Monday, 23 October 2017

Registering Thumbprints for Your Child's Passport

If you're a Singaporean or Singapore PR, you would have used the Enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (e-IACS) at the various checkpoints when travelling in and out of Singapore. It's basically the self-clearance gates that allow you to scan your passport and thumb print yourself without having to queue at the immigration officer counters.

This convenience is not available for parents with young kids like us because the automatic gates do not recognise the child's fingerprints. Hence, we have to queue with everyone else, which has increased our queuing time by more than double.

However, the good news is, kids can register their fingerprints at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) once they turn 7 years old. After your child has registered their fingerprints, they will be able to use the e-IACS as well.

The girl is very excited that she is finally eligible to go through the automated gates! =)

Here's sharing some tips on how to do this based on my personal experience:

1) Wait for your child to turn 7 SIX years old
Your child must reach his/her 76th birthday before you are able to register his/her fingerprints.

Update: I recently found out that the minimum age is 6 years old even though I was told by an ICA officer that it was 7 years old in the past. Perhaps they have changed their policy over time and I wasn't informed. 

2) Book an appointment online
I tried to Google to find out how to do it but I couldn't find much information on the ICA website as the FAQs mainly focused on passport creation and collection. I made a trip down to ICA to try my luck and learned that they only accepted appointments made online.

The officer showed me how to do it and I'm sharing the steps here in case any of you need help like I did, so as to save you a wasted trip down =)

Step 1: Go to the ICA website here

Step 2: Click on the sidebar and click on "Check Status/Make Appointment" >> "Make an appointment" >> "Book/cancel/change appointment". You will be directed to the e-appointment website.

Step 3: Click on "Visitor" >> "Application for e-IACS"

Step 4: Choose your type of identification and input your identification number. Click submit when you are done.

Step 5: Click your preferred date on the calendar and you're done!

3) Bring your child down to ICA, Level 4
Arrive at ICA about 15 minutes before your appointment time. Don't be late otherwise your waiting time might be increased.

When you're there, head to the Foreign Visitors Service Counter and show them your appointment and your child's passport. They will proceed to give you a queue number and the counter where you will be served.

Although it says Foreign Visitors Service Counter, this is where we need to queue as well because they've only got one customer service counter

The queue can be quite long so do factor this into your planning.

4) Register your child's thumb print
Our queue number was called almost immediately. The officer handled everything necessary for registering my girl's thumb prints and we were done 10 minutes later.

I really love and appreciate how fast and efficient ICA is!

So there you have it! Hope that this would be helpful for those of you who are thinking of doing the same for your child =)

Monday, 4 September 2017

KL-JB Day 3-4: Hello Kitty Room & Thomas Town

We drove from Kuala Lumpur back to Johor Bahru and made a stop at Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour. We chose to stay one night there as they had Hello Kitty themed rooms!

You know how much I love themed rooms right? We've stayed at Legoland Hotel and the Beauty & The Beast room at Tokyo Disneyland! And much as I hate to admit it, everyone around me has observed that I'm really a closet Hello Kitty fan (*laughs*). Gotta admit that she's really cute!

Left: Riding their kick scooters to the room;
Right: The very cute room key card! Wish they allowed us to keep it like they do at Disneyland... 

There are 3 designs of Sailor Hello Kitty rooms, 3 Hello Kitty in Oz rooms and 4 Hello Kitty Pink Series rooms. Being the pink lover that I am, of course I wanted the pink rooms! Unfortunately, we could only state our preferences but were not guaranteed the design of room that we'll get as it's based on availability.

The symbol on your room door number will give you a hint of the design of room that you got. Can you guess ours?

Phototaking at the corridors of the Hello Kitty themed rooms

Yup we got the Hello Kitty in Oz room! The hubby was super happy that he did not have to stare at pink all day 🤣

Hello Kitty in Oz themed room! 

We booked the Deluxe Theme Double Bed for 3 Adults (with breakfast) and added a baby cot. It was a tight squeeze but we managed to fit all 5 of us comfortably. The room cost us SGD 347.49, which wasn't cheap but considering that we got breakfast for 5 and 2 Two-Park Admission tickets to Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town (worth MYR 125/ SGD 41 each), it wasn't so bad.

Love the cushions and decorations on the wall! So pretty!
The sofa that was converted into a bed

The TV console was also decorated in Hello Kitty in Oz
Decent size bathroom
Cute Hello Kitty decorations on the wall, counter top and the towels!
Each room is also given a really cute goodies bag filled with awesome Hello Kitty stuff! Super duper cute!

