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Uncovering the best family holidays

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Asia's Best Attrractions? Sunway Lagoon & Genting Highlands

Our second day in KL Josh had laser eye surgery. An operation like this in Australia is in excess of  $7000. In KL the same surgery less than $3000. He had booked the appointment while in Australia, sending through all his previous eye prescriptions, etc. and being assured he was a candidate.

The day seemed to go well. Tests in the morning proved he could have the surgery and so that afternoon he did. All of a sudden my husband who I have known since I was 14 was no longer wearing glasses, didn’t need to be putting on contacts and could see perfectly.

A few downsides was a month without being in pools with splashing water, etc. Using eye drops regularly and, of course, avoid staring at the computer screen too long.

A month in & 3 tests later his eyesight is wonderful. We think very highly of Optimax and I am stoked to have Superman in my life permanently, bye Clark Kent! 

Sunway Lagoon

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Is it really Asia’s Best Attraction?

I’m sorry I can’t even give this attraction it’s own page. Haha. After almost a month of hardly no water play because of Josh’s eyes we were stoked to be heading to Sunway Lagoon on our second last day in KL.

We had heard lots of stuff about it and were ready to see it. Unfortunately we were so very disappointed and while I encourage you to make your own decision on ‘Asia’s Best Attraction” I think my mind was made up instantly.

The drive was fairly quick. It was strange heading into the city for a Theme Park. Parking was simple and the cue was not long. Kids under 90cm are free (so unfair with my little giants), but Caius still passes since clearly he is still babyish looking. 

Entry was 3 Parks - Water Park, Amusement Park & Wildlife Park - $25 per adult, $20 per child. Under 90cm free. You can get a 5 park entry, but we had no plans on visiting Scare Park with 2 toddlers or Extreme Park.  Additional RM 10 deposit is chargeable for every entry and will be refunded on return of cashless wristband. Lockers also are extra, as well as towels, tubes, etc. We never used a tube. 

The park is run down and old. Everything is peeling, peeled or not working. We decided to do the Wildlife Park first and this was not too bad. The selection was not huge and the Panther’s were amazing, the Tiger’s were missing, as were some other animals. It got hot very quickly so we decided to head towards the Waterpark.

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I stopped at Marry Browns for a chicken wrap since I had missed breakfast (or rather my kids had eaten it both times I had attempted one). It tasted funny; I took it out of my mouth and was horrified to see raw chicken. I immediately got my money back, but now in my head I felt sick. (Since then I have received an email offering me free vouchers, unfortuantely I never want to go back). 

Anyway after paying for a locker we headed to the kids play area. It was old and quite frankly a little dangerous. Adults were not allowed on it and I could see why, we would probably fall through the floor. But Mia loved it, as easily as kids are pleased.

The wave pool was nice; the very loud inappropriate pop music playing throughout this kid’s section seemed strange and unreal in a Islamic religious country.

A few slides were closed, they just looked beyond repair. The ones we did go on were fine, rickety and peeling and there was not much choice. Josh had major disappointment when we visited the Surf Beach to be told there was no waves today.  The peebly/sand hurt your feet and gave way to a concrete bottom pool in a very bad beach imitation. The best bit about the waterpark would have been the drive thru shower.

The Amusement Park, I think had 6 rides. A train roller coaster, which had no harness and actually was quite scary, I thought, mainly cause I wasn’t strapped in! The log flume ride has you going up at such an angle; honestly I could barely hold the rails to prevent falling to the back of the ride. Mia adored the buffalo roller coaster and went on over 6 times. Twice with me and then 4 times by herself. I told her to hold on tight and watched, as she did not hold on, again a roller coaster with a bar, no harness.

“Mia, I saw you not holding on and I told you too.”

“Mum, I couldn’t,” she said very matter-of-factly. “I had to put my hands in the air and scream in the tunnel.”

Made me laugh so much.

We left feeling unentertained and very disappointed. We think they may need to rethink the slogan cause this wasn’t even the best attraction in KL, let alone Asia!

See photos in our Photo Journal.

Genting Highlands

The weary paths of Genting’s Themeland hold no candle to nature’s wonder. My favourite part of this day was driving to the Highlands. The mist skirted around them like a woman’s party dress. At some points we could barely see inches in front of us. The weather dropped, the scenery turned from skyscrapers to green and once again man could not beat what was already in place.

