Sunday, August 6, 2017

Discovery Bay - A Different Experience Away From the Bustling Hongkong City

When we think of visiting Hongkong, we think of it as a city bustling with activities and people.

In one part of the island, there lies a place called Discovery Bay (愉景灣) where it is situated at the north-eastern coast of the Lantau island in the New Territories.

There are many expats living there and many Hkners themselves who decide to go there over the weekends for a staycation and you can see easily why.


Look at that View!!!
We live at the TungChung area so it was a rather convenient for us to go to the location using public transport.

At the Tungchung station, you turn to exit D and look out for signs and bus-stop that says "DB01R". It is fairly easy to spot once you exited the station and quickly you'll see queues piling up. 

The bus fares take HKD10 for each trip.


"DB01R" - The bus we boarded

It didn't take long before we reach the place we were looking to go. About 15 minutes at most.

The bus took a roundabout passing some of the residential development and it's an upscale development where most expats are living.




You can see huge tennis courts which means you are on the right direction!



The Discovery Bay Plaza was bustling with cafes and western shops but as we reached there in the morning, the shops are only starting to open up.

Meanwhile, we walked around the area and looked over the scenery under the hot sunny sun.

Weather forecast was at 37 degrees that day, scorching hot.

But look at those scenery, we certainly don't feel like we are in HK at all.




The shops are starting to open up one by one so we thought of having a drink to wind down the heat before moving on further.

I could seriously get used to living there and it's my perfect place for retirement in this sort of environment.






One thing diners may want to take note of is that during Monday to Friday, if you dine in for dinner exceeding HKD120, you can get a free ferry ticket which goes to Central (more on that later). For weekends, it applies to both lunch and dinner.

As we were there on the weekday unfortunately, the offer doesn't apply for us sadly.



After having our lunch, we decide to take a ferry which takes us all the way to Central instead of taking the same route back.

The ferry costs HKD40 and we can use our Octopus card to enter.





Since the weather was scorching hot, it was a huge pleasure to get inside the ferry with a blasting aircon which delight all of us.

The ferry is huge and it can take about maybe 200 passengers at one go. We love the winding down and just looking at the scenery there.




We continued our way down to the IFC mall and continue shopping....



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Marine Cove - Cycling & Playground For The Family

We seldom move around the East because it's not too convenient for us.

But when we get that chance to spend our Sunday with the family, and that comes with cycling activities, we decide to visit the popular raved Marine Cove at the East Coast Park.



I remembered back in the days when I used to frequent the old Mcdonald. It has not been renovated and rejuvenated to the brand new store and the spaces they have are HUGE. We wanted to have a breakfast there upon reaching but found that the spaces were filled with people early in the morning, so we went to the shop beside it selling local delicacy like Laksa and Toast Bread with coffee.



We wanted to cycle but we struggle to find any bicycle renting shop nearby so we wandered around and took a few photos by the beach first since the weather was still cooling in the early morning.

Oscar was raring to go right from the start, and he brought his very own green bicycle, so he was always in the lead and getting excited.




Eventually, we found a bicycle rental just 10 min to the left of the playground and me and my brother decide to have a ride for about an hour. The rental cost $8 for an hour.

They also have different types of bicycles, twins and also the families for a higher price, but it caters for families who wanted to be together and enjoy the fun. I'll do that next time with Oliver around.






The playground there was one of the highlights for the children.

They are free and spans across huge amount of spaces, though most of the activities are for the older kids which needs climbing.

I tried following that high one with Oscar and I was sweat to pieces under the hot sun. It wasn't that easy either but glad finally we manage to make it to the top.






We'll be back again next time!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fanpekka Indoor Playground - Kids Haven

Welcome to Fanpekka!!! 

This is the town that Tonttu casting his magic spells. 

Fanpekka is one of the newer indoor playground that we’ve heard very good rave reviews on. 



So we decided to try it when we head down to JB for our weekend trip. It is located at the AEON MALL Tebrau City, a very nice mall that we are impressed at. From our hotel at KSL resort, it took us about 20 minutes by cab to reach the place, which costs us about Rm30 (the driver refused to take by meter but oh well). 

The indoor playground area is hugeeee…. And we ended up playing there almost the whole day before eventually the children surrendered unwillingly to return back to the hotel. I also like that the toys are of high quality materials from Japan and it is very evident when you touch and play them. 

Admission was very reasonable at Rm55 for each child and Rm11 for each adults. We like it to be structured this way unlike the other playground like the Angry Bird or Thomas Park which charges exorbitantly for the adults too. 