We checked out the pool located in the same building. I liked that the jacuzzi pool was so warm and nice.

The rooftop pool
Me and my two beloved babies

The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel's restaurant. The spread was pretty decent and the food was not too bad.

Breakfast buffet

After breakfast, we crossed over to Little Big Club to visit Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town.

This way to Thomas Town & Hello Kitty Town

We've been to Hello Kitty Town previously but have never been to Thomas Town so we were really excited. It's more worth it to get the Two Park Pass at MR 125 than single park admission ticket at MYR 85.

The kids were so excited to visit both Hello Kitty Town & Thomas Town! 

As usual, we started with Sanrio Hello Kitty Town located at the 2nd level.

Love this mural on the wall! 
On the Hello Kitty teacup

Since we had done all the activities at the Wishful Studios the last time, we decided that we would only do our favourite ones this time (please see my last post for a list of all the activities that you can do!). Now that my boy is almost 4 years old, he can truly appreciate the activities and remember the experience!

Decorating Hello Kitty cookies
Decorating paper bags
Designing our own pins
Our different pin designs! 

There are plenty of photo opportunities here and there's good lighting so take as many photos as you want! 😊

A family photo at Hello Kitty's House
Hello Kitty in Oz
My favourite photo of the trip!
We FINALLY got to take pictures with Dear Daniel &
Hello Kitty! 😄
With the kids at the My Melody Hello Kitty photo standee outside Hello Kitty Town
There's the Bad Badtz-Maru photo standee for those of you who are not so crazy about pink

We proceeded up to the 4th level to visit Thomas Town next.

With Thomas himself!
Checking out the Map of Thomas Town as it was our first time there

We were really hungry so we had lunch at the Mc Bunn Cafe.

This set comes with a Thomas toy!! My boy loves it!

After lunch, the kids and I ran excitedly to ride the rides! Unlike Hello Kitty Town, there were a lot more rides at Thomas Town! 😁

Thomas Town
The kids love riding Bertie The Bus so much that they went again and again!
Harold's Helitours Ride
Windmill Ride
It was cheap thrill riding this but the kids loved it and went on it at least 4 times

We also had fun at the bumper cars although I don't have any photos!

A visit to Thomas Town is not complete without a ride on Thomas the Train himself!

Knapford Station Thomas Train Ride
The kids managed to get into Thomas' "head"! =)
Excitedly peeking out
The train circles the Sodor Playground
Sodor Playground

It's not easy to navigate this playground as an adult. I think if you are slightly rounder, you'll probably get stuck halfway! But I managed to squeeze through and found myself in the heart of the playground with three trains staring at us!

It is a nice back drop for a photo but younger kids will probably be freaked out!

The Thomas Town ticket also includes entry to the 3rd level where Barney, Bob the Builder and Pingu are.

Barney playground for younger kids
Pingu themed arcade
Riding the sled outside
Bob the Builder playground
The kids really enjoyed this playground especially the enormous ball pit

There's a lot more activities to do at Thomas Town so I do suggest that you get the 2 Park Pass and spend the whole day at both parks. The kids will have a blast!

We ended the day with a Thomas and friends live performance at the stage.

Thomas and friends live performance

With that, we ended our short weekend getaway to Malaysia. This is not our first and definitely won't be our last! We'll be back!

<< Back to KL-JB Day 1-2: Kidzania Kuala Lumpur & Royale Ice Skating Rink


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on different cities in Malaysia
as well as other travel itineraries!

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

KL-JB Day 1-2: Kidzania Kuala Lumpur & Royale Ice Skating

It was Hari Raya Haji so we made the decision to wake up super early at 5am and hustled everyone out of the house by 5.30am. Although it left us really tired, it was the best decision ever! By the time we arrived at Royale Chulan Damansara at 11.30am, we found out that the jam on Tuas 2nd Link was at least 4 hours long! *whew*

We had stayed at the Royal Chulan Damansara previously and love its close proximity to Kidzania KL and The Curve shopping mall (you can read more about the kid-friendly features of the mall here).

We were previously upgraded to the Club Room (see photos of the Club Room in my previous post) because the hotel ran out of deluxe rooms; however, we were not allowed to use the Club facilities. Hence, we decided to book it this time so that we can check out the Club Lounge.

The Club Lounge was pretty amazing, let me tell you. Of course it was no match for our favourite Club Lounge at Cordis Hong Kong but it's a close second. Just like Cordis, food is served from morning till evening and there is free flow of alcohol and certain drinks. I really love their quiche and desserts. The macarons were so good!

