Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best family holidays

Ipoh, Malaysia

More Than a Theme Park – Lost World of Tambun

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This morning we woke up to the delightful clamber of children into our bed. And there we stayed for a good hour chatting and talking to both of them. When we finally arose we were prepared for a late breakfast with bananas and apples as bribery.

We wandered over to the Garden Terrace at the Lost World of Tambun. We had to stop for photos. A heavy mist was skirting the mountains leaving a beautiful out-of-this-world feel like something out of Jurassic Park or Lost.

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There was a breakfast buffet served. The food was mostly Malaysian food and rather average. The bread was stale and the potato wedges were given new life on both days with different names. However they did make me a fresh fried egg, which I was happy with and my son ate all the baked beans on the buffet line.

The theme park does not open till 11am. It is rather late for a family like ours whose 2 year old is ready for a sleep by that time. But to make the most of it we went back to our room and rested on the beds until such a time.

At 10 to 11 we waited in the lobby for our guides to meet us and they promptly arrived with our passes so we could get started. We were escorted across the parking lot and were first through the doors of the giant gift shop that allows you entrance to the park.

Amusement Park

We opted to start the cooler part of the day off at the amusement park. This park is perfect for little kids. There are only several rides,

but here’s a TWB exclusive for you: A brand new roller coaster is on its way!

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Both kids loved the swinging pirate ships and Caius desperately wanted to join Mia and I on the swinging chairs, but couldn’t because of the height restriction. Daddy and Mia then enjoyed a turn on the rocking pirate ship, which Josh quickly grew queasy over, while Mia giggled and laughed.

There are several game places to try your luck fishing out ducks or throwing darts at balloons. There is also a carousel, which my kids absolutely adored.

Feeding the fish

On our way to the Petting Zoo we stopped at the river to feed the koi. They went crazy over our meager offerings (1MYR = $0.30AUD a bag), jumping over each other with their mouths gaping trying to scoop up some of those boring brown pellets. My 2 year old found it absolutely hilarious.

Petting Zoo

During our walk through the shaded paths of the Lost World and past the magnificent views of The Needle (a piece of mountain standing all on it’s lonesome after having dropped both sides) my son fell asleep. God bless my Mum for bringing our Quicksmart pram with her from Australia, I can imagine how painful and hot it would have been without it.

It happened we had arrived at the right time as Mia got to feed bananas to raccoons. And we were all alone in the world in this beautiful valley with two mountains framing us either side. My daughter and I sat on the table there and had a chat about all the different bugs and animals and greenery we could see while my husband snapped the most beautiful pictures.

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Lunch at Waves Restaurant

After the Petting Zoo with Caius still asleep we decided to head to lunch and some aircon to cool down, as the day was heating up fast. Waves Restaurant is the same place we ate breakfast and the food again was very average, both burger and rice. Luckily the bill only set us back less then $7 and Mia was stoked with her ice cream. I would recommend the Italian cafe from the previous post, the pizza there was fresh and delicious.

Time for water play

Caius woke up during lunch and so we decided it was time to hit the water. The day was hot and the kids were antsy. We stored all our belongings in a great locker that worked on a password system. You could also go in and out of it as many times as you like, unlike the crazy system at New Kuta Green Park.

First we hit the kids play area. It has around 6 slides, a pirate ship and a gaint water bucket releasing its contents sporadically on expectant children.

This would have to be my kids favourite part of the park. We spent a lot of time there watching Mia go down slide after slide and Caius just wander around kicking up water occasionally or braving a run under the waterfall mushrooms.

I did go up the pirate ship with them at one stage. It had peeled paint and the floor was very soft in some areas, but my kids thought it made it all the more authentic. I wasn’t keen to go up again.

The area was filled with school children in their burkinis. I couldn't help feel slightly underdressed in my tankini swimsuit and a lovely lady offered to have a photo for me. These suits cover everything - their heads, their legs, and their arms.

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The only people that don't get to go swimming are the full burka-ladies, who sit on the sidelines watching silently. I wonder if they treasure their anonymity or if they loathe the black heat they are surrounded in?

Finally we tore the children away to try the bigger slides. Unfortunately these slides have height restrictions so Caius couldn’t go on them (min 110cm). They are also only paired slides for 2 people so if you don’t have a partner you got to try and nab someone from the line or miss out all together.

Mia and I went on the first slide together and it was fabulous. She doesn’t do tunnels so we could only do the open one. Josh and her went on the second slide, which was a massive drop then went up and then came backwards back down. Her face was terrified and she refused to go on it again. I was devastated, I wanted a turn. Luckily I managed to find someone in the queue that was part of a trio waiting her turn. She accepted my offer to go with me and I got to try it out. It was fantastic, loved it!

