Hiking Broga Hill, Sunrise and Sunset with my boy

Hiking Broga Hill is on my wishlist (browse our Gunung hiking adventures here or Instagram #skbHiking), and to climb it with Boon Yee is a bonus. What Fun we had over 2D2N ! (photos link at end of this blog post).

Hiking Broga Hill
Hiking Broga Hill

The night before, I took no3 on a Father Son trip up North. Following tradition, one on one trip allowed me to bond and understand an individual “child” better, compared to a whole family outing.

The child cannot avoid me :p

(Read about Wei’s Taman Negara and Kang’s Koref Farm trip)

Our 爬山玩水 itinerary contains “Broga Hill, Blue Tears and Sky Mirror“, the last two items sound so Exotic!

0530 – Hiking Broga Hill (GPS 2.939444, 101.903333). We took about 2 hours to scale the 400m Gunung, there are total of four summits.

I was panting, but Boon Yee kept dashing to the front haha. Broga Hill is only 400m but steep at certain sections. I would say the first “summit” is the toughest!

Caught the rays of Sunlight creeping over the ridges and illuminating the clouds. Amazing feeling to celebrate the Start of another day with my boy. Super proud of Yee’s adventurous spirit 🙂

The lalangs are taller than me, and we sometimes wonder whether we are on the right path. Take note the terrain is uneven and headlamp (not torchlight) is a must when hiking in the dark.

The last summit will have some HUGE boulders!

Nevertheless, Gunung Broga Hill is suitable for first timers and families, and you need not climb all the way to the 4th submit to enjoy Sunrise view 🙂

Celebrating another milestone with Yee.

 

Yee’s Bruce Lee” attire, Keep Calm and Climb On :p
He told me turn every corner also can see hills and town, Broga Hill does offer spectacular landscape views.

 

Quenched our thirst with coconut juice, the Auntie quite enterprising and business is good.

Refer to GPS above, there is a makeshift carpark (in the middle of palm tree plantation) and toilet at the trail head.

Quoting our Village Head Simon Chan: “We transit from Hikers to Tourists”. It roughly means time to EAT all the WAY!

Lunch at Garden Seafood (GPS 3.698333, 101.513333). Food is decent and we love the bun. This restaurant must be famous as I saw a photo of Malaysia PM’s wife.

We are all super hungry, so everything would be tasty :p

Finally, reach our chalet at Bagan Datoh (also known as Bagan Datuk). This area is a Chinese Fishing village, quaint old neighbourhood and coconut trees sway along the coastal road.

Relieved to stretch our legs, after the hike and long bus ride.

 

9 Island Agency (环岛)’s chalet GPS (3.976111, 100.707292). Their Facebook group highlighted below.

Family-run travel agency, the whole village chipped in to support the tourism industry. Our stay, meals and boat rides are all managed by them.

Simple accommodation with hot shower and aircon. Yes WIFI available!

 

10 minutes walk to the “restaurant” at the end of the walkway. As this is a fishing village, expect strong fishy smell 🙂

After a sumptuous steamboat dinner, we headed to the “jetty” to see a beautiful Sunset and take more wefies.

Tourists can do Karaoke at the dinner venue, spot a few fireflies (concentrated on one or two trees only), or simply enjoy the star-lit sky.

Ok, tram ride is also a hit with the kids 🙂

Image credit Adventures Village

 

We ended the evening with a boat tour to catch the Blue Tears (蓝眼泪). Magical experience to “sail” towards the Sunset and blue hour.

The usual island to spot blue Tears is Pulau Sembilan. But Perak Tourism has banned tourist from visiting the island, in the name of conservation.

Although we could only scoop out the blue tears (actual micro organisms, “bioluminescent phytoplankton”) from our boat, it was still a spectacular activity.

If we can go on the shore, and watch the waves turn blue, this is what you can expect! WOW!

Google Images for 蓝眼泪

From Broga Hill’s Sunrise to Bagan Datoh’s Sunset, I was Happy to spend a day of Fun with my boy. Together, we explored the rustic side of Malaysia.