Dining at the Club Lounge

Unfortunately, unlike Cordis, kids under 12 years old are NOT allowed in the Club Lounge (it's the same rule for some hotels in Singapore as well). The 3 of us adults had to take turns to go to the Club Lounge and I had to "smuggle" some food for my kids *shhhhh* 

Although we were already full from the food at the Club Lounge, we decided to have our dinner at the famous Fei Fei Crab restaurant.

Fei Fei Crab restaurant
Their pork rib was so good!
Part of what we ate

The food was so good that I forgot to take more pictures after that! We will definitely be back!


The next day, the kids and I headed to Kidzania Kuala Lumpur straight after breakfast. The girl and I have been to Kidzania Singapore but this is a first for the boy.

The iconic plane greets us as we check in
Queuing to get our boarding passes

There are 3 reasons for visiting Kidzania Kuala Lumpur:
  1. 1/3 the price of Singapore - Kids 4-17 MYR 76.50, adults and toddlers MYR 36.90! 
  2. To get more stamps for our B.Kidzanian CitiZen PaZZport, which is a rewards programme that allows kids to earn more Kidzos for each job.
  3. To introduce the boy to the world of Kidzania without feeling the pinch because it's cheaper *laughs*

And since the boy is not 4 years old yet, we only paid the toddler rate, which was so worth it considering he did 75% of the jobs that his sister did. Kidzania KL was also having a promotion for the B.Kidzanian CitiZen PaZZport at only MYR 33 (usual MYR 38), which was far cheaper than the SGD 22 I spent on my girl's PaZZport. Of course I had to get one for the boy! =D

Inside Kidzania Kuala Lumpur

The rules of Kidzania apply to all Kidzanias in the world so if you're new to Kidzania, do read my previous post for more information.

There are many jobs that the kids can role play in Kidzania KL. Here are those that my kids chose:

Pilot @ Air Asia Pilot Training Facility
This is one of the more popular jobs at Kidzania KL that requires you to queue to get a queue sticker with a time for you to come back to do the activity (much like Disneyland's FASTPASS). It is highly recommended that this be the first stop for your kids otherwise the waiting time can be as long as 60 minutes if you go too late!

Queuing up to go into the airplane
Parents can watch their kids via the television outside

This was the boy's first job so I was admittedly nervous that he will refuse to do it. The sister told me that he did tear when he saw that they were alone without me. However, I guess the excitement of being in a real plane took over and he really enjoyed himself!

Spot my boy in his uniform walking past the corkpits
Taken by the official photographer. Love this photo of him! *swoon*

If you're observant like me, you'd notice that his plane did crash but well, he said he had fun and I guess that's all that matters =D

Surgeon @ Gleneagles Hospital
There are 4 jobs that you can do at the hospital: surgeon, nursery doctor, nurse and a radiologist/radiographer (can't remember). The girl wanted to be a surgeon.

In the operating theatre with other little surgeons
Learning with a life-size human body
I got the key chain of her as a surgeon as well! Super cute!

The boy didn't get to do this job because I was busy with him at the Baby Care Room. He probably wouldn't like it anyway (the open stomach of a human body may scare him).

Burger Maker @ McDonald's 
This is another very popular job that requires a queue sticker. I highly recommend queuing for this job before 11am as the queue can accumulate to 20 kids by the time it's lunch and everyone gets hungry. I made my kids queue for this immediately after we got the queue sticker for the Pilot training (you can collect up to 2 stickers).

Mini size McDonald's kitchen
Excited to get started with the activity! 
Putting the sauce on the bun;
The boy required some assistance but was able to do it.
Enjoying their fries and burgers

The kids really love this activity! Definitely highly recommended!

Cashier @ Z-Mart
The boy was exhausted and insisted to take his nap (that's the way it is with little ones) hence, the girl continued on her own. She initially wanted to be a customer but I told her customers don't earn Kidzos. She finally relented after much persuasion from me! *laughs* 

Z-Mart supermarket
Learning how to scan items
Looking very pro

She had fun at the end =)

Customer/Beautician @ Kurlz Beauty Salon

Kurlz, a Kidzania beauty salon

The girl wanted to be a customer at Kurlz but we didn't have time. It's definitely one of those jobs we'll just have to come back to do.

DJ @ Radio Station FlyFm

FlyFm Radio Station
Reading from the script

The girls were shy so I could barely hear their voices from the speakers outside. My girl had fun speaking into the microphone and hearing her own voice in the earphones.

