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Family holidays in Malaysia: A parent's guide


Family holidays in Malaysia: A parent's guide

story by: House of Travel

HOT Guest Blogger: David Agnew

Recently David took his family to Malaysia. We asked him to recount his experience for us so we could share it with you… and here’s what he discovered.

Rather than dragging the kids along for an adult holiday and hoping for the best, creating a Malaysian vacation for the kids proved to be a masterstroke. Happy kids = happy holiday so here’s six of the best ways to make memories in Malaysia.  
1. Legoland – Johor Bahru
Put aside two days for Legoland in Johor Bahru, just over the Singapore border. At every turn something begs your attention and if you grew up with a box of Lego you’ll feel right at home. On the dry side of the complex, it’s a theme park for beginners with attractions suitable for toddlers up to teenagers with enough distractions to keep the Lego geek in all alive. The intricate, painstakingly recreated Asian monuments at Miniland are phenomenal and an adult’s playground; Angkor Wat and KLIA Airport can be poured over for some time. 

The two-day pass allows you full access into both the Theme and Water parks and you’ll need to cool off when the sun breaks through after lunch. While the Theme Park is thoughtfully designed with air con stops in mind, you’ll want to swim. There’s over 20 slides, designated kids area and a wave pool with lifeguards everywhere.
HOT tip: Hire the strollers just inside the entrance gates and be sure to arrive at opening time to avoid the Theme Park in the peak heat.

2. Sunway Lagoon – Kuala Lumpur
In one word, immense. The size of the place only dawns on you when you realise you won’t get to finish it. With very much its own identity and flavour, Sunway Lagoon (only $15 taxi ride from the KL CBD) has everything from white lions, Malaysian sun bears and black panthers to jungle fringe go-karting and quad-biking to countless waterslides nestled uniquely into rocky gorges. There’s a Ghostbusters attraction for older kids as part of the Scream section, a Wild West themed area, a ‘serious’ water slide section, a pirate ship that makes the one at Rainbows End look like a pony ride, traditional fair rides, rollercoasters……
For the kids though, nothing compares to the Nickelodeon corner of the Park where Spongebob Squarepants drops megatons of water onto the kids below with slides galore that are fast enough for dads who need to show off. Quite simply, Sunway Lagoon is insane and Kuala Lumpur’s answer to anything Disneyland can throw out there.
HOT Tip: Study the map before you go and pick the rides/slides that tickle your fancy. Like Legoland, hire the stroller!!

3. KLCC Park & Petrosains Discovery Centre – Kuala Lumpur
It’s a given you’ll see the famous Petronas Towers during a trip to KL but under the watch of the icons is a colossal playground, grass area, landscaped swimming area and grand fountain display befitting the city’s pride and joy. When it gets too hot, duck inside to the KLCC Suria Mall and the Petrosains Discovery Centre, a technology museum with live science shows and far too much to see and do. 
HOT Tip: Catch the train to KLCC before 9am for cruisy, quiet ride and get your lunch order in by 12pm if you can – things get more than a little hectic around the mall food courts at 1pm.

4. Berjaya Times Theme Park – Kuala Lumpur
The bonus beauty of Berjaya Times Hotel is what lies beneath. The mall itself is a hive of activity with quirky features like the musical piano staircase yet the Berjaya Times Theme Park is the main attraction for the kids. The explosion of bright colour hits you if the sound of the snaking rollercoaster doesn’t and you’ll see it’s not a kiddie ride. It’s a surreal buzz reaching G-forces and passing people eating their McDonalds! On the mezzanine level is the young ones playground with happily themed rides all compressed into an area no bigger than half a football field. Whilst you can comfortably get through all the rides in one outing, only the surface was scratched in the mall.
HOT tip: Mum and Dad’s should tag-team with the kids to take advantage of the adult rides.

5. Kilm Geopark Mangrove Tours - Langkawi
The first surprise is this a true forest and the only way to see it is by boat. Getting out on the water is the first thing to do on Langkawi and the slow pace on the river is perfect for the kids and the yachties who drop in on their round-the-world adventures. HBS Evergreen run smaller low octane boats not to affect the delicate mangrove roots with their wake and anything else you wanted to know about the area and its geography the guides will know. Snakes, monkeys, eagles, bats and the fish off Finding Nemo can be seen along the way in an unforced and un-staged natural way.
HOT Tip: Explain to the kids that nature isn’t a zoo and their patience will be rewarded.

6. Swim, swim, swim - Malaysia
It’s no secret Malaysia is hot. The mainland is muggy and warm from the moment you wake up and the heat peaks in the early afternoon. Picture the bearded man crawling in the desert gasping for water! Book hotels with kid friendly swimming pools as this will become a default option in the afternoon heat. KSL Resort in Johor Bahru, Berjaya Times in KL and Berjaya Langkawi all ticked the boxes when it came to kid-safe pools. 
HOT tip: Kids can tire easily, and then get narky, so plan your days around half day activity and half day relaxation, which means a full afternoon (or morning) spent splashinga around in the pool.

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