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This is the first Resort World. We have been to Sentosa Island’s Resort World and so was expecting a lot. It didn’t meet those expectations. While not as bad as Sunway Lagoon, it was nowhere near as great as Sentosa.

Entry is: All park, one day adults=$20, Children $14 and under 90cm free.

There is an amazing cable car ride to the top, which I was very much looking forward to. Unfortunately it was closed for maintenance.

We decided on the outdoor park first. We didn’t do a lot of adult rides and so the rides seem better then they were because Mia and Caius had a blast. My favourite ride and soon Mia’s was the flying seats. You know the one’s at carnivals. In fact that is exactly what this place is like a run down carnival. Everything is dirty and old and broken. Anyway on our way out Mia was pretty-pleasing the entire way to go back on the flying seats. She loved them.

There are plenty of things for kids to do and the lines were not too bad. It was the Arab holidays so we did spot a lot of them wandering about. The females were captivated by my children who often were forced to stop and pose with the abaya covered women. It wasn’t till we hit the adult rides that the lines started getting long so we just skipped over them. 

Once we completed Outdoor World we headed inside. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant, which was nothing to rave about. The service was absolutely shocking.

Inside world is very similar to outdoor world, but inside and with far less attractions. My initial impression was huge disappointment after visiting M&M world, which turned out to be a stall you could not swing a cat in (a far cry from a world) and THERE WERE NO M&M’s. Everything but the actual eatable M&M’s haha.

I have to admit the little ride around the roof of the place was great for a bird’s eye view. And I enjoyed the crazy rollercoaster roaming through the whole place. We lined up for the 4D movie only to be told the kids couldn’t come in because they had to be a certain height.

I wanted to visit the water park, the kids had other ideas and so we decided to call it a day.

On our way home back through the Highlands we spotted the turn off for the Chin Swee Temple. Gorgeously built and towering over a cliffside with amazing views, I left my sleeping kids in the car with their watchful father and scaled the opposite cliffs to take some stunning photos.

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To me this was worth the drive. This was better than Genting & it’s theme parks. Very worth a peek.

I’d imagine a stay at Genting Highlands without kids could be quite appealing. There is a cinema and a number of rides we never got to. However for families with toddlers, perhaps cross this one off your list.

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"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Bethaney - Flashpacker Family on
Mia's face is hilarious in these pics. Looks like she's having a great time on the rides!!! At least she's tall enough to go on them. Did you go to the theme park at Berjaya Times Square Mall? We could only go on four rides because Reuby was 3cm too short!
Posted by Karen Carstens on
Wow Erin. A bit sad to read about your bad experience at Sunway Lagoon as we stayed at Sunway Resort for ten days and loved it! The resort was modern and clean and the food was out of this world! We went to the theme parks only one day and had a great time there too. Maybe going with teenagers was a different experience as we could go on the flying fox - big slides and the scare park - which was SO scary but SO fun! It is a walk through and I think my daughter has marks on her - from me clinging on - haha we still talk about it! For $100 for the whole family we found it amazing value for 5 parks! The only thing I was extremely sad and disappointed with was a bunch of guinea pigs and two skunks stuck in a wooden box - one guinea pig had cuts and scratches all over it I guess from the other ones picking on him - males are very territorial and there would be no where to hide. The skunks were sliding all over the place with their long claws - I'm hoping this is a temporary box they put them in for show - gosh I hope so! Otherwise very cruel. All the other parts of the wildlife park was great. I'm sad we didn't go to Genting now after reading your blog. It's funny we had all these big plans before going but couldn't pull ourselves away from the resort pool - which was 5 star. I think that's one of the things you have to push past when you are there - the heat! Sounds like you are and not missing a thing! Well done! Enjoy! Xxx
Posted by Erin on
She certainly loves rides! Haha Caius is also over 90cm, but for purchasing purposes we say he is under since he only just turned 2, he shouldn't be discriminated against because his father is a giant. Oh yes we loved Times Sq, thought it was better than both these places haha. Oh that sucks that they wouldn't let Reuby on, CJ & Mia went on all the kids rides, loved it! Josh wasn't allowed on anything cause they had a 6"4 maximum! http://travelwithbender.com/travel-blog/kuala-lumpur/kl-week-wrap-up-times-sq-shopping-massage-and-food/
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