Friday 7 June 2024

Ipoh-Cherating Day 1: Arrival at Ipoh Homestay

Our family of 5 adults, 3 teens and 4 kids love going on road trips in Malaysia together! We went to Ipoh, Genting, Port Dickson & Melaka in 2022 and Kuala Lumpur in 2023!

This year, our 10D9N itinerary was as follows:

Singapore >> Ipoh (Cameron Highlands day trip) >> Club Med Cherating Beach >> Desaru >> Johor Bahru >> Singapore

We agreed to meet at 5.30am so that we can cross the causeway early. However, I barely slept the night before as the Littlest had woken me up at 1am and I had trouble returning to sleep after waking up. By the time I was finally in dreamland, it was time to wake up! I was so exhausted! 🐼😡

We loaded our boot with all our luggage and piled into the car. Thankfully, we managed to clear customs very quickly as there was no queue at the Tuas Checkpoint!

We headed straight to Restoran Dim Sum Jinbo for breakfast. The journey there was surprisingly fast as there were no road works or traffic jams! We arrived at around 8.30am 😁

Restoran Dim Sum Jinbo address:
89 & 88, Jln MPK 2, Taman Bukit Kepayang, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan

We ordered a variety of dim sum to try and enjoyed the food! πŸ˜‹

We finished our breakfast and continued our journey. Seremban was a good pitstop as it was the halfway point of our route to Ipoh and Jinbo was located right next to the expressway (for easy exit and entry)!

Traffic to Ipoh was smoother than expected and we arrived at 1pm, earlier than planned! We had lunch at our favourite Tuck Kee Restaurant.

Tuck Kee Restaurant address:
1-3, Jalan King, Jalan Pasir Pinji, 31650 Ipoh, Perak

As we were not that hungry, we only ordered the restaurant's famous dishes: bean sprouts, roast duck and roast pork belly.



The food was delicious! Love the roast meat at Ipoh! πŸ˜‹ 

During lunch, our accommodation host, VERVE management, Whatsapp me with the details of our check-in. As we could only check in at 3pm but we had finished lunch before 2pm, we stopped by Jaya Grocer at Ipoh Parade for groceries.

After shopping, we headed to the 5-bedroom landed house we had booked via Agoda because our previous accommodation at Octagon (also managed by VERVE) was not available. The 1-storey, 2000 square metres house cost about $240 per night, which was value-for-money!

We arrived at a white house with grey trimmings and classy black gates. The huge front yard could easily fit both our MPVs, with room to spare! Having ample parking space for both cars was a key consideration for choosing this accommodation.

The check-in process was easy as VERVE provided clear instructions on how to retrieve the remote for the gate and unlock/lock the main door's automatic lock.

The sofa in the living room was huge and comfortable; it was extremely popular with the kids every evening.

There were 3 bedrooms in the main house and 2 bedrooms in the annex next to the courtyard. Each room had at least 1 queen bed and some had additional mattresses to accommodate more people.


The 3 rooms in the main house had sheets that didn't feel clean to us. Some of us resorted to covering the sheets with our own clothes/towels in order to sleep.

The main house also had 2 toilets side by side, which was unique and really useful for our large family!

The full-sized pool table was placed outside the 2 toilets, next to sliding doors that led out to the courtyard.

The 2 bedrooms at the annex in the courtyard were accessed through sliding doors. Both rooms shared 1 toilet, which was convenient.


Surprisingly, the bedsheets in both rooms of the annex were clean and we generally had no issues, other than the loud whishing from the airconditioners (thankfully it didn't bother us). 

The kitchen was not as well-stocked as the house in Blue Mountain, and the utensils and sponges were very old. We were prepared for this as seasoned travellers, and brought our own sponges, cloths and rubbish bags! πŸ˜€ The saving grace of the kitchen was the water dispenser and working washing machine (which we used every night to wash our clothes)!


The key highlight of this house was definitely the relatively large private pool in the courtyard!

After we had settled in, the adults headed out to buy dinner back for the family. I stayed behind to watch the little kids swim while the Eldest Girl took a nap.


The kids were extra rowdy that day and I had to shout more than usual to ensure their safety. I had to constantly separate fights or make sure no one did anything dangerous like running on wet tiles. By the end of the afternoon, it became clear that I have lost my voice from all the yelling! πŸ˜­πŸ˜–πŸ˜«

It was so hot that I soon joined the little kids in the pool while my older nephews played at the pool table!

Obviously the pool table was hit with the Dads and older teens! They played every morning and night! 🀭

The other adults finally returned after getting our dinner from Ipoh Restoran Tuck Kee (address: 61, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak) and Funny Mountain Soya Beancurd. We had dinner and chatted about our plans for the next day.

I was so sure that I would retire early for the night after I got my Littlest to sleep. However, I ended up sleeping later than expected as I had to hang the laundry! πŸ˜…

When my head finally hit my pillow, I slept soundly 😴 It had been a long day!


Continue to >> Ipoh-Cherating Day 2-3: Cameron Highlands Boh Tea & Ipoh Parade

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Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on road trips in Malaysia 
as well as other travel itineraries


You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)

Friday 31 May 2024

KidzWorld at the Singapore Zoo

On the last day of May this year, I brought the kids and Cousin E to the Singapore Zoo as I managed to ballot for my organisation's corporate pass. My kids have not been to the new KidzWorld since it opened and I've been wanting to check it out.


We passed many enclosures before arriving at KidzWorld, the furthest from the entrance.


The younger kids were super excited to play at the playground!


I shouted excitedly to the kids that we should go to Animal Land and pet the goats!


