You might have been wondering about the sudden drop in blog posts… We’ve been away on holiday to Penang and Cameron Highlands. It was a new experience for both boys (since Gavin has never traveled north before) and as with all new experiences, it was a fun-filled learning adventure.
We stayed at Golden Sands in Penang – which is a terrific place for families with kids. The rooms are fairly large if you take the rooms facing away from the sea. There’s not much of a view and you don’t get the balcony but if you’re there with the family, it’s not like you’re going to get much of a chance to enjoy it anyway. The bathroom has counter top space and a rubber mat to prevent little feet from slipping in the bath. You can also request for a baby cot.
We’re a co-sleeping family so the king-size bed would have been preferred but due to some mess up at the hotel, we ended up with a room with two super singles. Although we could push the beds together, there was still a gap in between the mattresses due to the bed frame so we had to stuff cushions in the gap to stop the kids falling in. If it weren’t for that gap, I think the two super singles would have been a better arrangement because it meant having a bed that was even larger than a king-size bed.
What’s at Golden Sands?
The Adventure Zone
They have an adventure zone with an outdoor playground and indoor jungle gym. The indoor play area was divided into three parts – a general play area with toys for children to “play pretend”, the “under 4 year old” play gym and the big jungle gym for kids and adults.
Entry into the Adventure Zone is free if you stay at Golden Sands – we received a free four hour pass at check-in. The requirements are the same as with all other jungle gyms – parents and children must wear socks. There is an additional requirement that children playing on the big slides must wear long-sleeves (I guess there must have been incidences of friction burns – check out the red slide below, it’s almost a vertical drop! Wicked!). It’s pretty cold in there anyway so long sleeves are a good idea for the younger kids.
They have several swimming pools at Golden Sands. One of the pools caters especially for children. It has a huge sun-shade so you can swim in the afternoon and a side with a graded entry so it is like walking into the water at the beach. They also have dividers to warn parents and children where the water starts to get deep.
There is a pool with a waterslide (for children only), a whirl pool (which we didn’t get a chance to try), and a general pool for all ages. There is also a little sandpit for the younger children to play in the sand under the watchful eye of their parents.
Since we had easy access to a pool, I took the opportunity to start the kids on their swimming program, loosely following the program outlined in Douglas Doman’s book: “How to Teach Your Baby to Swim“. More about this later…
Beyond Golden Sands
We wanted to take the kids to Penang Hill to take a ride on the tram (given how keen Gavin is on trams and trains) but the trams were under maintenance. In the end, we went to the Butterfly Farm. There are many other things you can do in Penang, but since we were there to catch up with friends, this was all we got up to.
The butterfly park in Penang is a lot better than the butterfly park in KL – even the butterflies seem friendlier because we had a few landings. There was one on my head, one of hubby’s shoulder and one on his camera. Unfortunately, Gavin didn’t seem to enjoy himself quite as much this time around. About halfway through the park, he got bored and wanted to leave. How ironic that Gavin can spend three hours on a boring train ride pretending to be the driver but can’t even get through an hour at the butterfly park with lots of cool things to see? I guess this highlights the value of finding your child’s interest.
What’s at the butterfly park? Although it is called the Butterfly Park, they also have turtles, scorpions, centipedes, stick insects, snakes, a monitor lizard, and beetles. They have a live section and a preserved section.
Entry to the Butterfly Park is:
- RM10 for locals
- RM20 for tourists
- Free for under 4 years old