Fanpekka was divided into 6 play zones: 

1.) Lasten Ocean 
2.) Lasten Castle 
3.) Role-Play Leikkimokki 
4.) Assembly Leikkimokki 
5.) Toy Corner 
6.) Workshop




Entrance

At the entrance, there's a huge chain of train awaiting where kids are able to ride at a price of Ringgit 5 for a couple of rounds. We didn't ride them but saw a couple of children riding happily.



Oscar was given a passport upon entry which he has to go through immigration for clearance :) This boy is excited everytime he is holding a passport because it means we are going away for a holiday. This certainly sounds like one.



Lasten Ocean & Lasten Castle

A huge boat with floating balls awaiting the kids to jump straight right in.

There space inside the boats are huge and can fit many children at once. Kids can also rock climb right from the side of the boat to get up there. And most importantly, the various slides down are extremely fun that the children and adults did so over and over again, nonstop throughout.

Do look out for secret areas too... shhhhh







Role Play

The Role Play section was the other section which was the highlight and we spent a lot of our time there.

This isn't exactly the same like what we have on Kidzania because that caters to the older kids but this one is designed in a classic manner where kids are able to put on various uniform to role play. They have the firemen, postman, chef, florist, butcher and pizzaman.

What we are also impressed at is the quality of the materials they are using and they are all of a high quality. We vetted that it is made in Japan!






Workshop

The workshop area is another one which was extremely popular with the kids.

At first, we didn't know what was that until my wife came to find out what it actually is. You can actually build a house from scratch and there are many various "houses" that you can build. 

Ours was a school that we picked and after we build our house, we've done up the house with some pretty accessories like flower pots, slides and some toys and chairs. This was pretty fun.









Fanpekka Cafe

There is a cafe which we can access from the playground inside which is really nice given that we were famished and would like to take a break in between.

The cafe serves very delicious food from Western, Indian and the local cuisine, at a very affordable pricing.





Overall, we love the place and would be back when Oliver is slightly older like his brother so he could join in much of the fun :)

If you have not been there, you should try it. Kids will love them.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Taman Safari Bogor Indonesia - Daytrip with Children - Part 2

This is a continuation from the previous part 1 which I wrote here.

We get to the main entrance area at about noon time, and soon it was time for lunch.

The weather was great, it was cooling and the hospitality was warm. Lunch was really good and it was affordable. They didn't quite set it up to make it expensive like other attractions which did so.




After lunch, we went to the zoo area by foot.

It was set up in an enclosed setting where we need to move around quite up and down, and there were a few parts where the enclosed area was completely dark and you can see the night owl. Small children and elderly adults might have difficulties navigating the area with ease.

But so far so good for us, no problem much navigating as I had to carry my boy in the dark area.






We saw plenty of animals here.

The buaya was local and they were mostly on land, sleeping. Buaya is nothing but an alligator that you see most around.

There were also animals like horses, elephants or camels where you can pet, feed or ride on them for a small fee. I am not a big fan of riding on animals so we just did mostly on the feeding.

Then there was the Orang Utan where they kept raising their hands asking for food to feed them. It was funny because they seem to know people are coming. Hello there Orang Utan!









We also went for a few shows and we had to move and plan for our time carefully because we couldn't obviously watch a lot of them with the crowd and also we had to time for our going back at around evening.




The first show we watched was the elephant show which was held in an open area setting.

I personally quite like the elephant show on this one as compared to the one in Singapore as there are a lot more interaction with the elephants and also storyline back on how the Himalaya elephants were being tortured and hunted for their trunks.

The elephants also did a great work drawing with their trunks and they managed to raise a sum of money for donation purpose. It was great.




Next, we proceeded to watch the bird show.

The bird show was very interesting for me because it was set up in an open setting and they showed where the bird lives on their nest and how the eagle would hunt for their prey. The fact that the birds flew around in an open setting makes it even more real and it was a great sight to behold.




We also watched the sealion show which was pretty standard and typical.



The main highlight of the show was the tiger show.

I can't recall any zoo in other parts of the world where they had the tiger show so we were excited what's to come, especially since Oscar was really looking forward to seeing the tiger moves around.

The show started brilliantly when the tiger came out and quickly jump onto the tree to hunt the meat.

We were awed by it and at some point a bit afraid as the tiger might just jump from the tree to the audience area and as you can see the cage wasn't high enough. But I think it was fine as the tigers were all well trained.

There were several tigers that were on stage throughout the duration and both the white and Himalayan tiger were all introduced.




Overall, I think it's a great family day out activities and the kids were excited and tired by the time we left for the day.

If you are around the area, I think it makes a great case to visit, especially if you have children.