Sunset at Bagan Datoh

That’s it for Day 1 of our Fun itinerary. Stay tune for Day 2’s highlight, LALA harvesting and 天空之镜 ! More tips listed:

*(Must See!) Do visit SengkangBabies Instagram Day 1 Video (link) and Adventure Village’s SUPER nice drone footage! (video link)

(Instagram Video Day 1)

-Broga is at Semenyih, Selangor, and no permit required for Hiking Broga hill

**Check out Broga hill and Bagan Datoh Day One and Two photos on our Facebook album. FUN is guaranteed!

-Our “2D2N Malaysia Unlimited” trip was booked with Meetup Group “Adventures Unlimited”, itinerary here . Join the Village (Facebook group) to link up with like-minded kakis

-Our Boat, chalet on Bagan Datoh is under 9 Islands Agency (9 Island Agency Sdn Bhd 环岛旅游有限公司)

-Why Pulau Sembilan is closed to visitor (The Star article)? We heard the islands will be transformed into a Marine Park

-Due to the sudden closure of Pulau Sembilan, travel agency is left with a lot of almost-new camping tents. All 50% sale, 2-men tent (or is it 4-men) only 80Rm

-Boat trip to Blue Tears is about 20 minutes, there are life jackets for kids

-Read our Hiking adventures on our blog (Gunungs, Panti, Belumut, and Instagram hashtag #skbHiking), not all are family friendly :p

-Check out some other bonding activities with my kids.
Boon Kang 3D2N (Farm at Koref), Taman Negara with Boon Wee, 2D2N Broga Hill and Sky Mirror with Boon Yee

ps.. We would like to recommend Sekinchan 适耕庄 too, Malaysia’s rice bowl. From Google Map, it is only 1.5 hour south of Bagan Datoh 🙂

Sekinchan Photos Day One and Two on Facebook.

 

DoubleTree by Hilton Johor, a relaxing stay for us

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Looking for a luxurious and comfortable stay in Johor, you will not go wrong with DoubleTree by Hilton Johor.

We did a lot of walking in Malacca (photos uploaded here), and we were glad to recuperate at DoubleTree by Hilton Johor, before heading home to Singapore.

How would you like to lepak (relax)?

Food, reading, swim, jacuzzi or workout, or more exploration? You can do this and more, just chill with DoubleTree Hilton’s famous chocolate cookie 🙂

No matter where you go, you will enjoy DoubleTree Hilton’s exemplary service.

1) Coffee and book, more desserts, at the Food Store. There are many dining options at DoubleTree Hilton Johor!

2) Perhaps a cool relaxing dip. Take note the pool is chilling in the morning, with huge gushes of wind.

DoubleTree by Hilton Johor

3) Or perhaps some will prefer a jacuzzi to relax those muscles? The pool and gym is also on the same floor as the jacuzzi.

4) Be it an Angry bird themed room or a normal suite, the beds are super inviting. I could just opt for a 2 hours nap therapy.

We got a two bedroom Deluxe Suite.

Luxurious setting, the cookie added a personal touch.

Equipped with two bathrooms and a mini kitchen, definitely spacious for my big family. Boon Yee helping me to document our room (for the blog ).

One word, spacious!

As we stayed on the 27th floor, we got to enjoy unblocked view of bustling downtown Johor.

At DoubleTree by Hilton Johor, there was no excuse to go hungry. Our lunch and breakfast at Makan Place was splendid.

We still prefer the breakfast selection.

 

Cool refreshing drink to beat the heat.

Love how different ethnic food and cultures are designed along “islands”. You have Malay, Indian, Chinese and the dessert corners.

Contemporary meets nostalgia 🙂  

Those looking for an intimate setting would not be disappointed with Tosca. The VIP room will allow you to “literally” see the kitchen in action.

 

Exclusive Executive Lounge for those with suites and executive rooms.

 

We love the community outreach campaigns from DoubleTree by Hilton Johor. Giving back to society, every Jaro product sold will have certain proceeds donated to charity.

Hanzen is a local artist, specialising in heritage drawings. We see his frames all over the hotel lobby.

For those more adventurous, walk across the street to Komtar and enjoy Angry Bird Theme Park. Walk 8 minute to City Square Mall for more shopping and dining options. We caught Wonder Women movie too 🙂

Our hotel is just 10 minutes walk from Johor Train station. For more Johor street food, pop by our Food Trail.

