuh Chuliah 10300 Georgetown Penang, Malaysia

Interested to visit Penang? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog post.

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

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

I wandered up to Campbell Street after my lunch at Joo Hooi Café and unknowingly I stumbled upon Toh Soon Café which was one of those places I wanted to visit in Georgetown much to my surprise.

Toh Soon Café 多春茶座

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There are many blogs on Toh Soon Café so I am not going to rave about how good it is. I had read that customers would usually wait up to an hour or two just to get a seat.  I had originally planned to come here at 8am in the morning to queue up and I was surprised to find a seat immediately in the late afternoon. So fortunate!

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The hot water for making of coffee was scooped from the big oil drum and the staff toasted the bread directly over charcoal oven. It was not an easy job as crowds streamed to Toh Soon Café at all times of the day. Imagine how busy the staff would be.

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Toasting in progress.

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Fragrant coffee pair with simple kaya toast bread. If I don’t remember wrongly, this cost about RM4.50.

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A simple and nice aroma of Hainanese coffee with condensed milk.

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To make it easier for readers to find Toh Soon Café, look out for Ban Heang pastry shop. Toh Soon Café is just beside it.

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Address: Lebuh Campbell, George Town, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia

Penang Street Art Painting

 Here in Georgetown, the street art and wall paintings would keep you mesmerised throughout the day. These murals have successfully transformed quiet streets into whimsical and thought provoking ones.

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It all started with a street art project called Mirrors George Town by George Town festival 2012. Since then, street art has been popping up all over the inner city and has stirred up quite a media frenzy with Singapore being a nearby country also catching the wall mural fever.

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Regardless of whether the wall murals were popular or not, they could be seen everywhere.

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Cat hanging from the balloons.

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Local community in Penang.

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The ever popular Boy on Chair. The mural is located across the street from the Anak-Anak Kota clubhouse and Khoo Kongsi entrance.  It was painted by Ernest Zacharevic during the 2012 Georgetown Festival.

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A Girl Preparing Fire with charcoals, just opposite Boy on Chair.

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This wall mural could be found at Ban Heang pastry shop beside Toh Soon Café.

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A Cat Prancing Upon a Rat which was part of the 101 Lost Kittens Project.

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Along the street Lebuh Armenian you could find this painting of 3 little girls with different costumes.

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The Shouting Boy.

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Two Men Pushing the Wall.

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The Trishaw Man selling Goods.

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A Lady Offering Joss Sticks on the Altar.

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Skippy the Giant Cat at Gat Lebuh Armenian.

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The Musicians.

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The Boatman.

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Brother and Sister on a Swing.

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Boy buying Soya Bean Curd.

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Kungfu Minion breaking out.

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At the intersection of Lebuh Victoria and Gat Lebuh Armenian, you would reach Ming Xiang Tai Pastry shop.

Image may contain: outdoor  “I Want Pau” street art mural depicted a boy and a girl stretching their hands from inside a window towards a parked bicycle loaded with steamed buns outside the Ming Xiang Tai Pastry shop.

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Little Children on a Bicycle street art mural painted by Ernest Zacharevic.

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Lion Dance Breaking Out of a Wall.

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Magician at Lebuh Armenian.

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This shop provides bicycle rental.

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Exploring more street art at night.

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Just checking out the wall murals could take you almost a day. By the time I finished, my shirt was drenched with sweat. So, wearing comfortable shoes and light clothing would be useful. I guess it would be tiring to remember where are each wall mural located. My take is to grab a street map which is readily available at the airport and hotels and head down to the streets to stroll at your own pace. You may be amazed by how much you could cover within a day and the best part of it is that it is free!

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Penang 70s Ice Ball

Apart from being famous for street art at Armenian Street, it is also popular with visitors who can satisfy their cravings for 70s ice ball.

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The popularity of ice ball goes back to the old school days. Over here, an ice ball sells for RM5.

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My impression of the size of an ice ball should be similar to that of a fish ball. I was wrong. I was pleasantly surprised it looked pretty huge.

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About the size of a small bowl.

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Rainbow ice cream and peanuts stuffed inside the ice ball.

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A must-try dessert in Penang!

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Khoo Kongsi

The Khoo Kongsi is a large Chinese clanhouse with elaborate and highly ornamented architecture, a mark of the dominant presence of the Chinese in Penang, Malaysia. Leong San Tong exhibits rich Southern Fujian architecture. It is found along Armenian Street, near to the Dragon Ice Ball.

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Intricate carvings everywhere on the walls, pillars, and roof.

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The entire building is covered with intricate tiled shard work, mural paintings, wood and stone carvings.

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Take a walk behind the courtyard and see the life of the locals.

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Anna & The King (starring Chow Yun-Fat as King Mongkut and Jodie Foster as Anna Leonowens), was filmed at UNESCO world heritage site Khoo Kongsi!

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Delve further inside you can find more art gallery and a small museum.

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Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi opens daily, including Sundays and Public Holidays from 9am to 5pm.

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Address: 18 Cannon Square, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

Old Coffeeshop @ Lebuh Armenian

A set of kaya toast and coffee is expensive in Singapore. Not surprising. However, there is this old coffeeshop at a corner of Lebuh Armenian Street that serves decent and wonderful toast.

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The interiors of this coffeeshop are pretty dated but customers continue to be allured by its charm.

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And this set of kaya toast and bread cost only RM2.70!

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With more to come, stay tune for the next blog post 🙂

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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.