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East Coast of Malaysia with kids

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carolynW
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East Coast of Malaysia with kids

Postby carolynW » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 11:14 am

We took almost a month, drove from Singapore and went to the following places with 2 kids aged 3 and 5, thought would share a brief review...

Sibu Island Resort - highly NOT recommended, evil sandflies, expensive and basic living

Summerset, Kuala Rompin - so so, went to break journey, good value.

Impiana Cherating - recommended, good value, at cherating must try batik painting and see the fireflies, kids absolutely loved it and hard to screw up batik painting (wish they had it for b'day parties here)

Gem Island - HIGHLY recommended, really a hidden gem, they have a turtle sanctuary, good value, good food, good service, nice pool, nice beach.

Riyaz, K. Trengganu - still new now but not sure after a few years, too quiet overall but got to see a giant swamp lizard. KT has a good market place, museum and big big children parks.

Pulau Perhentian - we booked last minute into Bubu, the place was basic and expensive for the value but the snorkelling sites for the kids were absolutely great.

Tasik Belum resort - nice hill getaway to see world biggest flower.

Penang - Gurney Drive hotel - 2 bedroom apartment for M$250, v good value incl. breakfast.

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Postby cbavasi » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 1:14 pm

Carolyn - thank you SO much for this! How long would it take to drive to Gem Island from Singapore? Could it be a long weekend trip?

carolynW
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Postby carolynW » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 6:28 pm

Gem island is quite up north, past Kuantan and Cherating, much closer to Kuala Trengganu, I did find that firefly (i think its the new malaysian budget airline) recently launched a new route and now flies from Singapore to K. Trengganu, from there you can hire a car (i think its 30 min drive) or arrange with Gem Island to get you from the airport to Marang (we went to so many jettys I think this is right) and a boat from there.

I don't know fireflie's schedule. The room rates were M$250 per room in July, you can check trip advisor for other recommendations, everyone has rated it highly.

Driving will not be too pleasant as there are no big direct highways yet and it is quite a long drive. I would estimate about 7 hours fm Singapore.

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Postby durain » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 8:45 pm

good post. i did the east coast too to rantau abang, cherating and club med.

did you drive all the way up the east coast to kota bahru and then across to penang? or you cut across from kuantan to KL?

carolynW
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Postby carolynW » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 8:55 pm

We had Kota Bahru on the list but after 3 days in Kuala trengganu we decided to hit and island again, Perhentian (was full but managed thru a friend to get the last room at Bubu), the kids liked the island life better.

The diving was great, so was the snorkelling but bubu is quite expensive for what it was.

We drove from Kuala Besut then to Penang via the "new" highway, north of the KL - Kuantan one (that was built for log extraction, apparently the elephants there throw rocks at cars), with a nights stay at Tasik Belum, a resort that gets you access to the dam and the rainforest.

Quite safe to drive, we did bring a steering wheel lock and not travel at night.

Oh we had great stops for rambutans (M$1.5 per kg), kampung durian, mangosteens, local delights etc...

We did want to try out the homestays but my son broke out into a skin condition so had to stay somewhat civilised (ie aircon).

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Postby carolynW » Fri, 21 Aug 2009 8:41 am

Wanted to mention another 2 places that could be more suitable for older, teenage kids.

1.) The Longhouse on Pulau Kapas (very close to Gem island), the facility is basic (leave the kids there and check yourself into Gem Resort!), its more a back packers place, but the owner Mr. Shariff Abbas, believes himself to be a pirate. He has a big pirate flag, cook your own food (well if his wife is there she is a great cook). He was a high flying executive at Petronas that found his calling... they have a pet snake, tours of a bat cave and for a group of kids (or adults), he can run an island survival course.

2.) Ma Daerah Turtle Sanctuary - tel 09 845 8169. There is a min donation of M$250 per adult and M$150 per child (accom and meals provided), go during turtle months (april to sept), 2 weeks booking, clean and nice facilities, you get to watch turtle landings, collect eggs for transfer to the hatchery, release turtles etc.

It was a very nice quite, peaceful out of the way place but clean lodgings, water, toilets, good facilities (not luxurious).

I would send my kids to these two places in about 10 years.


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