Satisfying “Staycation”, marvellous meals and comfy bed. We really cannot ask for more to enjoy our holidays 🙂

 

Thank you DoubleTree by Hilton Johor for the stay, we would not hesitate to recommend your excellent service to friends.

Do follow DoubleTree by Hilton Johor on their Website and Facebook.

Address : No. 12 Jalan Ngee Heng, Johor Bahru,80000, Malaysia
GPS : 1.465316, 103.760020
Carpark is 10 ringgit per night.

 

 

 

Chiang Mai Day 3 – Siam Insect Zoo

Day 3 of Chiang Mai (our itinerary) brought us to Siam Insect Zoo.  We had seen some interesting creatures from our friends’ visits.

Boon Yee (no 3) is not actually grasping an insect, but we had fun with the Zoo’s inhabitants (think of petting zoo).

 

Before we visited Siam Insect Zoo, we pop by Baa Baa Black cafe for our late lunch, we were busy with sticky Buatong waterfall in the morning.

This cafe is only 5 min drive from Siam Insect Zoo.

Baa Baa Black Cafe is famous for their cookies, brownies and ice creams! The main course is so so, but leave some space for desserts 🙂

We love the Brownie ice cream and Bae Bae Poo (picture bottom left, do not laugh!) both are delicious and we had second helpings.

Situated at Mae Rim Lagoon Hotel, this is a popular boutique hotel. while waiting for our desserts, kids can slide and play around the playground.

Baa Baa Black Cafe (GPS 18.912287, 98.929304) and Facebook.

Address : 65/7 Moo 6 Mae Rim-Samerng (Old Road) Tumbol Rimtai Ampur Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

 

Siam Insect Zoo is highly recommended!

After feeding ourselves, we got a lot of opportunities to feed chameleons, tortoises and insects at Siam Insect Zoo. This zoo has both live and dead specimens, sort of a mini Petting Zoo.

 

Bugs galore. You might see some of them grilled at night market. Insects are high in proteins and considered local delicacy, cockroaches are on the menu too. (below left, the Madagascan giant hissing Cockroach) .

A lot of the creatures are beautifully camouflaged, stick insects, butterflies and praying mantis. Kids had fun trying to spot the insects. they learnt that camouflaging helps creatures to ambush their prey, or conceal them from predators.

 

The lizard which tried to kiss the Mrs, while I keep looking at the scorpion’s pincers (the stinger has been removed). 

Specimens, these will no longer harm humans :p
You need not understand Thai to appreciate Siam Insect Zoo exhibitions, staff know a little bit of English.

Creepy caterpillars. They came in all sizes and colours, my hair stand just looking at them crawl. The “helpful” staff open each box and just place them in our palms haha, and the kids were game to try more ticklish sensation.

 

We can understand why Nai Nai (奶奶) is fascinated with her mantis (which looks delicate as a jewelry), but Boon Xin loved the grub. She kept digging them out from the moist compost (yucks!!)

Ant kingdom, what lies below our feet. Kids learn about the ants, bee, termites and how colonies are formed and thrive. It is all about teamwork.

 

Boon Xin wanted me to tell you that Siam Insect Zoo is the best Insect Zoo we have visited so far. We all agreed that you should spend 1 or 2 hours to experience the bug “stories and interactions”.

Siam Insect Zoo (GPS 18.918101, 98.908355) is at the Mae Rim area, about 25km (30 min drive) from Chiang Mai Railway station.

Website and Facebook, fee is 200 Thb (about SGD $8) and 150 Thb for adult and child respectively. Open daily 0900 to 1700.

You will discover many more attractions at Mae Rim, Snakes and monkeys farms. We spotted many ATV (4 wheels drive all terrain vehicles) and outdoor adventures too.

If you are looking for shopping centres in Chiang Mai, you would be disappointed. All our 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary photos have been uploaded :

– 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary
– Day 1 photos — Airbnb stayGrand Canyon Waterpark
– Day 2 photos – Doi Inthanon
– Day 3 photos – Buatong waterfallSiam Insect ZooDoi Suthep temple
– Day 4 photos – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Old city

Follow out hashtag #skbChiangMai