KL & Surrounds Brickfields (Little India)
Jalan Travers to Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, KL. This short stretch facing NU Sentral is a melting pot of local Indian culture. You’ll find boutiques, salons, art galleries, markets and plenty of eateries specialising in Indian cuisine. While there is a ‘second Little India’ in Masjid India, we like the one here for the bright colours, bustling activity and tantalising aromas. What we’re not fans of: the standstill traffic. Leave the car at home and take the train to KL Sentral if you plan on exploring the area.
2 Jalan Punchak, off Jalan P Ramlee, KL (03 2020 5444 /www.menarakl.com.my). Take a tour up to the 421-metre high telecommunications and broadcasting tower for a magnificent vista of KL. The audio tour is reasonably informative, if a little dry, and the restaurant is popular among tourists despite the mediocre food. There’s also a small aquarium, an F1 Simulator, an XD Cinema (with 6D technology), a 1Malaysia Cultural Village as well as a mini zoo which houses a surprising number of exotic animals such as meerkats, bat-eared foxes and snapping turtles in well-maintained habitats. (Observation deck) Daily, 9am-10pm. Adults, RM52, Children (4-11 years old), RM31; (MyKad/MyKid holders) Adults, RM32, Children (4-11 years old), RM21. Check website for prices of other attractions.
Petronas Twin Towers
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, KL (03 2331 8080/ www.petronastwintowers.com.my). Icons of Malaysia, the tallest twin towers in the world are beacons of local culture and heritage. Check out the displays and exhibitions on the ground level before ascending to the impressive skybridge. The view is somewhat limited due to the huge towers on either side of the skybridge, but it’s actually the close-up of them that makes the experience impressive. Visitors are allocated time slots to visit the bridge, as overcrowding is inadvisable. Tue-Sun, 9am-9pm (closed from 1-2.30pm every Friday). Issuing of tickets starts from 8.30am. Adults, RM84.80, Children, RM31.80; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM26.50, Children, RM12.70.
Cable Car Station, Oriental Village, Burau Bay (04 959 4225/ www.panoramalangkawi.com). One of the top tourist attractions in Langkawi, Panorama Langkawi offers tourists an unforgettable airborne experience. Start off with the cable car ride from the base of Mat Cincang Mountain. The SkyCab travels 1,700 metres and suspends visitors 650 metres above sea level on its way to the middle station where there are viewing platforms. Venture further to the top station where you can mail your family and friends postcards from 708 metres above sea level via the SkyPos facility. As one of the world’s longest curve suspension bridges, the SkyBridge offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the untouched jungles below. A new family-friendly attraction is the SkyGlide, which allows visitors to glide through the jungle to reach the SkyBridge in less than two minutes. But those who enjoy brisk walks in the jungle can opt for the jungle trail. The sheer drop is bound to give your kids hairraising thrills. If not, there’s the 6D ride, F1 Simulator and a 3D Art Museum. SkyCab operation hours, 9.30am-7pm; School holidays, 8.30am-8pm. Adults, RM45, Children (2-12 years old), RM32; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM30, Children, RM22.
Melaka Duck Tours, Menara Taming Sari, Jalan Merdeka, Bandar Hilir (06 292 2595/ www.melakaducktours.com.my). Embark on a memorable tour of Malacca in an ‘amphibious truck’. The tour lasts approximately an hour, with the water leg taking up to 20 minutes. It’s a good way to see the city without your kids complaining of tired feet. If you’re lucky enough, you might see some dolphins swimming in the straits. Leave your baby stroller with the friendly ticketing staff who will keep an eye on it until you return. Daily, 9am-6pm. Adults, RM45, Children (1-12 years old), RM27; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM38, Children (1-12 years old), RM22, Students (aged 13-18 years), RM27.
Menara Taming Sari
Jalan Merdeka Banda Hilir, Malacca (06 281 3366/ menaratamingsari.com). This is a great way to distract the kids for an hour or two. The touristy tower offers scenic views of Malacca, but also has a bunch of attractions for the kids, including Italian bumper cars, electric scooters, the Minirider 3D, and the new Cosmos Electric Car. Each attraction is ticketed separately or can be grouped together as part of a package. The entry price also includes a snack and a bottle of water for hydration. Daily, 10am-10pm. (Tower entry alone) Adults, RM20, Children (under 12 years old), RM10; Students, RM17, (MyKad holders), RM10.
Jalan Gereja (06 333 3333/ www.perzim.gov.my). Built in 1650 by the Dutch during their rule in Malacca, this brick-red building once served as administrative quarters, but now houses the town hall and several museums, which are admittedly dry and makeshift. Also known as Red Square, it’s located smack in the centre of town and is always surrounded by festive activity. Touristy but fun trishaws congregate around the square area, offering rides around the vicinity – it’s a great way to take in the sights if you have little ones. Visit on Saturday or Sunday at 10.30am or 2.30pm to join a free guided tour of the building, but place your bookings in advance. Daily, 9am-5.30pm. Adults, RM10, Children, RM6; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM5, Children, RM3.
