Malaysia

Doraemon Pop-Up Cafe at Johor Bahru City Square

This pop-up cafe opened as part of the 100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo and I went to check out the cool character-themed drinks and desserts that they were offering!


Even the table tops had pictures of Doraemon’s gadgets, bordered by the words “DORAEMON CAFE“.

There were several items on the menu and I had initially wanted to order both Sets A and B and share them with my sister. Unfortunately, I was told that Set B wasn’t available, so we ordered two of Set A instead. 😦


The sets come with a choice of drink and it was stated on the menu that you can choose between white coffee, cappuccino and hot chocolate but the girl at the counter told us that white coffee wasn’t available!

The next photo shows Set A (Volcano Chocolate Cake and Hot Chocolate) + an additional cup of hot chocolate. Kawaii!! ^_^

At least the kitchen crew had enough initiative to whip up the drinks with different character motifs! (THANKS!! ^_^) We were initially wondering if the latte art designs were fixed to the type of hot beverages as shown on the menu.

This lava cake wasn’t the best that I’ve eaten but at least the chocolate did ooze out when you cut into the cake. I was disappointed that the pancake did not have Doraemon’s face on it! **SIGH** A classic example of what-you-see on the menu (i.e. the photo) not corresponding to what-you-actually-get. 😦

Whilst seated at the table, I noticed that there were slices of Memory Bread, Dorayaki (Doraemon’s favourite food) and some souvenir notebooks available for purchase.

The Dorayaki had Doraemon’s face on it but I didn’t buy this as I wanted to try the version with ice cream (see below) and I probably would have exceeded my dessert quota for the day if I had ordered everything! ;p

The Dorayaki with ice cream comes in several flavours like red bean, strawberry and even durian! Apparently durian is the most popular flavour so I decided to order one to try.

To my disappointment, this dorayaki didn’t have any picture of Doraemon on it and there was only a Doraemon sticker pasted on its wrapper. 😦
The ice cream was of Magnolia/Meadow Gold quality, so overall this dessert was just まあまあ to me.

I couldn’t help buying the Memory Bread as it was something unusual (on second thought, it is probably relatively easy for you to make this at home). When you tear open the packaging, you’ll get a whiff of the fragrance of the biscuit-like bread and it tastes like garlic croutons but with a very light garlicky flavour.

Conclusion:
I’m a sucker for character-themed food! LOL…

Sometimes these character-themed food may taste as good as they look but at times they don’t. Probably if you try the ones made in Japan, you can be ensured of a higher quality of the ingredients and their flavours (but of course they would then be more expensive too!).

Dates of Cafe Operation:
30th August 2014 to 4th January 2015

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Categories: Eating in Malaysia, Johor | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Dinosaurs Alive” Water Theme Park at KSL Resort

**SECURITY ALERT**  Dinosaurs have been spotted prowling the grounds of KSL Resort!

The “Dinosaurs Alive” water theme park officially opened on 5th June 2013 and features 5 realistic animatronic dinosaurs fitted with sensors which make these creatures move when people come into proximity.

You’ll need to walk into the mouth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex to enter the water park.

As you can see, the head is quite huge and I think it could possibly look a little scary to very young children.

This 85-foot long Brachiosaurus spits water at intermittent intervals! Although I was standing outside along the perimeter of the water park, I got wet when the wind blew the spray of water across. See if you can spot any differences in the two pictures below.

 


Admission Charges are RM50 for Adults and RM30 for Children aged 5 to 12 but there is a 50% discount if you have booked a room at the hotel or if you are senior citizens (aged 60 and above). Kids below 5 years of age enter free.


Dress Code – some of the items listed on the “X” list are quite interesting as I’ve never seen them being mentioned at other water theme parks!  LOL…


Another look at the entrance from an elevated viewpoint.


Is it worth visiting?  Look at the next few pictures and you can decide.

Here’s a bird’s eye view of the water theme park. There seem to be very few water slides and most of them are kiddy slides. Thrill seekers would probably be bored here but children below 12 seem to enjoy the place!

Zooming in for a closer look…


LOCATION
7th floor KSL RESORT,
33 Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad,
Johor Bahru 80250, Malaysia.

Operating Hours of the water theme park:
Mondays to Fridays: 10am to 7pm
Weekends, Public Holidays & School Holidays: 9am to 7pm

Categories: Johor, Malaysia, Theme Parks, Travel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

KSL Hotel & Resort

The KSL Hotel & Resort Johor Bahru is the largest integrated resort in Johor, Malaysia. It is conveniently located in the city centre, within a 5-min drive from the Causeway which links Malaysia to Singapore (Woodlands). The resort houses a hotel, numerous well-known food and beverage outlets, fashion boutiques, game arcade, cineplex, Hypermarket (Tesco) and water theme park (more details on this at the end of this post), all under one roof.

Here’s a quick photo tour of the hotel…

Entrance to hotel taken from the driveway.

Note the sign at the entrance. This is the first time I’m seeing a ban against mangosteens!


At the lobby of the hotel.

Guest rooms are located at both Towers 1 and 2 of the hotel. This is the lift lobby for Tower 1.

