Travel

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Contents -

Long-week­end des­ti­na­tions filled with fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties

Be­ing blessed with co­pi­ous pub­lic hol­i­days means if you plan in ad­vance, you’ll have the op­por­tu­nity to em­bark on short trips to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries or ex­plore your own back­yard of Malaysia. By the TOM Kids team

Ta­man Ne­gara

Em­bark­ing on a jun­gle ad­ven­ture to Ta­man Ne­gara ( taman­negara.

asia), the sprawl­ing 4,343 sq km na­tional park spread across three states – Ke­lan­tan, Tereng­ganu and Pa­hang – is a must-do for ad­ven­tur­ous fam­i­lies who rel­ish the out­doors. A jun­gle ex­pe­ri­ence like this will not only be big fun but im­bue the kids with a deep re­spect for Mother Na­ture, es­pe­cially when you con­sider that it’s over 130 mil­lion years old.

A wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties caters to kids of all ages, from slow and easy jun­gle trekking to heart-stop­ping rides through the rapids on the choppy wa­ters of Sun­gai Tem­bel­ing. Visit an abo­rig­ine set­tle­ment to try your hand at ‘hunt­ing’ with a tra­di­tional blow pipe or stop by Ke­lah Sanc­tu­ary to feed and ob­serve large schools of fresh­wa­ter fish. Whether you’re traips­ing on swing­ing canopy walk­ways or stand­ing un­der the shock­ingly cold wa­ters of the Four Step Wa­ter­fall, your col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ences will prove more pre­cious than phys­i­cal sou­venirs.

Where ac­com­mo­da­tion is con­cerned, stay­ing at Mu­tiara Ta­man Ne­gara Re­sort ( mu­tiarata­man­negara.com) will save you time and en­ergy since it’s the only re­sort lo­cated within the park. That be­ing said, count­less mid-range ho­tels and bud­get bed-and-break­fasts can be found in Kuala Ta­han at lower prices. Get­ting there Ta­man Ne­gara is ac­ces­si­ble via pub­lic trans­port, shut­tle bus, van or car. Visit taman­negara.asia for more in­for­ma­tion.

Kota Kin­a­balu

Kota Kin­a­balu, or KK as it’s af­fec­tion­ately known, is a de­light­ful coastal city rich in his­tory, and fas­ci­nat­ing in­dige­nous cul­ture and tra­di­tion. A 1.5 hour drive away from the city is the Kin­a­balu Na­tional Park and while you prob­a­bly won’t be climb­ing Mount Kin­a­balu, there are still plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties for the kids in the vicin­ity such as na­ture walks or even fun farm tours at the Desa Cat­tle Dairy Farm ( fb.com/de­sadairy­farmkun­dasang), where it’s oddly rem­i­nis­cent of an alpine scene com­plete with Friesian cows.

An easy 30-minute drive from KK is the Mari Mari Cul­tural Vil­lage ( mari­mar­i­cul­tur­alvil­lage.com) where five main tribes of Sabah – the Dusun, Run­gus, Lun­dayen, Ba­jau and Mu­rut – are rep­re­sented. Here you can get an in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence and more than a glimpse into the tribe’s cul­ture and tra­di­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. Taste tra­di­tional wine and foods and try your hand at play­ing the Mu­rut warrior pipe.

Also, don’t for­get to take some time to visit the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park houses orang­utans along with other ex­otic animals in a zoo en­vi­ron­ment. Al­ter­na­tively take a full day tour to the San­dakan Sepi­lok Orang­utan re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre ( sepi­lokjun­glere­sort.com), which is a great way to see orang­utans in their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

Get­ting there Air Asia and Malindo of­fer sev­eral flights daily from KLIA.

Kuan­tan

Kuan­tan usu­ally reg­is­ters on most itin­er­ar­ies as a pit stop between long hauls of trav­el­ling. Its lo­ca­tion and easy ac­cess (a 2.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur) also make it an easy week­end trip. Take a day trip away from the com­mo­tion of the city and go to Kuala Gan­dah Ele­phant Sanc­tu­ary to feed and bathe the ele­phants, and sup­port the good work they do re­lo­cat­ing and re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing ele­phants.

A trip to the East Coast wouldn’t be com­plete with­out a blow-out lo­cal seafood din­ner. Ana Ikan Bakar Pe­tai spe­cialises in fish char-grilled with sam­bal

pe­tai (chilli paste with stink beans) wrapped in ba­nana leaves – what you’ll get is a beau­ti­ful mess of ikan bakar.

Of course, if you go to Kuan­tan you’ll have to go to the beach too. Head to Teluk Cempedak, which is very pop­u­lar with lo­cals and vis­i­tors, and a great spot to un­wind and take a quick dip in the South China Sea. There’s a board­walk with scenic views con­nect­ing Teluk Cempedak to Teluk Tongkang, a cove more suit­able for cam­pers. If you’re will­ing to go fur­ther, Cher­at­ing is ap­prox­i­mately 60km away where you can try surf­ing, treat your­self to Club Med Cher­at­ing ( clubmed.com.my), or just check into a beach hut and chill out while the kids run wild on the beach. Get­ting there Fire­fly of­fers sev­eral flights daily from KLIA. There are also ex­press buses ( bu­son­li­net­icket.com) from KL to Kuan­tan every hour. Driv­ing takes ap­prox­i­mately 2.5 hours via the Karak High­way and East Coast Ex­press­way.

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