Pengkalan Weld, George Town. These floating settlements have been housing the descendents of Chinese immigrants since the 19th century. The Chew Jetty is known as being the most tourist-friendly, but bear in mind that these are people’s homes so don’t let the kids wander into someone’s kitchen. Enjoy the inevitable rounds of snacks and ice creams while observing the colourful boats docked in the jetty.
Ghost Museum Penang
57 Lebuh Melayu, George Town (04 261 2352 /www.facebook.com/ ghostmuseumpenang57). It’s a bit pricey for out-of-towners and not informative enough to be a museum, but this ‘haunted house’ might provide a spot of fun for the kids. There are some pretty macabre displays but if your child enjoys taking selfies, the Ghost Museum offers some unusual and hair-raising backdrops and allows for some digital buffoonery. Daily, 10am-7pm. Adults, RM28, Children, RM16; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM18, Children, RM10. Children below 7, free.
Made In Penang Interactive Museum
3 Pengkalan Weld, George Town (04 262 6119/ www.madeinpenang.my). This well-known museum attracts couples, families and kids who are down for clowning around. The museum’s walls are covered with incredible murals that create a threedimensional effect when viewed from certain angles. Stand before one of the many interactive kiosks for more visual trickery. Daily, 9am-6pm. Adults, RM15; Children, RM10; Kids shorter than ticketing counter enter for free.
Ipoh World at Hat Chin Pet Soo
3 Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street), Ipoh (www.ipohworld.org). This historical site was once the base for the Hakka Tin Miners’ Club where members could relax, chat, gamble and apparently smoke opium. Now under the care of Ipoh World, it has been turned into a museum dedicated to the story of the local miners. Make an appointment to tour the establishment for free; donations are encouraged and go towards the upkeep of the museum. Tours are informative and enjoyable for both adults and children. Tours are free by appointment: Tue-Fri, 9.30pm, 11.30am & 2.30pm; Sat-Sun and Public Holidays (except Mondays), 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm.
KM 5.5, Jalan Gopeng, Batu Gajah (05 365 3381). This mansion on a hill located 20 minutes from Ipoh by car holds a tragic tale: Once upon a time, William Kellie Smith ordered for the mansion to be built as a gift for his wife, or his son, depending on the storyteller. Influenza wiped out Kellie’s hired workers after World War I and Kellie himself died of pneumonia. The house endured years of vandalism but has been refurbished and is now a haunting (some say haunted) romantic tourist spot. Climb the tower for sweeping views of the surrounding valley, but be careful if you have younger children as there is a lack of safety railings. Researchers are currently in the process of trying to find a fourth tunnel beneath the castle that is rumoured to hold Kellie’s car. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-5.30pm. Adults, RM10, Children, RM8; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM5, Children, RM3.
Mari Mari Cultural Village
Kionsom, Inanam (016 821 5689/ marimariculturalvillage.com). At Mari Mari you can tour the traditional houses of the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Kadazan ethnic groups of Sabah. Experience ritual ceremonies and discover each tribe’s way of life. Book a tour through your hotel or a tour operator. Guided tours of the museum aside, you can also experience a traditional meal. Suit your kids up in comfortable clothing made of breathable material. (Price includes return transfer), Adults, RM165, Children, (5-11 years old) RM145; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM145, Children, (5-11 years old) RM125.
Monsopiad Cultural Village
Kampung Kuai Kandazon, Penampang (www.monsopiad.com). The Monsopiad Cultural Village solely relies on the support of tourists. It showcases Kadazandusun culture through music, cuisine, dance and other traditional customs. If you’re a history buff, you’ll be intrigued by tales of head hunting and spirit worship. The kids can still have a go at using a blow pipe, watch traditional dances and sate their curiosity by visiting the headhunter’s house and its display of skulls. Prepare for your visit by spraying on mosquito repellent. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.
North Borneo Railway
Level 2, The Magellan Sutera Resort, 1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard, Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu (08 830 8500/ www.suteraharbour.com). This nostalgic journey through paddy fields, villages and rainforests will make for an interesting morning out. The return journeys lasts about four hours: breakfast is served at the beginning of the journey while a delicious tiffin lunch is served on the way back. Before you embark on the journey, each passenger is given a passport which is stamped along the way at each stop. That ought to keep the kids occupied for some of the journey but do remember to bring some games or books in case they get bored, Train boards at 9.30am on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. Adults and children (4 years and above), RM345; Children (3 years and below), Free.
Sarawak Cultural Village
Pantai Damai, Santubong (08 284 6411/ www.scv.com.my). The Sarawak Cultural Village gives visitors a taste of the incredibly diverse Sarawakian culture. It’s 40 minutes from downtown Kuching, so plan to spend a day exploring the traditional houses and taking part in the fascinating cultural activities on offer. And if you feel that a day isn’t enough, stay over in one of the longhouses. Daily, 9am-5pm. Cultural shows: 11.30am-12.15pm & 4-4.45pm. Adults, RM63; Children (6-12 years old), RM31.50 (inclusive six percent GST); Children below 6, free.
Ghost Museum Penang