Electrician @ Electric Company 
This job is really unassuming and the poor guy actually stood outside with nothing to do until I forced compelled the girl to try it. The other girls only joined in later on when they saw my girl inside.

The only electrician at first
Learning about how electricity is generated
Heading out to fix an electrical fault

This job actually requires one of the kids to climb up and fix the switch while the rest helped. Really cool =)

Car Designer @ Volvo Car Dealership

At the Volvo Driving Centre
She said she designed a car that looks like our Subaru Forester

Simple and fun activity for easy moneyKidzos.

Pastry Chef @ Cooking School

Learning to bake pastries

She expected it to be like Soup Spoon at Kidzania Singapore but it was nothing like it! Ah well.

Mayor @ The Mayor Office

Playing an app to be mayor for 10 minutes

My boy woke up in time for this job but he was definitely too young for it! He was playing a fool most of the time, distracting his sister and disrupting the rest of the class! This is definitely more suitable for older kids, who got to learn the responsibilities of being a mayor.

Recycling officers @ Recycling Centre

The rest of the kids were listening attentively to the instructions except my boy

Initially my girl wasn't interested and only took on this job because there was no queue (again, easy moneyKidzos! *laughs*). But we later realised that the job also entailed collecting recycling bags from various establishments. That was unexpected and pretty fun for the kids.

Artist @ Stabile Design Studio

Artists hard at work at the Stabile Design Studio

I was really glad to see that my boy was able to sit and complete the craft for at least 20 minutes before deciding that he has had enough. Definitely an activity that is suitable for younger kids.

Delivery personnel @ Poslaju National Courier
By this time, the boy had already done quite a few jobs, was tired and therefore started to be cranky. He initially refused to take on this job until he saw his sister push the cart full of boxes. That piqued his interest and changed his mind.

Pushing the delivery cart while his sister figures out which shop to go to deliver what.
True to the spirit of Kidzania, I tried my best not to help. 
The brother was in charge of the heavy lifting while the sister was the one getting the signatures. So cute! 

I was really proud of them! Such good team effort =)

Special activities that can earn Kidzos

Trying her hand at mini golf

As it was the season of the SEA games, Kidzania was also full of sporting activities to encourage the kids to be active. The kids took part in basketball, mini golf and archery. You don't earn chops for your PaZZport but you do get Kidzos =)

Doctor/Patient @ Gleneagles Accident & Emergency
The kids' last job for the day would be at the A&E because we managed to get in the queue for the second last group of the day.

My girl dressed as a doctor and listening to the training

Both doctors and patients get to earn the same amount of Kidzos so I volunteered the boy to be the patient since no one else wanted to be the patient. Big mistake, because my boy was separated from his sister and left alone at the back of the room (behind the pink divider). Unable to see me or his sister, he started to freak out. The last straw came when they tried to put red powder on him to mimic a bruise but he thought it was real and cried uncontrollably for me!

Since they couldn't find another patient as still no one else wanted to be one, the Kidzania Zupervisors had no choice but to hope that I was able to calm him enough to continue the role play. They asked me to bring him to the cinema area where he is supposed to be injured and the doctors are supposed to treat him. We waited for the ambulance to arrive and I crossed my fingers that he wouldn't fuss.

Arrival of the ambulance! 

He consented to allowing his arm to be bandaged only because I was carrying him. However, he simply refused to lie on the stretcher in the ambulance! In the end, another "doctor" had to take his place! Super hilarious!

Getting on the ambulance but refusing to lie on the stretcher
At least the poor boy managed to ride the ambulance! 

Once we had completed the job, I knew that it was time to go. It was only 1 hour to closing anyway!

There are over 70 jobs so there's no way we can finish them all in one visit. We'll definitely come back again since the kids had so much fun! =)

The girl really wanted to try ice-skating at the Royale Ice Skating Rink at our hotel but we were too tired to do it after Kidzania (it was crazy of me to even consider it!). I ended up bringing her the next day after breakfast.

Royale Ice Skating Rink

It wasn't as easy as it looks, as my girl soon found out. I'm proud of her for not giving up and to keep trying until she could go from one end to the other without falling.

Venturing to the other end of the rink on her own

I didn't join her this time as I didn't bring along pants (not going to wear shorts and risk scraping my knee if I fell!). Will probably join her the next time.

Anyway, if you heading to the Mutiara Damansara area in KL, there is really lots to do here for kids! I think it's worth making a trip up =)

Continue to >> KL-JB Day 3-4: Hotel Jen Hello Kitty Room, Hello Kitty & Thomas Town


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on different cities in Malaysia
as well as other travel itineraries!

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