Poor Caius was getting sick of missing out on all the fun and so we hired a tube for 22MYR, 10MYR deposit = $7AUD, $3 returned. With our double tube in tow we hit the Adventure River, which was more of a lazy river. It ran around the park with some great views of the mountains and some ancient looking artifacts, but didn’t do much else. My daughter actually ended up pushing me most of the way. Both her and Caius could stand in the water.

I have seen waves in this part of the river at one stage during our walk, but there was no such luck for us. The water also contained a few leaves. I think if they put the life guards, sitting around the river, to use scooping out the debris (like at Waterbom Park, Bali) then it would be a much more pleasant experience.

We exited after one round to jump in the giant wave pool. It was packed with school students and well, slightly cloudy. We decided to head out to the deepest bit, which was cleaner, then the shallow waters with hordes of tweens. We had a great time bobbing over the waves until Caius wanted to get out of our tube. Being far to deep for him we bundled them up and took them back to the toddler water playground.

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A bummer about the tube is that once you got it, you got it. So we left it near our stroller and luckily when we returned it was still there.

Caius had a pooping accident in the grounds… Nothing new there, but my poor toilet training son did point at his bottom at one stage and I thought he had hurt it until seconds later he had that telltale bulge hanging out.

Josh retreated to the bathroom with him and his spare bathers, while Mia and I had a little snack.

Train ride

When Josh & Caius returned Mia wanted to go home. Until she saw the train. So as our last item for the day we headed to the train. The little train travels around the whole park. We grabbed an ice cream and jumped on board.

Unfortunately the tiger feeding was on and the voice over guide was all muddled and never ever managed to get back to the right spot. But we still loved our journey. Mia fell asleep on the front seat and Josh and I oohed and ahhed at the majestic backdrop for this theme park. It's like someone put up a greenscreen for a movie and we were part of it.

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Honestly if you come for the views alone, it will inspire you.  

Naptime

We left the park about 4pm to head home for a nap.

Dinnertime

We had decided to see Ipoh for dinner tonight. We found on TripAdvisor one of the best restaurants was The Bistro and made our way there.

It was a little Italian restaurant in a big hotel with a terrific menu. The food was exquisite and we were absolutely delighted with the giant free basket of different breads.

An Asian trio started singing a collection of 90’s songs, and Mia begged me to dance with her. There were only 3 tables with people so I obliged my 3 year old and we danced on the dance floor. My son eventually joined us and we stayed much longer than anticipated twirling and giggling.

Hot Springs

It was 8:30pm when we left and we hurried up to our room, stuck on our swimmers and ran across to the Hot Springs for our last night. Mia showed me around all the different ones she had tried the previous night with Josh.

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I found the bigger pools to be a little too cloudy for me, however the kids pool with the giant waterfall and constantly flowing water was perfect. A beautiful 37C temperature. The kids could stand it and the pounding waterfall gave me a delightful shoulder massage.

I showed the kids the steam room, but at 40C, Mia could not stand it and asked for us to get out.

I tried the Top of the World pool at 43C and it was so hot! I barely got my toes out in time and could not believe the people who were sitting in there quite leisurely.

At about 9:30pm Mia was ready to go home. She was exhausted. It had been a fun day filled with rides and animals and water.

Both kids needed to be carried and both fell asleep on our shoulders for the quick walk across the parking lot. Thank God we were staying at the Lost World Hotel!

Our verdict?

Loved it! Perfect age for our kids. There was just the right amount of amusement rides and a great petting zoo. But all of that pales to the water play area for my children and they are still asking if we are going back today. Mia even asked if she can live there!

For me, I loved the hot springs! And the Crystal Spa was to die for. My husband loved the majesty of the mountains and was in photographer’s heaven. We will be back!

Check out all our photos in the photo journal!

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Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Michele @ Malaysian Meanders on
A roller coaster! How exciting! Do you know when it's scheduled to open or is it just in the far off future? I am so glad that your kids a wonderful time there. We were lucky in that my hubby's company treated us there for their Company Family Day, so we were surrounded by friends, too. For dinner in Ipoh, we went to some restaurant that was highly rated on TripAdvisor. We were in the restaurant impatiently waiting for someone to seat us when we realized we had crashed a Chinese Wedding Dinner and that we were standing exactly where the wedding party was supposed to make their grand entrance. Oops. We had Pizza Hut for dinner instead which I'm sure wasn't nearly as delicious.
Posted by Erin on
@ Michele - There was lots of work being done on the grounds when we were there and I saw the metal poles being erected so it can't be too far off. I did forget to ask! :)
Haha that is such a funny story about the Chinese dinner, sorry you ended up eating at Pizza Hut, but great story lol.
Posted by sonja everson on
Burkinis! Blah ha ha ha.... that was funny,

@readysetpack.
Posted by Living Outside of the Box on
Wow! Who knew about the burkinis?! I didn't!! I would feel a bit risque running around next to them!! :-)
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