The 2 youngest were the only ones who didn't dare to pet the goats! They were only willing to take photos with them.



The goats were very tame! My boy had the most fun petting them!

We also explored the other areas of the petting zoo.




We found the petting zoo small and not as good as other zoos we've visited such as Sydney Zoo (2023), Bali Safari & Marine Park (2022) and Lost World of Tambun (2022). The animal interactions at the Animal Buddies Theatre were also disappointing. There was only one rabbit during the rabbit interaction session and all the kids had to queue to pet it for less than a minute.


It soon got so hot that we brought the kids to the water playground to cool down!



Kids had a lot of fun splashing in the water! At around 1.15pm, my stomach started growling and I rounded up the kids for lunch. Knowing that they would want to continue playing in the water later that afternoon, I dried them with a towel and didn't change them. We had lunch at KidzWorld Cafe, where the food was acceptable, not impressive.

The Animal Friends Presentation show was about to start at 2pm so we headed to the theatre.



Honestly, the show was very boring, especially for the older kids and adults! Although the golden retriever, goats and other domestic animals were very cute, they were not enough to make an interesting show in my opinion.

The kids returned to the water playground and played until 3pm. We washed up at the shower facilities nearby as they were spacious and convenient. If I had known the facilities were so good I would have brought a change of clothes and toiletries because my clothes were soaked with sweat! Thankfully I brought a t-shirt to change!

We walked back to the entrance, passing by many animals along the way.


Although the skies threatened to rain in the morning, we had very good weather the whole time that we were there! Thank God πŸ˜€

The 2 little kids had fun but the older kids and adults were mostly bored because we've probably visited the zoo way too many times! 🀣

Don't think we'll be back, not unless we're visiting the new Bird's Paradise! πŸ˜„


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This post is part of my MadPsychMum Fun in Singapore Guide to all things exciting for kids! 
Check out other fun playgrounds and attractions in Singapore! =)


You can also follow us on Instagram or join us by using our hashtag #mpmfuninsg!

Monday 6 May 2024

Dubai Day 7: Mall of Emirates, Flight Home & My Reflections

The weather was beautiful again this morning and we had breakfast at LIV restaurant (details in my previous post). There were a lot more people at breakfast today than the day before! 

It's our last day in Dubai! We're so going to miss the sun, sand and sea! We took some photos at the balcony for memories! ☺️

Obviously we couldn't check out until we've had one last swim at the beach and pool! πŸ˜„

The Littlest was super upset when we finally checked out! She said she'd really miss all the hotels we've stayed in here in Dubai! πŸ₯ΉπŸ₯Ί

The concierge helped us to call for a taxi, which took us to the Mall of Emirates.

It was a huge mall with many shops including the biggest Carrefour we've ever seen! πŸ˜€

We had a simple lunch at the food court as we weren't very hungry.

After lunch, we walked around the mall and discovered one of my favourite shops, Flying Tiger Copenhagen! It brought back lovely memories of my first trip to London when I first discovered one of their outlets.

I bought so many things that we almost didn't have enough bags to contain them! 🀣

We soon got tired of lugging our luggage and bags of shopping through the mall and decided to catch a taxi earlier than planned  to Dubai International Airport. Thank God we did as there was a long wait at the taxi stand! We finally left the mall at around 4.30pm and arrived at Terminal 1 at around 5.15pm due to heavy traffic.

After checking in our bags, we took the airport train to our gate.


We spotted the VAT Refund counter and joined the queue to get our tax refund.

As we had some time to spare, we bought last minute souvenirs and ate snacks at McDonald's while waiting for our flight.



Coincidentally, our Singapore Airlines plane had just landed and we spotted it taxiing from the window of our table!

We ordered a Signature burger, McWings and a Happy Meal.


The Littlest loved her toy! They also served banana instead of fries/apple slices with the Happy Meal! Very interesting πŸ˜„

Once we were done with our food, we walked to our gate and waited for about 15 minutes before the boarding announcements began. We waited until we were among the last to board the plane (as is our usual practice). Not long after we had settled in our seats, our flight departed on time at 7.50pm.

The Littlest was given children's headphones and a new Disney activity pack! They were so cute that I may or may not have taken some for myself... 🀫🀭 

Once we were safely in the air, dinner was served! Personally felt the food was not as good as the flight to Dubai.


After dinner, the Littlest watched some movies before falling asleep on her seat with her legs stretched out on her Stokke Jetkids Bedbox. As it was a red-eyed flight, she had such a good sleep that she didn't even wake up when they served breakfast! I was thrilled! 😁 

We finally arrived at Singapore Changi Terminal 1 at 7.30am, after about 8 hours on the plane. So happy to be home! πŸ˜„ 


My Reflections

Dubai is honestly the land of multiple Guinness World Records! And I was so glad to have visited many of them:

Dubai is a multicultural city, with people of different nationalities and cultures living and working together. When we walk the streets of Dubai, no one really looks at you like you're a foreigner! Which was interesting to me because I often felt like a foreigner whenever I visited countries like Japan or USA. People knew you didn't belong there! This wasn't the case in Dubai, which I really appreciated! πŸ˜€

We've also enjoyed the warm hospitality and delicious Mediterranean food! We had a great time and are already planning the next trip #truestory 🀭 Can't wait to visit again! πŸ˜„


Meantime, here are some attractions we didn't visit, for your consideration:


<< Back to Dubai Day 6: Nakheel Mall, Palm Monorail & More Swimming

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Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
as well as other travel itineraries!


Please also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels!
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