There is convenient access to the adjacent shopping mall via the entrance located at the hotel lobby.


Here’s a peek at the Superior room…

Complimentary bottles of water are provided during your stay.

In most rooms you can find both a Queen-size bed and a Super Single.

 

I love that they have a rain shower in the bathroom!

 


The view from the hotel window is of the Johor Bahru skyline which is pretty much uninteresting to me as I prefer nature instead of cityscapes.


View of both hotel towers and the swimming pool.


Verdict:
It is a nice hotel and my stay was a pleasant one. The rooms are clean, the bed is comfortable and the staff are friendly. However, just note that if the hotel is running at 98% capacity and there is a conference taking place in the hotel, the wait for the lifts can be a painful experience especially during meal times as the lifts are slow to arrive and cannot take too many people else they will fail. Each tower has only 4 lifts serving the guest rooms. I stayed on the 14th floor and I remember having waited 25 minutes for the lift on one night and they were always full by the time the lift doors opened on my floor, thus I gave up and headed for the fire exit.

Unless you are on a shopping trip, there is nothing much to do in this area but I must say that it is convenient to have a shopping mall and cineplex connected to the hotel.


KSL RESORT
33 Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad,
Johor Bahru 80250, Malaysia.

Tel:  +607-2882999 / +607-2882666
Fax: +607-2882988

Email: info@kslresorts.com.my

For more info:
Shopping Mall – http://www.kslcity.com.my/
Water Theme Park – “Dinosaurs Alive

Categories: Johor, Malaysia, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Redang Island

Redang Island, locally known as Pulau Redang or just “Redang” is one of the largest islands off the east coast of Malaysia. It is one of of nine islands, which form a marine park and offers snorkeling and diving opportunities.

I had heard about Redang for a long time and thought of going there but never got around to booking the trip until Star Cruises offered a 3 Day 2 Night Cruise to Redang and I managed to get a 1-for-1 deal on it!

Signed up to go snorkelling at the Pulau Redang Marine Park and this first picture was taken whilst we were making our way there.
 

 

Arrived at the Pulau Redang Marine Park and here’s the view from the jetty.
 

The waters looked crystal clear with a nice white sandy beach.

Think the island is a good place to chill…
 

Welcome to Pulau Redang Marine Park!!  This sight greeted us at the other end of the jetty.
 

Here’s one of the local residents of the island… ^_^
 

Spent the first couple of minutes exploring the beach area…
 
 
Several people were already snorkelling in the sea…
 
 
This is a picture of the jetty which we had arrived at earlier and one of the boats which was ferrying passengers to/from the cruise ship.
 
 
Ok, done with photo-taking and this was where my snorkelling adventure began…
 
 
 
Spent an hour snorkelling before the tide started coming in and the sea got a little rougher and the rocking of the waves made me feel sick.
 
Unfortunately I didn’t have an underwater camera with me so I couldn’t take any pictures whilst snorkelling.
 
These are some of the shots of the marine life at Redang which were taken from the jetty. As you can see, the waters are very clear and you don’t need to snorkel to view the fish and the corals in the water.

 
 
Many of the corals looked like they were already dead but fishlife was plentiful.

 
 
I had tried to touch the fish which swam close to me but all of them shied away and they were quick too!

 
 
Overall, it was a relaxing afternoon and I enjoyed the clear waters and the abundance of marine life.  However, I think I still prefer snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef as there’s a lot more to be seen there.
 
Categories: Malaysia, Nature, Travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Gomantong Caves

The Gomantong Caves have been renowned for their valuable edible swiftlet nests, which are harvested for bird’s nest soup. However, besides the swiftlets, the caves are also home to bats, snakes, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies. Apparently, the entire floor of the cave is covered with guano measuring some three to four metres deep!

Cave4

Due to the presence of guano on the cave floor, as part of the boardwalk which ran through the cave, there were wooden handrails by the side in case you lose your balance due to the slippery floor – I almost grabbed onto the handrails at one point but to my horror when I shone my torch on it, there were hundreds of cockroaches crawling all over the handrails!! EEEKKKK!!!

Cave2

I then looked around with my torch and shone it on the cave wall and found thousands more cockroaches all over the wall!! GROSS!!! Majority of them were dark brown like the typical house cockroach but some of them were a little golden or pale in colour which made me wonder if they were albino or was it due to the lack of sunlight in the cave? Hmmm…. enough talk about cockroaches – I also saw a snake curled up and fast asleep at a corner of the cave.

Sorry to disappoint those of you who would like to see a picture of the cockroaches and snake – the ground was too slippery and and it was too disgusting a sight for me to want to snap a picture, plus lighting was extremely dim and I wanted to get out of the cave as soon as possible!

Cave1

Too bad it wasn’t the season for the harvesting of bird’s nest but we saw the rope ladders which they use and also saw how high the ceiling of the cave was.

The reason why bird’s nest is so expensive is that people actually risk their lives to harvest the nests and there isn’t any safety harness used to prevent them from falling to their deaths!!
Is it really worth risking your life for??

Cave3

Categories: Malaysia, Nature, Sandakan, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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