The best family day trips in Malaysia
As much as we love Kuala Lumpur for its shopping malls and attractions, sometimes you just need to head out of the city. In this list of day trips you can make with the family, you’ll find pristine rice fields, colonial history, glowing fireflies, fresh seafood, golden monkeys and more.
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Family-friendly trips (cars)
Sarawak probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when talking about a family road trip, but for a taste of adventure, there’s nothing like heading off the beaten path and experiencing authentic longhouse living with the Iban community – Sarawak’s largest ethnic group. Encompassing an area of 24 square km, Batang Ai National Park is a protected jungle and home to a rich flora and fauna, and orang utans! How to get thereGet in touch with Sarawak Tourism Board for more information on longhouse stays. Visit Borneo Adventure and Borneo Experiences for tours and packages. What to doJourney inland from Kuching for approximately four to five hours by van – or arrange for a 4WD with your guide for an off-road experience – and pass through scenic paddy fields, pepper plantations, farms and villages. The roads here are fine, albeit a bit bumpy at times as construction of a new highway is ongoing so it’s best to be prepared with snacks and entertainment (for the kids). Make pit stops in small towns, such as Serian and Lachau, and visit their markets to find a selection of jungle produce and local handicrafts. Once you’ve reached Batang Ai, travel upriver for another hour by longboat before taking a short walk to the longhouse. As it involves a boat ride, this trip is suitable for older kids. Upon arrival at the longhouse, you’ll be greeted with a traditional Iban dance. There’s also the customary serving of tuak or rice wine to adults – don’t worry, they don’t serve kids! J
Family-friendly trips (planes)
New Zealand is quite a trip away, but don’t let distance or jet lag stand in the way of one of the world’s best family holiday destinations. Famed for stunning landscapes, cultural vibrancy, good food and the very important fact that the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ movies were made here, this is a dream family destination. How to get thereThe journey from Kuala Lumpur to New Zealand takes 11 hours and most international flights land in Auckland. Air Asia X flies to Auckland daily via the Gold Coast. What to do Auckland is a great city to explore for the family and you can start by visiting Waiheke Island, which is easily accessible by fast ferry. With its vineyards, restaurants and incredible coast, Waiheke is ideal for the family to visit. For a family-friendly art fix, visit the Auckland Art Gallery and the Auckland Museum. You can’t come to New Zealand and not see sheep – ratio of people to sheep is 1:7 – and Sheep World ticks off all the sheep experience boxes; it’s only 45 minutes drive from the city. The clean air and stunning landscapes of New Zealand will entice you to do as much outdoor activities as possible, so pack hiking gear and head for the hills of the Waitakere Ranges or the black sand surf beaches of Whatipu, Karekare and Bethells Beach. In the capital of Wellington – on the southernmost tip of the North Island – do the cultural thing and visit Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand) which showcases the country’s history from the great migrations of the Ma
The best child-friendly restaurants in KL
Brownies Bar by The Accidental Bakers
Popular online dessert store The Accidental Bakers have opened their first brick-and-mortar outlet in Pavilion Elite. Decked in polish black and white marble bar, Brownies Bar by The Accidental Bakers is founded by friends and self-professed foodies Ee-Lyn Tan and Hazwan Yazit. Dubbed the first specialist brownies bar in Malaysia, it offers 15 of The Accidental Bakers’ best-selling dark chocolate brownies and white chocolate blondies. We bet you and your little ones would love their signature dark chocolate brownie which is very moist and fudgy. Other standouts include salted caramel, sea salt almond, Nutella and gula Melaka cheesecake. Apart from its delectable brownies, it also offers a selection of sauces and toppings such as chocolate chips, gula melaka sauce, crushed oreo and hazenuts for you to choose to go with your brownie or blondie. If brownies won’t hold your kids' attention, opt for their latest offering; brownies topped with vanilla ice cream and let your kids choose their own toppings. Head here for a teatime treat and some dose of brownies goodness.
The Third Letter
Right in the middle of Bukit Jelutong area, this café has done a roaring trade from the moment it opened late last year. The rustic setting – featuring bamboo-style seats and wooden tables – is a big part of its draw, but the food is also appealing. Wholesome crowd-pleasers like pasta, pizza, nasi lemak, nasi goreng kampung and mee goreng mamak keep the diners returning. There’s a kids’ menu too, but what they’ll really want are the milkshakes (made with homemade ice cream; we say go for them yourself). Coffees and dessert here are always a treat, as the coffee beans are imported and their cakes are supplied by the famous Cake Jalan Tiung. There’s plenty of room to park strollers inside and you can sit outside when the weather’s fine.