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In The Women’s Web ‘Travel The World With Kids’ series, we talk to mums from all over the globe who are interested in exploring their backyard attractions with their tiny tots! We hope you find them useful, if someday you choose to visit their part of the world. Presented in Q&A format, this one is with Maid In Malaysia (MIM), from Kuala Lumpur (KL).
Vibrant and whimsical, Kuala Lumpur remains one of the most favoured tourist destinations for Indians. A blend of urban modernity and Asian culture, what does Kuala Lumpur have in store for young kids and their parents?
Hi MIM! Tell us a little about yourself.
I am one of those scatter brained mums, who sometimes forgets which kids are mine when I get off the lift. I recently lost weight and attribute most of the credit to waxing. I don’t have a handphone and pray that I’ll never have to own one.
What are some of your suggestions for parents visiting KL with young kids?
*shriek* ! Suggestions? Egad! This makes me look as if I know more than I actually do. We’ve been here in Malaysia for four years. And I always look at other parents to see if they are having as much trouble holidaying as I am. Heh heh! Just kidding! No really. I should tell you the good news that Malaysia is child-friendly. Strangers will almost always help you lug your pram. There are exclusive breast-feeding rooms in malls. And I’d advise parents to head for a spot that has a beach like Penang, Langkawi or Redang. Malaysia is bursting with beautiful beaches. And there’s nothing that children like more than getting sand in their hair (and making clean-up very difficult for their parents.)
What have been some of your favourite outings in KL with your kids?
KL is a city we explored v.e.r.y. slowly. For the first six months, I knew only two routes: one to the gynaecologist’s office and the other to the grocery store. But as common sense set in, we kept finding fun spots. Batu Caves is one of them. Lake Garden is another place that is a super hit with my sons because of the green spaces and the super fun slides and swings (even for adults).
The Chinese Temple is close to our home and children seem to love the life-sized statues of the animals and try to find if they are born on the year of the dragon or the rat. We liked to go to Petrosains, a science discovery centre, with a fun simulated helicopter ride. Putrajaya has a beautifully manicured botanical garden bursting with orchids and a wetland where you can spot flamingos if you are lucky.
Oops How could i forget? The Twin Towers. A grand sight by night.
For tourists visiting KL for the first time, do you have any particular tips?
I’d advice tourists not to club Malaysia + Singapore together in a sambar that seems to be so popular. Malaysia needs atleast a week exclusively. Two days in Kuala Lumpur, two in a beach resort, two in a hill station and one day to get around. Pure and fussy vegetarians have it a little tough, especially if you go to islands like Redang, Labuan. I think tourists will be impressed by the greenery and the rains. These two things aren’t on any guidebook, but they are sights to remember.
Are there any particular restaurants in KL that you think kids will enjoy?
For non-vegetarians, Malaysia is a dream. There are hundreds of yummy food spots for the gourmet – you can get Malay, Chinese, European, Thai, Vietnamese hawker food, Food Court food… just about anything.
But sorry, I am not of much help here. We are ultra fussy non-experimental vegetarians. So I can list down only all the Indian vegetarian restaurants here in KL (and we must have been to every one of them dozens of times). There’s Saravana Bhavan, Sangeetha, Annalakshmi (which is my favourite because there’s a lovely concept of
pay as you wish, and a scrumptious buffet on offer)
What about shopping?
Kids, in my opinion HATE shopping. They either get into pester mode or pesky mode, none of which is useful for mamma, who wants to look at those designer hand bags.
But if you go to a place like Mid Valley Megamall, there’s a spot (Megakidz) to drop off kids (over 5) for an hour while they play, and you shop. IKEA has a play area too. Big malls usually offer strollers for parents, so the child can be pushed (by dad) around while you look at the handbags.
You should pop into Central Market, which is nice (but a little pricey) for local souvenirs.
Any kid-friendly day trips out from KL?
Yes, many! Morib beach is a quietish beach with a nice, fun play area, Genting Highlands for whooshy cable car rides, Cameron Highlands to pick your own strawberries and the Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia for some amazing canopy walks.
Apart from KL, are there any other must-do places in Malaysia for kids?
KL is great for adults, swanky, fast cars and luxe. But for children, it’s best to get out of KL and pick a destination like an island or a hill station to get a true feel of Malaysia. In fact it’s best to get away to one of Malaysia’s beaches where you can do some of the best snorkelling, even for non-swimmers
How easy/difficult is it travelling around with kids in Malaysia?
Travelling with kids is difficult, not necessarily in Malaysia — anywhere in the world… because kids have their own schedules and sleep through exclusive cable car rides, and want to pee in the most exclusive mall when you are half an hour away from a toilet and are hungry when you are on a bus two hours away from a restaurant. That’s why I feel it’s best to pick one place to stay and soak in Malaysia from one vantage point, instead of hyper-travelling.
Thanks MIM for your helpful suggestions!
*Photo credit: Maid In Malaysia (Kids playing with sand.)
Previous Interviews In The ‘Travel With Kids’ Series:
Lakshmi from Hyderabad
Sunayana from Kolkata
Sunita from Pune
Anuradha from Mumbai
Artnavy from Bengaluru
Leonny from Singapore
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