Malaysia is full of great activities for kids. Get out and explore the country's best theme parks, natural wonders and cultural highlights for families.
Langkawi Nature Tour
Round up the brood and go on a sea safari tour, cycling tour, mangrove tour or even jungle trekking and explore natural beauty of Langkawi. Between kayaking and bird watching, families can learn more about the archipelago and its rich flora and fauna. Best of all, kids below four years old join for free.
Dev's Adenture Tour (019 494 9193/www.langkawi-nature.com).
Kids can start their dive training at The Taaras' very own dive centre. Kids aged eight years and over can do the Bubblemaker course or carry out fun Seal Team missions. The PADI Junior Scuba Diver course is open to kids aged ten years and older, while the PADI Junior Open Water course can be started at 12. Redang Island is surrounded by around 30 dive sites with something for every level of diver.
The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort, Teluk Dalam (09 630 8888/www.thetaaras.com).
Little Planet Camps
Little Planet runs summer camps on Tioman Island for kids aged nine to 16. Held in June and July, the camps have kids out jungle trekking, kayaking, putting on plays, or creating art and jewellery all in the lush surrounds of beach and jungle. Little Planet also organise programmes for schools and small groups like families and friends. So if you’ve always dreamed of taking the family on a surf camp, these might be the guys to ask.
Kampung Juara, Pulau Tioman (013 747 6024/www.ourlittleplanet.org).
Tropical Spice Garden
An attraction for the whole family with beautiful gardens, delicious food, and relaxing trails to follow, the eco-friendly Tropical Spice Garden has one more trick: a 3D Snakes and Ladders game. Covering six levels, the game is made from recycled timber with platforms linked by plastic tube slides. Landing on a ‘snake’ is not such a big deal in this life-sized version of the game—most kids would court defeat to have a go on those slides.
Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang (04 881 1797/www.tropicalspicegarden.com).
Tabin Wildlife Reserve
A beautiful area of lowland dipterocarp forest with squelchy mud volcanoes that kids tend to love, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve is home to many endangered animals such as the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, and Orangutan. We’re not suggesting camping out with kids in the jungle though: stay at the well-equipped Tabin Wildlife Resort where your little adventurers will be more than comfortable.
Lahad Datu (08 826 7266/www.tabinwildlife.com.my).
LEGOLAND Water Park
Still relatively new, LEGOLAND is set to make another splash with its Water Park. Featuring over 20 rides and attractions like the Build-A-Raft River (attach floatable LEGO pieces to your raft), Slide Racers, Wave Pool as well as 70 Lego models, this park will be a hit for primary school age kids.
From Johor, off the Coastal Highway (07 597 8888/www.legoland.com.my).
'Ki!' This greeting in KidZania language welcomes you to a theme park with a difference. There aren’t any rollercoasters at this place, rather, interactive edutainment experiences that teach kids through role-play. At around 60 different ‘workplaces’, kids can undertake over 100 quite diverse professions including pilot, police officer, dentist, and secret agent. Work earns them KidZos which they can spend as they please. It's also about learning to make decisions while having fun.
The brick red Stadhuys was built in 1650 by the Dutch to serve as their administrative headquarters. These days the square outside is a bustling affair with festively decorated trishaws offering tours to passers by. At night, the trishaws are lit up colourfully and many drivers play music as they give a running commentary on the city’s sights and history.
Jalan Kota (06 284 1934).
A wonderfully kitsch ode to felines, Kuching’s Cat Museum celebrates the city’s favourite animal with artefacts from all over the world. Find mummified Egyptian cats and accounts of the feline’s role in Chinese, Malay, and Japanese societies, including displays of the famous maneki-neko beckoning cats. There's also lots of porcelain knick knacks, collections of stamps and posters, and even an exhibition of felines in music. If your kid's a fan of these imperious beasts, he'll be delighted at this museum's unusual displays.
North Kuching City Hall, Bukit Siol, Jalan Semariang, Petra Jaya, Kuching (08 244 6688).
Lost World of Tambun
In the midst of limestone cliffs and green jungle, the Lost World of Tambun has something to appeal to everyone. Water babies should go for the tube rides and wave pool at the Water Park while little adrenalin junkies take a rollercoaster ride at the Amusement Park. For nature lovers, Tiger Valley and the Petting Zoo are recommended. Frazzled parents will be pleased to hear that the park has a Hot Springs Spa.
1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 1, Sunway City Ipoh (05 542 8888/www.sunwaylostworldoftambun.com).